Morning on the Farm | Alberta Babydoll Sheep Breeder

Mornings on the farm are always so rewarding. They are the favourite part of my day. The sheep and the horses are always happy to see me ( even if it is because they are ready to eat and not because they want to have a visit!) I love the soft nickers the horses send my way, all while Desperaux is pawing the fence to ensure I stop to feed him first! Daisy Brock of course stops to ensure every pen has all its inhabitants in place. She is more than willing to send out a warning bark to Lux and Nitro, making it clear they must stay back as she patrols the fence line. One of these days those two boys are going to show her who really is boss!

finding lifestyle blog circle
finding lifestyle blog circle
Finding lifestyle blog circle

Lovely Grey Sheep

As I was driving into work this morning I was unhappy with the selections on the car radio. Naturally I jumped around to different stations until I decided my thoughts were better than the rambling and noise I was currently listening to. I reached down and clicked the off button…and silence followed. Scary silence. I chided myself for not having a single thing to ponder in my head. Big mistake. The flood gates opened and suddenly I was wishing I was driving mindlessly, perhaps singing along to a catchy tune. It was in that moment that I had a thought that made me smile.

That thought was change. I am not talking about life altering decisions, mistakes or right choices. I am talking about lovely grey sheep and how they have, and are about to make a difference in my life. These little grey sheep have been the subject of many conversations, inquiries and the cause of me stepping outside of my comfort zone. Let me explain by taking you back to where it all started…

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away was a woman who made a difference. She wrote the most beautiful stories about animals. ( of course I would be attracted to her life story, it is right up my alley! )  In time a book was published about her and her stories in a very whimsical form and presented to me in my Christmas Stocking. Clearly Santa did his homework there because I read if from cover to cover, and then started back at the beginning again. I never knew these things about this kindred spirit! I needed to know more! Much more!  One night as the snow was silently falling outside the window and the kids were cuddling on the couch watching movies, I picked up the iPad and started an internet search.

Soon I landed on pinterest and be still my beating heart I was instantly in love.  Who was stealing my heart? Grey Sheep. You read that right, my favourite color and my little soulmates bundled into a beautiful little package. I was bewildered as to why I had never seen these adorable little lambs before but it was like they were speaking to my heart. I glanced over to the whimsical book sitting on my lap. This woman whom I had grown up reading her stories was about to take me on an adventure I would have never dreamed possible.

I know you are wondering who in the world is this author and what is it that she did that involves these grey sheep.  She is none other than Beatrix Potter.

As quoted from Wikipedia:

Beatrix Potter

In the latter half of her life, the children’s author  was involved with keeping and breeding Herdwicks, even acting as president of the breed association for a time. Between 1930 and 1938 she won a number of prizes for Herdwick ewes at shows across Cumbria. Upon her death in 1943, she bequeathed fifteen farms – approximately a total sum of 4,000 acres (16 km²) – to the National Trust, and per her instructions all continue to graze Herdwick flocks.

 

I showed these adorable grey sheep to my littlest partner in crime. It was agreed that we needed to have some. We studied Miss Potter, reading all we could about her and her sheep.

Little girl admiring the work of Beatrix Potter

 

The search for some of our own began and ended quickly.  We soon discovered that the sheep were native to the Lake District in Cumbria. We found very few breeders outside of England. NONE in Canada. Dolly in her young wisdom suggested, “we put some on an airplane, just like Lux’s daddy. He came on an airplane.” Knowing full well that purchasing sheep and flying them to Canada was outside of my financial realm, I told her we would look into it, cautioning her not to get her hopes up.

Disappointment ensued again as we found out  there were bans and restrictions in place on importing sheep here in Canada. Both of us hung our shoulders in despair as we continued to admire these sheep that were, in our minds, wanting to come to Canada. We did so for over a year. Then one day I heard a rumour that we would be able to import semen soon. My fingers flew to the computer and I started doing my homework. I “met” wonderful people over the internet who were willing to help me. I can honestly say that the little grey sheep have opened a world of doors for Dolly and I that I would have never imagined possible.

Since there are no purebred sheep on this side of the ocean we are starting from scratch to say. I have found a lovely friend in the US who had the same desire as we do here, only she had a jump on the situation before the import bans were put in place. Since 2008 this is the first time Herdwick bloodlines will make the trek across the ocean.  The process is a long one, involving quarantines for the rams involved, testing and then all that government red tape. We are anticipating our straws of semen to land sometime in October.  Shortly after that Dolly, Grandma, Grandpa and I will be flying out to the US to meet the other breeder. We are hoping that some of her 67% sheep will be following behind us to take up permanent residence in Canada.  2016 will be seeing us going to Cumbria for the 100th anniversary of the breed registry.

This. is. happening.

I need to stop and tell myself to breathe numerous times a day.

Have a look at Ian Lawson’s images of these sheep and the Lake District. You too will fall in love!

(just a little tip…if you click the middle of the box it will open in full screen and it is worth it!!)

2014 Black and White Holiday

This year I am taking part in the Crimson Chickadee Photography 2014 Black and White Holiday share. I can’t wait to share my black and white holiday images with you all!

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Sitting on the bales getting a little fresh air while mommy does chores. She still feel a little tired and weak.

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Someone has been feeling under the weather today. Poor little Dolly.

 

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Opening her advent calendar is so much fun!

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 Our crazy elf on the shelf has been so quiet other than the pile of gift under the tree. One for every day.

 

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The view from the kitchen window at the ranch. I don’t think a person could ever get tired of it.

 

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Putting on miles today as Dolly and I head to the ranch

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The frost on the trees is so beautiful!

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Daisy having a rest in front of the tree.

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Dolly getting her video early this morning from Santa and the elves at the North Pole. Good news…she was on the nice list!

Stephanie - December 1, 2014 - 7:32 pm

Oh, what a fun idea. I might have to participate!

Samantha - December 8, 2014 - 4:25 pm

Love these images! The Christmas lights look so great in black & white! Glad I found you in the link-up. :)

Grandma in the Garden

www.rustedruffle.com
I have mentioned already how my Grandma loved to garden. Not only did she have an overly large and abundant vegetable garden, she also had flowers everywhere. To walk around the farm you find many little areas that had rock gardens tucked here and there. Heritage flowers that were hardy filled her beds. Early summer mornings would find her outside, rollers in her hair and a housecoat on (this is easy to get away with in the country!). She would have a cup of coffee in her hand and she would wander the farm yard. Looking at the flowers that had buds on them, seeing which had opened up for her to see all of their beauty. Most of the flowers she liked were not flowers that I would say were on my list of favourites, however she did have peonies. Peonies, along with Hydrangeas are my favourite flowers. I wish I could have peonies in my house all year long. They curl their ruffled petals to show their beautiful colour. They are lady like in appearance. They also rely on sugar ants to open. Just like we need our heavenly father to help us grow and gain everlasting strength of character, peonies need ants to develop into a delicate work of beauty.

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I am finding that a lot as of late. That the beauty and character that are within me are nothing without the help of God. He molds me. He sustains me. If only I could look at myself as a Peony needed the ants to open it to it’s full glory, perhaps I would not be so critical of myself. If I just let go and trusted that He would help me in all the areas of my life. Perhaps I need to remind myself of the little ants, fulfilling a larger picture that they know nothing about.
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