Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy spring!

Happy Easter/first week of spring/whatever you are celebrating, from all of your 'sanity challenged' friends at Crosswinds farm... It's fun to have animals that allow you to torture them.

"I hope the Easter Bunny brings me a new Jolly Ball".

"Really, mom.... is this necessary???"

"Hey this is FUN...but aren't these ears a bit redundant?"

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pouting puppy

I got nothin'.
There is NOTHING new or exciting happening.
Everyone is posting cute lambie pictures and I have serious lamb envy. I have at least another month and a half before my girls start to pop, so I am having to live vicariously through the other sheepie blogs for now.

In doggy news, Emma is having a separation anxiety emergency.
Normally one does not see Miss Emma without her blue 'jolly ball'..ever. It has almost become an extension of her face.... something you might see on the Discovery health channel. She has been attached to it since she was a puppy and carries it absolutely everywhere. If she hears a car pull in the drive, she makes a feeble attempt to sound like a vicious farm dog and then picks up her ball hoping that whomever has arrived will be happy to toss the blue ball with all of it's slimy goodness for her. Because of the aforementioned slimy goodness, we don't allow her to bring that ball in the house (Don't feel too sorry, she has some other 'house balls' that she can carry around).
It seems as though one of the last times we had storm that dumped copious amounts of snow, Emma's beloved ball was entombed in a drift somewhere and has not been seen since. She runs out back every morning, circling and searching in desperation, reminiscent of Tom Hanks yelling, "Wiiilllson" (if you haven't seen Cast Away, you are very confused right now).

Anywhoo, we have only one snow drift behind the horse barn left to melt, and the ditch on the west side of the property still has about 3 feet of snow.....but if neither of those yield a well preserved blue jolly ball, I have made a promise that I will be making a trip to Farm and Fleet.

Emma and "Blue Ball" in happier times.

Wow, believe it or not, that's all the news that's fit to print. Don't despair my friends, baby chicks will arrive the first week in April, lambs possibly by the end of April, and then I will have more blog fodder than I know what to do with.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Spring ahead!

Hooray! Daylight saving time. No really, I get very excited about this. I don't care that we "lost" an hour of sleep, that's what winter is for.. sleeping. I find it so depressing, in the dead of winter, when I wake up in the morning and it's dark, then by 4 o'clock in the afternoon it is dark again. When daylight saving time arrives I know that we have turned the corner and there is light (pun intended) at the end of the tunnel.

Even the temperatures are getting a bit more spring-like. It was in the mid 30's today, which actually felt wonderful, and by Wednesday it is forecast to be 56 with rain. Bring it on, let's see some grass grow.
These robins were in my yard a few days ago, so I guess it's official, warmer weather is on it's way.

Sunday I decided to rope my sister, Marie, into helping me get Rocky and his posse organized. And by organized I mean; hooves trimmed, CDT shots, and dewormed. Strangely, Marie is always a willing volunteer...silly girl, you'd think that she would learn. She had the enviable (ha) task of holding on to said rams/wethers while I administered vaccinations and manny peddy treatments....let's just say that it is a good thing that there are only 6 of the boys. Normally we do all of the health updating at the time of shearing, but I thought it might be easier to get some of it out of the way beforehand this year.

The rams are much more forgiving than the ewes. After all that poking and prodding, you would think that the boys wouldn't want anything to do with us, but after we release them, they come right back for more abuse. I suppose they think any attention is better than none. If I man-handled the ewes now, I would have a very difficult time catching them up again for my shearer. They are ridiculously friendly, but they are also very smart and can tell when something is up, so it is easier to catch them once and get it all done. I will only have to do CDT and deworming on the girls, they have a bit of concrete around their barn that wears down their hooves, so I almost never have to trim them.

Once we got finished with the rams I made Marie "skate" on my pretend pond too. Those of you who know Marie are aware that in actuality I didn't have to make her slide foolishly around on my pasture, she is perhaps kookier than I am and is always a willing participant in any kind of offbeat activity, so no encouragement was needed. The fluffy (chubby) black bum that you see to her right is not one of my sheep, that is Marie's Australian Shepherd "Abbey". Abbey went to the vet last week... she was 75 lbs....Abbey is on a diet...Marie still insists that she's just be the judge.

On a side note, for some reason my google frappr map at the bottom of my blog page has been randomly erasing people's pins. I hope that they fix it soon, I like to see where everyone is from! I am very happy though that Blogger has finally fixed my spell check..... now if only they had a grammar and punctuation check..........

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mindless babble...more mindless babble

I have been quite neglectful of my blog as of late and I apologise for that. The truth of the matter is that there has just not been anything of interest happening that would be worth you wasting your time reading. What's that you say? That has never stopped me before? True here are the latest non-noteworthy happenings at Crosswinds Farm.

I know that I have droned on about the weather all winter. I can't seem to help myself, this winter has been so llooong and we have had near record amounts of snow, frigid temps, and ice storms.....I know that most of you are probably dealing with the same thing, but for an O.C.D. person like me it is about to push me over the edge. Okay, more over the edge.

I like my barns to be clean, my animals to be clean and pretty and our property to look nice. It is just not possible lately. The animals have spent so much more time in their barns this winter because of the weather, that it is near impossible to keep everything clean. Every time that we do get a bit of warming, we have nothing but mud everywhere only for it to freeze up again the next day leaving deep frozen ridges in the ground wherever hooves have stepped.

Here is a picture of Crosswinds pond......oh wait, we don't have a frozen pond, this is part of my pasture. I wandered out there today to look for some sign of... spring? Life? Anything? I found nothing, and it is quite literally a sheet of ice. If you have read my blog for any amount of time then you already know that I am easily amused, so of course I had to salvage something of the situation and decided "ice skate", in my boots, running and sliding across the pasture. Yes, I know that I am almost 45... it's just that I don't care.

Unfortunately, having hooves is not conducive to moving about on slippery surfaces, so my animals do not share my enthusiasm for playing on the ice and have been couch potatoes all winter. Because of this, I am a bit worried that my ewes are not getting enough exercise during their pregnancies. Since my girls tend toward the "healthy" side anyway, I am trying to walk the line between making sure that they are getting enough nutrition, and not letting them get over-conditioned. Fat. Okay, any fatter than they already are.

I bred six of the girls this year, and I was checking bellies today to try to determine if they had settled. Some of the girls are pretty obvious, either by their expanding girth, or by temperament changes. Rent-a-ram was in with the girls from December 1st until January 4Th, but I only actually witnessed one or two of the girls being covered, so I don't have a really good estimation of due dates as of yet.

Lovey is bred, she definitely has the belly going on. She had twins last year and I expect she will do the same this year. I never saw the romance, but I did catch her with ruffled bloomers and a smile on her face a couple of times.
Trillium is bred. I know this because she is being friendly. Trillium is one of the few animals on this property that is not an attention hussy. The only time she is friendly is when she is prego.

Willow...where are your legs? Seriously, do we even have to hypothesize about this? I am going out on a limb here......I am going to say, yes, she is expecting. And yes, it's twins. I have felt the is magnificent.

Sage? See comment above.

Edrea, my little katmoget. I wasn't planning on breeding her because she is a ewe lamb, but she is a growthy girl, and she made the trip down from Wisconsin in the back of the truck with rent-a-ram......and what happens behind the tinted truck topper windows........
Daisy says, "PLLLLbbb, I'm not telling".
"I'm just waiting for that shearer to come, my hair is a wreck".

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