Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yes I still have sheep

I wanted to get some photos posted of my sheep to prove to you that I do indeed have them on my farm :) Its been awhile since there were any photos of the woolly beasts.

Penni had asked for a few head shots of my sheep to be used in a silent auction/fundraiser item for the CWCCA National Specialty. I can't seem to send them to her directly as I think the photos are too large. I'll keep trying Penni!


This is Justalit'l Shasta, an Ag/Aa Black Smirslet Flecket. She is also horned and one is 'wonky' and sticks straight up. She knows how to use it to. She is AI bred to Campaign Timothy. She's one of my tamest girls begging for attention.


FirthofFifth Barish is my F1 Campaign Timothy son and is an obvious poll carrier due to his long scurs/aberrant horns that are perfectly symmetrical. He got a large group of ewes this fall and is quite happy about it. I thought the sun shining on this photo was kind of neat.

WhitePine Castle Rock. She is out of Jazz and Justalit'l Chloe. She could be homozygous katmoget but for sure carries moorit from her momma. She has a very fluffy hind end which makes her look not level, but she is...... She is in Barish's breeding group. Hoping for more gorgeous dark blue katmoget fleeces!



This is White Pine Skor and River Oaks Lucy. Skor is a shaela out of Bourbon and the late Meleng. Both parents were modified and so is she. She is with Barish in hopes of a polled ram and modified to boot! She is one of my softest ewes with gorgeous crimp and single coat.



These two girls are Wintertime Galina, a solid sided black gulmoget out of Wintertime Black Forrest and ShelteringPines The Holy Grail. The white ewe lamb is WhitePine Rush, the F2 Orion daughter of out the F1 FirthofFifth Aman and RYL Rachildas. She carries modified and moorit under that white and I'm excited to see what both girls throw next spring as they are with Jazz this fall

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Going Raw

I've done a lot of research over the past few days about Raw Diets. Pro's, Con's. The Pros are by far more abundant on my list. I've never really fed straight kibble to my dogs. Granted some days yes its easier to just dip in for a cup of kibble, but the dogs seem to get a bit grumpy about the same old same old. Especially the girls.

I have been feeding Sadie green beans and pumpkin in addition to her reduced kibble for some weight loss, which worked. Ell and Oliver and Zoe were getting kibble, plus different things each night like cooked rice, cooked hamburger, tuna, salmon, mackerel, eggs, cottage cheese and all dogs were getting yogurt. Boy were my parents nervous when I left for a weekend and they had a 'menu' to fill :) Thanks Dad!! Thanks Mom!

I've been following Carolyn and Penni's advice with the raw chicken wings and gave it a go tonight. The dogs thought it was someone's Birthday :)

I have just a little over a week left of kibble for the Cardis and perhaps 2 weeks left with the Hollistic puppy food that Mitcham is on. I've ordered Missing Link as well and have been giving fish oil or salmon oil.

Any helpful hints on what to feed or what not to feed would be great! I was nervous about feeding them apples as I didn't know you could but read Carolyn's blog and felt much better about that!

Pretty nervous about the whole thing but stocked up on cottage cheese, yogurt, rice, chicken wings, beef, lamb, veggies and i hope I'm ready!

After eating much healthier myself, I think its only fair the dogs eat healthier too!

Does the poop eating stop?!

what's the big deal?

Charlie MacInnes wrote on ShowCardi-L today and I took these sentences from his post.

"What is a backyard breeder? First of all, they are folks that the
speaker does not like. Usually they live far away, because it's easier
to dislike people you don't know. In some cases it is as simple as the
fact that "that damned person's dogs keep beating mine in the ring", but
the speaker doesn't like the breeding behind the dogs in question. And so on . . . There is no clear definition of the term backyard breeder, there is only a list of the terrible things they do. How many of those terrible things apply to us depends on who is listing, and why."

Its kind of like the Religion issue. Anyone who is more in tune with God than us, is a lunatic,and those with less, are lost souls. Why are we the perfect 'ideal' person?

I laugh when people call me a puppy mill. Really? I've had zero litters. Now I'm a dog hoarder. Really? Last I checked I have equal to or less dogs than any other Cardigan breeder/show-er in Minnesota. I'm thinking what Charlie says above holds true for my situation. There always has to be someone worse than you so you can feel better about yourself and your dogs.

Pity really.

This is honestly the last I have to say about any of this nonsense. If you took the time to get to know me and not assume or make up stuff to rub your own ego, you'd realize I'm not a bad person and quite open to discuss any misconceptions you have about me.

Now. On to much happier and realistic things!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hog Gone




A few weeks ago (I've been meaning to post this!) my Grandpa, age 82, brought his last nine pigs to the Locker Plant (butcher) with my help. These pigs represented a line of pigs nearly 100 years old, that has been in our family without interruption for that period of time. Now they are in our freezer (which is good!) I'm just kind sad that the line is gone forever and we have nothing to show for it. I'm already looking for feeder pigs for next spring to raise and butcher over the summer. I'm thinking the place where we have gotten our replacement boars from....its the closest we can get to 'our' pigs!

Aren't they just the cutest? I always loved the black Hampshire pigs...and our line also gave us red ones too that were just so dang cute!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Breeding Groups together

Well I just got done putting my breeding groups together. And of course last minute, I did a few switch-er-oo's :)

I decied to put FirthofFifth Rooibos back in with Jazz as I let her ewe lamb from this year go live in Michigan with Stephen Rouse :) RiverOaks Lucy was going to go with Jazz, but last minute put her in with Barish as they both are poll carriers. Both Rooibos and Lucy were AI'ed and these are just the 'clean up' groups.

I also decided to put my Sedalia in with Arapaho at the very last second. I've decided to only leave my groups together until Dec 31st and then the ewe lambs will be put BACK together in a group so they don't have to compete again for feed.

Jazz was quite excited to in with the girls and he came up to me after I was done moving everyone around to say thank you and begged to be scratched on the neck...The trance and the glossy eyes, uplifted tail and squatty stance never changes. And for a boy who SHOULD be sniffing girls it was cute to see he appreciated the girls finally :)

Barish was like "oh hey girls!, but then turned to continue eating. He did eventually walk around sniffing, but those poll carriers seem to be so more laid back than the horned counterparts.

Arapaho was ecstatic, and was busy grabbing mouthfuls of hay before running back after his small group of girls.

Burma - the natural colored BFL got in his pen and stood there is disbelief! He started doing the "ram grunt" but just stood frozen in the pen while the girls surrounded him. Bea, even tried mounting HIM, which he didn't like and I think it kicked in his hormones as then proceeded to sniff everyone and then they all got down to business of eating hay. No one seemed receptive today but I've never witnessed a mating, so I'm not worried.

Due date is April 20th, which is the day after I return from the CWCCA National Specialty! I hope they all decide to wait until I get back! The AI group will have lambed March 20th so I'll know for sure if those girls settled to the AI, or if the groundbreeding boys did their clean up duty. Time will tell.....

Weight Loss Challenge

Howdy folks! How are you feeling?

I feel AMAZING! No more migraines, no more limbs falling asleep at night when I sleep. I no longer feel tired. But WOW is my family out to get me!

I have been faithful in my eating habits. No deep fried foods, no pop, no white bread/rice/flour/sugar. No candy/chocolate. We went to Zorbaz, an amazing pizza and mexican place. I had a grilled chicken salad (which was amazing FYI!) I didn't even have one nacho.

Last night we went to the bowling alley. My sister said it would be ok to eat there. they didn't even have a side salad. Everything was deep fried or pizza. I ordered the nachoes (thinking salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, olives are better than french fries)

I've lost an amazing 12 pounds so I'm down 21 pounds from when I started. I'd like to lose another 20 pounds but don't realitiscally think that my body will want to do that. And can I keep it off til the National? Let's try.

Last year this time I was going through another weight loss challenge with Rayna. I was running every day and eating right....the morning of Thanksgiving I ran twice and far so I could feel ok about pigging out for the big Turkey day meal ;) It was almost painful I ate so much but I do love food so it was good to 'reward' myself for one day.

And I'm not cutting ALL bread or ALL dairy or nothing like that out of my daily meals. Its all about moderation and thinking about what I'm eating before I eat it.

Breakfast: Cheerios or something healthy in 1% milk. No sugar.
Lunch: Spinach salad with low fat whole grain croutons, light ranch, shredded cheese and sometimes grilled chicken, bacon or ham roast (wow that was good) sometimes I add some multi-grain tortilla chips to it for something different.
Supper: Usually a spinach salad again, sometimes I do a 'wrap' and have it in that for a different meal (usually tomato basil or spinach wrap)

I try to eat more meals a day, just smaller, so I'll have a can of light soup or atleast a soup that is broth based and not gravy based. A can is less than 200 calories and fills you up (if you eat slow enough, which is always my problem).

I haven't ran as much this week, but I've still been very active in my remodel of my kitchen, cleaning pigeon lofts, sheep pens and whatnot.

AND its quite cold here so that burns calories trying to stay warm right? :)

How is everyone doing? Let's see if I can keep it off til April...that's almost 5 months away!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

8 Things

Laura M tagged me, so here's my answers.


My 8 favorite foods:

1. Chocolate!
2. bacon
3. all meat pizza
4. blizzards from DQ (or ice cream in general)
5. salads!! (no lie, ususally spinach)
6. apples or bananas
7. Chocolate Chip Cookies - home made!
8. Chocolate Cake - home made frosting!

8 Things I Did Today

1. Went out to lunch with my brother in law
2. Went to walmart with the family
3. sold cattle
4. went on a date! ( I know shocked me too!)
5. played with the 'babies'
6. took a nap!
7. texted my bestest friends
8. ate supper with my family

8 Favorite Stores:

1. Express Men
2. Target
3. Fleet Farm
4. Petsmart
5. Walmart
6. Menard's
7. Dog show vendors
8. Home Depot

8 Favorite Restaurants:

1. Erbert and Gerbert's
2. Taco Bell!
3. Subway
4. Quiznos
5. Chinese
6. Mexican
7. Zorbaz
8. Earl's

8 Things I look Forward To:

1. Meeting my Savior
2. Getting Married
3. Having kids
4. Spring
5. Seeing My Friends (both blogger and ones I've met) at The National in April
6. Being Debt Free
7. Expanding the Biz
8. Losing weight!

8 Things I Like To Do With Family:

1. Go out to eat
2. Go on a trip
3. watching old "Super 8 video" filmstrips (the ones with no sound)
4. deer hunting
5. Play games
6. BBQ
7. continue traditions
8. Have them over for a meal

8 Things on My Wish List:

1. a new house
2. new furniture
3. health and prosperity to my family
4. health and longevity
5. someone special in my life
6. peace on earth
7. 60 degree, no wind, sunny, crisp fall days all year long
8. Win the lottery

8 People I’m Tagging : (If you were tagged by someone else, then just ignore mine. ;-0)

1. Corinne

2. Nancy

3. Stephen

4. Suzanne

5. Michelle

6. Carol B.

7. Kristi

8. Becky

Note: Copy mine and paste to your post, and change answers accordingly.

Have fun!

Last minute changes?

Ok..Tomorrow is the big day! I'm putting my breeding groups together!!

I've been feeding my lambs seperate from the mature ewes and wow is it showing! I'm not graining, just letting them eat the better parts of the hay without having to fight for it! I REALLY want to breed Sedalia (Jazz x Sterling) and I think the reason she looks so small is that she is the most single coated..She's the same height as the other ewe lambs, but most of the others have a more intermediate fleece type.....

D'oh decisions decisions!!

Any last requests before I put them together? The boys are READY!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday Sadie!

A couple photos from today!



She sure is a happy girl!

The following photos were all taken AFTER her terrible accident. For those of you who thought we couldn't do it and to those who would have put her down, those who thought she'd always limp, to those who thought I was just keeping her to be a 'puppy mill', these photos are for you! Thank you for making me work harder :)

They are just a GLIMPSE of how far Sadie and I have come together....a long, bumpy road....but when the love is shown from both sides, it really truly is a glorious thing to behold. After selling my car to pay for her surgery and her amazingly quick recovery, I thank the many vets and rehab specialists at the U of M = St. Paul, that helped us get this far and to all of those who were real friends and believed me and stuck by me and helped me, these photos are in honor of you and my Sadie Princess!





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Everyday is an extra day with her, a true gift from God, and I could never be happier with my decision to keep my heart girl here. I know I did the right thing.

I love you Sadie!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ramblings

Let's see...so many things I want to write about, and since I have TBD (too busy disorder) and ADOS (Attention Deficit .....OOOH Shiny!) I tend to forget to write them all down for later.

A few points to ponder:
1a. I was on my way to the LAI near Oconomowoc, WI. I stopped for supper at a Subway at a larger gas station. I was friendly to the quite seriously hot gal working there. I mean I'm always nice, but was REALLY nice to her, almost flirty, but not quite. It worked ;) And to think I LOST my 'game'....I just haven't had the opportunity to use it often!

1b. A week or so passes and I'm able to strike up a conversation with a gal at one of our grocery stores. It turns into a 'numbers' exchange again and much to my surprise she called me first! WOW! Could I really be 2 for 2? That is surely an amazing feat.

In HS (high school) I was voted Biggest Flirt.....I can't help that when I talk to people in general...I'm always grabbing their arm, or shoulder or hand to talk to them. Some girls took it as "i'm interested" and it got me into situations I didn't know even existed! It also happened in college and I had to learn to not touch people all the time when I talk. Just because I'm open, friendly and upfront, doesn't mean everyone else likes that! :)

2. Where the heck is the snow? I refuse to believe that winter needs to be so cold and no snow. If its going to be this cold we should have 4 feet of snow. Instead we have ZERO snow, it hasn't snowed yet here and the high today here was 12 degrees. Without windchill. With windchill it was -2. That was our 3pm high. Exciting times yes.

3. I'm excited for the St Paul three day dog show! Some great friends of mine in Cardi's are coming to the show and it should be a REALLY good amazing time with people with like minds and goals. I can't wait! I hope it doesn't storm that weekend or I won't be able to go!

4. Breeding groups are edging closer and closer to reality. I want to wait until next tuesday (or monday) to put my groups together. And its none too soon! My boys are getting ANTSY!

5. The sheep bloggers have been lacking in new blogs (except for Michelle and Kara)! Even Nancy is posting less than usual! Come on folks! Its free to post! This is one of the only things NOT affected by the recession! :)

I think I'm going to go to bed and re-read all the past CWCCA bulletins I've gotten. There is a lot of information there to be learned if you are willing to take the time to read it

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Listen - Simply Amazing

This gave me goosebumps and tears to my eyes. Hopefully it doesn't take too long to download to watch!
video

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weight loss update

I love being a guy! They lose weight so fast!

In the past week (or two?) of our Cardigan weight loss I've lost 9 pounds. I've been deer hunting every day..walking miles upon miles in layers of heavy clothes and carrying a gun! I've started running on the treadmill again (they do actually work and not just for hanging clothes!) and I've started in earnest the healthy eating...lots of whole grains, spinach, veggies, fruits, low fat milk, etc. I hope to lose 30-40 pounds.

I'm also on a weight loss kick with my friend Briony, and our mutual friends Sonja and Lisa. Briony is way ahead of me on this but I'll quickly catch up.

Rayna and I had done this was it last winter? I lost 30 pounds about but gained most of it back......so yea...just love my sweets.......

Rayna are you coming with me to the Cardigan National?! Let's start the weight loss again! WOHOOO!!

AND I've weaned myself nearly off of the Diet Dew! Can you believe it!?!

Doggie update


Mitcham laying ON my lap, stomach, hand/arm. Luckily my 'free' arm was able to reach the camera for a good photo of him. He's usually too close for a good photo :) He's sure growing into a stately boy!


They are not possessed (my kodak photo shop doesn't get rid of green eyes..and I can't blacken them in) Here are Oliver and Ell waiting for dad (that's me) to scratch



Zoe just exhausted after a long bone chewing.



Sadie watching a dog running on the movie



Pretty much sums it up, huh?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Busy weekend

Now don't think I just sit around and mope all the time! Its usually just the evenings or right before bed that I get a little lonely. My days are usually packed!

We (my dad and I) did a remodel of another cattle loafing barn. Yup. the "white calf barn" which is attached to the "dairy" barn (also white in color) was the latest casualty. The lean over the years has housed new born dairy calves, dry cows (those not in lactation) and weaned beef calves and also up close beef cows. With a few heave-ho's we knocked the old feeders down, scraped the remnant cow manure out with the loader tractor and let it dry. Then limed it, put hog panels up, built a few feeders based on the Premier feeders (minus the panel inserts...we used wood slats instead) and PRESTO! A new loafing lean for the sheep...or whatever I deem necessary.

With the continuation of downsizing our beef herd and the potential for adding a market flock of sheep....these barns are like huge Christmas presents just begging to be redone for the smaller, less destructive, easier to handle species :)

On top of deer hunting, house cleaning (and now a wild hair to remodel the kitchen in less than three weeks for my black tie affair :note: CRAZY) I will be indeed busy. I sure hope the snows stays away until AFTER my party! Then let 'er rip!

The kitchen is really the last room that hasn't been altered in at least some way...since my parents moved into their new house now nearly five years ago. I was always told it was so expensive to do....but I went to Menards and did some pricing...its way cheaper than I thought...and I can do a lot of the work myself...wall paper, paint, sanding, staining, and have a friend that can put down the new flooring fairly fast. I'm kind of excited for it to look a bit more ME and a lot more updated ;)

A funny HA HA, and a decade of living

For those of you with a sense of humor and musical knowledge....

http://www.usmagazine.com/news/justin-timberlake-dances-with-beyonce-on-saturday-night-live?nopop=1

This shows the SNL (Saturday Night Live) skit from yesterday with Beyonce and Justin Timberlake in a funny/silly skit. I cracked up. I'm easily humored ;)

Tonight my movie plans fell through so I ended up staying home and watching MTV. I haven't watched this channel in literally years as I don't typically watch TV except for the occasional BBC America or BravoTV. Anyway they were having a TRL Finale. For those not familiar with TRL its a Total Request Live...fans can call in or text or webcam/email their votes for their 10 top videos of the day M-F. I grew up with MTV. My college years revolved around that channel, TRL, current events worldwide, the hippest songs and clothes...what was 'in', and what wasn't. I couldn't believe it was their FINALE! Where have I been?!

A small recap of the show....all the old VJs were there a host of live performances and musician call ins/stop ins etc. All of them reliving TRL and what it had become. The social interaction of fans and their beloved artists.

TEN YEARS they claim to have been on the air. Wow...have I really been around to watch all 20 some years of The Real World? Yikes. I started thinking back to 10 years ago and where I was:

Let's see. The year was 1998. I had just started college in Fargo, ND and was living in the dorm. I had a terrible roommate who always told me i had to leave because his girlfriend was coming to stay the night. I ended up many nights in the all girls dorm and slept on one of my friends' floor.....I hadn't really met a lot of people yet that first semester (I met all my great friends in the dorms the 2nd year!)

MTV was my source for all that was fashion, music, cars, world news, etc etc. I worked at a clothing store called Structure (currently called Express Men (owned by The Limited)) and spent a lot of my spare time driving home to help out at the farm....hey what is a farm kid supposed to do in the city! There is no where to roam!

10 years ago I had a horse named Lila, a handful of cows and about 100 pigeons. No dogs. No fish. No Noah's Ark. I drove a '92 Ford Ranger some times and sometimes my mother's 96 Pontiac Grand Prix. I went over across the river to see my best friend Belle at Minnesota State - Moorhead and ended up dating her roommate Miranda. Up until this point I had never experimented with alcohol, cigarettes or women. Every experience was new and exciting and scary.

On a Saturday night I was usually home on the farm or at a pigeon show. I spent my weekends at home (unless I had to work) and loved being back on the farm and helping where I could. During the week I had more and more social activities to do, I joined clubs on campus, I worked, and I partied like a rock star. Up all night and dance dance dance!

10 years forward here I am. I rarely drink, and if I do, its a glass of wine or maybe a few Captain Diets. I'm a light weight now. I can't sleep in as late as I want and can't stay up as late as I want. The dogs still get up at 6am whether I'm ready for the day or not! During the weekend you can find me at a dog show, sheep show or pigeon show. If not that, a wedding dance. More so I just sit at home. And look. (at the wall). During the week I'm too tired to go out. My schedule is much more cyclical thanks to the needs of all my critters, but mostly my 5 dogs.

10 years ago I just did what I wanted when I wanted. Now if I want to go somewhere I take the dogs with me, or have to find a sitter. My life is no longer just what I want, but what my animals depend on me for.

My days seem long as I work alone. I love the fact I am my own boss but it gets lonely. I also live alone. My roommates are long gone...married and with kids. I'm still here. I graduated college six years ago (almost 7). My oldest dog Sadie will be 4 next Friday. FOUR. I can't believe how fast life is going.

I don't do the bar scene anymore. Mostly because everyone my age has kids and real jobs. I'm being forced to be a homebody here where I live. that is just what people are expected to do when they get this age. Then when I do go out I can't believe how much money i used to waste on cover charges, clothes, drinks, shots, etc. I do enjoy my time at home alone but I think I also need some social circle.

Sure I have my friends. I have friends that live only 10 miles away. But most of my 'close by' friends are married and have their own lives now. When we do have time, one of us is gone or too tired. My best friends all live in other states or hours away. My sheep and pigeon and dog friends are all a good couple of hours away too.

I tried calling a few of my bff's tonight to meet in Detroit Lakes for the new James Bond movie. Mark and Rory had just gotten home from DL and Missy was too hungover from a bachelorette party in Fargo and couldn't drive down. I went through my phone.....no one else even lives close enough to just grab a movie.

Ten years ago I could have yelled out my bedroom/dorm room and asked if someone wanted to go to a movie. I always had someone ready to go do something.....

Maybe I'll run again...a good way to think

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I think this fits pretty well?




Your Autumn Test Results



You are a energetic, warm, optimistic person. You approach everything with a lot of enthusiasm.



When you are happiest, you are calm. You appreciate tradition and family. You enjoy feeling cozy.



You prefer change to come slowly. You need a long transition period when your life changes.



You find love to be the most comforting thing in the world. You feel at peace when you're with your loved ones.



Your ideal day is active and full. You like to keep busy with your favorite things, and you appreciate a routine.



You tend to live in the moment. You enjoy whatever is going on, and you don't obsess over the past or future.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Recovering Pack Rat

Its true. I admit it. I WAS a pack rat (ok some things I still am!)

I typically go through my annual 'clean the house out' frenzy in February when the day time temps never seem to get above ZERO here. But this year I did it early for several reasons. (we won't get into them here).

My clean the house out frenzy typically starts with just the bathroom and then briskly encompasses more and more rooms so that by day 3 of this frenzy it really looks like one.....one room is clean, but then to clean the next you have to put the stuff BACK in the room you just cleaned.

To make it easy on my pack ratting, and cleaning......I now have new rules:
1. Empty out entire room/closet/cupboard
2. scrub/wipe/clean every room...walls...ceilings...floors
3. Only bring back items into room that are required (toaster to the kitchen, garbage can to the bathroom, etc)
4. Accessorize (this takes me just moments as I don't tend to have many knick knack crap...its more to dust!)
5. Any item (electronics,appliances,clothing,papers) that have not been used in the past 12 months needs to be given away, thrown away or burned. This does not include items such as Tupperware or sleeping bags that COULD be needed at any given moment.

I have stuck to this for the past 6 years. I lived in large 2 or 3 bedroom apartments in college and didn't want to have a bunch of crap to bring home to the farm every summer so I didn't ever really have a lot of junk in my apartments...EASIER TO CLEAN THAT WAY!

Now in a 6 bedroom house with just me and the 5 dogs and 1 parakeet...I have TONS of room to be an amazing pack rat. I will however NEVER succumb to this terrible disease again! AMEN!

The four bedrooms upstairs consist of the following essential items (No need to fill their closets with more junk I don't need):
1. bed
2. bed stand/lamp
3. garbage can
4. alarm clock
5. chair
6. dresser

That's all one really needs besides linens for the bed which are washed fresh before any visitors arrive and again immediately (not kidding) after they leave.

The main floor consists of two bedrooms (My(I mean the dogs)bedroom, and the office which has an air mattress in it for visitors), two large living rooms, a large old farmhouse kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. Too many closets to count and lots of wall space for shelves and other things.....truly a pack rats dream home.

I tell myself I like the modern look....simple, clean, streamlined...basically very empty (again way easy to clean and in record time too!)

The only room that is really really terrible is my office. Each year I end up with piles of magazines, paperwork, cards, photos, etc and I keep throwing and throwing out stuff. Tonight alone I took 2 huge boxes of magazines to the wood stove to burn and three bags of papers to the recycle place. I live alone and still make all this mess. Its ridiculous.

Need to get ready for the big remodel and the Black Tie Affair/Wine and Cheese party coming up in three weekends! If you didn't get the invite via face book or MSSBO, and you want more info...let me know! All my blogger friends are invited too!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Breeding Groups

I think I have finally decided on breeding groups:

Drum roll please..........

Wintertime Jazz AI - 87% UK *F1 Jericho, F2 Drum Ram, F3 Drum Jings, F4 Kier Gordon*, spotted gray katmoget, will get four of my AI ewes as a 'clean up' ram, and then 14 other ewes and ewe lambs. He really improves most everything he's put to so I have him with some of my least fine, as well as some of my finest.

Minwawe Flopsy - moorit six year old ewe. She is 100% domestic and is a known spot carrier.
Minawwe Sea Breeze - moorit yuglet sokket. Ewe lamb out of Shetlering Pines Windsprite and a Minwawe ram whose name escapes me.
Minwawe Dark Chocolate - black ewe lamb. Out of a spotted ram and her brother was one big spot. She has some decent crimp coming in even though she is 100% domestic lines.
Minawe Sterling - black krunet - she's not the best conformationally, but she threw magic this spring when bred to Jazz....a spotted katmoget ewe lamb with UK style fleece! I'm hoping to repeat that breeding the same exact way!
Minwawe Dixie Cup - black smirslet - I think she's now shaela. She is my best Minwawe girl and in my top 10 for best overal micron reports. She was bred to Barish last year and gave me a really cute, crimpy black smirslet ewe lamb.
Sheltering Pines Snow Cloud - gray katmoget 25% UK - This is Suzanne Nevada's ewe and the lambs will be going up to AK next spring!
Sheltering Pines Fleu de Lis - smirslet gray katmoget 44%UK Double F3 Minder,etc. I'm hoping for spotted lambs from this pair!
Sheltering Pines Myra - smirslet gray katmoget -
Sheltering Pines Nessebar - fawn katmoget -
Wintertime Galina - black solid sided gulmoget - 47% UK, daughter out of Wintertime Black Forrest
WhitePine Rush - white ewe lamb - F2 Orion, 37.5% UK
BonoCreek Lavender Brown - fawn 36%UK, unable to be AI'ed, she will go back to Jazz and hope for a ewe lamb out of her!
WinterSky Layla AI - F1 Orion - mioget 62% UK
White Pine Twix - moorit - 19% UK

And then the four ewes that were AI'ed that are going with Jazz as a clean up ram are:
FirthofFifth Booto - fawn katmoget F1 Timothy 53% UK
RiverOaks Lucy - gray katmoget 34% UK
FirthofFifth Evidence of Autumn - mioget 25% UK
Underhill Ulla - moorit ewe - 38% UK F2 Jamie

FirthofFifth Barish - F1 Timothy 53% UK, gray katmoget (carries modified) will get:
FirthofFifth Taika - black gulmoget - 44% UK
White Pine Skor - Shaela - 28% UK - hoping for modified!
River Oaks Eliza - white - 18% UK - she carries polled I think so she's going to Barish!
Minwawe RedBud - shaela - domestic ewe - she threw an emsket ram lamb out of Barish this spring, I'm hoping for an emsket EWE lamb now!
WhitePine Sheridan - black smirslet, Jazz ewe lamb 56%UK
WhitePine Westminster - gray smirslet katmoget - Jazz ewe lamb 43.5%UK
WhitePine Castle Rock - gray katmoget, Jazz ewe lamb 59% UK

I also will the remaining 6 ewes that were AI'ed in with Barish for a 'clean up' ram.
Those are:
Justalit'l Black Lambo - black 25%UK
Justalit'l Shata - Ag gray smirslet flecket - 25% UK
Justalit'l Chloe - fawn katmoget - 31%UK
RYL Rachildas - white illget - 13% UK
Underhill Peep - musket - F2Greyling, F2 Jamie
FirthofFifth Rooibos - fawn 25%UK

UnderTheSon Arapaho - moorit - 42% UK F2 Orion I have decided will get three ewes.
FirthofFifth Rahu - white - 31%UK and my softest ewe
Black Forest Tilly - black solid sided gulmoget - Forrest daughter 44%UK
WhitePine Centennial - gray katmoget - Jazz daughter 59% UK

Sheltering Pines Burma - the Natural Colored/English Blue BFL will get all 7 of my BFL ladies.

That is about the number of ewes I had exposed last year, so I really haven't changed the number of sheep I've ketp, just the make up of the flock.

I am holding back my three youngest and smallest ewe lambs and won't breed them this year. Several ewe lambs didn't settle when exposed last year so that is ok with me!

I will only have ONE more pen to water than I do now, once the musical chairs are completed, but that won't happen until around Thanksgiving as I don't want any lambs while I am away at the CWCCA National Specialty!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sheepy Thoughts

Wow. Welcome winter!

We still haven't had any snow. Apparently everwhere around us to the west, south and east got some, but we didn't. I'm not complaining. Yes I still do snow removal and that is 'money falling from the sky' but its always very stressful during snow removal.....always trying to do an excellent job, while maintaining a fast speed to get everyone out of their driveways in a timely fashion.

I digress.

I let the mature ewes out into a 'new' pasture that hadn't been grazed since August. Wow has that grass grown! The girls were excited too and quite ravenous. I went to the barn to bring them in and the smell of grass being burped up was in the air. I love the smell of green grass being cut (not so sure I like it when its belched up though!)

I've been on the fence about breeding groups.....how many to breed, how many to breed to purebred, how many to bred to the BFL ram, etc.

Even though my girls are still on grass, I've been feeding hay once a day...usually in the evening as a supplement to the grass.....its not as nutritional this time of year (and the fact its been freezing hard every night here doesn't make it grow any faster).

The girls are in good condition. Martin Dally our AI tech told me they were a little pleasantly plump so i've cut back on the hay a bit, but they are still looking good.

The ewe lambs (the ten smaller ones under 50 pounds) are in a seperate area so they gain not have to compete with the bigger girls for their hay. A couple times a week I do give them 1 scoop of alafala pellets to add a little bit more nutrition. They are all looking good. I plan to put them in with their breeding groups if they are over 40 pounds, and when they are done in their breeding groups, put these 10 girls back together for the winter and let them grow without having to fight for their food.

The BFL ewes/ewe lambs are in a seperate pen getting their hay and pellets away from the Shetlands. The Bfls can get quite aggressive over their hay and pellets so I moved them to their own group. I'm also hoping that the 80+ pound ewe lambs will be cycling later and will put the BFL in with all the BFL ewes around December 1st. Anything that doesn't cycle, oh well. Those that do, yipee! I've heard the longwools mature slowly too and that typically there is around 50-60% cycling in ewe lambs. Time will tell.

The mature rams are so fiesty! Jazz and Barish are a tag team of love and then hate towards the BFL ram lamb and the ram lambs from Theresa and my own Lyons. Once minute they love them, and trying to court them, and then the next they are backing up to bash them. Boys!

The 'smaller' boys are in a seperate pen so as to not have to compete for their food either. They are Also just as fiesty and they all have abherent horns as well, or slow growing horns or long scurs or whatever. But they are still using them to knock each other around. Boys!

And then my last four Pygmy goat girls are in another pen in another barn. Their Scrapie status is seperate from the sheep, but I'm not sure I'm going to stay in the Scrapie program, now that there is no other benefit besides being "Certified" to be in the program. It was never my goal to have a certified flock and I've found most of the other Shetland breeders have already withdrawn to just the mandatory group.

That's 6 pens already with a 7th for the miniature horses (anyone need/want a few registered minis?)

I plan on using Barish, Jazz, and possibly Arapaho this fall and then of course Burma, the English Blue/natural colored BFL ram.

I already have to break ice and haul water all over the place, so what's a few more pens? Plus I'm a big, young guy who has nothing else to do during the day than to break open the water tubs :) lol

I'll have my final groups posted shortly. Thanks to those who have offered their opinion on which ewes THEY want with what ram :) I should have some exciting stuff next year! And I'm open to trading too!

Thinking.......

Living alone creates a lot of issues and situations:
1. Who is responsible for this mess?!
2. Who has to clean this up!
3. Who has pooper scooper patrol?
4. Who is hogging the blankets (this is usually the dogs being bed hogs)
5. It is ok to talk to yourself (and answer yourself)
6. It is ok to talk to the animals (and they talk back)
7. It is ok to announce you are going to the bathroom
8. It is ok to walk around your house in your birthday suit
9. Its still necessary to have good eating etiquite even though you are the only one eating it
10. Who drank my last Diet Dew!
11. Who ate my last Hershey's bar!

I guess the answer to all of the above is me. And yes I do talk to myself, to the dogs and to the sheep. Its very funny going out (on that rare occassion) and announcing to your buddies that you are going 'to go potty'. Hey the dogs get it, they should too.

Dog shows make me feel pretty normal...everyone says "i'm going potty"...and everyone there is just as crazy as me! (sheep shows are nearly the same..if not more crazy!)

ha ha ha

Pigeon Showing

I thought I would enlighten some of you to the world of Pigeon Showing. I have borrowed a few photos from the National Pigeon Association webpage which you can find at www.npausa.com. Its for educational purposes!

1. They have all descended from the Rock Dove aka Barn Pigeon of Europa. (even our barn pigeons now are descendents from the Europa Rock Dove)



Exhibition Homer (mostly bred down from Racing Homers in the UK)


Bokhara Trumpeter (thought to have been breed originally from the Bokhara area of Russia)


Scandaroon (a middle eastern breed, bred orignally near and around Baghdad)


English Trumpeter (the name makes you think England, but it was actually developed in the USA and Canada over the last 55 years) My favorite breed of pigeon. I do raise all of the above photographed breeds, but these are not my birds unfortunately!

Fortunately we are able to import from Europe so the Exhibition Homers and Scandaroons are recent imported bloodlines that I have. The Bokharas are also imported regularily but you will not find any better English Trumpeters than here in North America!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Fab 4



If you didn't know, Barb and Maggie had a hard time with the litter. With hundreds of calls to vets, specialists, long time breeders and many tests/necropsies no one knows why but one by one, the pups would expire. The only ones to make it were the ones that they didn't have to work on when the pups were born and that steadily gained weight.

I refer to them as the Fab 4, and I've been begging for photos of the puppies since they were born....hopefully when they get a bit bigger I can post individual post of the pups for everyone to see.

I don't know any more about the pups at this point, but if you wanted to contact Barb, I'm sure she'd be happy to fill you in! scwt.cwc@gmail.com

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A few sheep photos

Let's see..an update. Ah yes.

The first two photos are of WhitePine Romeo, an F2 Timothy, 42% UK with fairly small scurs. He is out of FirthofFifth Barish and FirthofFifth Rahu. Barish microned at 20.2 AFD this spring, and Rahu was 24 AFD, so I'd think Romeo will be just as soft. Micron report pending. He is very square with lots of crimp. He's available for sale. He's also very full of VM!



This is WhitePine Longmont, a NCWGA registerable ram, He is out of WhitePine Heath who microned at 18.9 AFD this spring and Wintersky Layla AI who is the F1 Orion. He's also available. Super crimp, soft handle, square build. Nice wide sweeping horns. And yes I just fed them :)

I love this one! WhitePine Rico, F2 Orion, I believe 37% UK, silky soft handle, almost BFL like fleece the crimp is just amazing. Micron results pending. He is also for sale. He looks square from the side, with scurs. I'm waiting to see how his rear finishes growing. At birth he was quite square, while at WS&WF he was quite narrow. Hence we are growing him on. His twin sister, Rush, the white ewe lamb I had is just gorgeous!

Here I am the pied piper, with what the girls think is a full grain pail (but its empty...ha ha) My mature girls.

Fleece samples

I tried to get a few photos, but gosh is it hard on a cloudy day, without help!!

Let's see if they even turn out good enough eh? The flash made them too bright or without a flash they were way too dark but you can at least sort of see the crimp?


Rahu's mother, RYL Rachildas - 13% UK (Lightning blood) Her micron is 33 AFD, but her CV is 20 and she still feels soft, and highly improvable given her daugther is exquisite and silky soft! This year she is bred to Height Orion.


FirthofFifth Rahu - white illget - 31% UK F3 Dillon - Wintertime Black Forrest daughter. My softest ewe. i want to breed her to Wintertime Jazz but also have thought about FirthofFifth Barish or UndertheSon Arapaho.


Underhill Peep - musket - F2 Greyling/F2 Jamie - bred to Heights Orion.


Justalit'l Shasta - she is bred to Campaign Timothy - she is 25% UK and also smirslet flecket, and Ag.


WinterSky Layla AI - F1 Orion - she is a dark mioget but the cloudy skies and no flash didn't help! 67% UK will be bred to Wintertime Jazz this fall.

Proud

Just read online that Minnesota is again the #1 state for voter turn out, at or near 80%! Ottertail County, the county I live in was over 92% for voter turn out! That's amazing!

Ag Gulmoget ewe, pretty please?

I have become increasingly more and more enamored with the double patterned Ag/At look. I absolutely love the gulmoget markings with the Ag body. I did raise one this year, Peyton. If he were a girl I would have kept him hands down but he is now making babies in Alaska. I can't make another Ag/gulmoget this year so have to go to the masses.

I'm just letting everyone out there in blogger land know that if you get an Ag Gulmoget ewe lamb, or have an Ag gulmoget ewe for sale that is more UK type and soft, do let me know. I don't mind the Ag gene in ewes...I have an Ag/Aa Musket and an Ag/Aa Grey, so wouldn't mind an Ag/At ewe as well!

Thanks in advance :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

A man of numbers

I guess I'm a man of hard numbers. I weigh my sheep. I weigh them at birth, at 5 months and then once annually. I test for microns. I test for CL, OPP, Johne's. I like to know if my animals have anything and send fecals in monthly. I guess its better to know than to guess. And I'm also a very paranoid person :)


Thanks to my dad for helping me weigh all of my sheep tonight. I decided not to stress the AI group of 12 girls so I don't have an average for the mature ewes...or it will be way skewed as they are my biggest girls.

The heaviest ewe I had in Shetlands was Sheltering Pines Fleur de Lis, who is going on two years old that will be bred for the first time this fall. She weighed in at 90 pounds. The other yearling ewes all weighed in between 65 and 80 pounds, which I think is more typical as they are still growing until they are about three years of age.

My ewe lambs born before May 1st were weighed in a separate group. These ewe lambs weighed between 40 and 65#, with the higher ones being from Sheltering Pines as well! He's got some great grass!

I also weighed the BFLs and had my yearling weigh in at 145 pounds! She didn't look that big, until I had to pick her up!

My ewe lambs all weighed in the 80's, while the two from Kathy Davidson, who lambs in early February, weighed in at almost 100 pounds each.

What are your weights for your Shetlands or BFLs? It'd be interesting to see if mine are within the current 'norm'.

As a side note, I was able to get a photocopy of the NASSA brochure from 1995.

It states that Shetland Rams usually weigh between 90 and 125 pounds. Ewes weigh 75-100. I'm assuming they are talking about mature animals here, so mine are all within what I would consider standard size.

Also of note it states that fleeces usually weigh between 2 and 4 pounds, and have a staple length of 2"-4 1/2". It also states that NASSA is coordinated with the SSBG of the UK and its breed standards and registration rules are based upon those of the SSBG.

When did NASSA change these above rules? Anyone know? I'd love to find out why and how!

For anyone who would like a copy of this brochure I could scan it for you and email it to you.

Happy Birthday Mac!

It was Mac's birthday on Nov 4th, but with the election and all I didn't have 'time' to post to blogger! Mac officially turned two yesterday! He now lives with my mom and dad just across the farm a few hundred yards away. Oliver and Mac have had a few fights that ended up in some cuts and puncture wounds (very few) and Oliver had become increasingly grumpy with all the dogs. So Mac went to live with Grandpa and Grandma and since then, both boys' attitudes are much better! Oliver is much happier, has started to gain weight back and Mac still gets to see 'the girls' when I take them over for evening visits. I have heard of instances where two Cardigans were in constant fights and one had to be destroyed, instead of re-homed. I could never imagine doing that!

Mac and the crew all got their birthday ice cream and this time even Ell and Mitcham grabbed the scoop of ice cream whole and tried to eat it! I can't imagine their ice cream headaches! lol I guess in the future we'll have to make the pieces smaller so they don't inhale them so fast...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

ACT or ACCEPT

I read this on a business sign yesterday and thought it was a great thing to be reading as we are in the midst of a VERY special and important day. Nov 4th. Voting day. Everyone has an idea of who they wish to vote for and its your God given right to choose who you think is best for the position. It doesn't matter if we agree or disagree, just please vote. As the sign said " ACT or ACCEPT".

I like mine too...."If you don't vote, you can't bitch about politics for FOUR years!"

Either one, same message :)

GObama!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Give me a break

Wow do I have a migraine! I went out to take photos of some fleeces and girls and I'm just exhausted. Worked 16 days straight and need a 'down' night...I was going to skirt more fleeces but I can't hardly muster the energy....and I think too much...my head hurts.

Maybe tomorrow!

I hate this early darkness...it was 5:30pm and totally dark now! Gross!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Evaluating Ewes

Last night, as I tried to fall asleep I lay there in the dark, staring at what I thought was the ceiling (hey it was that dark). I couldn't sleep and these breeding groups I am trying to plan for all year are now up in the air. I couldn't help but try and figure out my best ewes, and ones that needed improving the most.

I took all the yearling or older ewes and found their most recent micron reports. Popped those numbers into a spread sheet and then sorted them from lowest to highest in three categories: AFD, SD and CV. I then placed them 1-25 (that's how many yearling and older ewes I have) and then added up the three placings for each ewe in the three categories. Lowest possible score was 3 (ewe being the lowest for AFD, SD and CV). The highest score was 75 (ewe being the highest AFD, SD and CV)

My top three ewes hands down are in order:

FirthofFifth Rahu - white illget ewe (she had a score of 8)

RiverOaks Lucy - grey katmoget ewe (she had a score of 10)

WinterSky Layla AI - mioget ewe (she had a score of 12)

They are definitely my "A" ewes.

The next obvious split of girls ranging from 22-31 points are the following:
WhitePine Twix - moorit
River Oaks Eliza - white
ShelteringPines Fleur di Lis- smirslet grey katmoget
WhitePine Skor - shaela
Minwawe Dixie Cup - black krunet
FirthofFifth Taika - black gulmoget

These girls had very nice, low averages.

I think that these girls will have a lot to offer me in the future. Many thanks to those who were willing to part with these fine animals!

Rahu's boy, Romeo is still available for sale too...hint hint :P

Tentative breeding groups - updated 10.17.17

The four rams I am using this fall, are all rams I offered for sale, with the intent to use them for breeding and then move them on to new h...