Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Finally, who I am........

It's taken some time, well, to be honest, all of my life, to begin to see who I am in the whole scheme of what I call my life.  Most of my life, well, truth be told is all of it these days, is centered around animals.  I work full time with animals, I have my flock of sheep, dogs, one cat.  As a kid I was around livestock, and of course house hold pets,  and several of my first jobs were with livestock (horses mainly).   For some reason, I got into agility, and stayed in that venue until I got tired of the increased competitive behavior of the handlers.  I never really liked that part of the human condition.  Don't get me wrong, I do like to compete and do well, but I know all too well, that that winning feeling is fleeting, and we are only as good as our last competition.  I think my last trial in agility, I actually bagged a pairs run because my partner was *so* over the top determined to win.  She sucked the life right out of that for me.

I then got into the sheepdog world, and started to see that there was a lot to this sheepdog work, wherein I could spend most of my time training my dog, which is what I prefer, and in the meantime add livestock to my life.  As for most people, I believe having your own sheep makes it truly real for you, and you look at things differently.  For some time I tried to keep doing the same sort of training with my dogs as I had earlier, but something about it bothered me.  I was not letting the dog figure things out for himself, and it was very, well, dry.  Dry for the dog, dry for me, and honestly, reminded me of obedience work (I also did that for a time before agility).  Here is where my quirky bits appear... I *do* want to do well at sheepdog trials, and can if my brain settles, but I do not get a big giant high out of it.. it's weird.  What I get a high out of at competitions, are the small things that go very well.  Those are the things I remember.  Dog catches a sheep trying to escape with deft ability, the dog and I handle the sheep at the pen in such a way, they pretty much blithely walk in.  Dog finds the sheep in a field with thigh high grass.  You know, that sort of thing.  I am pretty sure this is not what the top hands in the country look at, but I have no idea!

This same attitude has taken over my training as well.  Instead of breaking things down into "what I need to fix", I break things down into "that was very good", or "this needs a bit of work and we will get there".  I am always an advocate for the dog, and sometimes that is at odds with the way that many handlers look at sheepdog work.  I look at training a young dog as making music- we progress as we do, when we are ready.  There is not a time table as to when the dog should be doing this or that.  I think it's important to realize that most times, what we do is affecting the dog more than we think.  A LOT more.  With the frequency with which dogs change hands, it would appear to an outsider that there are many many bad dogs (no talent, weak, you name it) being bred in this country.  I have to look at the statistics, and see how many are sold at about a year, and how many get to stay.. and I have to wonder were they all that bad, and what was so bad about them?  Being that I do not breed, I don't know.  I do know that I attach myself to my dogs big time, and maybe that is why I see things differently.  Maybe I have just not been in this game long enough, who knows.  What I do know, is that I would rather work and train dogs than trial, and maybe in doing that, do well at an occasional trial.  I do not get enjoyment out of the social part of trialing, that is for sure.  I would much rather be at my place, or at a small out of the way trial, then be a cog in the wheel of a big trial where the atmosphere is thick with tension.  I hate tension.  I don't like it in dogs either.  When there is tension around me, I get tense, my dog gets tense and it becomes this thing wherein I just want to go home and re-set.  I did that a lot last year.  I need to find a balance for myself...

One of the things I have done to address this is to create the farm trials I plan to have, where we compete on courses we have never done before, and our brain is not necessarily on the perfect turn at the post or cross drive turn, but on "can my dog even do this?" Can my dog fetch sheep from two different fields opposite of each other?  Can he then take them both to another field very far away, and handle them with aplomb, and then get them back to me, and then we separate them into the groups they were in?  Can he?  Will he?  He's never done this before... scary times.. but hey, you know, sometimes you have to go into the deep end of the pool to see if you can swim... and when your dog DOES do this, and you HAVE completed the shed.. and the pen door has closed...your mind is not even thinking about that turn at the post, or that cross drive turn, your mind is reveling in the fact that this was nothing like you have *ever* done, and your dog did it FOR YOU.   The high you will get from this will far surpass any conventional trial win, trust me on this.  To walk into parts unknown, and have faith and have the courage to try and then be able to do it?  Puts you on a whole other plane with your dog.

So, this is where I am.. I don't really jive with conventional trialing modes of operation,  but I do appreciate good runs.. so maybe who I am is someone who is saying the same thing as everyone else, but in a different way.  Sometimes we have to take the good parts of what we do, and eschew the others just because it works.

In closing, I want to share this, an except from an earlier post I wrote some years ago:

"They work simply because we ask them, they fear nothing, because there isn't time to do so, and in return, all they ask is that we allow them to stay, and do our bidding. Is there any better dog that that? I think not."

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Time marches on!

It has been a very long time since I have posted.  Time is marching on, and by the end of the day, it seems I am just ready to shut my eyes...

We are just about into the winter solstice.. thankfully, the days will get longer starting on the 22nd, I believe of this month.  For that I am grateful.  I was at a meeting yesterday late into the day, and I could not believe how dark it was at four o'clock.

I have made some improvements to the farm- the floor of the mixing room has had 3/4" crushed stone added to raise the level, as it was getting absolutely soupy when it got rain (bank barns have less than wonderful drainage at times...).  I had wanted to get stall mats, but after learning they were 100 lbs each, and I needed several, I decided to hold off.  But, winter was coming.. so I rented a truck, and headed out to Tractor Supply to go get them.  My friend Mark and I put them in, I laid some straw on them and  we were good to go.  Soon after I finished that, we had our first freezing rain storm, and the floor stayed dry!!

I have been working Johnny a bit, but sort of hit a blockage in our progression and then I learned, by having gone to another place, that Johnny needs more than just balancing at this point, he needs to work the sheep.  So, we are now going to be moving out of the round pen and let his brain get stuck into the whole process.  I really like Johnny.  He has a great temperament, almost funny at times, and is keen as mustard on sheep, but not crazy.  I love his looks too.  Smooth coats are the way to go in terms of keeping your house clean!

Joe is doing great.  He just turned three, and now I have a dog who I not only can trust to bring me the sheep- using his head, and to push when needed in any circumstance, but now he has some nice style coming through.  So funny, when I think back to how he was a rank novice dog, to how he is now...I am reminded that *so* much changes as they grow up... he certainly was not inordinately special as a youngster, but one thing he did have was a connection with me.. that I think is very critical;  a dog who has an inborn need to learn and work with his trainer..

The flock is doing well, and I expect to start lambing some time in early February.  There is one Cheviot ewe who I don't think is bred, but I am not sure.  I sold the ram off rather early in the breeding season, so it is quite possible she cycled out of sync with the rest.  I have sold several Cheviots, and am only keeping the ones I truly like, so though numbers are down, we are in good shape in terms of quality.

Christmas is almost here, and I really am not ready.. but then I am never ready... this year seems worse!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Johnny on sheep

I finished the round pen yesterday.  I put the welded wire up, and am using bungee cord and clips to close it to a panel.  I think that will do.  Looks good.  Brought Johnny in there, he is keen as mustard, but not ready for training.  The things he did that I really liked were how he went to the head, tried to get between them and the fence (they were stuck to it quite a bit), and how he already seems to know how to gather.  He was very tired after that.  He was very happy too.  Johnny hates the car as it makes him nauseous, and he hates it when I put the leash on him at the farm, as it means car.  Well, for the first time ever yesterday, I put him on the least after we worked, and went and sat down with him to rest.  Instead of trying to disappear from my view while on leash, he actually sidled over to me for some loving- that is the magic of sheep on sheepdogs.  I was so happy!

I have a lot of barn clean up to get to this week, now that the pen is finished.  Hope to start on it today.

Let's hope we get some rain soon, as we are so dry, it is bad.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Jenna Woginrich has embarked on a series of vlogs that have been, well, painful to watch.  I cannot watch a single one of them through until the end.  Jenna has become a full fledged public figure and is redeeming this designation to try and reap more income from her adoring (cough) fans.  Those of us who actually farm, and pay our bills know what work is.  We do it every single day.

Jenna's most recent vlog is on "work".  Really Jenna? Honestly?  Have you *ever* done anything at that place of yours that does not include the majority of the work being done by your adoring fans, or friends? If you have, maybe you should tell us when.  With the abundance of blog posts on your recent forays into new hobbies, you don't really seem to actually do anything alone.

Let me tell you what work is Jenna.  Work is getting up at dawn, downing a cup of coffee, if you have time and pounding posts, by yourself, pounding until you cannot move another muscle and have to sit and rest.. Just long enough to catch your breath and go back to it, and you go until you cannot physically do one more single thing.  Then you rest again, and do a bit more, just to push yourself.

Work is getting on the tractor and mowing fields sun up to sun down, bouncing around when you hit holes, or mounds, and only stopping to fill up with diesel, and when done feeling like you are still moving.. and getting blisters from holding onto the steering wheel so long.

Work is stacking hundreds of bales with one person throwing the bales off the wagon (not five people helping).  It is cleaning the barn muck bucket by muck bucket every single day so your livestock don't live in their own filth.

It is looking at a problem, figuring it out, and addressing it by yourself.. doing a good job, because a job worth doing is a job worth doing well.  It is having worked so hard you feel like you can't get out of bed the next morning because you over did it, but having to suck it up and take an Aleve and get to your agenda.

Work is not: Hauling buckets of water to your animals because you refuse to get a hose, because sharing that you carry buckets of water will get you more hits to your website (lookit me I am so strong).

Work is not: Chatting like a school girl into a webcam, and pretending to know what farming is.

Work is not:  Owning lots of poultry because you know the majority will be killed and eaten by predators simply because you do not have space to keep them in.

Work is not:  Leaving mangy pigs in a mud pit, can calling it "raising them".  Neither is it leaving pigs in a dark barn, until they are old enough to be put out of their misery.

Work is not: Riding horses.

PLEASE do not espouse that people are afraid to work when you would not know work if it bumped square into you.  You live off the backs of hard working people, you do *not* work.

By all means, keep on with the vlogs, because we can archive them as examples for how NOT to conduct oneself.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Training pen time

Yesterday I started the training pen I wanted to set up for Johnny.  Although he is not quite ready to start, I want to be ready when he is.  So far, the few times I have put him on sheep, they run into the woods, and even though he is game to get them, it is just not a good idea.  So, I started by pounding posts in yesterday.  I think I did about 10?  Today was time to finish.  I wanted to make it as big as I could, as bigger is better for training pens.  I used 5 16 ft combo panels and also some left over sheep and goat fence I had.  I am about 24 ft short of what I need.  That amount includes space for a gate, so probably more like 21 feet.  I have some cheaper welded wire fence I may just use.  Then, this will be done!  It has not been easy, but honestly, if I wait for someone else to help me I may just die of old age.  But, I have to thank those who could not help me for whatever reason, because they have taught me to be more resourceful, strong and persistent, and really know what I want.  Tomorrow I move sheep (need to find a new ground rod for the charger since mine is missing.. One thing you will note is that some of these posts are not so level. This bothers me, but they will be removed after about a month, as this training pen is temporary.  One of the posts in particular fought me and I call it a draw. It is not as deep as it should be, but I had either hit rock or a massive root.  I had moved it several times, but well, like I said, it's a draw.   In the first pic, the sheep were convinced I had grain and ran ahead of me.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I am baaaaack!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I am not sure who is still even paying attention to this blog, but after an extended, and cathartic, I might add, absence, I finally feel ready to come back and share my life.  I have re-centered myself, and am hoping I can keep this place not only fun, but perhaps a little educational- in the don't make my mistakes sort of way.

I feel like I should share why I had to take leave for a bit.  I felt sort of empty, and even more so, extremely unhappy with other bloggers who have taken the very meaning of a blog; a life diary on the web, and subverted it to the explicit purposes of funding their lives.   I found that extremely offensive and decided I did not want to be part of it- and that meant a break.

Well, now I am back and ready to move forward!

So, what has happened... Well, I had a very nice crop of lambs this year.  Almost all lambs have been sold, or retained for breeding.  The ram I have is just great, and produces excellent well muscled lambs, with quiet temperaments.  He is being sold this year as too many of my flock are related to him.  I also have one cross bred ram lamb for sale.  Other than that, I purchased three ewe lambs from the owner of the flock from whom I rented sheep for my sheepdog trial.  They still have tails, which is rather annoying, but they have good confirmation and I hope to eventually produce really nice lambs from them.  As I mentioned, I hosted a sheepdog trial at the property across the street from the farm.  It went very well, and was a monumental effort.  I do mean monumental.  BUT, it was so worth it.  My goal was to have a calm, relaxing trial on good sheep, and that is exactly what we had.
There was a lot of help by many, but still, it about wiped me out for days afterward.  Hopefully we can have it again next year!

On the dog front, not sure if I mentioned it, but I have a pup named Johnny, he is about 7 months, and is a smooth coat.  I named him after my friend John who passed away.  Did I mention that?  My very very good friend John passed away at the end of March; he was found in the sheep barn having suffered a heart attack.  It was very very difficult for me to process and I miss him every day.  His property is for sale.  So very sad.

The summer flew by, partially, I think because of the long winter we had.  The hay (most of it) is in the barn, and I still have a lot to do.  Lots of barn clean out.  I did get a load of crushed stone in the barn so that I can put stall mats on the floor, and I will put straw on top of that.  I should save a lot of money in straw, as now the floor should be raised above the wet zone (water seeping in),

This fall, I don't have many plans,  I would like to do some trials, but in all honesty, I am not sure I could afford it (to go away).  This is one reason I wanted to have my own trial...

Well, that is it for now.  I hope all has been well with you.  I have attached some pics of some of my favorite things.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Now on FB

Hi Friends

I have created a page for the farm on Facebook.  I had to come up with a name for my farm enterprise as it were, and the name is "Cheviot Hills Farm".   I wanted a name that referred to the origin of my sheep, and my dogs- they both originate in the Border area of Scotland/England, and Cheviot Hills is a town there.

Here is the address for the farm

Sunday, February 16, 2014

So, let's see... Lambing began last Sunday - a set of twins.  The mother rejected the very small, but strong female, but kept the male.  I brought the rejected lamb (a ewe) to my friends' house to bottle raise, but sadly, but Tuesday she had died.  I did not have real colostrum for her and I believe that is what caused it.  Very sad.

Then, on Tues, the cross wool ewe who had lambs last year, had a single ram lamb.  It was breech- I ended up pulling the lamb because I was worried that normal contractions would not occur.. anyway, he is jet black and beautiful.  She's a good mom too.

Then, on Weds, one of my original Cheviot ewes had a lamb.  I got there to let everyone out and feed in the morning and she was already in labor.  I sat and waited.  She pushed to beat the band.  The feet finally appeared, but no nose.  I gave it a long time, but went to help.  I want to add that the ewes seem to really appreciate my help when it gets to that point.  This was a big lamb- head was off to the side of the feet, I am not sure she would have gotten him out.  He was the biggest lamb yet, and she the smallest ewe.  I feel like I should let them try harder, but at the same time I worry about dying lambs... real judgement call.

Then, we got two feet of snow on Thurs/Fri.  I spent all day Friday shoveling.  I opened a place for the maternity sheep/lambs go to and be outside.  Needless to say I was so tired Sat that I did not do much.. plus it snowed again on Sat.

So, today (Sunday) I had to clean the barn.  I dreaded it because sheep were locked in during the storm(s).  I got it done though.  I find that all this work- it is worse when you think about it- you just need to get to it.  I was on a roll, and after I cleaned out the big room, I cleaned the two jugs and also picked up and re-organized the surrounding rooms.

Home now, just chilling until I go back later to put moms/lambs in for the night.  That's basically my schedule these days...

Hope everyone is well!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Barn Cleaning work shop!

Last minute decision- I am having a barn cleaning work shop tomorrow. Cost is $50.00 per person, which includes a lecture on how to use a pitch fork, and where to dump the muck bucket. We will have a grand time, and I promise you will leave here knowing enough to get your own barn cleaning at home done. Oh, no food, I will give you directions to the Stewarts up the road for some mystery meat hot dogs if you like. Only two spots left!!!
I would write, but I am just too tired.  We have three feet of snow (two feet came Thurs/Fri) and we have more coming now. Unlike others, I have no extra energy to take breaks between shoveling or feeding, or to write poetically about how hard "farming" is.  Will be back when I am rested and a little less grouchy.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The first fence I did

Thursday, January 30, 2014

We have to go our own way.....

The week is plodding along.  This time of year, really, you have to take it day by day.  Make a mark on your calendar, once it is finished.  There is not much going on, and it is cold, and well, it is late January!

I just learned of a friend who bought a farm out in western Ulster or Greene county, and I am coveting that ability.  Well, I was coveting it, but no more.. As I age I have learned to look past who just awfully nice it would be to have a big farm, but being single, makes it a whole other ball game.   What if I were to become ill? Who would help me?  If I were to buy something it would have to be a goodly distance from my family and then what if I needed them?  I think I may some day be able to buy my own place, but the time is not now- not until I get some bills paid off and am more solvent.  But, maybe by then I will want to kick back.. who knows!?  We all have to go our own ways.. and there is no right or wrong to any one's path. 

So, this week plods on- long day scheduled for Friday.  Long range forecast calls for moderating temperatures this weekend into early next week, but then a drop in temperatures and a possible snow event.  Joy.  Not. I just will absolutely dread sub normal cold and the barn cleaning I will have to do...  I won't leave ewes that are due out to deliver in ice.  So, I guess we will see what happens.... No sense fretting over something that has not happened yet.

Been eating healthier lately.   No more fast food of any kind- including no croissant in morning; instead, I am having a protein bar, which amazingly, fills me up!  A good thing.  I hope I lose a bit of weight too.  I have definitely put on the pounds.. Yuck- at my age, losing them is like trying to get ride of a piece of cellophane on a dry day!

Well, that's it for now!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Happy sheep (eating sheep)

Was supposed to get hay on Saturday, but just before they were supposed to come to meet me, it started snowing.  So, ix nay on the hay that day!

So, we planned it for Sunday, and they showed up right on time.  Was not easy getting the wagon near the barn, but we did it, well, they did it.  I did not help *at all*.  The day before (Saturday) I had to move things so there would be space to move.  Well, I absolutely irritated my neck and was up in the middle of the night with burning pain in my neck and shoulders.  I just could not chance doing more damage/pain creation. I felt like a total loser watching them work.  It is not who I am.  They also delivered some straw, so that is good.

Weather got very cold again last night.  But, I think the good news is that by the weekend we will be moderating to normal temps!!! YES!

Well, that's it for now!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Well, guess what?!!  It is *really cold*!!! Yesterday sheep got extra hay.  Cold burns you right through your clothes.  I got an ice cream headache walking between buildings at work yesterday.  Not even walking the dogs.  Have to wait until it hits at least 20 for that.  I am getting tired of this grind, but I guess they say it will stick around for a while. 

I have no plans for anything other than taking it day by day.  My lame ewe was a bit improved yesterday, not a bad limp anymore- maybe it was a strain or something. 

Boy is it boring right now.  But, I suppose many people are just extremely bored too.. I think most of the nation is getting hit with a lot of cold these days.

Well, that's it for now.. Got nothing else!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I think I have writers block- and that block is caused by being busy.. or I don't know, lack of coffee maybe? The black cross wool ewe that was lame before I vaccinated, was worse the next day.  This was upsetting me a lot.  I decided to give her one more day to see if it was the shot that made things worse (given on that same side in her axilla) and sure enough, she was better yesterday.  She's not 100% but not horrible.  I do not want to fool with her a lot so late in her pregnancy, so I am hoping she continues to improve.   She is walking around with the flock and eating and drinking well, so I think it is just as they say, a flesh wound ;)

I moved my jug panels into the barn, and the other stock tank where it needs to go, when I separate out the last year lambs/ram from the pregnant girls.  Last year, the ram and the lambs from the previous year were NOT so nice to the brand new lambs when they were very new, so I am not risking injury.

I arranged for an oil delivery today, which should set me for the rest of the winter- I only get 100 gals at a time, because that is all I can afford.. fortunately, my house is small, and although it needs new windows and some improved insulation in areas, it is not bad.  I also spoke to the hay guy- well his worker, and will be getting a delivery on the weekend.  I had to wait to get it until I was low on my current stack, and this is oddly, working out to almost the exact day as I got my second load last year.

Dogs and cat are good.  Bought ice cream yesterday because I felt like I needed it.  Boy was it good!  Time to get back to my salads for lunch- as I do really like them more than the other options.  But, when lambing starts, I will be eating on the run again- everything will be on the run.

That's my update...Hope you are all well.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Today I got the ewes vaccinated, but not the lambs or ram.  I have one 3 year old ewe who is an absolute crazy woman when you handle her.. She WORE me out.  I would have just done the lambs but Premier shorted me on my order, so I had 10 needles and 40 syringes.  Not so great Premier!  I will get the lambs done as soon as I get the balance of the order.

I put down lime in the barn room and a fresh bale of straw.  Left it open for them- hope we don't get really wet in there.  I wanted to bring the jug panels and stock tank for the other paddock up to the barn, but it was snowing a ton and very slick out- tomorrow that gets done.

I think I have enough hay to last through this month and then need to get some.  I may just get it in pick up loads, depending on what they want to charge for delivery.  Also will need more straw.

Well, that's my update for now!

Our errant snow flakes turning into rather organized flakes

Joe desperate to go for  a run!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Yesterday was a whirlwind.  Had a good day at work, and then headed to Tractor Supply to get some stuff, and then picked up the dogs and up to the farm we went.  Cross wool ewe was still limping, so I tipped her to check her foot, could not see anything wrong, but put some hoof and heal anyway, in case it was a case of scald. 

After treating the ewe, I worked Joe, and then tied him up while I got to work putting the latch on my gate.  Got the latch on- it's a hook and eye style, with a safety catch.  It looks great, and now I can shut my gate without a cement block to hold it shut :)  I then fixed all the other gates that were loose, or hanging oddly.  Then I decided, since it was so nice, to dump/refill the water tank, and clean the barn.  Oh Lord is that some job.  It's one of those things that you just do, without thinking about it.  Very heavy wet straw is not my cup of tea.  About 10 muck bucket loads drug out to the hill.  I am getting in shape again, I can feel it!

After I finished at the farm, I went home, ate some leftovers, took a hot shower and was done for the day.  I was ragged.  Just so tired.  Well worth it, WELL worth it indeed.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I really hate it when I have things all having to be done at the same time.  I had an appt for my ear issue, but also have a meeting at work.. There was just no way I could get to both.  Both are equally important.  So, today I called the ENT Dr, and praise Jesus, they had an appt for the following Monday, so this frees me up!!!  So happy!  That never happens eh?

I am still doing better wrt to my back, and now I am drinking a lot more water, and less time on computer, which I think is helping a lot.  I do not have the best posture to begin with. 

I found one of my cross wool ewes limping yesterday, so I checked her and aside from needing a trimming, I did not see anything else wrong.  Will treat her with some Hoof and Heal just in case all this wet weather is causing a bit of scald.

One of the Cheviot ewes is bagging up.  I plan to vaccinate/worm if needed, either this weekend, or next week- it depends on the weather.  I would prefer not to get as wet as I did when I had to tip the cross wool ewe for foot checking.

I felt good enough to get a bit of vacuuming done yesterday.  This is really great.  Sad eh?  Excited about cleaning, but really, I was just not functioning for a while, so I am all about feel good?  CLEAN!

I hope I can work the dogs later today.  It's been rather boring lately!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Well, I went to the chiropractor.  She does not take my insurance, so I can't go back.  She did find a whole lot of issues with my neck, and middle back.  I did not have her look at my lower back because I do not want to make that have a problem too.  She did some adjusting and I actually had more movement in my neck when I left.  I was so tired after that appointment, not sure why, but I slept well last night.

The sheep are good.  Every day I feed them somewhere new, and they always run out to the field once I release them to look for their food- they run out and then at the top of the hill and baa at me wondering where it could be.  So I dutifully walk out there, and they take notice of the direction I am walking in, and end up getting there before I do.  I then spend time watching them all eat, checking for bags, and making sure everyone is copacetic.  During this time the dogs wait for me.. well, somewhat.  Dan runs to the lane way and back and Joe meanders outside the field.

Took them for a nice long walk yesterday, which they sorely needed.  You could see it.  Joe was beside himself with glee.

I really have to clean my house.  With all my issues with neck/arm pain and weakness, and dizziness, cleaning has not been getting done.  Now that I feel a bit better need to tackle it when I can.

 Well, that's it for now!

Friday, January 10, 2014

So, I have not been real talkative lately.  I am not feeling great a lot.  My arms have an issue with weakness, and neck ache along with that.  I am dizzy a lot from my ears, and well, generally just getting through.  The cold weather diminishes time out to enjoy things like working dogs.

Sheep are doing well.  I am slowing increasing their grain, and they are getting more hay, partly because it was so cold out, and now, because they just need more.  They do adore their food, let me tell you.

I cleaned out the barn today, which was way easier because it was not flooded.  Put in extra straw, as they are predicting a LOT of rain tomorrow.. I hope that the straw is very absorbent; at least it is free of droppings/urine for now! It sure has been an active January weather wise.

Here is a picture of my Meow, just because I love him so much

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It is veeery cold again.  We warmed up the other day, which caused flooding yesterday, into the barn room. I cleaned out all the straw, and could not put new straw in there, as there was standing water in some spots. I had to leave the sheep out last night, because it was just disgusting.  They do have a wind break, but still, I did not sleep well, as I felt very badly.

Today I saw that most of the water was gone, and only a couple frozen (solid) puddles.  So I put fresh straw in and now sheep have access.  We are supposed to warm up a LOT by the end of the week.  Such odd weather.

Other than usual stuff, not much going on right now...

That's it for now!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

We did not get a lot of snow.  This is good :)  I still have to shovel, but I was not well again yesterday, and it was too freaking cold anyway!  I woke up at about 3 something, dizzy- I mean the dizziness woke me up.. I took an anti-dizzy med.

I did not feel great, but  full day of work.  Did that, then grocery store, then buy dog/cat food and then up to farm to feed sheep.  It was COLD.  I ran out with with hay/grain (getting more hay now due to temperatures).  I then sat in car to warm up and once that was done, went and checked the barn, the water, and each sheep to make sure eating well.  I let the dogs run around a bit when I was doing my thing.  

I made a nice steak dinner, and then in bed.  This morning we are at -8.  Dan and Joe seemed okay with it, but the girls were NOT happy!  Way too cold they say!  Me too!!!

I guess we warm up tomorrow and then by Monday night, back to even colder weather.. Several people I know have had their pipes freeze.. It is unusual for us to get THIS cold.. Well, there goes my oil budget! (and hay!).  I hope mother nature gets this out of her system before next month.

Today will be clean up and chores and nothing major.  Nice and quiet, the way I like it!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It is cold today.  Yes, cold.  We knew it was coming, but still no fun to be out in it.  Today it was 7 degrees when I got to the farm.  Sheep were asking for their hay/grain.  My sister came with me and together we fed fast.  I gave out extra hay, and my sister pushed sheep away for me when I put the grain on the flakes.  After I fed, I made sure the barn door was blocked open, and water was good.  They will have a nice dry barn with fresh straw in it to go into tonight.  With windchill, they are saying that temps could get to -25 degrees F.  Now, that is cold.  I plugged in the heat tape yesterday, so my water line would not freeze. 

I did not even let the dogs out of the car.  I had foot warmers in my boots, my heavy barn coat, and gloves and still absolutely frozen.  I have bad circulation in my hands and feet (feet especially), so I just cannot be out in it for long, or my feet hurt forever.

Tomorrow promises to be interesting.  There is a TON of snow due to come, well, not a TON, but up to 16".  I see lots of hot showers in my future.  It will be done snowing by tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully I can do all my normal end of the week errands.  It is weather like this that really makes me feel for animals who have no shelter- horses, cattle, Sheep- not as much as long as they have wool, but really, this cold/snow, they need to be able to get out of it, or they spend all their energy just trying to stay alive/warm, and well, I would rather they not be taxed that way.

That's it for now!