Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sales were stong dispite the weak economy

Sales were stong dispite the weak economy at the 6th Annual Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival in Mayville. We look forward to doing the show again next August.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The 96th Highlanders of Jamestown NY

This sight just makes the goosebumps rise on my neck! I was thrilled so see our local band looking so great! What a wonderful group they are too! They are all such nice people!

Pipe Band from The City of Thorold , Canada

Pipe and Drum band from Thorold , Canada

I thought this pipe band was particularly handsome and classy. The band came down from Canada to perform at the Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival on Saturday.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hope to see you in Mayville Park by the Lake

Two new items we just introduced into our line.

All is packed and our booth is set up in Mayville Park so we are off early tomorrow morning to sell our jewelry and display Scottish Blackface Sheep.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I guess I need to find a new Motel for the Oct show.

We stayed here every year for 6 years when doing the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival. It was called the Capri 400 motel and was set back from the road and so nice and quiet. We wondered why they would not answer their phone. Now we know why! I guess we need to find another place to stay in Oct.

Saltire Windsock for Booth

This is the saltire windsock I bought to fly on a lightweight fiberglass pole over our booth and the sheep pen at the Celtic Festival. A saltire, or Saint Andrew's Cross, is a heraldic symbol in the form of a diagonal cross or letter ex (x). Saint Andrew is said to have been martyred on such a cross. It appears in numerous flags, including those of Scotland and Jamaica, and other coats of arms and seals. The Saltire is featured in the Maxwell Coat of arms.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tonight I am packaging 200 pewter badges.

Earthquake here today

I was resting my dogs in a chair in the concourse of the Salamanca Antiques Mall when the glass cases started to rattle and about 30 antique fishing lures began franticly swinging too and fro in the case in front of me. My chair was bouncing like I was sitting beside a freight train. I have never been in an earth quake before. It was kinda fun. The time 1:51 p.m. Eastern time.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Custom Band Badges

Custom Hat Badges for the 96th Highlanders of Jamestown, NY, created by Jim Boyle of The Rams Horn Studio, 2011.

*The 96th Highlanders Pipes and Drums Inc of Jamestown, New York, were established in 2001. The band is under the direction of Pipe Major Pamela Silver. The 96th Highlanders are proud to represent Jamestown, New York and Chautauqua County in all events they perform in through-out the year. Members of the band hail from Erie, Youngsville, and Warren, Pennsylvania, and from Dunkirk, Olean, Port Allegany, Bemus Point, Falconer, Frewsburg, Lakewood, Sherman and Jamestown, New York.

Piping Schedule

6th Annual Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival & Gathering of the Clans
Saturday, August 27, 2011

The sound of the Great Highland Pipes will be heard throughout the day

Pipe Band Schedule 2011

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM & 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM – 96th Highlanders Pipes & Drums

10:00 AM – 10:20 AM & 2:00 PM – 2:20 PM – Trinity Episcopal Pipes & Drums

10:20 AM – 10:40 AM & 2:30 PM – 2:50 PM – City of Thorold Pipe Band

10:40 AM – 11:00 AM & 3:00 PM – 3:20 PM – MacKenzie Highlanders Pipes & Drums

11:00 AM – 11:20 AM & 3:30 PM – 3:50 PM – Lochaber Pipe Bands

11:20 AM – 11:40 AM & 4:00 PM – 4:20 PM – Caledonian Pipes & Drums

11:40 AM – 12:00 AM & 4:30 PM – 4:50 PM – 87th Cleveland Pipe Band

Massed Bands Will Be:

12:30 PM – Opening Ceremony & 5:00 PM – Closing Ceremony

Cooking New York State Sweet Corn

Hot, fresh corn-on-the-cob is an almost essential part of any summertime party. Corn qualifies as a very good source of thiamin (vitamin B1), and a good source of many vitamins including pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), folate, niacin (vitamin B3) and vitamin C. Corn was also determined to be a good source of dietary fiber, and the minerals phosphorous and magnesium.

For western civilization, the story of corn began in 1492 when Columbus's men discovered this new grain in Cuba. An American native, it was exported to Europe rather than being imported, as were other major grains.

Like most early history, there is some uncertainty as to when corn first went to Europe. Some say it went back with Columbus to Spain, while others report that it was not returned to Spain until the second visit of Columbus.

The word "corn" has many different meanings depending on what country you are in. Corn in the United States is also called maize or Indian corn. In some countries, corn means the leading crop grown in a certain district. Corn in England means wheat; in Scotland and Ireland, it refers to oats. Corn mentioned in the Bible probably refers to wheat or barley.

At first, corn was only a garden curiosity in Europe, but it soon began to be recognized as a valuable food crop. Within a few years, it spread throughout France, Italy, and all of southeastern Europe and northern Africa. By 1575, it was making its way into western China, and had become important in the Philippines and the East Indies.

Although corn is indigenous to the western hemisphere, its exact birthplace is far less certain. Archeological evidence of corn's early presence in the western hemisphere was identified from corn pollen grain considered to be 80,000 years old obtained from drill cores 200 feet below Mexico City. Another archeological study of the bat caves in New Mexico revealed corncobs that were 5,600 years old by radiocarbon determination. Most historians believe corn was domesticated in the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico. The original wild form has long been extinct.

Evidence suggests that cultivated corn arose through natural crossings, perhaps first with gamagrass to yield teosinte and then possibly with back-crossing of teosinte to primitive maize to produce modern races. There are numerous theories as to the ancestors of modern corn and many scientific articles and books have been written on the subject. Corn is perhaps the most completely domesticated of all field crops. Its perpetuation for centuries has depended wholly on the care of man. It could not have existed as a wild plant in its present form.

Sweet corn is one of the most important vegetable crops produced in New York, in terms of acreage, crop value and number of producers. Fresh market and processing sweet corn are produced for local, regional, and national markets. With the exception of rust and seed decay, sweet corn has relatively few disease problems relative to other vegetables.

Produced statewide, sweet corn had a value of $58.3 million. Concentrations are found in the Lower Hudson Valley and around the Genesee Valley. Production of fresh market sweet corn crop ranked 5th in the nation.

Sweet corn (Zea mays convar. saccharata var. rugosa; also called Indian corn, sugar corn, and pole corn) is a variety of maize with a high sugar content. Sweet corn is the result of a naturally occurring recessive mutation in the genes which control conversion of sugar to starch inside the endosperm of the corn kernel. Unlike field corn varieties, which are harvested when the kernels are dry and mature (dent stage), sweet corn is picked when immature (milk stage) and prepared and eaten as a vegetable, rather than a grain. Since the process of maturation involves converting sugar to starch, sweet corn stores poorly and must be eaten fresh, canned, or frozen, before the kernels become tough and starchy.



Saturday, August 20, 2011

The singing Katydid

We have noticed these green insects on our house for awhile. This is a Oblong-winged Katydid . They are just amazing to look at. I took some photos last night and here they are. Katydids are relatives of grasshoppers and crickets. They grow over two inches long and are leaf-green in color.Katydids have oval-shaped wings with lots of veins. They resemble leaves. True Katydids live in forests, thickets, or fields with lots of shrubs or trees. Katydids spend most of their time at the tops of trees where most of the leaves are. Usually katydids are heard, but not seen. The false katydid gets its name from the rapid “tic-tic-tic-tic” sound it makes, unlike the more traditional katydid call. They are short winged, have greenish to brown bodies that grow up to 2 ½ inches long. They have long antennae and hind legs for jumping. Males generate their sound by rubbing their wings together.

Oblong-winged Katydid Amblycorypha oblongifolia


Friday, August 19, 2011

The New Portable Sheep Pen Set Up

We will be displaying our Blackface Sheep at the Celtic Festival in Mayville Park in a week in this nice little pen. It was given to us by our old sheep shearer, Steve Sandle who used to do demos in places like shopping malls. I am pleased it is so tall because Blackies can jump high!

Scottish Blackface Sheep

Monestery records show that monks in the Twelfth Centruy raised sheep that are the progenitors of the modern Scottish Blackface breed. The monks used the wool of the dun-faced sheep, as they were often called, for their own clothing and exported large amounts to Europe. Latter records show that in 1503 James the IV of Scotland established a flock of 5,000 Scottish Blackface Sheep in Ettrick Forest. Today the Blackface is the most important breed in the British Isles.Thirty percent of all sheep in the UK are Scottish Blackface! The Blackface epitomizes the mountain sheep. They have long coarse wool that shields them from moisture and biting winds. They are able to survive the harshest winters in the most extreme parts of Great Britain

Blackface ewes are excellent mothers and will often attempt to defend their lambs against predators. They are good milkers and are able to yield a lamb crop and a wool clip even when on marginal pastures. The breed spread from the border areas during the Ninetieth Century to the highlands and the islands and also to Northern Ireland and the US. There are small flocks scattered across the USA but this robust little breed has remained a minor breed. Its potential has never been realized in the "States" where it's stamina and tolerance of cold would be most valuable.

Getting geared up for the Celtic Festival

Friday, August 26, 2011
7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Saturday, August 27, 2011
9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
The 6th Annual
Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival &
Gathering of the Clans

We will have out Booth set up again with our Celtic and Scottish style jewelry hand made here by us in Chautauqua County, NY. Look for The Rams Horn. We will also have Scottish Blackface sheep on display.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Common Garter Snake

Garter snakes occupy a variety of habitats including pond and stream edges, wetlands, forests, fields, rocky hillsides and residential areas. They are often observed as they bask on rocks, wood piles, stone walls, hedges and walkways. Although they feed on a variety of small animals, garter snakes' primary prey are earthworms and amphibians. Their saliva appears to be toxic to amphibians and other small animals and a bite may produce swelling or a burning rash in some people. Although garter snakes may or may not bite if handled, most individuals secrete a foul-smelling fluid from anal glands when alarmed. This one did not try to bite but it did secrete its stink on me. That I did expect. I pick these up often and none of them have ever tried to bite me.

The Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) is a snake indigenous to North America. Most garter snakes have a pattern of yellow stripes on a brown or green background and their average length is about 50 cm (20 in), maximum about 125 cm (49 in). This is a young snake we found by the fence to the sheep paddock.

The Knitter

I knit to keep death away

For hame will dae me.

On a day like this the fine mist

Is a dropped stitch across the sky.

I knit to hold a good yarn

For stories bide with me

On a night like this, by the peat fire;

I like a story with a herringbone twist.

But a yarn aye slips through your fingers.

And my small heart has shrunk with years.

I couldn’t measure the gravits, the gloves, the mittens,

The jerseys, the cuffs, the hose, the caps,

The cowls, the cravats, the cardigans,

The hems and facings over the years.

Beyond the sea wall, the waves unfurl.

I knitted through the wee stitched hours.

I knitted till my eyes filled with tears,

Till the dark sky filled with colour.

Every spare moment. Time was a ball of wool.

I knitted to keep my croft; knitted to save my life.

When my man was out at sea; I knitted the fishbone.

Three to the door, three to the fire.

The more I could knit; the more we could eat.

I knitted to mend my broken heart

When the sea took my man away, and by day

I knitted to keep the memories at bay.

I knitted my borders by the light of the fire

When the full moon in the sky was a fresh ball of yarn.

I knitted to begin again: Lay on, sweerie geng.

Takkin my makkin everywhere I gang.

Een and een. Twin pins. My good head.

A whole life of casting on, casting off

Like the North sea. I watch wave after wave,

plain and purl, casting on, casting off.

I watch the ferries coming back, going away.

Time is a loop stitch. I knit to keep death away.

By Jackie Kay

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Lamplighter

My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky;
It's time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street.
Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea,
And my papa's a banker and as rich as he can be;
But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I'm to do,
O Leerie, I'll go round at night and light the lamps with you!
For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door,
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more;
And O! before you hurry by with ladder and with light,
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him tonight!

by Robert Louis Stevenson. This poem is about the days when "Leerie" the lamplighter went round to lignite the gas lamps in the streets of Edinburgh. Stevenson was a sickly child (hence the reference to "when I am stronger) and looking out of the window to see the lamplighter would be a frequent occurrence for the lonely child.

This is a sweet little song about the lamp lighter. It is not Scottish but it fits.



John Bearcat-Redmond
Fife, Scotland

Ther's a wee place in Perthshire, it's nae far frae thi Forth
Glendevon Castle is its name ain its nae thit far north.
It stauns oon a hull, nae veri hi, ais ye'll see,
Bit a beautifil place ye hae evir clapped ain eee.

Oh thi castle, thi Castle, in this a glorius Glen
Its donor wis a Douglas, a man amongst men.
Be ye rich, be ye pair or humble, ye wull ken,
Thir's room fer ye aw in thi glorius Glen

Ave bin doon tae Edinbury, ain Glesca ais weel,
Ain ave bin doon in England ait thi big birlin wheel.
Bit gie mi thi land o'Red Douglas ain his men,
Ain thi strength in ma legs fer a waulk up thi Glen.

Oh thi castle, thi Castle, in this a glorius Glen
Its donor wis a Douglas a man amongst men.
Be ye rich, be ye pair or humble, ye wull ken,
Thir's room fer ye aw in thi glorius Glen.

Whin ye gan up Glendevon, which a hope ye intend,
Hae a look ait thi church ais ye waulk rooned thi bend,
Thin gaze yer een roond ye and see fer yersel,
Thit that jaunt up Glendevon his paid ye richt weel.

Oh thi castle, thi castle, in this a glorius Glen
Its donor wis a Douglas a man amongst men.
Be ye rich, be ye pair or humble, ye wull ken,
Thir's room fer ye aw in thi glorius Glen.

So whaur er ye mite be in yer journey throo life,
Wi its ups ain its doons, ain struggles ain strife,
Jist stop fer yin minute, ain yer thochts ye kin sen,
Tae thit beautifil dae thit ye spent in thi Glen.

Oh thi castle, thi castle, in this a glorius Glen
Its donor wis a Douglas a man amongst men.
Be ye rich, be ye pair or humble, ye wull ken,
Ther's room fer ye aw in thi glorious Glen.

Rural Drive North Fife Scotland August 17th

This is for you Haggis. I can dream of Fife and watch this little clip! This is about the time of year I visited in 2007 so it looks so familiar with the corn fields turning golden. Fife ([ˈfəif]; Scottish Gaelic: Fìobha) is a council area and former county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire. It was originally one of the Pictish kingdoms, known as Fib, and is still commonly known as the Kingdom of Fife within Scotland.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ronnie Browne sings Afton Water

The River Afton (or Afton Water) is a small river in Ayrshire, Scotland. which flows North from Alwhat Hill in the Carsphairn and Scaur Hills, through Afton Reservoir and then for eight miles down Glen Afton before joining the River Nith at New Cumnock. Ronnie Browne (born Ronald Grant, 20 August 1937 in Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland), is a Scottish folk musician and founding member of The Corries.


Afton Water
by Robert Burns

1 Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
2 Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise;
3 My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
4 Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

5 Thou stock-dove, whose echo resounds thro' the glen,
6 Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,
7 Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear,
8 I charge you disturb not my slumbering fair.

9 How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills,
10 Far mark'd with the courses of clear winding rills;
11 There daily I wander as noon rises high,
12 My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye.

13 How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,
14 Where wild in the woodlands the primroses blow;
15 There oft, as mild Ev'ning sweeps over the lea,
16 The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.

17 Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
18 And winds by the cot where my Mary resides,
19 How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
20 As gathering sweet flowrets she stems thy clear wave.

21 Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
22 Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays;
23 My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
24 Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream

This post is dedicated to David Robertson of Irvine, North Ayrshire

Sunday, August 14, 2011

One Way Donkey Ride

by Sandy Denny

There you may stand in your splendour and jewels
swaying me in both directions
One is the right one, the other for fools
How do I make my selection?
The city lies silent in the warm morning light
The sand is as golden as saffron
Oasis of love sweet water of life
God bless the poor ones who have none though they have tried

Someone is drowning down there in the flood
But this river will dry by tomorrow
Is it ocean or stream, this love in my blood?
Bringer of joy or of sorrow?
The end of the journey must soon be in sight
Birth is the start of the swansong
Oasis of love sweet water of life
God bless the poor ones who want some by are denied

No one is given the map to their dreams
All we can do is to trace it
See where we go to
Know where we have been
Build up the courage to face it
While we fumble in the darkness where once there was light
Roaming the land of the ancients
Oasis of love sweet water of life
God bless the poor ones whose patience never died
While we stumble in blindness where once there was sight
Searching for trees in the forest
Oasis of love sweet water of life
God bless the poor ones who have none though they have tried
God bless the poor ones who want some but are denied
God bless the poor ones whose patience never died
God bless the poor ones on that one way donkey ride

Performed by Mary Black, written by Sandy Denny

A lovely white goat

My friend Tammy has a big heart and she took in this lovely, white ,milk-goat that someone else no longer wanted. The doe is so sweet its like she is an old soul. The little doe looks like she is smiling all the time as she knows she cheated death when she somehow managed to find a safe haven on the Davis farm. Tammy has been putting weight back on her frame by letting her trim the weeds around the garden and graze with the other stock.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Modern Man

Modern Man ...
Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money
Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health
And then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present
And as a result he doesn't live in the present or the future
And he lives as if he's never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.

From my friend Lou in Australia

Summer is growing like a weed

Snowflake and her daughter, Summer today in the wee shed.

Sheep bells in my collection

Sheep Bells Tinkling in a Field

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I asked a gypsy pal
To imitate an old image
And speak old wisdom.
She drew in her chin,
Made her neck and head
The top piece of a Nile obelisk
and said:
Snatch off the gag from thy mouth, child,
And be free to keep silence.
Tell no man anything for no man listens,
Yet hold thy lips ready to speak.

Carl Sandburg

August Moonrise

The sun was gone, and the moon was coming
Over the blue Connecticut hills;
The west was rosy, the east was flushed,
And over my head the swallows rushed
This way and that, with changeful wills.

I heard them twitter and watched them dart
Now together and now apart
Like dark petals blown from a tree;
The maples stamped against the west
Were black and stately and full of rest,

And the hazy orange moon grew up
And slowly changed to yellow gold
While the hills were darkened, fold on fold
To a deeper blue than a flower could hold.

Down the hill I went, and then
I forgot the ways of men,
For night-scents, heady, and damp and cool
Wakened ecstasy in me
On the brink of a shining pool.

O Beauty, out of many a cup
You have made me drunk and wild
Ever since I was a child,
But when have I been sure as now
That no bitterness can bend
And no sorrow wholly bow
One who loves you to the end?
And though I must give my breath
And my laughter all to death,
And my eyes through which joy came,

And my heart, a wavering flame;
If all must leave me and go back
Along a blind and fearful track
So that you can make anew,
Fusing with intenser fire,
Something nearer your desire;

If my soul must go alone
Through a cold infinity,
Or even if it vanish, too,
Beauty, I have worshipped you.

Let this single hour atone
For the theft of all of me.

by Sarah Teasdale
(August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933)

An August Midnight

By Thomas Hardy

A shaded lamp and a waving blind,
And the beat of a clock from a distant floor:
On this scene enter--winged, horned, and spined -
A longlegs, a moth, and a *dumbledore;
While 'mid my page there idly stands
A sleepy fly, that rubs its hands . . .

Thus meet we five, in this still place,
At this point of time, at this point in space.
- My guests parade my new-penned ink,
Or bang at the lamp-glass, whirl, and sink.
"God's humblest, they!" I muse. Yet why?
They know Earth-secrets that know not I.

*'Dumbledore' is an unusual name for what is more commonly called a bumblebee or humblebee.

Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. While his works typically belong to the Naturalism movement, several poems display elements of the previous Romantic and Enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural.

The Rams Horn

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