Monday, April 30, 2012

First trial of the season under our belt. It was a good weekend, in general. On Friday I went up to watch the trial at the Old Chatham sheep herding company. They used un-dogged dairy sheep; yearlings, which made for real work for the dogs. The outrun was quite long, so the dogs really had to move like they meant it. It was EXTREMELY cold though. When I went home, I never warmed up, even with a hot shower.

Saturday and Sunday I went to the Ct sheep breeders trial. Dan was entered in Ranch for the first time (me too). Our run on Sat was not very good, it was the first time Dan has had to push out that far in a trial situation, and he was also not taking his flanks right, and on the cross drive he wanted to bring them back to me. Just an odd run. But, it was our maiden voyage... Sunday was better, it just felt better, and I did feel like we belonged out there, as opposed to Saturday. So, we got our first ranch runs done and we survived. I brought Joe out to socialize to both trials and he did very well. He was well behaved and loved everyone. He's a real nice boy. He was up and at 'em early this morning though, as he did not get his usual exercise. I did not eat really well over the weekend, so I will need some good food today....

 So, it's back to the grind stone this week. Sheep are well. I have stopped graining everyone as they all were showing that the grain plus that rich grass is too much. I hope the field they in lasts another three weeks, because that is at least as long as I will need to rest the other field. Sheep farmers really are grass farmers. It's all about the grass. Well, that's it for now.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Please Pray

A friend of mine is facing a horrible situation right now. I won't go into details, as I respect her privacy, but if you believe in the power of prayer, please do. Thanks

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

So, yesterday was the day to move the sheep to the other field. JUST LIKE last year, there was no power after a storm and I had to haul water in buckets from the pond... Good grief.. What are the odds of this? Anyway, as you can see, they are very happy in this field and should be able to stay here for a good long while and give the other field a rest. This is my favorite time of year, moving the sheep into a new field. I do some commenting, and was thinking last night, that I did capture "me" and how I feel about my animals, and maybe, when I croak, a video like this would sum up who I am. No, not trying to be morose, just real.... Anyway, enjoy, the sheep sure did! After moving the sheep, I saw a couple of geese in at the pond and sent Lucy, who used to be a professional goose dog after them. Please forgive my banchee screaming, as I had forgotten to have faith in my girl, who did get in that cold water and do her job. So proud of her. Sort of miss doing that work.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Shearing yesterday. I woke up yesterday, and had a leisurely morning, knowing that the rain would not come until much later in the day. But, as it neared 6:30 am, I started to see ominous looking clouds... So, I pretty much hurried up to get there. When I got there I could see that it did rain a little bit over night. Moved panels around, and got everyone in. I put the lambs in the small side room, so during the shearing they would not get bumped around. I put in a tray of grain for them, and they were pretty happy in there. When Ray and his son got there, they immediately set to work setting up. The room I use works well as it is big enough, but not too big so you can catch sheep pretty easily. I stood outside the room, so I could move out the wool and guard the gate (as Cheviots, ahem, have been known to leap small buildings). So, it went really well. One of my 2 year old Chevs has diarrhea, which I will treat today. Ray gave me some suggestions. I think it is due to too much grain when I let her in with the mothers the other day, by mistake, to eat... Anyway, shearing was over with really fast, and not a single cut on anyone- that's important to me. What nice thick fleece. They all looked in good body condition. I am happy with how they fared over the winter. Now I can see how big the lambs look next to their mothers. This ram definitely put some size into them... Maybe he will stay. I just have to figure something out... Maybe a pen at John's place. We got maybe half to three quarters of an inch of rain last night, and a lot more expected today. I hope we do get all three inches that are possible. This will be JUST what the ground needs. I called my hay guy to get on the list for this winter, because last year I was at the bottom of that list, and got only what was left... John had a Coyote in his sheep field yesterday. This is BAD. I hope and pray that he does not lose any lambs, especially the ewe lambs. I am almost thinking of bringing them home at 8 weeks instead of 12 to ensure their safety.... Today I am going to clean- I cleaned out my third and final closet yesterday, filed papers and shredded more papers. Now I can get down to the nitty gritty of cleaning; now that I have space to store things. It's been really good. Well, that's it for now.

Friday, April 20, 2012

That's a picture of my ewe lamb. She's so stocky. I am extremely happy with her. I hope all the lambs turn out like this. I am so sorry I have been awol. The foot thing got me in a funk, but here's the update: it would appear the nail irritated the tendon that runs along the outside bottom of the foot. I was given a boot to wear. BOTH feet are bothering me, probably from walking funky with the boot, so today, no boot. Feet problems *really* stink. So, enough about my foot, it's getting old. Let's see, this week has been the normal sheep/dog stuff. I also worked in the house a bit, finally, after 15 years, unpacking and hanging some paintings my grandmother did, along with some others I like. I also ordered a sectional couch for my living room. Being that I have not had any furniture since I got rid of my old couch, I am SO HAPPY!!!!!!!! I will finally have my living room back!!!! I am also ordering a slip cover........ I mowed the lawn yesterday, and still have to string trim. Tomorrow the shearer comes. Would like to sell the wool at cost for shearing, which is darn cheap. I spoke with another Border Cheviot breeder who breeds the old meaty style type and next week will go up there and pick out a new ram lamb, as I just don't really think the one I have is that great, but the jury is still out... if the ewe lamb is any indication, maybe he is... This ram is a real pain and I think for my purposes, I don't want to keep a ram around. I just don't have enough paddocks.... The two ram lambs I had available are spoken for- a farmer down the road wants to grow them out. I may see if instead of $$ we can barter for him putting some gates up for me and brush hogging my other field.... The wethered ram lamb will stay on at my place to be grown out for my family, since the ones I gave them last year were so small. Well, that's it for now!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I got in to see a PA at an ortho office on Friday. She, surprisingly, was good. They took xrays and noted fluid in the foot, but were not sure it was infection. She believes it could be plantar fascitis. Since then, my foot has stayed as bad, with the pain sitting right over the nail injection site. I could not take the dogs on their second walk yesterday- I started out, but had to quickly give up.

Sheep are good. Since the Border Leicesters left, I have not seen them that far from the barn much. Maybe they are waiting for them to come back, or maybe the heat... Tomorrow it is supposed to hit 91 degrees- insane. I do remember it hitting the 90s year before last this time of year....

The lambs are growing fast. The personalities between them are so different. The twin ram lambs have absolutely no love for me, the ewe lamb is pretty calm around me and the youngest ram lamb is calm too.

I was supposed to go work dogs today, but I can't I just can't be on my feet that long. This gets so stinking old.

Oh, I bought a new vacuum! I am so happy. I also got some new clothes. I was low on decent summer weight tops and I got a few pair of jeans. Next up is furniture for the living room. I need to find something decent, but not $1000 each item!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Well, I have been to another Dr (went to the walk in clinic that treated me when I first stepped on the nail) and the Dr was shocked that the podiatrist I saw did no order a scan of my foot to make sure it was not osteomyelitis. The foot is bad as ever. I have no idea what is wrong, but it hurts really bad. When the nurse, who was very nice asked me to characterize the pain I said "Deep, horrible, rotten" and she actually typed it into the computer ;)

I will be calling the orthopedic group today to see if there are any cancellations. Other than that, no appt until the 20th.

Other than my foot, not much going on, as it is hard to get around. I started picking up the piles of un-eaten hay yesterday, which took forever with my gimping. The sheep are being sheared next weekend and then I will move them to the other field. Give the one they are in a break. We need rain so badly. I hope it comes soon.

Well, that's it for now, it's like I am in a holding pattern until my foot is better.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

So.... remember the nail in the foot incident? Well, last night I got out of bed and could not walk on my foot. Will give it some time, but as of this morning I had to tip toe around....

Yesterday was a busy one. After work I met John at the farm and got the sheep loaded. It went pretty well, but getting them to the truck from the field was tenuous with one of the girls. The halter I bought is garbage- throwing it in the trash- I need a rope one... Grain worked well, but sometimes you need back up. Unloading went well, and I bid a wistful good bye to my girls. My first sheep. It's a bit sad, but in the end, I have to look at my livestock as at least not a money losing proposition. IF they were great to work dogs on, they may have gotten a pass, but they are not even good dog training sheep- they split off.

After we left the auction house, we stopped by the Chatham Sheep dairy, where there will be a sheepdog trial later this month. We looked at all the milking sheep eating their haylage and the lambs. John bought some yogurt, and we headed out.

One last stop was a grain seller, where John bought some grain for the sheep and the horses.

THEN, finally, we headed back to the farm and I walked Dan and Joe (I had left Lucy home).

The day before yesterday, I fed Lucy and she immediately threw it up. I fed her no breakfast yesterday. When I got home I was greeted with several areas where Lucy had thrown up and a few were just plain blood. She did not throw up any more once I was home and was good last night, albeit very thirsty. She got a teeny bit of food and water, and we shall see how she does... If not better, off to the vet. I cleaned everything with nature's miracle yesterday, but I have to get the carpet cleaner out now.

I was really tired this morning, and my foot really hurts. Just another day in the life ;) I will be fine. I am tough!

I have to go clothes shopping asap. I threw a lot of things out! I especially need jeans. I really especially need to lose weight and THEN buy jeans!

Well, that's all for now!

Monday, April 9, 2012

I went nuts cleaning and cleaning OUT. I got rid of a TON of clothes I never wear anymore, and re-organized two closets. Also got rid of non-clothing items that I just will not use. Major work, but well worth it. I also went out and raked in the front yard along the road.

After all that, I headed up to the farm to take care of the sheep, and walk the dogs. The new mom did not want to come in to eat (she's a nervous girl) but oh well, that's her choice. I walked Joe, and at one point he just was not with me- he's now at that where he is starting to get independent; time to start carrying treats with me...

Today after work we bring the Border Leicester girls to the auction. Then, well, the rest of the week should be quiet- I hope.

That's it for now!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


So, yesterday I had a great time working dogs with friends. Dan did very well, and I am happy to get him back to his normal work schedule. I find myself extremely tired after a day of being outside, so last night I fell so deeply asleep, it was odd.

Today is Easter dinner at my parent's place, and before that the dogs and I will go to the farm and do farm things. Before all that though, heavy duty house cleaning must occur...

Tomorrow all three Border Leicesters go to the auction. I just can't have them eating what grass I have, and not being great to work (they are too over dogged) and they are not useful to breed. Boy do we need rain around here. This is the driest spring I can remember. If it warms up much, we are in for a drought. This worries me too.

The rest of the week should be a quiet one, I hope. Looking forward to just regular sheep care.

Well, better start cleaning. Fun.

Friday, April 6, 2012

If you know Kelpies...

Watch this. He's captured their essence.

I am still alive! Lambing is over- I think. We lost two ewe lambs- one stuck in birth canal and one, I have NO idea what happened, but no real contractions. So, we have a tally of 3 boys and 1 girl. I am just so elated it's over. Wow. Glad I got that under my belt.

Yesterday I went to the farm and saw that my mothers/lambs had once again busted out of the hastily fenced inner paddock, and after having to get them back in myriad times, I had decided then and there that I would not be locking them up again, so the last Cheviot had better lamb. Well, she did. All the sheep came toward me, but her- she was standing over her brand new lamb. I picked him up and got him in the barn/jug. This mother is a nervous Nelly. I hope she calms down soon. She's calm with him, but not me. He'll get his tail banded today, and then he goes out with the rest.

I sold some left over hay to a guy yesterday. Lost a couple of bucks per bale, but that's better than throwing it away.

I have been working Dan over at E's place and it's going well. Dan *really* needs the brushing up. So do I. SO good to get to different fields, and require correct work, when it's hard. E and I have a great time working dogs, and hanging out, so it's just an all around nice day.

Joe is doing well. He gets to run free on our walks when I just walk him alone, so he's happier now. Not sure how much he weighs at this point, but I would guess perhaps 20-22 lbs?

I changed the oil in my lawn mower the other day- can't believe I already have to mow. This was one weird winter. I need to rake/pick up sticks and then I can get mowing. Not my favorite thing- mowing....

Well, better get a move on.