Sheared flock in Photos

So I guess by now most of you know that I messed up what day we were shearing. You see I had talked to Danny the Shearer and he told me when he was coming. The only issue is that I told Mom that it was Sunday the 29th. I know it was suppose to be Sunday but Mom thought it was suppose to be Monday because Monday was the 29th. Needless to say Danny came Sunday. LOL

Anyway, the Shearing is done and check out the little guys and dolls now …

Phinny is now in with the female goats that we want to let breed …
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The Shetlands are on the pasture
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Reba is the only Meat sheep that is on the pasture
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The rest are in With her Baby Chuck Norris to see if he can breed a few. If he breeds with Carrie we could actually paper the baby as Carrie and Chuck are registered
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The QTs are on the pasture but they will go in with Lester
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And just so you know Mom’s Baby chick is doing just fine too … LOL
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Chief and Lester are both looking good … I think they bully the younger rams because Lance, King and Chuck are a bit thinner then they should be but They won’t take on the older rams even if it is for food
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King Panda
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Yuchi and Coacoa Drop Both just got their faces done so that they don’t get wool blindness
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We put the wethers on the pasture so that they don’t get it Phinny’s way … LOL
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Turkey’s got in my way wanting their picture taken too … LOL
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Favorite is still Jet Black … I love their color!!
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Gate failure

Today Mom had an inspection here on the farm so Dad and I used out time wisely … we went to Harry’s to build a new chute gate. I started by measuring it all out and getting the pieces cut. Then we layed them out and got ready to weld …

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So we got it all done and put together and came back home. This is where it is suppose to go. It is the very back of the chutes. It is the gate that will keep the cattle in place before you release them and rope them.

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The only thing was that when we tried to put the gate down in the rims … It didn’t fit. I guess when Dad and Harry built these chutes they didn’t think it would matter if it was square or not.

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Well, I am here to tell you it mattered. It started to go in and then it got stuck. Emily was coming to practice so Dad and I had to use a sledge Hammer to remove it. We will be taking it back to Harry’s to cut it down to a crooked size so it will work….

A Request for Help

Today I got a request on the blog. It is from a lady that went to school with Mom. You see He is the one that posted about the flock give away so as I see it she helped me so I will be returning the favor. You see the message was from Ms. Natalie Sommer. Here is the Post she sent me …

RJ,
I need your help. My business Natalie Crafts, has been selected as a finalist in the 2014 American Made Awards by Martha Stewart and her panel of judges in the fiber craft category.
Please “share” my link and visit my profile on the American Made Awards’ site and vote each day until October 13th.
http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/89387/crafts/natalie-crafts
Thanks and I hope you are well.
Sincerely,
Natalie Sommer

P.S. Here are some other sites

http://www.nataliecrafts.com/

http://fox10tv.com/2014/09/23/local-woman-finalist-in-martha-stewart-contest/

http://www.pnj.com/story/news/2014/09/14/crafty-teacher-sauce-bosses-martha-stewart-finalists/15639661/

http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/89387/crafts/natalie-crafts

Not only will I be voting as much as I can but I would like to ask that each of you please help her out if you can. Ms. Natalie and I both Thank you!!

Fall Harvesting

So in the last two days I have been harvesting a few things around here. First, we have our first harvest from the spinner’s garden. The crop is Cotton. You see when we first looked at what we should do with Mom’s garden spot we decided on a spinner’s garden. It was kind of like a dyer’s garden but for spinners. Mom bought some cotton seed and planted it. Then an online friend named Ms. Painty sent me some colored cotton. Yes, cotton grows in different colors.

I have to be honest until Ms. Painty sent me some I had no idea there was naturally colored cotton. Mom and I planted all of them. The white, green, red and golden. Then Yesterday I got to pick the first of the cotton crop. This is what it looked like when I picked it …

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But we still have some that are in flower form …
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and even more in what I call Pod form….
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Today Mom tended her garden and she got a ton of radishes…
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And don’t tell but I got this picture of her start on her blouse…. it is the shoulder straps and they are about half done she said but She said it would depend on how long she will need them … She is working both at the same time like people knit socks.
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Getting back to normal

Today I think thing started to get to be a little bit more normal. I did part of my school work, chores and then headed to my Uncle’s house to help him finish working his cattle. Mom headed to town to take a few things to the extension office before heading to the Boys and Girls Club to make some contacts about putting in an art program.

She also started drawing up her first creation. It looks like a dress but she says it is a “babydoll top” I don’t know if you can see it in the picture but you should be able to get the idea.

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And she is making it out of my mohair/wool yarn that she dyed. It goes from a pink to almost a mauve type color.

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She is making it in Shepherd’s Knit and she is going to do it like you would socks so that the yarn will work up the same on the top. She is working from both ends of the ball and writing everything down.

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While Mom started her project she also had me help clean up the fiber room and start packing stuff for the Fiber Booth the first weekend in Oct. I also took time to rope and harvest some of my cotton but the cotton I think I will save for tomorrow’s blog post.

To top all that off It was a pretty good mail day too … I got my Birthday and Christmas present in the mail today. It is a set of Horse training videos. I can’t wait until I can watch them. I guess you know what will be on the TV during those cold days of winter.

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What a day …

Okay so Mom has a couple of things that she really wants everyone to know about last nights post. First, she says that it is more about how people perceive her right now then it is what was said or done. She used the example of the Fair board. They actually took someone else’s word for it that she resigned. That means that the fair board and the people on it (people that know my Mom) think that she would walk away and leave the kids high and dry for the County Fair. Then the lady on the phone pretty much implied (okay, she flat out said it) That Mom couldn’t manage our small flock. So Mom is having a rough time seeing what other people see in her. She says that she is only upset because that isn’t the way she wants anyone to see her but she doesn’t know how to change it.

I can tell you that Mom she isn’t the kind of person that would walk away and leave things unfinished or do the job poorly. Anyway, She just can’t seem to get past “I can’t believe that people would think that of me. or Is that really how the world sees me?” With that said she also wanted everyone to know that she appreciates the kind words of comfort and encouragement that everyone gave her. She says a little “sugar” does make the tough reality of what others see in her a bit easier to take. She also says don’t worry She will come to terms with everything in her own time.

For me, it just hurts to see Mom so down. I have to tell you Mom is always laughing. I bet there isn’t a day that goes by when normally Mom laughs at least 50% of the day (and that is on a bad day) But for the last two days Mom hasn’t laughed. The house is just to quiet. And when I try to make stupid jokes she sometimes walks away without saying anything at all. I guess I will know when things are back to normal when Mom’s laugh comes back.

As for today, I worked this morning and then when I came home Mom got to practice shearing … She sheared two wethers that will be sold this weekend. I have to say she does an okay job. She worries about second cuts a lot but I think she will get better in time. The more she shears the better she will get. Our regular shearer will come take care of the normal herd as Mom says she won’t “Practice” on anything that would be or product because she says that would cost me profit. I got Mom to take one silly picture for me … Check this out…

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Mom was nervous about the head area so she would take her time doing it. It sure was funny to see when she would let them stand and take a break before she would do it though … LOL

I finished out my day by taking part in a sheep webinar online. It had a lot of good info in it but I don’t think we will ever have an accelerated program because they say that the Ewes have to be culled at around a rate of 22% a year due to how hard it is on the sheep’s bodies. Mastitis and prolaps are real issues with an accelerated program and that is something Mom won’t do. The animals come first here not profit!

RIP Jazzie

Right now all I can say is that we are definitely having our own issues on the farm. Last night was great I won the benefit roping and donated half my winnings back to Pattie’s Family! I was honored to have won and been able to do that. As they say what goes around comes around. And so it goes for Pattie. When I got home I dealt with Mom who was pretty much a mess.

I guess I need to back up and I might even get a bit of griping at for telling all and how not everything needs to go on the blog but without the back info you can’t even imagine how hard a time Mom is having right now. You see for the last 8 years Mom has not just “helped out” at the fair but she was superintendent of the poultry. This year someone told the fair board that Mom resigned. She did not but they took someone else’s word for it. She had planned on resigning AFTER this year so that she can be free for activities for my senior year of High school. Anyway, they replaced her without telling her.

Mom had sponsors she had to go to and let know that they couldn’t sponsor this year. Mom was embarrassed but what could she do? She just kept saying it was fine or that it didn’t matter because she was resigning anyway. I know she was hurt and that it did hurt her feelings. Mom wanted to say goodbye on her own terms but that didn’t happen. And like a champ Mom was at the fair and helped out with whatever they needed and she did it with a smile. I know, however, it wasn’t easy for her.

Now fast forward to yesterday (just a few days later from the whole fair drama). I left Dimples and Jazzie in her care, as she calls it and things got worse. Dimples didn’t make it and then today, while I was again away at work with my Uncle, Jazzie lost her fight. Mom is blaming herself in full force. She has cried and cried and told me how sorry she was. In the end Mom decided that she is going to replace them for me. (I told her that she didn’t have to and that things would be okay) but Mom always feels better if she is doing something to fix things.

Mom got on the internet and started looking to see what she could find. She figured spring babies are coming of age and might be for sale. She found a farm here in Oklahoma and called them. Well, Let me just say that we have worked with the vet and we have done everything that he would have done. If we have done something wrong it is just because we didn’t know it was wrong. So, this lady, a nice well meaning lady, starts out asking how many angoras we have and Mom tells her 8. She then explains that we lost two and they seem to be having some issues so we were looking to replace the ones we lost. The lady then asks where we got them and so Mom tells the lady a short version of how I won the first ones and then how we got the two colored ones. The lady then announces to Mom that we have a “Management Problem” and made Mom feel horrible because now she thinks outsiders are blaming her as well. This well meaning lady said that “it doesn’t mean I won’t sell to you but you need to make some changes on your farm.”

She went on to tell Mom how We need to rotate our pastures and we need Electric fence to do so. Our Vet, who has been here, says we don’t have enough animals on the set area for pasture rotation to be needed. The lady also said that all our goats need to be dry lotted. Meaning they need to be pulled off the pasture and fed hay and grain, until we get them all healthy. (Okay, Dimples and Jazzie were the only ones that were sick and they passed … And Cinnamon has her own set of issues that has nothing to do with any of the issues going on) She went on to tell us that we need to build new feeders and she had an opinion about How we should have never taken Cinnamon in the first place since we didn’t know what we were doing. ?????? Really???? Cinnamon got better care with us then she got with the lady who had been in the business for many, many years … How is that a bad thing?

Needless to say Mom now feels more horrible (if that is even possible) then before she tried to replace the goats we lost. I can see tears in her eyes off and on today. She isn’t taking calls or even talking to anyone. I had Emily over to practice roping tonight and Mom didn’t even come out of the house. If you know my Mom at all, you will know that she is feeling very bad right now and all I know to do is give her a hug every time I go past her.

I really don’t feel like we have a management problem. We work with a vet that does all he can for our animals. We have done everything he has told us. We have changed medications and nothing has worked. How is it a management problem if only two are sick and not responding to our treatment program? Doesn’t the healthy ones attest to the fact that we do a decent job of Managing the herd??? I just can’t believe that to an outsider it would look like we are not doing everything we can for all our animals?? Out of Eleven angora goats, over the course of 3 years, we have only lost 3. How does that add up to a management problem???

RIP Dimples

This is Mom. I have no idea what to even say at this point. Dimples has passed away. I called the Vet again and he is also stumped. He said that if Dimples and Jazzie had a large worm load everything we have been doing should have showed improvement by now. If they were going to go toxic that should have happened 2 days ago when we wormed them. At this point Jazzie is not looking well either and she can no longer stand. The Vet says it could be anything. They could have gotten into a weed on the pasture (although I don’t think so) as they were on the pasture as all this started. However, Doc did give us a different Medication to give so we are now trying that.

All I can say is that RJ is at a Rodeo and he is upset and I am trying my best to deal with everything here. We are doing all we can but we would ask for all prayers, mojo and happy thoughts to be sent this way ….

Tid bits

Today I wanted to take a few minutes to catch you up on the little things going on around here. First, I ended the fair with 12 first Places, 3 second places and 1 fourth Place. I put in some yarn but it only got second, which is kind of funny because I also entered stitch markers and they got second as well. I also entered my video that I did for the home school competition and it got first but they judged it on the poster of it and never watched the video. Oh well, I helped my club achieve it’s goal of growing the fair entries and that is all that matters. A couple of wins was nice too though.

As of yesterday Jazzie started to show the same signs that Dimples did. So we put Jazzie in with Dimps and as of last night they both can stand to eat but just for a short time. They have the whole milk pen to them selves and we are feeding them morning and night as well as both being on Electrilytes. Gracie hasn’t left her Mom’s side but at least she can graze the goat pen and still be with her. I have wormed them both and am not sure why they aren’t doing as well as I would like. One day they were grazing and the next they are down.

So here is the plan of action. First, we have them penned. They are fed twice a day and get Electrilytes to boost them up twice a day. We called the vet today to see what he said and he thinks it is most likely caused by our late worming. He said we are on the right track and to keep at it and track them very closely so that we know if there is any change. He said since we wormed the worm issue should be under control now we just need to get them stronger. That will start with building up their blood. The vet said that as soon as we get their blood built back up they won’t feel so drained and weak. Anyway, we will take control of their blood by giving them a horse supplement that has been found to help anemia in goats.

With use doing all we can for Dimples and Jazzie we have learned another lesson. When you worm on a schedule do it on time don’t put it off just because it doesn’t fit into the plan you originally had. We have only put off working the sheep and goats just because we normally do it when the shearer comes. From here on out we will do it the first of the month no exceptions.

As for my rodeos this weekend, I didn’t get anything done on Friday or Saturday but today is a very special rodeo. Danny, the owner of the Loose Rowel Rodeo Company lost his wife just a month or so ago after a long illness. The truth is that Patty was in and out of the hospital and they never really found out what was causing her to be sick. Today, however, I will go and rope for Patty in a benefit to help her family. Why does this mean so much to me??? That is easy. Remember when the stockyards just told me and Dad not to come to work anymore?? Well, I was running out of roping Money and I had attended the Loose Rowel most of the season and at some point in talking to Patti, Danny’s wife, it came up that I wouldn’t be coming if I couldn’t find a job as it was about the same time Mom resigned her position. Upon hearing my story, Ms. Patty took pity on me and made a deal with me to help me finish out the season. She would pay my entry fees each week if I would work untying calves at the Loose Rowel Rodeos for the rest of the season. Ms. Patti was just like that. She would help us kids out just for the joy of watching us grow our rodeo experience. She was there for me when I needed a break so I will be there for her when her family needs one.