Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve

Gene took some pictures of my BFLs enjoying the fresh snow ... on a mild New Year's Eve day ... in the sun. Above, we have Platinum, Hetherington, and Brae.
And this is my favourite of the girls ... Beechtree Hazel. I am so much more partial to the coloured BFLs.

AND ... next weekend I will be heading for Michigan to bring back two more COLOURED (and bred) BFL ewes. Well ... at least the paperwork is done on the Canadian side ... now we just need to wait until January 2nd to get things processed State side. It will all be good. I have talked with everyone involved.

This will be an exciting Spring with ... 40 Shetland ewes bred to seven Shetland rams ... and ... seven BFL ewes and seven Shetlands bred to five BFL rams.

Life is good.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day - 2007

Well ... guess who came for Christmas this year ... :-). Actually, we were all at Kate and Tim's for the day. They live less than 10 minutes away. I know that because I timed it as I was driving the turkey and stuffing over early this morning to put in their oven.

Above, we have Anna at 6 days old ... and Will, looking almost ready to work on the farm, at 9 1/2 weeks.

Below ... my daughter Kate, with her daughter Anna ... and my son Chris, with his son Will.
I was a magical day ... and there are many more yet to come ... ;-)

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Eve ... the Gift of 48 Lives Is On Its Way!

About 13 months ago, I was delivering a ram for friends to use for breeding. While making that drive, I listened to Sheila Rogers interviewing Stephen Lewis on CBC Radio One. I was so emotionally moved by Stephen's message about the AIDS/HIV pandemic that I had to pull over to the side of the road until I could stop crying. I knew that I had to do something, but was unsure of just what a simple shepherd could do to help with such a pandemic. Finally it came to me ... I would donate a portion of my sheep sales to the Mother-to-Child HIV Prevention program, through World Vision. I pledged to donate $25 from each sheep sold at breeding stock prices. Two friends pledged to match my donation ... which meant that for each sheep I could sell for breeding stock ... a baby would have a chance at life.My goal was to sell enough sheep so that a baby could be saved for each of the 55 countries in Africa. I had donations of cash that went to my project ... donations made in my name ... donations made from my shearing event ... and today ... I just sent a donation of $1200 to cover sheep sold for breeding stock. Once the two Carol's make their contributions, we will be OVER 55 ... closer to 58 or 59 I think. It feels wonderful to have been able to do this. Carol Arthur likes to keep a lower profile about this sort of thing ... but I can't thank her enough for her financial and spiritual support! Carol Brough, our real estate agent here in Prince Edward County deserves the same thanks ... and will also get some decent ... and deserved ... press coverage from this in the New Year ... I HOPE! The battle against the AIDS/HIV pandemic is far from over ... but ... on this Christmas Eve 2007 ... I bring this portion of my contribution to a close. Thank you my family and friends for your support, encouragement and tolerance.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Shetland Sheep Forum

Find more photos like this on Shetland Sheep

My friend and fellow Shetland shepherd has started up the Shetland Sheep forum. It looks like fun, and appears to have some nice features.

I posted some pictures there and it seems that I can share the album with folks who read my blog as well. THIS ... is a test ... ;-)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Anna is Home

Well ... Anna got to stay an extra day or two in the hospital ... so she could hang out under 'the lights' ... and become a little less yellow. Today ... she came home ... :-)

Sydney, my Grandpuppy, was totally confused by this unusual little creature that folks were making a 'fuss' over.
Sydney did hang out with Grandpa and Anna for a while ... which seemed to make Anna smile.
BUT ... once it was time to be changed ... the smile disappeared ... and Grandpa got to hear her excellent set of lungs at work.

Welcome home, Anna!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

One More ... :-)

Anna Elizabeth Beckenham ... meets Grandpa. I think that she likes me ... :-))


This is Anna, my Granddaughter. I am so filled with love after visiting with her for a short while tonight. She is so new ... and so very perfect.
I can hardly wait for the day that I have both Anna ... and my Grandson Will together for the first time. What a wonderful life they will have growing up together!
Dads and daughters ... always a special relationship. As you can see, Tim and Anna are already developing that relationship ... :-)
What a loving family ... and they look this good after 12 hours of labour ... and then 6 1/2 hours into Anna's life.
Can you tell that Anna is already very loved? ... ;-)

I love you, too, Anna! And Kate and Tim ... THANK YOU!


Off to visit Anna Elizabeth Beckenham ... my new Granddaughter. She is almost six hours old and hasn't met her Grandpa yet. THAT will never do ... hehehe

Pictures will follow.


LIFE is grand!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Waiting ...

Speaking of waiting ...

Rumour has it that my daughter Kate and son-in-law Tim ... are on their way to the hospital.

So tonight I will sleep with the phone ... :-)))

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Comes to Willow Garden ... Inside

Well ... I have been waiting patiently ... or as patiently as I can ... for the arrival of grand baby #2. S/he was due last Tuesday, and I thought Kate would be early ... so ... I wait.

I am not allowed to call and ask if she is in labour yet. So ... I have to find 'excuses' to call. So far I have managed a legitimate excuse about three times a day. Soon, though, I will run out of things that they might have borrowed from me ... hehehe

In the mean time, we had friends and family here for supper on the weekend (including Kate and Tim). I already had the lights up for the sheep ... but company coming meant that it was time to put up decorations inside the house ... This is my Grandmother's night-blooming something or other ... which has NEVER bloomed in the 60 some years it has been in the family! It does look good sitting on the water cooler ... decked out with garlands and lights though. Well ... maybe not 'good' ... but certainly BETTER. This is THE ugliest plant in the history of the world ... hehehe. (but don't tell my Aunt as she gave it to me to look after 'for the family')
Above and below is our tree. We didn't cut one of the Eastern Red Cedars so plentiful on the farm ... since the one we cut last year made the entire house smell like 'cat pee' after just the first day. This one is a 'cut your own'. I went with Kate and Tim to cut it (at LEAST three phone calls were required to organize that event ... ;-).

It is not as big around as other years, so it fit in a different corner that required less furniture re-arranging. Could I be getting older? Oh dear ... Christmas isn't supposed to be 'convenient' ... *sigh*.
And this ... is my 2007 advent calendar. I miss the chocolate bits that came with previous advent calendars ... but ... this one just makes me feel good.
The snow on Sunday turned the world into a magical and radiant winter wonderland here. I'll try for pictures of the lambs 'playing' in it ... but ... I am working for the rest of the week.

Hoping that all who read this are enjoying the magic that comes with preparation for this wonderful season.

Hugs to all!

Friday, December 07, 2007


Who IS that CHILD ... holding that baby!!!Hard to believe, but that child ... is ME ... in March of 1975 ... at the age of 24. That is 33 years ago! The baby ... is my son Chris. I was soooo young ... how did he ever grow into the amazing young man that he is today?

We do look pretty comfortable together though, don't we? Even way back them ... :-))

Oh ... and just ignore that ashtray. It was another time ... *blush*

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

First Snow

Well ... we had our first snow on the weekend. I took these pictures December 2nd ... just before the layer of freezing rain arrived and made life ... interesting ... :-)
The BFLs use their height to good advantage at the 'feeder'.
The ewe lambs just kind of had fun with it. I broke up breeding groups Dec 1st, and they were glad to be back together ... and to have the snow to play in seemed an added bonus. Oh too be young again!

The Shetlands loved the snow and most stayed out and enjoyed it.
The BFLs took refuge in a barn ... whenever they took a break from eating ... ;-)
Billie Holiday thought that the BFLs were TOTAL wimps ... and even told them so!
FirthofFirth Masala Chai ... assured everyone that this is NOTHING compared to what she was used to in Wisconsin!

Life is good ... especially if you are a sheep.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

December 1st

Yesterday was December 1st ... and of course, that is the day that I turn on the Christmas lights in the barnyard.
I KNOW that my sheep look forward to those lights shining over them every holiday season ... as do Nick and Kayla ... :-)