Archive for March, 2008

More lambs…

March 29, 2008

Here’s Susanna’s little ewe lamb:


She was born last night around 7 p.m.  And this morning, when I went out to feed them at around 7 a.m., I found Fiona with a little ewe lamb, all dried off, so must have been born middle of the night, I’d say.


Hmm…doesn’t look like she has knee patches on her front legs…will have to check…and if she’s wearing black socks, they are that kind that stop at the ankles!  We shall see…


First lambs!

March 29, 2008

Yesterday around noon, I went out to check the sheep and found Turtle with two little ram lambs. I had checked at 10 a.m. and no one was showing any signs of immanent birth. That line is like that: just pops them out with no problems. Here’s the babies:


Here’s the other one:


Another lamb was born last night, a single ewe lamb, a bit dark but cute nevertheless.  I’m about to go out and see if there were more in the night, and take a photo of the little girl.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Bah, humbug!

March 28, 2008

Well, it is lovely outside, though I think it would be a lot lovelier in say, December, or January, or even February…we had just commented last night that the driveway is finally free of most of the ice and snow which has covered it all winter and made traversing it to the shed an act of faith, and they are saying 3-7 inches. Well, we easily have three so far: N.J. type snow: wet and heavy, weighing down the trees, big flakes. I was going to the grain store this a.m. but it will be a lot easier to wait til the afternoon when the snow is scheduled to stop…so instead I mixed up some sweet bread dough to make sticky buns.

Still no lambs, though they should start any day now.  None of them looks REALLY ready, so I’m guessing that the rams just missed one cycle and rebred those few who WERE mounted when they didn’t settle, nine days later…We shall see…Anyway, fifteen of them are bred, by three different rams, so sometime in the next three weeks we WILL have lambs!

I will be taking the services on Sunday at church.  The interim rector is off in Florida for the week, recovering from Holy Week  and Easter, always exhausting.  (It’s so nice not to be doing that anymore!)  So, I suppose I could also work on my sermon (I hate sermons!) but I think it’s already in there, ready to go, so it just requires writing it down in case some poor soul, for some reason, actually wants a copy of it.  (I would think that hard of hearing would be a blessing during most sermons, but I seem to be in the minority: for some reason, people in churches seem to like being preached at. I don’t.  I have heard a few good sermons in my life.  But for the most part, I think it is not a very effective way to foster spiritual growth, and instead tends to get people stuck in their heads.  Nevertheless, for all those years, it was something I had to do: part of the job!  Oh, well. )

With the flu, I still haven’t finished my St. Patrick’s Day sweater. Luckily, it will work next year as well, and in between.  Last night I kitchenered (okay, made up word) the shoulder seams, so I’m ready to start a sleeve tonight, while we continue to watch “The First Churchills”.  I can sort out patterns as I sort out Charles II, JamesII, William and Mary and the other characters in this well done British costume drama.  I love it.  Susan Hampshire, of course, who played in most all of those BBC costume dramas, it seemed, back in the 60’s and 70’s…and beyond, plays Sarah Churchill…forgot the guy who plays her husband, but he’s very good.  I recommend it.  Good ol’ Netflix.

Cold, windy, and a not nice day, weather-wise,…

March 21, 2008

…though I admit the sun was shining most of the day, except this morning, when we went over Terrible Mountain to Weston to see Elizabeth Ann. John went with me. She has grown a lot and her face has changed some…Here she is…


…in my lap, with a Margaret-look about her. Later I took a photo of her sitting up in her communal bed, which she shares with her sisters and brother, a friendly cat, and her mother…with supervised visits from her father, who apparently is too rough with the puppies without supervision.


She will be able to come home in about 2 weeks.  I can’t wait…

Boy, this flu thing is something I sure don’t feel inclined to want to repeat anytime in the next, say, 40 years!  The week of the “acute” stage was not fun, and now we look forward to another week or two of coughing and tiredness, but feel so much better as to not complain about where we are now.  We did cancel the kids and grandkids’ coming for the weekend, though…just too much in our condition.  A nice quiet Easter weekend, with Easter dinner at Cedar Hill with John’s mother, assuming we are convinced we are no longer contagious, which I think is the case.

Happy Easter to all.   We sure feel resurrected this year!


March 14, 2008

Or maybe just a virus…anyway, yesterday was shearing.  I was out there at 7 a.m. setting up. Lucas arrived at 8:15 to help with the heavy stuff. John was in bed, having brought the flu home with him from work on Wednesday.  David, the shearer, arrived at 9:10, unusual for him to be even five minutes late, but it was that kind of day.  Some visitors showed up and the fleece mavens (Lise and Suzie, minus Sally)…and we started. David asked me several times how I was; said I didn’t look all that good. I just figured it was because Margaret wasn’t there for the first time in 10 years…but when they left at 1:30 or so after lunch, with fleeces all in bags on the porch, and the shed all cleaned up, I collapsed on the sofa for a short nap…which lasted several hours. Then got up and ate a yogurt, and went to bed and slept most of the night, got up for pills, and back to bed until 7, fed the sheep, back to bed until 11, checked email, back to bed…all day long. I did accomplish weighing the fleeces, and making dinner.  John couldn’t eat for two days. I didn’t have that problem: I think when I’m sick, I actually eat more, trying to find the magic food that will restore me.  He stops eating, like the sheep.  Today he was finally able to eat something.  So, now I’m ready for another nap, and then bed, hoping by tomorrow, I’ll be much better since Lise is shearing and I am one of the fleece mavens there.  We shall see…It is supposed to snow tonight, I believe, 1-3 inches, and another inch tomorrow.  I think I’m ready to give up snow for the year!  The 2 feet on the ground has been rained on and is now solid ice: you can walk on it without sinking in.  Luckily, it was warm today, much appreciated by the shorn sheep. (Last year, the temp dipped to zero or something akin the day after they were shorn: they needed extra grain and hay to burrow down into.  This coming week it is not supposed to go below 20, and then only the one day at 20, the rest in the 30’s and 40’s, so they will have it easy.

Two weeks to lambing.  I guess I’d better check my supplies and make sure I have everything I need…

Elizabeth Ann

March 12, 2008

On Sunday, John went to Williamstown, Mass., to meet our son and his son to go to a lecture and exhibit of Remington’s paintings. I was home alone, and was feeling very blue, missing Margaret Rose the Wonder Dog like crazy. The Friday before, I had seen an ad on the listserve for Vermont Sheep and Goat Association, and I called Mark Fischer, who had placed the ad…to go see his puppies. I thought it was much too early. After all, Margaret was only dead a month. All afternoon after the call, I was teary, and feeling guilty, thought I wouldn’t keep the appointment, so didn’t even tell my husband about the call. Monday morning, I went off to Carol’s to knitting group, and afterwards, headed to Weston, arriving right on time. There were four puppies. The little boy wasn’t of any interest. The three little girls were. Two of them sat on my lap quietly, didn’t seem to see much difference between me and the rug. But the third…she looked at me several times, chewed on my sweater, then bit my finger, to which I tweaked her nose and said, “No!” and she stopped. Then she rolled over so I could give her belly rubs, and then fell asleep on my lap. Was this the one? So soon. I thought I would see them and burst into tears, but I didn’t. And so, I went home to talk to John and ponder. His response surprised me: very positive. (He’s not a dog person and I thought for sure that he was going to say hold off for a while, thinking and hoping a while was oh, thirty years.) So, I called Mark and said, “I’ll take Elizabeth Ann.” She’s only a month old. I will go back next week and be absolutely certain, that is, make sure she’s not an off the wall, crazy, hyper border collie, uncontrollable. I hear there are such. But she only needed one nose tweak to stop her unacceptable biting, so I’m hopeful that means she’s bidable, as they say.

So, here are the four puppies. Lizzie is the one in the middle with the strange patterning. Some would say that makes her less desireable, but I kind of like the pattern.


Here she is up close:


I am so excited.  I know she won’t be Margaret.  No dog could ever be Margaret.  But Lizzie will be Lizzie and that will be great.  She will be ready to come here to live in the middle of April sometime.