Friday, June 29, 2007

baby drought

Well, I guess Fate is getting even with me for being one of the few breeders to have winter litters - now, while everyone else has babies out the wazoo, I have none. The does are either missing, or in the case of Louisa, losing them. Poor dear, she was so happy when she was preggers, she actually enjoyed ear scritches and would come up to the cage door at feeding time and insist upon them - totally unlike her. She had her litter almost a week late, and the poor, huge, bruised things didn't live long. :( I gave her a week to recover, and bred her to Oscar. I also rebred Sunrise to Stinker.

Meanwhile, we'll see if Antje's breeding to Oscar and Yeungling's breeding to Snowman took. Both are due next weekend. My friend Cheryl bred JG's Fuhrerdernacht to JG's Little Brat, she is also due soon, if she hasn't already delivered. That is one litter I am looking forward to, Brat is Louisa's aunt, and one of the few animals left from that bloodline. I really want a buck from that litter. Rosalin also has a litter by Oscar due on the 15th. Hopefully, some of these does will catch!

I sold Snowman and Betsy to a lovely young lady, I'm sure she'll do well with them.

I finally got all the spinning done on my son's Dingo sweater, only to find that I really need his chest measurement to get started knitting it. He, of course, has no idea what it is, he's going to get the measurement and call me. So of course I had to start spinning something else. ;)

I decided on a bag of roving I got from Lisa at Somerhill. It is called Tiger Lily, it is a fiery orange with red and muted tones. I've never spun Blue-Faced Leicester, it is a dream. Not as slippery as angora and angora blends, but very easy to draft nevertheless, and very soft. I also have 2 lbs of natural colored BFL from Lisa, some of it will be dyed green and plied with the Tiger Lily, I think.

Have a Happy Fourth Of July!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Meet Chloe

Chloe journeyed all the way from Arkansas to become the future guardian of Jan's Giants. Chloe is a badger-faced Great Pyrannees puppy. Totally fitting for a rabbitry that breeds Giants, don't you think?

Dingo is guarded about this newcomer, she's OK as long as she doesn't invade his space. That means, leave Mom (me) alone. Fortunately, Chloe knows and accepts me as Mom, but LGDs (livestock guardian dogs) are not cuddly and demanding of attention by nature, they tend to be independent and attached to their livestock, and Chloe already demonstrates this. She looks to me for approval and direction, but a pat on the head is about all the attention she wants.

Banjo is in LOVE with this girl, he hounds her relentlessly. Not only that, but he, guardian of food, water, and playtoys, actually allows her to eat, drink, and play whenever she feels like it, with no growls or threats, no sulking if she gets his favorite toy, the change in him is just hysterical!

Fiber-wise, I am the proud owner of a new Roberta electronic spinnier, and I love, love LOVE it! I am finally making serious progress on my son's Dingo sweater, I was having issues doing a three-ply on Polly. The Roberta plies beautifully, and FAST. Now that I have empty spindles, I am a spinning fool, lol. And I love my wool winder, I'm finally using it and I can't believe I used to wind balls of yarn by hand.

I cannot wait for September...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Life goes on...

I recently learned that I will lose my job. The company I work for buys other companies. Well, a bigger company bought us, and my position, along with an awful lot of other people's positions, has been eliminated.


Don't get me wrong, I truly loved my job, and felt priviledged to have it. But I am getting 3 months salary as severance, and with unemployment, I will be quite well off for about 6 months. So... I am moving up to Camp. Camp is 68 acres of Heaven on Earth, near Clarion, PA, which the family owns. Bob and I have always wanted to live there, now we can make it happen. I had in fact been praying about it, since I was getting frustrated with some (well, one) of my neighbors poking his nose into my business. Nothing ever came of it, I abide by my local laws, but it annoyed me that this jerk felt he could/should tell me what I can and cannot do on my property. So, when I am unemployed, I'm moving up to Camp and getting a job there. Then when I am set up, Bob will quit his job, put the house up for sale, and move up with me. Then he'll get a job, and we'll get a mortgage and build a house...

At any rate, I'd like to float a political thought out there...

Those "environmentalists" out there, who complain about urban sprawl? Urban sprawl is caused by people who think they should be able to tell everyone else what to put in their yards, where their kids can play, what their kids can play, and generally tell people what they can do with their property.

People like that should be legislated into gated communities, where a Board decides what and how many pets you can have, what kind of border plantings you can do, what kind of fences you can have, what kind of mulch you can use, etc., etc.

That way the rest of us can exercise the full rights and priviledges that come with OWNING our property. If I wanted someone telling me what I can & can't do, I'd be renting. People seem to lose sight of what makes this country great - freedom - and property rights are integral to freedom.

Anyway, plans for the bunny barn are under way...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

King Lear

Don't you just love that face? Little Lear, who is not really so little anymore, took a couple of steps toward growing up today. He got his first haircut, and he got his own cage. He is molting out his baby coat, and his rump was starting to mat in a major way, so it was time to take it off, and what with the summer heat, it was time anyway. Lear was very cooperative for not even being 3 months old yet, and those ears were a dream to clip around, they stayed put when I moved them around, intead of springing back into position as erect ears do. I'm beginning to think that Giant Fuzzy Lops might be worth pursuing!

He was born March 23rd, and weighs 5 1/2 pounds already! He already displays the nice overall depth that I was hoping he would, as well as straight legs, smoothness, and balance.

"Ok, I know I look silly, do you have to take pictures, too?"

We'll see if he passes those shoulders on! :)

I'm going to have to thin out the bucks in the herd. Snowman is hopefully going to New York, if we can work out transportation. Nacht is spending the summer with my friend Cheryl, I will likely see if I can move him on eventually, but first I want to pair him with Verizon when she comes of age. Oscar and Stinker will likely stay with me for life.

Louisa has been acting very loving lately, she has always been such a snot, she must be pregnant. If so, she should deliver Saturday. Sunrise is also due, if she took. Keep your fingers crossed! :)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Shearing Party

Our little group had another successful shearing party today. It's a lot easier for new angora owners to do their first shearing if they have experienced people to show them how to restrain the bunns and give encouragement. My friends Carla and Mike came from the Cleveland area with their 2 littermates, Chester and Penny. I sheared Penny, then Carla and Mike sheared Chester. They got a kick out of how scrawney their bunnies looked after their first shearing, lol! I also got Nacht shorn and got started on Samson's Donna, one of my new Germans. Donna and Nacht are going to stay at Cheryl's for awhile, Nacht is going to sire a litter with Brat, and Donna is just going to hang out until I have the bunny barn built. Thank goodness for friends with empty cages!

Cheryl and Michelle also worked on wet felting, I was surprised how quickly a piece of soft, strong fabric can be made. I'm definitely going to pursue felting!

Meanwhile I put Antje in with Samson's Oscar a few days ago, I'm not sure the breeding was successful, but we'll know in 31 days or so... Oscar just needs some practice, lol!

I have 4 Giant Pumpkin plants in the ground, 2 here at home, and 2 at camp. We've been spreading bunny manure up there near the spring in preparation for this, and the plants seem to love the rich soil and the plentiful supply of moisture. Pics to come soon!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Isn't he lovely?

Today I took a road trip and got some more rabbits. Yeah, I know, just what I need - more rabbits. But these aren't just any rabbits, these are German Angoras from Leslie Samson. It seems a nice lady, whose late husband got them for her, decided she just wasn't up to dealing with them, and wanted them to go to someone who would appreciate them. I took all three, a buck and two does. I really wanted the buck, and I haven't decided yet whether I'll hang onto the does, but if I do, I need to breed them - especially Rosalin. This doe needs bred in a MAJOR way, but I hesitate to breed her right now, since I haven't yet moved and built my bunny barn...

Oh, I didn't mention that yet? Yep, Fate has intervened in my life and given me an opportunity to do what Bob and I have been yearning to do - move up to Camp, 68 acres of Heaven on earth. More on that later. Meanwhile, here is a picture of Samson's Oscar, in short coat, but SO reminiscent of my beloved Billy. He looks like him, acts like him, and I am soooo in love with him... and he's from the 2006 imports!