Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sheepcicles

Here he is, Himself...standing outside in the 15 F weather this morning! What a test for the Shetland breed! As you can tell, we had some snow and very cold temperatures around here lately. I, myself, wore three layers of clothing to go out and feed this morning, but then, I don't have a thick wool coat either. :) (Well, I DO have a wool coat, but it's long and formal and hanging in the closet)
And here is Amanda looking at me with pleading eyes saying, "Hey, it wasn't like this in Washington State! What's the Deal? I thought Arizona was warmer than this!" I hate to tell poor Amanda but tonight will see dangerous wind chills below 0 F, so they may have to spend the night in the barn - whether Skittles likes it or not.

I've had a couple of people ask me about why I have the sheep and what I plan on doing with them. Well, as a spinner and weaver, most of what these sheep produce will end up on my wheels and loom. I plan on making Ralph a throw from his buddy, Colin's, fleece. And I can see a few other things for the family in the works. (Must keep the knitters in NZ happy! Ha, ha!) And I have a waiting list for fleece and lambs this next year. Of course, this all brings to mind about not counting chickens (or sheep) 'til they hatch.
The sheep are also great physical therapy for me. I have to get up and out to feed and care for them. But they are also small enough for me to handle. This makes some of my doctors happy I'm sure...I am not sitting stewing over aches and pains but actually moving around. That being said, I still count on my feed store to deliver and stack the feed and hay for me as that is just too much for these bones to handle. :) All in all, there are many advantages to having these critters around. The down side is that we have to find people to feed and water them if we wish to travel. I still think we come out ahead. :)

I also have to confess of a very supporting husband in all of this. Spouses that help us with our dreams are often overlooked in the scheme of things. I really appreciate all the help I get from mine.
And sometimes, dreams are more fun and fullfilled when shared. Even when they're shared with someone who might not understand them, but supports them anyway.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ta Da!

For those of you on the "Skittles Watch", this is to confirm that he did indeed pass his final quarantine exam with flying colors! He is now in with Lacey and Amanda! Or is it that they are in with him?
Yesterday the Vet did confirm that both girls were, ahem, "ready" for a visit from Skittles so this morning, bright and early (but after two cups of coffee) young ewes and Colin were separated into another pen, gates were opened and here is proof of "The Introduction"!
There was quite a bit of chasing each other round-and-round with no immediate actions by any party although everyone was indeed interested in everyone else. ;-) Now just because the girls might be "In The Mood" for a visit from Skittles does not mean that something will happen this month. We may have missed our prime window of opportunity. But there's always next month.
We are so glad that Skit is now in with other sheep. I had to remember that the poor guy was separated all summer before he made his way out West, then had to spend six weeks in limbo here until he was fit and ready to be in with other sheep. He could see and smell and talk to the others, but this has been the first he's been able to actually be with other sheep. I am so happy he can now be a "real" sheep again.
His attention can now be on his "harem". Thank Heavens! I thought his poor ball and post would succumb to his frustrations!
I wonder if I will have to find a new walking buddy now? Hmmmm....

Just For Funnies...




You Are a Hunter Soul



You are driven and ambitious - totally self motiviated to succeed

Actively working to acheive what you want, you are skillful in many areas.

You are a natural predator with strong instincts ... and more than a little demanding.

You are creative, energetic, and an extremely powerful force.



An outdoors person, you like animals and relate to them better than people.

You tend to have an explosive personality, but also a good sense of humor.

People sometimes see you as arrogant or a know it all.

You tend to be a bit of a loner, though you hate to be alone.



Souls you are most compatible with: Seeker Soul and Peacemaker Soul

Well, this one nailed me, I confess...Then again, no one is perfect. Or ARE they? ;-)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It's Almost Time!

This is Lacey, one of the two girls I will be putting in with Skittles next weekend. Lacey is one of the sweetist sheep I have ever known. If she were a dog and could come in the house, she would think she was in heaven. Lacey's got a wonderful personality and passes it on to her lambs. My DH's Best Buddy, Colin, is one of Lacey's lambs as is his sister, Loretta. The three of them are the first to meet me, the first to check out my pockets for "cookies" and the first to lay their heads in my lap for some attention. I hope she'll pass on her friendly traits again next spring.
And this is Amanda. Amanda is a bit more stand-offish. She'll wait on the sidelines to see IF I'm handing out anything good before she makes her way over to me. I have noticed that her daughter, Ailee, was the same way at first. Now Ailee will refuse her breakfast of yummy hay to first see if I have anything good in my hand or pocket. Amanda is a large ewe, as far as Shetlands go. But this time of year it's hard to tell what anyone looks like as they are all balls of fleece on four little legs. :) Both girls are now batting their long eyelashes at Skittles every morning trying to out-do each other. It will be interesting to see how they all get along and just how long it will take 'til the girls lose interest in Skit...ahem, another way of saying they won't be needing him any longer. ;)
The days have been nice here at Sheep Thrills, aka Oleo Acres - one of the cheaper spreads. The days are sunny and being at our high elevation means that even when it's 49 F you start sweating due to the strength of the sun. But as soon as that sun goes behind the mountain, cold descends rapidly and you find you must have a sweatshirt and a jacket on. Soon, a wool hat will be needed as well.
The chickens "rooming" in with the sheep right now are almost finished with their molting. The sheep are bothered by feathers in their water and each morning I try to clean out what the chooks have shed out the night before. This is the first year in a very long time that I have not put a light on a night to keep egg production up and running. I think the hens deserve a rest. I would hate to give birth every day throughout the year without getting a break. They are getting older and most places would have them in a soup pot by now, but they have served us well and deserve the rest and re-coop-eration.
I'll hate it if I have to buy eggs at the store to supplement our supply during the holidays. My DH will too, as I will stand for half an hour checking each carton making exclaimations as to the sizes and quality of each one. Oh well...What we all wouldn't do for our animals, right?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Which Season Are You?




You Belong in Fall



Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...

You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings

Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you

This was shamelessly "Borrowed" from my firend Tina's blog. And it was right...I love the Fall! This is my favorite season. It's always been that way as I remember when I was a kid walking through fields of dry stubble watching pheasants and deer. And I love the cold rains as well. :)
So, I have to ask...What Season Are You?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

When?

Here's what's been greeting me lately when I go out to the barn early in the morning...a frosty Skittles (note the shade of the post)guarding his "toy" and waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Poor Skit. All he does is wait for his opportunity to finally meet the girls who are batting their eyes at him.
I must say he is one of the nicest rams I have ever seen. While I'm sure he'd love nothing more than to have his fence disappear and make a mad dash to the pasture with the ladies, he minds his manners.
I haven't been posting lately as not only am I trying to put the kitchen back together again (Where DID I get all this stuff? and What am I going to do with it all!) and have been cleaning out the barn in anticipation of Skit's rooming with Lacey and Amanda, but I have had the latest "bug" going around Flagstaff. I know right where I got it too...the grocery store. Have you noticed that everyone and anyone who is harboring germs goes to the market to share them? I try to dodge around all the coughing and hacking I hear, knowing full well that by the time I've passed the "Typhoid Mary", the germs have passed me with lightening speed and have already reached the farthest corners of the store. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.
And here I thought I was fine because it's harder to hit a moving target. ;-)