Thursday, May 24, 2007

In Flanders Fields, John McCrae, 1915

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1915.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Quiet Day

Not much going on here today. All the corn is planted and now we are working on getting the beans in the ground. Chris has been spreading fertilizer for us and got to try his hand at planting for the first time today. They have been calling for rain here for the past two days but so far we haven't gotten anything but sprinkles. I'm already tired of dragging that darn green hose around.

We celebrated Debbie's parents' birthdays this evening with burgers and hot dogs on the grill with the normal summer fair, potato salad, baked beans and chips. Debbie's brother Jeff was there with his wife and 3 daughters. Grandma Schafer turned 60 on Tuesday (3/22) and Grandpa Schafer will be 60 tomorrow (3/25). We had a picture made of all 6 of the grandkids for them. Needless to say they loved it! Happy Birthday Mom and Dad, we love you!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My Friend, Mary

I want to introduce you all to Mary. She was my first lamb ever and this will be her forever home. I consider her a very dear friend. She was not bottle-fed but sure acts like a bottle baby. She had her first lambs this year, one ewe and one ram. Unfortunately, she lost her ewe lamb and cried for several days looking for her. We were both heart broken. She seems to be doing fine now, probably better than me. Hopefully next year will be a better year for her.

McCleady's Fleece

Here's a picture of McCleady's beautiful fleece. She is a white registered Shetland ewe and the matriarch of my flock. She is the only sheep in my flock that does not like being petted. She loves treats though and will eat from my hand. I'm not sure the luster of her wool will come through in the picture but it is absolutely stunning. Notice the lovely crimp. This was my favorite fleece this year.

Skirting Fleece

I spent the better part of today skirting my fleeces. I was not happy with the amount of VM in them this year. I'm taking them to ABC Ranch (Bonnie Ahrens) to be processed into roving. Bonnie does beautiful work and I'm lucky enough to live within driving distance to her mill. Here's a picture of my skirting table. You can see the ducks in the background. They were my very attentive audience the entire time I was out there working. We use the "throw away fleece" as mulch around our plants in our garden.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Shearing Day!

We were finally able to get a shearer out to shear our 6 Shetland sheep today. The young man did a nice job and was gentle with them. Now I have lots of wool to play with! Hopefully I can get a few pictures taken tomorrow of our naked ladies.

Sunday, May 6, 2007


This is Angus, as close as we had ever been to HST before our little ewe today. He has the H and one S but not the T.

Surprise Lamb!

Well, we thought lambing was over here at Redbud Lane but CeeCee surprised us today with a beautiful little HST ewe! I really didn't think she was bred. Of course being Shetland she just went and had her totally unassisted. The lamb was completely dry and running by the time we noticed her. Gotta love thost Shetlands!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Shearer Blues

We are having such a hard time finding a shearer. Does anyone else ever have this problem? We only have 6 sheep that need sheared, guess that's just not worth it for anyone to come out. We have someone who says he will do it and he will call next week but we heard that from another guy a couple weeks ago and finally had to call him. He was anxious to pass on the phone number of another guy. We'll see. Sheep shearing is really not something we want to learn to do ourselves. Maybe if/when we have 30 head they will be more willing.

I had the opportunity tonight to take our 8 yo niece to a Girl Scout function. That was just plain culture shock for the mother of 3 boys! We made a picture frame and watched the movie "Flicka". We had a wonderful time and I was flattered that she asked me to go with her.

We are supposed to pick up our new bred Kinder doe tomorrow. The woman is supposed to have her papers ready to give me too. I guess if she doesn't have the papers I'm going to pass, just don't trust people very much anymore. I'll try to post some pics if I can. The weather has been very overcast this week and not very good for picture taking.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Well, it could stop raining any day now and that would be fine with us. We have barely even started planting and now we are rained out. They are calling for rain pretty much all of next week. The sheep need sheared badly but of course we don't want to shear wet sheepies. We're sure it will stop raining about July and forget to start again. We did get to go look at the Kinder goats today. We picked one nice bred doe. She is a FF but is very friendly so we have high hopes. She is registered but the owners aren't sure who she was bred to because she hopped a fence and got into a pen with several bucks, none of which were registered Kinders. We will pick her up on Sunday afternoon if it's not raining too hard. We'll also be trying to schedule the shearing for later next week if it's not raining.

Dairy Goats

A few months ago we traded our French angora rabbits for this lovely Toggenberg doe with her three wether kids. She is so skittish we haven't even tried to milk her but we have been working on gaining her trust and she's come a long way. Hopefully next year we will be able to get her on the milk stand. Meanwhile, we have been using them to clear some brush and we just love watching the babies play. Here's a picture of Nellie, Dale, Louis and Hesston. They have their own pen they sleep in at night but during the day they run with the sheep and our jennet.Today we are going to go look at some Kinder does. They are due to kid in June/July and will be first time fresheners. We have been wanting a family milk goat for awhile now and are looking forward to some new faces around the farm.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Welcome to Redbud Lane Farm!

Welcome everyone to Redbud Lane Farm. We are a homeschooling family of five from northeast Missouri. Over time I will be posting pictures of the happenings here on our farm. It's usually a pretty busy place. Not only do we raise beautiful shetland sheep but we also have alpacas, dairy goats, a couple of friendly miniature donkeys, chickens, ducks and the usual cats and dogs. We even have a funny little cockatiel named Sunshine. Dan farms with his father raising black angus cattle, hogs, corn, beans, wheat and hay. Debbie concentrates on the sheep and other critters. She enjoys spinning her own yarn, crocheting and knitting. Christopher, Benjamin and Matthew have many interests. They range from hunting, computers and farming with Dad to starting their own shetland flocks. We all love to go camping and enjoy spending time together in the great outdoors. I hope that you will visit us again to see what's going on here on Redbud Lane Farm.