Sunday, November 29, 2009

The New Dexters

Well ... they are here! Above is Marvin, the Magnificent. He'll be with us for the time it takes for two cow 'cycles' plus three weeks 'finishing' time.
This is Mary. Mary was born about six weeks ago. She will be staying at Willow Garden and will become my fourth cow ... :-)
Here is Madge, my newest cow, with Mary hiding behind her. Madge is still quite aloof and has not yet figured out that I am the 'giver of the grain' ... :-)
Millie, who came to Willow Garden on October first, with her son Chuck Roast, LOVES grain, as you can see from looking at her. Chuck was born September 3rd, so he is six weeks older than Mary.
The cow paddock is right beside the ram paddock. Marvin and Aman seem to like each other ... :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And the Excitement Continues ... :-)

I have really enjoyed my Dexter cows. They are calm, gentle and fun to be around. So ... I have arranged to purchase another black Dexter cow and her two month old black heifer calf. I have also purchased a two year old red Dexter bull who will stay here long enough to breed Millie and Madge (the new cow). When Marvin (the bull) has done his bit with the cows, he'll go off to get 'finished' for the freezer ... a belated Christmas gift to my kids ... :-).
In order for all of this to happen ... Marjori will need to live with the sheep for a while as she is too young to be bred. She isn't all that thrilled with the arrangement,
... but she is liking the hay bales ... :-)
Millie wants her friend Marjori, to come back! I'll explain to her about Madge coming ... and of course I'll mention Marvin ... :-)

Life is good.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Trip East

My latest 'Great Sheep Adventure' has ended ... and it ended well ... :-)

My friend Pete and I loaded this trailer, pictured below, on Thursday evening, with eight ewes and one ram (in a crate). We had one other ram that went into a crate on the back of the truck on Friday morning. Everyone had lots of food and water ... and we stopped frequently to replenish ... :-)

We dropped off the ram that was in the back of the truck just south of Montreal to Mehran and Nushin. The weather was pretty nice up until then.

Once we left there, it rained harder and harder ... and the fog rolled in. Canadian folk who have made the drive north from Quebec, then across to New Brunswick and down along the Maine border, KNOW how hilly and twisty the road is. It was a slower than expected drive, but I had good tunes, a good outlook, and a good friend to travel with.
The trip of about 1100 Km, took about 13 hours. We arrived, unloaded sheep and then spent a short night at a lovely B&B ... AFTER a LONG chat about Shetlands and polled genetics with our hostess, Cathy Gallivan.

The next morning, Cathy took us across the world's longest covered bridge, which is almost across the road from the Tim Horton's that she REALLY wanted us to see ... hehehe

By noon, Atlantic time, we had Margot and Jamie Roode, the William's, and Chris McLaughlin all there to pick up their sheep. I had, of course, already loaded the little girl that I was buying from Cathy ... Spring Water Eve, a white 2008 ewe out of Valley Road Sydney and WillowGarden Nelson. What a doll SHE is! ... and ... she is the ONLY sheep that I brought home ... :-)
Since everyone was on their way home with their new sheep by 1 PM Atlantic time, Pete and I decided that we'd do the same and thus get to SEE those hills and twists that we'd 'experienced ' the night before. What a GLORIOUS drive through some breath-taking landscape. There is nothing like a drive in heavy rain and fog through rough and unfamiliar terrain to make one TRULY appreciate the beauty and magnificence when the weather and time of day are PERFECT!

We got home by midnight and unload the ONE sheep. The entire trip was 2200 km (1,367 mi). Neither of us slept as well as we thought we might, but today has been a wonderful, sunny, relaxing and glorious (I LOVE the word glorious!) day.

I have eight more sheep sold, that need to be delivered, hopefully this week.

There are also three boys going to 'Disneyland' this week ... followed by a visit to a local pastry shop for processing into 'lamb pies'. And then there are five more culls that will visit 'Disneyland' in December ... followed by a visit to Wind Mill Sauages.

When the dust has settled, hopefully by mid-December, I will have a flock of 41 Shetlands here ... 20 bred ewes ... 14 ewe lambs retained for evaluation ... and seven rams that I just can't part with. This is a MUCH smaller flock for me ... but OMG ... you should just SEE (and feel) the sheep that I have kept ... :-)

Life is good ... :-)))

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sheep Delivering

Well, the great sheep exodus is in full swing. After a couple of smaller deliveries, yesterday was the first of two MAJOR deliveries.

Six ewes, exposed to six different rams, and one open ewe lamb, were dropped off for Greg and Christine, near Lansdowne in eastern Ontario
Then we continued on to the Ottawa area and delivered five ewes, exposed to rams, and three open ewe lambs to Heidi and Steve. They have documented this on their blog. These folks are also leasing Garnish (above) from me and keeping him for the winter. Garnish is out of Hornblower and Glayva lines crossed on each other. I like him a lot. He was born April 7/08. His latest fleece sample taken October 27/09 is ... AFD - 24.28 ... SD - 4.39 ... CV - 18.1 ... Spin fineness - 23.1. I am THRILLED that he will be well used this season!

Thanks to Greg and Christine. And a special thanks to Heidi and Steve.

Friday we are off the New Brunswick with eight ewes and a ram. Along the way, we'll drop off another ram in Quebec.

Thanks to Pete for helping me with all of this ... and for sharing the driving this coming weeked ... 26 hours of it round trip!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Success With The Incubator!

Well ... I let Mother Nature take its course ... and the result is that four out of five eggs are hatched and Momma Silky has her work cut out for her.
They are SO tiny. I am thankful for the warmer weather ... :-)

My life ... all life ... is so filled with wonder and amazement! May I never become so old or 'used to things' ... that I fail to see the wonder; the marvel; the magnificence; the amazement; the work of God; that is everywhere in my life.

Life is good!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Creatures At The Zoo

With Anna, Princess of the World, At the Zoo

... watching bugs ...... feeding time ...... wearing her 'Life is good.' Princess hat ...... explaining something to me

Anna had a blast on the trip ... as did Pete and Grandpa.

And ... I taught her to tell people ... "Grandpa is beautiful!" ... hehehe

Life is good.

For Michelle

I cropped the photo differently this time. Hopefully you can see that it IS a Snow Leopard and her baby. It was taking out side the exhibit of the Snow Leopard and her baby ... :-)

Sometimes Michelle ... yah just gotta trust ... ;-)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

With Will At The Zoo

I get a LOT of complaints from folks on 'dialup' when I have a post with too many pictures in it. I hardly ever get to take pictures of Will ... so this post will 'feature' the World's Greatest First Grandson Ever Born".

Now ... just so you ALL know ... Pete and I got to steal away Anna to join us on this adventure. The truck ride was awesome with Anna and I singing and grooving while Pete tried to sleep. MORE pictures of Ann and the Zoo later. Trust me on THAT one.

But for now ... Will.

Will and his Mom climbing trees. Some of you may notice the 'beginnings' of grand child number FOUR ... :-) Life is so good!
Will ... hamming it up for 'Farmer' (AKA Grandpa).
Kisses ... how cute is THAT!?!
Will with the brass Snow Leopard statue. He LOVES the Snow Leopards.
Stay tuned for pictures of ... The Princess of The World at the Zoo ... ;-)

... and the picture of the elephant peeing ... hehehe

Life is good.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Pictures Taken By Grumps ... Halloween ... :-)

These are pictures taken by my son-in-law's Dad, Steve Beckenham. Steve (AKA Grumps) is here visiting with his wife Betty (AKA Nan). It is ALWAYS good to have them on this continent as we share kids and Grand kids and all of the love and happiness that goes with that.

Anyway ... Steve helped me download these pictures that he took, to my computer so that I could share them across the globe on two continents ... :-)
James Logan Beckenham, dressed up for his first Halloween. The costume is very cute ... but ... this boy ain't no skeleton! He is one BIG boy already ... :-)
Anna, being very cool in her dragon costume. This being her SECOND halloween, she has the candy thing ALL figured out ... hehehe.
Tim and Anna went trick or treating ...
Then Kate and Anna went trick or treating. Kate looks AWFULLY happy as Anna gets candy. hmmmm ... hehehe
And here is Nan, admiring her new little boy ... James.

We'll all miss Steve and Betty when they have to go home in a week or two ... especially Anna and baby James!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Will's Favourite Bird

My Grandson Will has a favourite bird ... or so I discovered when we were at the Zoo last Sunday. He is totally fascinated with Peacocks.

So ... being the doting and spoiling Grandpa that I am ... guess what I am looking for ... :-) Does anyone who reads this blog have some pea chicks for sale? ... or eggs?. It would be fun for the Silkies to hatch out a few peacocks for us ... ;-)

Life is good.

Monday, November 02, 2009

"Things I have Promised To Myself ..."

This is a song is worth listening to. It is an oathe that Gene and I made to each other some time ago. When we made the pact ... I had no idea what "with or without you" might mean.

I miss him. A lot. I doubt that is a bad thing.

Life is good

... and ... I am good ... :-)

Zoo Pictures

What a wonderful way to spend time with my Grandson and his family! Usually when I see Will it is for an 'event' and everything in his life is topsy turvey. But Will's Mom and Dad take him to the Zoo almost every Sunday morning ... so when I tagged along yesterday, I got to play with him in his element!

I also got to see my son, Chris ... in the role of 'Dad'. He is such a good Dad ... :-) And of course, Kerri is a wonderful Mom ... who has such patience with BOTH of her boys ... ;-)
Will learns a lot on his visits to the Zoo. He has been watching this Momma gorilla raise her baby since birth!
We both learned that Polar Bears don't always LOOK white ... and that they like to play in the mud as much as we do ... ;-)
Will is quite taken with the Peacocks that wander around the Zoo. Hmmm ... 'Farmer' (that's what he calls me) might have to see what he can do come Spring ... if the fascination continues.
Look at this smile ... I think it is safe to say that Will is a happy boy when he is at the Zoo. AND ... Grandpa (aka 'Farmer), bought an annual membership to the Zoo so that he can join Will there LOTS!

Life is good!