Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Country Folks

http://countryfolks.com/herding-helpers-on-the-farm/


Not long ago, I was interviewed by an editor at "Country Folks" which is an agricultural newspaper.  It was pretty neat to be interviewed, and I am especially happy that at least one decent picture of me now exists.

Hit the link to see what the article says :)

Better...

But still not 100%.  Clearly, I have a neck issue, because my arms are still weak, and my neck cracks a whole bunch when I try and loosen things up.  Have a Dr appointment next week to see what is going on.  I know that if I over do anything with my arms (and at this point normal work is over doing), I get dizzy and my arms are weak.

I did get the barn cleaned out yesterday.  Doing that is sort of like, just go and DO it because no, it ain't fun but I have to... There is snow coming on Thurs/Fri, and I have to allow them in the barn to get out of it.  I generally keep them outside if the weather is clear, but on rainy/sleet days they really like to get out of it- even though there are ever green trees to go under.. Snowy days, honestly, they don't mind being out in it at all.  But.. that said.. the more they have to deal with the snow/cold, the more they have to eat!

So, that job was done.  I worked Joe yesterday and am finally figuring out what is going on with sheep not wanting to turn away from him- he is not letting up pressure when they go to turn.. He loves the head of sheep a LOT, and every chance he gets he will walk into them, but sometimes he is left not knowing what to do because it pisses them off so bad, and they stand and it's s standoff until such a time as he nips one.

Well, that's it for now. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Brought out the heating pad last night.  That seemed to help a bit.. although could not quite get it hot enough. I think I am just in a monumental state of spasm which cuts the circulation off. Took a hot shower too.  I did feel a little better this morning, but still, my arms are weak - whenever I try to do anything in front of me, like dishes and feeding hay etc.  Do have a Dr appointment.  Am also still taking anti-dizzy meds, and muscle relaxant as of last night (I think that did the most good). So weird.

I got to the farm in time to work the dogs a bit (did not yesterday) and they both did well.  I can't get over the difference in Dan.  Was he sick? The difference in his work right now, as to not long ago is different dog completely.  Only about four minutes of work for each and then a nice walk.  After that, I fed the sheep checked everyone out- they are getting round, and then home and now just laying down. I am trying to do turbo rest relaxation so I can feel better by tomorrow, where I have lots of work to do at work.

Well, that's it for now...Boy do I love these 1/2 lb Reese's Peanut Butter cups.. The peanut butter in them is so fresh.. OMG!!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I have been sick since the day after Christmas.  I was at work and as day wore on, I started feeling worse.  My neck was tight, and I started getting a head ache and in general not feeling well.  Even had to lay down.  Then I got home and it ramped up.. I took an anti-dizzy pill, which also works as anti puke.. anyway, within 30 secs of that, I was ill- vehemently.  So, I lay down for a few mins, but HAD to go take care of the sheep.  Did that, and home again and in bed. I have still been functioning, but just not right.  Don't know exactly what this is, but it leaves you very tired, muscle aching and well, DIZZY!

I have to work the dogs today, as horrible weather tomorrow.

Well, that's it for now

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!  Last night was wonderful.  We had a nice Christmas eve at my parent's house and I came home to snow!  We had a squall plant itself in my area for a while.  Made for a very nice Christmas eve.  The food was great... I ate a bit of everything. Today, I worked, and then headed up to the farm to feed the sheep, and walk the dogs. Am home now to relax before going back up.. I hear my brother caught the calico kitten that was living in the barn.  I am not sure what to do with him/her, but at least probably bring it to the vet tomorrow and get it shots/spayed or neutered.  Anyway, will have a nice fresh ham at my parent's place tonight, and then, back to normal.. I love holidays but I also love some normalcy.  It is quite cold today- and it is not what I consider lovely.. Anyway, I hope everyone is having a WONDERFUL MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!



2013 ewe lamb

Joe

Scottish Highlanders

Friday, December 20, 2013

After the rough morning, I decided the best therapy for me was to just get moving.  So I did.  After work, I got up to the farm and worked Dan and Joe for just a very short time- using only the lambs.  The snow was deeper than I thought.  I made a breakthrough with Dan.  I learned that Dan is keen to work, he is not keen to be yelled at.  Wow, I am so stupid.  I used a much nicer voice and Dan was so much less tense, and would have driven those lambs to China if I let him.  I was so happy.  Sorry Dan, but thank you for teaching me to be a better person.

Then I worked Joe.  He did well, and at one point the lambs were in deep enough that they just had a hard time moving off and as he came up on the lamb I call fire plug, well, I see him come forward and then in a flash her head come back and they all turned.  Joe handled it beautifully.  He also did very nice outrun/lift work- YEAH!

After that, I had to clean the barn.  Oh Lordy- this is true exercise- I need a manure spreader!!! Oh well, exercise is a good thing!!  So, got that done, and then headed home- still too deep to walk the dogs.

When I got home I vacuumed the entire house.  I cannot believe how much dirt comes out of the carpet and floors.  Honestly..  I was so happy to get that done. 

After all that, I just chilled and read my book before bed.  It was a good day, and now we will get some warm weather to melt all this snow!

Today I have to get all sorts of animal feed/supplies and Christmas shop.  Then, I can chill a bit and look forward to the holiday!

I hope everyone is gearing up for a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Loyal to the end

I had a rough night.  I dreamed about Ginger, and the whole dream was about me protecting her from various dangers.  I woke up sobbing.  Gut wrenching sobbing.  I can just feel her in my arms, and smell her.  All of it.  I am crying again as I type this.  I miss her so much.  Some people probably would not understand my connection to my animals, and it is true, some animals you are connected to more than others.  Ginger was one.  Through it all with me for so many years.  I did not mind taking extra care of her in her senior years, and I felt it my duty.   I miss you so much Ginger.  I am glad you came to me last night in my dreams, love you and miss you.

What was interesting to me this morning, was this video that popped up in my queue



I cried all over again.   All this talk these days about breeding in sheep dogs, and good trial dogs and God knows what else, we never talk about their loyalty, and devotion.  It is their BEST attribute- I do not CARE how many trials they win, or how many nice dogs that are produced by them.  I care that these dogs will risk their lives for us, and are loyal until the end, and we should be too.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ewe's not fat, ewe's fluffy..






They say it's going to warm up.  For that I am extremely grateful.  My feet seriously froze yesterday.. I need to remember to wear my feet warmers...

I have started tackling one cleaning job at the house a day now.  This makes it so much nicer, and easier to keep up.  Yesterday, after normal chores when I got home I tackled the dusting of the bedroom.  So much nicer to sleep in a dust free bedroom...

I made some awesome "sweet" chili the other day.. I get hungry just thinking about it.  It's a recipe my mother made a lot when we were kids.  It's baked beans, onions, brown sugar, a bit of ketchup, and ground beef.  You saute the onions first, then throw the beef in the skillet, and when that's done, you put it in your pork and beans/brown sugar/ketchup pot and then cook on medium until everything is nicely melded and hot.  This is not hot chili by a long shot, but it is EXCELLENT for us who do not like hot foods!  Serve with some rolls/butter and you have an excellent meal.  Leftovers are AS good as the original.

I am craving a nice pork roast.. I think that will be on the menu soon...

Rest of this week will be looking forward to pay day, and the small amount of money I may have to buy presents.  Have to get that done. 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Freezing toes Freezing toes

Sinking in the snow
With a tipping over sled
O'er the fields we go
Slipping all the way

Fingers, toes are numb
making me so low
Oh what joy it is to pull 
a tipping over sled

Freezing toes, freezing bums
Freezing to the bone
Oh what fun it is to pull
a tipping over sled

A day or two ago
I thought the cold would snap
But I was wrong, the only thing 
was my energy that was sapped

The sheep were fat and round
For they enjoy the snow
They don't understand
freezing toes and bums

Still the ground is white
Get out there while you canGet your hay out now 
and don't tarry on your way
For soon the time will come
you'll freeze right on the spot

Oh, freezing toes freezing toes
freezing all the way
Oh what fun it is to hay 
and freeze your toes and bums off now!

Wood stove exaltation

Okay, please Jenna...please please, stop exalting the wood stove.  Seriously.  I think back to my days of feeding it at a *real* farm out in Sullivan County NY, and how much work it is.  And that bun burner is nothing more than a play thing.  You cannot get enough wood in it to leave it more than an hour or so.  Your "few gallons" of oil to heat your water?  Guess what happens when you leave only a few gallons in your tank?  The lines freeze.  Well, I guess you will find that out soon enough. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Whine...Peace

So, snow did fall as was predicted.  When I went out Sunday morning it did not seem so bad.. Until, of course I had to shovel.  There was a goodly amount of heavy snow..  As I shoveled my Jeep out, I wondered if it would have been smart to have a cell phone with me, you know, in case I have the big one... My heart just races and I can't function.. I have been checked out but no problems... I am going to carry my cell phone from now on.

Then I get to the farm to feed and the plow guy had plowed a big pile of snow on my way to the feed...  So, I shovel out in front of where the feed is, and then down to one gate..  I then go and get hay.  I did add another 1/3 of a bale of hay because it is so cold.  On the way to the gate, the sled tipped three times.. ugh.  Then, just as I am getting close to the gate, the dang pull rope breaks.  Oh for heaven's sake.  I had to find a knife and re-string it.

After I fed, I topped off the water- water almost did not come on, it has been cold, so soon I will have to plug in heat tape... Then drained the hose well, and then cleaned out the barn.  A mess with all the sheep hanging out in there.. Anyway, then I thought I would take a walk.   Nope, no go- got a foot of snow- well, it's over my boots anyway.

Oh, and I have to share this, because it meant so much to me..  I had considered selling Danny, due to funds.. Yeah, this time of year it always hits home how poor I am.  I gave it a lot of thought and decided I could not part with him, and that it was stupid to even consider it.  I have noticed though, he seems to be less than happy working lately- I had really screwed him down, and I think he really started to dislike me stopping him all the time, so I decided to just lay off that garbage and let him work.  I don't care if we ever trial again.   Perhaps, my friend said, Dan too, was also feeling a bit unhappy because Joe was the one working more..

Anyway, I had the hay on the sled in paddock and I had Joe pushing the sheep away, and then, what to my wondering eyes should appear?  Danny- that's right, Danny slipped through the gate and lay down at my side a bit ahead and to the right, ready to work.  Boy did that make my heart sing.

He's a good boy, he really is. I need to stop letting my stupid mind wander and live my life.  Things will work out, they always do.

Peace on earth, good will toward men....(and dogs, and cats... and sheep.....)

Friday, December 13, 2013

It has been *cold*.  I am beginning to understand why people go south for the winter... Not that I could *ever* live in Florida! 

The other day, a friend of mine and I combined a couple trips with his truck and I got some bales of straw.  It is about that time- sheep are hanging out in  the barn, and I don't want to have to get a huge amount at one time- AND he has a truck! 

To return the favor I went to help him re-fit the hay feeder he has for his cattle.  They were dragging the hay out onto the ground (where they will not eat it), and at $50.00 a bale, going through two bales a week is um.. expensive!  He had a plan, but after we thought it out, we added a panel on one end- high enough so the young ones could reach in on the one side that he adds the hay to the feeder (this also has a roof).  And then, instead of one piece of wood at the top to prevent the pull down, we cut the wood in half so there is a lip at the bottom and at the top.  Hopefully this shall result in a lot less wastage.

Today after work I have to get another shovel, as the handle is broken on mine.  They have announced that there is a winter storm warning, with about 7+ inches of snow in the valley.. So I do need a shovel...   Also want to clean out the barn a bit today, and put new straw in it.  Here we go with winter work...

Well, hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Winter scenes

Smiling with my dogs and sheep

Beautiful!

My Christmas card

I *LOVE* my dad

I got to the farm in a hurry yesterday, because I did not fill the water tank the day before, and I was worried about the water being low..  When I got there, I filled the tank and called my dad.  I needed more pics, as the ones I had taken were not acceptable.. So, since my dad is the best dad in the world, he came over to take pictures.

I had fed the sheep and my dad, Dan, and Joe, and I all walked into the field.  My dad asked me if there was a ram in there.  He was taught very well as a kid to not ever enter a field with a bull or ram in it without protection.  But, given that I had two good Border Collies with me, I think he felt at ease..

We had to get pics of me, the sheep and the dogs.. no easy feat.  AND they wanted shots of my face (the HORRORS).  I think a few turned out okay.  The cool part was that as he was taking the pictures, it began to snow very hard, and very big flakes, so it was a really pretty scene.  The sheep were covered with snow, and well, the one pic I like the most has me actually smiling with snow on the dogs and sheep.  I am not one who likes pictures of me.. not at all... this was a big thing.. but anyway, we got the pictures done and then I brought my dad to see my work in the barn.  He asked me if I fed the sheep in there, etc.  He's still an old farm boy at heart.  Love him so much.  I am getting teary just thinking about him.

Anyway, after he left, I took the boys for a walk, and then home.  I was so beyond exhausted yesterday that I got in bed when I got home and never got out..except for dog stuff.


Today is a much better day.  Sleep does me very well.


Monday, December 9, 2013

What a LOOOONG day

I am just exhausted.  Work was very busy, and even at home having to triage things.  When I got to the farm,  had my brother take some shots, but I think they are too dark.  Then fed the sheep.  Then headed home- too icy to walk on the lane way- too steep.   So, since I have been craving chocolate chip cookies, I got a pre-made Toll House version and made them.  Now I need my rice and peas and then sleep- I kid you not.. I am just so tired.

Here are some pics of Joe, the sheep and me..



Okay okay...

I see that there is some serious irritation in this world aimed at the PW and her whole world.  That said, my blog is a place I go to share my world, and I truly wish I had never written about PW.  I lead a pretty sheltered life I guess, and don't look for hidden nasties everywhere.

That all said, I am well reminded to keep my blog about me.. unless something *really* vexes me... then, well, we shall see.

How about those Cowboys?  The football team!!!!
Don't really love icy weather.. I don't like to drive in it, walk in it and well, I prefer either snow, or rain... But this is the time of year for it..

Today is another busy day at work.  Friday will be too.  I did manage to get a bit of cleaning done yesterday, but lots more to do.. Always more to do.

I was contacted by a local magazine yesterday, to interview me for an article on sheep, and sheepdogs.  Have to get some pictures of me working the dogs.  The lady had a lot of good questions, so I hope the article turns out good.. We shall see; I will share it with you when it's out.

There really isn't much news other than that.  Sheep are good, dogs/cat good, and I am fine:)


Sunday, December 8, 2013

My gate, well, the gate I installed!

Joe and his stick

Handsome Dan

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A very good day

Today was a very good day.  First thing was to head to Tractor Supply, and pick up needed supplies.  Believe it or not that had everything I was looking for, well, they did not have any jeans.. Even TS has stretch jeans- what a pain!  I just want regular jeans.. Oh well, Christmas is coming.

After my TS trip, I stopped at Barnes and Noble and got a wondrous hot chocolate, and bought a paper back mystery.

Then I stopped at Agway, and then finally, the farm.  Walked the dogs, and then started on the project du jour.  That was installing the wooden gate that I had appropriated from another part of the barn.  This gate is OLD.  The nails were hand made.  I had to add another piece of wood along the door jamb to even things out, and then I started with the hinge work.  I have always felt daunted by trying to hang a door, or gate with hinges.. I think it is because you have to line everything up, and it just seems difficult.  Well I learned it is not that hard, but it would be nice to have a second person hold the gate up when you attach the gate to the hinges and vice versa... I ended up using an old coffee can.  Great help that can was ;)  Anyway, I got it hung, and low and behold it's level and everything.  Then, I see that I cannot open the gate all the way, because a section of concrete is blocking the gate from swinging open all the way.  So, I got get the reciprocating saw, and cut that wee piece off, and Voila!  A well hung gate.  Now I just have to get the latch for it.. Already know what I want to use.  I am so stoked I was able to do this.  You have no idea how daunting it was for me..

After that I fed the sheep who were acting starving, and then home.  It was indeed a very good day.

Truth be told...

So glad the weekend is here.  Long days at work this week, and just tired so tired by end of day.  Had some really bad dizziness the  other day at work, which was brought on by looking up at a leak in a pipe.. and now my stupid ears are bothering me- I finally understand now, that when it goes from cold to warm, my ears just close up, and I get dizzy, and deaf.  Just so much fun.  Well, one good thing is this morning I did not hear the dogs trying to wake me up early :)

Today the day starts with a trip to Tractor Supply, and then Barnes and Noble, and then get the dogs, and head up to the farm.  Have to fix the gates in the barn, tried using screws, but they gate is not solid- so back to the staples.   I also want to get some straw, but have to make sure truck is available, as want to get like 10 bales.  Won't need much until lambing, but want to have it in case we get some super bad weather.  We had some sleet last night, and I left the door open, but it was not really bad, so I doubt they even went in.

Truth be told, this is not my favorite time of year; scrambling to earn money for gifts, and knowing I have to work straight through the holidays.  It is depressing.. but soon enough, days will be getting longer and we will be at Jan 1. a fresh new year.

Let's see what I get done.. truth be told (again) I just want to get a hot chocolate at Barnes and Noble and go sit in a big comfy chair and read a magazine!!!


PS: I have changed comments to not needing approval.  As long as I can, I will let it be that way.  So go ahead and post un-encumbered.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

True Farmers, and their blogs; websites

Here is a site that lists different farmers actually walking the walk, and also allows you to check out their blogs- FREE, and they are really farming!


http://www.fundafarmer.org/meet-the-farmers/

This is a legit site where you can check farmers out 100% and see whom needs help and how to help.


We are getting some nice warmer weather during the day.  It's nice. It's really nice to not use a lot of heating oil too.  I have been able to work the dogs in just a sweat shirt, so that is great.

Work is busy this week, so not a lot of time off, so can't do as much as I would like during the late day.  Such is life for those of us who have jobs. 

This weekend I hope to be able to work the dogs at a friend's place, but it is hard to get away this time of year, because I have to feed the sheep first, and then go, and it's a long long day that way... Not sure what I will do..

Sheep are definitely eating more these days.  Getting a tiny amount of grain to adjust their rumens, but they will really not get much until about the first of January; about six weeks before the first lambs are due.


I still have so much more to get done, the gates in the barn for one..  And I want to get the gate hangers installed.  I can't wait for help for that anymore, it ain't coming.. That is usually the case with me..  I wait and wait and some how, it never comes.. so I just do it myself, and add another thing to my list of things I have done...

Well, that's it for now, hope everyone is having a great week.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Pig Story

Charlie had a litter of pigs by surprise ;)  He bought this sow for freezer camp, but began to see mammary development on her.  When I stopped by he asked to me to look and see what I thought.  I told him unless Pigs get false pregnancies (which I have since learned can happen), that she was pregnant...  Later that week she had her piglets.  She had seven but lost two.  The rest were very strong.  Charlie had a farrowing pen for the sow, so that she did not squish the piglets, and all was good.  Fast forward about four weeks, and I stopped by to see the Piglets.  Charlie invited me into the pen.  I had my camera and wanted to get some shots.

So, we went in the pen and Charlie showed me how much the sow likes to be scratched.  That was cool, but then he had to leave for something.  That left me alone in the pen with the sow and her piglets.  She began to come up to me just sort of slow motion pushing into me- I began to get a bit nervous, as it was slowly dawning on me that this was a mother and her babies and she did not know me.  Anyway, nothing worked and she backed me to the fence, as the stupid door has two latches, and I did not have time to figure them out.  Instead, I hopped up on the fence to get away from her.  Then, Charlie came over and sort of giggled that she had scared me so much, but guess what?  She did the same to him.  She was clearly irritated.  Charlie's wife mentioned getting the farrowing pen out of  the inside pen, so there is more room.  Since it takes four people to move it and there was another kid there, we did this.  We locked the sow and her piglets out of the inside room, and she went ballistic.  She ran around, wagged her tail, chomped her teeth and BIT the rolled metal gate.  She was agitated.

Okay, so that night I am watching that new show "Jobs that Bite" and guess what the segment was on?  PIGS!  The host went to a pig farm in Oregon where he was going to help.  He goes in the pen after they warn him about sows with piglets..    He is asked to grab a piglet (for castration), and when the piglet squealed, guess what the sow did?  The exact same thing that sow did to me.  The host says "what do I do?!!" and they say "Drop it!!"  Translation: She will put a whoopin' on you if you do not release!

So, then they end up with piglets.  Sows are mad.  One is wagging it's tail (just like the one I was near).  Host asks if that is good, guys says "no, it means they are thinking".  The sows are running around and chomping their teeth.  This is a VERY bad sign..  This is what pigs do to intimidate- grate their teeth together, thus sharpening them...

The show was very interesting.  I just wish I had seen it one day earlier, so that I did not STUPIDLY go into a pen housing a sow and her piglets.  When I shared this on facebook, I heard numerous HORRIBLE stories of sows almost killing people...  GOOD GOD was I stupid.

Don't get me wrong, I still like pigs, but I won't have one... I will leave the raising of them to others!  Me? I stick with the sheep!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Brrrr it's cold out there.  14 degrees last I checked.  I am staying home this morning.  And, to that end, I started cleaning. In the dark.  Yep, I have to just do it when it strikes me.  So, I started in the living room and did the dusting, vacuuming and cob web removal.  There has been an increase in cobwebs here.  I have no idea why.. But all gone now.. Then I went into the kitchen, vacuumed that floor and mopped it, and half way through my sponge mop promptly fell apart.  I think I would like to get one of those steam mops.. I think with dogs, it makes sense... I also washed walls... So, it's a bit better now.   I have some furniture to get rid of, as I don't need or like some of it.  I am a minimalist, sort of by necessity.  I can't afford a couch, and I am afraid to get a used one for fear of bugs or other grossness.  So, my tiny house looks big ;)


I had some pie last night, with my mint chip ice cream, which was great.  I was beat yesterday, not sure why.

Now I have today and tomorrow off, and will continue the cleaning, and I may hit Tractor Supply to get some work jeans.  The only jeans I can find in malls or department stores are stretch jeans, and they do NOT go well with being outside in freezing weather.  So, have to get some some where... Maybe I need  trip to LL Bean in Albany..

I worked the dogs yesterday, and not sure I will today.  I have run out of ways to keep it interesting... I surely wish I had more land and more sheep... Oh well.  It's also a bit chilly.. so I guess we will all survive.

I hope you are all having a great weekend!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy happy happy

I hope you all had a nice, calm, Thanksgiving.  Mine was good.  I have always worked on Thanksgiving, well, since I was able to have a job, but we normally eat around 6:00 pm, so my work did not interfere with that.  This year was no different.  I worked, and then headed up to the farm to feed the sheep and walk the dogs, and then home for a bit, and then back up to enjoy the feast.  The food was great as always.  It is amazing how I do the same things as my mother.  I think we were both sort of taken aback by me knowing what she wanted, what was next and just handling things.   She still does not trust me to carve the Turkey, but I suspect she will soon enough.

We had a full house.  Ten of us in the dining room and several more in the kitchen.  The food was great, and this year, the apple pie was a real stand out.  The apples were just great- sweet, but crisp- hard combination to come by.  I did not over eat, which was good.  But, I will go back today for more pie!  I do love apple and pumpkin pie!

I got home and hit the hay, as it was a long day.  I am working again today.  But, dogs need to be worked, so am going to handle that.  I also want to get started on figuring out what I need to make new gates in the barn since the sheep desire to wreck the metal ones that are up there with staples.. They are very un-grateful...

We are getting into winter now, so I hope that we can all find ways every day to enjoy it.. and when the solstice comes... the days get longer!!!!

Oh, my friend Charlie had a calf born yesterday, so you know where I am going today!  I love calves!!

Oh, I have a pig story to share, if you want to hear it let me know.. :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The cold and wind are here.  I got the de-icer out and into the tank yesterday, so I have to get it plugged in today.  I may, depending on the storm that is coming on Weds, allow sheep into the barn, but honestly, I doubt they will hang out in it; they prefer being outside pretty much no matter what- except for freezing rain..

I have decided this morning is a French Toast morning.. Hungry, as I ate dinner early.  Started a new book last night, an easy "Murder She Wrote" mystery.  I love mysteries.  There are some new ones coming out by my favorite authors, so in the next month I hope to get them.  I sleep a lot better when I read before going to sleep.

I better start thinking about breakfast- think I will make a slice for the dogs to share, without the syrup :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Today I put up a wall.. In the barn where the sheep shelter from bad weather, There is a section where a ramp comes down from the carriage house above.  This is how they did a lot of delivering of goods/animals etc.  Well, since the floor is installed up there, all this is is a big cavern.  Previously I just had some sheets of plywood up, but it looked horrible, and if the cement blocks holding it in place got moved, the lambs like to try to go back there.  This job I was not sure I could do myself, but after thinking about it, It was just not hard at all.  I won't go into the details, except for one- that I got the wood- rough cut pine- from a saw mill up the road.  The best find ever!  9 boards 10 ft by 6 ft, $42.00 for all!  Anyway, got this up and now no more lamb wandering, and this is high, like five feet, as these ARE Border Cheviots!  I am so pleased to have gotten this done.



The WALL
 After I did the wall, I worked Dan and Joe, and then walked them.  Joe likes to pick up wood on our walk.  He's a happy guy!

Joe bringing in Fire wood (lol)

This piglet was dumped in a cat carrier earlier in the week.  Animal control called my friend who picked her up and has found her a home (she will go tomorrow) at a farmer and she will be a future momma :)

Rescue Piglet

Got home and made left over steak, then fed the dogs some with their meals.  They *love* their Sirloin steak..  Now I am just going to relax.. I am beat.  A good beat.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The dirty butt ewe lamb is better now.  Don't know if it was worms or it was the hay being a bit rich- these lambs have not had alfalfa hay, for the most part.  At first they just did not want the hay, but now they all dig in.  Some bales are quite stemmy, but some are also just what I wanted, which is grass/alfalfa and soft.

Worked the dogs just a little bit yesterday, as it was quite warm out.  And I have decided I work them too much on training things, so want to pull back on that. 

Walked them and then back to the house.  Have more cleaning to do today, but all in all not a bad week so far ;)

Looking forward to the weekend already.  I had to work on Sunday, and that messes up my rest a whole lot.  A bit sore in the upper back now...

Well, hope your week is going well, and we need to keep enjoying the fact that it is not horribly cold!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Oh No she isn't!?????

Someone just wrote that someone is getting another Border Collie?  PPPPLLLEEEAASSEE tell me this is not true.. PLEASE TELL ME.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Have to keep an eye on things

The day before yesterday when I brought the sheep into the barn, I smelled an acrid, sour smell. Experience has taught me that I need to look around for loose droppings.  Saw none.  But made a mental note to be on alert.  Yesterday when I brought them all  back into the barn for sorting, I see one of my lambs has a dirty butt- that is scientific talk for diarrhea ;)  I had been thinking to worm the lambs, so I wormed all the lambs and a couple adults.  I still have one ewe who is bloaty and I just don't know why.  I am going to bring some sodium bi-carb and leave it out, and see if that makes things better.  She's healthy otherwise, but looks big all the time.

Sheep take looking after, they certainly do. Even with everything going swell, things can go kerfluey.  Every time I feed them I spend several minutes taking stock of everyone.  If someone seems not so hungry I take a closer look the next time.  Trick with livestock is, to catch whatever it may be early.  That's basically it.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Meow and the Robe

Here is a vid I shot yesterday.  Meow had pushed himself under my robe and commenced being himself.  He's just a great cat with so much purrrsonality ;)  You can probably just make out the purring over Judge Judy and the annoying plaintiff ;)  If you want to give a kitty something they will love, get them chenille... it is heaven on earth to kitties!



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Got the fall pick up outside done yesterday.  I should have picked up those hoses sooner;  was 44 degrees F out and one hose was not happy to be wound up, so I had to lay it in the barn.. Got the e-net rolled up and stored, along with the charger, and electrical cords.  Did not get the lumber, but may not have to buy some; there may be some laying around.. It's all about saving the money- but will get it done.

Today I will go through the fleece I have and see what's what. 

The ewe who I thought was ill looked absolutely fine yesterday.  I will give her one more dose of LA200, but I think she's okay.  

Had some amazing apple crisp yesterday.. AMAZING it was!!  I ate way too much.  But so worth it.

Today is more work at the farm, work the dogs and not sure what else!  Going to be chilly.  Later this week I hear it will be very cold.  Better get more oil delivered.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Today the plan is to pick up all the electro-net and put away the charger, cords, etc. Also, to go get some lumber to build a permanent wall in the barn.   It was darn chilly last night.  Slept very well, owing to having had a scrumptious meal of sirloin steak, potato, and green beans, and all of turning out just great.

I may have a sick sheep.  I brought them all in to the barn for sorting, and heard one ewe breathing HARD.  Not fast, but labored.  I sat for a bit and looked at her. I found a bit of dried mucous on her nose.  Some of the hay is dusty as my brother swept out the barn AFTER I got my hay..I hope she did not inhale too much dust and get a mechanical pneumonia.  I called my vet friend and he suggested what to treat with, the dose (Pen) and I also wormed her.  She seems fine, was chewing cud when I let them out of barn later, and she was pushing others away from her hay after I fed them.  Thankfully my vet friend lives nearby and if need be, he will come by with meds if I need them.  I *really* don't like it when any of my animals is off, or sick.  Let's hope if was nothing and if it was, I caught it very early.

Dogs and cat are good.  I have been working the boys regularly and it shows.  Great dogs, both of them.  The Kelpies are good.  I put all the dogs on a new food, it's a brand called "Nutrisource"; grain free chicken.  The dogs LOVE It.  It is more fat and protein than the Taste of the Wild, and the fat is much better in terms out how my dogs look; their coats are amazing, and I do not have to add oil anymore. Very happy about that.

I am organizing a sheepdog trial next year in Sept.  This will be at John's farm in his back field, using his sheep.  The field is quite large.  The judge is coming in from Scotland.  All of this is very exciting..  There will be a lot to do, but since it is just open and nursery, the worries over dogs on tough sheep are a bit less.

Other than that life goes on.  Hope all is well with you all!  I am going to grab some fleece and put in small bags and set up to send out.  Will pick the best.  Have some nice colored fleece and some white.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Here it is November :)  Moving right along.  Sheep are all bred, I believe, one was not marked, but she may have been bred before I put the raddle marker on the ram.  He's been doing his job, and the two ewe lambs he did produce are very nice.  The older one is just well, I love her- built like a fire plug.  The second one is out of my home bred ewe lamb from my last ram who I really was not that fond of, so this lamb is built a bit lighter, but she's not bad.

I have a lot of things to get done at the barn.. one of these days... My motivation is not really in play lately.  

I bleached the whole bathroom yesterday, there is a cleaner I use which is amazing and makes everything shine, and you feel confident you have disinfected everything well.  Happy about that.

Made some amazing spare ribs yesterday. Never had luck with pork, but I turned the oven down and went low and slow and well, they were amazing... I used Masterpiece honey barbecue sauce- MMMMM.  It was a great meal.

Today I have to work the dogs, as they have had a couple days off.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hi

Sheep on  fall day
Hi everyone.  Haven't been here in a long time, sorry.  I guess I just needed a break, and I think sub-consciously I got sort of bent out of shape by how blogs have become a way for people to make money, namely Jon Katz and our local yokel Ms Woginrich.  It's a subversion that irritates me to a high level  Blogs are supposed to be diaries of your life, and in my case it's a way for me to follow my travels, and if someone else enjoys reading it, that's cool.  But now, it appears that the way to do these things is to write fodder and sell it, which means the real meaning of the blog is gone.  So, I guess I am just saddened by everyone looking for money just by writing their feelings down.  It;s skeevy to me.  If people do offer a service, say recipes, or how to chapters, maybe I can see it, but not for my life.  Good God how much hubris does it take to ask for money from others to read about what I ate for dinner?

Well, other than that, things have been going.  I went to an Aled Owen clinic with the Dan and Joe, and that was good.

Sheep are good, animals are good.

Meow under the covers

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Life is a series of lessons.. I am learning that ;)  My hay guy always pushes me to take delivery as soon as it is baled.  I neither need it then, nor do I have the money to pay him then.  For the past two years I have accepted early delivery, and paid him off over time.  Well, something happened this year..  He delivered it, and then I get a bill (which I don't usually, but so be it).  Problem was, he raised the price of the hay and also the delivery charge.  He never mentioned this to me before he delivered the hay.   I understand prices go up, but you need to let people know before you deliver goods that the prices have gone up.  When I called him to ask about it, he had an attitude and told me I was fortunate my bill only went up 25 cents per bale, some people went up 50 cents.  How rude.  Then, yesterday, I get a new bill, onto which he tacked a finance charge.  YOU MUST BE KIDDING.

From now on, I am going to have to find cheaper hay or buy 1st cut and also only take delivery on what I can afford at that moment.  No more of this garbage.  Talk about ruin my day. 

So, now on to find another hay source...


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Warmer weather

It's been pretty warm lately, and today it is supposed to hit the mid 80s.  Amazing.  Moved the sheep to the hill field on Monday (I think).  They are happily grazing.  All three fields have differing grasses, and I think they really like a change in types of forage.

So far five ewes marked, and none marked for a week.  I don't know if he bred the others before I put the raddle marker on him or not, but I suspect that he did not, will have to get them the next cycle I guess.  Who knows.  No breeding being done when I am there.

My Jeep is in the shop getting repaired from the deer hit, so I am driving the farm truck.  Let's just say I will be happy when I get my car back ;)  It is interesting to say the least driving with two Border Collies riding shotgun in a Ford Ranger.  I actually like the truck, but it is getting up there in miles and makes a lot of weird noises and is hard to shift into gear. 

Didn't work the dogs yesterday and won't today- it is just too warm.  I may stay home and get my shrubs trimmed for the end of the year.  That needs to be done badly.  Did get my lawn mowed yesterday.  Looks good- oh, also have to string trim.  

House needs cleaning too- as usual.. always stuff to do!


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Happy Weekend!

So, life has been good.  Still a bit behind the eight ball wrt money, but then I sort of expected that.  But, I have learned in my middle age, to just not dwell on things unless I can actually do something about it.  So, I plod on.

Have been working the dogs, and they are working nicely.  Sheep look good and making progress on their middle field; I think they will be there at least another week.  Then up to the hill field.  Should be good.  Grass is starting to yellow in some places, but the weather for this week is supposed to be nice and warm.  This is also good because I can't afford to buy oil until the next pay check ;)  So, thank you Lord, and I mean that.

I honestly can't believe another year is waning.  Time really flies.. I know, a cliche, but it does!  Soon I have to start thinking of Christmas shopping, because I am bound and determined to get it done early this year.  First, is Thanksgiving and this is my favorite holiday.  Although, I am darn tired of washing crystal and china... and pots and pans.. but I do believe if you have nice settings you should use them and if I had a holiday at my place I would use mine :)

I have switched the dogs to the water fowl version of Taste of the Wild as their coats were very poor on Pacific Stream, and I added oil, which made all the difference, but I would rather not have to add oil.  So, we will see how it goes.  They certainly love this food.  I put kitty on Acana food (and off Taste of the Wild) and his coat is markedly better too.  I wrote Diamond a note about my concerns and I got a form letter back.  Hmmm, I would put the dogs on it as well, but it is too much money...

Today is a usual Saturday, but I may hit a fall festival at a local feed store.. we will see.  Happy weekend to you all!!!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Back to normal life... sort of.  Beat from being away.  Was a nice time.  I really needed a little time away.  Trial went okay.  First trial I gave wrong whistles to Dan.  Second trial we did better, barely, just barely placing and then third trial was bad..  Hard to keep up to snuff on these arena trials.  Dan is not one who loves really fast commanding and you can see it.  Still though, I had a good time.  Brought Joe into the arena just as a demo dog.  First time in there he saw people hanging over the wall and did not see sheep at first, but after getting closer he did.  He was good.  The second day I brought him in there, he was a bit nutty scooping them off the wall, but settled in nicely.  Considering where we were and all the noise I was happy.

Monday night a few of us went to dinner, which was great.  Nice to relax and have good food with friends.  Joe and Dan slept by the side of the bed.  Good boys!

Oh, forgot one small detail.  A deer ran into my car on the way to the trial.  So, next week, my car goes in to be repaired.  Oh joy.  Always something...

Three more ewes have been marked.  Ram is doing his job.  Going to check the color of the lambs this week, to make sure all okay.  Everyone looks good and happy to be on the new grass.  It's basically flushing them without using grain, which works for me!


I need to get some construction done at the barn this or next week.. Need to get started!  Been putting it off.  Also have to get oil delivered... and then start paying for hay.. Oh joy!

Well, we have had just great weather and I am very happy about that!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday is here and cleaning is near ;)  Have to get some house cleaning done today.  Yesterday was an amazing day, in terms of productivity for me.  It is amazing how much you can get done.. sometimes!  I got to the farm early yesterday because I knew I needed to move the sheep and the electro net.  I love/hate electro net.. Anyway, I got there, and first thing I did was bring everyone in and moved the e-net.  That took much longer than I thought it would, but after some figuring I got it done..  They now have nice grass for several days.  I then worked Dan and Joe.  Before I left I re-applied raddle marker to the ram and mucked out the smaller barn room.  The old straw had gotten wet and I had to get that out of there.  Lots of barn work to do..  When I got home I mowed the lawn and brushed out all the dogs.  Their coats look good.  I have started adding oil to their food and that makes all the difference.

Today I have to clean the house and at farm will do a few things and take the dogs on a nice long walk.  They did good work yesterday.

Well, that's it for now!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Happy Sheep

Hi everyone!  I have been busy, I am sure just like everyone else!  This time of year we do musical grass/fields for the sheep, and am working dogs, and just plain enjoying this weather.  It has been gorgeous out.

I put raddle powder on the ram on Monday, and I noticed yesterday, two ewes had been marked.  So, we have lift off!

Here is a pic of some of the flock in the new grass, well, mostly Japanese Stilt grass.  Fresh grass = Happy Sheep = Happy me :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Working dogs..

Had a great time working dogs yesterday.  Worked Dan and Joe equally.  I was thinking, that I was not really working Dan that much and I think that that does have an effect on how he works.  Dan worked very nicely.  We are working mainly on flanks on the fetch because he needs to be hurrying up and coming around and turning them, and that is the only sort of fetch we will do until he is almost perfect on it.  You cannot have a dog not come around and be able to maneuver sheep on the fetch if he will not come ahead.  So, that is our work.  He worked very nicely, and he was so happy, so was I.

Joe worked very nicely.   He did things I did not know he could do.  Boy was he just great.  Still have lots to work on, namely solid down on fetch on first request, and well, that's it.  He is a real joy to work.  You should have seen him drive so far..

It was a great day, and I even got some house cleaning done before I left.. So, it's all good!  Today not sure what I am doing... will see...


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cold, Schooling Joe

Well, some how I contracted the common cold.. I never ever get sick.. I may get tired, or sore, but never a virus.  So odd.  So, I have been a bit slow, and not too energetic.. However, this house is so desperate for cleaning, I need to clean!  So, I started today.  I am going to work dogs with friends today, which makes me feel better, that I did not go to the Fall Foliage in New Hampshire.  Just could not afford it.  

I did get some video of Joe working; my friend in Scotland gives me great advice on what I am doing wrong, etc.  Joe is learning to shed.  He is just so fast to train up.  Very happy with him, and with Dan.  I think truth be told, that Joe has more talent than Dan, but Dan is no slouch.  Dan is also victim of my first open dog.. that is not an easy row to hoe.

Dogs are Meow are good.  I have a Squirrel coming in my attic at night, so I have to get that handled.  Soon it will also be time to power wash the house and trim back the bushes, which grew exponentially this year.

Below is a video I shot of me working Joe.  The schooling term refers to reminding him about stops.  The camera was placed on a fence post ;)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Time is flying.. Good or bad, that's what it's doing!  The last two weeks I have been very busy at work, covering for a vacationing colleague.  I have not had a lot of time to get much done, but been at it.. For instance, I found that the Lysol Mold/Mildew remover/cleaner, is GREAT for cleaning floors.. I did my bathroom floor in a fraction of the time it usually takes me.  There is always a bit of "glue" from the hair product I use, but this stuff took it off like it was not even there.. Dream come true!

Last weekend I rented a walk behind brush hog.  It's great in many ways.  But, it's rough too.  Though it gets a lot done, and has power drive, it does not have power steering, and I beat myself up badly maneuvering it amongst all the trees.  I had it for a total of five hours and I think that is all I can do with it for several years ;)  But, I did get a lot of the snake root cut down in the big field and I did the WHOLE hill field !!!! Yes!! And, I noticed that the grass in the hill field is gorgeous, underneath all that snake root.   There are still a few plants, but it's 98% clear.  Now, when I walk by that field my heart sings.. DIE you snake root!

I had a photographer come to my place on Sunday.  She got some shots of Dan and Joe working, and several of my sheep.  The lighting was just about perfect, so they turned out really nice.  Not many of Dan, which saddens me, but I think I will be getting a decent camera in the not too distant future... so I can get some of my boy.

Later this week I plan to rent a brush trimmer (hand held) to attack more of the snake root.  The next few days are supposed to be very hot, so I am not doing much.

Sheep are good, will be checking lambs again end of this week.  Hope we can get through this scary time for parasites un-scathed.

So, that's it for now.  No trials for a while....

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September

Not too much going on. Working a lot lately.  This time of year it's always the exhausting race to come up with tax money... Some day, some day I wish things would even out, but what would I do with myself!  My blood pressure would probably bottom out... Anyway, this month not much going on.  I have someone coming to take pictures of my dogs and sheep next weekend, and may invite some friends over to work dogs.  Sheep are good.  Checked everyone.  That newest mother has diarrhea again and there are two thin ewes (mothers) so I wormed them.  Checked the lambs, all their color is good.  Will keep right on checking every two weeks.  Do NOT want to over worm, but do not want sick/dead sheep either.  

Dogs are doing well.  Working Dan on weak spots and happy to say that he is progressing well.  Joe is doing great.  I am starting to teach him to shed.  I am following advice from my friend in Scotland on nuances of all my dog training.  It's great.  

I am on search for kitten and think I found one.  He's the runt of a litter, a little brown Tiger I think I will call Peanut.  He looks like one :)

Have to call my hay guy and see when he wants to bring the rest of the hay, and also get an oil delivery set up.  That is C.O.D., so I have to wait on that.  OH! to have a husband... to help with the bills!!!

Back to Kitties.. Meow has become a hunter.  He has caught a few Moles.  So gross those things are. So far he has not eaten them, just basically pummeled them.

Anyway, I hope everyone is well, and here's to a great September!!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I worked Dan and Joe yesterday.   I used almost everyone, except for the ram, the baby and her mother.  Dan did great- the black ewe and her lamb always split off, but Dan totally covered that nicely (this is on the drive).  He was very nice to work.  Then I worked Joe, just started teaching him to come through a big wide open area between two groups of sheep to me.  He was happy to come to me.  I want absolute joy to come me, and then I we will work on pushing a group off.  He also, on the drive had the two black ones split off and with no direction, hung back flanked a little around them and got the group back together.  Was so happy with that.  Working these two boys is a real joy.

I have got to get more cleaning done at the house, and I have got to get rid of the carpeting in my bedroom.  So many things I want done in the house, but no money.  Very sad.  I may just pull the carpet and paint the floors, or put Pergo or wood looking Vinyl down.  I want something sanitizable.

I almost got a baby kitten yesterday, but the people who found the litter decided to keep the one I had hoped to get.  Oh well, bummer, but that's the way it goes.  They found and rescued it, so their choice.

Well, back to it!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Break in regular programming...

Yesterday I drove a long way.. again... wow, this is getting tired.. I drove down to watch some Border Collies work, and brought Dan and Joe.  It is so nice to go somewhere new to work dogs, and the weather was just beautiful.  Both Joe and Dan did well.  I felt like I got back on the horse a bit with Dan, and Joe just blew me away... Something about his fast response and fluid working, and he's getting a bit of style... He's just the bomb for me- Dan is too, but in different way..

It was a very nice day, and it was good to get away in a relaxing atmosphere.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dan working

Worked Dan.  I wanted to focus on slowing him down, and stopping him, thus resulting in lifts.. Since our last trial showed me that Dan needs to slow down and approach correctly, we need to do this.  His work is why I like him so much.  He's such a good boy; willing to do what I ask, and the sheep do like him (well, these do).  I also noticed how nice my sheep are to work.. when not rushed.




Thursday, August 22, 2013

Navigation

So, it's sort of amazing how my life has sort of evolved over time... There was a time when I had no sheep and no sheep dogs- dogs, but not sheep dogs.  Life was good then.  Then I had a sheepdog and no sheep.  Life was good too.  Now, I have sheepdogs and sheep, and life is continuing to be good.  But, the underlying story is changing too... I am not really enjoying trialing like I used to.  I still love to watch good runs, and have good runs, but being a bit of an introvert, I am not in love with the whole social scene which appears to be integral to the whole sheepdog trialing world.  Maybe it has to do with the issue of no real money to spend, maybe it's I get my enjoyment out of quiet time.. who knows.. Life is good, that is true, but I am trying to decide how I want to spend my time.

On one hand I believe I should trial to test my dogs, but honestly, for what reason?  They work for me, do as I ask and I am happy with them.  Maybe the answer is to only trial occasionally, as in maybe three trials a year?  I don't know.  The truth is, even when we do well, I don't really care.. is that horrible?  I hope not.. I am proud when we do well, but at the end of the day, no matter how we do, I still bring my boys home and go about life...

So, I am trying to navigate how I want to do things..  As that goes, I am also trying to keep up with the work at the farm and the house.

Yesterday I string trimmed at the house (boy did it need it) and then I showered and headed up to the fair.  It was nice to see some old friends and I did not stay long, but enjoyed the time I had there.

Today is more of the usual.  May go to Kohls department store and get new sneaks.  Other than that, check sheep work dogs, and then probably clean the house.  Like to get cleaning done during the week.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bad scene

Had our trial yesterday, home already.  Not a good scene.  Extremely tough, wisened to the field mixed breed farm flock.  Dan was dq'd after he just could not get them moving on the drive, as they had had enough and so did Dan.  Definitely not our best work, but honestly, I can't say as I blame him one bit.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Another week.  Busy one at work.  I guess into each life a little work must fall... Rain today, heavy at times, which seems to be our M.O. this summer.  I think we are supposed to be dry, after today, and nice cool temperatures which will put a spring in every one's step.

Tomorrow I hope to get everyone in the barn for a good look see to make sure worms are not an issue.  From now, until about October is a scary time for lambs especially.  The sheep have had a lot of grass, so they should be okay, but one never knows unless you get a hand on them.

Nothing scheduled for rest of week, and a trial this weekend.  Have to tune up Dan a bit.  Joe's not running at this trial; it's notoriously very difficult for young dogs and Joe does not need to be set up to fail at this point.  I have to remind myself of how young he still is...

Well, that's it for now, back to the grindstone..

Sunday, August 11, 2013




 I referenced having a bad day, and going up to see my sheep always puts me in better frame of mind.  They are doing well, and now with cooler weather, are happier too.

Joe and I ran in our first trial yesterday.  He did not know why we were out there on the field at first, but then I told him to look, set him up, and I sent him.  He did very well, and listened well and I was just so happy with him.

I was entered today, but just could not make the three hour drive each way, again.  I am so beat right now.. have to get some breakfast made and then start cleaning..

Later, up to the farm and walk the dogs and get some fresh air :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Didn't get it all done exactly when I planned, but I got it done!  I did get the lawn mowed yesterday, but hit a wall afterward and basically chilled rest of the day.  After work today, I got up to the farm and rolled up all the electro net, and put it away.  Dogs got a very nice long walk today.  Gave more minerals to the sheep.  I give them minerals every three days, as rain ruins it, and I find it is very popular that way.  They go through a lot of minerals in the summer; I think because they eat so much water containing grass.  After all that I went home and I cleaned out my car!  Finally!!!  So, now that's all done.  

Tomorrow looks to be string trimming and shrub trimming.  Busy week at work too.  So glad I got that car cleaned out!!!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

The old gray mare just ain't what she used to be..

As has been said... I got up this morning with my lower back in serious complaint over our heavy duty moving yesterday.  Good Lord.  That stuff was heavy..  So, I am a bit slow.  As I stood at the sink doing dishes this morning (from last night; too tired to do them), and thanked goodness I have a riding mower. Have to get it done.  I had left it go longer than I usually do, because during that major heat wave, the grass was majorly stressed by the heat and dryness, and I see grubs have been damaging it.  So, I did not want to stress it more by chopping it lower.  It is looking better now, so I will get out there this morning and get the mowing done, in a little while anyway..First, breakfast, coffee...

I may also just do the car this morning too.  It is beyond atrocious.. Good cleaning will make me feel better too.  THEN, later, will head up to farm, and pull up that e-net, and I should get some neatening up done.. this cooler weather is just wonderful.

This week will be busy, both at work and off of work.  My sister told me that she was going to work at the fair this year, more power to her.. I will probably go one day, just for my favorite foods :)  No rodeo this year, which is a bummer.

Meow (the cat) is being super affectionate this morning, makes it hard to type!  Well, the fresh brewed coffee beckons... later..........

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Tote them bales



Well, what did I do today?  You see it.  First though, I had to clean out the barn, which had gotten dis-organized in the spring (not my doing!) and that took some brute strength by my sister and I to move these 4 window bay type window casements.  It took every bit of my sister and I to do this.  As we were doing the barn I went to move a tarp and it had a yellow jacket nest.. ACK!!! I went through something like three cans of wasp killer.  It was right in the door way...

After we did the barn, I worked the dogs a bit and was stoked with both of them.  Joe's got driving now, and his whistles, and it was a great session.  Dan was awesome as well.  I moved the sheep into the hill field yesterday, and tomorrow the plan is to pull up the e-net and put it away for now.  May get a little more time with it, but not sure.  Lots to eat in that hill field- as in so high, the grass is, that it has fallen over.

The hay guys showed up around 3:00, and there were three guys and I un-loading about 200 bales. Still need more, and that will come later this week with the straw.  Figured I would plan ahead for the straw this time and not have to schlep it in my car.  It's a LOT of money, but it is what it is.. no way to avoid it.  It's a false economy to buy cheap hay, because they waste it.  So, pay a little more and they eat it :)

I am extremely tired after the day, but tomorrow is busy too.  Have to mow my lawn, clean out my car and get that e-net pulled up.  It's busy, but it's good.  It's all good.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

MY Blog

My blog is admittedly low tech.  My camera is well, let's see 8 years old?  I don't see the need to spend money on a new camera, until this one croaks (watch it croak tomorrow).

I do not have time to search the Internet for pictures to use on my blog, I do not have a thousand dollar camera with several lenses to produce amazing shots, and I certainly don't wax poetic very much.

That all said, this blog is fundamentally what the meaning of a blog is- a log/journal of my life.  Take it or leave it.

Someday, when finances free up, a new camera will come my way, I hope.  But, probably before that, I will buy something for the sheep...  We all have our priorities.




Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nice

Nice to be back in the saddle, per se... I worked Joe and Dan with a friend yesterday.  It's a long drive there, but so worth it.  I worked Joe first and his first outrun was.. well, let's just say he was nuts at the lift. This is what happens when you fetch sheep without someone holding.  No brains needed, so well, no more working on outruns without someone holding sheep!  He did a great job, and we got a couple silent gathers in too.  I also sent him a long way to get sheep off a fence and boy did he do that nice.  I was rather shocked. I worry because he seems to do things so well, is he too young?  Will I not have a lot of dog?  I don't know, I think it's more he's confident in his work.  I worked Dan a short time too, but Dan does not really need much other than brush ups before trials.  He gets so mentally hot and we had to look for the sheep, well, he's just a 10 minute brush up dog...

After we worked a bit we went out for a nice breakfast (mmm), and then a little more work, and then some little jobs, and then home.  Traffic is bad.. everyone and their brother is out!  I always worry going home if I will get stuck in a traffic jam.

New neighbors shot off fireworks for the millionth time last night.  I called the Sheriff and she told them they would be cited if they did it again.  Bad part is, she said they were nasty to her.. Not good.  Why do I attract people like that?!

Well, time to have some breakfast and some more cleaning...

Here's one of Joe's gathers and a bit of driving...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnxVp4RF7T4

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Life is good

Things have been moving along, but more importantly... The weather this morning is just PERFECT!  NO humidity, cool, in the upper fifties... The dogs did not even want to come inside when I let them out.  This is the sort of weather that makes my heart sing.  I bet the sheep are just giddy.

Regarding the sheep, I sent out my one ewe who just cannot handle the flies, to a friend.   She was driven to distraction by them, and I felt it would be better if she went where there were less flies.  So, I am down one ewe, but with the lambs so far, I am up one for the year.  Certainly not growing my flock very fast, but I am being very serious in my culling to have only the best animals here.  I do not want a flock of mediocre animals, I want as healthy as possible, with best production potential.  Feeding a good animal costs as much as a less than good one...

You know who could benefit from realizing this.  How many mouths does she feed at a loss? 

After I got home from the farm last night, I got a call from my brother that sheep got out.  Crud.  Had to drive back up there.  Found that the sheep had slid under a gate- now, there really isn't that much room, and there is a TON to eat... Trouble makers!  As soon as I got out of my car and headed in their direction, they ran back under the gate.  I then got something to block it, and ripped my shirt in the process...  thanks to a screw that was left sticking out... not by me!

I am looking to adopt a young female kitten... one may be in sight!

Dogs are good.  Life is good.



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bloody foot

Thursday while chatting to a neighbor I was stung three times in face by Yellow Jacket, and that was very painful.

I woke up yesterday and the whole right side of my house was swollen- enough to make it sag.  That is bad.. I did have a trial to go to so I decided to be tough and ignore it.. even though it looked like I had Bell's Palsy.  So, fifteen minutes from house, deer ran in front of my car, and I braked hard, dogs went forward in their crates and I stopped to fix their crates and find Dan's foot bleeding- that toe nail again.  CRIPES.  So, I head on to farm to check sheep and see if he is lame, before I go on.  He seemed fine.  I did see my one black ewe by the water, and she is usually with her lamb, so I got a bit concerned and brought her in to worm her.  Used Valbazen, but will not again, as breeding time will be coming up in a couple months.  Have to move it out of my reach so I remember!

Then, after 3.15 hours of driving, I get to the trial.  It's pretty hot.. Supposed to be very hot later in the day.  Very challenging field and sheep.  Total test for the dogs.  Sheep un-dogged, field hilly, and hot.  Well, it was truly a test.  Unfortunately, before my run the run before us had a bad start, so I never got to have Dan see the sheep come out.  He is always willing to run out so I sent him away, and he was tight- he did not see the sheep, stopped, re-directed- which he did very nicely, and good lift.  Then on fetch not sure if he stopped to see set out dog, or what he did, but a couple seconds not sure what he was doing ( I had not walked him much at all before our run due to heat).  Anyway, got them on line and I see Dan's limping.  We got them through the driveway panels but not cross drive and at pen they were just nuts- and one ewe was flaring her nostrils- big as dinner plates, and one Cheviot ewe was just nuts.. after a few turns around the pen and one time where Dan hit the water, I decided to retire.. Turns out I would have placed if I had not done that.  Anyway, after I walk off, I see Dan's toe nail is at a 90 degree angle to his foot.  I was mad at myself.  After all that... I decided, after watching rest of run, to just head home.  Was not staying to run next day and find that he was lame.  I decided not to run Joe as the sheep and field was just too much for a newbie.

So, home, slice of pizza and bed.  Today I will go to farm, work Joe, and move the sheep into the e-net. They need fresh grass, and lots of that.

So glad it is finally cooling off... THANK GOD!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Loud BOOM

So, I had a plumber come out the other day to give me an estimate on replacing my bathtub.  He said he would email it to me; I have not, two days later, heard anything from him.  This is so typical of contractors and why so many people end up either not getting things done, or doing it themselves.  I will call him today, and see what he says.


While he was at my house, as we were walking out (he was done checking things out) a loud BOOM was heard, and the house shook a little.  Nothing out of place anywhere.  Looked under the house and did notice that one of the jack columns had fallen (a long time ago) - so not supporting the joist.   The other column was rusted at the base and that too was about to fall.  I ran out to Home Depot and got some new jack columns and patio block and called my dad, to ask for some assistance.  I know I could have done this myself, but something about someone a bit older and wiser being there would be good.   The next day after I took care of the sheep and walked the dogs, my dad was waiting for me, and we headed to my place.  We replaced both the columns, making sure everything was level and the job was done.  I was no longer afraid to walk in my living room! 

Yesterday, before we did the work, I checked the lambs and wormed them, and then dumped/re-filled the water, new minerals and checked one lamb who had a slight limp- probably jumping some where, as feet looked good.  So far, sheep seem to be doing well, despite these horrible temperatures and high humidity.  The heat index today, is supposed to hit 108.  That's pretty horrible.  Despite all this, I did walk Dan and Joe on two laps yesterday.  They were quite happy..  Not sure about today though!  Dan *may* have a little tenderness on the toe that he ripped the toe nail on.. I am going to have to watch carefully. 

Today is a repeat of all the others, try and beat the heat and count the hours until it cools down!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Itchin'

I have been itchin' to get some things done at the house and also, to take a bit of a vacation.  I don't think I can do both.  I do think I would be so much happier if my house were at the point where I could be proud of it- inside.  It's not horrible, but the bathroom is close to it - to me.  The iron stains are bad enough on the tub, but the tub surround and tub need to be replaced, and I just don't see me waiting a lot more time to get them done... I also want to get new carpeting in the bedrooms and laminate in the living room.  The entire bathroom should be done, but honestly, I really just want the tub replaced, and the surround area, tiled.  I feel like I put this off every year and I get more and more down about it.  The issue is money, of course.  I may have to see about paying off in time, or take a loan on retirement.. something...  I also need the system to get rid of the iron in the water, which is $1600.  Basically, I need a ton of money.. But who is going to get this done, if I don't?  No one, and it just gets more and more depressing.  Time to find a good not overly expensive plumber and tiler...

This week is supposed to be horribly hot.  I dread it.  The bugs are out of control even with bug spray.  Gave the sheep fresh water yesterday and new minerals, and I sprayed their loafing areas with the bug spray.  Other than those measures, there is not much else I can do.  They have a lot of shade and I think will probably just eat evenings and mornings (dawn and dusk).  No real dog work this week, I am afraid; I won't do it to my sheep.  It would be really mean.

Meow, my Kitty seems to be looking for Ginger.  Ginger came to me in a dream the other night.  I had to feed and water her and sit and cuddle her.  I honestly think she is with me..... I am so ripped up about her, that I cry just writing this little part about her.  Should never have happened... Well, let's not talk about that.  I may get another kitten... I may.  Will see, it would have to be a female. I do think Meow misses having a kitty to hang with.....

That's about it...  Keep you all posted on the Hades weather....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Thirty One?

Well, July keeps moving on.  Been a warm summer.  I have been able to work the dogs a bit, but lots of cool downs in the water tub.  Dan's foot is better.  Joe is just about all the way there on his whistles.  He really likes them, I noticed the same with Dan.  Much clearer and no tones or mood in the whistles.  Joe's been a real joy to train.

Sheep are well.  Surviving the heat and bugs the best they can.  One ewe is worse than others wrt the bugs, but she has not lost weight.  I do apply fly spray ($86/a gallon of it!).   I also put Swat on them, but will not do that again on the face, as it bothers their eyes..

Little lamb is growing nicely, she's sure independent.  She is often found not with her mother, but another group of sheep.. Odd, but different strokes... I guess!

This morning the forecast is for a heat wave, up to 100 heat index all of next week.  Hearing this propelled me out to Barnes and Noble to get some new books to read while we hibernate.  I am so ready for fall..

Well, that's it for now!

Oh, ps: did you all think dead chickens when you read the title 31?  I did!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Confused

I cannot keep it straight.  Is it a homestead/farm to live off of, does he have a desk job, does she need donations, or not, is she behind on the mortgage or not?   She's very clear on the number of dead Chickens though.. All because she refuses to take care of them. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Strong Stock

I slept in today... I really needed to.  Slept all the way to almost 6:00.  Dogs let me do so, cat started in and I had to respond!  Today, I am not sure what I will do.  I am loathe to even try and walk the dogs at the farm, because even with bug spray (and I carry it with me) I am still getting attacked by gnats, flies, you name it; flies are very very bad.  Dan got real hot yesterday after our walk.  And, well, this humidity is bad for everyone.   So, this may be a book store day- been meaning to meander around...  Right now Joey is playing footsie with Kylie- can you say bored?  I think the heat breaks by Weds...  I should be cleaning this house...yuck.

Not much goes on in my life on hot days like this.

On a side note, yesterday, my mother and I were chatting, and she told me about my great great grandmother in Norway, who lived to be 103.  We have a picture of her scything hay just before she died.  As she aged, she had been concerned she were about to pass, so she called for the priest... several times. She outlived three priests- and it was not easy for them to go to visit her, as she lived up on a mountain.. What a tough old bird!  I come from strong stock!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Get it done early!

Dan's still lame on that foot.  Well, no trial for us.  He basically ripped off the entire nail leaving just the quick.  I think he's getting better, but I think it will be a few more days until we are in the clear.  I walked Dan on a leash yesterday, just to keep him quiet(er)...

Have decided to stop graining the new mom- she's not eating much and with all that grass to eat, she's in good stead. The lamb is growing well, I think she will be built lightly, like her mom, but we will see. She's my first totally home bred lamb (her mother was from my first lambing).

Weather forecast is for high heat for the next several days.  Basically, this means take it easy during the day.  This morning at about 5:45 I went out and string trimmed the yard.  It was in desperate need of it, and if I did not get out there really early, I knew that it would be just too hot.  Got it done in about an hour.  Was absolutely covered in grass and came in, took a shower and am now having my morning coffee and watching "Going Yard" on HGTV.  Soon, I will head up to Rhinebeck to the farm and walk the dogs and check the sheep.

After that, I am not sure.... can't mow my lawn as 1/2 of it it totally sopping wet from all the rain we got last week...  Cleaning, can always do that!

Well, that's it for now!