Thursday, August 20, 2009

So Much B.S. in My Life

Yes, the B.S. is all-round me lately.
B.S. for Back to School..........yes, I had to go back to work today.
The animals were a tad confused when I went out to feed at 6:30 am.......summer hours are over, no more of that 8:00 am stuff. Next week feeding will be even earlier and will commence at 5:50 am.
More B.S...........Bottle Shrub
Yes, I went to a Fall Craft Show and thought this was too unique to pass up......a more modern, artistic approach to garden decorating. It did not come with the bottles so I had an old green bottle and clear bottle and my Mom donated the rest. I am thinking a red bottle would be neat too.
B.S. in the barn yard......Boys with Spots.
After I took this picture I noticed that these boys have the same markings on their front and back legs! Same sire but different dams. I know that one is not "suppose" to love on the ram lambs but all of my polled boys, small or large scurs have exceptional personalities.

This is Harvest Thyme Shelburne. He is just really coming into his own. I was hoping his scurs were going to stay smaller but they have grown more in the last month. He was born on 4/19 so perhaps they will continue to remain "smaller" in size. What a face!!

His fleece is coming in very nicely, of course this is my novice opinion. I am partial to the softer fleece....I think:) I love these colors! As you can tell from the pictures my so called pasture is long gone and with the lack of rain, the lambs fleeces are debris collectors. I drive them nuts when I sit out there picking at it. Next year some of them maybe be getting coats.

B.S. .........Boy's gotta scratch!!
This is Harvest Thyme Rutland. For me, he is my pick ram lamb. I love his color, his fleece, he has great confirmation (topline esp.), personality plus and the tail looks good too. Of course, I am sure a judge would disagree with me, but I can play my own politics game at my farm cuz its just me and my sheep:)

This is a snippet view of his fleece.........I love the softness and the colors!! I have never done a micron test on my sheep but this year I will. Curiousity has gotten to me.

And my last B.S.............butt shots!!
How can one not love a cute Shetland butt and tail?
Rutland is on the left and that black ram lamb actually has one of the nicest tails this year and very nice confirmation (remember my politics/my farm) and small flat scurs. He is out of Jedidiah. I would disclose his new owner but his new owner has not disclosed this to her blog readers so I will keep the secret LOL.
Now the real B.S. in my life will start in about 2 weeks when my new 8th graders come up with their B.S. lines on why they did not do their homework.....seriously, they need to get more original. I am starting my 16th year of teaching so I have heard a lot of B.S......
......beautiful stories that is.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On Feeling Melancholy

The last week has left me feeling very melancholy and reflective. I have logged over 1,000 miles in driving to NY & MI and it was plenty of time to think about "stuff". Being home this summer has given me the time and opportunity to explore new things in the garden, I made lots of blackberry jelly, I took a needle felting class, and most of all I spent lots of time with the animals.
Sometimes I get frustrated because I have so many ideas and even with the summer off there still is not enough time. And then I get anxiety when I think of how I am going to get it all done once I go back to school, which is this Thursday.

I enjoyed my time at MFF this past weekend, though it was was overwhelming when one sees all the things that can be done with fiber. I fell in love with the 2 balls of roving in the picture above. The blue foam is a form to make needle felted hats. I had purchased the one in the picture at another fiber show and when I saw this booth with the form to make hats and various styles of felted hats, well I am going to give it a try.
I took some of my Black Cotswold and Shetland wool to MFF and located a processor to have it made into roving and batting. I had 10 pounds of Shetland wool done into roving and 22 pounds of Cotswold done into roving and batting. Gee, that was a $200 investment and that was with a $35 discount. It is my first endeavor with my wool but I will never know until I try. I will be taking a wet felted needle class at the end of September to learn how to create felt out of batting. I also signed up for a class on creating a felted wool scarf out of roving in early Sept.
I am looking forward to learning and working with the wool. Perhaps my melancholiness is coming from wanting to connect with my sheep in a manner in which I have not yet. I want and need that connection. My sheep give me so much joy and companionship and I feel so lucky to be able to have them, even if its a few too many.
This evening when I was sitting with the sheep and goats I took this picture of Essex and this saying came to mind,
"Listen to your heart and dance."

Perhaps this time I will.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wether Issues

Today it was 92 degrees. That is disgusting.
I am official done with summer.
So, in my own form of protest against the heat, I hung my autumn flag.

I felt much better after that. Hot and sweaty, but much better.

Now let me talk about another "wether" issue.

This is a picture of a ram lamb born last summer. I had him wethered as his scurs were not looking too great and his fleece was questionable in my opinion and he did not get sold.
Hello!! This is the same wether this year (not the black ewe on the left)!!!I can not believe the difference!! His mom is Windswept Betsy. She is the same ewe that produced my 2 Ag lambs this year. His fleece is just beautiful and he of course has a great tail.
Would his color be called "grey"?
Shetland sheep colors never cease to amaze me!!!!
Tomorrow I am taking 2 lambs, one moorit, the other, a black krunet, to be wethered. Of the many ram lambs born this year, these 2, in my opinion, have the least potential to be flock sires. They both have wonderful personalities and have minimal scur growth........I will post pictures of them in the next few days as I would love to see them in pet/fiber homes.
I thought I would finish up by sharing my latest book addition, the new Gooseberry Autumn cookbook. I bought this last week and just got it in the mail.......wonderful ideas for Fall!!!!