Meet me at Jimmy Beans!

by Susan on July 23, 2014

This Saturday I will be in sunny Reno, NV at Jimmy Beans Wool. They are celebrating their 10th anniversary and, knowing the Jimmy Beans folks, it will be lots and lots of fun.

I’m coming with a big trunk of garments from our Spring/Summer collection for knitters to see and try on. Trunk shows are a great way to see what you want to knit next. Every time I do one of these, someone comes up to me to say that they never would have knit X had they not gotten to try it on, because they just assumed it wouldn’t look good on them. That’s the magic of trunk shows!

If you’re in the area, come by. I’d love to meet you.

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Tell Me Something Good Tuesday!

by Susan on July 22, 2014

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Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Tell Me Something Good Tuesday!

I’ll go first. It’s 10:46 a.m. and I have already finished everything on my To Do list.

Your turn! Go on– tell me something good.

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The Farm Report

by Amy Karasz on July 18, 2014

We’ve had some spectacularly mild weather here this week!  I could get used to low humidity and temps in the mid 80′s.  If this was always what summer was like I’d be MUCH more inclined to have it stick around longer.

07.18.14a

July has been pretty dry, and I’m not one to complain about it.  Not after last year’s sogginess!  I think it may be helping keep  much of the bug populations rather low.  The one exception seems to be the flies.  They are HORRENDOUS right now.  Speaking to our vet this week, she agreed that this has been a terrible year for flies.  I’ve been having to spray down the sheeps’ back ends with fly spray every few days, and the vet assured me it was the smart thing to do.

Right now my main objective has been to keep the flock comfortable and well-fed.  They have plenty of shade throughout the day, and I have put an extra water tank out as well.  They are getting a dose of electrolytes in their water and so far it hasn’t been hot or awful enough out to warrant a heat tonic.  (We still have August, though, so…..)

I want them well-fed to give them the best chance against any parasite that may pop up.  We did copper them this spring, and they get Levamisole every so often to be safe.  We are taking NO chances.

Aside from that, I have had a few opportunities to get to know our new vets.  Most recently we had a farm call to take care of a ewe I’d found with a prolapse.

***WARNING -  NO PICS, BUT STILL NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH ***

Sunday evening when Oona and I went out to take care of feeding, I noticed one of the colored sheep has quite a lot of red going on under the tail area. My first thought was flystrike (it’s terrible.  Don’t click on that link if you don’t really, really want to know).  There were a lot of flies buzzing about and her tail was wagging a lot as though she were itchy.

I dropped everything and ran for my permethrin spray and gloves, prepared to do battle with maggots. But as it turned out, there was no fly infestation.  Her vagina had prolapsed and pushed out of her body, and that was what was attracting the flies. As bad as fly strike is, this felt much, much worse.

Thankfully, our vet arrived with confident reassurances, and after an epidural was administered to the bewildered ewe, the whole area was washed well, pushed back up inside where it belonged, and a large stitch was put in place to make sure it stayed put. The bad news is that this ewe cannot be bred again. Ever. Once the vagina or uterus collapses outside of the body like that it has a tendency to want to continue to do so.  That stitch that the vet put in her is permanent.

Today I did a thorough check on everyone and she is healing well, and there are no more flies buzzing about her ladybits.

Also doing well is Mr. Paddington.  When he and his twin, Piccadilly, were about a week old, we noticed he had a limp.  It got progressively worse over the next two or three days and then we discovered a large lump above his front hoof. When we picked him up, it burst.  Susan and I were stumped; when a second spot appeared on his back leg and a third on his chest, he went straight to the vet.

She found that his hoof was broken.  Most likely his mama stepped on him, or one of the other mamas.  When they are that little and trying to nurse, they tend to get underfoot a lot. The broken bones were surrounded by a pocket of infection, which was spreading to other parts of his body.

After lancing and draining his abscesses, she scrubbed him down well, splinted his leg and bandaged him up.  I was sent home with instructions to re-bandage every two to three days, administer antibiotics and a painkiller.  The kicker, for me, was that the bandage changing and scrubbing of the wounds required him to be asleep, so I was given a vial of sedative to knock him out every few days for a good cleaning.

If you’ve never had to knock out a small animal, it’s rather disconcerting at first!

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Despite his handicaps, Paddington continued to thrive and nurse and hop along after the other lambs.  We have been calling him “Hop-A-Long Paddington” ever since.

07.18.14c

He’s a bit crooked, since his other joints and muscles grew disproportionately in response to how he was using them.

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He will win no prizes for conformation.  But this lamb by all rights shouldn’t even be alive.  It’s a miracle the infection didn’t settle into his bones.  It’s amazing that he never stopped nursing from his mama, despite the fact that she was not the most attentive parent.  He is the friendliest lamb in the field, owing to the time he spent being handled by us, and even though he’s crooked, he is growing just as well as the other lambs.

And if we are all very, very lucky, there will be no more vet calls this year!

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Cha-cha-cha-changes…

by Susan on July 16, 2014

You know what’s hard to believe? I have been blogging right here since February 10, 2008. That’s six years and five months of almost daily blogging, for a total of 2469 posts. Of course, I didn’t write all of them. I’ve had various staff members over the years who contributed to the blog, and plenty of good friends who pitched in from time to time. But the over all responsibility for this blog, and the one that came before it, has always been mine.

In the beginning it didn’t actually feel like work at all! Whenever something exciting happened on the farm or I stumbled across a great new book or website, I couldn’t wait to come here and write about it. I used to say that nothing felt like it had actually happened until I told the blog readers about it.

But lately… Lately, writing the blog has become more of a chore. A burden, almost. Not because I don’t love communicating with you lovely people. Blogging has just started to feel incredibly one-sided. And not even a whole side at that.

When I started this business, it was just me and the sheep. I wrote about what I was feeling, what was going on on the farm, what it felt like to be responsible for 100 sheep and goats well-being. I vowed right from the start not to write about religion or politics because that wasn’t what this space was all about. It was about bringing people who love knitting and fiber animals together– there were more than enough forums out there that point out our divisions. I wanted this one to be about this little piece of commonality that we all agree on.

But as Juniper Moon Farm grew, so did my responsibilities. First it was with the addition of staff. Then the larger, more expensive farm. By the time I started working with KFI as the creative director of a commercial yarn line, I had a whole lot of people’s livelihoods that were resting (at least in part) on my little business, and by extension, on this blog.

I started pulling my punches on a lot of topics that I thought would be too controversial for my blog. Things I wouldn’t have hesitated to write about in the early days started to scare me. I put more and more of the responsibility for writing light and breezy blog posts on the shoulders of my employees and I policed their content for anything that might offend. Coming up with suitable blog topics became a weekly task that we all dreaded.

But mostly? I just I think I just got burned out.

2469 blog posts is a whole lot of blog posts, y’all.

What does all this mean? It means that I will no longer be blogging daily in this space. When something awesome happens, or I read a really good book or try out a fab new recipe that demands to be shared, I will blog. When Amy has animal news and pictures, she will blog. And when we have news about the CSA Shares and our commercial yarn lines, we will blog.

If you’d like to be notified when we DO blog, you can follow our Facebook page, follow us on twitter, or you can just check back here from time to time. I will also be posting mini updates on the Facebook page. And I will try to post more moments on Instagram as well.

As an added bonus, when you come here to read a post, you’ll know that I’m blogging because I have something to say– not because I have to keep my stats up.

I am so grateful for the time I have had writing this blog and getting to know all of you. I promise, I’m not going away– I’m just changing my expectations of myself. I hope that makes sense.

 

 

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Back next week!

July 11, 2014

So sorry I’ve been AWOL this week. I picked up a nasty summer cold before we left for the Azores and I’ve been basically sleeping and blowing my nose since we returned. I promise to get back to blogging ASAP.   In the meantime, what’s in store for you this weekend? We’re having a yard […]

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Home from Paradise!

July 9, 2014

We got home from our magical trip to the Azores late Tuesday night and we’re still in that hazy, sleepy zone that accompanies traveling thousands of miles across multiple times zones.  Forgive me if this post is a little muddled.   The Azores is made up of nine volcanic islands that were settled by Portugal […]

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Today In Sheep

July 6, 2014

The lambs have gotten HUGE!  Their tails have all fallen off, and they are more and more independent every day.  They are still nursing, but it’s becoming rather comical as they have gotten a bit big to be under their mamas! Oona has been learning how to handle taking care of feeding; she has the […]

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Some Thoughts on Whole 30

July 2, 2014

Greetings from Day 30 + 2!   Mike and I spent the last month following the Whole 30 plan. Basically, on Whole 30, you eat all the vegetables, proteins and fruits that you want, but cut out all grains, sugar, alcohol, white potatoes and legumes. Strange as it sounds, Whole 30 was both way easier […]

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Tell Me Something Good Tuesday!

July 1, 2014

It’s Tuesday! Time to share all the good things going on in our lives with each other! I’ll go first: 1.My sister had two out of three spot of skin cancer successfully removed and none of them were too deep. Darwin survived his surgery and is now longer trying to have sex with my leg […]

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This Week in Darwin

June 30, 2014

Thanks so much to those of you who asked after Darwin last week! I posted on Tuesday that Darwin was under-going his second attempt at neutering on Wednesday, after having bad reaction to a pre-anesthia sedative his was giving the first time and having to be resuscitated. Then I completely forgot to post again letting […]

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