Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Scottish Blackface Ram and Ramblings

Say Hello to " Black Beard ". That's him IN the hay feeder, and Uvi, our ewe below him. Osoka the ewe lamb from this year, is wedged between a couple bovine on the other side of the feeder.The kids named him. He is our Scottish Blackface Ram on loan from The Craven Family. Wonderful people that they are, very supportive of my dreams for a farmstead sheep dairy, to go along with my farmstead Jersey Cow dairy. They picked out a milky ewe from their flock of " island sheep " last May and she came with what I thought was a wether lamb, but just recently discovered is a ewe lamb! I'm not working with dairy sheep genetics, yet, but what I've got is a couple of sheep very hardy to our environment, with a higher proclivity to milkiness, and the the goal is just to get the ewe bred and in milk again. I will probably try to get a ram with dairy genetics for breeding next year. " Uvi " is completely tame, and I did milk her for a bit this year. That's half the battle right there! I've been dreaming of real sheeps milk feta, romano, and some combination milk cheeses of cow/sheep.

My mind never rests. This can be a blessing and torture at times when the thoughts are less than pleasant. It's just how I am. I am always planning for tommorrow, I need to be thinking ahead. These days my thoughts focus on the children first, Ayla's diabetes, Veda's Apraxia of Speech, Ida May growing before my eyes, Zoie and Jude homeschooling and becoming involved with girl scouts and boy scouts. My relationship with Dante. My business, which is hibernating a bit with this slow time of year, but my FAVORITE cow, Gale, is due to calve February 2nd. That's gonna mean a LOT more milk and a return to twice a day milking. I've enjoyed my sabbatical to once-a-day, but will enjoy having more milk to work with too. Right now, I don't have enough of an abundance to make hard cheese like I'd like to. I'm hoping to get some plans for a larger hardwood cheese press to my Grandfather, which would allow me to get a bigger cheese mold and then use an entire milking for a batch of hard cheese.

I'm scouring the seed catalogs and looking for flower seed in particular. Trying to plan my market cut flower garden, which then also brings me to bees. I've been wanting a couple hives for a couple years now, it seems to be a good time for it, so I check a couple books out of the library on bees and beekeeping.

I know that these things will cause some people to say, " You are doing too much! " Whats funny is that they are mostly seasonal, each taking their turn, and peaking during the season of peak daylight. That makes sense to me. I like to be doing something, and if it involves raising food for our kids and can be done with our kids than I don't see the harm. Sometimes I feel like some people would find it more acceptable to be working away from our home all day with the kids in school or daycare instead of homeschooling and homesteading and having my own business. What hurts the most is when the people closest to me feel that way.

It was our 13th wedding anniversary yesterday, and no one acknowledged it. Granted, Dante and I are having some serious issues right now, I'm not one to pretend everythings okay when it isn't, but I'm also not gonna act like the past 13 years never existed either.

Kind of a weird, scattered post, eh? It reflects how my thoughts are arranged in my head right now.


  1. So to hear things are so "scattered". I'm hoping the good out weighs the bad soon!

    I love the new boy, and excited to know you'll be working with sheep cool!!

    Hang in there and stay warm,

  2. You are amazing to be able to juggle so many things at once. Your post isn't scattered, it's just a reflection of your busy mind. I wish I lived a whole lot closer to Maine so I could try your lovely-sounding cheeses! I tried a hard cheese once last year and it turned out looking good and tasting icky, so I greatly admire your cheesemaking skills.


  4. Jessika, I have been excited to wean PJ off Maya and start making hard cheese again. I made my first wheel of Derby cheese in almost a year! It felt good and was somehow comforting to me.

    I love your sheep. I too long to be able to make cheese from the milk of various critters.

    You are a good mom. Don't worry about what other people think about how you are raising your children. You will always be glad you spent this time with them. I am certainly glad that I spent the years homeschooling my children when they were younger. (As they got older I had to send them to public school.) I cherish those memories.



  5. I agree, the years we homeschooled were very special to us too. Enjoy everyone being home and being involved in projects, they are learning life lessons.
    You are such a special, wonderful woman, and an inspiration! I wish we were geographically closer too. hugs for you milkmaid sister!

  6. Thank you. You are all very sweet! I'm sorry I've been such a broken record of doom and gloom lately.
    AKA angry whiteman,
    Thank you for the links! I'll get them over to my Grandfather and see what he can do! He's a very talented and sweet Grandpa, the only grandparent I have left, I'd love to have this most useful piece of equipment made be him. I'll keep you all posted of that progress!