Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What the...????????

This weird little prehistoric looking critter was on my fence this afternoon and I have no time to Google him, any ideas? He actually wasn't very little either (about an inch and 1/2 long) eeewwww :P. Kristin, you like this kind of stuff, what IS he?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Apple overload!

I am still here....trying to play catch-up from being gone last, I guess, two weekends ago, and cleaning up after 7 inches of rain this past weekend. Gary did a great job of taking care of the menagerie while I was away. There was only one minor casualty, well, I would say it's minor, but Emma may disagree. It seems that, in the 'riding mower vs. Emma's Jolly ball' battle, Jolly ball was not victorious.

I am now paying for my weekend away. My apple trees have exploded all of the sudden, and I am up to my eyeballs in apples.
So I have been making apple pie.......
Caramel Apple Jam.

Apple pie filling
Apple pie jam.
I have frozen apples, canned apples, cooked apples, raw apples...I feel like Forest Gump, but with apples instead of shrimp. The animals are even tired of the apple parts and peelings that I have been tossing to them.

Now the pears are looking like they will be ready before too long, although, Emma has already been helping pick those.

Other stuff that makes me busy...I am working on breeding arrangements for the sheep, I am only planning on breeding 5-6 ewes this year, since my space is limited, and I still have few sheep to sell.
I am also trying to get ready for a craft show that I am doing in Des Moines on the 26th, 27th and 28th of this month, this show is kind of the kick-off for the fall craft show season, and it is usually a good one for me. Then I have several other big shows in October and November, plus I have Farmers' Market until the end of October, just 'cause I really need more stuff to keep me busy.

Pictures just because.........
Blue Orpington pullet doing her Marilyn impression with the wind blowing up her bloomers.

Jasmine walking off into the sunset....okay, it was the sunrise, but that doesn't sound as romantic.

That's about it for now...the apples are calling.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Jefferson and silly friends

Well, I have almost recovered from my weekend at Jefferson. What a great time, seeing old friends and a meeting a few new ones, and talking sheepy stuff all weekend. It is always fun to see all the different breeds of sheep too. First the sheep.

I have no idea what this one is...but I am pretty sure that it is a Hampshire, Labradoodle cross.
Whoa, I have enough trouble with rams with two horns...this Jacob ram would not be my cup of tea.
Conjoined Shetland ram lambs...okay, I'm lying again, they were just cuddled up together.


Now for the friends.

Marie and I headed out to Jefferson as soon as Marie got off work at 4 o'clock on Friday, the trip isn't bad (about 3 hours), so with GPS plugged in and ready, a ewe and a rooster tucked away in the back of the truck, we made our way to Wisconsin with nary a wrong turn...although the GPS lady (later dubbed Garmina), did try a couple of times to get us to drive off a cliff....surprisingly, she is not the first to make that suggestion to us. We arrived safe and sound around seven, unloaded sheep and delivered Mr. rooster to his new owner, my friend, Lori. We then waited for our adopted sister Nancy k. to arrive since we were sharing a hotel room with her, and knew that she would need help unloading sheep. Well, here's the thing, Nancy had a little trouble getting to Jefferson and didn't arrive until, ohhhh, sometime around 10 pm. By the time we got unloaded and tried to find our way to the hotel through all the detours (Garmina doesn't know about detours), I think it was somewhere around 11 pm. I must apologise to all who had a room near ours....or on the same floor.....or in the same hotel for that matter. We were, well, kind of loud. There was no elevator in the Hotel and Nancy felt the need to drag her cooler up the stairs, bumping and sloshing with each step. Of course we were all laughing hysterically and I tried to get those two to be quiet, but to no avail. We found our room and tried to get settled in, but somehow every time we were almost asleep, someone would say something stupid and we would all start cracking up like a bunch of kids at a slumber party. There is a whole snoring story that I won't get into, but let's suffice to say that I got zero sleep all weekend. More than one person later reported that they could hear us cackling down the hallway....again, I must apologise for my sisters, I don't know what got into them.

Saturday was the Shetland show, we only made about 5 wrong turns before we found the fairgrounds again that morning. Nancy brought a lot of sheep and needed some help handling them in the ring since some of hers were competing against each other....well, I don't know how much help I was, but I did drag a couple of sheep in the ring. In this photo Nancy has her black ram, American Idol, and I am next to her with her HST ram Kimberwood Hunter.

After the show was over, we had some time to hang out with some of the other Shetland people. Here is Garrett Ramsey and his friend, Brianie ( I hope I didn't butcher that spelling). They were so much fun, we later adopted Garrett as "the little brother that we never wanted". He loves to have his picture taken and kept begging me to take his photo. Juliann Budde was brave enough to go to dinner with the motley group of us, she is one of the nicest people ever.

I finally got to meet so many people that I felt like I already knew from reading their blogs or discussions on Yahoo. So much fun.

Sunday was the NASSA meeting, we were only able to stay for a small part of it. We said our good-bye's and Marie and I headed back to the Shetland barn to load up my new ram, and the ewe (Trillium) that I had brought there to sell. Just as we were getting ready to load up the ewe, the world's cutest little boy.....oh, he won't like that...young man, came up and asked if I was Trillium's owner. He wanted to buy her, he fell in love with her and he lives right down the road from her original owners/breeder. Trillium was never one of my friendliest ewes, but she seemed to take to him right away. Don't you just want to pinch his cheeks? I was so happy that she got a good home, I hate to sell any of my sheep, but I am always happy when I find the right home for them.

I guess I could have done more halter training with her?

I had about 15 more photos loaded on this post, but I will save those for another post. Thanks Shetland people for a fun weekend!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Stud muffin

We got back from our Jefferson trip this afternoon, exhausted, but what a great weekend! I have lots of pictures, and I will try to get them posted tomorrow, but for tonight, I am completely spent, so I will just post pictures of my new man :-).
This is the ram lamb that I bought from Stephen Rouse at Sheltering Pines. I am so excited about this guy. I have my spots back with great conformation, beautiful, crimpy single coated fleece, and wide horns.....what more could a girl want? I am really looking forward to next spring's lamb crop! Thanks Stephen!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The chickens are free...sort of.

We got the chicken yard finished yesterday, so the girls were finally able to go back outside after the "fox incident". We will now be letting them roam in their fenced yard during the day, and we will be locking them up into their coops at night. They were so elated to be back out in the sunshine and grass, or in White Chickens case, the dirt, she and her friends love a good dust bath.

All of the pullets have grown up and most are laying now. This one is Chicken Hawk (an Araucana)...she always looks angry.

I love my Barred Rocks, they are some of the most docile, friendly chickens that I have ever had. I love their markings too.

Speckled Sussex. These girls also have great temperaments.

Not sure what this was all about, must have been something mighty tasty in that spot.

This is one of the Salmon Faverolles.

Last, but not least. Blue Laced Red Roo. He will be going to Jefferson with, I have not lost my mind (leave that one alone please), I know that he is not a sheep. He is going to live with Lori Stephenson at Sommarang farm in Wisconsin. I still have one roo left, Rayna!
These little butterflies (moths) were all congregating on the mud after I dumped out the horse trough to clean it, I dunno, I just thought they were pretty.

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