Tuesday 30 September 2008

The party celebrations

The weather was kind to us on the run up to the party and so we were able to get quite a few things sorted in readiness for the big day.
Saturday was fine and warm with a light breeze, just exactly what we had ordered.
Guest started arriving not long after lunch in various vehicles (cars, tractors, motorbikes and caravans) and on foot. I'd done some food, for which the "fatted lamb" had been killed for the occasion, along with a chili, rice, baked spuds, coleslaw and cheese, plus several cakes.

This is the birthday cake my friend Dawn made for me, it's a good representation of this my life!!!!!

These are some of the presents I received, I was over whelmed with the thought and kindness that had gone into my presents, though my eldest godson is very close to being scratched from my will as he bought me the cow hat (bottom left of the picture) complete with horns, so I can hide in the field with the sheep!!!!!!!!! along with hubby who got my a mug for work which has a witch on it!!
The yarn is hand dyed by one of my craft friends, the rug with the sheep on it is a hand made felted rug, again by another craft friend. There is an old book on farming at the end of the war, some unusual veg plants, several bunches of flowers as well as the basket of flowers, wrist warmers, a voucher for plants and of course a cuddly toy and several bottles of alcohol.
The party went on well into the night with several people staying over to the Sunday for a walk and a rather nice carvery lunch at our local pub.
As well as lots of people there were 8 dogs at the party, they all got home made doggy biscuits and their names are Holly and Deefa (our 2), KD (Resident Vandal's pooch), Hamish, Oscar and Tipo (often called Teapot or Dave), The Savages Pooches and finally Bill and Lou, Frayalyn and Mark's dogs, not forgetting the 12 week old kitten also belonging to the Savages. With all the dogs around, it could have been a recipe for a rather large fight, but nothing happened, they all played together really well. So all in all a good weekend. Phillippa stayed until today and we've spent since Sunday afternoon doing crafty things with fleeces, hence the lateness of the blog and not because I was recovering from the party, but more about what we've been doing another night!!!!

Sunday 21 September 2008

Rare Breeds Sale and tree clearing

We spent this morning sorting out the ewes for the Rare Breeds Sale in a couple of weeks time. The ewes that are going to the sale have to be resistant to scab, so they have to be injected with Dectomax, to ensure they are covered as well as being double ear tagged, something we don't believe in, but if we turn up at the sale with single tagged lambs they will not be allowed to be entered for the sale. Ear tags get ripped out quite easily, so you can imagine what damage having both ears tagged, can do to a sheep!!!!
We decided that since we had to have the lambs we are sending to that sale in to inject them, we may a well keep them separate from the rest of our ewes, as it will make it easier to load them into the trailer.
Tim has spent most of this week clearing the branches from the back field that were cut back when he and the Resident Vandal did some fencing earlier in the year. We need the field clearing so that the sheep have somewhere to go later in the year. At the moment we are not short of grass, but it doesn't have a great deal of body to it, so we want to move the sheep around sooner rather then later.
I also managed to get one side of my shed floor painted with wood preservative and I'm hoping to get the other half done this week. I doubt we will get the shed put up by the weekend as I want to get all of it well treated with preservative.
As the weekend weather has been so good, I managed to get another of the sheep fleeces washed ready to be carded, and as it was not windy I was able to dry the fleece outside, a real novelty.
More next week on the birthday celebrations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The celebrations begin!!!!!!!!!!

On the 27th of this month I will be celebrating my 600th birthday (divide by 12 to reveal my true age) and my friends from America, who are over visiting family called yesterday to start my birthday celebrations. The main celebrations are next weekend, so more about that in next weeks blog, followed by a couple of more get together's with friends over the following weekends. the long range forecast is for the rest of the month is quite good, so here's hoping.

Disappointing sale and a test passed

The two sheep we sent to the local auction mart to sell were sold for £20.00 each which is very disappointing and had we known how little they would have raised, we would not have sent them and probably looked for another ram to cover them. We have some friends who have a Shropshire Ram so it would have been interesting to see what they would have produced. We won't be sending any more ewe lambs to the local sales. A lesson learnt!!!
I also passed my Transport exam. Some of the questions were rather obscure, especially the one on "Sheep come from warm climates so they can go for longer without water and the first thing Sheep will graze first rather than go for water!!!!! which statement is true? Evidently the first one is and the second one is false. I got he first part wrong, but the second part right and it was the only question I got wrong. All I can say is who ever set the test obviously does not transport or keep sheep!!!!!!!!!! but now we are all legal to take our sheep to the Rare Breeds Sale in a couple of weeks time

Sunday 14 September 2008

Veg garden, shed and spinning

The weather this weekend had been superb, sunny with no wind, so I spent this morning clearing the the veg plot of weeds and I can at long last see the sweetcorn plants. The leeks are looking a little small, hopefully they will thicken up over the next couple of months. The tomatoes in the green house are slowly turning red and are very tasty........

Tim has finished the base for my shed and as you can see there is still some water in it (bottom left of the picture). You can no doubt see that at the back and to the sides, the soil is higher than the base and if we are not careful will rest on the shed, so Tim is going to put in some sort of retaining wall, for want of a better expression, to hold the soil back.

Yesterday afternoon I ran a spinning class for 2 ladies, (Marion and Chris) who have already learnt how to spin, but needed to refine their technique and knowledge. It was a great afternoon, with lots of "How do I do" and "I didn't know that" questions. As an experienced spinner, when you are teaching someone new to spin you don't want to overload them with information and technique, so it was good to move up to the next level with Chris and Marion. Then this afternoon they both called so Marion could have a "rootle" through my stash of this year fleeces. She left with 2 beautiful fawn corridale fleeces, which are destined to become a jumper or several jumpers.
On Thursday we sent two of our ewes to the auction mart. Tim took them early and then went back to see how the sale was going. He didn't see how our 2 ewes did as they were being sold towards the end and we didn't get a phone call to say that they had not sold, so all we will have to wait for is the monies from the mart to see how well, or badly they did.
Next week we start and get the ewe lambs ready for the Rare Breeds sale at the beginning of October and hopefully I can get the shed floor painted with wood preservative.
Until next week.....

Sunday 7 September 2008

I think we might have enough wood cut for the winter

As you can see we've got a lot of wood cut and split this weekend. With all the rain we had on Friday the land is too wet to be on, so we decided to set too and cut and split some wood!!!! It's 6 rows deep. That should keep us reasonably warm this winter.

On the few dry days we've had this week Tim has managed to get the base for my shed set up, but after the recent rain, the base looks like a mini swimming pool. Thankfully the edge where the shed will sit is above the water, but I'm going to have to ensure that shed floor is well and truly protected with wood preservative, and when the barn has dried out, I may be able to get the shed floor painted.

We're selling 2 of our ewes at our local auction mart on Thursday, it's the first time we've done this so it will be interesting to see what price they will fetch. We've also got 3 cull ewes to go, but at the moment the price of cull ewes is rock bottom so we will wait until the new year, we've got plenty of grass and they will be company for Emma, (our pedigree Shetland lamb we have bred,) when we need to separate her off from the rest of the ewes when we put the ram in. I can't believe we're nearly round to tupping time again. Where has this year gone? Whilst we were in the barn cutting the wood, I noticed that the swallows have left for warmer climes!!!!!!!!

Monday 1 September 2008

A quivering Holly

Just after we had gone to bed last night, Holly suddenly appeared on our bed cuddled tightly up to me, shaking like a jelly, she was very quickly followed by Deefa. What had spooked them I don't know as it was very quiet outside.
We had been forecast for thunder storms, but I couldn't hear any thunder, though there was someone out shooting, so maybe that was what had scared her.
The thing that got me, is that the dogs are definitely Tim's when he's out and about on the smallholding, but when their scared, off colour or just generally out of sorts, it's me they come to!! Needless to say Tim slept through the whole episode!!!!!!!!!!