Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Country Folks


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 :)


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 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


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


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


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!


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!