Shades of Ireland

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ewes Are Done!!!

This was the sheep shearing weekend. I was determined to get the sheep cooled off before July. We made a really good stab at it this weekend.

I have pics on my phone and someday I will figure out how to get them on here..... again! The phone service changed up the proceedure and that means that I have to just start all over again.

I briefly found the digital camera that had been lost in the old blue Ford truck but.... fair season is approaching and my budding photographer snappd it up to get a head start on pics to exhibit..... and promptly put it down somewhere and it is gone again!!

Anyway, we got nine ewes, the ram and one big black lamb sheared. All that we have left are lambs. In looking at them, only a few, less than six, really need to be sheared. The others are late lambs or were ill when I got them and they just do not have the heavy wool cover that the ewes did. They are not suffering in the heat at all and seem to have just enough wool covering to give them relief from the dang flies.

Adam has two ewe lambs picked out to show and they will certainly get a really close hair--- I mean--- wool cut......just not for a few more days!!

I did not try the professional shearing method this time. I am just too old, fat and weak to wallow those sheep around and get it done with out terrible strain to both me and the poor sheep. We put them up on the milking stand. Neil helped me hold them still, shifted the big sheet of wool and generally made life MUCH easier. I soon had a system and I am down right proud of the job we did. I still had clipper and blade issues but we have decided that the three sheep that I had problems with must not have been sheared last year. They were a greasy, nasty, hard-to-shear mess. Also they were obviously cross bred ewes and I am actively encouraging Neil to cull them because their wool was just .... very different to try to cut. After they were all cleaned off, we were shocked at just what nice, good quality sheep we have!! A couple of these girls have raised two lambs. The combined weight of those lambs is much heavier that the she is!!! We still have a month or so before actual weaning time. They have done an excellent job for us.

I ended up with six rolled up fleeces that I am not ashamed to admitt that I cut off. Two of them are probably not spinner quality but I am donating them to a local group of ladies that put on spinning demos. Those fleeces should at least give people something to look at and touch. They can demo to their heart's content.......

Right now, I have them rolled up and bagged in an old sheet. I just tied up the corners of the sheet and it looks like a huge hobo bundle. Every time I see that big old fashioned looking bundle, I find myself singing,  " Baa, Baa black sheep, have you any wool?"

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Just in case you haven't guessed by now--- I have been sick AGAIN! The normal allergy stuff was bad enough but this year, we had the added sinus infection that traveled up behind my eyes and settled in for the duration.

I had one round of antibotics and thought that it was over but..... I was wrong. That was the passing out over the silage barrel incident.

Round two consisted of several small stroke like sessions with facial cramps and more vision problems. Started a second round of stronger antibiotics with lots of very glamorous nasal passage rinsing. I felt better for a day or two and then just generally felt awful and wanted to find a nice place to lay down and die. I still did not have any pain at all. Just felt too bad to go on. I tried anyway but spent lots of time trying to cope with crazy, staggering, dizzy spells.

Back to the Doctor's office. My daughter came home for a visit for the day on Monday and ended up playing nursemaid and babysitter. She also managed to crack the whip over her brothers and get some house work done. Turns out, I was having an allergic reaction to the stronger antibiotics. They gave me a killer shot of something that knocked me out for 18 hours. I apparently visited and talked with several family members but I don't remember a thing...... Now I have a different pill regime that seems to be helping. Still have very mild dizzy/eye cramp spells but I must be doing MUCH better because I was able to spread three and a half tons of gravel rock out in the pot holes in the drive way today at high noon--- hottest part of the day..... I am pretty much finished and heading for a nap.

Just to be on the safe side, I am visiting an eye doctor tomorrow to let them have a look at what is going on back there......

All this to say---- the blogging has been a little on the light side lately and may be for a few more days.

I am alive and kicking and the farm life is going on steadily--- with or with out me!!  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Sign of Aging....

As we age, we begin to remember all kinds of things we have stored away in our minds. Older people have stories to tell of their memories and younger people often roll their eyes when they hear it coming....

I have begun to have those kinds of memories and stories to tell..... and my children roll their eyes.

Since tomorrow is Father's Day, several people who are my facebook friends have posted old pictures of their fathers. I decided to give it a try and surprised myself by successfully scanning a picture on the first try.

It was a picture of my father as a very young man just enlisted in the military. My middle son, Seth, bears an uncanny resemblance. We often knock heads, too-- just like my father and I did. Must be a form of payback Karma.

Since I was so successful with that first scanning, I decided to try again and went looking through old photos. Oh my!! The memories...... I chose to share this one because I remember this day. I was six years old and my baby brother was just over a year old. I vividly remember this day with my Dad......

We were stationed in Goose Bay, Labradore, Newfoundland, Canada. It was a very wild place! There was only one road for hundreds of miles and it ended at a river. Supplies were brought in to the base by sea.... until the bay froze over. Then there were a few supply flights as the weather permitted. We drank alot of powdered milk. It was only about 1200 miles from the Arctic Circle. Winter days were brief and dark. Summer days were seemingly endless and I remember arguing that it couldn't possibly be bedtime at 10:00pm because the sun was still shinning!

I am not sure if it was just my Dad's wanderlust or if it was the trend of the day but he loved to "just go for a ride". I have lots of interesting stories about the crazy places we sometimes ended up but while we lived here, the route was pretty predictable..... there was only one road.

But for some silly reason, I remember this specific day. It was a warm day and the mosquitos were vicious. We did not catch a single fish. The water was up and really noisey. Some crazy guy drove a yellow Volkswagon bug across a narrow bridge that was actually just two logs laid over the river. I got a bit sunburned. It was a good day......  

My mother took this picture with her old "Brownie" box camera. It is a classic shot and pose for my Dad. He was tall and lanky. He often sat hunched over with his elbows on his knees. He never wore a tee shirt unless it was a white one under his button up shirt. The shirt always had to be a dull color. No stripes, no bright colors and definitely NEVER any hint of yellow or pink stripes no matter how subtle. 

His hair was combed over in front to hide the receeding hair line but... there was no hiding the spot on top.

He never got to be an old man. He died of a massive heart attack at forty eight. He never met any of his grandchildren. He didn't have time to learn to like and respect my husband. We had been married all of two months when he died. I have some good memories and some that are definitely not. If he had lived, I am sure that we would have continued to rub each other the wrong way because that is just the way we were. 

Happy Father's Day..... make good memories!!