Thursday, May 27, 2010

Call Me Rory ... :-)

It has been a strange week for me ... the anniversary of the week I let go of Gene ... farewell and best wishes as they move to Yellowknife to Kate, Tim, Jamie, and Anna (who has had 'an Adventure Day' a week with Grandpa for a long time) ... getting ready for my shearing event and Open House ... and Pete preparing to move in. Strange how all of these things ... each wonderful in its own way ... can leave a guy feeling that he needs to know that he is favourite/cute/special/whatever. So ... I found this ... and have told myself that MY name is Rory. Seems to be working. I feel wonderful. Life is good ... says Rory/Bill!

Monday, May 24, 2010

One Year Ago

One year ago tonight, Gene ended a nasty battle with cancer. I was ... and remain ... so thankful for the peace that he found in death. I miss him and think of him often. I know that our wonderful friendship will always be an important part of my life. I am less sad when I think about him ... but there is still this huge 'hole' in my heart that seems to be filling ... more slowly than I had hoped.

Anyway ... if you knew him ... think about a happy memory of him ... and smile with all your heart when you do. I know that he'll be smiling back ... :-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Latest Residents ... for the summer only ... :-)

Two female Large Black Pigs (the name of the breed, NOT a descriptor) came to Willow Garden yesterday. They are a joint venture with my neighbours (and friends), the Bosleys. They are still pretty skittish so are locked in the barn. Once they are tamed down a bit (or at least know to come to the sight of a food bucket) they will be pasture raised.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Purchase!

My friend and fellow Ontario Shetland breeder, Sara Scholtes of Harmony Marsh Farm, just offered this guy to me for purchase today. Needless to say, I am taking him! He is out of sheep that I sold to Sara, but she seems to have a knack for breeding my sheep to each other, in ways I'd never think to, and producing awesome sheep that she then sells back to me ... LOL.

This guy, HarmonyMarsh Da Vinci, has an even fleece, is likely emsket, will likely be button scurred, and has a PINK nose! He is just three weeks old right now ... and I can hardly wait until he is old enough to come 'home' to Willow Garden.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A View of Things on my Kitchen Counter

And they are staying there as long as there is a chance that my grand kids will get to see/pet/play with them.

Life is good!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Ram Lambs For Sale ... Pending Development

These ram lambs are the best of what had been born here this year ... other than the two that I am keeping ... :-).
... fawn horned katmoget out of WillowGarden Kazinga AI (75% UK) and WillowGarden Garnish (out of both Glayva and Hornblower UK rams) ... really even fleece with nice tight crimp ... very square and solid ... horns are looking good ... $375
... black horned katmoget, out of WillowGardenGin (many UK lines) and V Creek Leo (very soft high UK genetics) ... square and solid ... breautiful fleece with some 'silver' on the body ... horn growth is looking good so far ... $375
... moorit button scurred (half polled) katmoget out of WillowGarden Grenadine (my finest fleeced ewe) and Wintertime Red Velvet (out of Karen Valley's Michigan breeding) ... a near perfect ram lamb ... magnificent fleece ... very square ... caramel on the body ... tiny button scurrs like his sire ... a very special ram that will only go to a special home ... $450 ... currently NOT FOR SALE!
... fawn scurred (half polled) katmoget out of WillowGarden Kazinga and WillowGarden Garnish ... evey bit as good as his brother listed early above ... will be scurred like his sire ... $375
... black horned ram out of WillowGarden Absolut (Underhill Thelonius Monk X Heights Orion daughter) and North Wind Holiday (F1 Holly) ... fleece is developing crimp at the bottom ... very black and out of a sire who has few, if any white fibres in his fleece at 8 years old ... big, solid, and square ... horn growing nicely ... carrying spots from his dam ... $375
... horned moorit (may be mioget) out of WillowGarden Amaretto (mioget katmoget Iris grand daughter) and FirthofFifth Aman AI (Heights Orion son) ... I LOVE this guy ... he will be every bit as nice as his sire in all aspects ... $375 ... SOLD ... thanks Donna!

Monday, May 03, 2010

What a Wonderful World We Live In!

A friend posted this video on Face Book. If you follow me there, then you may have seen it. But ... as an openly and happy gay man ... who struggled with sexuality issues for so many years ... this video brings tears of joy and 'rightness' to my eyes. So ... I am a sentimental old fag. Get used to it. My family is ... hehehe

Ewes and Ewe Lambs For Sale

There will not be many ewes and ewe lambs for sale this year as I have a couple that will be culled and a couple of others that will be retired.

There are still seven more ewes to lamb, so there may be additions to this list, but here is what I will part with at this point in time.
WillowGarden Ottawa is a black krunet ewe lamb out of WillowGarden Macaroon (Great Plains Sara X Bramble Nick) and North Wind Holiday (Fi Holly ram). I have retained her dam and MANY of her Holiday sisters. This lamb carries spotting genetics and moorit. I expect that this will be the ONLY Holiday daughter offered for sale this year. ... $400
WillowGarden Napean, a moorit katmoget ewe lamb out of Spring Water Eve (Valley Road Sidney X WillowGarden Nelson AI) and Wintertime Red Velvet (awesome polled gulmoget from Michigan). I have retained her dam, her twin sister, and many other Red Velvet daughters. This will likely be the only Red Velvet off spring offered for sale this year. ... $425
WillowGarden Kitchener is a black katmoget ewe lamb out of WillowGarden Gin (WillowGarden Kagera AI X V Creek Hummer) and V Creek Leo (Justalit'l Hollypop X V Creek Von Diesel). This is an awesome ewe lamb. I was going to retain her but have decided to keep her dam instead to use in my Extension Dominant breeding program, since she is double patterned. I like Leo's lambs, and used him as clean-up last Fall. I still have four ewes bred to him. This ewe is show quality. ... $425
WillowGarden Snickertini is a 2008 black gulmoget / katmoget 2008 ewe. She is out of Great Plains Isabell (F1 Greyling) and V Creek Hummer. I love this ewe but have retained her dam and two sisters. ... $325
Windwater Rolo is a 2007 spotted mioget gulmoget. She is out of WillowGarden Queen Latifah and Windwater Jersey. Rolo is a Tisket gulmoget and is an awesome colour. I have retained her daughter and a Tisket gulmoget ram. ... $325 ... SOLD ... Thanks Meagan!
WillowGarden Opal is a black katmoget 2008 black katmoget ewe. She is out of WillowGarden Linyahti (F1 Todhill Hornblower) and V Creek Hummer. This is a gorgeous ewe, but I have retainer her two gul/kat ewe lambs from this year. ... $325
Harmony Marsh Lily is a 2008 spotted katmoget ewe. She is out of WillowGarden Hattie McDaniel and HarmonyMarsh Archimedes. This ewe produced the nicest lamb born here so far this year. I have retained her dam and two daughters. ... $325

Yearling Ram for Sale

I have two yearling rams for sale ... one that is home grown and one that I imported from Michigan last August.
Above is WillowGarden Richard Gere, NASSA registration # S30370. He is out of North Wind Holiday, a VERY fine and even fleeced F1 Holly, and WillowGarden Gin who is a high percentage UK genetics ewe. Genetically, he is Ab/Aa BB/Bb SS/? MM/?. This guy is also scurred, meaning that he is 'half polled'. He will throw either horned, scurred, or polled ram lambs, depending on the genetics of the ewe that he is bred to. I was going to keep this boy for myself, but I already have seven Holiday daughters in my flock of about 30 females. This boy will make an awesome flock sire, especially for anyone interested in breeding for polled genetics. ... $325

Sunday, May 02, 2010

We'll See If This Works ... :-)

My friends Janet and Graham Davies made this video after an interview with me for the Picton Gazette. This link is to the video on YouTube ... :-)

Saturday, May 01, 2010

This Picture Changed My Life!

This picture was taken Christmas day. When I saw it, I hardly recognized myself. Who was that fat old man? I was out of breath just playing with my grandchildren and had trouble getting out of most comfortable chairs. Somehow I had managed to go from 168 pounds when I quit smoking in 2002 ... to 228 pounds at the end of 2009. That is a gain of 60 pounds!

There are so many wonderful things in my life (grand kids to name a few of them) ... and thus, I decided that I needed to take better care of myself so that I'd live to enjoy them for many more years.
So ... I bought a Wii Fit and joined Weight Watchers (on-line ... still not up to attending meetings ... hehehe). I'm down 40 pounds as of today ... down to 188 pounds of energy and enthusiasm. My goal is to be close to 168 by June 16th which is my 60th birthday.

Life is good!

For My Son ... Who Loves Bacon as Much as I Do!

These images are taken from an inspirational (hehehe) website ... This is why you're fat.

What a beautiful bouquet!

And my favourite ... a bacon mug filled with melted cheese ... YUM!!