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 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...


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


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


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


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!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Dan's foot

Yesterday, when working Dan, I noticed he seemed to float a little.. weird, almost like slow motion... He seemed a bit off, so we did not take a walk.  When we got home sure enough he had some sort of issue with his front left leg... I took a look and he had torn his toe nail, I think..  Hard to see with hair there, and a short nail to start with.   Of course we are supposed to run at a trial on Friday.

Advice is to get some crazy glue and see if that gets the nail solid again.  I think he will have to regrow his who nail.

This morning he was way worse, totally head bobbing.  On way home I will get some of the crazy glue and try that.  I am not going to run him if he is lame though.  Not worth it.   Well, time will tell...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Deer and Horse flies

Time has been flying.. So have the bugs.. and humidity rolls right on too...  I wormed the lambs the other day as one ewe lamb just had this different look- her fleece not as shiny, and when I checked her eyelids and gums, although her eyelids seemed not bad, her gums were pale.. this wet weather is just perfect for parasites to go nuts.. and kill your sheep.  I am going to be uber careful  from now on...

Baby lamb, who was two weeks old last Friday is doing well, and is independent.. it is so funny how each lamb is different.  My black ewe lamb is so tied to her mother, that it is amazing.. and when I separate her from her mother, she gloms on to any other ewe she can.  This baby lamb, when mom comes into jug to be fed, she many times is not even with her mother...  This is probably how it was for me as a kid- independent even from that age!

I had a lesson with Michael Gallagher - took Joe.  I thought maybe we would work on driving, but ended up working on corner work, just to get him thinking as he came up on sheep.  Within a short time we had that happening.  Michael really liked him and asked for his pedigree several times.  He liked his looks too- Joe does happen to be very handsome, if I do say so myself.  I left the lesson quite happy with my boy.  He agreed to wait on trialing Joe.   Says that he will be good open dog if I take my time, so that we will do.

Some of the sheep are getting just eaten by the Deer and Horse flies.  I brought them in yesterday and applied Swat to the areas in front of and behind their bags, where they get attacked.  They almost melted- I think it felt very good to have a bit of cream on those areas.. I feel for them.. I hate to see my sheep uncomfortable.  I also put some on their ears and around their face..

It poured yesterday.. hard enough for me to worry that if it kept up we could be in real trouble.

Sheepdog trial this weekend, and in between now and then just the usual....

Hope everyone is well