Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Illness Strikes the Homefront....

My husband had open heart surgery with five bypass grafts placed October 21st, 2011. He returned to work this week after eight weeks of medical disability.
My mother was diagnosed with advanced bladder cancer also in October. She had her first surgery on October 7th, 2011 and her last surgery on November 21st, 2011. After a 16 day stay in the hospital she was discharged to rehab at  a skilled nursing facility, 15 minutes from here. The surgeon was unable to remove her bladder due to the advanced condition of the disease. She has an ileal  conduit with a urostomy that she is learning to cope with..........Needless to say, I haven't blogged much lately!
The sheep are all fine and doing well, something I am much grateful for......I have some new pics of our sheep I would like to get posted but I don't know exactly when I'll have the time.......

Everyone stay well!!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Farming and Back Pain

Back pain has really slowed me down these past couple of months. My hubby has had to step up and help while my back is recuperating. I took a couple of months of doctor prescribed physical therapy earlier this summer. I have ceased mowing the yard and weeding...... tasks that my hubby has taken over. I am going to sign up for yoga  to help increase my back's flexibility.
 Here is a link for more info..........
All farmers out there, please take care of your back and remember to use proper lifting techniques!

Friday, August 12, 2011


Whatever possessed  us to acquire these fowls? We were thinking pasture management through natural means.....the guineas would eat the snails and slugs that harbor meningeal worm......problem solved!

Wow......they are very noisy and kinda scary to look at. Up close they remind one of a clown from a bad horror my husband remarks!
They roam the farm and pastures daily calling loudly to one another, but I am starting to appreciate their watchdog like qualities.  If only they weren't so LOUD!!!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Weather Conditions Affect all Farmers............

Indiana October 2010

...........that goes without saying!  A link I found via The Coming Depression from Bloomberg
Dust from Corn Harvest .........Indiana October 2010
about current drought conditions across Texas and how it is affecting the costs of hay nationally. There is interesting info on corn production and ethanol.......a good read in my humble opinion.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Even Though It's too Hot to Blog, Our First Tractor........

A Case 1949 VAC arrived at our farm on July 9th, 2011.  Boy, have we been excited about this! It does run and we will use it to work the farm.  We plan to restore it to it's original condition in the future....

My hubby with the tractor.......

This smile about says it all!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Waiting for the Vet.........and the Heat!

Rambo's castration day is  here.........I'm kinda anxious and hope that all goes well for him. He and Madonna are in the cleaned out center aisle of the barn.
It is very hot and we are entering a dangerous heat wave for the coming week. We will try to keep the animals as comfortable as possible. My hubby cleaned out the walk through yesterday which has a concrete floor . It was horrible heat conditions yesterday here on the farm. We had to take frequent breaks while working.
We will keep an eye on the animals and hope for the best in the coming week.
Everyone stay as cool as possible!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Slaughter or Castration?

What to do with an intact ram.........slaughter or castration? Rambo has bred the Dor Galen flock once, resulting in a nice 2011 lamb crop. We are sharing a Horned Dorset ram with Tim, who will be used for breeding purposes this fall.....( the ram, not Tim!).  Rambo has been gentle and non -aggressive with us. He produced the largest fleece I have ever seen on this farm when we sheared him this past spring. I've noticed that he is with the ewes if they are not feeling well, so I've used him as a type of barometer for the flock.
My hubby made an appointment for Rambo and Nemo at the local slaughterhouse for this coming Thursday. I understand the necessity of  having to slaughter intact ram lambs, but it is very hard emotionally to deal least, it is for me.  My husband is more practical about the matter, but he said I could check with Dr. Culbertson about castration for Rambo. Nemo, on the other hand, needs to be slaughtered to see if the Dor Galen breed we are developing can be dual purpose and used for meat as well as fleece.
I called Dr. Culbertson this morning. He will be here this coming Monday morning to castrate Rambo here on the farm.
Nemo will be going for slaughter this Thursday. He will have done his duty for the survival of the flock.
Farming is not an easy occupation...................

Friday, July 8, 2011

Grandkids Come Visiting!

Summer is for grandchildren visiting the farm. We are blessed with beautiful grandchildren, but we don't see them very often since they live so far away. Anytime they are here is special.......
The first grandchild to visit was the youngest grandchild, Drew. He will be two in October and he was here with his mom and dad on Memorial Day weekend. Here he is with  his mom, Rhiannon, holding him on our front porch. He loved the "animals", especially the chickens. It was a hot day , but he had a great time. His parents live in Alexandria, Virginia.
Over the Fourth of July, we had our grandchildren who live in Bloomington, Indiana, a one and a half hour drive south of way. The youngest of the group, Christian, had never seen fireworks before so we drove to Sheridan, Indiana for a fireworks display.
The oldest grandchild is our grand daughter, Elizabeth. She is thirteen and attends middle school in Bloomington. She wants to be a writer and a teacher.
Jonathan is ten and loves the farm! He loves to help gather chicken eggs. He is a very polite boy and tells the chickens, "Excuse me chicken. I need your egg!"
This is Christian, the youngest of the crew. he is seven and wants a farm of his own when he grows up. He was a great weed puller and as he fed the weeds to the chickens, he exclaimed, "Now we will have hundreds of eggs !"

They had great fun with GrandPa's goat , Blitzen.......

A great time was had by all...............

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Some Summer Color.........

Still waiting on the color splash from Black-eyed Susan..............should happen in the next couple of days............

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Milking Scottish Blackface

"You learn something new every day", is a familiar quote.  Here is a link to a great website I discovered and a great post about milking Blackies.  Wild Thing, Mild better watch out!

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Here is a recent photo of Tadiel.......Miniel's surviving twin. She is the sheep in the foreground  with horns,  facing right. The other sheep is one of Tim's visiting ewes.
I wish Tadiel's sister, Miniel, was still here, but she is not........I still miss her..........
Tadiel is a nice sheep, although she has a different personality than Miniel.  Tadiel is a Shetland/ Dor Galen cross. She has a nice fleece which has characteristics of both breeds. I say she is a "keeper" !

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Some Light Summer Reading

I'm on page 66 of 1299 total pages. The novel? ............ War and Peace by Tolstoy.  The NookColor is a great device, well suited for undertaking such a daunting task. If any of my readers have some extra time on their hands this summer, try some pages. You might be surprised!

A Glad Summer Solstice Image........

Mild Thing , Our Scottish Blackface Ewe

My hubby blade sheared her a couple of weeks ago. She is a registered Scottish Blackface  born in 2003 at Littledale Farm in Wisconsin. Her sister, Wild Thing, was acquired at the same time. We are talking about breeding "the girls" one more time. The plan is to stand them to a registered Horned Dorset ram to introduce  more diversity into the Dor Galen breed.
Mild Thing 2011
Here is a  link to Littledale Farm for more info on the Scottish Blackface breed.
Mild Thing Fall 2010
Here is my husband's post on Mild Thing......

Monday, June 20, 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Here is a photo of Scarface (mother) and Bonnie (daughter)............
Scarface came to us in 2009 from Tim's flock. She had her face injured by a dog  while we were away from the farm. We nursed the wound on her face for six weeks. The wound was to the skull and I did normal saline wet to dry dressing changes to her face daily plus I gave her antibiotics. We asked Tim if we could buy her from him and he agreed to the sale. She became quite tame and very friendly.
She surprised us with Bonnie in February 2010. We didn't realize she was pregnant but Bonnie was a healthy ewe lamb.
Scarface is a Border Leister/ North Country Cheviot cross. Bonnie was sired by a Blue Face Leister ram.
We enjoy them immensely.......

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mary Jane's Farm This is Not!

For those of you who haven't heard of Mary Jane's Farm check it out......

As I was putting my first load of laundry in at 8 AM this morning,  I saw five or six ewes from Tim's flock stroll by the window. They were on the other side of the fence in our neighbor's cornfield, heading towards the highway and on their way back to Ladoga, Indiana as far as I could tell. I yelled at them and they saw me and started trotting back from whence they came. I went out to the hayloft west window where I have a good view of the back and west fence line. The sheep were already back by that time so I couldn't get an exact place where they had re-entered the pasture, but I had a general direction. The rest of Tim's flock was milling about the east paddock bleating to be fed grain.  " Sorry, Girls,,,,I said. "You have to eat pasture while you're here!" I got in touch with my husband at work and relayed to him the incident. He instructed me to go to the hayloft and get the garden fence remaints to repair the fence. He also told me where the fencing pliers were located in the barn.
Blitzen, our Boer goat was not cooperative this morning so I struggled with his 250+ pound self and I was not winning. I got his goat attention by food that I put in his stall then locked him in.
Armed with my shepherd's crook and the garden fence, I proceeded to the west fence line and walked down it looking for breaks.  I was under the scrutiny of Tim's flock who followed me at a distance all the time as they continued to graze.
About midway down the fence , I discovered a very low place where the sheep could hop across. By the look of the freshly trampled grass, that is where they had accomplished their get away. I placed the garden fence across the top of the last row of barbed wire and discovered that the fencing pliers had escaped my denim jacket pocket. I had to secure it the best I could without the fencing pliers.
I then returned to the barn where I found the fencing pliers in the goat's stall.........

This is  decidedly  not Mary Jane's Farm!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Butterfly and Lavender

This image was captured by me in our yard a few days ago......

Sheep Come Visiting!

Tim's flock of forty one ewes arrived a couple of days ago.  They are Border Leister, North Country Cheviots, Blue Face Leister crosses, with a Dorper and I'm not sure what, included in the mix.
We had fun with this following photo of a sheep with huge ears. Tim likes to breed for big ears!

The sepia tones give this photo an "Old West" ambiance.
Here is Bonnie, our Blue Face Leister/ Border Leister cross..............She is the sheep in the middle with Little Mac on her left, cleaning the grain from her luscious fleece.

The flock is here for a couple of weeks to recuperate from lambing and weaning this past spring.
We will certainly enjoy them while they visit!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our Contemplative LLama

Bill,  as he contemplates the setting sun........

What thoughts ruminate through a ruminant's mind at this time of day? Is he thinking thoughts of how brief his life here is on earth or is he remembering a beautiful day filled with good grazing and perfect weather? Does he wonder about approaching storms as he scans the horizon or is he satisfied with the good job performance he has accomplished today?
I wonder..............

Monday, June 13, 2011

" It's Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature"

What are we doing to our food supply? To answer that question, go to this link..... Our health and the health of animals and plants are our responsibility. The basis of health, human and otherwise, is directly
related to what we eat and produce. We need to be smart consumers and make wise choices, not only for our health, but the future health of our planet.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Oh, For a Tractor!

We still need a tractor and haying equipment. I hate to see all that hay go to waste.  It is waist high and full of seed heads. I can barely see the sheep as they graze. Our farmer friend, Tim is going to bring his flock of forty sheep over for a couple of weeks to help graze the pasture. Bill, the llama should get a kick out of that!

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Wonderful Hubby in Dreads!

Actually, these are Bonnie's locks stuck under his hat.  Too much shearing  affects the brain!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait............

This is my last post of the month.  I just read Kelly's  post at OK Acres.  These pics are for her........

I've waited for this display since 2007.  When I moved to this farm in 2007, this rose bush was sending up four shoots.  I didn't know what type of rose or what color.  I silently speculated........

perhaps it is a tea rose,  I carefully dug around it and watered it. I was hoping to see it bloom that spring. The goats ate it that year and the next.  The last couple of years I pruned it back without the  help from the goats. I did not prune the large canes this spring as I noticed last year's growth was climbing toward the support.    My hubby put rabbit droppings  at the base of the plant last fall.  This year.............voila!

For you, Kelly................

Monday, May 30, 2011

Rambo's Horns

Rambo is entering his second year of life. His sire was a Horned Dorset and his ewe was a Scottish Blackface. Here is a pic from last year of his horns...........

And here are a couple of pics of his horns from 2011.....Notice the second curl starting to form.



Friday, May 27, 2011

Mini Chunk!

Chunky Bun's girl, Mini Chunk! Again , note the resemblance to her mother, Chunky.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

One of Brittany's Girls

Here is one of Brittany's girls.  She looks alot like her mother and we hope she will have Brittany's excellent ability to raise healthy  triplets.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our Vet Visits the Farm

Dr. Culbertson D.V.M. came to the farm last week to see our youngest Dor Galen ram. He was born April 29th and we attempted to castrate him when he was two days old. We thought we had both testicles in the scrotum before we banded him, but one week later, my husband could not feel anything in the scrotal sac.
We called Dr. Culbertson for an assessment and took the band off as suggested by his staff. The vet arrived on May 12th as scheduled and examined him. He could feel nothing in the scrotal sac or the lamb's abdomen. He thought there might remain some residual tissue in the sac so he reapplied the band and suggested we wait until he was four months old then re examine him for any intact testicles. It was fun to have the vet out and see our farm, I asked if I could get a pic of him for the blog and he gave permission. I will post it here after  we get it uploaded  to the computer......

Update 5/26/2011

Dr. Culbertson D.V.M.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Our Farm Dog, Willie.....

A sketch of Willie snoozing on the couch, his favorite place to dream.............
I did this with drawing pencils a couple of days ago.  Enjoy!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Fiber Event at Greencasle Results

What a cold, rainy couple of days for vendors at The Fiber Event! We had some raw fleece sales and some yarn sales, but we didn't do as well as in the past couple of years. I suppose nearly $4 a gallon gas prices didn't help or the general state of the economy. We did sell all our Dor Galen breed fleeces, so that was very encouraging. Bad economy or not, we will continue to hang in here and develop our new breed.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Shearin' Those Sheepies!

Some photos from today of Hubby shearing Cory and Meliah......

Cory was first. You can see our new sheep shearing stand that we purchased this year........

Cory's fleece seemed spectacular this year.........

He stood very still for Hubby......

A gorgeous cascade of silver and browns.......

Meliah's fleece looked tiny in comparison, but she is a wee little Shetland who stood very still while sheared........

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Missin' Those Babies......

Our farmer friend, Tim, picked up the three ewe lambs we were babysitting. I miss their backporch antics and greeting bleats. Here's a photo hubby took of them last week..........

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Brittany's Redemption

Brittany has redeemed herself in my Hubby's eyes. She is raising her triplet ewes and no bottle babies from her ( so far...)!  Here is a photo he took of her yesterday.....

Brittany and Lambs
And here is a photo I took through our dining room window with one of her lambs playing on her back...

She has always been an excellent ewe in my eyes..........