Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Whirlwind - Jen

Just finished last Harry Potter book, now can get back to blogging. Won't say anything about it but that it was AWESOME! Thanks Katie for letting me borrow it.

Will just throw bullets out of events from past week, photos and more details will have to come later:

We love our new sheep, we can't stop looking at them, for hours, they are hypnotizing. What's funner, bringing home 9 new sheep or lambing 10? Can't decide.
Played for a funeral Saturday and church Sunday, so nervous knots all weekend.
Enjoyed a couple visits from shetland people this past week, how nice to spend time with people who speak the same language!
Sent boys off to camp Sunday, they'll be back Saturday, just in time for fair!
Our camper is officially kaput, have bought tent to replace it, we've been sleeping in it for the last five days, will explain why later.

We are so richly blessed to be living the life we live. I wouldn't change a thing. except to get my kids back from camp...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Road trip - jen

Said goodbye to Jeb Stuart this morning at 3:30 am. Rich took him along on the road trip for an ultimate delivery in OK. First stop will be Allegan Michigan to pick up two lambs. Just spoke with Rich on the phone, he just entered Indiana at 11:23 am. He said the road conditions are pretty poor, the weather is hot and humid and Jeb is squawking nonstop. Rich ended up not using the crate he made, rather we were able to borrow a horse trailer with a lot more room. We decided its best for me to stay home and keep an eye on new lambs, rams, water levels in the buckets and keep the kids running to their various activities.

Here is his route, since he has an animal, doesn’t want to deal with getting there via Canada. Adds time and miles, but what are ya gonna do. Couldn’t get the map software to do route through US, so just did it from Cleveland. Easy to get to Cleveland from where we are (great city by the way, spent a long weekend there with the kids once, great time, lots to do).

Friday, July 13, 2007

Business Manager - Jen

We make up flash cards for all the sheep in our flock, makes it easy to visualize breeding groups. Will is pictured reviewing the cards and doing the math of outgoing and incoming sheep. Funny to hear him comment on how much we paid or sold certain sheep for. According to him, we sold way too low and bought far too high. Can't wait til he calculates the finally tally, its very possible that we may end up in the hole!

Also has been fun to try and explain deposit amounts and pricing bred ewes. He picked up right away on the risk of selling a bred ewe and I quote, "Hey wait a minute, what if she has twins? They are getting a real bargain!"

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Violet - Jen

We couldn't be more pleased with our new arrival, Pike Hill Violet, from breeder Scott Bailey. Very pretty katmoget ewe, v. cool markings on her legs and face. She seems really comfortable around people, and is just extremely nice all around. Thanks to Linda and Bob Geiger for bringing her home with them from their New England trip!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

We took our show lambs out around the pond tonight to give them some exposure to more distractions. The kids normally do all of the practicing inside the safety of our pasture.

In Niagara County, the kids aren't allowed to use leads during the show, but we need them when we're out in the open like this. Even with the leads, Will almost let one get away. They are so small to work with.

This picture is Andrew with Robert E. Lee. This ram is turning into a stunner. We may keep him this winter and breed him to a ewe unless he sells first (which he probably will)! He doesn't show it, but he was born with nice krunet patch of white so he carries spots at the very least. His father was like that.

The next picture is his sister Poppy. She is also soooo cute! We were going to keep her, but then decided we wouldn't, then decided to do it, then not. She just sold to a lucky breeder. I can't wait to see what kind of lambs she has.

The next picture shows Andrew and Will doing a nice job setting up the rams. The smirslet ram is Tecumseh Sherman and you already met Robert E. Lee. This year we named our rams after southern generals. Next year we will probably switch to Union generals. Jeb Stuart isn't shown.

The last picture is of Heather and Poppy. Both were keepers that we ended up selling. Both have taken nicely to the lead, so we'll be showing them at both the Erie and Niagara County fairs. Both should do well. We don't really have shetland classes in New York, so they have to show against the large meat breeds. Judges usually prefer the larger animals (plus they don't know how to judge the primitive breeds). Our sheep leader set up shetland classes for the Niagara County fair, but our kids are the only entries. We hope to change that soon, but so far, things haven't taken off. We have this fantasy that the light will come on some day and all the goat and meat people will make the switch.
Why wouldn't they?

Friday, July 6, 2007

Tecumseh Sherman - Jen

This little guy will be shown at the Erie and Niagara County fairs along with three other lambs in August. He is a moorit smirslet out of Sheltering Pines Mahogany and Sheltering Pines Kiraz. He has resisted halter breaking with more passion than any other lamb in our flock this year, and I don't understand it. He is v. nice, gets along with others, not hard to catch once he is in the barn. He has finally started coming around, but man, a lot of effort went into ole Tecumseh. All's I'm sayin is, its a good thing he's not a parrot, if you know what I mean.
Rich changed our ram naming convention this year. Up until 2007 lambs, we named our rams after grasses - alfalfa, timothy, brome, etc. But he is a civil war buff, so now we are naming them after Civil War Generals. So we have Robert E. Lee, Tecumseh Sherman and Jeb Stuart. I didn't know Sherman's first name was Tecumseh, my 5th grade son informed me it is the name of some famous Native American that he studied about this year.
Rich took a couple days off this week, so we've been busy. Went to the drive in to see Ratatouey (too tired to look up spelling), went to train store to get stuff for the Halloween train set, had delicious dinner at Connie's with mom and Katie and all the kids (three desserts!), been working through the Family Ties dvd's that Rich ordered from Blockbuster on Line, getting quarantine pen ready for two lambs arriving next mondayish, dug prickers from the pasture after the two days of rain, running kids to morning swimming lessons and knitting at every opportunity. Now want to take a nap, but can't, cause its Friday and I must clean.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Impenetrable Fortress - Jen

Rich built a crate for transporting the sheep this weekend. It can be lifted on an off the truck, provided you have the strength of Hercules. It has a plywood top to provide shade, top has been painted white to reflect the sun, and side slats are close enough to prevent lambs from escaping and heads from getting stuck. Hog panel section will be attached to back for easy access. We tested it out with our flock, we were able to fit 8 lambs and one yearling with room to spare. Now, we hear that midwestern sheep are a lot bigger than ours, but we should be in good shape. Rich will bring an additional dog crate that can fit in the back bench of the truck, just in case.

Its the first day of free swim lessons and the summer drama club at the library, plus scouts tonight at 6:30. Have to go to scouts in order to get the supplies list for camp, a week long sleepover in southern NY. Plus groceries. First week of summer vacation, my kitchen has been stripped bare by my ravenous preteen boys. must restock.