Saturday, August 27, 2011

babes to ewes!

Well they are 4-5 months old and look fantastic! Great additions to
my flock. Soon to come Black and White spotted Icelandic ram lamb!
From friends Lloyd and Carolyn. They gave me a house warming gift
Lil' Orphan Annie.   She's huge now! Polled Icelandic 4 months old
 Annie weaned herself from the bottle at 60 days There was more
important stuff to eat--Lamb Pellets!

The Bling Sisters  twins Sugar and Spice Finn/Shetalnd 4 months old
Both parents spotted!  From Gail

Huge Gem  massive and heavy soft fleece Shetland 5 months old
Parents are Butte and Nugget Both Gail  breeding

And lastly uncooperative Lolly wants to look straight at me, no broad side photos of her!   Flashy Lollipop Shetland 5 months old  from Butte and Poppy 

I am a big softy at heart  There is grass out there, but I think its lost
its feed value.......Ah a good excuse to put the flock on half ration of
hay. Trsut me they love the idea! I have had sheep for most of 15 years
and they snooker me early every fall!

Till next time  "May the wind always be at your back, the road rise up to
meet you, may the sun shine upon you and until we meet again may the Lord
hold you in the palm of his hand"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Some searches take years!

I bought my 5 acres of rolling hills, oak and chokecherry trees eight years ago next month. The property has an approach and a flat acre of knee high deer corn. The corn got scraped off with a skid loader and stakes set where the buildings would set. It was my brain kid working with a vision, the house goes up on the rise, later I would find out the rise was an old rock manufactured home is not on frost piers but anchored to a $7,000 engineered concrete slab!
The farmstead took shape. I planted perrenial flower beds, pine grove to the west, shrubs and flowers along the barn, fenced my 4 acre pasture slowly with steel T posts and hog panel....I hadn't the strength to roll out sheep netting and stretch it......and then spend years every Spring tightening the woven I used hog panels, set up a few a day then rested, pulled panels through prickly ash/buck brush......up and down the slopes. My years of hard work.....for my weakned state. [my soon to be ex-wife never ventured out to help, my cousins came to help, she stayed inside.'nough said]   I have to say my place looks great.
Fletcher "Three Oaks" was inspired by my mom who was helping stake out the buildings, in the background of the farm stead stand 3 massive to the west, one north and one east. For 8 years I have been searching for nice shade tree to sit under..........neighbors Lloyd and Carolyn- they sold me the 5 acres-- came by a month ago, Carolyn said I found your shade tree..dumbfounded I said "where" That massive oak west of your house and flower garden. All you have to do is move back the sheep fence,  The light dawned in the dark abyss! How simple.   I moved 80 feet of sheep fence--hog pnaels and T posts back 16 I have "Liberty Oak". I picked the rock, mowed the tall grass........lawn. I planted shrubs along the fence...yes far enough away so my ewes can't prune them for me. Lloyd with his loader moved the rocks from around Liberty so it would be safe for my grandkids to swing from the new tire swing.  The rocks gone left a dirt patch so another flower bed was planted,,,lilies and hydrangea bushes......adding more next Spring as I divide up some older clumps in the other bed.  I bought a swing set. [ no one to veto my ideas, so I do as I like!]
Now way back when I was 12, we went to 4-H at a neighbor's farm. They had a white board fence around their barn yard. I was impressed and said to myself someday I am going to have a white fence. Well pricing on the fancy PCV fences are beyond the grasp of this frugal German.  So I studied on it. 10 foot sections of two 6 inch wide boards on 2x4 posts 42" high....with a 4 ft break between sections.....hmmmm and attached to the existing fence.  My fence by Liberty Oak........looks great - yes my opinion and everyone that sees it. So I bought for lumber to build more fence from my house to the barn along the existing fence--9 sections. It takes me longer than most as limited vision and my strength/energy allow, but I got the time and perseverance....

Project pictures

Monday, August 15, 2011

A great video!

God made a Farmer. Turn your speakers up , click on the link below and listen to a tribute to all of us.

 For two years in a row, we have had rain all summer long so everything is still green!The ewes are enjoying August green pastures without the deer flies. My fall flock is 8 adult ewes and 5 ewe lambs........a Black and white spotted polled Icelandic ram lamb will arrive from next door.  From grand son of the Icelandic ewe "Saddleback"  He has a balck saddle, balck eye patches and a gorgeous fleece.
 The hens are laying eggs in abundance--I havr plenty of fresh eggs. This year's incubator hatching yielded 53 Ameraucana chicks--3rd generation of homebred blue egg layers with blue feathers!  Now that some chicks are well started and feathered out, I am saving the blue feathered pullets.  One pullet is gold barred with blue tail! The plainer chicks are going to Carolyn my neighbor.

On Saturday my neighbors Lloyd and Carolyn took me along to Garfield our small town 3 miles away. Parade and an all town garage sales! I love to go find that one thing you didn't know you needed!  I got a year old push mower {I do the trimming around the shrubs a lawn service mows the lawn], a Maple glider rocker and glider foot stool marked $15 I offered $10 and got it!  One garage sale just outside of town had ready-to-lay pullets.......well I had to have some!  I bought 6 Cinnamon Queens,
raised by 10-12 year old kids, the hens are very tame. 

Silkies.........every where, My 2 Splash blue hens hatched and raised 15 chicks. The chicks were sired by a visiting Partridge roo---so I have black, blue, buff and blue partridge----brown with blue thoughout. A fun group, The hens are setting again crammed in one nest with 12 eggs. Time will tell any hatch, these chicks will be by my Splash blue roo,,,so they will be all Splash. Silkies are very tame, and I keep the colors mixed as its a "see what colors will hatch" flock

My eye sight is too poor for me to have a driver's license since my surgery 8 years ago. In truth, my soon-to-be ex-wife wouldn't take me places.  Rarely she would take me to WalMart, stay in the car and then I had to rush and I don't see that well!  I have lived as a half way shut in---my fault. I should have told someone.  In the last 3 months I have busy, fishing for the first time in 17 years, we caught bass...casting from shore. They fight and jump out of the water! yYu'd think you had a whale on your line! Community plays, circus, fairs, several family picnics, this weekend going to a concert by Monroe Crossing. I play Bingo most Sundays, my cousin and his wife pick me up..and I have made some new friends.  Daughter Jess has taken me on sheep buying trips. I get rides to town on the county bus service--shop at Walmart as long as I want, then call for a ride home, when I'm ready. Small things I know but big to me. Life is good. Don't worry about me. I have a big circle of friends and family  I am truly the lucky one! Living alone and I like it!  ~Do what I want, when I want or I do nothing at all~  Freedom


Saturday, August 6, 2011

New girls!

This afternoon we meet Gail in St Cloud. I got 6 new ewes, The infamous BlueBell, November, Snap, HST Abbie and twin HST ewe lambs 1/2 Finn1/2 Shetland Sugar and Spice. Spotted or spot carrying! Exciting time in my flock. As always, Gail's ewes are exceptional in size and fleece. I am very pleased. Everyone is getting reacquainted. A few non Gail ewes are going to a good friend's my entire flock is Gail's stock.  Gail's orange button ear tags can be seen everywhere. If you are looking to start a flock. Get ewes from Gail, you can't go wrong. They're the best. 
pictures courtesy of Gail Von Bargen of Little Red Oak Shetlands
Sugar and Spice (I am having camera trouble) so here's their baby picture

During lambing my granddaughter Nessie sat with the lambs, A ram lamb was friendly and at a day old he lay next to her.  She could pet him........**Caution**  as a babe he wasn't afraid of people......he was fun as a young lamb, would lay in her lap as she pet him.....Well fast forward 4 he's all ram, big horns and  he is butting (tho we never pushed on his head and pet him on top of the head)  One evening, I am here alone now, he knocked me down I got up and he came at me again, I called close neighbors and good friends. They came right away and took him home. He will be supper soon.  So no ram for this fall's breeding.  Neighbors said if I help with worming and sorting out the lambs, they will give you a Black and White spotted Icelandic polled ram lamb, a gorgeous lamb. Lambing 2012   it will be a fun and colorful !!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Hatch!

I got 16 chicks out of 20 eggs, an exciting hatch. The chicks are Vvry colorful and lively. So I have 29 chicks three days old and 12 chicks that are three weeks old. I will raise them till I can tell color and gender. Carolyn my good friend and neighbor will get half or more of the chicks- pullets and cockerels. I will keep the ones with blue plumage. Winter over about 12-15 pullets and 2 cocks......Flash2 and Blue Boy.  Goal is blue/blue red/ blue golden Ameraucanas laying sky blue eggs.......the battle to keep my mind and body in motion.
My doctor said he likes that I stay as active as my health will allow me.  Remaining active will keep me healthier longer. Best excuse I know to over do it on occasion! So I stay busy with the chickens, sheep and my flower garden. I have lived here 8 years. Finally found a shade tree! A mighty oak just inside the pasture fence. I moved the fence north 16 feet. A bit more yard to mow (I have a lawn service that mow my lawn for $35/time--I just can't do it anymore)  and a shade tree. I put up a tire swing for my granddaughter, planted a few shrubs and set out the lawn chairs.  Now I sit in the shade and breeze....taking it all in.  Living alone is satisfying and I am enjoying myself. The stress is gone, and I am having way too much fun! I can't see well enough to drive (its been 8 years of no driver's license) so I take a county bus service.....Rainbow Rider to town. $8 for a round appts, WalMart ect.  My cousin and his wife pick me up for Bingo on Sunday afternoons.  With family, I have seen a play, been to the Circus,  tour of St John's Abbey and rummage sales to fill up my empty house.  Fishing with Lloyd and Carolyn. Like I said I am having lots of fun.  Live is good....I have been told living well is the best revenge, I can vouch for that!

Till Later