Monday, December 31, 2012

Walking walking walking

On Sunday, I headed up to the farm to get chores done, walk the dogs, and stop at my sister's place.  Got everything on my list done, and then some.  My sister and I watched an episode (she has dvr) of Pioneer Woman on the Food Channel... most of the food looked great; though some was a bit rich looking for me.  I do really like her blog and well, most of what she does!

Then I headed up to the farm, put on my gloves/boots and walked the dogs.  Joe and Dan work hard to run in this stuff, but they seem to not mind- though they do sleep when they get home...  After I walked them, I fed a couple bales of hay to the sheep, grained them and then looked at the barn.  It needed mucking out, so I did so.   The other method of keeping the barn in the winter is to just add more straw on top of the old.  Well, being that I have no machinery and it's only me, I don't want to do that.  I can't imagine the work it would be come spring.  And, I am no spring chicken!  I am not old, no, but certainly do not want to tackle that sort of work.  Anyway, got it cleaned, added a new bale of straw (don't like this straw at all- too crumbly), and then I got Dan (he was sitting watch looking out at preventing sheep from coming in the barn as I was cleaning).  After all that I was a bit tired.  Stopped at the grocery store for some kitty litter, and headed home.

Did not get much done yesterday afternoon, and ended up watching some football and reading my book. 

Today it was VERY cold when I got up- in the teens.  No plans this week at all.  No way I want to work my sheep, or my dogs in the very cold weather coming up, and well, I guess our walks will be more important than ever.

Ciao for now!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

No Rush

Last night I took a fall as I went to get in my Jeep.  I slid under it when my foot hit a hill of ice- only my head sticking out.  That hurt a bit.  And, what made it worse, was I was heading out to get chicken wings for dinner, and they were terrible.  Think dessicated chicken.  Woke up with a head ache this morning; wonder why?

Anyway, it is BEAUTIFUL out this morning; baby blue skies, snow everywhere, and a quiet that you don't get that often in life.  I am so happy to be having a real winter, even if it means more work and cold, that's still not a bad price to pay for such beauty.

I have put notice out that I would like to find a home for Lucy.  She is not permitted near the other older girls except for when outside, and the other day Nikke, my twelve year old slipped going up the stairs and you could see Lucy had to work very hard not to attack her.  She just wants the other bitches gone.  I don't know why this happened.  Lucy is a very sweet dog in every other way.  It pains me, and I don't honestly know if I *could* give her up.  Maybe by the time I do find her a home, the other girls will be gone.. There is no major rush.  

My old kitty Ginger is losing it mentally. Yesterday she kept going to the bathroom and howling in there.  I finally had to shut the door.  She had an upset stomach previously, so maybe that messed her up.  The thing is, when she goes walkabout, most of the dogs (Dan is the WORST) follow and harass her.  When I shut the bathroom door, I picked her up and put her in the bed and lay near her, and that seemed to work.

This morning I just had toast.  I am duly sick of eggs at this time... Trying to avoid bread, but well, I slipped! Can't wait for work's retreat to open this week so I can get back on my wonderful soups for lunch!  I do love them!  In a while will head out to do the normal, and then home and stay warm.  Cold out today...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Get it"

So, I stopped by and picked up some sheep and dog provisions at Agway (using my gift card- thank you family!!) and then up to the farm.  First thing I did was walk the dogs.  I figured I better do that first, as I may not want to after I did the chores.  So, took our walk, and paced myself- and tried to walk in my previous foot prints- which helped a bit.

After our walk, I got a couple bales of hay, and went out there.  I noticed some hay was still left from the previous day, so I ended up leaving about 1/3 of a bale of mostly alfalfa on the sled, and gave a full bale of grass hay.  I spread it out- I was getting winded now, trudging through the snow.  When it was time to give out the grain, I had Dan push the sheep far away, but they stopped at the hay bales.  One small sheep, not sure if it was a ram or ewe lamb, stopped and faced Dan.  Dan looked, and waited.  I figured I would let it have a second or two to think about it.  The snow is deep and crunchy on top, so it's tough going out there.  So, then it went and then turned again.  The third time, I told Dan to "get it" and he did- gripped on the face, and she/he finally turned.  Hopefully that lesson was learned well.  I don't blame this sheep, it's tough going out there.  Glad that Dan can back up what he asks for, or soon all of them would be doing the same thing.

I got the grain out and as I started to leave, it really started snowing.  Stopped at my parent's house and had a Gjetost sandwich (look this up if you don't know what it is) :), and also a piece of carrot cake. Man, do I love that stuff.  Then I headed home.  I have been home a while now and have been out several times to shovel.  I want to keep up with it. It's really coming down at a fast clip now.

Tonight I believe I will have tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner. Glad I don't have to be any where today!

Gimme my pancake!

Just had breakfast... Last night for dinner I had oatmeal with some raisins. For some reason, every time I nuke it, it explodes all over the microwave... This is messy folks!  Anyway, it was very good, and I find a good night time meal- helps me to sleep better.  I love the milk instead of water.  Book was good last night- am reading the newest book by Cleo Coyle- her coffee house mysteries- forget the name now, but if you are looking for a decent mystery - try Cleo.

Like I said, I finished breakfast, dogs and cat all got pancakes.  Kitty adores these so much the minute I take the griddle out of the cabinet, he's at his station, near the stove waiting, and as they get done, he assumes the position to remind me of his dire need for them!

We are supposed to get around 6" of snow today, to add to the 6" we already have.  Am using a sled to bring the hay to the sheep.  I gave them 1.5 hales the day before yesterday, and when I got there yesterday, all of it was GONE,  just basically green spots in the snow, that I don't like- as there is no other fodder to eat out there- and even if there was, getting around is very tough- crusty snow that they fall through as they walk on it.  So, yesterday, they got two bales, and they kept falling off my sled.  Oh the joys of winter.

Today, I need to hit various markets, and get some sheep feed, and then will go up to the farm.  I doubt I will walk the dogs, maybe, but truth be told my calves are killing me from walking through the snow...  The dogs seem fine, but I worry about them getting hurt too.  Will have to see how it goes.  I would like to go see a movie- not sure which, but that would be a nice way to break up the monotony of this winter!

Well, better get a move on, hope everyone has a great day!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Proud of myself....

Busy day at work yesterday, and after, I went up to the farm.  More snow at the farm than at my place.  Really glad I have 4wd, as the driveway was plowed in.  The Jeep had no problems at all with it.  I walked the dogs first.  I think it was on the order of 5-6" of the white stuff.  About 1/3 into the walk, I was getting winded.  The dogs were okay, although I am pretty sure Dan was annoyed, because Joe is shorter than he, and could get ahead of him and block him...  Anyway, after the walk, as I was gasping for breath... Time to feed the sheep.  Wheel barrow was no use in this snow, and the sled was missing, so I carried one bale out to them, spread it out, then back for a half, and then to get the grain.   Had to search for the feed pans as they were completely hidden.  Anyway, got all that done, and mental note to find that sled...

So, I then head up to my parents' for a visit, and had some left over carrot cake, which was amazing.. just amazing...  Then, I decide to go back to the farm for another walk; this time the other direction more down hill then up... I thought...  So, did the walk and then I was officially tired, and felt like it was time to go home and warm up.  Dogs had frozen whiskers too :)

When I got home I decided that the pile of paper work I had needed to be gone through- in order to get some cleaning done.  So, I went through everything; filed, shredded, threw away, you name it.  MUCH better.  Only thing left to do is find a home for Dan's ribbons...  Then, I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner, took a hot shower and got in bed.  Was a good energetic and productive day, indeed, I was pretty proud of myself!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

We shall see....

After work yesterday, I loaded up the dogs and headed up to the farm, but first, I stopped by my hay purveyor to pick up a couple of bales of straw.  It was very cold out- low to mid 20s.  When I got there, another customer was there picking up some hay- looked like a store was picking it up to sell.  The older gentleman who lives on the property was very friendly, and chatted to me while I waited for the kid (I call him a kid, he's probably in his mid 20s!) to get plastic bags to put the straw in.  Our conversation went like this "Hi Julie! How are you" (as he is throwing bales).  My reply: "Great, how are you?!"  Then it went on "How many sheep you have now? Fifteen.  Oh, that's a good number.  How do they like the hay?  They love it.  We've got more saved for you in the back, but it's got alfalfa.  That's okay, they LOVE it!  After that, I went and paid for and loaded up the two bales and went on my way.  I really like this aspect of farming- the people.  Salt of the earth, polite, decent people.

When I got to the farm, after walking the dogs  I started cleaning out the barn.  I had a big group of on-lookers, as they could not believe that thing in the shape of a bale was not food... So, got it all spread out and looking quite comfy, and then went on to get them their hay and grain.  Everyone was happy, and I was frozen.  Could not feel my legs...  But, took the dogs for another walk, knowing it would be bad today, and it is!

This morning I awoke to about 2" I think, of snow, and sleet coming down.  I warmed up my truck and got my ice/snow scraper out... It's officially winter I guess!  The 4wd was a God send, as they did not plow anything and the sleet in addition to the snow made it very treacherous out there.

Today, after work I will head up to the farm and see about the sheep, and probably not linger.  It's supposed to snow for a while yet today.. We shall see.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas and onward

Christmas was very nice.  We had a fresh ham, roasted potatoes, veggies, and for desert we had a choice of chocolate cheese cake or carrot cake.  It was a great meal.  We were all a bit tired though; two days of festivities is hard on us getting olders...  But, it was a nice time.

Now it's time to get back to normal- or some sense of it.  A big storm is fore-casted for tonight into tomorrow, and I am hoping to be able to go pick up a couple of bales of straw for the barn.  I noticed yesterday that the straw on the barn floor has done a good job of keeping wet at the bottom, but when I checked further, I saw that indeed, I need to clean out.  This storm is bringing lots of WET- rain and snow and sleet.  I know the sheep will be in the barn.  I really feel for sheep who can't get out of weather like that.  I also feel for sheep who have to go into really dirty barns- it's a pet peeve of mine.  Nothing worse than seeing a line of filth where you know the sheep had to lay in it.  It's *really* easy to throw some straw on top so at least they can be dry and clean.  

Have not worked the dogs lately, and won't be doing it today either; too cold and too wet.  I think it's good for them to get a break too.  I have no plans for the coming several weeks, so definitely in the winter doldrums.  I will get Joe out different places to work, but that's basically it.  The years go by so fast now..... I just hope to keep up....

Well, that's it for now.  I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

Christmas 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is in the books, and it goes down as one of the best ever.  Many reasons, perhaps the quietude of the night, not a lot of loud talking, just happy people enjoying each other's company.

After work, I drove up to the farm with the dogs, and walked them, but decided to give the dogs and the sheep a break.  So, after the walk, Dan and I went out to feed them their hay.  I always take that time to look over everyone, and it really relaxes me.  When I went to feed grain, they were on to that notion quick :)  They have totally accepted this as a good part of their day.  I fed them, and then checked their water- which was lower than I expected- they are definitely drinking more these days.

After the sheep stuff, I went home and tried to relax a bit, and wrapped the few presents I had (mostly I was giving gift cards).  I fed the animals and headed up to my parents.  It was a very nice time there.   I ate a lot and talked a lot.   I got home about 8:30, and that was good, because I was truly ready for bed.

This morning I awoke to snow on the ground and still falling; what a perfect Christmas morn!!!

Today, work again, and then back to my parents for a fresh ham dinner... mmmmm!!!!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Switching dog foods...

So, probably most of you have lamented like I have, about the cost of dog food.  When I see what I pay per month, it's sort of scary.  I think I may spend more on the dogs than me...  I feed Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream.  They all do very well on it.   It is not cheap though.  So, recently, I checked out other foods.  I was in Agway last week, and spoke with the owner of the store, and she suggested I try a brand called "Exclusive".  It has a bag program (where you buy so many bags and get one free), and it also had several different types for different needs.  I took some samples of the high energy version and lamb/rice for my dogs.  I mixed a bit in slowly, and everything seemed pretty copacetic.  I then decided to go ahead and get the high energy and lamb rice- so, two different kinds for the dogs, depending on what they were doing.  I then find out they only make the high energy in 38 lb bags- that's for two dogs... that makes no sense.  But, still, I wanted to try and save money, so I bought an 18 lb bag of the lamb and rice.

When I opened the bag, I could instantly smell that it was stale.  This is never a good sign, as it means they don't move much of it, and well, stale, is that much closer to bad/buggy...  I fed some of it, with the ToTW, and later in the day, I saw that Kylie was scratching her face/ears more, and I also noted, that there was a difference in all the dog's out put...  This all gave me pause.. To me, it's simply not worth it to save maybe $20/month and feed low quality food.  Garbage in, garbage out.  I have been eating better quality food myself, feed it to my cats and sheep, and therefore, not going to cheap on the dogs.  I may try and find a way to add healthy food to their dry food to try and make it last longer... But, in the end, what I did was return the food, and learned my lesson.

I hope you all like the new look

Hi everyone, I hope you all like the new look.  It was time to update the blog to reflect the changes, and status of my life, and also to freshen up the appearance.  Next is a new pic of some sort; that will come.  I am using the "Wish in one hand" moniker for my blog, because I believe it fits me.  My grandfather used to say "Wish in one hand, spit in the other, which one gets filled first?"  It fits me to a T.  Basically, it means, if you want something go for it- and work for it, don't wish it to come.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sheep, dogs, Christmas

I am going to up what I am feeding my sheep, based on weighing the bales... Some are just about 50 lb and some are near 40 lb bales.  They have been eating more, so a bale and half will have to suffice.  This means I need considerably more hay than I have, so will be getting about 50+ more bales next month.   They really love the alfalfa, and seem to be doing very well.  There is still a bit of grass, but not much, so given that several should be pregnant, I am upping everyone... Grain will start soon too.  I thought about not doing grain, but for my own sanity, they will all be getting a wee bit of grain starting today, and gradually increase; very slowly until we hit a peak of about a 1/2-1 lb of grain per sheep per day- that's not that much...  But, I do think the pregnant ewes will appreciate it.  The lambs too.  I strongly believe lambs get the short shrift if not supplemented in their first winter.. They need to not only maintain, but grow.

The black ewe who likes to go off by herself when I work the dogs, she's looking lean, and I don't think she's pregnant, but I can't tell- really...  She doesn't get worked much because of her independence, but sometimes she does.   They all get worked during the week and they all seem quite fit.

The sheep are not using/eating any of the mineral, it's weird.  Maybe this hay has just about everything they need.  I keep giving fresh mineral just in case...  but the pan is always full...

We are having horribly wet weather lately, so I bedded down the barn in fresh straw, and left the door open so they could get out of the wet if they chose.  I find my sheep will use the barn in the worst of the weather.  This is weird weather- warmish, not very cold, so yesterday when it rained they hung out under trees. 

Dogs are good; am trying a new brand of food that is not grain free, but I just can't afford the cost of what I am paying for the grain free anymore.  I will see how it goes. 

Cats are good.

House needs cleaning (as usual).

I have not started (well, my sister picked a few things up for me to give) any Christmas shopping.  So poor lately, not feeling very festive.

That's all there is for now!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Where's the time gone?

I've no idea.  Sometimes, I go back in this blog to see "where I was" this time last year.  I find a lot of similarities.. for instance- I am walking more now.   One big change though, is my diet.  I have cut out the sandwiches, and other bread items, and eat either a salad or soup for lunch.  For dinner, there is protein and a veggie.  More veggies in general.  My pants have gotten a bit looser and I feel better.  The dogs love the extra long walks too.

The temperatures have been "temperate" so far this December, and that makes me happy too.  Less heat/oil used.  The sheep eat their bale of hay, and I have learned that they are choosy about what they want to eat.  Two days in a row last week they got grass mix hay, and that second day, the lead ewe actually called at me as I left, I am sure wondering where the heck the alfalfa was!  Well, you get what you get my lady.... The runty ewe lamb is active, but small.  She will be butchered this spring.  She's just not breeding quality and her lack of resistance to parasites is not something I want hanging around my flock.  I don't blame her 100%, as it was a bad year, but in the end, I don't want to perpetuate that.

John and I have to bring back the ram that he borrowed to sire his next year's lamb crop this week.  Not sure when; the weather should be good until Sunday... I think he's done his job with aplomb.  Lots of ewes to do, we will see how successful in the spring!

There are a few more things I need to clean up at the farm, but all in all we are in good shape. 

Dogs are good; both Joe and Dan are working well, and Joe really seems to be maturing.  Yesterday though, he was quite full of himself and did not want to quit working - not at all when I told him... It's a new side of him, and one I quite like.  He's not becoming robotic and it shows that he's just enjoying himself more.  At his young age, that's really important, I think.   The girl dogs are well.  I feel for Lucy a bit, as she's not doing any work lately but she seems happy.  Heck, she's the only one who gets to sleep on my bed at night! 

I found out that we will indeed be doing Christmas eve at my parent's house this year.  Initially I thought no, because it really is too much for my mother- doing both that and Christmas day dinner, but we will be having relatives from Norway come visiting, so we will go ahead.  I know my sister and I will have to be taking  over more and more from my mother as she just isn't as strong as she used to be.  Luckily, I am a pretty good cook in my own right, so I guess it will all be okay.

Well, there's my update :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

F%(#%#(*%# awesome!!!!!!!!!!

Last night I got a call from one of my lamb buyers- he bought some lambs from me and grew them out.  He had them processed recently, and cooked up some chops last night.  He called me just as he finished.  He said that they were F(#&%#( awesome.  Best he ever had.  He went on and on about how good/tender the meat was.  This is very very good news, as he stocks local farmers markets with various home grown meats.  This means I have a buyer for all my lamb.  This is very very good news.
If my sheep can at least pay for themselves (all their hay/feed/ and some of my time), I will be very happy.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A nice Sunday

It was a very nice day yesterday.  It started out with me getting up with a headache and sore upper back, but I took some Aleve and it resolved pretty well.  Later in the morning I headed up to the farm and my brother had a bunch of friends over hunting.  I took Joe and Dan for their walk and then I worked them both.  I had a bunch of spectators, and they looked like a bunch of traffic cones watching ;)

Joe did super nice.  We only worked for like ten minutes but his outruns are pretty much spot on - he's paying attention to his sheep all the way around and his fetch is still good.  I stop him before he thinks he can go to head them- that is one thing I let happen, which I am in the process of squelching.   We also did a little bit of driving- flanks too, on the drive, and then we just stopped.  It was short but sweet. 

Sheep were given their bale, and none were eating it that great- it was pretty stemmy, so I got another half bale which had more grass in it and they seemed happier.  Will see how much they left behind today.

When I got home I decided to tackle the rest of the leaves- it was nice out and it was just time (long past time) to get it done.  A few loads on the tarp, and then just blew the rest into the woods.  Then I cleaned up all the sticks (as many as I could) in the yard and put everything away. YES!  I am done with the fall work!!!  It turned out to be very good that I did the leaves yesterday, because it rained pretty hard last night.

I had oatmeal for dinner last night, and I think I have finally gotten it to where I like it regarding the consistency.  I don't like really THICK oatmeal, so this was not quite a slurry; a little thicker.  It was so good... Even the dogs wanted some...

Well, that's that..  Let's see what this week brings!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sheep management

Read about another shepherd having another sick sheep... People, in case you don't know, sheep are generally a hardy animal, and as long as they have good forage and minerals and clean fresh water, you don't really need to do much on a daily basis.  Sheep can be prone to pregnancy toxemia at the end of their pregnancies, but that can be prevented by not having fat sheep going into pregnancy, then having them get lean and having their bodies not be able to meet the requirements of the pregnant ewe late in pregnancy.  The point I am making is that adult sheep should not just appear "weak" in out of the blue, unless something is lacking or you have stressed them some how.  So, here's the deal- if you are feeding hay 100% of the time and your sheep keep cropping up with weakness caused by low Selenium, this is a management issue, not a sheep issue.  This is your fault.  So, get your hay tested, and MAKE SURE your sheep have ad lib access to minerals at all time.  Better yet, get them OFF that hay 100% of the time...  this will ensure a wide range of food stuffs to better cover their needs.

Sometimes it's good for us to read stories like this, because it just reminds us to keep being careful with our sheep and ensure they have what they need... They certainly don't need much.  So ends my sermon for today.

Today I have some errands to run and then up to the sheep and then home.  Nothing other than that.  Am very poor right now, as I have to pay my oil bill by next week.

My sheep are doing well.  I am feeding one bale a day, and also putting another when needed as over flow into the hay manger.  It seems to last a few days, so they do need a bit more than one bale, but in the hay manger, at least it's not being wasted... Hard to judge how much they need at this point... The ram lamb is quite confident.  Yesterday he went up to a station where a black ewe was and she made to butt him- he just put his head down lower and was ready to play...  then she went back to her hay :)

Dogs are good, cats are good.  Boy Kitty was super sweet last night and cuddled with me all night, even when I got up a few times he came right back.  He's just a great kitty.  I thank God for him.

Well, that's it for now :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Joe versus Dan

Not in respect to working, but they do differ in that too... But, what I am talking about here, is in living with them.

Now, I have to say up front, Dan was shown the ball in the back yard and I think that did a heap of damage to him... in some ways.  He sees the back yard as a place to race around and be crazy.  It's not really a fun thing, and now, I usually let him outside by himself, or with Lucy because he spends his entire time being a nut.  He will eventually calm down, but you can see, he believes it's action out there.  Joe goes out with me in the backyard, or the other dogs and will play with other dogs, but does not race around willy nilly, for the most part.  He will carry a toy and play with it, but he's not totally nuts. 

In the house, Dan will chill, as Joe does.  Dan usually hangs out in the living room- always has, but Joe is with me all the time.  In the evening when watching TV Joe lays near me, and takes my cue..  sometimes I can even get up and he will stay there.  Dan's always up the minute I am and gets to wherever I am going before I even start there...

In the morning, Joe will bring a Nylabone and we play a bit of soccer when I get ready in the bathroom.  Dan I think used to do that too a bit.  Joe is calm, but playful.  Dan is well, hyper, I would call it and playful.

On our walks, it's most evident.  Dan has to race ahead and compete with Joe.  Joe usually lets him lead.  Dan has to run ahead and back every where.  On the way to the sheep, Dan has to try to block me, maybe not block me but basically gets to the pasture backward.  Joe will run ahead and sit at the gate.   Dan's just well, nuts some times.  I do love him, and when he is most calm, is when he is on sheep...  so that's good.

I definitely like Joe's temperament? is it?  better....

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I am enjoying the slow creep into winter this year.   We had a little snow yesterday; not much at all at the farm, but enough to spur me to sing a few Christmas carols at work yesterday... Yep, I do love those Christmas Carols...  I have not finished the leaves but am about an hour away.... Almost there.... jeez, you would think it was like pulling teeth- well, this year, for some reason it is...

I got some much needed cleaning done yesterday.  I used to dislike my house because it was so small, and have finally realized that for cleaning/heating/cooling, for just me, that smaller is better....

It's just the usual at the farm these days, been working Joe every other day and it's better for both of us.  Sure would like to have more chores to do, but with only a handful of sheep, there isn't much to do...  One thing, those Romney girls are single minded- especially that black one.  She will find a way to try and get to the wheelbarrow with the hay, and every single time, Dan has to push her away, and then address the flock who tries to sneak in.   He's learning to get this job without much command from me.

Well, not much to report at this point... 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Indulge me...

In a wee bit of reverie about my cat....  My tabby boy kitty is very special to me.  He's not your average aloof, self centered kitty, he's pretty much just the opposite...  At night, when I get in bed to read, he comes up and lays in the crook of my arm and rests his head on my hand.  If I say something to him, he purrs.  He just simply loves to be near me...  If I jostle around a bit, he does not get his nose out of joint, he gets up, waits, and goes back to his station. 

In the mornings lately, he has awoken about 4 something, and eventually comes onto the bed and lays at my head, purring, and very happy.  Not pushing me to get up, just enjoying being near me.

When I do get up, and let the dogs out, he goes with them, and goes to the shed, where mice live, and "hunts"... Once all the dogs are in and I have showered, he appears at the back door standing on his hind legs, and asks to be let in.  Then he greets the dogs- usually with a lick to the forehead (but not to Joe or Dan- they are too busy for that).  Then he waits for his food, and he gets it, and then, right before I leave, he gets three small treats (and Lucy gets a couple), as sort of a good bye ritual.

This cat makes me very happy, he's affectionate and patient (I can pick him up like a baby and nuzzle his belly- and he just loves it.  And, he acts very much like a dog, begging and all.  Certain cats just rock and he's one of them...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sheep, winter, dogs

Finally got set up for winter, wrt to the sheep.  They've got their bigger water tub and heater set up near the barn, and I brought them up to see it.  I always worry when you move things like that that they will find them.... So, I got them in to the barn yard and they all had a look see, and then they were back off again. 

In a few weeks I will be starting to grain everyone.  Some time mid December, moms to be will have to be on grain, and I will gauge it carefully, as the hay is pretty rich.  The ram lamb looks quite plump...  When that happens, I will really be tied down for a bit, but then, I have no plans to go anywhere anyhow...

Spoke to the hay guy, and he will save me hay until some time in January, as the stack is really high as it is, and I don't want to add to it now (I hate climbing that high as it is!).  This is good news, and then I can decide if I need more or less than I am estimating.  For now, one bale a day is doing it... But, if we get really cold snowy conditions, that may change- hope not...

Dogs are good.   I have decided to lay off working Joe quite as much as he has the basics, and I so love his keen nature, I don't want to quell that at all, and I think too much drilling ruins young dogs.  So, that said, one day on, one day off will be the name of the game.  Have some new things to work on too... he should love them; I hope!

I see I am getting well and truly hooked on working these dogs... It's scary....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nothing like it.........

There is NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING like taking a hot shower at night and getting into your home made (by mom) flannel night gown, getting under the covers and reading a book and sleeping SOUNDLY all night.  The past few years I have taken a shower at night to warm up.  It's been one of those things, that is not just physically comforting, but mentally too.... 

Monday, November 19, 2012

The trial

This weekend I attended our last trial for the year.  There is one more, but it will be too far away, I am afraid... But, maybe...

Anyway, I left early Saturday morning, as I was not due to run until later in the day, and I just wanted one night in a hotel; this makes it so much easier on my sister who takes care of my animals (and my sheep this time!)  I got to the site, and watched some runs, and helped in the pen just a very short time before my slated time.

The handlers post was situated on a small knoll, and not sure how far away the sheep were.  I sent Dan to the right and he had a nice outrun and lift- he lifted them nicely and had a decent fetch.  Turned the post, had a good driveway, and also hit the cross drive panels.  Sheep were moving comfortably, Dan had them calm, but respectful.  Got them to the pen and got two in.  One stalled halfway out facing in.  The two that were in were facing out.  I knew that if I had Dan walk up, they would have busted out, as they were as far back as they could go.  I stomped, I jumped up and down, blew in her ear, and even moved so she could see Dan better, and finally she went in.  Phew.  Then, it was time for.... the..... shed.....

Sheep were still calm and so was Dan.  After a short time I got them lined up, two facing one direction, one facing the other, and called Dan in, and he came in and he took the single, and I walked him up (for the shed, you could take the sheep anyway, but your dog had to hold it for a time)...  Then, the horn beeped signaling we got our shed!!!! We did the shed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Our score was 86, and put us at 9th, and we even got some points toward qualifying for the nationals!

I was very happy with Dan.  After our run, I watched more runs, and brought Joe out to watch, but honestly, he found even that boring because he wanted to do something ;)  I then went to the hotel, checked in and then back to the trial site for the handler's dinner.   It was amazing.  Roast Turkey, potatoes and then everyone brought side dishes.   I was lame and brought some croissants and pumpkin pie, as I did not know how I would keep anything being that I was in a hotel... Anyway, the food was just great.  Some folks brought some hot buttered rum, and a great time was had by all.  I ate way more than I needed.  Finally, it was time to get back, and hit the hay.  It was cold.  No dogs allowed in the hotel.  I thought I would adhere to that rule, but when I saw another handler at the hotel and he said he would bring his dogs in, I figured I should too- it was in the low twenties that night... So, I brought Dan and Joe in.  I did not want Dan to get a crampy back from freezing all night.  Joe paced for a few hours (as he does not ever not sleep in a crate) and then they both slept all night.  Not me- no clock in the room and since I was first on the line Sunday, I was afraid I would over sleep... So, I got very little sleep...

Sunday came and I ended up being first on the line.  It was very very cold and the ground was white.  That's bad....  I walked to the post, had Dan look at the sheep and was going to just let him go right, but saw one lamb bolting to the left, so I sent him come by.  He was almost up the middle, and then, he kicked out and went deep, like all the way to the set out pens.  And then he stopped- he did not see the sheep.   I had to lie him down, then say, "look" and then when he saw them, have him walk up, and then flank him around... So, he lifted his sheep, and they were buggered, so we got them through the fetch panels, around the post, through the drive away, they were high for the cross drive and then we did not get the shed- they were stuck like glue to each other, so also no pen.  A very bad run indeed!  Several more had very similar runs, except for the outrun. I asked the set out person when she thought and she said he did not see the sheep, that they blended in with the white frost...

I stayed for just a few more runs and headed home.  Beat as can be.  Walked the dogs, fed the sheep and home. 

Over all it was a great weekend.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I love a man with a chainsaw.....

I do, and it's because I won't ever try and use one again and because my brother apparently has a major aversion to them, making things extremely difficult to keep up with at the farm, because it IS a tree farm after all, and the trees there, are "shedding" trees, trees that lose their limbs over time....  What a pain in the you know what....

So, after work yesterday, I met Charlie at the farm and we cut up the two trees my brother knocked down with the back hoe.  I should add that my brother likes to knock trees down with that machine, but that's where his interest stops...  Anyway, we got those trees picked up and then started in the bottom left part of the big field.  It's gradually been cleared by livestock but there was a lot of downed GIANT limbs and vines, and you name it, still left there, and when the sheep go there when working Joe, well, it is nigh unto impossible to have him be able to get to the sheep... So,  Charlie cut up and I loaded the dump truck, and we did this for several loads.  At one point we took a break so I could go get some food (I was starving) and Charlie kept working while I was gone- that is my kinda man!  When I returned we stood at the bed of his dump truck, ate, chatted, and then back to it.  Finally, after 4.5 hours, I hit the wall- and so did he, and I proclaimed we were done...  I think he was happy too...
I would say we got 1/2 of that side cleared out.  There is still a lot of pieces of dead wood, but that will need raking and a shovel.  Still and all, it looks a LOT better, and now grass, precious grass can fill in there...

I was beat after that, but still took the dogs for a walk, but I did not work them, as there was no energy left for that.  I fed the sheep; gave them a bale and a half, as one bale, I don't think, will cut it for them this year.  More sheep this year...  Will see how much they ate of it, and see if I am on the right track.   To determine how much they need, I like to see just a tiny bit of hay left the next morning... I don't want anyone hungry, and I am not feeding grain now until January, so hay will be it- unless they for some reason need it... I plan to body score everyone today to get a read on how they are doing. 

Today is a normal day, with a salad for lunch (how I love those salads) and I will work the dogs when I get to the farm, and revel in the cleaner section of the field ;)

That's it for now!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Training, hay

Hey everyone!  Don't know where the time has gone... Really... Well, I guess part of aging is getting forgetful?  Well, anyway....

On Sunday I drove down to my friend's place to work the dogs.  Dan did great.  We did not work on any shedding, as doing it every day at my place, I figured I would give him a break.  Joe did well too.  We did a few outruns with my friend holding and he's getting that.  He will need more practice but this winter will be good for that.  I am selective as to who I will let hold for him since he's so young, I don't want him to have a bad experience....

I honestly don't remember what I did Saturday...  Not good...

Anyway on Monday, I got to the farm and noticed that my brother had taken a section of fence down (it was there temporarily) and knocked a tree down right in front of the barn.  So, the sheep had to be locked out of the barnyard and I was not happy, because I put them in there to shed some off to use for Joe.  Thankfully, the sheep were smart, and handled the blockage fine, by going around. 

Joe: Joe is learning driving, getting more and more comfortable with it.  I am also asking for him to be sure he takes the right direction when given a flank command.  I am not doing outruns at my field, as the sheep just take off too fast.  Need to have a fun day at my place so we can practice :)

Dan: Dan is coming along really nice in shedding.  Now, instead of the sheep just running behind me, he's calm enough that they avoid me and will split on their own (with my help) and I can call him in and walk him up on the group I want.   By George I think he's getting it!  He sure seems a lot calmer.  I am so happy with Dan.  He's been a perfect first open dog for me.

Sheep are good.  The new ram lamb is doing well and the runty lamb is okay.  Color looks better and she will stay, I have decided for training purposes, as if the adult ewes are bred, I will only have a few sheep for training in the spring.  The hay I got is annoying me.  There are several really stemmy bales.  Sheep don't eat stems, and they REALLY don't eat alfalfa stems...  I am going to have a chat with my hay guy about the issue.  Not every bale is all stems, but many are...

This weekend is the last trial of the year.  I found a hotel that is close and not too expensive, will only be staying one night and heading back home after I run early on Sunday.  Then, that's it until next year!  I would like to have a fun day at my place but will have to see what every one's schedules are.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ah Friday....

I am looking forward to the weekend.  This week has been a long one, partly because of the news events, and partly because for some reason it seemed to slog on... But, it's almost over! 

Busy day at work today, and the I will work the dogs.  Still working on shedding with Dan, it's a slow slow process.  I am able to get a nice hole for him to come in, but he's just not natural with this, so I hope to heck most of our trials call for the shed last, because if not, then we lose pen and shed points...  Lack of eye and liking to flank result in a dog looking at the big picture too much.  I will say, though, he's getting better at pushing the ones I want off and covering them well from behind.

Joe was amazing yesterday.  He simply was so on and well,  he's just very cool to work.  I did not work him very long, and we ended up taking a second lap for our walk, because I feel like we all need the exercise.

I have to get the leaves done at my house... I hate doing leaves, I mean I hate it...  Has to get done though...

Well, that's it for now!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chocolate Chip cookies

I was not in the best of moods yesterday... I did eat a nice healthy lunch at work (salad), and then after work, headed up to the farm.  It was very cold.  We had a nice walk (albeit sort of fast) and then I gave a bale of hay to the sheep, which I am not real happy with.  It's an alfalfa/grass second cut, but it has loads of stems, and sheep don't eat those stems... I will mention this to Lloyd my hay guy.  But, on the bright side, they are getting a lot of nutrition in the hay they do eat...  I then loaded up to leave and do a few errands on way home, one of which was stop and get chocolate chip cookies- pre-made version, to bake, because I needed it... 

On the way home I turned on my heated leather seats (YES! love them) and got home, and the snow started.  Very windy too.  Glad we did not lose power.   I was still cold though- I keep the house at 60 degrees, so I ended up taking a warm shower after I fed everyone and then cozied up under a blanket to read my book.    When it was time to let Joe out, he LOVED the snow, he did the zoomies in it- which I have never seen him do!  Very cute- one happy puppy! 

After dinner I baked those cookies.  MMMMM, with a glass of milk.  Just perfect for a day like yesterday.   Then, when it was time for bed, I settled in with my book and my warm blankets, with kitty laying next to me, and Lucy too, and slept like a rock all night.  I guess I found the perfect combination for good sleep.

Today have an oil change for my car, and then various stuff.  The snow may be melted by the afternoon, we will see. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Working dogs

The other day I went to a friend's place and worked dogs.  It was very cool.  I was able to catch up with Joe's breeder and see his litter mates work and I also got to work a couple of them.  They have not been officially started for various reasons.   One male is similar to Joe in a lot of ways, and the other has a bit more eye.  I was happy that they worked for me.  The one with eye is also very one sided, but by the end of our short session I had him going on the hated side pretty nice.  I really love starting dogs... I really do.  I would love to start these guys for her, but I can't keep them at my place.  I do have good sheep for it though!

I worked Dan on shedding and now he's totally about it.  His cover is better now, and that was evidenced when we got home and I sent him for the sheep, they took off to the right and when I whistled a stop, he did not!  He never does that!!!  He was not letting them get away though.... Before the trial, suffice to say we will have to work on the basics again.

Joe, what can I say.  He was a good boy.  I worked on a few things, and then my friend said that they would hold sheep for him.  I was a bit worried, but figured he's ready.  Well, when I first sent him to the right, he stopped half way up on the outrun and went toward the sheep... hmmm, he figured they would come running to me like they always do, I guess.  Anyway, then we did a few more and he was getting it.  At first a bit worried about going by the person holding the sheep, but then okay.  Then we took a break.

Then, I went back out there.  This time I stood near Joe (I am usually between he and sheep) and I got a perfect outrun both sides.  Stopped at the top and walked him in.   Can you believe it?  I said, well, that's it, going to end it on a good note- it made my day...

Then, we headed home, I gave some hay to the sheep and then I went and voted, and home again. 

Today the bad weather rolls in.

Snow and water....

The week has been plowing ahead.  Clean up continues in NYC and Jersey, and now we've another storm headed our way today.  This will be tiny compared to Sandy.  We are getting some snow, not much but enough to accumulate.  But, this weekend will bring temps near 60 degrees, so that white stuff will disappear.  I have to bring my larger stock tank to the farm, as I have more sheep to water this winter.  Hope it fits in my car okay....

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Work of all sorts and cold!

Work first, then...

Yesterday sort of blew by... or should I say, I almost blew away?  I had just finished walking the dogs when John pulled in with his new to him truck and I thought about asking if I could bring Joe, but I saw he had his Lakeland terrier with us...  so, ixnay on that.

We got up there and it was WINDY and cold.  I just shivered, literally while we talked a little.  We got the ram loaded (he's NOT a small guy) and headed home.  John is a very slow driver, so by the time we go to the farm to drop me off, I REALLY had to go.... So bad in fact, that I left my cell phone in his truck.

So, I worked Dan on shedding and Joe on various things, with the whole flock, which was good- he loved it..

When done with that, I stopped by John to unload the ram, and he was immediately ensconced in his new girls.  Then I headed home and relaxed.  I was too cold though, so I needed a hot shower, I made some scrambled eggs/toast and then got in bed.  Long cold day, and it's only early November.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Almost ready

To hit the road.  Did a load of laundry, made/ate breakfast, and am having coffee now.   In a little bit I will be heading north to the farm to work Joe a bit and then my friend John will be meeting me at the farm and we will go up and get the ram he's borrowing from a friend of mine.  John's got a new used truck, uses diesel, and judging by the lines to get gas yesterday, I bet he's glad he went that way.

After that, it will be a quiet weekend.  I have to get a start on the leaves.

I am happy with my decision not to get the camper.  It would have been an albatross in my driveway, I am afraid as I just would not use it enough to be able to justify over a decade of payments...  I am looking at all the new tenting abilities out of your suv, and also maybe even a pop up.  I need something small, but I am in no rush, because I just need to decompress after all that....

So, hope everyone has a good day today, and will check back later :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

What a day, and I need a nice country singin' man...

That's what I said to myself when I heard the song "Carrying your love with me" by George Strait this morning.  Yes, I need a nice country singin' man...

Yesterday, I went to the camper dealership and first we did the demo of the thing.  When I walked into the garage I was immediately taken with how big it was.  It did NOT seem that big when I saw it last... I started to get a bit nervous.  Then, we continued on all the instruction and my eyes started to glaze over with the information and warnings.   The last part was winterization, which just about did me in... there was no way I was going to be able to remember all that stuff.....

So, we go inside and I sit with the financial guy, who is nice by the way, and he looks at me and he says "are you sure?"  and I said "No, I'm not".  So began my several minutes of indecision.  I sat there and started signing the papers and finally, I said I have to go outside and make a call.  Besides the hugeness of the thing, was the hugeness of the financing, which would have doubled the end price of it... that did not sit well with me. 

So, I went outside and called my sister, THANK GOD for her..  I was in tears, I kid you not.  Disappointed with myself, scared.  Never have I even been in such a state... We talked for a few minutes and she allowed me to say my fears, and realize this was just not for me.  I knew if I paid that much for it, I would end up hating it.  So, I went in and told the finance guy.  He said okay, but he had to tell the sales manager.  That guy was irritated.  So, the finance guy said go home and he would hold the paperwork, but after dealing with the sales guy and his attitude, I said no need for me to go home, just rip it up.  In the meantime, they had already started installing the hitch.  HOURS and HOURS I sat there.  At one point they had an employee drive me to get lunch at the nearby diner, as my blood sugar was plunging.

After seven hours?  The sales manager tells me the car is ready, and here's the bill.  They GOUGED me.  They told me when I was planning to get the camper, they would throw in the hitch/brake assist etc., for $600.00, but now that I was not getting it, it is now $1200.00.  I was too tired to fight.  I had to pay that and just get the hell out of there.  Today I will be getting estimates from other places, and see if they were way off, and if they were demand a partial refund.

I got home last night and had a beer and pb/j for dinner and read my book and went to sleep.  I have never had such an over-wrought day ever.  I believe I did the right thing, even though it was expensive (the hitch), but I can use that hitch, if I ever find a cheap camper I am comfortable with, and for a stock trailer.  What a day. 

This morning I heard that song "Carrying your love with me" by George Strait and I said "I need a good country singin' man".  Word.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Storm, mice

Yesterday I went up to the farm, walked the dogs, just as the wind started to ramp up.  It wasn't bad.  I fed the sheep, and made sure that the barn door was locked open and the barn set if they wanted to use it.  I checked their water, and then my sister and I headed out (she took a ride up there with me). 

Got home and the wind really started picking up.  At about 5:00, I fed the dogs, and filled some giant pots with water, and set to watching House Hunters, interspersed with the Weather Channel.  The storm was really pounding the Jersey shore and NYC was getting flooded.

I finally fell asleep just after I heard on the news that three people had been killed by falling limbs- one man was killed in his house when a tree fell on it.  That scares the heck out of me. 

I woke up this morning SHOCKED that I did not lose power.  The winds were the strongest I can remember.  I did hear some things hit the roof, and side of the house, but I have not checked everything out yet... Anyway, after I woke this morning, I turned on the light and there right in front of me was a dead, wet mouse.  GROSS.  Right smack dab in the middle of my bedroom floor.  I heard my kitty meowing at the side of my bed, he must have been very proud of his prize.  I have never seen him do this before, but well, I guess there is a first time for everything.  I picked it up with a newspaper and put it in a plastic bag to throw out.  Better check my traps and make sure we don't let anymore in!

My knees are killing me today, and I think it's related to the stress.  I am finally seeing a pattern with this knee stuff.

Well, later today I head up to the farm and check out the sheep/fields/fences.  No cable/tv/phone at home.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Straw, work, hang time

Yesterday, got up to the farm about 2:00 or 3:00.  It was still nice out, no wind, no rain, so I took the dogs for a walk and then worked Dan and Joe.  With Dan we just did a bit of the usual stuff, and then I brought the three girls to the fence to work on shedding.  Basically, it's me working on it, so I can set it up right for him.  I figure this is a 50/50 partnership, so if this is not his forte, let me at least make it so he will be successful.  I was able to get two ewes to go one way, and the third to go the other and call him in and have him push her away.  We will keep doing this push away, until he gets that it is very good to do this. 

Joe was very good.  He's getting driving- I know I said I didn't want to, but he offers it, so I went with it.  At one point I was able to tap my leg and have him come to me having the beginnings of an inside flank.  Good God.  I think I need to slow down, he's learning way to fast for me.   I want to go look at videos of other dogs at this age, to see if other dogs are like this.  I don't want to rush him.  Oh, and at one point he took off early without me sending him and I was able to stop him.  Yes, stop him mid gallop.  I keep wondering if maybe there is a shoe to drop some where....

After that, I set up the barn so the sheep could go into the big room, and got some new straw in there.  I don't think they will want to go in there, but maybe.  Then I gave out some hay, and filled up their water, and headed to my parents' house. I hung out there and watched a PBS show I forget the name, but during the Edwardian era- it was very good.  Then I watched football.  Then we had a wonderful dinner, and then, finally home.  I was beat.

The wind has kicked up here, and no rain yet, let's see what happens....

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A hurricane's 'a comin'

This scene has always cracked me up.  I always think of it when a big storm is coming.  Latest information has worsened the impact for us, so I better laugh now.  I have done all the preps at my place, and the farm should be good.  I will leave the barn door open for the sheep, but when I feed them, I will put their hay where they are, because I have learned that putting hay inside when they would rather be outside and vice versa is a waste of hay.  So, we shall see.  One thing for sure, is that we are going to get very wet and have serious winds, all extended...

Joe and Dan worked well yesterday.  Dan's shedding, we are working on him letting sheep go when they are on the fence, and then walking in on the one I ask.  I don't know if we ever will be proficient at this, as he has little eye, and likes to flank, so... makes it tough, but we will keep at it.   Joe was good, I had a few Cheviots in the mix yesterday, as they did not want to shed off, so I worked them with the Romneys.  They made the Romneys flightier.  At one point Joe was tight on an outrun and the black Romney who likes to split off, did- and ran into the wooded section.  Joe did not skip a beat and went in there after her and brought her back out. I was so stoked to see that.  We are working on driving and in just a few days, he's getting it.  Damn, he's smart.

Going to my parents' for dinner tonight- standing rib roast, and so will go to the farm later, probably around 2:00, and hay the sheep, and then go to my parents.

The next few days should be interesting.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ram, dogs, storm

So, I really really like this new ram lamb.  He may just be staying a while.  Not sure who here knows the difference between show bred sheep and what I call grade sheep, but the difference is basically that the show world breeds for tall, lean and horse like creatures, and the grade folks like me, breed for the original breed type, the well muscled, not overly framey, easy keeper, and hardy sheep.  The ram I had previously though he wasn't absolutely horrible, he was too tall and lean, and I am sure would do well in today's show ring.  This new ram lamb is very different.  He's blocky, sturdy and well built at only six months of age. Above is a picture of him.  Hoping things will go well with him in the future.  He's already noticed the girls.

Kylie my ten year old Kelpie has a stomach bug.  She was out a long time today, and I decided not to feed her breakfast.  Her stomach is making those horrible stomach bug sounds... So, no food for her today.  Don't know what would have caused it, but she has always had a propensity for upset stomach- ever since she had a gut blockage as a young dog.

Worked Joe and Dan yesterday.  Dan was a bit off, but Joe did well.  Only a very short work time for him and he's getting more comfy driving, but I may focus back on flanks/outruns, because they suffer a bit when he starts driving...

Big storm coming starting tomorrow.  Lots of rain expected.  It's a huge storm right now, they said on the news last night it was two thousand miles across.  That's pretty huge...I cleaned out my gutters yesterday, cleared debris from the down spouts and put various things away. Glad I got that leak in the roof fixed...
I hope we don't lose power... but if we do, at least, it won't be too cold.

Cleaned the house today, did laundry, and messed with my piece of garbage water softener...  Hopefully less iron will be around... I doubt it.  That's why my freaking hair is red.  I am so about to take major chemicals to it, or shave it.

Well, that's it for now.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Joe, Dan, lamb

Yesterday after work I went up to go get the ram lamb.  First I worked Joe in a big field where he has never worked before.  He was good.  The advice I got was he was too tight, came in to hard and fast, which I know, but the good word was that he was MUCH better than the last time they saw him.  Appropriate sheep and every day working will do that to a pup :)

At one point we had two sheep on the fence and just started talking.  Joe settled in, at one point he almost got up, but put himself back down, because he remembered I had asked him to lay down.  That's the sort of thing I love about these good dogs.   It was a very enjoyable time working him.

I also worked Dan, who did well, but I think I need to lay off him a bit, as he will eat grass if I give him too many commands.  He will do as I ask, but it takes the fun away, so I am going to work on getting my line set as we make our turns, and then just let him hold the line, instead of trying to steer so much. 

When it was time to go with the ram lamb, I had brought a medium vari kennel and we put some hay in it and covered it with a sheet.   He didn't make a peep the entire trip.  When I got to the farm, he would not come out of the crate, so I had to un-ceremoniously dump him out.  Luckily, the girls were there, and he ran to them, but he was scared of the black sheep...  Which was bad, because the blackest one I have was very interested in him ;0)

I left after I gave hay, and he had tucked into it like his girlfriends. He's a stunner of a lamb, a true Border Cheviot in build.  He's already looking regal, even at his young age.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Joe, Kylie, ram lamb

Things are going well here.  The other day when working Joe, I tapped my leg asking him to walk up and he did, and we did a little walking behind the sheep.  The next day, I tapped my leg and he walked up and past me... He's already getting driving.  I kept it very short as one or two times he went to grab at some grass, and I believe he's just worried if he pushes they will get away, and plus he's very young.  But, he's learning so damn fast, that I am afraid if I don't change things up it will become boring for him.  At this point I could use him to do chores I think.  That's hard to imagine.  He's just such a cool dog.

I loaned out a ram lamb to a friend of mine and now I have a buyer for him, so that is great.  More money in my pocket (that will fly out fast) is a good thing. 

Going to go get a new ram lamb for me today, and put it in a vari kennel in the car.  That should be very interesting.  Want him here to grow up and then use him next year.  Will also work Joe and Dan.  We ended up getting into the last trial of the year, so that is very cool, and now I gotta school Dan a bit.  A fb friend asked if I was going to run Joe (he has seen his videos) and I said God no!  But, I bet he could run in about a month or two..... He just learns so damn fast.

Kylie, my ten year old dog is having vision problems; I have to get her into the vet.  This week/weekend I will bring her in to have her eyes and heart murmur checked.

Well, better go now..  Hope everyone has a good hump day!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I'm getting a camper

So, I got a call last night when I was on the phone with a so-called friend (which is not true, but I don't want to talk about that), and when I checked who called, it was the camper place.   I had been approved for a loan for the camper, but I had to decide what I wanted to do in terms of down payment.  The term is very long, good God, is it long, but the payments are doable, but I may still try and get them lower.  Every time I try to convince myself not to do it, I decide against that... So, I think I must...  I bought this new vehicle with the express intentions to be able to tow, and with the trialing that I do, which is not as much as some, but certainly enough, it makes no sense to stay in hotels.  Mainly, I want a camper so I can go and rest during the day.  I get very tired mid day, and when I can't just relax for a time, I just get behind the eight ball as it were...

So, Friday, I guess, is the day I pick it up and they install the tow package on my truck.  My driveway entrance is pretty narrow, good God, I hope I can get it in there... We shall see...  It will take every ounce of my memories from pulling horse trailers to do it...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ram, dirt, beer, and popcorn

So, the weekend was fast!  Saturday morning I did take a bit of time just to relax in the morning, and then headed up to the sheep and wool festival.  I brought the dogs with me so I could bring them to the farm afterward.  My friends and I walked around, and I had a very good lamb gyro, and for desert, apple crisp a la mode- THAT was amazing.  Before my friends showed up I took a bit of video of some of the sheep, here it is:

We watched some of a sheepdog demo, and then I got the stuff from Sydell, and then I headed out.  Something about throngs of people, and noise wipes me out...

Oh, that morning, a guy called me about my ad for my ram for sale.  He said they were going to the festival and could they stop by and see the ram when they left.  I agreed, and went home, and came back later to meet him at the farm.  They took forever.  Apparently, it took them an hour just to get out of the parking lot... I warned them about that...

Anyway, they are newbie farmers, and only have a small flock, but have Cheviots ewes to breed.  So, I got Dan to fetch me up the sheep, and the guy put a halter on him- an Al Paca halter, which was small, and just barely fit over his nose, I mean barely.  So, we got him out of the pasture, and then I had to go tie Dan up.  See, Dan and this ram do not get along, and Dan figured that maybe he needed to teach this ram a lesson once and for all- who knows, all I know is Dan was looking a bit excited...

So, I said "Be right back, going to go tie the dog up" and when I got back, the ram was already in the truck!!!  What a neat trick I just figured out... Will have to use that again.  So, he made a makeshift pen with boards and wire and his wife suggested that he loosen the rope a bit for the ram.  As he did so, at the same time as I mentioned how good he was with people, the ram went for the guy (just his arm, as he was outside of the truck).  I was surprised, but could not blame him as the halter was a bit taut and he was tied...  So, I got paid and they were on their way.  It was a long day for me.  I got an email later that night saying that they had gotten home and the ram was settling in well.  That's good.

So, Sunday rolls around.  I had made tentative plans to take Dan and Joe to work them at my friend's  place, but when the morning came, my stomach bothered me and I was just really tired, so I almost begged off.  But, she convinced me to just come, so I did.

She worked her pup first, and then I worked Joe, and then we worked the adults- Dan hates his off pressure flanks there, and I always end up having to school him on them.  Then we had lunch, and then back to work Joe a bit.  He's a good boy.  He acted the same as he does at home, so that bodes well for his brain, I hope :)  I do really love working him.  He's very full on, but I like that, because he's also listening.

After I got home from that, I cleaned my house.  Good Lord, I really needed to.  The Bissel vacuum I have is amazing.  I could not believe the dirt and hair it got up.  I took all the books off the book shelf and vacuumed them, and well, just went to town.

Then, I had a beer, and made some popcorn in my new popcorn maker- I LOVE it! 

Then, I got in bed and read my new mystery, which is very good, and then SLEEP!

And the winner is....

Carolyn Harwell!  Please fb private message your address to me :) I picked out the winner this way:

I had six people in the pool.   I have six food tubs that I feed my sheep in.  Every day, one tub is tipped over.  That day it was number six.  Carolyn, was #6!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

We have a winner!

The winner of the shirt give away will be posted shortly!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Festival we are coming!

Am about to head north to Sheep and wool festival.  I wanted to go to the farm first, but I will get a mess, and for once I want to be human. So, I will go to the festival and then the farm.  Someone contacted me possibly interested in my ram, so I may bring them to the farm to show him to them.  I hope they buy!  I hope they have a trailer with them too!

I am going to video tape our wanderings around the festival, and I will not forget to pick up the equipment, as I have left myself a voice mail on my cell phone!  I have not picked a winner yet.  I am going to do something at the festival... I am sure it will be interesting.  You are all getting assigned a number, in ascending order, so for instance, Diane will be #1, and so forth.

So, that's it for now guys, back later to let you know who won!

Camper? Maybe?

I saw that camper yesterday, and it fits the bill.  It's a Jay Feather Sport, 2009, and has a full bed in front and a teeny tiny slide, which gives just s scosh bit more room.  The only weird thing is that the bathroom does not have a sink- it's got cabinets instead.  LOTS of storage in this puppy.  I like it, and I applied for the financing, but have not heard back. I still do not have to buy it based on the financing I get, so we will see.  Was up a lot last night thinking about it, and it does still seem like a good idea.    So, we will see.  If I am not approved, I will take it as God's will, and I know that everything happens for a reason.... Will keep you posted.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Shopping and scald

Yesterday I shopped... I had that 30% off coupon at Kohls, so I went after work.  I got some new jeans, socks, etc., and even a popcorn maker... Good deal on what I got.  After that I hit the mall looking for new salt/pepper shakers; finally finding them in Target.  I did a lot of walking around, and was beat after that...

On the way up to the farm, the saleswoman from the place I saw the nice small camper called me and told me they just got a used 19ft camper in, in excellent condition.  So, I made an appointment to see it today.  Unless this camper is just what I want, I will hold off...  After that, I got a call from Charlie saying that one of his lambs was very lame in front.

I went to the farm, worked Joey for just a little bit (it was pretty warm out there), and then I decided to give a bit of the hay, to see if they wanted it... the pasture is getting eaten down, so I want to make sure no one is left hungry...   This is where it got funny.  The three Romney crosses were still out in the field when I brought the hay out, and did not go to it... Then I let the Cheviots out who went right to it and then BOOM! the Romneys come charging over.. It was so funny- it was like they were letting the Cheviots determine if those suspicious hay piles were safe...  Verdict on the hay?  They all loved it.  It is alfalfa/grass mix, so it's pretty good stuff.

I stopped at Charlie's the ram lambs front foot was sore, and it looked a bit like scald.  Two of their pet dairy goats also had bum feet, and they definitely had scald (all sorts of pasty grossness between their toes).  I have since bleached all my foot wear and my car mat, because I do not want to bring that home.  That is a good reminder not to go to other farms so lightly...

After all that, I went home and was just beat.  I get beat easy...  I HAVE to remember to pick up the stuff that a fellow shepherd ordered from Sydell at the sheep and wool festival tomorrow.  My memory is not the greatest lately...

Last Chance to sign up for shirt give away

Today is your last chance to sign up for the shirt giveaway.  Not sure how I will pick the winner- it may involve the sheep or the dogs, or both.  We will see. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Limbs, rams, dogs

It was a very nice day yesterday.  Fall is my favorite time of year; cool, no bugs and a sense of renewal in the air. 

I had to gather the flock in yesterday, and I wondered how the ram would be.  No problem was the answer.  He simply went with the Cheviot girls into the barn, no muss not fuss.  I am glad of that. 

Then I worked Joe, and as I did, I noticed all the big downed limbs laying in the field and took a break from working Joe, to go get the pick up and start collecting those limbs for the burn pile.  I got probably less than half picked up in one trip, and will finish today.  There is one GIANT limb, more like a tree I have to tie to the pick up and drag out.  Charlie has been busy, so I have to handle this myself.  The field looks better.  Oh, and today I am buying some wood to make a feed trough for my sheep.  They sully the feed sometimes, as they step in it, so I want a trough style.  I wanted to buy them from Premier, but the cost of them, plus the shipping is astronomical.

So, after picking up the sticks, I went back to working Joey, and he was very good.  I am at the point where I am standing about half way to the sheep, and it's working beautifully.  He's the right distance from them, and he's running out fast, intent and watching them too.  It's very cool.  I do like him.  I think I may have said this before... 

Got home and decided I have to clean this house, and opened my mail- finding I have a 30% off coupon for Kohls department store, so I am going there today.  I need some clothes, and I want a real pop corn maker- I do not like microwave popcorn at all....

So, that's the deal for now!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rammy Ram and Campers

So, I went to a camper dealer yesterday.  I looked at a new 14 ft camper, very nice but small.  I talked numbers with them, but they were not really budging, except, that they would install the tow package on my Jeep free...

I went home and thought about it.  Then I called my older, wiser sister.  She told me she thought I should have gotten a camper a long time ago, and that it was a very good idea, given how much I travel with the dogs....  So, we talked a lot about what I really wanted.  I really want a bed, not one that  has to be "made" every day, and a decent bathroom, and last but really not at all least, something that is light, thus easier to tow/stop with.  So, I charged my sister with finding me a camper... We shall see what happens.

I had one person comment on FB that they just use friends and do hotels, why get a camper?  Well, I must not have as many friends as she does, because I have never had someone offer to have me stay at their place, and you know what?  At some point EVERYONE wears out their welcome.  I don't like to do that, and this way, I am autonomous, and not using other people.  Once in a while it's okay to ask friends, but not year after year...  That's how I feel anyway.  So, hopefully I find something I like.  I may not, who knows, but at least now I have a starting point.

Worked Joe yesterday, did some fence line work, and got some advice from a FB friend on what to and not to do.  He likes Joe a lot, and I trust his advice...  Joe is just one very cool dog.  Oh, and before I worked Joe, I had to bring in the sheep and keep the Romney girls out for use by Joe.  Well,  the ram decided he did not want to go with the Cheviots into the barn and turned and ran away with the Romneys.  Dan gathered them back and the ram did not want to go in the barn again, so I wrangled him and just as I got him in the barn and Dan was standing next to me, the ram saw Dan and was loaded for bear and just was going to cream him.  The look in his eye, and his kneeling, just about kneeling forward stance... well, I did not want my Dan to get hurt.  So, I picked up a board and fought him  back.  If I had not done that, he would have knocked me over to get to Dan, simple as that.  Now, Dan has gone after this ram before and will again, but when a ram is in breeding form and wants to be with his girls, there are not a lot of brains operating, and I thought to save everyone from injury, I would handle it.  Today will be interesting... We will see if the ram causes trouble again. 

Anyway, after all that, and working Joe, I got some fencing up on the gate, and also tied the stock panel that had come un-tied to the post... I have to get some new panels and get them up.  Hopefully things are a bit more solid to prevent the dogs from getting in should they chose... I don't know though.

So, wish me luck on the ram front (he's for sale) and also finding a camper!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Trailer, re-considering

I have been giving a lot of thought to the camper situation... I am not sure I want to over extend myself for the camper.  I do go to several trials a year (optimally), but several are not far enough that I can't stay at home, and go, and well, I just am loathe to get more debt.  I spend most of my life worrying about money, and well, I just feel like it's a dead heat between the camper making sense to get and paying off some debt.  Don't really know what to do...

Plan today is to add some wire to the gate at the one pasture at the farm.   There are stray dogs coming around and they have decimated our chickens, so I want to make sure that there are no obvious places for them to get into my sheep pasture...

Will probably work Joe again today, and then that's it.  I was supposed to go look at a trailer, but it is so far away, I just can't make another 2+ hour trip each way...   I know of a couple other ones that are closer, but well, I am going to let a higher power help me in this decision.... 

I am a bit tired today, owing to the fact that Ginger kitty woke me at three something and I did not go back to sleep.

So, comments are welcome on the trailer, yeah or nay....

Monday, October 15, 2012

Give away

I have set the comments section to allow anonymous ids, so if that is blocking you, should not be a problem now.


I made a trip up to meet the used rv dealer and get a better look at the camper.  He knew in advance I was coming, yet did not do anything to it (as in clean it) or set it up.  I walked in and thought I might go through the floor- he said was going to fix it, and I asked if he would replace it, he said no, that he would just put new floor on it- will be stronger.. ahhh, leave that disgusting floor and just put new plywood on top.  Anyone who knows me knows that I like things done right... Okay, so moving on, lots of storage space, and then he goes and gets the canvas ends pushed out.  I immediately did not like that- too much room for wetness and well, basically it's like a pop up...  the canvas was also dirty/mildewy.  I went into the bathroom and the floor to the bathroom/shower floor was so thin, I thought that I might go through that- and it was small, I am not small, but if I gained any weight I would not be able to fit in there....  I told him I was not "feeling it" with that camper and looked at others.  He had a mid 80s on there, and you could see a leak had gone though above the cabinets and destroyed the fake wood.  Basically, this guy doesn't really DO anything to these things, he just flips them.  So, I now know I do not want a hybrid, that's for sure.

When I left I realized I did not have my atm card, so I could not get cash for the tolls, so had to take the scenic way home... I had left my card in my pants pocket after I had gotten gas the previous day.  Just glad I did not lose it, and had other options for routes to get home.

I worked Joe a bit when I got home, and checked sheep.  All have been marked.  We will see if he marks anyone again next month, but then we should be fine.

This week going with Charlie to pick up a ram for John to use.  John's truck is out of service, and Charlie has a stock trailer.  My days of lifting sheep into pick ups are done anyway.

Well, that's it for now...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

T-shirt (or Sweatshirt) give away!

Next weekend is the NY State Sheep and Wool festival.  It's the best one I've been too, and I am going this year as well.  Am picking up some things a fellow sheep person ordered, but then I am free to wander, eat and shop.  This year they have a GREAT design for their shirts (see above),  If you would like a chance to win either a t-shirt, or sweat shirt, please write a comment, and list what you prefer (sweat or tee) and your size.  I will do a random pick. Once the winner is selected, I will ask you to contact me with your mailing information.  If for some reason, they don't have sweat shirts, it will have to be a tee so, and I will let you know if that's the case.  Remember, I need your size too!

Camper.... decisions.....

Yesterday after work I headed up to check out the camper. As it turned out the guy was not there, but I peeked inside and saw he had been checking it all out.  It's small.  It's a 2001 Keystone Cabana Hybrid.  Has enough for me and my dogs. No a/c, but I can deal with that, just to get started in it.  I was un-decided...  So, I called him today, and all of a sudden the price went to $2500, up from the $2000.  So, I plan to head up there soon and tell him I want it, but will pay no more than $2300.  He said he would do a lay away sort of plan, so that could really be a God send.   So, we shall see, actually excited about this...

Today, my dad came over with the power washer, and we got the house spiffy.  Looks so much better- where does all that dirt come from???  Have some things I need to trim, and almost all the leaves are down, so the next thing is leaves!!!

Ran some errands, and then worked Joe.  Wow, he is just amazing.  Perhaps all dogs who get a bit of training each day progress like this, but I am just uber happy with him.  He is like a sponge.  I *really* like him.

Will make myself a nice dinner with a Pork Chop as my protein, and then read my book and chill out.

I have an announcement, will reveal in the next post!

Friday, October 12, 2012


That's my euphemism for "dang it's cold out there!  It was cold last night, and damp.  That combination forced me to allow the furnace to come on.    I slept like a baby last night and did not wake until I heard the paper delivery guy drive off.   For me, that's a big deal.  It was a good night.

Yesterday, I worked Joe, and also got the last lawn mowing for the year done.  Now, just have to wait a bit for the rest of the leaves to come down, and will get started on them.  This weekend, my dad is coming by to help me power wash the green off my house.  For some reason, my house attracts this, and it just looks bad, and I am rather proud of my house, so we will get it cleaned.  I am also going to ask him to cut down my half dead pine tree in my front yard.  It looks so bad, it has to go.  Then, I will trim back a bunch of my shrubs.  One other item is to replace some rotten boards on my front step. 

Worked Joe yesterday, he did great, he is so much fun to work, he's got that great combination of instinct, biddability , initiative and confidence on sheep.  I would take another just like him. 

Today, I am going to look at a camper, after I get my errands run.  It will be a bit of a drive, but I think it will be well worth it, and it will pay for itself in a couple years of trialing.  This is the time of year to buy one- everyone is looking to unload before winter. 

The sheep are good, still one more to be marked, but then that's it.  My friend John does not have a ram yet, and not sure if he will find one.  I would sure like him to, because we want to have a trial at his place next summer, early fall, and just his adult ewes won't cut it.  So, we shall see.

Well, that's all for now, hope everyone has a good Friday!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Me and the Firemen

I was under the impression that many firemen were a bit chunky, and out of shape.  No, that is not true, at least the group I met were not!

A few days ago I had gone with my dogs, to go look for some Angus heifers that had gotten out because the new to farming and new owner to these girls left the  barn door open- yep, that old saying is true...  Anyway, we went looking and I told him that there was just too much land to cover and to call me if he had a sighting.  He called me day before yesterday and told me a caretaker on a 350 acre farm nearby had spotted the heifers in one of his fields.  So, yesterday after work, I met the owner of these guys at his house, and several firemen, and one plumber showed up..  I was the only girl with seven men, kinda cool....

So, we headed out to where we saw them last.  I drove my Jeep into the fields and had to use 4wd at one point, which I had not used yet, and got to the field where they were.   I hopped into the caretakers Polaris Ranger, which was really nice, and Lucy, Bob, and I set forth looking.  Lucy looked all over (she quarters like a hunting dog) and nothing...  So, most of us got back to our vehicles, but three guys were lost- and they were the ones with the GPS!  That was not lost on us... (no pun intended)  We took a fair bit of time beeping the truck horns and driving roads to find and pick up these errant firemen...

We all went back to the owner's place, and I told him to let me know if he or someone sees them...

I get a call last night, that the caretaker saw them.... Right where we were... I swear they are laughing at us.  So, I told him since the field is not fenced, that he needs to start feeding them there, and get some cattle panels to make a fence up.  He asked if he could use hog panels, or that sort of thing, and I made it clear that they would make mince meat out of them if they got scared- and they would-  as they stampede the minute they seem someone.   So, he's going to try to get the panels and gradually start putting the feed in the pen.  It's really the only way, because that field is in the middle of woods, and there is no way we can herd them to where they need to go.  It will have to be: get them in the pen, and get a trailer up there, some how, and load them up.  What a huge pain this is. 

I did work Joe a bit yesterday, and Dan too.  Sheep are good.  I think there is only one more girl, maybe two to be marked.  

I am extremely tired today, don't know why.  I have a lot of yard work to do- the last mowing of the year and then will have my nephew do leaves (he's desperate to make money for his phone).  I could also have him pick limbs up in the sheep field, as they are out of there, so that's another job he can do.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dust and Deen

This weekend was a pretty good one, considering.  Got a bit of house cleaning done, which was good, because it's not often that urge strikes me...Have more to do, but it's much better.... I don't know where the dust comes from, but I am sick of it!

Saturday was a blur.  Worked all day, and then went to the farm, worked Joe and Dan a bit, and then moved the sheep to the new field.  Lots of good fodder up there for them.  Joe worked so nice.  He's so workman-like- and that is what his breeder selected his mother for, and his dad is also like that.  I am trying to mix it up a fair bit, and just let him have his head, so, if things go wrong, he can learn from them,  instead of  me not letting him figure things out.    After the farm I drove to the farm of a guy who lost two Angus heifers.  I offered to help him catch them with the help of Lucy and Dan.  Well, when I got to his place and we drove around a bit, there is just no way to go "find" them in all that farm land.  I told him he has to wait until he gets another sighting and I would be out.   That was the tail end of the day, and I was beat that night.

Sunday was cleaning day, and at the farm, I just walked the dogs; did not feel like working them, and in general it was a nice quiet Sunday.  I noticed on Sunday, that the previous day/night, after moving the sheep to the new field, the other two Romneys were marked.  The ram is now being aggressive to the one he marked earlier- I think it's because she wants to hang out with her friends, and the ram wants those girls to himself.  Who knows, but he better not hurt anyone...  I plan to leave them in that field until the grass is even with where they came from, and then, holding pattern until some time in November- would love to not give hay until late November, but we will see.

Hope everyone had a good weekend- oh, I did watch some of Paula Deen's cooking show- and I see her son is now branching out- he can stop with the "ya'll" as it just does not fit him... I also watched/listened to the Pioneer Woman show- it was great- really like her and her family!  See?  Nice Sunday!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Computer is good to go!  Turns out it was operator error and when I got home after they proved to me there was nothing wrong with it, I realized I had not snapped the disc into place, as I never had to with my desk top.  Duh!  So, now all I have to do is get my data transferred from my old computer to my new one and that dust collector can go!  Will also free up a lot of space in my spare room.

Worked Joe just a tiny bit yesterday as it was really warm out there.  Weird weather.  Now we are supposed to cool off a lot- we shall see.

Pretty boring month around my place this month, except for the sheep and wool festival, nothing much going on.

Maybe something will come up, or maybe I just have to get things done around the house...Nooooooo... ;)

Friday, October 5, 2012

I paid my taxes yesterday, thank GOD.  This year was extremely difficult because of the car purchase, but I got it done.  I also purchased a new computer yesterday- two of them.  Yes, two of them.  The first one the optical disc reader did not work, and I drove back and got a replacement.  The second one, guess what?  SAME STUPID THING.  I am so annoyed.  I spent hours on that.  At least my router worked well.  So, today I bring it back.  I want nothing to do with that particular model, and I want something with more RAM, as the tech guy hinted that 4 gig RAM is not enough.  So, at some point today I will go deal with that.  I need a new computer, just one that all parts work, eh?

I am not in the best mood- never am when I have to work weekends.  Oh well, the money is duly needed, so I will deal with it.  No work for Joe yesterday, too wet and icky.  Also, a day off is not a bad thing for a pup.

Was really warm last night; had the window open.  Slept really hard last night.  Had Ginger Snaps and milk for dinner- that was good.  Have to hit the grocery store today too.  And more gas in the car... the killer.

Let's hope I get a functioning computer later today................

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Great Mushroom

Remember the Peanuts movie "The Great Pumpkin"?  Well, we've got the Mushroom version!

This is, I think, the world's largest mushroom.  I was walking the dogs, and saw this.  Thinking it was a soccer ball, I kicked it, and it sort of fell to the side.  I picked it up and took a whiff, and sure enough, it's a mushroom.  It's huge!  I had to get a bit of video, because I did not have my camera with me.  All this rain we have been getting makes things like Fungus grow I guess!  Wish we could enter it in the fair... Smells just like those mushrooms you pick up at the grocery store; the ones we use in say, spaghetti sauce...

Worked Joey a bit yesterday, but it was a bit warm out.  I think I did too much yesterday- I started using whistles, and it was confusing him.  So, back down a bit. I am also letting him scoop sheep out of weird places now that he has the concept of starting on one side and not crossing over.  For the most part, he is good about that anyway!  I wondered why every time I brought him into the field he was pulling me toward the right.  Well, yesterday I followed him and he was bringing me to the barn.. Ah, he knows the flock is in there....

Lambs are getting better, one even jumped straight up into the air yesterday for no reason- that, I like to see!

Will be glad when this rainy week is over.  I have to work on Sat, so my weekend won't be great, and I have to stay late on Friday too...

Here's a video of Joe at the end of our work yesterday. Nothing in particular, just allowing him to just do his thing and not get around to the head of me, which he is getting :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

You can't go home again......

Yesterday, as I walked down the fallen leaf, rain soaked lane with my dogs, I started to think about my younger life; living at my parent's house (which is a little over a mile away, or less as the crow flies) and how life was so very good then.  I remember playing kick ball after school with the neighborhood kids, and bus rides where we all sang songs.  We had some very cool bus drivers, and out school is in a small town, so we had a small classes.  What I miss the most was the sense of being, of belonging.  Knowing how your day would go in school, and after school, what you would do.  During Christmas time, we would go Christmas caroling with real oil lamps.  We would stop by The Knauss' house and Mrs Knauss would give us all apple cake.  All the neighbors loved to see us arrive and listen to us.  Halloween would see a bunch of us kids going together and having brown bags half full of candy.  We never worried about pins in candy, or other scary things.  We also did not do bad things, we were a good group of kids.

My parent's house is on about an acre and a half, and they have always kept it neat and well landscaped.  I always feel at home there.  As I drove up there for dinner the other day, I got upset thinking about when the time comes that my parents either sell the house, or us kids have to.  Will the new owners care about it like we did?  It makes me want to never let it go.   So many memories there.

As adults we spend so much time planning, and doing, and life goes by so much faster.  We have new memories to forge and new friends to make, but none, so far, at least for me, have reached the bar of my child hood memories, and the feeling of belonging.   I do feel at home in my home, and believe me, it took a long time for that to happen, but I would not say I have many memories there- that said, selling it would be hard, because it finally is home.  Basically, I don't want to move anywhere else alone, because I would still be just that, alone.  I am so blessed to have my family near, and that my parents are doing well.  In the end, as long as you love, and are loved, you are living, that I believe.

Part of me wants to move home now and turn the clock back.... but I know you can't go home again.