The Home of Beautiful Bluefaced Leicesters and Shetland Sheep

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2010 Continues.... Murphy's Law Prevails

Brew a pot of coffee for this blog. It's a doozie! Today I had my ewes artificially inseminated for the first time. I had purchased semen and was happy that it had arrived just in time for my date. Good luck there but it all goes downhill at this juncture. I borrowed a trailer from my friend so I could haul my 6 ewes to the procedure site. As long as I am going forward I can pull a trailer. The trailer was parked in mud this morning so Bill and were like hogs on ice getting the thing hooked up. Bill walks with a cane but his cane wasn't any help stabilizing him. Finally hooked, we pulled out onto our little country road which is now the detour for 2 main roads. It's rush hour and passing traffic is not happy that we had taken up on side of the road to load sheep. My ewes, not being halter broke , do not want to lead to the trailer but with the help of my friend Bev we get them loaded. At this point we notice that the jack on the trailer is only inches from the road surface. We need to switch hitch balls. Out comes the hydraulic jack, which has to be used from the road side of the trailer since the barnyard side isn't level. More comments from passing traffic but I didn't care since their traffic has been a pain for us for the last year. OK now we have the correct hitch ball and are off. Still time to get there on time. The garmin took us on the scenic route but Bev and I were enjoying the barn arcitecture as were traveled. 3 miles from our destination we come to a bridge that is closed with no prior warning. Did I mention that I can't back up a trailer. After trying my charm on the road workers to proceed ... they said I was too heavy for the bridge... add insult to injury guys! So much for charm, I made a U turn in the front yard of the house by the bridge. Good thing we had that jack raised or we would have made a huge divot in the grass. Bev was hiding under the dash waiting for incoming fire as we made our getaway. The DOT workers yelled something but feeling like Jesse James in Northfield I put the pedal down. Thankfully the garmin rerouted us to our destination but we were late and lost our turn. I enjoyed watching the procedure on all the sheep in front of us. I even helped. I was so stressed by this time that being "gas man" took my mind off the day. Finally... our turn. I found someone to back the trailer in and we got my ewes ready to go. OH NO.. my semen straws are not in their containers. Somehow they had been dumped into the bottom of the nitrogen tank and are irretrievable. Choices now are
1. go home 2. use semen from another ram in the tank which I will have to pay for 3. or use semen from another breed of sheep Choosing option 2 we now discover that there are only 4 straws of Bluefaced Leicester semen in the tank and I have 6 ewes. Splitting straws is now in my vocabulary because that is what we did on 4 ewes. Conception is not 100% under the best conditions so I'm not looking at good odds right now. I choose to be pessimistic because a pessimist can only be made happier,right? Hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised when all 6 ewes conceive. Those 15 straws that I paid for are still in the tank but do I want to do this again? I don't think I can afford it financially or mentally. Bev and I did laugh all the way home. What else could we do? My Murphy's Law flag will be flying tonight.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Rhinebeck was perfect. Usual Autumn weather, which I love, and a really well attended show. It was so much fun seeing other breeders from all over the country. Robina and Shirley were in from OR. I only wish I could have spent more time with them. Shirley was amazed at the size of the Rhinebeck show! It is a fabulous wool show for sure. Lisa and I were so busy in the booth that we couldn't escape to get food on Saturday....NO complaints tho.... busy is good. We didn't get to party as much this year since everyone was super tired at the end of the day. That's good too, I guess. Thanks to Bill's lighting purchases, our booth was well lit and beautiful this year. Sending that man to a hardware guarantees more than anyone could ever imagine.

Got home late late night and had to get up at 5 to give hormone shots to my ewes being inseminated this Wednesday. Everything has come at once. Maybe I can sleep after Wednesday???