Wednesday, May 04, 2011

lamb races have begun

Yes, we have achieved lamb races. It's a time when I pass the window and laugh. There is nothing as cute as a bunch of day's old lambs kicking up their heels. Yesterday I let Donna and her two boys out in the morning. In about an hour, I found Donna and the lambs hiding in the barn. The little cry-baby had totally forgotten who his mother was, and was running round and round baaing. I didn't have much hope for that outcome. I locked the three-some into a jug for the next 6 hours. Then let them out again. Minutes later they were off!
The two new lambs led the race from one end of the pasture to the barn and then up on the three foot round hay bale. Kicking as only new lambs can, all four hoofs in the bottle baby turned and twisted in the air jumping from the hay bale with the others. Oh My!!!!
They will break a leg for sure. I had to roll the bale outside in the rain to allow a full fence panel against the remaining bales. I have lost many new borns in-between hay bales. They stumble forward, but can't turn or back out. I have two lambs waiting in a pen for their turn outside today. Then on to last group....maybe thay can all get outside.
I believe lambing at Meadowwoods started and ended with the rains. Last count, 7 rams.....five ewes.....all live!
Hurray.....last year we had twins.....the year before, perhaps 4....I guess it takes a half dozen lambs to make a good lamb race. Looking forward to them....but maybe I should move that hay bale?
I heard some nutty globalists were offended by chants of USA
I'm happy to add my voice......USA...USA...USA !!!!!

Monday, May 02, 2011

It's May Already?

Good grief, where did April go?
Anyway, I am here to report, that, although I don't breed any more....No one told me I couldn't have rams. Rams don't know they aren't supposed to breed my girls. When fences wash out they believe they are helping me by taking care of my girls. wonderful, borrowed, 15 year old ewe...our-ran my year-old horny ram. Good for Maeve!
We have been lambing in the rains.....lots of rains.....for over a week now. Yes, it is flooding, but thank God we didn't blow away. Pray for all those families that did.
While I am the present. Congratulations to our wonderful Navy Seals, and all our military, and those who helped.
Now, for the other good news....the lambs today are all still alive.
Wow....that's almost a record for me.
For my friend in Alaska.....Have a musket yuglet flecket ram.....drinks from a bottle. A week old.
Write. On the third computer for the month.
We have now on the ground....when they can get out of the barn....9 lambs. My husband informed me, we could double my flock with three more lambs....ARGH!!!!!
Boys are leading in the count, 5 to 4.....go ewes!
I know of one more ewe to go......not sure about anyone else. Hope that's it?
I did have one problem birth. Donna, one of my first ewes, now 11, carried twins in floppy saddle bags. She broke the first bag in the evening....and spent the next three hours walking around and pushing....I went to be at 1. Checked her several times. Old ewes know how to lamb. I figured she had a lamb in the wrong position. Got up and fed and watered her with lots of energy food.
Then I checked to see if she was open enough for birth. Yup....cut my nails and washed. Now to check what is the problem, Donna was now on the floor in the "closet" she had chosen for birthing. She didn't appreciate my help. I found a nose....what felt like a tail....and over on the side...teeth.
I came in and read the chapter on birth positions. I thought I had a butt with legs forward, and a head with one leg forward. I pushed the leg back in....decided I needed more room and tried to drag one big old ewe onto a hay bale outside the closet. I checked again....lots of pushing....I grabbed what I thought was a butt with a tail and tried to wriggle it back and forth while pulling.
I walked out to the front yard and enlisted my hubby for this holding job. Went back and found what appeared to be a big nose starting to come. After the nose stuck, I followed the re-appearing leg back to a shoulder. Now I pulled the one leg and wiggled the horns out. A little late Donna?
Go figure, the wet body wiggled. I cleaned the nose and mouth and rubbed the chest. Then handed the big boy to Donna, who was still stuck on half the hay bale. While she was licking, the second bag appeared, I broke the water when I saw the tongue. This boy came out and cried.
Over the years I have lost a lot of lambs to brain injury....Oxygen deprivation during birth. One of the reasons I try to be present. After a few hours sucking and crying the lamb started to be quiet. I still don't know how he will be, but this morning he was still alive. Usually they aren't.
I'm really happy Donna had at least one live lamb. Maybe she will have two. The last time she lambed, she lost one of her twins to the big cat.
I am thinking, after the lambs came out, that the second lamb head was right up in the birth canal. And the first lamb's head was turned to the side and slightly back. Yes, the second one has teeth. My 9 year old, Velvet, had one of each this morning. Took an hour. They both appear to be up and eating.
that's 9.....I don't breed anymore.
That's all the news from the flooded valleys of Missouri.
Mary...the bopeep

Saturday, March 26, 2011

oh where oh where

OK, not enough room for a long title. Anyway, spring has left. Ask my ewes. They say it was mid-80's and then I sheared them. Now they are wet and frozen. It's all my fault. Some are also very Buttons. Yes, she is still fat.....a false alarm. She hung around while I was shearing until it was her turn.....then she fought me for the entire experience. "Like, what is this rope on my nose? I am head can't tie me to a fence!!!!" "I'll break your leg....I'll jump over the fence....I'll get even." And she was so fat that I couldn't hold her against the fence. I'm down to two ewes and two rams.....I'm not excited about the ram part. My little guy has lethal horns. That is, they are life a corkscrew on both sides....for really big wine bottles! It will take two to hold him and shear him...and this weekend he is wet.
I was at the Arkansas houses for a few days. I planned to water the onions, but yesterday I woke to find pools of water and waves of sleet sitting on top of my newly planted annuals. So I left....I was not going to look out the windows all day and watch the flowers get frozen. The furnace turned on! I'm sure in a week or two the big flower store will get some flowers from somewhere south....where flowers come from.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

ohhhh blank..........oh well

Yes, they have done it again.....I have bags. Worse than that, I have an 11 year old off by herself for the second day. My hubby says it's OK, he has done this before. I'm not sure. Two years ago I had to learn how to tube. Go figure....ME!!
Last year I was present for the birth of twins. That went fine. They lived and grew. One, a ram is still here. he may be part of the problem. Of course they got out. They are shetlands. Shetlands always get out. I have learned the ewes never forget either. I hope they remember how to birth as well!
My one ray of hope is the memory of that day I caught the yearling ram. He was out of breath. My 14 year old ewe had been leading him a merry chase through the pasture. She remembered, and she wanted nothing to do with it. "Forget it Junior, she lambing days are long behind me. Now, all I want is an animal cookie in the afternoon."
I wonder if an old shepherd is as good as a new shepherd. What I lack in enthusiasm, I have in experience. I used to expect....and raise....over 80 lambs each spring. Now, I know all the problems that could appear....and I watch with a wary eye, to catch the first signs that lamb is ready.
What else do I have to do? Well, I have half a yard still not raked....and the back of another yard stacked in wet leaves. I started putting stepping stones in the front yard. I have 7.....there are about 15 waiting . There is dirt around grass yet. I want to plant! I may need to water the onions. The glads aren't in yet. I have branches to be burned. I have two kitchens with dirty dishes, and a third that needs to be torn out.
Do I need to spend the next three weeks watching lambs? Maybe. Will my other work wait? I suppose so. Hey, hubby.....what are you doing today? Can I go away for a few hours....or days?
If there are any shepherds out there. I hope your lambs are all healthy and beauthiful.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What's new ?

Glad you asked.
Good thing I can write, because I am still speechless.
About a month ago, I took our adopted cat Midnight to the vets. She spent the winter living in the two story Victorian, and in February, she broke a window and went outside. We found her the next day with her little cat friends. She told me it was an emergency.
I've heard the same excuse from my ewes!
I wanted the vet to make sure Midnight looked healthy and ready to have kittens naturally. An odd request, but the last time we adopted a stray pregnant cat she had a C-section.
About three days later, I found a skinny Midnight, a wet chaise lounge, but no kittens. Oh, I know cats like to hide their kittens. This was the second pregnancy for Midnight, since we met....and I just thought she was exhibiting feral cat behavior. Bad cat....not the motherly type. I looked and looked. I looked under furniture. In open closets. Under the covers on the beds. No little rat-type kittens. I was sad. Midnight still got fed and cared for regularly. It wasn't her fault. But true caregiver style...I blamed myself. I should have been there. Poor kittens!
It has been about a month, and today we both arrived at the big house to finish cutting the lawn. I came in the front door. My husband was sitting at the dining room table on the phone. Midnight had already been fed her special envelope of wet cat food. There she was under the table by my husband's feet. Next to Midnight was a tiny black kitten with it's tail straight up in the air.
Again, Speechless....I pointed under the table. As I stood there, with my mouth babbling nothing, My husband thought. "It must be a snake, or a big spider" Then he looked down and saw the kitten. "How did you get in here?" My mind had made a connection between black Midnight cat and tiny black kitten. But my husband, sure there were no kittens from Midnight, thought there must be a door open for the small cat to get into our house.
I crawled under the table, and lifted the skirt on the dining chairs. One after another little kittens peered back at me. Three kittens! Where did she hide them? I had turned over the furniture. Crawled under the beds. Looked behind doors. Midnight kept those kittens hidden until they had their eyes open, and were crawling around . I am still speechless. I do owe Midnight some praises. I should have not thought the worst of her. She has a lovely temperment. She loves to crawl up on the bed at night to cuddle.
I take it all back....she IS a good mother cat. I should have had her fixed before February. But I didn't know she would break-glass-in-case-of-emergency. I'm really glad she finally let me meet her kittens.
One is black, one black brown and white tortie, one grey beige and white tortie, and one little black and white. I'll have to spend more time getting them socialized now...before they are totally grown. Good thing I'm a cat person.
Wow...What a surprise!

Monday, May 24, 2010

oh help !

Can you believe it? It is almost June....That's the middle of the year. It must be time to buy Christmas gifts!
We almost had a dry summer here. But the last month has dropped rains on us. Lots. Not bad floods, but the place is .....and tall.
Tall as in everything is taller than the cats...than the sheep....than one of the dogs, and I don't want to walk anywhere besided the cut grass and the road. It's hard to walk the road this year with the dogs. We have some new folks who like to use 4 wheelers. And they want to let their dogs race behind them. That is a real irritation to our two dogs, who think they own this part of the world. You try holding a great pyr on a leash while a dog runs by five feet away. Lucky I didn't get killed.
The other reason I don't like walking in long grass is I can't see the ground crawlies. I don't mean earthworms. I mean copperheads. They love this time of year. Last year we saw our first rattlesnake.....I really really don't want to step on one of those.
On the subject of old houses.....long pause......deep breath.....shake of the head. They are too much work. Houses in town...even nice little towns have a drawback to living in the middle of the woods. Yes, in the middle of the night....especially if we are spending a night alone out is way too far out in the woods. There is something to be said for neighbors. Unfortunately, my neighbors, were wonderful neighbors to me. But not very nice to each other. One of those co-dependant relationships....with a vengence. After having to call for uniformed help, I have made a command decision and made an offer on that house too. Yes....I am totally crazy. But that seemed like the only solution that gave me control. I'll let you know if I get to close on that house.
The other problem with living in town is we have to cut the grass....a lot of grass. Well, actually, most of the yard is weeds and vines. Someone should plant some grass seed. Oops, that would be me. I have enjoyed the flowers that have bloomed so far, but I haven't had time to work on a lawn. Right now, I am not living there at all, because the water hasn't been turned on again. Some one of these months I'll have time to do that.
Sorry about your computer trouble, we had that happen too. And, if I haven't written to you lately, it's because all my email addresses went out with a lightening strike to the mother-board. whatever that is.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

long time no write

If you are reading this shouldn't be. This is too long a time to think I would ever go back to writing.
Yes, we had a wedding. and the next time we all got together as a family, we went to another wedding. Then we all wound up at a Halloween party. This is the type of thing that happens when you have family within driving distance. Now, if I were a younger girl....which I am not....having a few drinks and trying to break a balloon tied to someone else's leg....would have sounded like a good idea. Trust me....a person my age should sit down and watch....before they wind up on the floor.
This idea of having family within driving distance, sounds good until I try driving for 12 hours to get to be with mine. I did that again within the year. It was great. A long drive, followed by more driving, followed by a trip to visit my sister....followed by my brother's house and back for 12 hours driving to get home. I get the idea that old folks might want to move closer to family when they decide not to drive much.
I guess I haven't grown up much.
On the subject of sheep....I still have some. We lost some fencing to another flood last fall, and did have twins this spring. No one seemed to mind they didn't own the twins. So I guess my vet was right when he asked me if the sheep REALLY wanted to be bred every year. Maybe not. I kept the older ones, and the ones that had some problems having lambs....Like no bag. That's a good clue they shouldn't be bred. There were deer walking over my down fence to graze in the pasture today. They could have gotten caught by the high water....or maybe the fences should really be stood up again. Some day. At least no one has been eaten lately.
Since no one is reading this. I have to ask. What IS it with these social web pages?????
Who lives to pretend they are gathering pretend crops? Why do they want someone else to play along and send them a nail or some other dumb object?
Does anyone have a life anymore?
Is this a form of recreation I just don't understand?
Doesn't anyone talk to people in the house, across the fence, on the phone, anymore?
I tried to play along....really!
I have yet to figure out why.
Maybe it's the fact we have dial up. Things take longer. If I want to send an old rusty nail to some lovely person who thinks I would enjoy doing that , it take many many minutes to get the computer to down-load and send such a really neat object.
Now being an experienced fix-up person. I really wouldn't expect an old rusty nail to hold any stick of wood in a place I intended to put it. Let alone build something with it. The people who write these programs must laugh themselves to sleep thinking of semi-sane semi-adult people actually agreeing to spend their limited life-moments sending rusty nails and other nonsence to each other.
I can think of plenty of dumb things that don't include rusty nails and old bricks. I can watch the fish in the pond. Smell the roses, walk the dogs. Drive 12 hours. Or i can write dumb thing on my blog....and hope no one read it.
I guess everyone has their own form of recreation.