Friday, January 02, 2009

what ever happened to bopeep?

Happy New Year....with all the bells and whistles!
Do you know what ever became of bopeep? After the sheep came home wagging their tails, did she send them to market....or take up knitting? Did bopeep grow up and get a job...leaving her younger sister to take up losing sheep?
I personally am waiting for the story to play out.
This bopeep has a few grey hairs and is still sporting a cold....but the remaining sheep have not gotten lost lately. I will admit that every morning as I walk the inside dog around the lights or not.....I always wonder if there is a big kitty standing out there in the dark beyond the bushes. What would I do if one leaped out to grab me in the dark? I know big kitty cats are supposed to be afraid of people....but these kittys saunter in front of cars, and growl at shepherds chasing their sheep. So there is always a question in the back of my mind...."what would I do?"
On a more serious note, I have gotten a couple of notes from real shepherds. They are thinking about their lamb crop in the spring.....and wondering what the outcome will be of a particular breeding group.
Have you ever thought about your ram? Do you have a new untested ram you just used? Do you know that much of your lamby success lies in your judgement in assessing that ram's genotype?
How much time have you spent charting out your new ram's genetics and the genetics of the ewes you used with him?
Thinking back on past breedings that I have done....I can't seem to remember using a black-black ram for breeding. All the rams I can remember were either brown based...or black carrying brown. And until the last year or two....I didn't breed with grey or ag based rams either. Now, I have to agree....the nicest fleeces seem to be either ag or white based fine fleeces....but remember, my lamb crop was supposed to be spotted. The grey based lambs came from favorite grey based ewes.....some of whom are still here.
Think about it...won't it be fun to see what that new ram can produce?
To keep this aging shepherd out of hubby and I have a house in Arkansas sporting a big red ribbon on the door. Try topping that next Christmas. Yes, we did after much delay, close on the deralict Victorian. Go figure.
Let this be a lesson to you would-be flippers out there. Never, never LIKE a house you want to fix. But just try it yourself....walk into an old forgotten and ill-used house....let it tell you how grand it once was....can you imagine how lovely it could still be with "just a little help"?
I was beside myself with house fixing hubby was beside himeself with early on-set buyers-remorse. The banker didn't want that house at all! The insurance company could still back out. The young woman once raised inside is raising her small children next door.
The whole situation...considering the economy is impossible. But in Arkansas, there is a big old shell of a victorian with a big red bow tied to a spoke in the fancy old screen door. No screen, just a bow.
Now, bopeep has tried fixing houses before. There was the "little house" near lake Pepin in Wisconsin....come to think of it, we always liked that house. It's remote for Wisconsin. Not enought room for sheep, otherwise, I would have tried retiring there. It is now, a "family heirloom" says my hubby. There was the river house....I spend most days driving there in the fall. If ever a house needed was the river house. We might have moved in to retire....but there was no room for the sheep. It was however a pretty good flipper. So as fall rolled around this year, bopeep thought about the extra time on her hands with so few sheep, and started rummaging through old deralict houses. There was a really nice high ceilinged the follow had removed the chimney but left the square hole in the roof, and the walll, as I remember. There was the bank-owned wonder with a barn like unfinished structure attached between the house and the garage. It looked like either a two story deck or...from-the-water an unfinisehed pool.
There was the house by the creek....where the realtor said "oh no.... the water didn't come very high up"....but the far room had caved into something like a trampeline...only it didn't bounce back.
So now bopeep has a REAL fixer on her hands. As soon as I sweep up all the broken glass...I'll start on all the down plaster. OK there is no room for sheep there either, but the thought crosses bopeep's mind, that she could walk the dog down a sidewalk...and not think about big kitties.
Tell bopeep your dreams for a fixer. Did you always want to take down a wall....but people said to leave your house was good-enough? Was it Robert Frost in the woods going down the other path? Do you always wonder what would happen if?
Hey! It's a new year.....we all have the right to dream!


At 7:23 AM, Blogger Karen B. said...

Hi Mary Ellen-congrats on your new big project! I admire your ability to fix up these old places and restore them so nicely. I'm glad you kept the place you fixed up in Wisc. Are you really tempted by the Ark. place to be a town-dweller?

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

So an old fixer! They sure can be fun. Crawling into corners of attics to see what's hiding in there. Is there a cistern still there? Or perhaps a floor drain in the basement? Would be fun to rent a suction dredge and see what's at the very bottom! Old coins, old toys or tools...could be intersting bits along with old bones. Never know what they hold! HA! And plants - you may have some grogeous heirloom plants 'buried' around the outside, waiting for the brush and weeds to be cleared out, a good fertilizer to be applied, and then they pop up! What fun!

At 8:07 AM, Blogger Allena said...

I have a spread sheet I made, and I put all the genotype information in.

The big game is predicting what I'll get lol. I have all the odds planned out, 50% chance of this, 25% chance of that...

How could you breed for recessives like spotting and NOT do that?

I love the ag sheep, and I used an ag ram this year. But I didn't use him on ag ewes, and he is perfectly conformed. His temperment is so nice we call him "wool kitty" so in my book, that is worth passing on!

I will probably have a bumper crop of Ags, but the way I see it, I should also get some good solids from this ram and be able to establish them in the flock.

But, beautiful lambs is beautiful lambs I say, any color.

I believe my next goal, will be breeding those elusive true blacks, oh, and soft ones please :)


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