Thursday, August 14, 2008

There are two really great things about August.
Logan and Harry

Although they usually look more like this.

Logan and Harry are Patrick's boys. They spend every weekend with their Dad at our house in New York and the whole month of August with us on the Vineyard. I love having them here because they are hilarious and sweet and really interesting to talk to.

Logan is 10 and Harry is 16 which means that they spend approximately every waking moment eating. So I am going to the grocery store every single day. Sometimes twice a day. You know I must be crazy about them because more work I do not need.

In between trips to the store we have managed to do some much needed sheep and goat care. Every six weeks of so, we need to deworm the sheep and goats and trim their hooves. Additionally the goats have to be deloused. Since we have two flocks- the bucks and rams at Tisbury Meadows and the ewes, does and all the babies at Felix Neck- so we do one flock every three weeks, more or less.

We had lots of help this weekend, cause in addition to Harry and Logan, our friend Erin was staying with us. All the extra hands made it so much easier that what usually takes us two days was finished in a couple of hours.

The hardest part is catching each animal. Even the last year's bottle babies who are basically house pets can't stand having their hooves trimmed. Poor Patrick is tasked with catching each buck and ram and flipping them over so we can get to work.

We've been looking for an alternative to the petroleum-based chemical that is used to control lice on the Angora goats. I recently read about a farm that is using food grade diatomaceous earth on their goats so we decided to give it a try. I am dusting the goats with it in these pictures.

We had one hilarious moment when Ernie, our 300 + pound wether fell on Patrick.

Well, it was funny to me. So funny that I had trouble helping to get him off because I was laughing so hard. Patick didn't see the humor until later.

After spending several hours in the blazing sun we cooled off with a dip in a friend's pond. The boys can't get enough of that rope swing.

I have all kinds of good news for you. First of all, we have hired our first apprentice! Erin O' Donnell is going to be moving to the Island the first week in September and working with us full-time. This is super-exciting for us.

A little background- Like a lot of people, Erin emailed me when the Wall Street Journal article came out in April to tell me that I was living her dream. Unlike a lot of people, Erin really wanted to learn about sheep and offered to come over from Boston and help out the animals on weekends. And then she did. Which impressed the hell out of me.

The first thing I noticed about this woman is that she is not afraid of hard work. She wasn't put off by the day-to-day fence moving, water carrying and bale toting that I do. In fact, after spending a day with me and waking up sore the next day, Erin went home and started lifting weights. You gotta love this girl!

Erin is going to be a huge help around the farm and she will free me up to take care of some of the little details that are currently slipping through the cracks. She will start will a trial by fire the last week in August when Patrick, the boys and I are going on a trip to Lake Tahoe.

For those of you that have been following my Aunt Shirley and Uncle Jan's story I have an update. Jan has finished his rehab at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta and they will be heading home to Virginia next week. He received his new wheelchair- paid for through the generosity of all of you- and you can see him in it in the picture below. Sorry it's so small. 
The additional $5000 we raised above and beyond what was needed to cover the copay on Jan's wheelchair was used to a Hoyer Lifter that Shirley will need to lift Jan from the bed into his chair. My Aunt emailed me that they are very grateful for all of your donations, prayers and kind words.

I'm doing a great giveaway tomorrow, so be sure and check back here for details.



Anonymous said...

It looks like you are having fun! I am glad things are turning around, you have had a tough time over the last few weeks.

Thank you for helping Jan and Shirley, not only has the money helped them out but they are so proud of you for making it happen. You have proven that when things are down, we can depend on family to be there. Thank you, Susan.

Maggie said...

I'm so glad Erin has signed on! That will be so wonderful for you guys and for her. Hurray! :)

caracolina said...

I'm happy to hear you are in a better mood and you were able to find such a neat helper. Also great to hear about your aunt and uncle and that he'll be able to come home soon.


Jenny said...

LAUGHING! That is some HOT Ernie-on-Patrick action!

Congratulations on ERIN!!! YAY ERIN!!!

I have to say I love people like her because me? I am TOTALLY afraid of hard work, lol. So I am super excited that you found someone so totally kick ass to help you out and learn the trade.

Shirra said...

My TV watching is paying off! Thanks to "Bones" I know what diatomaceous earth is! Gotta love those pictures. At least Pat found the humor in it eventually!

harry said...

You're pretty awesome, Susan. You know, I'm crazy about me too!

Susan said...

Maggie, we still need you! I've been checking Monster Jobs for a new career for Ian.

Logan said...

Oh my God, Susan that is so good thats better than the zoo. I like the pictures of the mommy Cormo and the baby Cormo sheep. I'll keep reading your blog MVFIBERFARM for ever and ever.

Trinity said...

I'm guessing this is the same Erin that came to the farm when I was there. It is so awesome that you have her to help you and so awesome for her that she gets to take the next step towards her dream. Hooray!

--Deb said...

Oof! Poor Patrick!

And, you've got an apprentice? How very medieval of you (grin). Seriously, that is so cool for both you and Erin.

The boys sure look happy, swinging on that rope....

KnitNicoleKnit said...

i love harry's shirt!
that's a whole lot of work! i would never want to have to do all that on a regular basis!

Diane said...

YAY Erin and Patrick (and you too Susan!).

I heard on the radio today that the word verification we have to type is so the computer can tell if we're a "real" person.......seems to me a computer could type xixcbfb !

joanb said...

Susan - great pictures of Patrick, in a couple of them it looked like he was down for the count :)

Also great pictures of Logan and Harry. I remember them working hard at the fiber festival and it looked like they were enjoying every minute of it. They are really special guys.

Wonderful news about Erin and your aunt & uncle also. This week is so much better than your last one.

The CNN clip was so charming... what a lucky sheep.

eochu said...

Wow, Susan, you really make me sound so great! But I can't say enough how excited I am to be able to work with you; you have something very special going and it is truly a dream come true for me to be part of it.

I'm so glad your Uncle Jan is on his way home!

- Erin


lol....too bad these weren't moving pictures! how funny! what a wrangler he is! looks like sheepes and doggies be the same when it comes to having nails shortened!

Threadless said...

How great that Jan and Shirley are heading home finally. I hope things go well - keep us updated! And it's a pity that picture is so tiny, but yay for new wheelchairs! And yay that there was excess to be used for the lifter!