Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Scarlet Letter on the Farm

  My BA & MA degrees mean nothing on the farm, they are but pieces of worthless paper stuffed in some miscellaneous folder in my room (actually I am not sure which folder they are in).  My head is held in shame as my attempts to be a premier breeder of "something" is shattered again.  There is always one animal on the farm that outsmarts me every year.  This, however, is year 3 for this animal.  I know.  I know.  I should know better.  Should have learned my lesson.......I am blamimg it on faulty fencing this year. 

Above is the problem.  This is the "Scarlet Letter" on the farm, the big "S".  Her name is Sassy.  A Nigerian dwarf hussy.  I think she just likes being pregnant.  She is due when?  I don't, maybe 2 weeks at the most. She pulled this stunt last year at the end of January, in the middle of a blizzard.  Who is the father?  Ears will tell me who.  I am going with Tex, the Nigerian Dwarf buck or Mr. Annoying, the big LaMancha buck who jumped the fence on a few occassions.  Last year she had twin mini-manchas.  She started bagging up 2 weeks ago and then gave me the "I am pregnant look and I can't stand up long, could you bring me the grain?" look the other day.  She kills me.

This is Gwennie, Sassy's mini-mancha doeling from last year. Gwennie is an awesome doeling!  Lots of personality but hopefully she will not carry on the Scarlet Letter traits of her mother! Lucky for Sassy she is an insanely good mother!
Never a dull moment on the farm. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Holiday Kiss from Emma

Who says the animals don't like the holidays?
Lil' Emma, a 6 month old mini-mancha planted a holiday kiss on Jammer yesterday and Jammer did not seem to mind at all! 
So who have you been kissing on the Holidays?! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Very Muddy Christmas!!!

Is it just me or are there more people looking for some holiday cheer?  To say that the weather has been insanely uncooperative is an understatement.  Now I am not complaing about not having snow.  Believe me, I am totally fine with no snow.  The first dusting snow was a 2 weeks ago and yesterday there was some.  What I am complaining about is this ridiculous mud!  Good grief!  Is there any Christmas song titled, "Muddy Christmas"?  My barn is like its own little island surrounded by mud.

It needs to freeze and stay frozen till mid-March.  Sheep & goats are sinking, I am sinking in it and as for the dogs...................

.........well Dixie just loves it!  Nothing like a good romp and mole dig in the muddy fields!
I try to find humor in the mud,  usually throwing in a few swear words to add to the humor.  

I refer to this as "Mud Alley".  Its stretch of land between the house and garden area and the big barn.  Its a high traffic area and a muddy mess.  But have faith, there is rain in the forecast this week!
Last day of school is the 22nd which sucks but I don't back till January 9th.  In order to bring some cheer to this Muddy Christmas, I bought myself a 46 inch flat screen TV and a new HP laptop to enjoy when I come in from outside covered in mud.  The laptop was actually a necessity because the old laptop was causing issues in regards to my mental health and the last straw was when I eyed up the laptop with the sliding glass door and rationalized my home owners deductible and the cost of a new laptop.  I took the more mature route & bought a new laptop.  The flat screen TV was a total spoiled  "I want a Christmas gift for me only" move.  The flat screen does wonders for my mental health however, its good therapy, calms my nerves, helps me reconnect with my inner self.

So I hope everyone has a good rush of a week before Christmas and for all the readers who stop by and understand farm & mud......."Muddy Christmas" to you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An Early Visit with Santa Claus

Pictures with Santa 2011

Squirt the Beagle:  Hey Santa!  Before we start, can you loosen up that grib, your cramping me up....I aint gonna anywhere for pete's sake!  I have changed my ways, I am not running out of the yard any more, I have been really good at listening when Mom calls me.  And you won't believe this one, I am down to less than 2 "F" bombs a week from Mom!! I know you are shocked, cuz last year you said I needed to get the "F' bombs down cuz I was up to 2  a day and you said Mom was going to take me to the bad place if I didn't start listening more so I worked really hard on my listening skills.  Now she is calling me "Good dog" when I come back instead of MF'er.  I think you should get her a nice gift instead of that bar of soap for her mouth you had mentioned last year, maybe some nice lotion from Bath & Body so maybe I can use it when I roll in horse sh*#  and I don't want her to know about it.....just a suggestion to make your list easier.  I lost 10 pounds this year since Mom started feeding us that organic dog food but I was wondering if you could slip me a pig's ear in my stocking.  The organic stuff is all good-n-that but I really get a carving for that junk food once in awhile.  Mom is a little tight on cash after I had that surgery to remove 2 growths.  She was really worried about me & since everything turned out good, I was wondering if you could bring her a new dog pillow to sit on when she watches TV & works on her lab top?  I really hate to give up couch space and I don't want her to get butt sores cuz my old pillow is pretty ragged.  Ok, I think I covered it all.  If I missed something I'll send you a quick woof to let you know.....opps, almost forgot already.  My brother ReRun didn't come to see you cuz he is getting old & kinda freaks out at the thought of going for a ride so could you bring him a nice sweater? He gets the chills when its really cold.  He would like a pigs ear too. He was kinda bad,  he ate a loaf of fresh bread the other day & I was going to take the blame for him but he's done it before & he didn't take the blame for me when I ate the bag of cereal.  Otherwise, he is a sappy old guy & a good brother.  Ok, Santa, good talkin' to you!

Dixie the Cardigan Welsh Corgis:  Hey Santa, can you tell your wife to just put me down?  I am not giving ears up for this picture!  Look all I want is to visit those other dogs in line!  I am not picky about gifts, anything makes me happy! And I just want you to know that it was Alvin the cat who brought the mouse in the house.  I just tried to catch it when it went under the closet door, but at least Mom caught it on the sticky trap after she duct taped the bottom of the closet door closed!  I know I should not have chased the baby deer the other day in the yard, I swear I could have caught it though! I promise to listen better and not hide yucky bones under Mom's bed pillow and I will let Mom wipe my feet off when I come in from outside instead off freaking out like she is killing me.  Okay, can I go now? Yes, I will try not to bark in Mom's ear at night when she is in a dead sleep, yes I know I could give heart failure, but sometimes I am trying to protect her from the wind outside. Are we done now?  Mom said I should tell you to have a good Christmas so have a good a Christmas Santa!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Advice on those Orange Things

"Okay, so I am suppose to do what with these big orange things?" asked Bethel.

"You want me to eat them?" Bethel inquired.

"Well, they really taste bitter, kinda like tree bark," remarked Bethel.

"Good grief sis, your suppose to eat the orange stuff, not the stem.  Didn't you listen to anything Mom told you?"  Brother Wilmington said.
"No, I was busy looking cute and fluffy," Bethel replied.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A New Thanksgiving Day Meal Idea

It has been 2 weeks since an egg was laid in the chicken coop.  I used my last eggs to make Halloween cupcakes for my homeroom students.  This is pathetic when I have 15 chickens living in a $1,100 Amish built chicken coop and eating Purina chicken feed.  I believe they are taking advantage of me.  I need to take charge....its time to ruffle their out some threats......therefore I am annoucing that....... of them is going to be the Thanksgiving Day bird if I don't get a dozen eggs within a week!

Don't even try to run..... you chicken! A threat is a threat and times are lean so everyone must do their part!  I hate a farm slacker.  They will probably mock me even more and not even give me eggs to make stuffing......creeps.  Whatever, one way or another I will get my eggs.  I am in charge of this farm!

Don't worry Wilimington, I would never threaten the sheepies to be Thanksgiving Day dinner.
Okay, I lied.  I did tell Ripton the other day when he was beating the crap out of the gate again I was going to make a meal out of him.  He doesn't need to know that the only meat I eat is chicken and pork.
Gosh, all of this stress for a few flippin' eggs!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Halloween Trick-or-Treaters!!

Today I asked for volunteers to go trick-or-treating.  I had lots of volunteers but only a few were willing to get into costume.  Jammer, Pawlet, and Bristol were my brave volunteers.

Can you guess who is behind the masks?  I am just too excited about their costumes and their Halloween bags!!  Jammer is very excited about getting peppermint treats and the girls are hoping for some alfafa cubes or even handfuls of grain!  The fun things I do for my sheepies!!!

Jangles told me that it would be a cold day in you know where before he would lower his standards to get into a Halloween costume.  He said he looks just fine sitting on the front porch railing.  Cats sometimes have no sense of humor!

Its the last day of October and its Halloween........time to have a little fun and be a tad silly!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gotta Love those Horns

" Excuse me Ripton, but may I have a word with you?"  I inquired

"Well, I suppose, not much going on other than standing around in the mud.  Perhaps you would like to discuss my breeding assistance, afterall it is late October, " Ripton replied.

"Well actually I would like to discuss the status of this gate.  Is there any reason why you feel the need to beat the crap out of it?  I mean the last time I checked, the gate was not bullying you or lashing out and swinging open to hit you in the head, " I so calmly pointed out.

" Oh sure, its always the horned guys fault.  Its never the polled guys fault. They are so sweet and innocent. Have you noticed there are 2 of them and one of me? I have to constantly watch my back, its down right terrifying at times!" Ripton proclaimed.

"Shall I point out Ripton that you broke Rutland's back leg last year? Or perhaps we should discuss the wall you took out in the barn?"  I offered back.

"Don't talk to me.  I need to speak to my attorney.  Please.  I need my personal space.  I am feeling pressured.  I need to find a fence post."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Seriously, I Have a Good Excuse

Tisk, tisk for being a bad blogger. HOWEVER, let me put it into perspective. I have been back to school for a month now.  My colleagues and I put our class lists together at the beginning of school based on what we knew our 7th graders learned, how they learned, and how they interacted with each other last year as 7th graders.  Anyone with common sense knows socialization is a huge factor in middle school hormonal state of mind. So our 7th graders became our 8th graders and we were off to a great start. These class lists lasted 2 weeks. See the test scores came back and everyone knows that test scores are the most important thing in education today and because the powers that be said so.......SO we had to dismantle the class lists and do everything by the all powerful test scores. HOWEVER, these class lists only lasted 2 weeks because then the school district had staffing calls and based on our enrollment, which is way down from last year, our building lost 12 teachers. Sigh. Disgust. *#@! And yes, our third new class list in one month of school. Oh, and progress reports are due on Monday. And what progress would that be?
Oh, I am hearing little voices in my head.

Needless to say I have been busy and seeking solice and therapy however, my solice and therapy on the farm consists of this.....

......horny bucks that are driving me nuts............

.....and screaming does who want some action from the wrong buck.  Seriously, I am loosing my mind.

At least there are craft shows to release my inner anger.  I picked up this cute ladder and birdhouse combo for $29 last weekend.

Now I would like to tell you my barn is stocked with winter hay but its not. 
My single male neighbor planted a hay field last year because he was going to get horses but he fell in love (males are so pathetic sometimes) so he bought a boat and Harley instead of horses. A friend of his took 1st cuttings off the field but it was late cuts so my love lost neighbor said my sheep could graze on the field as much as they want in return for me taking care of his dog when he is away in love and working.  The power of a woman, gotta love it. Needless to say, my sheep are looking pretty chunky going into October.
So, thats my life in a nutty shell......gotta go now.....the voices are talking to me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Knock Knock with a Silly Goat

"Knock Knock."
"Who's there?"

"Cubbie who?"

"Cubbie who wants a nilla wafer."
"Well Cubbie, I forgot to buy them when I was at Walmart."

"OMG, you did not just give me the lip!!!"

"How about an animal cracker for Cubbie?"
"Ok, animal crackers will do."

"Hey, where are you going with those animal crackers? I am sorry about the lip!!"

What shall my animals do when I go back to school?????

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Blue Ribbon for Wool!

This past week was my local county's fair.  Every year I say I am going to enter something in the fair and I never do.  Either I forget the deadline date or I just say, "Oh forget it." This year I was on top of it and entered 2 fleeces: a white Cotswold and a black Cotswold fleece.  Now of course since Cotswold is a rare breed and not the "typical" sheep breed one would find at the fair, I was not holding my breath for anything great but one could always hope. 
On Thursday evening my good friend Veronica, who I don't know why we are good friends after 20 years cuz she does not even own a goldfish, ventured to the fair for yummy eats and to enjoy the atmosphere ( and so I could show her how to pet a farm animal :).
The sheep and wool show was on Wednesday and to my surprise this is what I found:

In the "White, Handspinner AOB" category, Essex, my beautiful white Cotswold ewe from Nistock Farm in NY won a 1st Place Blue Ribbon!!!  I was just too darn excited!!!!!

Of course when I told Essex the exciting news, she just took it in stride.

I got a third place ribbon for Ethan's fleece in the "Black-natural colored fleece" category and I was pleased with that too!

Ethan's fleece weighed in at just over 13# this year! One of the reasons was because I sheared in June due to the lack of cooperation in the weather.  Depending on the length of their wool locks in October, I may have all the Cotswolds sheared then.
Of course next year I am going to enter my best Shetland wool too and maybe even a Romney fleece also.
But for now, I am pretty excited about that blue ribbon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Peek-a-Boo Fleece

The 3 of the 4 lambs that were born this year are all really friendly, though the little gully girl still thinks I am some strange alien from outer space.  I mean we only see each other every day but whatever.
I have been attempting to get some fleece pics of the lambs but you know with the wonderful humidity and pleasantly oppressive temperatures plus silly little lambs squirming around when you get ahold of them...well, it has not been successful.  Its like playing a game of peek-a-boo with me, them, and the camera.

Today I was able to get a pretty good pic of the black ewe lamb........

.....peek-a-boo, its looking pretty good in there! Jed and Savannah are just a match of good genes! I am quite pleased with this black little ewe!

Bethel is such a character! She is insanely friendly and her and I are usually joined at the hip during morning chores. She likes to talk to me too, lots of conversation about lamb life.

This is one of the nicest fleeces I have gotten from a spotted lamb so I feel I am making progress. Though I will ask, do I call this grey when I register her? Or do I go blk/white?

Now where is that gully girl?
She likes to play peek-a-boo with me.........

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Story Time for the Lambies

"Lambies, come on over here, out of the sun and in the shade where it is only 95 degrees instead of 100!"

"I want to tell you a story about a season called Winter."

"Oh its not a scary story like your mom tells you about the Big Bad Wolf eating you if you don't come when she calls you. Winter is one of the four seasons and is one that sheep love the most!"

"Its when all these beautiful snowflakes fall from the sky and covers all the pretty sheepie wool like a white blanket!"

"Sometimes the sheepie like to make funny faces in the snow like Danby!  Its a time when sheepie don't have to worry about flies biting their noses or legs and you never have to worry about feeling like you can't breath cuz its so hot."

"But one time there was such much snow and it was so cold in the winter that baby Glover, who was one of the smallest lambs born, had to wear a fuzzy red coat like Santa Claus to keep him warm!"

"Oh its okay, don't be scared, Glover was just fine and everyone said how cute he looked in his Santa coat. But don't worry Wilmington, you have a beautiful fleece that will be nice and thick by Winter."

"And you will never have to worry about getting fed in the Winter.  I will always shovel my way to the barn in the deepest snow for all of my animals, even if the windchill is below zero."

Wilmington, "Hey I think she is having heat stroke, the heat index heat 102 today and it hit 110 yesterday or maybe she took one too many of those Vicodins for that Sciatic Nerve she pinched.  I have no clue what this Winter thing is and why does she keep naming her sheep after towns in Vermont?!?! 

"Wilmingon, did I ever tell you about the time the snow had drifted so bad that I could not even open the barn doors?"

Wilmington, "Psst, someone call 911, she won't let me go!!!"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yippee!! An Updated Sales Blog....Finally!!!

Ok, I am giving myself an "A" for effort today!!
Because I finally updated my sales blog!!!!

With temperatures hitting the mid-90's today, I finished chores by 10 am, had a snack while watching Martha Stewart, and then got busy on the sales blog!!!

Of course, I kept checking on the animals to make sure everyone had plenty of fresh cold water and that they were doing ok.  My poor sheepies!!!!!  Horses are fine, goats seem to be handling it well, but my sheepies look just miserable:(

Please click on the link to check out the sales blog updates if you have a moment!
Thanks....and keep it cool!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Why "Kid" Help Sucks

Last weekend I decided to buy myself a treat.  A new cart to help with the farm chores, one that I can attach to the tractor inside of pushing the wheelbarrow.  I had a 10% off coupon for TSC and I had been eyeing up this new polyswivel/dump cart that they got in.  So off I went last Sunday to make my big purchase.

Now of course it came in a box so it had to be assembled. No problem, it looked relative easy and the box said it could be assembled in 30 minutes.  However, my "additional help" decided that I really needed their assistance.  First little Emma had to exam the contents of the box.

Then the box became the center of the kids attention and everyone had to get a piece of the box.

Of course the classic head butting was used to claim sole ownership of the box.

Emma lost in the head butting round so she decided my chair looked more her size so she claimed ownership on that.

Gee, I wonder who won ownership of the box??? He is totally pathetic and definitely has his own sense of humor.

I gave up on trying to put the cart together by myself due to the lack of cooperation from the "kids" and had to call in the big guns....Dad. I told Dad after he and I assembled it, that my friend at TSC would have had the guys there assembly it for free.......hehe, thats what he gets for blowing the Amish rocking chair deal at the auction. 
Now of course I will not be using the cart for a few days because I am not hauling anything in 90 plus degree weather, oh my bag, the heat index was only 104 degrees today!!