Saturday, March 27, 2010

Welcome Kalie!

We have another new addition, a friend for Luna and a wonderful companion for us human types. Kalie is a Blue Merle Sheltie. Another rescue from Maine. She and Luna are both the same age, this side and that of three. At first, Kalie was so timid I worried for her. Sidney is always a bit of a handful, but they straighted things out quite quickly. She and Luna are really great together, they play well and they share their love with us without too much jealousy! Here was Kalie when she arrived on our first walk. She runs like a gazelle, fast as lightening and so agile compared to Luna who is all heart and a little workhorse.

Of course we introduced Kalie to the sheep right off as the dogs stay with me when I do the chores. She is such a shy bird!

And it really does take time to get used to such a mass of larger animals!

But she has met a few up close and personal, Georgia here, with a kiss! Luna will take this position and lick the sheep's noses.....where is my camera when that happens?

The best part is Luna has a friend she can really play with. She and Sidney did their best although Sid isn't the playing type anymore. Webster, the cat, still plays with Luna but at least he isn't THE man anymore. And well, Bianca, the hen, is really off the hook now...and in a month a new flock of baby chicks arrive to eventually keep Bianca company again when they grow large enough.

And here is Sidney...this afternoon on the deck, getting some of that peace and quiet Ed thought he should have!! You can see some of the lambing group in the background.

If you are looking for a Sheltie and you are willing to try a rescue Holly is the best! You can reach her here. Holly KNOWS Shelties and she has an innate ability at matching dogs with families.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First day of spring!

Hope springs eternal today! We have been having the most beautiful pattern of dry weather that is so healing for all. The sheep rested in the sun with a nice breeze blowing all day...

I worked on a custom dye order on the deck and got some good work done in the studio. So restorative.

At the end of the day Jack and I sat up on the bench and took in the most beautiful sunset. It was so peaceful to just sit and look across the farm, robins and bluebirds aloft, the dogs playing in the field, simply watching the life around us.

As we sat atop the hill a car drove up the road, stopped, we could see some movement and then they were gone. And in an instant I knew we'd been flocked! Our local school is doing a fund drive and they are moving flocks of flamingos from one house to the next. To move them on, we donated money and passed on the name of the home we'd like them to land next. A clever idea and probably a profitable venture.

I hope your first day of spring was equally as pleasant!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm no doctor

My diagnosis last week of being on the mend was not true!
I wound up with pneumonia and didn't get it diagnosed until yesterday.
After chest x-rays and blood work the verdict was solid. The drugs are
incredibly effective, as in Prednisone and antibiotics. The hard part is laying low because the Prednisone gives energy. Darn steroids!
So I can now say I am on the mend!

Memphis and the lambing girls are all doing great. Growing by the day and we have a lovely stretch of spring weather this week with lots of sun, light breezes and temps in the 60's! Just what the doctor ordered for us!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Memphis and I

Memphis and I have been under the weather the past few days but seem to have rallied thanks to rest and good medicine. The day after shearing Memphis didn't seem quite right and neither did I. What I thought was just a case of barn dust in my lungs was turning into a whopper of a chest cold. Memphis, on the other hand, would not lie down for most of 36 hours after shearing and that was enough to tip me off. Here she is Wednesday morning, to the right. Not her usual bright self.

The barn cam gives me the option to watch the lambing ewes 24/7. Tuesday I served our town as supervisor of the checklist for voting day and that night I lay in bed, quite miserable, but also watching Memphis feeling the same. Nothing glaring but I could tell she wasn't up to snuff. She was eating and chewing cud so I knew she'd make the night. But in the early morning I called the doc and asked for him to come by. We needed to give vaccinations plus an ultrasound on one ewe in question. I dosed Memphis early Wednesday with some glycol to boost her energy and we waited for the doc to come at 3. I sat in the barn on the floor with the girls and just nodded off, (wishing for my bed) thinking at least we'd all be together in our misery! I think the ewes appreciated my support. At the very least they pretended quite nicely.

By the time the doc arrived Memphis was already brighter and so with a plan of action for her future days in late gestation, we proceeded to vaccinations and the ultrasound. Sadly Charlotte didn't take during breeding. I didn't breed many this year anyway so this was a big disappointment. I still won't rule out it is Charlotte's fault, possible just off cycle. I will try her again next year.

Funny how much space there was between the sheep and the doc! They can reduce down to a small ball of fleece when the vet arrives. As if he won't see them! After he left I treated everyone to some alfalfa cubes and doesn't Memphis look happy.

After serving duties as supervisor of the checklist Wednesday night at town meeting, I spent the following two days under the covers while dear Jack and Katie managed the farm. I awoke today to thoughts of survival and just came back from a visit to the barns and everyone is looking perky, cozy and happy. We are in for some driving wind and rain from the east tonight and tomorrow so the barns are closed up and fielding the blow for the flock.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Click Go the Shears....

click, click, click This tune is great backdrop while you follow along with the day's events. Just drop it down and open the blog up here
Shearing is done. It was absolutely scrumptious weather for it with lots of sunshine and no wind. We are in a lovely weather pattern this week with temperatures cresting in the 50's during the day and only the 20's overnight.

The shearer, David Hinman, got some ever-wary looks from the flock as he set up.

I was so thankful for the help of Patty and Betsy holding fast at the skirting table.

While Katie managed the broom and trekked the fleeces from the shearer to the skirting table (and romanced Bianca), Jack and I worked the barn, getting each sheep refitted after shearing with fresh coats, a de-worming and a belly full of hay.

David moved through the flock swiftly and we were done within a few hours.

Now the bred ewes are comfortably settled in the lambing barn awaiting their special day...

to warm you up to the sounds of things to come listen

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Learning to Spin!

Saturday's Spinning Basics workshop with Patty Blomgren was grand! We all awoke to a very snowy scene in New Hampshire but it made a lovely backdrop for a warm and woolly day to learn to spin!

While students simply treadled at their wheels to get the feel for the motion, Patty gave an overview of spinning history, fibers and their qualities and the mechanics of the wheel. Then she made the rounds as students began making their first skeins.

Learning to use a niddy noddy to wind off their skein...

and after a plying demonstration, everyone spun two more bobbins to then be plyed. Check out Patty's socks with spinning wheels on them!

And lo and behold...plyed yarns!

With the exception of two students, the rest had never set foot to a spinning wheel and within the day everyone had spun and plyed yarns to take home.

For me, the class got me back on track and gave me many tips that I had lost or never learned. For a list of all Long Ridge Farm's workshops visit events. Maybe one will be right for you!