Thursday, September 22, 2011

Got a call last night from another hay guy that I had met, who needed to get his 2nd cutting in, that he had some mixed grass/alfalfa that I might like. It's not second cutting, but I will check it out. He's a LOT closer than the other guy, so getting like 60 bales from him would save me a lot of gas. No idea if the sheep will like it, but we will see. We are fore casted to have even more rain in the next few days. I am sick of it.

I plan to go back up to the 24d field and work there, pulling some more of that horrid snake root, and basically, as of Monday, I will put the sheep back there. Lots of good grass and the chemical has had time to dilute. Supposedly very safe, but still, I screwed up and wanted lots and lots of dilution- dilution is the solution!

Still craving those mashed potatoes! Maybe today. I would like to take Dan somewhere to work other sheep, but I have to save money. He's bored lately. I can't work on shedding with my sheep, so I will have to just do normal trial training with him for now.

Life is pretty quiet otherwise, which is good. Well, that's it for now!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Facebook has made big changes. It's now basically one big running tweet, and to tell the truth, it just makes it much more clear to me how big a time waster it is, and how I just don't really care what most people are doing at that exact moment in time. I bet I am not in the minority either. I don't even want to go to FB anymore- it's like that one last fast food meal where you just say "ENOUGH!!!!!!"

Been a busy week. Got some hay this week, it's second cutting, not as nice as last year, but it's leafy. Used the Ranger and the hay folks stacked and tied it down for me which was great. It's at the low floor of the barn, as the usual hay storage area is blocked off with construction materials.

Sheep are okay, I may actually, once we get all this rain they are calling for, put them back in the field I sprayed. The grass is doing great and the snakeroot has mostly died, although there are still clumps where it survived.....

Everything else is kosher- got the car serviced, and now, for the next few weeks big time saving money for my bills. So, no going anywhere not absolutely needed for now.

May go with John to get the ram later this week. Will be good to get that done. He will drive his p/u and we have a pen in the back.

I am craving mashed potatoes big time today..............

Well, that's enough for now!

Monday, September 19, 2011

John Lennon said "Life is what happens when you are making other plans". I think for my life, that's basically true. After my light breakfast I headed up to the farm, and fed the sheep, checked one who's limping- feet are fine, maybe she twisted something? And then, I decided to clean out the room I had hay in last year, as it will house the sheep this year. I had made a good dent in it with my nephew's help a month or two ago, but there was still more junk to get rid of; lots of broken jars that the steers stepped on, all mixed with their manure. Four large bags of detritus and still not totally done. The field stone wall where it meets the frame of the barn at ground level has giant spaces in it, from when the barn was jacked up to level, so I have to address that as well. On the whole, it will be a much bigger area for the sheep, and I will make yet another pen for them, since the other pen was taken down for some work on the barn (yes, it pains me to say that a lot of my work went bye bye.) Such is the way it is when you don't own your sheep land....

So, after the barn was done, I left and stopped by John's to chat, and then home. Then, I forced myself to mow the lawn. I had not done it since before Hurricane Irene as it was so wet. As it was, as I made my circuits my mower slipped and slid in certain areas. I was SO glad to get that done. I really detest mowing for some reason these days.

After that was done, I generally chilled, as the day had wore on faster than I thought it would. As I was making dinner, I looked at Dan and his whole face was swelling up- stung by a bee I guess. Gave him a Benadryl, and he returned to normal.

So, that's what happened on the day I wasn't going to do much of anything. Congrats to Alasdair and Star- she sure lived up to her name.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Her it is Sunday morning and I am just sort of contemplating things- the way I will pay my taxes, and for the hay, and when. I know it will happen, it's just the next few weeks will be hairy. I am psyched to be able to get second cutting hay, which is really all I wanted to start with. I will start picking it up this week, in small loads. That means today I have to clean out the barn. It seems NOTHING I EVER do at the farm is without four tons of work to be done before I get it done.

I drove out to help someone out with their dog on sheep yesterday. It was a beautiful drive, and un-eventful. I made some progress with the young dog, and when he gets thinking- he does beautifully, but, as it appears with most male Border Collies, he has some settling to do- I certainly know about that. I love working dogs, and being around sheep, so this was certainly a fun thing for me to do. Dan and Lucy came with, and didn't get to do anything, but it was a day out.

On the way home I stopped by a mom/pop bakery and picked up an apple crumb pie to have for desert- all that driving by apple farms got me really in the mood.. So, I made a steak dinner, and then had this LUSCIOUS apple pie for desert. I fell asleep hard, in fact, so hard that someone called at eight something and I never heard the phone ring right next to me!

Today shall consist of a bit of cleaning, and taking care of the sheep, running the dogs, and just not doing too much of anything...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Busy next few days ahead of me. I may not be getting hay this weekend, but that works for me. I have decided on a plan to get my bills paid without resorting to pan-handling ;) I am getting too old to do that ;0)

After long discussion, I have decided to leave my sheep out of the field I over-dosed with herbicide for the rest of the year. This means I have to feed hay every day, even if they don't clean it up, so I know they aren't pushed into eating the bad stuff in that field, and also, I will grain, though I don't want to, I just feel it is best for the older girls, and the younger lambs. Of course the yearlings believe they need food too....

I have found a home for the Parakeet babies, so life shall return to normal soon in that room- they are fun to watch them explore and test everything in the cage, but good Lord are they noisy.

I have a busy next few days, and weather is supposed to cool down, so I am downright giddy about that. We need to have these flies go bye bye, and this rain will help the field grow.

Am watching the finals and world trial on twitter, and loving that we are being kept up to date. Danny's sister put up a score on her nursery run, which although not a great one, still, it's a score, and those sheep were described as "big enough to saddle", and she's maybe 30 lbs soaking wet, and not very tall.

Well, that's it for now, got to get going with my day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

So, my big bill came in the mail and it means beans and rice for the rest of the month- oh, except for the animals, they will still get their grain free, and for the birds top shelf seed ;)

I may sell some of my Cheviot lambs, depending on offers. I don't want to, but $$ is an issue. Have to call the hay guy and see if he can deliver in October. Need to get this school tax bill paid, and move on. Always feels good to get that done, even if I am a bit short this year, I will figure it out. Not doing the demos was a bad thing money-wise, but honestly, other than that, I don't miss having done it at all.

Supposed to be warm today, and possibly rain tomorrow. I may take part of tomorrow off and head up to the farm progress days in central NY with John. We shall see. I have a delivery coming in at work, and it will all depend on when it gets here.

We will be picking the ram on Monday, I believe, next week. I may have a buyer for our current ram; hope so. He's a nice one. Sheep are good, wish I could put them in that other pasture, but not for a while yet. Yesterday I brought out some grain and also a flake of hay, just to ensure everyone is getting all they need. They like that hay, though it is not 100% dust free, it's pretty clean and it's soft, and soft is what they want, hands, or should I say hoof down!

I put momma bird cage near the other cage yesterday, and the babies were a bit freaked out, wondering if mommy dearest was coming back... I have to get the babies homes. It's getting a bit crowded in terms of birds!

Danny is finally looking/feeling good. He has put weight one and is no longer emaciated. Thank goodness. All are doing well. Don't feed Healthwise Chicken and Oatmeal, unless you want sick dogs.

So, that's it for now. Hopefully next week I can go work dogs with a friend of mine....

Monday, September 12, 2011

Here's a pic of some of the girls. That's a Cheviot yearling straight ahead, and a very cute Cheviot lamb off to the left looking very cute.

Here's some of that White Snakeroot (with white flowers) that grew from nothing to this in 1 month. Remember, it is extremely poisonous to all who eat it.

This stuff I sprayed on Saturday, doesn't look affected yet.

Here is some that I sprayed on Thursday.

This has taken a week to deal with and it is still not dead, and I don't know how dead it will get before the end of the grazing season. It all ends up disintegrating on it's own, and comes back strong the next year since it's a perennial. I won't put the sheep back in this field until the stuff is pretty much dead and the 24d has been diluted a LOT. So, I may end up feeding hay early this year. Oh well, that's just how my year has been.

Remember that big bill I have? Just came in the mail. School tax, will have to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Life for me is geared around big bills. Not much else. Hay will have to wait.

So, that's it. Finally some pics. Even if they are boring!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Now that I have identified that horrid weed, I have been working all week on eradicating it. I have been pulling it and have begun spraying it with 2,4,D, a growth hormone interrupter that makes a weed go crazy over growing and dies quickly, I hope. This weed is super tough and this particular herbicide is just not the greatest, but let's hope it works. I would like my sheep to go back to that field soon.

The sheep look good, and I worked Dan a little on pushing the sheep off the feeders, just for something for him to do. I need to start to teach him to shed, so I think this weekend I will do that.

Birds are good, all's quiet with mother out of the cage. Babies are about ready to move on to their new homes.

Well, that's it! Maybe I shall put some pics up one of these days!!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

So, here it is, Tuesday and it's raining. Again. Not a hard rain mind you, but still. My el cheapo boots from TS have been un-ceremoniously thrown into the dumpster and now I need a new pair. Drenched feet over the weekend, and large slits at the soles mean these boots are useless. So, now to find something more decent.

Sheep were good yesterday when I got to the farm. I gave a bit of grain to everyone, although I after checking them out, I see they really don't need it. Even older girl is looking better. That field has such a nice variety of grass/shrubs, that they are well fed. Don't think I will move them until the weekend. I may head out to a friend's place to work Dan this weekend, or I may not. I have a couple of huge bills to pay, so I need to save $$.

I moved mommy dearest into her own cage yesterday, and things are MUCH better for the babies and dad. Mother seems absolutely fine not being with them, and the injured baby seems to be putting his foot down more, and is more relaxed. He sits next to his dad a lot and is starting to eat food on his own. The main thing is that everyone is just quieter and happier. Not sure what I will do with that female.

I never did mention this about our trial, but the best part of all of it, is when a well respected open handler came up to me and told me that we should be very competitive in ranch and open next year. To have our hard work pay off, and me believing in him even when things were a bit left of center, it means a lot. Another open handler, when we walked out of the field after our last run said "you've come a LONG way". Yet another open handler came up and looked at me like "you bloomin' idiot, after I directed Dan's sheep outside the drive away panels" and he said "I thought maybe you were dyslexic"- he felt bad for us, since the run went so well.

As I think about how things went this weekend, I have to thank my Lucy for teaching me so much. We were never this successful, even though we did have some success, but she taught me that hard work pretty much gets you where you need to be, even if your score doesn't always show it. She lit my fire for this sport and she taught me to try and be better each time you are out there. For that, I owe her a great debt of gratitude.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Well, the last trial for the year is in the books. The last trial for us, I think anyway! I was very happy how it went for us, though our consistency, for the most part did us in. There were three runs, and they drop the lowest, and average the two highest. It makes sense in a way, because the sheep really are a variable and you can just get a bad draw...

Our first run was our lowest score, and honestly, I don't remember everything that went wrong, but it didn't feel bad, and we ended up with a mediocre 60. The second run on the same day was better, but I think we missed the fetch panels and that banged us hard, so we got a 62. The third run which was yesterday, we got the fetch panels, and then, as he drove them so nicely to the drive away panels, I quite simply directed him to move the sheep AROUND the panels. WHAT A FREAKING DOLT I AM. He had quite a nice run, and I have to say, the prettiest moment, was when I had them almost totally in the pen and one ewe who was like a DOUBLE wide trailer with so much wool, she turned and looked at Dan, with a snotty look, and Dan, just walked up with a look of, if you try it, you have me to deal with- and in she went. For that run, we got a 70.

I was very happy with Dan's work. Now, on to a relaxing fall, and learning to shed a bit and do longer courses. He's such a good boy. I have to move the sheep, as my brother needs to work on the barn in that field. My Parakeets- first baby out has hurt leg and mom had to be taken out because she was attacking the fledgelings. Still one in box, but ready to come out- dad has to feed all of them. I need to find homes for the babies, and possibly the mother. She's not to have babies again, not after this. I can see if the babies were older, but they are still so young. The injured leg boy had around his eye pecked too. I think the stress of being with her would have killed him. Of course she is not happy, but that's what happens when you are a witch!

Supposed to rain through Thursday. We do not need more rain. So glad I have good drainage in my fields. Given that I am moving them to the smaller field I may start graining them, because I don't want the older girls losing weight.