Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sally it is!

Thanks for the name suggestions everyone.
I've decided to call her Sally. Somehow the name just sticks with me.

Sally - as in Sally Forth! Tally Ho and so on.

Thanks for the suggestion Kelly.

Well - Sally gets a rest in today's storm - as it was mostly very wet snow - and freezing rain.

Isn't it pretty. I just love it when we get a late snow like this - and the pond isn't frozen. The water looks so black.

Today, we were visited by 3 wood ducks on the pond. As well - 4 cardinals came to the feeders, along with several cedar waxwings, juncos, woodpeckers, blue jays and mourning doves. I thoroughly enjoy feeding the birds. Next year I have plans for a new feeding station to accomodate all of my little feathered friends - more work!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Where Have I Been????

Where have I been ? I've been asked that a lot lately and by more than one person.

Well, as you know - life gets busy. Everything gets in the way these days - work, housework, the farm, pottery - but really, I must confess.

I have a new best friend.

That's right. I have a new best friend.

And really, she does take up a lot of my time. Well, at least a lot of my time these past few months since we met.

We've been spending a lot of time together lately, going for long strolls - morning strolls, evening strolls. Strolls in the snow.

She's actually quite helpful though as a friend, and I am very appreciative. Because without her help this past little while - I' have been in real trouble with the chores around here. She's helped me manage the barn chores, and she's helped me getting hay and grain out to the deer in my back pasture (who are starving to death with all this snow).

She's helped me work through a lot of obstacles unfortunately no one else has been able to help with lately. My husband is away frequently with work, and my daughter lives in Newfoundland, and my son, well, he's 18 now - and although he's here for me sometimes, more often than not, he's off with his friends, and I'm here alone (well - if you can count a dog, 9 cats and 27 sheep as being alone) - so she's been a big help especially when I'm here alone.

Well anyway, as I said, she has taken up a lot of my time this past few months. And she has been, like I said - a huge help here. I'd like you to meet her:

That's right - we are drowning in snow. Every week - it seems we get at least another 6 - 10 " dumped on us - so I have been spending a lot of time with my new best friend.

By the way - she needs a name - feel free to send me your thoughts in the comments box (be nice).

She's a very hard working young lady - and I don't know how I'd have got through the past few months without her.

And yes - it's a she. Always ready to work whenever I ask - I never have to ask twice or nag.

OK - let's not go there ;-)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Backing Up before we go Forward

I meant to put this post up before I put up the last post - but got so excited about Cate's news that I forgot.


Way back in August......

Or - let's go even further back:

If you will recall - back in June of 2010:

Kalwa Taure Blizzard (my favourite ewe) - blessed me with twin ewe lambs (both White) - and I named them Princess and Duchess in honour of my good friends Cate and Al at Earendel Farm.

(Evil Laugh Here) - Cate and I started to scheme...........

Al and I almost share a birthday (2 days apart).............. Hmmm. (and I LOVE to surprise the special people in my life).

So - on Al's Birthday - I set out:
I had a ram to deliver to one customer in the back of the truck, along with a ewe that was going to Cate and Al.
And in the front seat (in a little cage beside me) - I had Kalwa Taure Princess.

3 hours later (with Princess chattering all the way) - we arrived at Earendel Farm.

Surprise!!!!! Boy - was Al ever Surprised!! When I walked into the house with Princess in tow.......

Al thought I was bringing in a cake.....

He was clearly "Floored" by the gift:

Yes - she has on a pink (dog) halter - and leash - both with lots of sparkly rhinestones.
And a little pink tag on her neck - engraved with her name.

As you can see - she is clearly hypnotizing Al in this picture. As he gazes into her eyes - she is willing him to do "Everything" and "Anything" that she wants.

By the way - before I brought Princess over to Al - I made sure that I spoiled her "Royally" in any way that I could (insert evil laugh)....

And so - after introductions, and placing the sheep in the barn for the evening, we went in for dinner.
We enjoyed a lovely meal, followed up by Al's Birthday Cake: A wee white sheep made by a friend of mine with a wonderful artistic touch.

All in All, I would say it made for a great Birthday surprise for a great friend.

Oh - and as a little post script to this blog.
I was recently over for a visit to see Princess (and Al and Cate). Princess is doing just fine - and has everyone totally bent to her will. She has everyone eating out of her paw.
I couldn't imagine a better home for this little lovely.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I am just so excited and proud that I have to tell everyone the news:

My very good friends Al and Cate entered 2 fleeces from their shetland sheep in the

ROYAL WINTER AGRICULTURAL FAIR in Toronto, Ontario recently (this is one of the biggest Agricultural Fairs in Canada).

Earendal Kinwulf (Out of Kalwa Taure Esme - and Cherrington Merlin) - took 3rd place in the
Natural coloured wool class. Kinwulf is a 3 year old wether (shown below).

And -
Cherrington Sarah (Molly) shown below - a 9 year old ewe that I sold to Cate a few years ago - took 5th place! She's 9 years old!!! Wow - a 9 year old ewe against yearlings!

1st, 2nd and 4th places went to yearling icelandics. There were dozens of fleeces entered in this class - and so this is a wonderful accomplishment for shetlands.

You can read more about this in Cates post at: Earendel Farm

Of course - In my Humble Opinion - this reinforces a lot of what we've been working on for the last several years. I will take a moment to tell you a bit about: "The Cherrington Project".

The Cherrington Project - An Overview:

About 16 years ago - I set out in search of some little sheep to cut the grass in my large 2 acre back yard. In Harrowsmith Magazine - I came across an article on Shetland Sheep and the Dailley Farm - Oh boy - little sheep! And so I set out to find the little Shetlands (the Dailley farm is about a 2 hour drive from my farm).

I was introduced to a lady "Dale" - who owned the farm with the prefix "Cherrington" - and I purchased 3 sheep - 2 ewes and a ram.

I knew very little about sheep - but I was excited to get these great little sheep.

Fast forward about 5 years. Dale has sold her farm - and has decided to disperse her flock - which has grown to about 30 sheep.

Knowing that I will offer them a good home - she gifts me with about 15 lovely "Cherrington"
Shetlands - with the promise that I will love and cherish them - and always give them a good home.

Around this time - I am starting to learn about fleeces, spinning and genetics.

For those of you who don't know about the Cherrington Shetlands.

All of the Cherrington Shetlands and the Skerryvore Shetlands are directly bred back to the original sheep brought in by Colonel Dailley. Dale and Chickie (the owner of Skerreyvore Shetlands) selectively picked sheep to breed for the softness and handle of the fleeces - both of them were spinners.

Back to the Future.

About 5 years ago - Cate and I met and became friends, and she started to raise shetlands as well - in Particular she wanted to work at preserving those lovely Cherrington Shetlands.

Together - we have been working very hard to maintain the remainder of the Cherrington Flock. Many of the Cherringtons that I have - are now residing at Cates farm - and together - we have been very selective in the breeding of our sheep - for a single coated - fine, even crimp.
Most of our sheep are directly bred out of the original Cherrington flock with very little outside genetics. We maintained 3 lovely Cherrington Rams - Cherrington Charles (who died about 5 years ago) - Cherrington Merlin - a lovely ram who passed away last year, and we still have Cherrington Harry - who is now 10, and arthritis is starting to take over - so this past year, Cate and I purchased a lovely white ram from Carole Precious (Dailley Pachino)- with a stunning fleece - and wonderful conformation and horns to help carry on the genetics.

We are still working on selective breeding of the remaining Cherrington ewes - and offspring.
We selectively breed only 2 - 3 ewes every year - and scrutinize the fleeces - not only by us - but by a group of several spinners. Sorry folks - we haven't microned the sheep yet - but that is coming. So - that's kind of the story about what we're doing and how we're doing it. We're trying to maintain this lovely little island sheep and their beautiful fleeces.
Cate and Al are very proud to have done so well at the Royal - and I'm so proud of them as well.

We think this is wonderful for our little breed of sheep. Sorry that I have rambled on on so long, but wow - I don't get to crow very often.

Just a little addendum to the above:
Cate tells me that the Sheep to Shawl Judge purchased the 3rd place fleece during the fleece auction.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Physio Therapy

As some of you may know - I have a serious shoulder injury, which has been getting progressively worse this last couple of years.

The pain has been so bad - that I have been forced to give up some of my favourite activities - like playing the violin, various sports, and it has seriously hampered me being able to look after my flock. Thus - I have had to reduce my flock so that I can reduce my work load. This has been very distressing to say the least.

However - there is hope on the horizon.

Earlier this spring, my physician suggested a different form of excercise to help strengthen my shoulder and try to put me back in shape.


My wonderful husband - ever supportive of all my endeavors, has embraced this sport with me:

And so:

Recently - we travelled to see my daughter in Gagetown New Brunswick (a two day drive):

We of course wasted no time in renting kayaks and heading out onto the
St John River for a day cruise. We spent 5 hours out on the water - and I took some absolutely
beautiful pictures.

This one is a particular favourite -
(click to see larger), as we are heading up the
river and under the Fredricton Bridge.
That's my husband (Kevin) and my Daughter
Brittany up ahead in their kayaks - I stayed behind in my kayak to get the shots.

We had a great time - and more on that vacation in another post.

We try to get out at least once a week - and for
a minimum of a 2 hour paddle - but prefer a 4 - 5 hour paddle. Surprising - when you are out there - you lose complete track of time.

Last week - we managed to get out twice - which was a real treat.

So - on Wednesday night - we loaded up the car
with the kayaks and all the gear.
Yes - I get lots of funny looks:
(The kayaks are actually Longer than the car).

And after work on Thursday - we headed straight
out to The Pinery - which is a local
Provincial Park about an hour from here.

Here's a picture I took as we were heading up the
main channel. This channel was dug out in the 1800's to help drain the local farmland - it is about 100 ft wide - and 10 km long (6 miles).
It's not very deep - probably only about 8 feet.
This was a very relaxing paddle - we probably did about 4 kilometers in each direction - or a total of 5 miles. For part of it we were paddling into a decent headwind - so on the way back - we were able to relax a bit and drift.
This is a great way to relax after a hard day at work.

And - lucky us -on Saturday - we
were headed down to Leamington - which is on the north shore of Lake Erie (near Windsor, Ontario) - so - we left the kayaks on
top and after completing
our business at the kayak store - we headed
off to Point Pelee - which is the southern - most
mainland point in Canada.

We decided that we would keep to the marshes because the lake was quite choppy.
There are several small lakes - and trails throughout the marshes that you can canoe or kayak in - and so off we went. In the middle of one of the lakes there was this HUGE - probably about 2 acres in size patch of water lillies.
Here is a picture of Kevin as he eases his kayak in close to the water lillies. Look at the size of the lily pads - they were about 2 feet in diameter - and the flowers were about 8 - 10 inces across - many of them on stocks that stuck 3 feet above the water.

We played on the marshes for about 3 hours in the 95 degree weather before packing up and heading home.

So far we've discovered that we LOVE kayaking (yes - those are our kayaks in the last 2 pictures). We have taken the plunge and gone out and purchased a couple of sea kayaks - and all the gear - expensive - but worth it.

And is it helping my shoulder you ask? Yes - the short answer is yes. It's been great therapy.
I'm hoping that this will strengthen the muscles - and help out with all the pain.
So far - no complaints from me. Besides that - it's great excercise, and quality time spent with
my husband and children. I highly recommend it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Arrivals

While I'm waiting for this sweltering heat to subside, so I can go out to work in my studio.
(by the way - it reached 36 degrees celcius here today - something like 96 degrees farenheit).

We have a few new additions to the farm roster.

On June 22nd (as I was walking out the door to attend a dinner meeting) - I notice Blizzard, my absolute most favourite sheep in the whole wide world - laying under the willow tree by the

That could only mean one thing.
So - I dashed back in the house and changed - and ran out to help her (it was 87 degrees farenheit out).

After about half an hour of standing up, laying down, pushing, standing up again, coming over and putting her head in my lap then going and laying back down - I decided I would chance going to the meeting. Blizzard has always been very good at delivering on her own.

So - off I went and got changed and washed up, and off to the meeting.
Of course - I left instructions with my son and husband - and every 15 minutes, I got an update call.

At 8 pm - just as I was getting ready to present my report - I got the call that her water broke.
Sorry guys - gotta dash.

Blizzard was bred to Dailley Pachino - a
beautiful white ram that I co-own with my very
good friends Cate and Al at Earendal Farm.

Here are her two white ewe lambs about
15 minutes after they were born.
Aren't lambs amazing - just born - up on those wobbly legs looking for food.

Of course - in my opinion - they are absolutely
stunning (but I'm very biased).


Here are Kalwa Taure Princess, and Kalwa
Taure Duchess today - less than 2 weeks later.

Don't you just love white lambs - they are the cutest.

Also - not to be forgotten - and along our
royalty lines (it's an inside joke)....

Before I hurt my neck and shoulder so badly last month (which is now causing me to greatly reduce my flock).........

As part of our flock improvement program - we brought this little lovely in from Carole Precious:

Dailley Tiara
A lovely yearling ewe from the Chassagne Farm
(I think that's the name of Carole's new farm).

Again - with the help of my wonderful friends
Cate and Al - as I had to be out of town at a meeting (again).
They went over to see Carole, and picked out
Tiara for me. Her fleece is like butter - and oh so
Tiara spent a couple of weeks in quarantine at
Cates farm before coming to our farm for a couple of more weeks of quarantine - poor girl.
But, she is now in with the main flock and seems to be doing quite well. She's fattened up a bit, and, although still a bit skittish, she knows her name, and is coming over for treats.

We're hoping to not have to sell off the entire flock - but to only reduce it down so that I can manage a bit better once my son leaves for University next year. Until then - these 3 will remain here.

Well - I'm hoping it's cooled a bit out there now - looks like a possible storm moving in.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Haircut Time........Or

How to Get your Sheep to Lose Weight Fast:

From This:

To This:

I sure bet that feels better.

We sheared late this year for various reasons,
and I don't think my sheep really appreciated it.
But I'm not hearing too many complaints right
now - especially since it's been
31 - 32 degrees Celcius (88 - 90 degrees farenheit) this past few days.
At least it's dry right now - so it's not too muggy.

Tomorrow - an introduction to our new babies.