Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lambs First Lake Effect Snow

Yesterday and the rest of the weekend Northeastern Ohio will be "blessed" with Lake Effect snow and since I live in a secondary snowbelt, I will be "blessed" with above average snow. As long as I can get out of my driveway I don't totally flip out about it but when the 800 ft driveway that has drifting issues gets questionable, then I have a lot of choice words for Lake Effect snow:)

The lambs from this past spring seemed to be enjoying their first Lake Effect snow.
Miss. Averill was enjoying her silly little self in the snow and being proud of it.
To prove that little lambs could handle the snow just like the big sheep, they marched their little selves up to the garden barn where they know the grain is stored.

Why is it that my lambs can march in a straight line and my 8th graders can not walk down the hall in a straight line if their life depended on it?

Fletcher also was enjoying the snow lips he could make:)

And Spirit and Abby, the mature and more experienced Lake Effect snow sheep were just enjoying the view from the new shelter.

And obviously Monique finds no humor in me taking a picture of her in the snow. She just prefers to bite my bite when I don't feed grain fast enough in the morning.

So while the snow flies outside I will attempt to grade some papers and look through some of the seed catalogs that I have gotten this past week.......I esp. love the Baker Creek Heirloom one;)
Definitely a good day to stay inside and think about this and that and enjoy all the firewood I chopped last week when I was pretending to be Mrs. Grizzly Adams.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Here is to Cheering in 2010!

Check. Done.
A year older. Don't think I am a year wiser. Still seem to have the same bills. Made more money but sure doesn't seem it. Oh, thats right, I forgot.....more animals. Gotta stop that.
Overall, I have to admit it, the year was fairly good esp. since there is a new principal at my school:) I have made progress with the gardens, finally getting all the picket fence up. This year the serious planting will commence. I have promised myself that this will be a year of learning about wool: the spinning, the knitting, the felting, the dying etc. Once I do this, I really think other plans will finally start to fall into place. I need to push myself harder and stay focused. There are many blogs that I have read that are true inspirations but I know that inspiration has to start with me and deciding that yes, I can do this, is truly the first step.

So, even amongst all the crappy excuses I might try to make in 2010, I have to ignore them and find that ray of sunshine, that ray of hope, that inspiration. Dixie's favorite place to hide her treats and bones is in the manure pile and when she finds them again, its like a big prize.
Perhaps there is a "prize" among all of those procrastinations and what ifs I have been coming up with.

So here is to cheering in 2010.........cheers to everyone who has stopped by my those who have taken the time to leave a those of you who have wonderful blogs that I enjoy cheering all small hobby farm/farmers and what they do........for cheering in the revitalization of farmer markets......and cheering in all those darn animals that make us smile everyday!!
In 2010 may many of our dreams come true!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

To Breed or Not

Perhaps its just that time of the year.........a time to reflect. Perhaps its just life itself. Perhaps its just me. Whichever it is, I have just been doing a lot of thinking about the direction of my little hobby farm. One of my "thinking" reflections is the direction of the sheep. The first sheep I purchased were the Black Cotswolds.
I truly love these guys. Hands down, they are docile, wonderfully wooly babies that just make me smile a hundred times over. Recently, I was looking at the Nebraska Sheep Breeders directory and noticed there were only 28 registered breeders for the Cotswolds. The Shetland, on the other hand, had well over 120 breeders. Of course, I know that not all of them are "premier breeders", some may just be offering wool/fleece for sale and may not in fact, even be breeders. Regardless, the registry for Shetlands has grown quite a bit in the past years. The more people breed, the more "changes" that can occur.
I acquired my first Shetland about 6 years ago, though my first lambs really only started in the past 3 years. This past spring I had a number of lambs born, most not planned due to my oversight on what a 6 month old ram lamb can do when left unsupervised with breeding ewes. Here nor there, lots of lambs came about. The ones that were sold went to wonderful people who took a chance on a "new breeder". The rest of lambs are here, the boys all wethered except for 3 that were left intact. This group of lambs is the most friendly, easy to work with group and basically has stolen my heart. It has made me realize that I did not go into sheep to just breed and cull. There has been way too much "conversation" amongst Shetland people that I really don't care for and I need to step away from it for this breeding season.
This year I have decided not to breed anyone. Now I am saying this and some ewe is out there laughing at me because I forgot to pull someone early enough and is going to surprise me at shearing time. But I have no intentions of breeding anyone. I want to enjoy what I have right now. I also have a lot coming up in April and May and I don't want to stress out about not being around. In April Dixie is going the Cardigan Nationals in Gettysburg with a professional handler (that would not be me:) My Dad and I are going to take a little 3 day vacation with her in Gettysburg. In May there is Washington D.C. for school and I am sure more things will arise.
Space is getting tight right now with the animals and until I put up more fenced pasture, I just want to enjoy what I have and work with some other plans I hope to get started.
One of those plans involves the garden. Lots of ideas and plans in this area but more on that in the next post.

So for now, thats the plan for the sheep. No breeding. No surprise lambs. Just a lot of fun, playing and loving with all the animals and maybe find some homes for some of the wethers.

I have this week off from school so more thinking and planning going on.........can one ever not think too much?