It has been many months, even seasons since I have posted here. .. so I almost feel like I need to start off by introducing myself! But.. ah, what's to tell about that? So let me tell you about my little boy's new dog. (well.. ok, she's 7 months old now. and little boy isn't so little... but I'm going to back up several months and pull out some puppy photos!)
This is Haley.
She was a gift to Wyatt from a really good friend.
After much waiting and watching, Daphne finally had her lambs!
We have had several other lambs born in the past week or so (more pics to come)
This one here (below) is Tipsy's baby. Much can be said about his arrival -"he was huge" "he was stuck" and ... "50 minutes of working and pulling and we have a baby lamb"
I was pretty sure he wouldn't make it. I had been watching the ewe all day, thinking she was going to start with contractions at any moment. I left the house for little over an hour in the afternoon and came back to find her grazing with a lambs head hanging out the back side. She did not seem to be in labor - (though obviously was) but no pushing, complaining, .... just eating. To shorten up the story a bit, the lambs legs were tucked under his body and he didn't seem to be going anywhere. It was such a great feeling to hear him "baaah" upon freeing him up from the jam he was in.
After several lambing seasons, I am finding that those things that I read about in the books when I was considering sheep -"eventually happen" Fortunately, they don't all happen at once.
Once the lamb was finally out and up and drinking, I went to the house and Jack asked if she was going to have a second. Hm. ? a second? I hadn't given it a thought even. This lamb was so big I didn't even consider there being room in there for another. There was. Unfortunately though, the other lamb was not alive. It appeared to be premature. ? .. So tiny and the wool was just short and straight (where they have wool curls when born) and a few other things that made it seem as though the ewe was possibly bred more than once. We had a similar birth before, but fortunately it hasn't been common. Anyways, this is a picture taken of the lamb the day after he was born. He is as big as our 2 to 3 week old lambs!
We have several little lambs out there with the spots this year - which is fun, since we have seldom had spotted lambs.
While quite a few of the ewes have lambed, but there are few that are still expecting.
I just came in the house a few minutes ago and I guess the sound of the door closing woke Wyatt up. I heard "mom?" "yes" "I need to tell you something" "ok" silence. .. silence... then I heard the sound of little feet hitting the floor and then I heard those same tired feet cloppety clop across the room into where I was taking off my mud boots. The "something" he needed to tell me was that he was thirsty. We shared a few moments of sipping grape juice together at the kitchen table when he said "it's bedtime Mom, you should be in bed"
oh how right he is about that.. 4 years old, telling me I should be in bed! I love it, tell that to the sheep though.
In prior years, I thought that they lambed at night because they wanted to have their babies when I wasn't around, but that theory has been disproved, because they see me just as much - if not more often - during the night hours.
We had 4 lambs born today - 3 of them being just a few hours ago. Myrtle had triplets again, but sadly we lost the 3rd lamb. The lamb was being born with both of the front legs presented, but the head was turned back. I assisted and felt that it was going well, but the lamb was born unresponsive, and while I tried everything I could think of, the lamb remained unresponsive. It is so sad to hear a ewe mourn. She talked to her other lambs, but it was more of a cry when she came back to this lamb. Just really sad. She seemed to be doing better when I left the barn.
While I don't like to report bad news, it is sometimes a reality in the life of shepherding.
Hoping for a better day of lambing tomorrow and the days after! Meanwhile.. I had better get in bed... I have been told it's past my bedtime! It has been way TOO long since I had a "bedtime" Maybe someday...
I have had a few folks asking if we were moved in the new house yet.. and while it is going on 3 years, one would think we would be, but this is an example of why we aren't.
Stair parts below:
Now, this wasn't Jacks idea, so don't think that I am complaining that "he" is making things complicated, because I have myself to blame when it comes to that. If Jack were building the house apart from me, I think he would have moved in a long time ago. I have to say that he is very supportive with different ideas that have came up and has been more than patient.
We were thinking of using barn beams and racking for the handrail, but after much looking, we had a hard time finding enough parts that matched well enough to be used together. We tried finding new materials that we could distress, but finding posts that had not been treated, but were the size we were looking for AND had been kiln dried was not easy either. Jack came home from the new Menards store in Cincinnati with a pamphlet of log railing. Before he had a chance to order them, Wyatt and I brought in a small load of locusts from Dad's neighboring farm.
I haven't been able to find a lot of information on doing this, so it will be an experiment for sure. One thing I have learned, (not by experience, but by Grandpa telling me) is if you cut the logs when they start to leaf out, the bark will peel easily. (ours didn't peel so well, but a drawknife worked great in removing the bark) While we have several projects to finish, the handrail is what is keeping us from moving in. I hope to report soon that we are moved in and I can work on getting the pottery wheel going again! (although it has been so long, it might take a year for me to relearn the process!)