Wrote on the plane Thursday, but didn’t end up connecting to the Innerwebs until Sunday night late…

Holy crap, it has been a busy few weeks, and poor blogging has fallen to the bottom of the priority list. In the last few weeks, I:

Castrated half the ram lambs, left the other ones intact until 120 day weights decide their final fates.

  • Finished posting for-sale sheep on website, sold all but one  late-born ewe and a few mature ones that I’m just as happy to keep versus sell. Sold a couple more rams, have a few left. More butcher lambs sold, running low on lambs already.
  • Bought 14 tons of hay, had it delivered & put up in barn.
  • Sold a mature ram to a Facebook acquaintance in Oregon. We found a ride for him the next day, a long-time 4-H acquaintance just happened to be making the very trip from Snohomish to Portland that this ram needed. Met them at 6am on a Sunday to load him up. Yay for Facebook for making those kinds of connections so easy.
  • Arranged to buy three ewes from a friend who has now joined NSIP. It was great, she sent me a spreadsheet of data, and I picked my picks from there, sigh unseen (of course I trust my friend to use judgment on not selling me a three-legged ewe or something, so thus I don’t need to see them…) Easy peasy. Sent check, will pick up later this month.
  • Applied for a new job, got it, quit my old job, and am in the in-between period of wrapping up things there, and doing the rigmarole associated with a new job: paperwork, drug testing at a creepy clinic, doing last minute dr. appointments on old insurance plan, yadda yadda (yeah… like how I just snuck that in there? No big deal, really.)
  • Went to cousin’s wedding in Poulsbo, stayed the night, enjoyed b’fast and coffee and a nice ferry ride home
  • Weighed lambs, submitted NSIP data, de-wormed lambs, weaned lambs, put sold lambs in barn for new buyers to pick up over the next two weeks.
  • Thanks again to Facebook, found a multi-leg hitchhiking ride home for some sheep from the Expo in Nebraska, which allows me to buy at the auction there-yay!
  • Stared at spreadsheets of data of all the sheep in the auction catalog which have NSIP scores (about half the consigners there do). Marked my picks.
  • Realized that pretty much nobody is doing the Scrapie Flock Certification Program (SFCP) anymore. So if I want good sheep, I have to let my status date re-set, again. There it is, I’m going to do it. Genetics are more important than export status.
  • Messaged a few people who might have pre-sold me something private-treaty, didn’t quite find what I needed, so am going to bank on the auction selection, and hope I don’t spend too much money!
  • Moved sheep around into set-stocked pastures for easy care while I’m out of town for the KHSI Expo.
  • Data exchange with another friend who is selling ewes, figuring out plans (heck, if I’m going to let my scrapie status re-set again, I’m going for it and getting a bunch of ewes!)
  • Attended an informational meeting on a long time in coming, newly forming USDA slaughter and butcher cooperative, learned a lot, yakked with friends
  • Overslept by an hour, got up, packed, checked on sheep, filled mineral feeders, made 4 days of dog food, wrote animal care instructions, kissed my husband and collies goodbye, and got on a plane for Nebraska

On the docket:

  • NSIP seminars, wine drinking, eating, socializing with sheep nerds, bunking with a new-to-me friend in KHSI, just for fun
  • Tour of the USDA Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC), more seminars, sheep data and science, total geek-out day
  • More socializing, wine and eating, KHSI meeting and elections (wish me luck!), view auction sheep
  • Spend some money on sweet, high-scoring breeding stock at auction, load trailer, wish them luck on their two-leg, two-week journey to Washington state where I will pick them up later
  • Hang out with some border collie friends from Nebraska, look at sheep, work dogs, more wine and eating
  • Relax in airport with computer (will probably be on Starbucks withdrawal by this point), fly home
  • Work week
  • Pick up 200 pounds of dog meat on way to another cousin’s wedding. Go to wedding, pick up traveling auction sheep on the way home. Open-mouthed smile
  • Work week (gaah, how these get in the way of sheep things!)
  • Pick up more sheep x2 farms
  • Start new job
  • Build more hay feeders to accommodate all the sheep I bought
  • Relax, it’s’ September. Time for the whole cycle to start again: vaccinate ewes, trim hooves, plan breedings, buy grain, flush ewes, butcher lambs, think about winter.

No time like the present!