Sunday, February 24, 2008

Yes, I'm still here

Contrary to popular belief, I am still among the living - In fact, my sister actually called me to find out if I was OK, cause I hadn't blogged in so long! - (well at least someone is reading, huh?)

I actually have been trying to shake that darn cold I got a month ago - I decided that I would try getting more sleep - meaning I've been heading to bed at 10:30 instead of 12:30 - them's my blogging hours - night owl that I am - (doesn't do much for the ahem "married life"...when one is a night owl and the other is a morning person... TMI, I know)

That and combined with getting the business end of Washington Wool dot Net off the ground - we are now a Washington Corporation - ready for memberships to come rolling in the door!

Seriously, I really do believe that this web site will be a great thing for small farms like ours who cannot afford to do a big marketing push just for the few fleeces that we have each year - plus helping to educate the public about our animals and our farms. For instance, some of us have been asked if we kill our animals to get the fleeces - "Ah, NO!" These critters are our "fiber partners" - and speaking of fleeces and "fiber partners" - ours are all "nekked"- - Friday was SHEARING DAY!


We call them our puff balls on sticks -

After -

Look kind of scrawney, don't they? - but actually they are all in very good condition according to Marcia - she was very pleased at how they looked, and they actually behaved themselves (realitively) well this year

I took the morning off from work - thankfully our receptionist, who had been off all week due to some health issues was able to come back in, so I didn't have to worry about my co-worker being there all by herself on the phones (that was another thing that sucked up my energy last week - we have 12 lines on our phone system and it seemed like they were ringing in 2 or 3 lines at a time - all day long - thank heavens for headsets!)

The Shepherd had been devising sneaky ways to get the boys and Gwen & Pearl penned up until Marcia came - we were here first shearing on Friday - she has about a 2 1/2 hour trip including a ferry ride to get here - so it becomes a major deal to have her come. She has been shearing for us for about 7 or 8 years, I think - she starts off with giving each sheep a pedicure - which goes really fast, so I didn't get any good pictures - but what is there to see - a sheep on his or her butt getting their toenails clipped - you got the idea...

She did the boys first - get the squirmiest ones out of the way first - Scooter did real well - Arlo - not so much - here's how his "hair cut" went:

Help - I've been sheep-napped

Marcia is really fast - she shears over 2000 sheep a year - it is backbreaking work - starts on the belly and gets that stuff out of the way then goes up one side and down the other

And "voilla" - a big white pile of fleece - this is our first really white fleece - I think it will be NFS...

It took them a few minutes to sort out "who was who" They don't seem to recognize each other without their "jackets" on - silly sheep.

Well - it's past my 12:30 bed time- but here's a sneak peek of the rest of our shearing -


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Oooh, the fleece in that last photo is just YUMMY! As for your absence, it seems that most of the blogs I follow have been quieter lately -- some of them since the holidays! -- so I am getting used to it. Me, I just keep blogging along; I seem to need the outlet. :-)

Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing the shearing day photos. It reminds me to start now to try to find someone to shear mine soon.
I hear you about the cold...mine just keeps hanging on and on. I wish it would either do something or go away. :)
I'll bet the Shepherd is so tickled he's bursting buttons with his fleeces!

vlb5757 said...

My goodness what a difference in the sheepies after shearing. They look so clean for about what 10 minutes and they are off getting all dirty for next year! That's really wonderful about the Washington Wool site. I sure hope that helps you to sell more wool and make some money so you can stay in business. The fleeces look really good. I can't wait to see what kind of roving you get from them. Be sure and post it!

Sharon said...

Wouldn't it be neat if the tips could be sheared of VM and then all the lovely crimp could just be clean wool. I can dream, can't I.

Corinne R. said...

Nice fleece!
It always amazes me how tiny the sheep look after they are shorn.

vlb5757 said...

Tina, you have got to follow this link. It's the cutest sheep picture.

Benjamin Fuzz said...

the 'sheep napped' reminds me of 'boundin' that played with 'the incredibles'...the little sheep who danced and bounded around...both with and without fleece.

could you spin kitty fur into yarn? ben produces some of the most amazing stuff. it's be great to get a scarf or hat out of what i get from him. he's a shedding machine.