I know some of you have more sheep than we do, and more lambs in a short period of time - Theresa, for one. We've had 21 lambs in the last 3 1/2 days, including the third set of triplets and a set of quads! I haven't really kept track (other than writing them down) of who's got what, who're possible keepers and who's for sale. There WILL BE Shetlands and % Gotlands for sale! There are still at least 6 ewes left to go.
In addition to lambing, we are bottle feeding a couple of kittens every 6 hours (down from every 4 hours) I found in our hay and straw hauling horse trailer, this morning took delivery of 102 Colored Range chicks, are (supposed to be) helping at the Shepherds' Extravaganza through Sunday, are trying to get the garden in, on top of the rest of the usual chores.
The individual sheep are gestating 3 to 6 days longer than previous years, and that's thrown our whole schedule off. No one appears to be in labor at this time, so I actually might get more than 4 hours of sleep tonight. Yeaaaa!
We got to see Joey + Rory in concert tonight at the Puyallup Spring Fair/Shepherds' Extravaganza. Joey + Rory were finalists from the TV show Can You Duet, and Rory is a very successful Country songwriter with hits including Blake Shelton's number 1 "Some Beach" and one of my favorites, the as yet unreleased "Welcome Home". It was a fun mix of serious and lighthearted songs, including one about Granny in her 'Daisy Dukes', their version of Free Bird, and their hit "Cheater, Cheater". Dave got his CD signed and we got to talk briefly with them (as did many! other fans). If you get a chance to hear them, do it!
As an aside, while searching for information on the songs Rory's written, I found out that he co-produced Blaine Larsen's first album, as well as co-writing Blaine's single "How Do You Get That Lonely?" Blaine is a local boy, and another of my (and my mom's) favorite artists.
Okay - break time's over! Back to barn checks, feeding and BED!
I've been thinking about the economy for quite a while. We, the people, seem to be waiting for a handout, watching to see what everyone else is doing, going about our lives, scrimping and grumbling, and just hoping it will all "get better".
High gas prices last year hiked everything up *a lot*, and prices didn't come back down with the gas prices. Prices at the grocery store are insane, power and gas went up and aren't coming down. People, including us, have cut way back in spending on non-necessities and on luxury items. This is hurting small businesses, many of whom are really struggling or have even gone out of business.
This is not news.
The gut reaction is to raise your own prices and cut spending wherever possible. However, one of the few things I remember from my economics class in college - ages ago - was that in a healthy economy, every dollar spent, is respent, respent again, and respent some more. One dollar put into the system can end up making 6 to 8 times that in a chain of sales.
So, to counter my tendency to stop all unnecessary spending and reduce that dollar in the economy to only a dollar in sales, and instead of waiting for someone else to do "something", I'm going to do my little piece.
Our farm sells a few things - sheep, wool, roving, chickens, pigs, Chaffhaye, some services. For the rest of 2009, I'm going to CUT my prices by 10%, PLUS take 10% to spend in the local economy on items that I've cut out.
Hopefully, this will do a little bit to put more money in the economy. My customers save 10%, 10% of our sales will go back into our local economy, and I get a little luxury. Sounds like a Win-Win-Win to me!
I challenge you all to do the same or something similar. If you buy something from us, please spend the 10% you save on another local, small business. Think about challenging your suppliers, customers, friends and relatives to do the same. My 10% will make a very small difference. Many 10%'s will make more difference. Let's make a difference together.