Thursday, December 27, 2018

 Chip, our 22 month old Horned Dorset ram,
with Jillian, Dorset/Romney ewe in front, 
also 22 months. He is a single, she is (was) 
a twin. Different parents.

 Tess. Our guard llama. 
She has to check out every pile of hay
and every group of sheep, before she will eat.

 December 26th and we still have mud...
And, if you can see in the pig pasture in
the lower picture at the top of the picture
it is flooded from all the rain we had
before Christmas.
The sheep are still cleaning up from
the wet packed bale put out for them
early in the week. They go through it
quickly, but they waste none of it.

 Poor Lola still looks scruffy.
She was born on the farm, but lived on 
another farm for a while. She came back 
to live with us last year. For some reason
the rest of the ewes are pushing her out of 
the grain. So, she has been getting fed by 
herself. Unfortunately her fleece has been
affected by the  stress of the other sheep. And,
hopefully she is pregnant by Chip.
This year's fleece will go straight to compost.

Chip loves his female human.
For some reason, not so much the male human.
I think mainly because Jerry did not handle him
the whole time I could not get in the barn after
my broken ankle. I rub under his chin and keep 
his head held up. But, I also smack his across
the nose and tell him 'No!' when he acts up.

This is the 2nd year of no coats.
So, the fleeces will have VM in them
as well as mud. There are no lamb fleeces
available from our farm this year as we sold
every lamb last spring. THANK YOU to 
all of our lamb customers!!!
There are 30 ewes that have been exposed to
3 rams (2 fertile, 1 old) since August 1st.
We should start lambing anytime. Provided
Chip did his job. Jeremy's (Dorset/Romney) lambs
should start dropping the first week in February.
As far as I know, all of the lambs have already
been spoken for. If something falls through
with someone, I will post it here and on Face Book.

I have posted some of the 2017/2018 fleeces available
on the farm's fleece blog.

I will continue to inventory what we have available and
I will try to update the fleece blog at least once a week.

With all the ice in the farm yard, and being down to one
vehicle, I will not be leaving the house much. So, I have
plenty of time to work on fleeces, and updating the blogs.

I did get 2 Icelandic fleeces washed yesterday. They 
are downstairs drying near the wood/coal furnace.
Next I need to wash some alpaca fleeces, and then 3 
white Dorset/Romney lamb fleeces. I have red-brown
alpaca that will be blended with the different shades
of brown Icelandic fleeces. And, I have a white crimpy
alpaca fleece that will be blended with the white lamb's
fleeces. I also have silver alpaca and silver Romney, both
already washed, ready to go. And, black alpaca and black
llama that may just become roving on their own. I have
3 different black Shetland fleeces, all washed, that will
also go to become roving. 

When I sell enough fleece to fill the grain bin, I will 
start putting money towards having these fleeces
processed by Sallie's Fen Fiber Mill in Barrington,
NH. She has alpacas and she KNOWS fine fleece.
Hopefully, I will have enough saved by the time we 
shear in her area this spring to drop them at her mill!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

It has been a long couple of years!!!

I'd also like to thank ALL of our customers who have helped keep our farm running with your purchases.

I am seriously hoping to take some time to take pictures of wooly items I have available for sale and get them posted. I've just be busy playing catch-up on the house with all the things I could not do after either shoulder surgery, and then the broken ankle....

I have past the one year mark (12/11) on my 2nd shoulder surgery and I am doing well. I have a lot more range of motion than I have had since I first injured it in March of 2016, and a LOT more since the failed surgery of February of 2017. There is still some pain, and there are still a few things I have difficulty doing, but it has been a long time since the original injury and a lot of extra damage done to it. So, all in all, I am quite pleased with Dr. Boselli's work and look forward to continued healing.

My ankle on the other hand... The 13th of this month marked the 6 month anniversary of surgery. The pain is still incredible, but I am managing. At this point it does not matter pain-wise whether I use it or not. So, I am using it. I go back March 5th to see Dr. Duffy and if all is still healing we can schedule the hardware removal the first week of April. That will give me 5 weeks to heal before the NH Sheep & Wool festival.

I will have to go completely under again for the hardware to be removed. I have one pin that is a  lot longer than the rest and that one HAS to come out. I told him the way my body is reacting to the metal that I need him to take it ALL out. If I have to be knocked out for the one piece, he might as well take it all. I know I will be in a cast for at least 2 weeks after and possibly in the wheelchair for a month after. I am hoping to be healed enough by festival to walk. If not, it won't be the first festival I've done in the wheelchair. 😉

If all went well with Chip, our Horned Dorset ram, we should start having lambs January 2nd. Although if they twin, it could be as early as December 28. We put him in with all 30 girls for 30 days. I am hoping that he bred only the Horned Dorset ewes, as they will breed out of season. We put Jeremy, our Dorset/Romney ram, in with the girls for the next 30 days.

During the day, all 3 rams and the llama are in with the girls in the big pasture. We've been feeding wet packed hay bales to the girls since breeding started August 1st. Since the girls are no longer in heat, and I don't want to try to lug hay out for the boys and the llama, it was just as easy to open gates in the barn and let them across to the girls side. At night, the 3 boys go back to their stall and Tess, the llama, goes back to her stall. This way everyone is getting the higher protein hay during the day.

It is going to be interesting to see what the lambs and the fleeces look like after them eating this higher protein hay for their entire pregnancies!! The best part is not having to feed the morning grain.  Buying this hay from the farmer down the road, as much as I hate to have to buy hay!!, is saving us 1/2 our grain bill. When I do this year's taxes I am looking forward to seeing if we've saved any money.

If this has made a big difference in the ewes, their lambs and our bottom dollar, we may start looking for a wrapping machine. We've discussed it off and on, and with the awful hay year we had this year, we may just do it. When we come up with the finances. We have a round baler that needs a repair, again when we have the finances. It will do both dry bales and wet bales. The advantages of the wet bales are that you cut the hay and bale it the next day. They are wrapped, so they can be stored outside. And, they are much higher in protein. The bad thing about wet packed bales is that in the warmer weather, if you don't have enough animals eating it, they will mold.

I am hoping and praying that next year the weather will be better for haying. I would like to do 1/2 in dry bales to go up in the loft of the barn. Those can be for night feeding after they've been on pasture all day, and for ewes in the lambing jugs. The other 1/2 can be for feeding when they are off pasture, and for the boys who are not in with the ewes at that time.

It is all in God's hands as to what will be happening to us and to the farm. I just pray that it is His will for us to have a good year in 2019. At the same time I thank Him with my whole heart for getting us through 2018 mentally, physically and financially. And I thank our friends, family and customers for all 3 as well.

I know there is another 11 days left of this year, but I am seriously looking forward to the new year. I've got some new plans for the wool business, and I am thinking forward to the garden and I am praying for that to be fruitful enough to have extras to sell at farmer's market(s). I know the lambs are all sold for next year and we are very blessed by our repeat customers!! I am just praying for a better year next year, not  just for us but for our entire country.

Enjoy the last few days of 2018 all. Stay safe and warm (or cool, depending on where you are). Tell those around you that you love them, reach out to your neighbors and family far away. Think positive thoughts and live positive lives. Look up and thank God for all that you have, and even for those things that He decided you did not need to have.

Have a Merry CHRISTmas all and remember we are celebrating the birth of Jesus on the 25th and NOT Santa and the gifts. It is all about He who was born as a baby, preached as a child, died for our sins as a man, and was resurrected 3 days later as our Savior.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Friday, September 28, 2018

Life is full of good and bad

I've been saying a lot lately 'If it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all!' I am so glad with my eternal life I don't have to rely on luck, but God's grace. If I had to rely on luck to get me into Heaven, or even works, I'd fall WAY short!

This week we got hit by lightening. AGAIN! It was not a direct hit as this strike affected my neighbors up on the hill as well. It could have been much worse if it were not for the expensive surge protector that we bought after the last major lightening hit.

We were watching TV, when BAM! lightening struck somewhere in our area. The sky lit up and the TV sparked. A repairman from TDS Telecom. came out late yesterday and replaced our WiFi modem, the DVR (with all 8 of the Harry Potter movies recorded on it 😢as well as a dozen new recorded shows we've not had a chance to see yet), and the 3 HDMI cords. The only damage to the TV thankful is 2 out of 5 ports for the HDMI are fried. As is the HDMI port on this computer. Thankfully, I still have my monitor and this computer can go either cable or screw on connector. (I do not remember what it is called.)

So, we did have some luck in not having to replace the TV and the computer, but I will need to buy another $80 surge protector at some point.

I am walking more and more, even though it is still very painful. I am thrilled to be on 2 legs more than on 4 wheels. I still use the chair around the house, mainly because the foot and ankle still swell a LOT. But, I do walk when I get the opportunity.

I won't be walking a lot this weekend though. I will take the chair with us, and I will use it instead of the cane when I have to walk somewhere. This weekend is the 30th VT. Sheep & Wool Festival. I am hoping that we have sales like we've had the last 2 years. With me not working (19 months and a week at this point), every penny helps to support the farm.

Next weekend is the 35th annual Wool Arts Tour. We will be in our usual spot in Deering, NH at Spinner Farm. This could be our last year vending at tour. Leslie and Steve's farm is for sale, and if the new owners don't care to be a stop, we will be done. This is the only spot with indoor booth spaces. I am getting too old to be setting up and taking down an EZ-Up twice during the weekend. As well as setting up the booth and tearing it down again. But, I wish them lots of luck finding the right buyer for their farm!!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Apple Pie Crafts Fair

This was a first for us. Usually I'd be at the Wilmot Farmer's Market, but another vendor recommended that I'd really want to do this. I am glad I did. And, I am most thankful that my friend Katherine Balch from Sew Unique agreed to vend with me. She, and later her husband, did all the heavy lifting. The farm made enough to buy 9 bags of grain. Thank you to all who purchased from us!!! We will be back next year!

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Today is 10 months since my 2nd shoulder surgery, which was almost 10 months after the first failed one, and 10 weeks since I broke my ankle.

The shoulder is getting stronger due to the wheelchair, but it is still not strong enough to use the walker, or the crutches, for any period of time. I guess I will need to start doing push ups...

The ankle is healing slowly. The Achilles Tendon is super tight, so doing (trying to) exercises is rather painful. But, I will keep moving it. I hope to be able to do weight bearing by September 1st. I see my surgeon again this coming Thursday, so we will see what he says.

The ankle is still swelling easily, and is still discolored.
My poor toe hurts from running onto it with the front
wheel of the wheelchair. I was looking backwards in 
order to not run over Jack Black who insists on laying
directly behind me. I guess he is guarding me....

Edited to add:
The surgeon has told me I can start putting 25% of my
weight on my foot when using the walker or the crutches.
I asked him if he realized how weight that was in my case.
He said, 'just be careful'. I am so excited!!!
I will only be 'walking' with the air cast. 

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