Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hormone Fog

No pups for us until later in 2010. With everything that’s going on right now, the timing wouldn’t be good. I might have another trip out of the country for work next spring and don’t want to leave the rest of the family on-duty. Honey's in full heat; Lola and Eva are just starting. Honey's passive/aggressive right now- she's either snarking nonstop or trying to get lovey-dovey with anyone so she can get out.

Lola is in high gear- everything has to be done at high speed and energy. And Eva is following right behind her mother- she has decided she doesn't like Bubba's attempts at getting Honey's attention and has found her outside voice.

Bubba can't think and forgets to eat. He's so smitten he's useless if there is a girl in the outside kennel. Our Lab, Tucker, is beside himself- he remembers something about what it was like when he COULD do something- but now that he's neutered, he doesn't quite remember what it was that was so wonderful.

Life is far from quiet at our house!

Bubba (What? I can't help it!)
Honey (Love you- get away from me)
Lola (Now! Do it now!)
Eva (I'll be the enforcer since none of them can think straight)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Kirstie Alley - Give me a break!

Okay- I usually don't comment about Hollywood crap but this is really bugging me. I'm tired of hearing about it in the news. This woman weighs a lot more than 228#'s! Even taking into account that a person with a lot of fat can be a larger size than a comparably weighted lean person, she is far heavier than she admits.

These pictures from May show the fat deposits in the neck that give it away...

Kirstie 1

Kirstie 2

At 5'7", she could weigh 228 and not be this big. She is easily a size 22 or better. It's sad that she keeps doing the weight yo-yo. If she'd stop dieting and eat a normal, healthy diet, her weight would stabilize. It may not be at a size 6, but it would stabilize.

I'm 5'9" and weigh in the range of 200-225, wearing a size 16-18 and I sure as hell don't look like that! You can still see my wrists, neck, collarbones, etc. I eat mostly whole grains, veges & fruits (I could eat more...) and lean meats. But I'm not a purist- I drink 1% milk so I can have my ice cream. I like certain sweets. My BP is around 110/70, cholesterol levels right where they are supposed to be. I live with the reality that my body wants to be warm in the winter... ;)

My middle daughter is 5'10" and is a very lean 165- and wears a size 9. I'd love to be pre-child weight again (same as my daughter is currently) but I just don't have the kind of time, dedication or desire that it would take. And funny thing- 25 years ago, a woman weighing 165# was a size 14/16. Do you think they play free with the sizes a little??? I didn't know anyone over 7 years of age that wore a size 3.

And you'll never catch me drinking diet sodas.


Monday, September 28, 2009

One left…

Well- actually 3 -but the Suffolks don’t count… I have one Jacob yearling left to shear. I had hoped to finish this weekend but time just ran out. So- once the rain is over this week and it dries out a touch, she’ll be done. I’ll probably just let the Suffolk ewe keep what’s left of her fleece (she shed some) and the wether, well, he won’t be needing his much longer. :p

The Shetland ewes have moved on to their new home. While l love their personalities, mothering skills and fleeces, they just didn’t fit into the farm plan. We’ll be sticking with the bigger sheep- Romney, Lincoln, Corriedale & Targhee cross ewes, an assortment of rams, and the Jacob flock. It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s easier for us to manage the larger sheep than the small ones. Sydney is almost 6’ tall, so the short sheep are really hard for her to handle.

We’re hoping to get a shelter up for the winter. The tent-type shelter we tried last year didn’t make it through the wind storms last spring and we’ve gotten a preview this weekend of what’s to come. Don't you just love stormy skies?

So, after taking care of the fencing and feed bills, it’s on to a shelter. I don’t need anything fancy- just something to block the wind and keep the snow & rain off the sheep. We were given the name of someone who builds nice shelters and sheds for a reasonable price- so I can’t wait to call!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Almost done….

I’m almost done shearing for 2009. It’s only mid September and I’m finally catching up. Every year I say I’m going to get started sooner, and every year I get behind for one reason or another. Next year I’m thinking of hiring someone to do the “bigguns” early- the Targhee ladies would do well with an early cut. And I’m sure the Romney’s will do well too. That will give them some regrow time before fair.

We’re ordering coats for the sheep for the winter. I’ve put it off for a couple years just because there are other things that need to be done. But having coats will make the fleeces cleaner and easier to shear. Plus, as we are going to similar sized sheep, we’ll need fewer sizes.

We’re going to end up with sheep remotely related to each other: Romney, Corriedale, Lincoln, BFL, the Targhee girls and the Jacob flock. We like the fleeces and temperaments of these breeds. They are good mothers and very hardy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Saturday, Roger, Ali & I headed to the Paramount Blues Festival in Grafton. Wow! What a great experience! “Honeyboy Edwards”, the oldest living blues musician that played with Robert Johnson was there. The man is 94 years old and still touring! Diunna Greenleaf was fantastic- I wasn’t sure at first that I would enjoy her but – wow! – can that lady sing! She’s a great entertainer and puts on a wonderful show. Her band is awesome! There were some fantastic groups including The Alex Wilson Band, Greg Koch, & Zac Hoffman. We couldn’t stay for the whole evening this time. Next year we are definitely staying for the late night musicians and the “after” party.

So far behind...!

You never realize just how busy you are until you get a chance to sit and do “nothing”. It’s fair time- my annual week of just that- sitting in the sheep barn, walking around the fairgrounds, visiting with friends and neighbors and just hanging out. The last pup has gone to its new home & the sheep have mostly been shorn. We’ve been busy at work with the database project and we’re ready to launch it in Canada next week.

Sydney showed her lambs and sheep for 4H; Ali entered some of her artwork in open class. Both did well! Next year Syd may move on to FFA- too many things going on for her as well as she enters her senior year. And now it’s time for her to make decisions about which college to attend. It’s going to be either UW-Madison, UM-Twin Cities, or Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.

As always, Sydney’s market lambs are too thin & small for the club lamb competition- but since they are mainly grassfed, they are slower growing but oh so tasty! Much better than the fat, yet always hungry club lambs. And the only market lamb with a well developed rumen! We also don’t use the same breeds as the club lambs (We use Targhee crosses compared to mainly Suffolk/Hampshire) so it’s like comparing apples & oranges.

She did well with the wool sheep: First Blue and Champion again with the mature Romney ewe; 2nd Blue and Reserve with her Cotswold ram lamb (pictured); First Blue & Reserve with her NC Jacob x Romney ewe. This year’s bottle baby, Mary, received a red as a commercial ewe. She is a Lincoln x Oxford cross. Every year we try to educate the kids that there are commercial wool breeds of sheep just like the commercial meat breeds. There is only one other youth who shows wool sheep sometimes- and this year he only showed one lamb. He took First Blue and Champion with his NC Rambouillet. So basically, until other kids get into wool breeds, she is her own competition.

Ali’s did great with her artwork. She’s so talented but shy; she hates to have the attention. She’s learned that it’s much different than entering 4H classes. There is a lot more competition and not everyone gets a ribbon. Her Airbrushed T-shirt took a 2nd, airbrushed landscape a 3rd, and her abstract Pen & Ink sketch a 4th. I’m hoping that she’ll plan on entering more for next year. She is her own harshest critic and I think some of the things she didn’t enter would have placed well.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Natural Born Charmers?

English Shepherds have a way of charming everyone they meet. While they may not be the first dog to run up and say hi, people are impressed with generally how well behaved they are or how they make themselves at home. I'm sitting in the customer lounge of my dealership waiting for an oil change with Brodie, one of Lola & Bubba's pups who is headed for his new home today. He knew something was up this morning when he was loaded into the car by himself.

Normally when we go for rides, we take a couple pups. But today was different and he knew it. "Mr Star Trek" (boldly go where no dog has gone before) became "Mr Wussdog". Sat on my lap the whole ride into Milwaukee. Clung to me for dear life when we got out at the dealership. And then, he settled down once we went for a brief walk. After about 10 minutes of telling me precisely how uncomfortable he was with the whole situation, he finally had to see a few other people in the lounge. And he's now calmly dozing under my chair.

It's nice to see how calmly the pups react in new situations. No hissy fit. No hysterics. A little quiet indignation, then calm.

Good dog!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Plank Road Summer

A couple of very good friends from "the early days" have been working on a historical novel about life in Wisconsin, and in particular, about life on the "Plank Road". Hilda & Emily are both gifted writers and have collaborated to write Plank Road Summer, a fictional book about life for two young friends whose families operate the toll-gate and an inn on the route.


The book release is this weekend and they are holding an old-fashioned barn dance and farm events at the Yorkville Elementary School in Union Grove, WI. Sunday they will be in Racine at the Heritage Museum with family activities, which I've learned from my mom will include some wool carding. I may just have to take along a few bags of wool...

The Demuth family has always been close to ours. Hilda's mom Marg and my mom attended school together. Hilda was the one I envied; I really wanted her sheep! We didn't live on a farm- just near them all. So I lived vicariously through my friends that had livestock. Took a while, but now I have my own.

If you get a chance, take a look at their website. I'd love to go down on Saturday, but we have prior commitments (puppies heading out & lamb weigh-in). I'm hoping to make Sunday.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's been a busy couple weeks. Pups are growing like crazy and getting BIG! The remaining older pups go in for their 2nd shots next week and I have a feeling Argyll and Aulay are over 25#. We're down to 14 with more leaving in the next week or so.

It's with mixed feelings that we send them on to their new homes. I completely understand the "it's time you leave" sentiment! But we sure do miss their personalities. Each one has touched us differently and made an impact. But, we can't keep them all (I'd be looking for a new home if I tried...!).

They are at the stage where anything can be a good toy. So when Aulay found a pop can, it was THE thing to have! The chase was on.

And the lambs are getting big. A couple of the bottle babies will hopefully be heading to their new home this weekend. Love them dearly and I wouldn't mind keeping them, but with my upcoming trip for work, I really need to reduce the chores around here. So DD will keep her fair lambs and we'll work on getting the flock numbers where we want them. Her Lincoln x Oxford ewe lamb is HUGE. We're up to almost 4 gallons of milk a day! She will make a great commercial ewe.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

AWOL goose....

So the way our winter had been going with things dying, disappearing, etc- I got a little concerned when our Pilgrim goose went missing. The gander was still in the pasture, but she was no where to be found. The two of them had been wandering further in the pastures from their normal spots. I figured the coyotes had finally wandered close enough to nab her or a stray dog had found her- you know all the terrible things that go through your head...

So imagine my pleasant surprise when I was starting to clean up one of the winter shelters- to find her sitting on a nest and NONE too happy to see me!

We've come to an understanding- I bring her some corn and water and she doesn't bite too hard...

I figure she's been setting a week- so a couple more and we'll hopefully have some babies around.

Time to reinforce the perimeter fencing....

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

New puppy pictures

As you can imagine- getting clear pictures of 21 puppies on any given day is a task all by itself! After taking almost 300 pictures with 3 different cameras this weekend, we got a few that are pretty much in focus! I haven't had a chance to ID the photos yet but their markings make them identifiable (at least to us!).

We set up a makeshift balance beam outside for them. After about 5 minutes of checking it out, it became one of THE things to do!

Our entire yard near the house is an obstacle course since we had some grading done last fall. The pups have plenty of things to explore, climb on/under/over, and have mastered the deck ramp. The braver pups are venturing out to try to hunt mice with the big dogs. They have met some of our poultry (turkeys are scary!) but they weren't phased by the goose.

They've also been getting the all important submission lesson from the big dogs! It's interesting to see how long it takes for some of the pups to get the message.

Some of the older pups will be heading to their new homes next week.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Fresh Air!

Finally! A nice day so we could open the windows, let in some much needed fresh air and get some new puppy pictures! Honey's pups are "little dogs" now. At five weeks, they are full of personality and attitude. The growling and barking coming from the sunroom (aka the Puppy Room) is deafening at times! We're starting to see who's in charge, who is content to let the others BE in charge, and who is more concerned about what the other pups are doing.

We ventured out onto the deck for the first time this weekend. A little hesitation the first time, but the second time, they could hardly wait for the door to open! Lots of exploring and checking out the new sights & smells.

One thing I noticed, this litter is full of "watchers". They are very in tune with faces and look to see who's coming, and what people are saying. They will sit and watch faces for a cue. And they are very talkative- not just barky. They definitely respond! This is the same behaviour I saw in Honey at an early age. And it's one of the reasons she is "my" girl.

They've met our bottle baby lambs and some are more interested in saying "Hi" while some are more determined to have a good game of chase with the Shetland cross baby! I'm not sure who is enjoying it more!

We're working on paper training- with that many pups it could almost be a full time job changing the paper when they potty! Once they get breakfast/dinner, everybody heads for the paper. So far they are doing pretty well and they'll hopefully get a little more accurate with their aim!

It's hard to believe that they will be ready for new homes in just a few short weeks! It will be very quiet around here when that happens. We should be able to pinpoint who is going to which home in another week or so. With so many pups available, there are still pups looking for the right home!

New pictures will be posted tonight on our website.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Why we have English Shepherds

People ask why we got English Shepherds. If you don't know the breed, and you think "sheep handling", then most people think you would want Border Collies or Aussies. Each of those breeds has their strengths, but for me, this picture explains why we have, breed & raise English Shepherds.

We do some herding with our dogs- moving sheep around the property when changing grazing areas; or moving them to another pen. But we don't have 100's of acres and we don't need our dogs to do remote retrieval. I need them to help me out in fairly close quarters. So it's nice to have a trusted companion.

We've had some real issues with lambing this year- extreme cold, rain, flooding, snow, etc. So when the big breed lambs start arriving, they need a little more TLC than the Shetland or Romney's do. The larger lambs tend to be a little slower to get going. And in this crappy, cold, late winter weather, it's very easy to lose lambs.

I went out this morning to find a new Shetland baby running around and chasing the 3 week old lamb in an attempt to play. We found this pair of Lincoln crossbred ramlings also born this morning- another cold, wet, miserable day- but they were sluggish and cold. So we brought them in to warm up and get their legs under them. We wrapped them up with a hot water bottle and let them rest for a while. And this is where English Shepherds shine!

Bubba had to give them the first check up, but Honey decided they needed a feminine touch. I looked into the laundry room just in time to see Honey jump up and start adjusting the towels to make sure the lambs were covered and getting warm. She snuggled in with them for a while.

Apparently, having 11 four week old pups just isn't enough responsibility... At least she doesn't have to worry about the lambs nursing!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Puppy pictures!

I finally managed to find a camera in the house with fresh batteries, a media card, and a working light meter, so we were able to get photos of Honey's pups. It is really hard to photograph wriggly, squirmy puppies! But here are a couple- the rest can be seen on the farm website.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Boys

Lately I've been focusing on the "girls" at the house. With good reason of course! But it's a lot like kids- the more you have, the less pictures you take of the older ones. So when I stumbled on this picture of the boys, I had to post it. This was taken by a friend when we had taken the boys to a walk/run fundraiser.

On the left is Tucker, our yellow lab; center is Bubba, our male English Shepherd; on the right is Cooper, our German Shorthaired Pointer.

Tucker is from Westview Kennels in Elkhart Lake, WI. Both his sire (Calcutta) & dam (Candy) are Champion field Labs- both have fantastic abilities on scenting birds. They definitely passed that on to Tucker. Tucker is an incredibly smart dog; he was evaluated to be a service dog- and was only passed on because the group could only take one pup. He opens doors into the house, figures out how to get out of just about any kennel, and is very agile. He can find a tennis ball in about 15 seconds if he's really trying. One of his favorite things to do is to bring me all the dinner bowls so no one gets left out....

Bubba is from Ann & Jim Beebe in Scales Mound, IL. He came to us from another family who purchased him from Beebe's. They were an older couple who had some health issues and couldn't care for him at the time. I had been researching ES for quite some time, and since we do like to support rescue/rehome if we can, it seemed like a perfect thing to do. Bubba's pedigree goes back to Mohns, Beebe's, Anderson's, and beyond. He's been a great dog for us, although I do wish we had gotten him younger. He loves to take care of the lambs, keeps the rams off me when we're in the pen, and announces when we have visitors.

Cooper came to us from WI GSP Rescue at 11 months. He was turned over to the rescue group because his family couldn't control him anymore. His only problem was lack of appropriate supervision and proper pack order. A word of advice: don't buy a puppy for a child at the beginning of summer, let that child spend all summer playing with it, and then wonder why when the child goes back to school the pup gets naughty..... Cooper is a delight to have; he's very smart, very loving, but typical Shorthair, very demanding. Now that's he's 8, he's starting to slow down a little.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Last quarter moon...& puppies!

Lola popped this morning! And she's pretty darn efficient- 9 pups in 6 hours. Not bad for a first time mom. But we aren't quite done. As I started writing, there was the surprise 10th pup that didn't show up on the xray.

So far the litter consists of 5 Tri males, 3 shaded sable females and 2 Tri females. All the pups are just under 1 lb each. They were all nursing within moments of being cleaned. Lola is doing very well. That's a lot of puppies for her! Thank goodness we feed well!

Let's hope there aren't more surprises.....
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

First photo of the new family

Honey had no problems popping out 11 puppies during the day. She started labor around 12:30 am and first pup arrived at 1:45am. The last pup arrived at 3:30 pm. She had a LONG day! We will get photos and weights on the pups tonight. They are busy pups already! One pup in particular is crawling/pulling/dragging itself all over- it even managed to crawl out of the whelping area and climb about 4" up the side of the blankets that were set aside to be washed. This one could be trouble! ;)
Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 9, 2009

Full moon, a lunar eclipse- and puppies!

Apparently we have this "thing" for birthings on special nights. Honey was born on the March19, 2007 new moon solar eclipse; she was bred 2 days before the full moon in December; and her pups are being born the morning of a full moon with a penumbral lunar eclipse.

First pup arrived at 1:45am and so far we are up to 6. Three males, three females. Mostly black & white although one does appear to be a tri. Won't know until later. Lots of "Irish markings"; 1 white factor pup.

Honey's calmed down a lot since it started- taking a break right now. She can use the rest. Me too... She's not done yet- looks like there might be 1 or 2 more.


It's noon and we're at 9. 4M/5F. Mostly B/W; a couple tris (although light on the tan like Bubba); 2 mostly black dorsal/white ventral with tipped tails and socks. And good ole Sparky had to throw in one white factor pup. It's a female with what looks like a "hoodie" of white (except her ears).

I think we're both getting tired.

~~~~~~~~~Update Again!~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, we weren't done at noon... Honey delivered 2 more pups- 1M/1F. She finished up at 3:30pm. So the total count for today is 11! 5M/6F. Looks like we'll end up with 2 tri's, 2 mostly black with some white, the remainder are black & white with the "Irish" markings.

Honey finally relaxed and had something to eat & drink and then wolfed down some cottage cheese and venison.

I need a drink....

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lambing has begun!

Our first lamb arrived on Saturday. We had Family Learning Day for 4H and our club serves lunch. So after serving about 200 people and a quick trip to the hardware store, we drove home, past the pasture. Sure enough, I could have sworn I saw a lamb.

Pulled into the driveway, got the farm boots on and headed out to check. A little ewe lamb born at some point in the 50F morning. Definitely a better day to be born than the week before! Made sure she was up and nursing, threw a coat on her and let her stay out with mom. Checked a couple more ewes and we'll probably have a couple more lambs this week.

Honey is getting VERY uncomfortable! I had expected that she would have whelped this weekend- she was restless on Saturday night and didn't sleep much. Pups were doing somersaults and moving all around. But Sunday she either napped or had to pee. Pups must be putting some pressure on her bladder by now. Oldest DD is here now so there will be someone home with her this week. Day 63 is Tuesday. Could be tonight....barometric pressure is dropping...you just never know.

Lola isn't far behind. She's somewhere between 7-14 days behind. Tough to say with right now. Since she is apparently an induced ovulator, we know WHEN she was bred, but we don't know where she was in her cycle. So- we'll just see how it goes and keep an eye on her.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bailey pays it forward...

Bailey is a purebred ES whose owners had to give him up due to the economic downturn. He's been adopted & ended up in a GREAT! home though and is now trying to help the Montana ES.

Please take the time to go vote for Bailey. And forward this on to anyone you think might vote. The contest is one vote per person and just this week.

Here's some info from his new owner:
I adopted Bailey from the National English Shepherd Rescue, and I want to "pay it forward." There are 200 English Shepherds that were seized recently in Montana (you can read about it here: http://www.nesr.info/montana.htm) and NESR is going to need help with their care. This contest has a first prize of $10,000 to an animal related cause, second is $5,000, and third is $1,000. None of those amounts are something to sneeze at and would greatly help these dogs in need. To help NESR, I entered Bailey in Bissell's 2009 MVP contest. Please vote him into the next round and Spread the word!"

Since the seizure, a fair number of the females have given birth and a dozen or so are still due to whelp soon. So we're heading toward 300 English Shepherds who will, if all goes well, need homes eventually. The trial may not be for a few months. Meanwhile the dogs are in the care of Yellowstone County and a team of hard working volunteers. So the county is on the hook for the care and feeding of all these animals.

National English Shepherd Rescue (NESR) has been helping with donations of food and supplies, plus advice about the peculiarities of English Shepherds in general and feral dogs in particular.

Please Vote For Bailey!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Montana English Shepherd Rescue

200 English Shepherds Seized in Montana

Officials in Yellowstone County Montana recently seized 200 English Shepherds from a breeder in the town of Ballantine. The dogs were living in horrific conditions and many did not survive. They are currently being cared for by the county and a dedicated group of volunteers. Among the seized dogs are approximately 30 females who are bred or who have recently whelped litters. Although the disposition of the dogs is not final until court proceedings are over, it is certain that many, if not all of these dogs will need loving

National English Shepherd Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non profit group committed to helping English Shepherds in need. They are working closely with MT county officials to evaluate the dogs and will offer assistance in placing them in homes when the time comes.

NESR is currently seeking donations of money and supplies as well as foster and adoptive homes in anticipation of the release of these dogs. If you can help or would like more information please contact NESR.

Website: http://www.nesr.info

Email: Nesrinfo@yahoo.com
National English Shepherd Rescue
10602 Brittney La S. E.
Olalla, WA 98359

The NESR website has a dedicated page for information on the Montana rescue effort. There you will find media reports as well as links to blogs from some of the volunteers working with the dogs.



Volunteers are working with these dogs to provide socialization and love. These two have new names that reflect the hope that comes with new beginnings.

Wishful thinking

One of my favorite pictures of Honey and Bubba taken last summer.

It's hard to believe that spring is right around the corner. It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that we were at the Sheep and Wool Festival. Hard to believe that it was almost 5 months ago. Between work, school, 4H, family and other activities, it just seems that time has flown!

Still haven't managed to get the loom set up, or the wheel going. Have to pick up some finished fleeces from the Illinois Wool and Fiber Mill. We took a tour of Jane's facility and I dropped of a couple bags of fleeces for processing. Can't wait to get them! Of course, I have more that I need to take down there before spring shearing...

We should start lambing in a few weeks. It's been so blasted cold here that I haven't even wanted to think about it. Checked a couple of the girls and they are starting to bag up, so it won't be long.

Honey is due with her pups in less than 2 weeks. She's getting to that fat and uncomfortable stage; she groans every time she moves now. She is definitely bigger than Yuna was at the same time. Either we're having larger pups or there are more of them... Just what everyone needs is a house FULL of English Shepherds!

Given the pedigree of this litter, we're expecting strong working instincts, even temperaments, and a biddable nature. I can track back the pedigree for several generations, and while that's no guarantee of working ability, it does give some reassurance that the ancestors of these dogs were evaluated worthy of carrying on the breed. The Mohns and Beebe lines of English Shepherds have produced traditional working farm family dogs. Their dogs can be traced back to the 50's and earlier. We can only hope that ours will also fall into that category in future generations.

Next time I post just might be with puppy pictures!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Whirlwind Kentucky Roadtrip

Well, we did it. My daughter and I did a quick road trip to Kentucky to get the "boys". We left Sunday morning and headed to Bowling Green. Spent the night with my niece and her husband. It worked out well, as this was the first chance we've had to visit with them at their new house. Short but sweet visit!

Left their place early Monday morning for Hopkinsville. Picked up the boys and we couldn't have asked for better travel companions. Badger happily hopped in the car and made himself at home. Bear (Cecil) we weren't so sure about, but we never needed the kennel. When we put him in the car, he rode on my daughter's lap until we got to Elizabethtown. After that, he settled down where the seats and the trunk meet- and slept almost the whole trip back! Poor boy has spent almost 1/3 of his life in a shelter so it's probably been a long time since he had quiet. Never heard a sound out of either of them the entire ride!

Managed to get in a quick tour of Western Kentucky University. Nice campus- wouldn't mind if one of the girls went there for school. Plus- their idea of "cold" is about 30F... I'll take that! Loved the drive through Lexington. I haven't been there since our family went back in the 70's. Did a driving tour of Keeneland- what a beautiful facility. Had an interesting "stoplight" experience; as we were stopped at a red light, I realized that Badger was looking out the window, wagging his tail. I looked over and noticed there was a pickup next to me with 2 men in it. After a few moments, the driver pulled up and the passenger motioned for me to roll down my window. The older gentleman driving commented, "Ma'am, that's a beautiful English Shepherd you have there, just a beautiful dog." I definitely agreed with him!

Met the family that was adopting Badger in Mount Sterling. I think they were destined to be together. Badger gave Larry a big hug when he met him- I'm not kidding. It wasn't like he jumped up- he just walked up to Larry, tail wagging, and the next thing we knew he was "standing" there with both paws on Larry; giving him kisses, etc. I've never seen a dog do that to a stranger. It's like they'd known each other for years. And he did the same thing to Larry's wife. Then, when introduced to their son, he snuggled right up to him. They had brought a crate in case they needed it, but when they headed home, Badger was snuggled up in the back seat of the truck with their son. I had already warned DH that if things didn't work out finding/meeting the family in KY, that Badger was headed home with us...

Bear rode home very quietly with us to Wisconsin. He slept through Lexington, Cincinatti, Indianapolis, the snowy white-out in Hammond, Chicago- you get the picture. He did wake up briefly to take a short walk when we stopped and once when we got dinner, but the rest of the trip- he was out! Didn't get home until almost midnight- got delayed with the impropmtu mini-blizzard in Indiana. I'd forgotten how much "fun" lake effect snow can be...

He spent a couple days at our house so we could get him up to date on shots. He could have stayed too! He figured out his place very quickly and was happy to have a quiet place to sleep. Lola loved having someone "lower" than her to boss around! And she loved having another dog her size with whom to play. I took him to the office for a couple days and he slept right under my desk. Made friends with the staff and stole their hearts! Introduced him briefly to the lambs but since it's been so cold at our house (-30's F), we couldn't spend a lot of time outside. He was intrigued with them- a little hesitant, but not afraid. Would have loved to have some warmer days to see how he was the flock.

Bear is now being fostered with another family to learn the basics. He's learning to sit before eating, proper play- all those basic puppy things. It shouldn't take long before he finds a permanent home.

Friday, January 16, 2009

$#^@$% cold...!

'Nuf said???

WeatherSky Cond. Temperature (ºF)PressurePrecipitation (in.)
AirDwpt6 hour altimeter
sea level
1 hr 3 hr6 hr
1619:35S 810.00FairCLR-11-19


1619:15S 710.00FairCLR-10-18


1618:55S 710.00FairCLR-12-20


1618:35S 710.00FairCLR-10-19


1618:15S 810.00FairCLR-11-19


1617:55S 810.00FairCLR-10-19 -1-1030.42NA

1617:35S 710.00FairCLR-8-18


1617:15S 910.00FairCLR-7-18


1616:55S 910.00FairCLR-7-18


1616:35S 910.00FairCLR-5-17


1616:15S 910.00FairCLR-4-16


1615:55S 910.00FairCLR-3-16


1615:35S 910.00FairCLR-2-16


1615:15S 910.00FairCLR-2-15


1614:55S 1010.00FairCLR-1-16


1614:35S 810.00FairCLR-2-15


1614:15S 910.00FairCLR-3-15


1613:55S 910.00FairCLR-3-15


1613:35S 810.00FairCLR-4-15


1613:15S 710.00FairCLR-4-15


1612:55S 610.00FairCLR-5-16


1612:35S 610.00FairCLR-7-16


1612:15S 710.00FairCLR-9-18


1611:55S 710.00FairCLR-10-19 -10-2630.58NA

1611:35S 910.00FairCLR-11-20


1611:15S 710.00FairCLR-12-20


1610:55S 810.00FairCLR-13-21


1610:35S 810.00FairCLR-14-22


1610:15S 610.00FairCLR-14-22


1609:55S 710.00FairCLR-15-22


1609:35S 610.00FairCLR-16-22


1609:15S 610.00FairCLR-17-23


1608:55S 710.00FairCLR-19-25


1608:35S 510.00FairCLR-21-26


1608:15S 710.00FairCLR-21-27


1607:55S 610.00FairCLR-21-26


1607:35S 810.00FairCLR-25-29


1607:15S 710.00FairCLR-25-28


1606:55S 510.00FairCLR-21-26


1606:35S 510.00FairCLR-21-26


1606:15S 610.00FairCLR-21-26


1605:55S 510.00FairCLR-24-28 -11-2430.59NA

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Classic Movies

We've taken to watching old movies in the evening to relax. I used to watch a lot of these when I was in school- my mom and I would stay up folding laundry and watch a good 'ole classic movie. DH really never did - so these are all new to him.

Tonight's movie is "Anchors Aweigh" with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. If any of you remember it, this is the one in which Gene Kelly dances with Jerry during the story sequence. The funny thing is- while the animated story is playing, I noticed 5 dogs watching the screen....

Lola and Honey were the most intrigued. Lola has watched most of the movie. It doesn't hurt that there's some incredible music and singing- she loves music.

Lola loves watching tv. She reminds me of Lucky in 101 Dalmations.

Now if I could just get the damn cat to stop teasing the dogs... It WAS quiet here this evening...


Do you remember the Chambers Brothers song "Time has come today"? It ends with an almost chant-like..."Time"...."Time".....

That's all that keeps going through my head lately. Just never enough time. When I was home with the kids when they were little, we got so-o-o much done! The fun stuff: baking, cooking, walks, playtime, crafts; and the not so fun stuff: laundry, dishes, cleaning. But we got it done. Then, after heading back to work, what do we do- add in MORE stuff to do. Do we take anything away? Not really- just replace it with different stuff. Playtime, walks, & crafts become sports, taxi time, and 4H. Oh- and work time.... Somehow we're supposed to fit that in too!

Any way... this leads into the reason nothings really been updated. I figure (realistically) I'll be lucky to get things updated monthly. By the time I sit down and try to think, I'm out for the night! I "HAVE" become my mother! ;) We used to tease her when we were in high school. We'd sit down for a girls night of Scrabble- and she'd doze off while she was waiting for my sister and I to take our turns. We'd finish up and have to wake her up for her turn. Now I get it....

So what have we been up to? Where to start...

I made a trip in December to see Jim & Ann Beebe. Haven't been down there since January '08 when I picked up Lola, Bramble and Maggie. Jim hadn't been doing so well then and I didn't get a chance to meet him. This time he was much better and we had a nice visit. I also took Lola down so they could see her. However, we had an ulterior motive for the trip- Honey was in heat and I had talked to Ann about breeding her to Sparky. So the deed was done in about 10 minutes....And then all Honey wanted to do was play. That's my girl! So, it's been a month and we're pretty sure she's having puppies. She's a lot like her mom- she hides it well. So a couple more weeks we'll take the xray and see how many pups we can expect.

Lola has really been coming into her own this winter. Her main job is to keep the sheep off the fence- and she takes it to heart! They move for her when they won't move for anyone/anything else. She has the most versatile bark- high yappy pitch when excited or just starting to work, deep lower bark to get the ewes' attention, and a very throaty bark that makes even the most tenacious ewe jump out of the way! We've been working very hard on understanding that she only uses that last bark (and grip) on the big ewes and only when we really NEED to. The babies are a little confusing for her. She really wants to boss them around, and they are oblivious to her demands. They're used to following us around the yard (and into the garage).
So she's had to learn that babies are special. That's Lola and one of her buddies pictured.

Been trying to sort/declutter/destash the house. Needed to go through Roger's mom's things; we had too many stored boxes of clothes the girls have outgrown, too many sewing supplies (no- REALLY- I do), etc. Haven't even had a chance to start going through fleeces from this year yet. But I did manage to clear out 7 boxes of clothes and sell the rest of my aquatic supplies, so that made space in the workroom. Hopefully in another week or so, I can get going on skirting those. I bought back an old medium sized loom from a friend of mine (that's a whole "nother" entry) and was lucky enough to find a large Kessenich loom this fall dirt cheap, so I'd like to get started on those.

And right now, I've been working with NESR on getting a couple of ES boys pulled from a shelter. NESR has their hands full with the Montana situation (another post...) so they really didn't need this too. But I just happened to be doing a search for all things ES and happened upon a Petfinder link. I know I should never look, but.... When I saw the picture for the link- I knew that the dog's face was familiar. Sure enough, it was Melissa Crislip's Badger. For those that don't know, Melissa had some "small" strokes (is there such a thing???) and was hospitalized. We don't know the details, but Badger was surrendered to the shelter right before Christmas. Long story short, I contacted the shelter, Lynda McCall (his breeder), and NESR, and Badger is getting pulled this weekend. We'll be road-tripping this weekend to get him to his new home and also get another ESy pup into foster.

I guess we just have to make the most of what time we have. I think I'm getting good at it...