News and blog
We never thought we'd see snow at the farm but here it is. Brings back lots of memories growing up in Maryland when we did have lots of snow. Enjoy the picures.
Thanksgiving morning around 12:10 am our beautiful Newfie girl Delilah passed away. It was very sudden. She went to the vet Monday am to have minor gum bleeding checked out. By that afternoon she was at a specialty clinic. That evening we got the news that she had Immune Mediated Thrombocypenia which is an immune disorder which causes the body to attack its own blood platelets. She received aggressive treatment but never responded. She died peacefully - no pain. We miss her desperately. 4 Years was not enough time to give her all the love we felt for her.
In Loving Memory
November 10, 2004 - November 27, 2008
One of the things we missed while living in California was the Fall season. Easily Fall is the most beautiful time of the year here. Crisp, clear mornings - the cleanest air you can find and of course the colors. Nothing beats the colors of Fall. So here are a few pictures of the Farm at this special time of year. You can all the photos on the Farm page.
Last week was an exciting one at the farm. We added 6 new animals. I've already introduced Faith and Hope. Here are the others.
Dude is a young jack (intact male) whom we bought from Bayfield Farm (same farm that Babe came from). It is our hope he will breed Ruby and Jade. So far Ruby and Jade don't think much of him. Hopefully they will warm to him over time. Right now they are claiming to have headaches....:)
Opal is a weanling jenny that had been in the same pasture as Babe at Beyfield Farm. She is a real beauty and her purpose right now is to be Babe's stablemate but who knows, maybe one day she and Dude will get together. Dude seems to have more interest in Opal right now but that's because he knows she's pure....
LEAH AND DINAH
Losing our barbado Sarah and her lambs was heartbreaking for us. Simone, her daughter, has also been sad because the only sheep she has to pal around with are those stinky Cheviots and Babydolls. Like people, sheep like to hang with their own kind if possible. They form other relationships but its not the same. So - while we were picking up Opal and Dude we asked to have a couple of Barbados sheep hanging around in a pasture looking like they needed a change. Leah is mom to Dinah (for those who know their Bible, Leah was wife of Jacob and mother to Dinah.) If they are willing, I will breed them to Moses along with all the other ewes. These girls are small and have beautiful markings.
Yesterday Faith and Hope joined the farm. They are pygmy goat sisters about 3 years old. They got quite a hazing when they first entered the pasture especially from queen Miriam, one of the cheviots with quite an attitude. Then came Moses - typical male - all he wanted was a "good time." Yes sheep and goats can get it on - they just can't reproduce - I can attest that my Nigerian Dwarf goat Johanna has had her share of back room flings (or is that back pasture flings) with the rams. She's really quite the hussy. Anyhow - these two seem quite capable of fending off unwanted advances.
Most important - Fall is a time for mating. At the Farm that is a particularly hectic time of year. It means segregating those who will be allowed to mate from those who will not and choosing the lucky bachelor to service the flock. This year's winner was once again Moses - chosen not for the size of his family jewels but for his physical size and his tenacity. He is my smallest black Southdown Babydoll of breeding age. Pepper, our original stud is, understandably upset. He said he'd match his cahones with the best of them and no doubt he'd win - such is life. So - a couple of days ago, we led Moses to his harem and set him loose. Well - it caused an immediate commotion. The ladies were lining up for service. Never has one black sheep been so popular. Couldn't help but notice a lot of cigarette smoke wafting from the barn late in the day.
Not so in the ram pen where the guys have been head butting and shoving each other around hurling nasty epitaphs about private parts. So much testosterone with no place to go. A new natural energy source for America???
There has been one new addition to the farm - her name is the Mighty Miracle Shaker and she is a 7 year old Tennessee Walking horse. She is not only beautiful but smart. I chose her over others I looked at because in her case only one of us needed to be trained and it wasn't her. I hope to show her next year in the pleasure riding classes.
Serious consideration is being given to breeding Ruby and Jade (the donkeys). There is nothing cuter than young donkeys and while selling them won't make you rich, there is a market for them.
Many of you recall that we lost Sarah and her three lambs shortly after we arrived in Virginia. Her daughter Simone gave us beautiful black twins a week before we left California. I just sold those lambs with much sadness. I know I'm supposed to sell lambs but I was getting used to these two being around and Simone had been sooooooo distraught after Sarah's death that I thought that maybe I should have let her keep the babies. Oh well - she'll be pregnant faster than you can say "you betcha."
Speaking of politics - we are deep in the heart of McCain/Palin territory. Very deep. There are no "Joe the plumbers" here but lots and lots of farmers who are losing the farm. When they talk about rural America - this is it. Not a lot of optimism around here for sure. But - Jim and I went to the North Carolina State Fair last week and if the Fair is any barometer of the health of our economy - its going gangbusters thank you very much. We are talking gridlock - not on the roads - at the Fair!
Life on a farm is not without its physical challenges. I had been doing great - no mishaps - until.......I was installing a new mineral feeder in the "honeymoon suite" (so called because I put my miniature Cheviot pair - Zach and Susannah together to make babies - I hope) - while I was bending over drilling a hole Zach came in and decided I made a nice target - so he rammed me. Fortunately he only weighs around 75 pounds - solid pounds - unfortunately I was a stationary object which when hit with a blunt force sometimes cracks. So went two of my ribs. That was #1. I spend a lot of time grooming our 3 Newfoundlands - only to keep them from looking like prehistoric monsters with braided hair - and the combs I use to detangle are sharp. Although I missed the vein I managed to take a substantial chunk out of my wrist. That was #2. Newfoundlands are at their best when they are lounging or sleeping. In any event, they hold the floor down. Their preferred flop locations are in doorways and dark hallways. I am my father's daughter and take any and all opportunities to trip on unsuspecting obstacles. This one was a 165# furball. So the knee is wrapped - not sure of the long term damage but I've forgotten all about the pain in my side and my arm. That was #3 and I hope the end of this string of bad luck.
Thanksgiving is fast approaching and we are looking forward to having a local turkey for dinner - the one we eat will be from FoodLion :):) For the first time in 20 years - I might actually like Christmas. If it cold and frosty - it isn't Christmas. Our local church is having a Christmas play which are hoping to attend and we might even offer up a "living nativity" if they want it (sans the Baby of course)