Monday, August 21, 2006

Home from MFF


I just got back from my first trip to the Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan, Michigan. It was so much fun! Seeing all the shetland breeders again and checking out all the breeds of sheep on display. And the shopping was great -- so many vendors.
I was able to get all my fleece samples from 2006 micron tested and I learned lots of new things from the workshops I attended and other sheep and fiber people I talked to over the weekend. I bought a couple of good books so I can keep on learning more too.
Kim Nikolai and I arrived on at MFF Thursday morning and camped on the grounds of the MFF. The campsite was great, but our camping neighbors were quite the partiers so we didn't get much rest the whole weekend.
Since I was picking up my new mioget ram from Heather Ludlam, I decided to show him in the shetland show as well. He has grown a lot since I first saw him back in June at Heather's. His "rose mioget" (thanks to Theresa Gygi for telling me that) fleece has gotten really long. I was so happy to find out that he is a very mellow, friendly ram too.
It was my first time in the show ring and fortunately he was pretty well halter trained by the Ludlam children who showed him in late June. I wasn't sure what exactly to do in the show ring, I tried to do what everyone else was doing. Imagine my surprise when he won first place in the large ram lamb class! He would have done better in the Champion competition if only he would have stood up straight. He was too mellow for his own good and his handler has a lot to learn to learn about showing.
It seems that our new kitty came into heat while I was gone and she hasn't been home since yesterday. Hmmmm....I wonder if she will come back...we may have to get some healthy kitties from Kim and keep them in our barn instead.
All the sheep are present and looking good -- thanks to my guys here at home for taking care of them.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

We've been Adopted!




When I got home from work on Friday night I found a snarling young calico cat in my chicken pen. The door had been left open all day and the chickens were out scratching, doing whatever they like to do. We have a problem with chipmunks and mice in the barn, so I wasn't too worried about the cat as long as she wasn't going after my birds. I'm rather partial to calico kitties and we haven't had a cat for over a year now since we had to put down our little Destiny, a stray who was the sweetest cat we ever had.

Anyway, this little calico was snarling and trying to look ferocious so I locked her in the pen and went to call our neighbors with cats to see if they were missing one. Sure enough, one neighbor was missing a calico kitten. They said they were coming to get her.

While we waited, I gave her some yogurt and that's when we noticed she looked injured in the left front leg. Upon closer inspection, the poor thing had had a compound fracture at some point and the bone is still sticking out. She's all healed up and is able to use the paw on that leg, but she can't walk with it since it's completely broken up near the shoulder.

When the neighbors arrived, they said she wasn't theirs after all. So now what to do? By that time my cat lover son was already making plans for her. We left for a few hours and when we returned, she was still there, sitting in the doorway of the barn. Okay, we got her some cat food and introduced her to our Australian shepherd. She's been on our deck ever since. Like I said, we can use a cat around here and what an ispirational cat we got! Talk about being a survivor and dealing with adversity.

Tomorrow we'll bring her to the vet and see what to do about that leg...in the meantime it's kind of nice to hear that little meow by the screen door...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

And Life Goes On....


I can't believe how fast the time has flown by since my last post! Things have been busy with the funeral and all insurance claims after the fire.
A few night ago, I took this photo of the new green growth over at the land. Yes, they're just weeds in the burned out ditch, but definitely a sign of good things to come.

The heat has been absolutely oppressive this past weekend. The sheep are definitely stressed by the weather. I wish I could bring them all in the house to cool off when it gets this hot. Thankfully they all made it through the heatwave, and this morning a cool front has moved in. Temps are in the 80's again. Yay!!!

We sent two sheep to the butcher this morning and poor Willy, my big Shetland/Border Leicester/Finn cross wether, is beside himself with concern. He's been bellering away for his buddies. So I'm going to use this opportunity to wean the ram lambs and put them over with Willy and Minwawe Donder, their sire. The ewes need a break from the lambs so they can get back in condition for fall breeding.

I've included a photo of me with Donder and Willy taken back in June. They are such friendly boys and they photograph much better than their shepherdess.