Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Update From The Weekend

I want you ALL to know that I had a GREAT time in Michigan on the weekend with my friend Stephen Rouse and his 93 year old Mom. So much got done ... and there was so much love ... especially when Stephen's spinners all arrived on Sunday. I get goose bumps when I think about what this group has ... and is ... accomplishing.

I also got some pictures of sheep currently residing at Willow Garden South. Above is a shot of the fleece on my spotted katmoget ram, Underhill Thelonius Monk. He is a VERY cool guy ... :-)
These shots ... above and below ... are close-up shots of Under the Son Connaught (Conn). He is such a pet ... and with an amazing fleece. I am really looking forward to crossing him on my F1 Hornblower and Glava daughters.
And over the next few days ... I will post pictures of the ten ewes and two ewe lambs at Willow Garden South. They are an amazing collection. It looks like many will come here bred to a Roban Dillon son. The genetics involved with these ewes ... and the four rams that I think I have bought ... combined with breeding the ewes to a Dillon son ... UNIMAGINABLE ... :-)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ray Charles ... then off I go ... :-)

I got out yesterday afternoon in the first sunshine we've had in a while and took some pictures.
I started with the rams ... and then my batteries went dead. I am pasting in some pictures of Ray Charles this morning.
He is an emsket ram ... loose crimp ... and a medium handle. I like a lot of things about him.
I wish he was softer ... but the colour ... and the conformation mean he can stay in the ram flock for a while.

Now ... I am out of here and headed for my friend Stephen Rouse's in Michigan. Gonna help him do some 'getting ready for winter' stuff. Should be a VERY sheepy weekend ... :-)

Monday, October 23, 2006

GENE'S Bad Dog!

THIS ... is GENE's dog, Molly. She is Gene's dog because she was bad, and MY dogs NEVER do anything bad! So, she MUST be his ... hehehe. In this picture, she is looking away from me ... and that is a darn good thing! She knew that I was ticked!

This morning ... my mouse on the computer worked ... BUT the keyboard was DEAD. For a while now, some keys had been beeping and only working part of the time. Today though ... nothing worked. Seems that MOLLY, who likes to hide under my desk when playing with the other two GOOD dogs ... had chosen to dine on the cable that connects my keyboard to my computer! She likely did it a while ago, but gets tangled in that cord on a regular basis. I suspect that her pulling on it to get loose just shorted out the spots where she had chewed.

The result was a bit of inconvenience, to be sure ... BUT ... I did find a new keyboard on sale at Future Shop for $14.99. THAT I could afford ... hehehe. Lucky for Molly ... and Gene ... ;-)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Speaking of Hugs ... :-)

Hi again!

This is my daughter-in-law Kerri. I LOVE Kerri ... and love to hug Kerri, 'cause she hugs good ... and she is so good for my little boy ... ;-).

This picture is from HER blog ... the link is in the side bar. She completed a 10K run!

Does she not look good!?! Should I not get out of this chair and do the same? We'll see. I'd love to do a run with her ... but 10K ... as I said, we'll see.

HUGS Kerri!

Hugs to Everyone!

I just got home from work ... and someone sent this link to me during the day. I wish that I had viewed it BEFORE I went to work. It was a wonderful day at work, but I just think a few more hugs might have helped it be even better. And this video clip reminded me of how powerful hugs are. We all need hugs. May we never forget their importance in our lives!

Annyway, my friends ... HUG ON!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Why Wait ... Rams for 2008 Lambs ... hehehe

Well ... why wait, I always say ... hehehe.

With breeding groups for 2007 lambs not yet decided upon, let alone set-up ... I have begun to purchase rams to use for 2008 lambs. I want some pretty special guys to put over my AI ewes.

This guy is the first one ... Under the Son Connaught. He is coming from Theresa Gygi, and is a white Island Skeld son. I like him a LOT.

I have one more chosen, and will get pics at the end of the month when I am in Michigan.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

AI Rams Being Used at WillowGarden

Someone asked me which UK rams I would be using for AI in a few weeks. Here they are. I have 17 straws from Todhill Hornblower. He is a four year old black ram with almost no white fibres. He is QR. I have also attached his histogram, but in case you can't read it ... his micron is 27.8, with an SD of 5.3.

The other one is Todhill Glava, a moorit ram that might be carrying the 'modifier'. I have 25 straws from this guy. At the age of six, his white fibres are minimal. He is RR. His micron is 25.9, with an SD of 5.7.
I'm looking forward to seeing what these guys can add to my flock. The AI date is set for 1 PM on November 9th. I am slightly nervous ... but also very excited.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Great Plains Genetics at Willow Garden

About a week ago, before the rain, cold, snow, and gluminess set in ... I took a bunch of pictures of ewes from Carol Arthur's Great Plains flock ... and the lambs from their breeding. Above and below is WillowGarden Mutsu ... out of Great Plains Cherry and Great Plains King Arthur. She STAYS ... ;-)
Next is Great Plains Skye. She is a real character, let me tell you ... :-)
This is WillowGarden Vistabella, out of Great Plains Robin and Great Plains William the Conqueror. I LOVE this lamb!
WillowGarden Melba, out of Great Plains Sylvia and Great Plains King Arthur ... has a big, soft, crimpy fleece. As you can see around her neck, she is a lamb that thinks the grass really is always greener on the other side of the fence ... hehehe. I think that I can pull mioget lambs out of this one!
WillowGarden McIntosh, a grey katmoget ram lamb out of Great Plains Isabel and Great Plains King Arthur. He is a lovely ram, but his fleece lacks the handle that I would have expected, considering his parents. I will keep him around, though, to see what he grows in to. It will HAVE to be wonderful ... :-)
Great Plains Kilda ... one of my true FAVES ... :-)
WillowGarden Pippin, a mioget ewe lamb, out of Great Plains Tulip, and WillowGarden Duke Ellington. This little girl is a triplet, with a dense, full, even and crimpy, SOFT fleece ... and a real gift.
WillowGarden Chick Pea, out of WillowGarden Sophia Loren and Great Plains William the Conqueror. This little girl is Ag and crimpy from one end to the other, AND she is changing to a VERY dark blue grey ... at the moment. She has a very 'close' hind end, BUT, with the colour, crimp and handle of her fleece, she'll be added to the breeding program here for sure.
Kilda had twin girls for me this year. Yah gotta love that ... :-) This one is WillowGarden Gala, an emsket ewe lamb, out of WillowGarden Duke Ellington. This will be a big fleece, quite dense, and VERY crimpy from one end to the other. This girl is going nowhere ... :-)
This is a fleece that is thinner than I'd like ... BUT ... VERY fine, crimpy, and uniform. It feels like butter ... and is the kind of fleece you can't leave alone ... :-) It is on WillowGarden Cortland, out of Great Plains Sarah, and Whistle Stop Lerwick. This guy is smaller ... but very square ... and ohhhhh the fleece! He may be for sale after breeding season.
And last, but far from least ... WillowGarden Fuji, another Kilda daughter, and twin to Gala. This gal has a light grey fleece that is coming in with a nice even, tight crimp. She will also be carrying the modifier. She has been on and off my sale list over the past few months. Right now, I am keeping her ... happily ... we'll see what happens with her. She is a doll ... :-)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Holy Sh*t ... What Ever Happened to Global WARMING!

Well ... I just let the dogs out before I headed for bed ... and THIS is what greeted me!

It is only October 12th! I thought global warming was coming!

I am NOT ready for this ... AT ALL!

Tomorrow ... I am headed out to find aerosol spray cans to buy ... hehehe

It is beautiful though ... and my sheep will look wonderful at 6 AM when I let them out to the pasture.

Life is good ... :-)

What Happened to FALL!!!

Well ... neither of the pictures I am using for this post were taken today. I took them about a week ago ... when it was still FALL!!!! Not sure what happened ... but what a change!

I did chores tonight ... in a blizzard ... wearing my rubber boots to deal with the mud and my winter coat and gloves to deal with the COLD!!! What has happened here ?

Above is Great Plains Sarh, a lovely ewe ... and she was NOT happy with the change in the weather this afternoon!
This is Great Plains Isabel ... and she HATES the change in the weather today! She was soaking wet from a very cold rain ... and then covered with wet and slushy snow.

When I finally came in from feeding everyone their grain ... and hay in barns so they'd stay warm and dry(er) ... I felt so 'warm and fuzzy'. I love my sheep ... and I love the fact that they let me be their shepherd ... :-)

Life is so very good ... *sigh*

Saturday, October 07, 2006

FINALLY an update ... :-)

Well ... I realize that it has been a LONG while ... and I am not about to offer excuses. I am, however, prepared to tell you some of the 'extras' that have filled my life to date.

I received a shipment of four ewes from NB, pictured above ... along with a Great Plains Iona great grand daughter, from Woolly Shetlands.

I shipped sheep to NS ... met the trucker in the back of a parking lot, late at night, and in a situation that he could not drive out of ... soooo ... I stopped traffic in two directions (as I am SURE you all know that I can ... hehehe) ... while he backed this HUGE cattle liner out of the parking lot!

Got a ewe lamb from Nick on Manitoulin Island, and sent him some sheep ... including the Pea sisters ... Snow and Snap. I miss them a lot!

Went to Guelph for a wonderful wedding for dear friends of ours.

Helped Carole Dailley catch, evaluate, and begin to genotype her flock ... about 200 of them passed through out hands that day. Now I am inputting them into a data base. A TRUE educational experience, let me tell you!

Went to my friends' Michele and Gill Minty's farm for a meeting of the Shetland Sheep Breeders of Ontario ... and STILL have to write up the minutes for Michele to send out to members in a newsletter.

Working hard to get the ewes for AI selected ... my choices change daily. Lots of time on the phone and email arranging all of this.

The last of the winter hay is in ... and rams are SECURED ... so that I, THE SHEPHERD, will control who breeds whom ... and when ... hehehe

Had the Vet out, and with Matt (The Kid Across the Road Who Makes It Possible For Me To Do All Of This) we gave a ram a vasectomy. Think of the things Matt can add to his resume after working here ... hehehe

Auditioned for a part in a play ... Dear Santa. Got the lead role ... but had to decline/bow out as there is just NO time to breathe and enjoy ... and I WILL enjoy life. There will be other plays ... ;-)

Applied for another teaching job ... and got it. I did NOT decline this one ... Tuesday and Wednesday ... 8:10 AP through 12:10 PM. I do assessment of students for learning disabilities for half of the time ... and spend the other half of the time teaching science and Social Studies to Grade Two. The school only has Jr K through Grade Three in the building. It is a Majorly cool job ... but takes a bit of my time ... :-) So ... now, this retired guy works three days a week ... but two of the days are short ... ;-)

I'm sure there is more that I have forgotten ... but ... KNOW ... that life here at Willow Garden is indeed VERY good ... :-)