Faleen (from the story Bambi - it's his fawn friend's name)
Saturday morning we were very surprised to find a new addition to our flock in the barn. My mother Kathleen stopped by the farm house on Saturday morning, on the way to the barn to do chores. The kids and I were headed with my father for the day to celebrate National Train Day, with a train ride on Amtrak and the Green Mountain Railroad. She checked in with us and then continued on to the barn. Rowan went with her to help with chores and soon burst back into the house yelling "Lyra had a lamb, there's a new lamb, come quick... Yaya needs help!!" I raced to the barn, expecting the worst, only to find that indeed we did have a new addition to the flock.
We had assumed that we are ALL DONE with lambing the previous weekend. Both Snowflake and Winnie had their twin lambs. The other three ewes we had bred to a different ram did not appear to be pregnant at all. So we thought we were done, took down the sheep TV cameras, packed up the lamb supplies, etc.. However apparently Lyra was NOT DONE! Lyra and the other two "not pregnant" ewes, in addition the five other yearling ewes, had spent the week outside on new pasture. My mother had decided to bring them into the barn Friday night as it was due to storm and she planned to move them to a different pasture. So sometime during the night, amid seven other sheep, Lyra lambed all by herself and produced a beautiful little black ewe. This was completely unexpected and caused more than a few minutes of confusion for my mother as she tried to figure out how a lamb had gotten in with this group of sheep! Once she realized what had happened, and that all appeared to be well, she was able to put the rest of the sheep in this group outside and keep Lyra and her baby in. I arrived in time to pick up the little girl, who we named Faleen, help weigh her (6 lbs.) and dip her cord in iodine. The last time we had a lambing surprise like this was back in 2000, when one of our original ewes Matylda (and most favorite) had her lamb Maisie. I thought there was a black cat wondering around in the barn that morning, only to realize that it was Matylda's lamb! This was again a big surprise and and an "easy" way for us to lamb. Definitely a Mother's Day surprise for my own Maybelle Mama!
We are now keeping an eye on the two other "not pregnant" ewes Colby and Star, to see if they might surprise us in the next week or so! Stay tuned!
Rowan holding Fergus and Declan holding Fiona
Hello from Maybelle Farm on Monday May 6, 2013. It's a beautiful sunny day and life is good at the farm. Lambing is over and we ended up with two sets of twins. Winnie had a terrible delivery but ended up with a little 5 lb. moorit ewe named Fiona and a little 6 lb. ram lamb named Fergus. They are just adorable and she is a wonderful, very calm mother. Snowflake had a little 9 lb. black ram with white spots on his head that we named Fritz, and a little 8 lb. black/white spotted ram lamb we named Franklin. Snowflake is a Borderleicester-Shetland cross and I bred her with my Shetland ram Thistle. I am attaching some pictures of these cute little lambs with my cute little grandchildren.
Sheep have been moved into other pastures and life is getting a lot less complicated with everyone happy to graze on new grass. We are putting up another pasture that we can feed off with portable so that will give a lot more grazing for the animals. I just love spring, with lots of work but everything is so fresh and getting so green.
I have to stop and go to work in Newfane. So-long from Maybelle MaMa.
Declan holding Franklin
Rowan holding Fritz
"Wild and Wooly" Thistle
Hello again from Maybelle Farm. Its Wed. April 10, 2013 and it's a nice warm day. It rained during the night and the snow is just about gone except for the backside of the barn. Where the snow slid off the barn roof all winter, there is still about 2 feet of snow piled up. All the sheep are out of the barn and running around happy to be free!! I took a few pictures of the sheep and Thistle looks like a wild man with his wool starting to come off. Hopefully we can get shearing done on April 22. I have had pneumonia but am doing much better now. Darcy got the gastro-intestinal bug and was in the ER for intravenous liquids. She was sick and missed work on Monday and Tuesday.
Sunday night Declan and Rowan went with YaYa and PaPa to the MOOVER End of the Season party. They have it at the Northstar Bowling Alley in Wilmington. My son David brought his children Austin and Ella so everyone had fun playing the games and winning tickets, getting prizes, bowling, eating. There was even a pinata for the kids, a black/white cow and the children loved the candy that fell on the floor from this Bovine!
On March 29 I had another 90 bales of 2nd cut hay delivered, so I'm hopeful this will get me through to grazing. April 2I had Deb our Vet come check the 5 pregnant ewes and give them their CD & T shots. I think all five will lamb the end of April through mid-May. I went to Battenkill FIber Mill yesterday and got my bags of white roving and the most beautiful bags of white, gray and black yarn. I have fingering weight and worsted weight. The white yarn is from Willow and Siobhan. The gray yarn is from Spartacus and the black yarn is from Matylda and Java. I will take pictures and list it on Etsy in the next couple of days.
Next week is school vacation and it's always nice to have this spring break. There is so much work to do right now. All the fence lines have to be checked, all the electric fence lines checked, sheds checked and start moving sheep into other pastures. I will be so glad to have shearing over. Hopefully everyone will be well enough to get through this.
My grandson Declan turned 6 yrs. old on April 5. My son's birthday is April 18 and my granddaughter Rowan will be 9 year old on April 23. Oh yes, my anniversary is April 13 and I get to go finish up my root canal on April 12!! This month is turning out to be very busy. I have to go back to the farm because my farm help is coming to walk fence lines. The next couple of days is suppose to be sleet/freezing rain/rain and just plain yucky. So long from Maybelle MaMa.
My new white yarn from Battenkill Fiber Mill
The pregnant ewes laying in the sun.
Hello from Maybelle Farm on a beautiful sunny morning, March 5th,2012. This is my brother Everett's birthday and also Town Meeting Day here in Vermont. I'm a very happy farm girl today. I have 154 bales of beautiful 2nd cut hay in the barn and life is good. I was beyond stressed to have one bale of hay in the barn and not sure how to get more hay. Thank goodness my son David and his son Austin brought me 10 very large bales of hay from Coleman Farm in Bondville,VT on Sunday night. WHEW!! I could at least feed them Monday morning. Bliss Farm arrived at 11 a.m. with 90 bales so that was even more of a relief. Then a friend of Todd's brought 54 more bales of 2nd cut hay, which I had bought back the beginning of February and it was stored in a barn in West Brattleboro. I have made up my mind that next fall I will bring in a large load of hay, enough to get me through the whole winter. I can't take the stress of not being able to provide for my sheep.
Declan and Rowan were able to go with my nephews Tim and David Brown, their cousins Nick, Maddie and Alecia, to tap the maple trees and hang the metal buckets with covers. Hopefully the sap will run and they will be able to go to my Dad's old sugarhouse and watch them boiling and have a sugar on snow party. Yum, fresh maple syrup!
Last week I woke up with a toothache........ugh! I went to the dentist and I have a gold crown that seems to have a root that is infected. I'm on antibiotics and then headed next week to White River Junction,VT to a specialist for root canal! I don't remember ever having a toothache like this. Oh my goodness, I know labor was much easier than this! I can't go to the specialist until March 14th and hope that the antibiotic will help enough until I can get the root canal done!
Well the foolish old "Sheep Smurf" strikes again here at the farm. I have an ongoing battle with Thistle, my big, handsome moorit ram. He has the very large backroom in the barn but wants so much to get in and see the ewes! This is normal, but he has been beating my green gate with a vengeance, which is now almost beyond repair. I went to our local farm store and asked what else they had for gates. Sara said the green were the first level, blue was stronger and red was the strongest. O.K. Sheep Smurf Me says "Order me a 6 foot RED gate" ! It arrived and Jonathan went to get it yesterday and brought it home on the TOP of his car. He said I would have to go help him get it off the top of his car, to which I reply "O.K. I can help with that". We went up to the barn and "Holy Hen Poop" that is one heavy gate!! I got to laughing so badly because: # 1. I don't know how I will hang it and # 2. I don't know if I could open and close it! I can tell you, Thistle will not beat this gate up! Oh well, this is how I farm! I skip along through life not doing any farm stuff the way it probably should be done. I have my own Smurf methods.
It was a nice morning at the farm. Each morning I go feed and let Jonathan's three Golden Wyandottes out and visit with them. Next I go up to the shed to feed and visit with my twin moorit ram lambs.......just too cute. Up to the farmhouse and get Kara, my daughter Darcy's dog, to go to the barn and get hay and bring it back to the show pasture for Custer, my handsome white ram, and his buddies Chet and Cecil. Stop at Darcy's henhouse to feed and water her chickens. Then out to the barn to take care of a barn full of sheep, there are 36 sheep in the barn and everyone is just munching away on such lovely hay. I sit down on the steps when chores are done and its so peaceful to listen to everyone chewing on the hay, the smell of the nice hay! Oh my, I think a cot in the barn would be a nice place to stay!
So-long from Maybelle MaMa
Hello from Maybelle Farm on Wednesday evening Feb. 20th. It's a very cold, windy day and we got just a dusting of snow. I just watched the weather and here comes another snow storm this weekend! I would be oh so happy to have this be the last snow storm of the season, but know that is just wishful thinking. I am now in just survival mode! I just want winter to be over and some nice green grass for my sheep. I am going to skirt some fleeces with Darcy tomorrow and on Friday take a load of gray raw fleeces to Battenkill Fiber Mill in Greenwich, NY to have it made into yarn. They are working on my order now and will be making beautiful white yarn from Willow, Lola, Arly and Siobhan. It's going to be a nice sunny day on Friday so I can drive to Greenwich,N.Y. and leave the wool and maybe go out to lunch. I'm not sure who will be going with me but it will be a short trip because of the dogs. Jonathan is working, Darcy's family is away and so I need to get back by mid-afternoon.
Darcy went to the barn with me tonight to try to video Onora and her rodeo dance. She is just a clown and I love her so much. I'm sure she doesn't know she is a little sheep, follows me around and is into everything. She doesn't think she should be with the other sheep and would rather stay with me and play. My neighbor stopped to visit tonight when I was coming back from the barn and wanted to know about my old Marcus. Marcus is a Coopworth/Finn/Dorset cross that I got as a bottle baby in 1999. We had him wethered and he was always with Blake (my handsome old ram). Marcus is very lonely without Blake but is doing O.K. Come spring I plan to put him with possibly Omega, my Tunis cross and Opal, my Borderleicester/Cormo/Romney cross. They are two very mellow little girls and I think they would get along with Marcus. Tally will be 16 yrs. old in April, her daughter Willow will be 14 yrs. old, Matylda will be 15 yrs. old. Quite a few of my flock are very old girls............
Tomorrow night I'm teaching a needlefelting class for a good friend that also has Shetland sheep. It is always such fun for me to teach someone how to needlefelt. I dyed some wool with tea today because I use this color for making faces. I have made quite a few needlefelted sheep, a couple of felted hats and some knitted hats. They are all listed on my Etsy shop. Well I guess I need to stop now and go fix dinner. Its a great night to curl up by my soapstone stove and read a good book. Goodnight from Maybelle MaMa.
Declan, Rowan and Kara tunneling in the snow banks.
Hello from Maybelle Farm on Sunday evening Feb. 10th. Wow, that was quite a snowstorm on Friday night and Saturday morning. We ended up with about 16-18 inches of snow and I think we were really lucky and didn't get as much as our southern neighbors! The wind was really wild yesterday but today was a beautiful sunny day with such a pretty blue sky. I took a picture of Declan, Rowan and Kara in the tunnels they built out of the huge pile of snow. The sheep were more than happy to stay in the barn, their sheds and just peek out at the storm.
Today Darcy and Todd went to Guilford to help unload 150 bales of hay. They brought 20 bales home and will get the rest as we can. There is nothing that can make this old farm girl so happy as hay in the barn. I always feel so relieved to know I have hay to feed the sheep. This is 2nd cut and the sheep are just beyond happy with this delicious stuff. I think I could eat it with a little vinegar and salt... just a little dry spinach type vegetable!
This is a short blog tonight as there really isn't much to report, only that the storm was kind to our area. I feel so sorry for all the people that are without power, heat and can't get their vehicles out of the snow. I will be so very glad when spring arrives.
Goodnight from Maybelle MaMa.
Hello from Maybelle Farm. We are in the middle of another really cold snap here in Vermont and I just don't want to go outside! A few weeks ago it was 17 below zero in the morning and the windchill was about 20-30 below zero at Mt. Snow. Who would want to ski when the windchill is that cold? I am feeding the sheep 2nd cut hay right now and a little grain/cracked corn to help thru the cold. I shut the big barn door at night and I'm sure they are all glad to be in the barn.
I have been working on some needle felted sheep and I'm knitting a couple of hats. I have brushed my dog Lettie, a Japanese Akita, to use some of her hair in a project. I'm going to blend her dog hair with some Shetland wool and spin it. I will then knit myself a "Lettie Akita" hat. She is 11 1/2 years old and having trouble getting around now. This cold weather is really tough on her too, but the Vet gave her some medicine that has helped.
This is a short blog because I am basically just doing the chores and staying inside as much as possible. I'm going to package up some roving for a friend tomorrow and hopefully next week I can get some fiber to the BattenKill Fiber Mill. So-long from Maybelle MaMa.
Hello from Maybelle Farm on Tuesday Jan. 15, 2013. We have had some beautiful sunny weather and a very nice January thaw this week. Tomorrow it's back to winter with the possibility of up to 5 inches of snow! I know it is great to have snow for the ski areas, but I do love this nice mild, sunny weather. Now I know why the cows jump and kick their heels when spring arrives! YIPPEE !! How long is it until spring? I'm counting the days and can't wait to see green grass. The seed catalogs are arriving and it makes spring seem closer. Can you tell that I just do not like winter?
This afternoon a large box arrived with my beautiful charcoal gray shoe insoles made from our wool by The Vermont Fiber Mill. I am attaching a couple of pictures and these insoles will be for sale at our farm. I've already put a pair in my muck boots and they are very warm and comfortable. The wool was donated by Matylda, Java, Aphrodite and Stella. I am always so excited to get the roving, yarn socks and now the insoles that are made from our own wool.
We now have a Kawasaki Mule with a plow to use here at our house and at the farm. It will certainly be useful moving hay and plowing snow. I know its something we will use everyday and will be so useful. Jonathan moved some hay from the barn to the shed where Otis and Odin are spending the winter. We also brought hay over by the garage for Custer, Chet and Cecil.
Darcy's chickens have enjoyed being outside running around the farm for the last 3 days but late afternoon I knew I had to get 5 foolish ones out from under the porch before the snow starts. So, armed with a broom, a snow shovel and a long plastic sled, I went to the end of the porch and put down a few pieces of bread, popcorn and crackers to draw them out. Four came out and one kept running back under the porch!!!! Finally she popped out and I dropped the long plastic sled across the opening under the porch. I leaped off the porch waving the broom and little plastic snow shovel that belongs to my grandson Declan yelling "Run to the hen house, you foolish girls"!!! WHEEEEEEEE! They took off squawking, flapping......all the way to the hen house! Hooray, success and now they are all shut in before the storm arrives.
As you can tell, I'm not your typical farmer, I'm more of a smurf farmer... HAHA! I like to think I farm with a huge sense of humor. It's fun to see what you can come up with when your by yourself and have to get things done. This morning I found that three of my ewes in a group of eleven ewes have sore eyes. I moved Daisy and Arwyn out of their small stall so I could use their stall to catch the sheep with the sore eyes. I got Sheila, Dulcie and Stella in the small stall and was able to put some Quartermaster in their eyes. I talked to the Vet and will check them in the morning and hopefully they will be better. There is never a dull moment on the farm and I do like to be busy.
I was supposed to be at jury duty yesterday. On Sunday night I called in and was told that if your jury number was between 207 and 297, that we did not need to report to the court house yesterday. I was glad not to have to go as there is so much to do here at the farm. Well I have to close now and head to the barn to do the chores tonight. So-long from Maybelle MaMa.
Hello from Maybelle Farm on Thursday Dec. 27, 2012. It is snowing so hard and it's been quite a morning as far as getting chores done. I had to shovel to get off the front porch, then wallow in snow up to Jonathan's chicken house and up to the shed to feed the two little moorit ram lambs. They looked like a couple of snowballs! They could be in their big, beautiful shed but must prefer to lay out in the snow. I knew I couldn't get my car out of the driveway so I walked up to the farmhouse. I had to shovel to get Darcy's chicken house door open, feed the chickens, then walk to the barn. They had plowed and snow was piled about 3 feet high in front of the barn door! So more shoveling! Chores were done and everyone was munching away on the hay. I walked back down to my driveway and the town truck had plowed so I had to then crawl over the snowbank to get back into my driveway. WHEEEEEEEEW!!! This is a lot of work for a tubby old sheep farmer!
I was supposed to go to work at a home care job today, but I can't get out of my driveway. I called and they said to stay home. Oh Boy, now I have a snow day! What can I do here that would be fun? I think I will curl up by my toasty warm soapstone stove and read a book. This is such fun to have a snow day and totally goof off.
Well Christmas is over and it was a very nice day. Both Darcy and her family and David and his family came here for Christmas. They both asked if I would make a Pot Roast dinner like Grandma Mabel always made. Grandma was my mother Mabel, who our farm is named after. She would fix the best pot roast and it was very nice to know how much that meant to both of my children. There is so much work to get ready for Christmas and then its over so quickly. We all had a great time and the children love to get together. Rowan (my grandaughter) that is 8 yrs. old came down Christmas eve afternoon and helped me clean the playroom and get the table all ready for Christmas dinner - which you can see in the picture for this blog.
I'm going to go find a good book and curl up to read. So-long from Maybelle MaMa.
We are a bit behind on our blog posts - so first is one written in mid December 2012:
Hello from Maybelle Farm on Friday Dec. 14. It's a beautiful sunny day and all the sheep are sunbathing! It is wonderful as far as I'm concerned to have this lovely open winter so far. Its not great for the local economy at the ski areas but I don't have to bundle up in my carhardtt bibbed overalls and trudge out to the barn.......yet! Its coming this Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.......possible Nor'easter!
I'm attaching some pictures of my birthday sheep "Bettina Bikini Sheep"with several outfit changes. You can take off her fleece and she has a lovely red bikini on. She also has her Christmas outfit and her Hula skirt, flip flops and lei. This was just too funny and such a nice gift for me. It's like having a Barbie sheep for an adult to dress up! Just too cute.
This is a short blog today because I just wanted to share a few pictures. Everything is good at Maybelle Farm. Wednesday evening I got 70 bales of 2nd cut hay delivered and yesterday another 90 bales of first cut hay delivered. It always makes me so happy to have hay in the barn, a nice fire in my soapstone stove and some chocolate to eat!