Thursday, August 30, 2012

What a difference a few hours makes!

I had a Dr. appointment yesterday.  Now,  I have lost a bit of weight, but not more than I gained, so the net result was that the Dr said, "a few pounds, but nothing to worry about, especially if you have been busy working outside". What Dr says that???  Then, when I go to pay my co-pay, I learn that there IS NO co-pay for annual visits.  Wow, another bonus...

Later in the day I head out to work my dogs.  I especially wanted to work Joe.  I brought him in there on a long line and went to my sheep and he went around so nice and worked so nice I honestly couldn't believe it.  He was so focused and "on" but not crazy.  I actually hoped someone had seen it besides me.  I think we are to the point where he needs more difficult sheep....  He is pushy on the fetch, but I can get him to cool it if I need to.  I want to keep as much dog as I can in him, because I think it's important that these young dogs are allowed to feel their sheep and actually work them.  Otherwise they just become robots, who are afraid to come in, or wait for commands to do so.

Anyway, on the way home I heard great music on the radio- American Pie, Mustang Sally, and Stairway to Heaven to name a few.  It was a great ending to a great day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Wow, I was a mess last night.  Have a big tax bill due and have to come up with the money.  The purchase of the car and the hay put me behind the eight ball.  I spent a lot of time last night worrying.  As I age, I know that "this too shall pass" but sometimes I just circle think it all to death.  So, that's what I did last night.  Slept okay, which was weird, but maybe because I have a wonderful family who will not let me fail.  Support is so important.  Being single is not easy no matter what anyone says.  So, another year goes by and same stresses.  Have to figure out a way out of this.

One thing I have learned, is that no matter how poor I am or how much I need to stop spending, I just as badly need to have a bit of enjoyment.  My dad told me that some years back when he was in the hospital, very ill.  He's THE model for work ethic, which I inherited from him.  When HE says to have fun, I sort of take it as gospel.  So, I have my hobby, and I spend money on things like hay,  gas to get to trials, trials, gas to get to work my dogs and so on.  Basically that's it.  Not much more.  I am pretty frugal when it comes to things like new clothes and so forth.  We have to have our priorities.

At the end of the day, should it be my last, I want to look back on my life and say, "you know what?  I had a pretty good one".  I don't want regrets.  I don't want a pile of saved money and no memories.  What is the point of that?

Dogs and cats have a way of showing you the way.  They live each day just enjoying it and looking forward to what comes and accepting what doesn't.  They force you to move on and ahead.  Can't imagine my life without them.

So, after a night of worry, I got up and let the dogs and cat out.  It was still dark.  I walked out on the deck and was greeted with the most amazing night sky.  I saw stars like never before- Orion's belt, the Big Dipper, the Northern Star ( I think).  It was amazing. I then thought - how can my troubles be ANYTHING compared to this beauty?  They are nothing, compared to this.  Thank you Lord for showing me that there is so much more than our small worries. 

Working the dogs today, and then, the weekend will be here before we know it.  Here's to a full larder, cooler air and good working dogs!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Didn't do nuttin' yesterday.  It was threatening to rain and I didn't want to get the dogs up and out and have to retreat, but truth be told I was just being lazy.  This happens some times..  When it does, I go with the flow. 

Have a sheepdog trial this weekend and next, I think.  Busy.  But that's good.  I like trials this time of year, because soon enough, there won't be anything but some dog training and that can get boring. 

Not sure what today will hold.  If it dries out enough I may spray the rest of the snake root.  Looking forward to seeing how much of it got killed with the treatment the other day. I want it GONE. 

No sad stuff on tv last night, so I slept better.  Was MUGGY in the house this morning though.  ENOUGH with this humidity.  I am so sick of it. 

Well, that's all I have for now. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Supposed to be warm again today... We shall see what gets done.  I should mow the lawn, and maybe I will.  I see leaves are falling- I think many are due to the drought we had earlier this year.  My apple tree has been dropping it's leaves; it's not looked good this year.  The leaves look scrunched up, and I don't know why.

I got 75% of the upper field tackled yesterday.  The White Snake Root was worse than I thought. It's really really really a tough weed and if it were not poisonous, I would leave it, but it just takes over and gets higher than my waist.  Some of the plants were blossoming, but many had not yet.  I think this will be a multi year deal- to get this under control.

I visited with my parents yesterday, and it was very nice.  My dad likes my new car (he got one the same time as me), so he keeps going and checking it out and asking me questions.  I am happy with it, save for the gas mileage... but, what are you going to do?  If you want to be able to pull something, you need a 6 cylinder, and one with a bit of umph.... Oh well.  Makes me be a bit more conscientious about traveling and do I really need to go here/there?

Still have not worked Joe in my field.  There are some downed trees, that are just going to make it really dangerous- and I need to get Charlie out there to cut them up and remove them...

Watched "Amish, Out of the Order" last night, and it was pretty emotional- one of the personalities was tragically killed in a car crash.  Very sad, and also, the main personality "Mose" talked about the abuse he suffered by his dad- that when he would get a spanking, there would be blood in his shoes, that had run down his legs...  all of this made me not sleep well at all last night...

Well, that's it for now... hope I sleep better tonight- will be starting the Patrick Taylor book.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I headed up to the farm and was greeted with hot/humid and buggy.  I am so sick of this.  I did notice that the hill field is coming back FAST though, so I may actually have grass well into November...

Sheep are fine, they were hanging out under trees/shrubs.  There is one ewe in there that is a witch- she just hauls off and butts the others... I ordered a breeding harness for the ram, as I don't want to use the messy raddle powder again.  I am pretty sure he hasn't done any breeding yet- it's just too warm still.

After the walk with the dogs, I headed home and now I am just doing more sitting around.  I am just plain tired today.  Watching "The Incredible Dr. Pol" tonight and of course "My Cat from Hell".  Real exciting, I know, but I need a down time day/night!

Tomorrow is another day, let's hope I can actually do something!
Here I am sitting and eating my pancakes (more like crepes) and coffee.  Not real motivated today.  Was reading Cleo Coyle's new book "A View to a Brew" and have almost finished it.  Another good one.  I have Patrick Taylor's newest book in the queue.  In a bit I will head up to the farm, run the dogs and work Joe on my sheep, yep, going to do it.  I just cannot keep driving this distance any longer- it just wears me out.  I stopped at the hardware store yesterday to pick up some things and while there I picked up light line and a clip.  Yep, gotta start somewhere!  I will use Dan as back up as well.

After that, I have no idea what I will do, but I will not go back to fair. I am sure it will be mobbed and I am just not into that sort of thing anymore.

That's it for now.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I made good on my plan to go to the Dutchess County fair yesterday.  I ended up going late in the day after I had worked Joe and Dan.  Joe's still pushy and needing something to remind him I am boss... Dan's shedding is going well.  I think he definitely has it, I just have to convince him to NOT run to cover the sheep we split off. 

After working the dogs, I ran home, and changed and freshened up and met my sister and her son at the fair.  We walked around a bit.  I bought something for a friend of mine which unfortunately spent all my money except $5.00, so I just got some mozzarella sticks, and my sister was kind enough to buy me an apple crisp.  The fair is so expensive, it's not something I can really afford to do these days, but I am glad I went.  I enjoy spending time with my sister and her kids.  He's such a sweet nephew, he even offered me money for food, which of COURSE I refused- good kid.  I have mentioned money is tight right now, and true it is!

We went through the livestock barns and then down to the area that held cool animals like a Coati mundi, Kinkajou and a Lemur.  I noticed the high divers were not there- I miss them- they are so cool.  

Saw some old friends near the mini-donkey pen, and one of the donkeys was trying to escape...  They only tied the gate on...

Got home early and was really beat from the day.  Looking forward to the weekend.

Well, that's it for now!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Well, the week is flying by.  Got my electric bill- good grief.  Never had such a big bill.  This has been an incredibly humid summer.  I guess I am just glad I HAVE a/c!  Worked Joe and Dan yesterday. Joe's about ready to work my sheep and Dan and I have been working on shedding.  He's getting it because I am getting it.  I turn and face the ones I want him to shed off before I call him in, as if I don't he just goes into push mode, which just makes them go past me, which completely prevents a shed.  It only took me FOREVER to see that.  He's good natured about my stupidity though.

It's getting to be time for the ram to be interested in the girls.  Last year it was much better as I just had the ram go in in October.  I don't have anyone to separate him and keep him with, and I don't want him totally freaked out being alone, so I hope it continues warm out for a while and he does not get busy until later in Sept.  I don't like not knowing when lambs are due, but short of putting him in the other field for say, three weeks, which I could do... but he would be alone, and that is not fair, I don't know what to do.  Maybe put him in there with the smallest ewe lambs...  I probably should haven't sold the wether....  Well, if I complain about winter lambs....

I am still working out when I am going to get to the fair.  Money is tight this week, and it will remain so until some big bills get paid by mid October.  Every year this is the way it is.  I suppose for the next 40 years, God willin' and the creek don't rise, that's how it will be.

Well, that's the update for now.  Hope everyone is having a great week!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dutchess County Fair

This week the Dutchess County fair starts today, and runs through Sunday.  I have worked the fair since 2000, but this year, I won't be doing so.  They did not contact me in time to have sheep for a demo, and they did not have the right set up, so we mutually agreed to nix it.   I am happy about it in many ways, because I would really like to just go and enjoy the fair for once.  I always go and see my friends on livestock hill- and this year can just chat and relax with them.  There is the great Greek Gyro place (mmmm) and excellent apple crisp... Then, of course, there is checking out the pro rodeo on Sunday, where watching the cowboys in their wranglers never gets old.  This is the real deal- the bulls they use are so placid when hanging out in their pens, but get a rider on them...well, a whole other story.  Weather is supposed to be nice, so I am psyched.

This week my nephew wants to come over to earn some money.  I have just the work for him... Cleaning out the barn.  Bought a nice new pitchfork, so it should be easier than when I used the antique three tine one... What a pain! 

Dogs are good.  Joey needs to work.  He's always been mature for his age, and I can see his brain needs engaging, even at this young age. When we went to the farm yesterday, after our walk, Dan ran to the field wanting to work.  I needed a wee break so we didn't.  I was beat yesterday, but I feel better today.

We got more rain last night.  I can't believe how green we are well into August.  If this keeps up we will have grass for the sheep through November.  I am not complaining.  My house is green though too- all that wet causes green to grow on the siding, so next month I will power wash everything.

Today, nothing special.  Busy at work, but then, hey, that's what work is all about...

That's it for now!

Monday, August 20, 2012

What a weekend!

This past weekend, I headed up to a sheepdog trial in Cooperstown NY.  This was to be our second trial in open.  I was nervous, but not as bad as the first time.  I left early on Saturday morning, as I was not scheduled to run until late morning.  When we got there, I watched a few runs, and before I knew it my friend and co-trialer showed up- and we watched some runs, and then it was Dan and my turn...

It's a big field and challenging sheep.  They can be stroppy, runny, or just plain obstreperous, or they can be "dreamy" as some would put it, so you just never know what you will get.  I sent Dan to the right, and he came up nice, I did give a caution whistle (more for me than for him).  We got them down the fetch and turned the panels and got through the drive gates, but at the cross drive panels, about 3/4 of way there, I gave big flanks and it just got wonky.  I decided we had tried our best to get those, considering the fact that we are so new.  So, I had them bring the sheep on line best I could to me.  Then we got to the pen.  In my group was a giant Montadale wether. I have since decided to call those things "Moby Dick" in reference to the big white whale...  They would not go in the pen.  MD would just turn his head to face me and stand there, and if I walked Dan up, he would bust through me and ripped the rope out of my hand at one point.  The second or third time he ran through me, I decided to retire.  I knew we would not pen these sheep and I just did not want Dan to get more revved up over it.  I tipped my head and said thank you.  I was over all happy with Dan and really happy to be done with our run.

After my friend ran, we headed up to the cabin she had rented with her family, where I ran Dan and Joe,  and then we all went to dinner in Cooperstown.  I had the rib eye steak, which can be hit or miss, this was miss. Too much fat.  But, the rest was good and I was starving.   After dinner I went to the Bed and Breakfast I was staying at for the night.  VERY nice people and turns out, the daughter in law of the owner I know from work.  It really is a small world.  I chatted with them until about 9:00 and then I had to hit the hay.  The room was on the third floor of a very large Victorian house.  It was a huge room with an en suite bathroom.  I did not sleep well that night, mainly because it was a strange place, and I had another run the next day.   I got up the next morning and was greeted with great coffee and WONDERFUL breakfast.  Eggs to order, pancakes, bacon, sausage, breakfast casserole, to mention just a few, and then, the coup to gras, this extremely wonderful Swedish pastry and cream puffs, all made right in front of me from scratch.  I took a plate of goodies to go and headed up to the trial site.  I was not to run until much later in the day.   My friend came and we took our dogs for a nice walk in the woods- what a nice trail.

Eventually, it was time for Dan and I to run.  I sent away same as last time and he went wide and deep, maybe a bit too wide and deep, and as I stood at the post I heard the announcer talking about Dan running out there like a rocket, and as we waited for the lift, he mentioned something about how scary it can be waiting for that... took the words right out of my mouth.  So, Dan did lift and I don't think he was prepared for them taking off back to set out so I whistled him over and he was a very good boy, took that flank and walked them straight back on line and a nice fetch ensued.  We had a good turn at the post and then a good drive out to the panels and a good turn on the cross drive and good cross drive and good turn at those panels. I let my guard down and did not watch the sheep all the way back so we got hit five points on that part, and then after one missed attempt, we go them in the pen.  Then, onto the shedding ring.  These would have been good shedding sheep, but I only got one good attempt and then tried to set it up when time was called.  I was very happy with how Dan worked, and now I KNOW we need to get shedding practice going!

On my way back to the car, the owners of the B&B stopped me (they came to watch) and congratulated us on such a good run, and they even had a biscuit for Dan.  What NICE people.  It meant a lot to have people there supporting us.  So, after I put Dan back in the car, I watched a few runs and then we headed home.  I just wanted to get back to my own bed.  Took a while, but we got there.  I was BEAT.  So, now we are back to normal, and it feels good.

Dan made me very proud out there.  I always had faith in him.  He's my boy.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cooler out this morning.  Last night I heard crickets that were SO loud.  I wonder if they are realizing that this hot summer is coming to an end?  I have not heard them that loud all year.  I realize now why I am not sleeping well.  My knees.  I can't leave them straight all night, or they get stiff, but if I bend them, within five minutes I wake up and have to straighten.  I guess I need to figure something out that will help with this, or I will never sleep!

Today I have to do errands, pay some bills, and work Dan.  I will leave early tomorrow morning to get to the trial.  I hope Dan finds his sheep.  We have never run open there before, and it can be a tricky outrun.  The bed and breakfast I have a room in for Sat night is only 6 minutes away.  Can't beat that!

So glad that cooler weather is coming.  I can get stuff done at the barn and around the farm.  I pretty much refused to work in high heat/humidity.  Just can't do it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dan and Esther Williams

Here is the story from yesterday in all it's glory:

Yesterday I got to the farm after leaving a friend's place, and had to gather the sheep from the hill field and put in the big field so I could barn up the three that were going. Two of them just got to my farm the day before, not dog broke and as most are at John's feral with people (the only contact they get is when their tails are chopped off). So, my flock comes running down the hill, but no Dan. The two newbies were not with the flock. So, Dan had to well, dog break them and get them to me. They ran toward the field I wanted- YES! but then they squished themselves in the corner of the fence by the barn. I was able to grab one and get it in the barn, but the other one ran down the fence line... along the over grown wooded area along the pond.... and I sent Dan. Now, these buyers were supposed to come in 1/2 hour, so we really needed to get her. As I lamented that, I heard a "plop". I look down at the pond and this ewe lambs is swimming like Esther Williams, with Dan in hot pursuit. Dan likes to swim, but I never thought he would do something like that. I guess when I said "away" it means get sheep no matter what. So, anyway, there they go across the big pond. Dan's getting angry because he can't pass her to turn her and when he does, she veers away from me. After more minutes, they get to the other over grown side and get out. AH, I thought, they will come down the lane and I can get her. Nope. "Plop" back in the water go the two. Oh for God's sake. So, back across the water. Finally, I decide one of them will have a heart attack, probably the lamb and I will lose $150!!! So, I call Dan off, and he reluctantly comes to me. I bring flock near fence so she can see them, but she stayed put in the reeds. I finally put Dan up and walk down there, about to get in water, and after taking my shoes off, I stepped on prickers, so I said to heck with it. Then, the people showed up. I carried the wether to their trailer (he was huge) and THANK GOODNESS he started baaing for friends, which attracted Esther Williams sheep to the trailer, and after some finagling, I got her in the pasture. Then, caught she and her sister and sent them on their way.

When I got home, I told my mother what happened. She has not laughed that hard in a very very long time. I think I made her day.

So, I worked Joe earlier in the day at a friend's place, and this story happened just before the buyers came.   They were a nice couple, and came with a trailer, so I instantly figured they were serious buyers.  They were very good natured about the whole catch the lamb thing.  Nice people- young farmers from out west who were now established just up the road from me.  While they were there, another guy showed up and was interested in buying for butchering.  He asked if I would barter for snow plowing.  Perhaps, I thought, but as of now, I am out of lambs for selling.   I only have the good lambs/ewes that I want to keep.  I made a nice profit on the three that went yesterday, and the money is desperately needed.

Last night I did not sleep but a couple hours.  My mind raced about money, I had night mares, you name it.  I even got up at one point and read a book.  Today I am beyond tired.  I wish I could find a way to just chill when I am stressed.

I have moved the flock back into the big field.  They all look great.  Today it's cooler, and less humidity.  Good on that!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I have a guy coming to look at a couple lambs to keep for breeding (ewe lambs) and one wether for butchering.  Going to be hard to part with the wether, as he is as attached to his mom as any sheep I have ever seen.  Fact of the matter is though, that he has always been slated for that end.  It was stormy last night, but this morning it's just beautiful.  We are supposed to have a respite now until later this afternoon and then more rain/storms.  Good for the grass, but I am tired of humidity.  On the news last night the weather man said that we had the highest humidity this August of all time, and we were in line with areas on the equator. 

Going to a trial this weekend, leaving early Saturday morning and getting back later on Sunday.  Looking forward to a bit of time away.

Well, that's it for now!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

True, that

Debbie from Tri State Corgi rescue made a good point about my sermon on Desperation.  Although, this is my blog, and hence, my feelings, I do feel like sometimes, I do need to let things go, as Debbie suggested.  I don't know why these two bother me (and so many like me) so much, but I think it has to do with people who know nothing presenting themselves are knowing anything ;)  Spending brain power writing about these two is a waste of time, because, I truly hope, that the people who follow my blog, are NOT the same as who follow the other folks' blogs...  I can only PRAY.  Remember everyone, please, if you would like to comment, you will need a legit blog, or email, to have your comments posted... too much spam otherwise :)

On a happy note brought a few more lambs home today :)
Time has been flying.  The heat and humidity remains with some small respites, just to whet your appetite for fall.  I am ready for fall, and crisp cool air, as are the sheep, I am sure.  They are still in the hill field, although only for a few more days at best.  This time of year the grass has slowed down and there is not a lot left in that field after they have been in there about four weeks.  The other field has had a good rest and will be ready to take on the sheep this week.   I wormed everyone earlier this month, and everyone looks good.  Lead ewe who had the twins did something to her eye, so I have been treating her with triple antibiotic ointment.    Dan has been a big help with that.

Joe has been on sheep several times now, and he's a very fun dog to work.  I am learning how to handle him.  Joe does not like to lay down, and if I try and stand right in front of him he zones me out.  If I walk past him (he just learned this) and call him off, he's better.  I may require a stand, that would be fine with me. 

I ended up getting a new car.  Mine broke down on way home the other day, and I barely made it home.  Had to have it towed to dealership, and had to pay for tow and rental (they do not have rentals).  Had a leaking valve cover gasket, which spewed oil on my spark plugs and it was running on only two cylinders.   Between that issue and the weird transmission, AND the fact that the dealership is so bad to deal with (and no loaners), I decided to trade that car in, at a loss, but I got rid of it.  I bought a new Jeep Liberty, with 4wd and a 6 cylinder engine that can tow 5600 lbs.  So, now I can move my sheep when needed and get that small camper to use at trials.  I will baby this car, as I need it to last...  Good warranty on it. Only thing is, gas mileage is NOT what a 4 cylinder gives you, so that's a hard pill to swallow.  I am getting older now, and I thought if I did not go for it now, I would not ever, so I did!

Got some work done on my yard, which is a big deal, as it has been so damn hot.  House needs a good cleaning, maybe today.

So, that's it for now.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Still here.  New car- long story.  Poor (as usual).  Have the best sister in the world.  Dan's amazing helper when treating sheep and Joe is becoming a big boy.  More to come.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sometimes a girl's gotta vent, and I am a girl ;0)  That's why you will see snarky writing here, now and then, and for the most part, after a night to think on it, I will take it off, because really, I am not someone who likes to speak ill of others, but sometimes my threshold of you know what is met and I have to vent... Anyway, that's over...

Yesterday I checked the sheep after spraying them for flies the day before and they seemed happier.  I am not planning to spray them more than twice a week, as I don't want to use a lot of chemicals.  I am going to worm everyone today, as I think they need it.  I may just try and do it in the field- put them in the same place as I did to spray them and put swat on their heads.  It sure would be easier.  We will see- the lambs can be a major pain... but they are the ones who need it the most.

I did not sleep well last night.  I stayed up and watched the USA girls win Olympic Gold- they did very nicely, and at the same time, the Russian team just faultered- and that is what sports is isn't it?  One team has a good day, and the other not so much.  Then, I watched the medley relay with Phelps and they won.  Then, after all that, I began to worry if my refund check for the hotel in Cooperstown was going to come... have not gotten it yet.  I bet I go a total of three hours (maybe) of sleep last night.  That never makes for a very happy me...

I am really beginning to look forward to fall.  I just detest all the bugs, and the heat.  Supposed to get hot and humid starting tomorrow.  Enough already!  I did hear on the news last night that El Nino is coming back into play- El Nino causes the north east to have more snowy/wet winters... that's fine with me.  We did not get near enough precipitation last winter.

Well, that's it for now.