Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


It's going to be another hot one today and the humidity is high. It says its 'only' 78.5 percent at 10:27 but it already feels higher. (By the way when I got my computer updated they installed a nifty little weather thing that sits around at the bottom of my screen!--so you'll probably get lots of weather updates! :-)

I'll tell ya all more about the continued DSL saga in a later post (for the moment it seems to be cured and working, but for awhile there it was looking grim).

I'm off to town in a bit to pick up some Advantage flea stuff from the vet as well as feed, a few groceries and other supplies. Not my favorite thing to do, but I've been trying to stay out of the local "Mart" stores and only go when I need the certain items that I can't find other places--then I buy in quantity to last a couple of months. It helps keep me from impulse spending.

This morning, I slept in a little but the natives (sheep, dogs, cats) were all getting restless so I finally rolled out and got busy. I corralled the Shetlands when I fed them their morning grain, as there were a couple I wanted to trim fleeces on. Last year I 'lost' three Shetland fleeces because of matting or cotting or whatever you want to call it--all caused from the timing of the 'rise' in relationship to the shearing time. For the most part after a few years I see who the sheep are that are in the habit of doing this, and this year made it a point not to 'put it off' and have more ruined fleeces. On the plus side, while I know alot of people would trash them, I usually just give them away or put a tiny price on them. These are great for those that want to experiment with a little Shetland as there is still alot of good fleece in there where the mats didn't form. This year a fellow bought one of my fleeces after debating and stewing over it for what seemed the entire Fiber Fair. When he bought it, and I offered him one of the matted fleeces in another color (for free),his eyes lit up and it made his day. I very carefully explain to people what the problem is and what they can do with the fleece. Anyhoo, this year I vowed to do better.

Over my vacation I got Rain haltered and trimmed her up. She was the worst one, and yet has a gorgeous fleece. I do believe she is what you would consider an 'emsket'. She is now around 4 (I think) and is a lovely dark blue grey. Very pretty. Today, I got Tabitha because hers was one that was trashed last year and it looked 'weird' in places this year. There weren't any visible mats, but some of the fleece was longer in places so I just trimmed it even. Not sure why that happened, but again it probably had something to do with the shearing. Tab loved the experience. She is one of my friendliest sweetest ewes--but don't try and touch her beyond a quick skritch on the brisket. However today it was like she suddenly realized how nice it was to be scratched and rubbed on her back and sides. Silly little girl. Then Rouen was next--her fleece was good last year, but there were some suspect little places on her top line, there really wasn't much matting, but I trimmed anyway, just in cash. Rouen is never easy to catch even though she is a big baby at times and loves scratches and attention. Most of the sheep will not keep running if you grab them and kinda step in and towards them. Not Rouen though---I've learned my lesson the hard hard way with her, and just let go unless I can back her into a corner, with head firmly gripped! It seems like her daughter Duckie has decided to follow in her mother's hooves. Again, a very attention loving 'sweet' ewe, but not if I'm 'up to something'. It took awhile to get her in one of the stalls where I could even attempt to catch her. Then while trying to get the halter buckled, she somehow slipped out of my grasp and tried to get away. I should have let go. I didn't. So, after being knocked down and dragged out of the stall into the pen, I picked myself up and started all over. This time I got her and held on with a death grip. Another girl that needs some halter manners, which we worked on! She only had one tiny place along her backbone and I'm not even sure it was matted, but it got snipped out anyway. So now all the girls have their fleeces in order! :-)

Later I went out and raked and seeded the Shetland boys pen that has their shed in it. They won't be in this pen until fall. It sill has allot of debris in it, but I wanted to get some grass going on some areas that had too much old hay cover on it. I'm planning on turning the girls out on it tonite, as there is quite a bit of weeds and bits of grass growing in there. They can mow it down, and work in the grass seed for me, and hopefully we will get a rain this weekend.

Then I gave Ariel a bath and when I get home I will bathe Boone, and the two house cats before I apply the flea stuff. That way they can 'start fresh'. I probably won't do too much outside for the rest of the day, except bathing Boone, since it will likely get unbearably hot this afternoon.

Have a good weekend!


Tina T-P said...

That picture of your sheep is really beautiful - I can understand why you would want to get it enlarged and framed :-)

I have cable dsl and wouldn't switch back to dial up for anything in the world - but Michelle is right - the siren call of the internet is a strong one - I'll start off at 9:00 - do a post on my blog, and then start reading my favorite ones, and the next thing I know it is midnight -

It has only been in the 50's here today in the Pacific NW - and raining - Wish we dould trade you a few degrees. John is going out to hunt slugs before he goes to bed - Guess I'd better get back to work. Tina

Tammy said...

Hi Tina,
Yes, I'm finding the allure great! :-) I also still find myself poking around looking at other things waiting for it to pull up and its already there! I hope to get myself organzied soon, as I need to do alot of website updating and get the sheep adverstised, and I also have some stuff to get on ebay.
Its too bad we can't do a even-steven trade of a few degrees here and there! It's not bad here except for the humidity.
What kind of slugs do you have and what does John do with them when he finds them? The slugs here are terrible--monsterous things that can grow up to 6 inches or more and are sometimes bigger around than a quarter. The bait doesn't seem to work, spray doesn't work, and although individual salting kills them they scream, and its very traumatic all the way around.....