Puppy love and snow days

Well, it's been a month of good things. Oh, I'm sure there are plenty who would disagree... maybe even some who live here.

First - the ram. A beautiful ram that shipped across the country to be here. We're going to put him in the with the girls this weekend... and have babies in April! He's got a great temperament and colours and shape. Not as meaty on the back end as would be great but I'm willing to live with it.

Second - the puppy. An English Shepherd. He's adorable and smart (which will have many of its own challenges). I'll be weighing him tomorrow. And yes, pictures are forth coming.

Finally - snow day. What's more to say about that? I took Winchester (puppy) out last night at about 11:30 and big flakes were falling. It was gorgeous... this morning we woke up to a real snow day. LG was thrilled. Before seven this morning he was out in pjs and snow gear to play. Boy and puppy - extremely cute. Of course it warmed over the day and now is melting. But... it was absolutely beautiful.

Metal prayer flags...

So, I was looking at this site with some cool stuff and then I stumbled upon the metal prayer flags. Could that be more of a fashion statement and less of what a prayer flag is supposed to be? The whole idea is that the prayers are intrinsic to the threads... Ridiculous!

Ah Autumn

and endings. It is so beautiful out and because of that, tomorrow we slaughter sheep. One of the first ones we got. A (?an) ewe lamb (yearling, actually) who is a midget is also a total cow, hurts the dog and has head butted myself and J and most recently gone after LG, will be turned into a great pelt (we hope - it's DIY project) and freezer meat not to mention bones for said dog (how's that for revenge?).

I am sad about it. I was fine with it on the weekend - she was a cranky bag and it was all good. Tonight though she was really dear, coming over to the gate for a skritchy and it feels like "ahhhh... maybe we can..." but we can't. I'm feeding and caring for an unmanageable animal and with Mr. Ram on his way (I hope - I haven't had an update yet) I don't need another unmanageable one. He'll be lunch too if he's overly obnoxious. It's the crofter in me - they're not *just* pets anymore. Unless they're sweet (like my other girls) and then that changes everything.

If all goes well we'll either have all ewes out of the breeding or, a ram lamb that can be wethered (that's neutered for those of you not in the know) to be a buddy for Ram a lama ding dong (what we've been calling him, although we're going to need something different) when he can't be in with the ewes and babies. That's one of my favorite things about the primitive breeds - they only cycle (come into heat) at this time of year so you only need to separate for the protection of the babies.

I also got the sire catalogue from Southram today. It's not everyday that you can go "whoo, semen shopping!" Poor J - it's a good thing we live rural I mean after all... what would the neighbours think?

To learn more about the breed I have you can read here:

www.isbona.com

So, it's been a month...

as usual really. The strange thing is I often think about things to blog and then just... don't.

It's Autmun here - beautiful, glorious Autumn. Of course, for us that's also butchering season but most won't want to know about that.

Tonight is another over tired night - I expect to be in bed and asleep by 9 pm. I'm wiped. There's just been too much going on. An enormous amount of emails due to some things happening at Flannelberry Farm. And I'm trying to finish my last project and get ready for my exams so I'll officially be a yoga teacher.

I haven't been to kung fu in ages. I like it but there are things... one of them being the late hours. At first it was cool and then it caught up with me. My yoga class - which I was missing to go to kung fu - is at a much more sane hour and will actually be a good thing to dive right back into. And my yoga teacher is wonderful. I cannot say enough positive about her. I am lucky enough to have her as my invigilator for my exams (I have a practical and written).

Actually, I haven't been doing much of what has been so key to me over the past couple of years. I have spent a total of about 10 hours in my treehouse this summer and although I miss it, with not doing as much writing I don't have the driving need to leave the house house. In fact, I am really enjoying the Becky Home-Ecky life of being inside, playing with my kid and cooking and canning and even occasionally cleaning. It's all very odd and new for me. I don't have a sense of flight or needing escape. I am very.. settled.

This morning LG and I were up, watched the sunrise together, did yoga and even meditation together. He did yoga for about a half hour. And then we had breakfast together and played. It was cool and I don't need to escape it.

Could it be yoga that's done this? Hmmm... Even with kung fu I found parenting interfered - like it was an either or - I haven't felt like that since I haven't been going. I love the Tai Ji part but it has the same sort of quality as yoga. There is a part of me, the part that likes to fight, that loves the Fu and craves it. But I'm not sure that part of me needs encouragement right now. I'm not suggesting suppression either.

A very funny aside - because of where we live we do more online shopping than any other kind. It's very convenient and frankly, a lot cheaper. Anyway, I'm looking through girlie clothes and see this harness thing. What do I think? No, not sex... well... not human sex anyway. I think - oh yeah, I need to look at Premier One to see if they have a marking harness for breeding. Gee... could I be more of a crofter?

So it turns out...

... I can do for my farm what I never done for anything else. I am able to put my money where my mouth is.

Not only did a spend a huge amount of $$$ for a course this weekend but J and I have are looking into an additional 11 or so acres that we could turn into pasture in the next couple of years. It adjoins the pasture where the horses are now. I am imagining what I could do with 11 more acres... hmmm.. it's enough to make me not want to develop too much here and just bide my time.

It's an odd thing to step back and watch. When you realize that you are not able to do everything and see what sifts away. Nothing about the sheep is easy - from considering killing one (culling is just such a wimpy word) because she's aggressive and nasty and likely too small to be bred although I'm going to try I think - from getting a hay shed together (many thanks to J for the labour because it would not exist as it does without him) to coordinating hay and tonight -considering importing lambs from literally the other side of the country because our Western gene pool is just too small. Oh yeah - and I'm watching one for pink eye and considering when I will trim the hooves of everyone. Of course, I couldn't do any of this without J and it's good too. I have learned that it is ok to rely on someone, to ask for help. There was a time when he despaired of ever convincing me that it was okay to ask for help - maybe now he regrets I have learned that lesson?

So there's that and all of the other stuff I need to get and to learn... from shearing to kits for various emergencies to creating pasture in our forest without compromising the trees (that's where the new land comes in). But it is happening. I have one ewe I am eager to breed. Other than her scurs (that's between horned and polled), she is ideal. A big, meaty butt, has lambed once before. The sweetest temperament but not a push over. I adore her. She's not the prettiest girl in the flock or the least amount of trouble but she was my first and I will always love for that and her disposition. BZTW - polled=no horns.

I knew something had changed in a biggish way when J - who trucked a good portion across the northern US with me for this course - mentioned we should get shirts made with the farm name on them like many of the people at the course had. That was th first - wow, he really gets how important this is for me. Don't get me wrong, he is always happy, or at least willing, to indulge my whims but it was like we both knew after that course, this isn't a whim and I am throwing myself fully into it. So there was that. And then when I mentioned buying the land (although he's always up for that) and expanding the flock in the foreseeable future - he didn't even bat an eye.

I think what I most appreciate is, like with the dogs, when I am with them all of the things I am trying to do in my life just happen. It's peaceful, even when I have a ewe with acidosis, turning to bloat and threatening to die. Stressful but peaceful and real, meditative. There is nothing more real than having kids and animals around. And knowing we have the means to fully feed ourselves between the sheep (milk and meat) and ducks (eggs and meat) with garden and wild gathering supplements.

The other thing for me is the stuff that comes with the sheep. Right now I am thinking about the socks I want to learn to knit. And then the mitts after that. And I am a felting fool - our roasting pan has been pressed into felting duty for the last few nights. I am even considering the colour of my sheep for dying and how the fleece will look felted.

Do I still think about writing and martial arts and yoga. Yep. In fact, I need to think a lot more about yoga as I have my exam coming up and I want to spend some time tidying up various stories. But it's not what takes up the majority of my time - nor will it and I am gaining more than an academic acceptance of that. I've been saying it for a long time but it's feel real and I'm living it now. If I am going to "opt out" it will be on my croft, enjoying my life and eking a living out of the dirt. And I will love it (especially since J does the lion's share of the physical work).

Sometimes you just need something junky...

It has been a long week - extremely long. I am exhausted and sick of being away from real life (read: LG, animals, J and martial arts/yoga - not to mention crafts and writing) - because goodness knows that's not exactly what's happening here.

So, I walked across town (all of about 5 blocks) to get something yummy. I know this will drive the true coffee professionals in my family crazy but I went and got the junkiest coffee blendy thing and it is so good. I usually don't have these - in fact, I'm pretty sure this is the first one I have ever had in my entire life. A mocha here or there is about as far as I have stepped in the coffee direction but this... gives me shivers.

Our local proprietress - knowing my tummy's difficulties with fats and coffee- made me a good mocha (skim milk and light on the coffee but didn't insult me with decaf!) with ice and blended the heck out of it. So, now I have this grown-up milk shake that smells good but... a watery, cold mocha? Hmmm... maybe I've made a mistake? Sip - ahhh... shoulders relax. Just creamy enough to cruise over the tongue and down the throat. Another sip- a bit of coffee bite with a hint of sweetness and so on.

The wateriness is actually refreshing. It's more thirst quenching and not as strong or thick tasting as a full strength. Man, that was a really good way to have coffee on a crummy, hot Friday at the end of a very, very long week. I can see why my friends - who have no $$$ - are still going down for coffee (ones like this I mean) regularly. Fortunately this one cost me nothing - used up my "free coffee" card that's taken a year or so to fill - and is a treat. I have no plans to make it into an every day. Maybe knowing it's a treat makes it even yummier?

Ok... I really am a bitch.

And I need to listen to CBC a little less. In fact, I'll shut it off right now.

First - people are idiots (anyone else notice a theme these days?). Anyway, they are. There was a thing on the Current - I think - about groups calling for a government bail out for all of the people who have lived waaayyyy beyond their means, re-mortgaged to finance a highly consumer driven lifestyle and now are going to lose their houses. I feel for them and their kids. I feel for the damage to the economy but when are we going to learn? And if that doesn't make us sit up and take notice of what we're doing living this way then we deserve to sink as a result.

I know people who live like that and they don't want to work, they just want to spend and go on trips and think that everything will be taken care of for them. It seems a bit dangerous - if that's the mind set - to bail them out, doesn't it? But am I too right wing about this? I just don't know. I just don't see how it helps society overall to bail out the greedy such and suches who over spent because they were living a tv lifestyle with no thought to the consequences. And believe me, the ones I know like that, they are not thinking beyond the "want". I hate that it's even a discussion - and in the US it's a huge one. You can't afford socialized health care but you can afford socialized consumerism - there's a big social statement.

The other thing that pissed me off was a CBC round table on racism in the environmental movement. Is it racist - probably - most things in our white little world are. But this one woman... "old growth forests just don't resonate with us" puh-lease! She just went on and one like that - how the environmental movement is full of these issues that just don't appeal to immigrants. First of all - she's not an immigrant but the child of immigrants who felt people like David Suzuki didn't "resonate" (I swear she said resonate 85 thousand times) because he's the child of immigrants - wtf?!

Anyway, urban sprawl and dumps and air pollution and so on don't resonate with me either in my little forest on the side of the mountain away-from-it-all environment. Does that mean I shouldn't worry about them or that environmental orgs are perhaps sexist to bring them up as an issue? Look it - when we think we know better than other countries or populations because we are white and industrialized (although the white part would never be overt -even though it is there) we deserve a kick in the ass... when issues that are huge don't "resonate" with you and so you don't see the point in dealing with them, or why immigrants should, you deserve a kick in the ass.

Boy... I'd better do something about this bitchiness.

On a happier note - I did get fleece and a loom book today. And am going to write and do yoga homework sans CBC right now! Yippeee!!!

More evidence.. arggg...

Here's a snip from one of the posts I stumbled across... all of this because I was looking for a kid's knitting pattern...

"he is ademat (sp?) about NOT homeschooling. He insists that I would have no idea how to teach my children properly"

I would suspect that he's right madam. Good God!

There's a tonne of posts on "unlearning" and no 'ciriculim' [sic] or Christian 'curiculim' [sic]. You know, it's damn scary.