Thursday, October 16, 2008

What can I say?

It is just that sometimes life interupts blogging...Spinner guild meetings, Sheep moving, shepherds with bad backs, church, church choir, financials at work, payroll at work, spinning on Anna Dee's fleece, debates - see what I mean?

OK, so, forgive me for I have sinned, it's been five days since I blogged. There, are you happy?

Calliope, the Muse of Epic or Heroric Poetry must have visited our friend Kathy at Sheep Thrills Farm before she got to my neck of the woods, because Kathy so eloquently gives her thoughts about "Culling" - as she puts it - "the shepherd's least liked job"

We are not paying $20 a bale for hay up here (yet) but when a farmer has less than 1/2 acre - culling is necessary if you want to keep your flock moving forward. The shepherd has been working towards finer fleece - and when two of your older, foundation ewes are not breedable any more, something's (or somebody's) gotta go.

In this case, it was Regina & Anna Dee. Although they are only 4 and 6 years old, there were subtle problems - Anna Dee's udder health and Regina's broken down feet, that made it necessary to decide that they needed to be moved to a farm where there was no chance that they would get pregnant - ie. a ram breaking out of his pen - it happens - just ask all those shepherds with "surprise lambs" out there...
So, Saturday afternoon, he loaded them up in the trailer and we headed off to their new home - somewhat of a surprise to their "new" shepherd, and he had not been reachable by phone and hadn't been appraised that they were coming - but he was a good sport, and cleaned out a place in his barn. There is still more fencing that he needs to do, but they have beautiful new digs, with loads of green grass.

Our friend Nancy was also there with one of her older ewes - it was quite a "party", so to speak.

The funniest thing that happened was the reaction of the llamas & goats, who, apparently, had never seen sheep before, and acted (and sounded 0ff) like they were the spawn of the devil himself!

If you've never heard a llama on full alert, it is something to behold - someplace between a honk and a snort - they almost sound like they are laughing. They would run (RACE) away, then their curiousity would get the better of them and they would RACE back. More honking - more racing around. We laughed and laughed and laughed.

In the middle of all this, we had another Swaperoo to make. Seems that The Shepherd had made arrangements to take a couple of Nancy's sheep too, and rather than require us to go back to her place, she had loaded them up in the trailer with the sheep she was bringing to this new shepherd.

One of them is this lovely Icelandic lady - we get to name her - she will be called Lila. The shepherd says when she runs it is kind of like watching the Flying Nun - as her wool fluffs out to the sides. It is extremely soft, and I'm anxious for next February shearing time already.

But not as soft as this one - her name is Violet. Isn't she just the cutest little thing you've ever seen? She is only three months old (remember that story of the ram breaking out...)

This is what her wool looks like. We figure she will probably lose the spots, at least the first year, as they are already white underneath. It is soft, soft, soft. Watch out Black Sheep Gathering - Here is next year's blue ribbon winner!

And last, but not least - a "jelly bean" update.

Roger at Auto-B-Craft came through with a bid to fix her at a little under $900. Yay! Double Yay! He will have to fit me into his schedule - he said probably 2 or 3 weeks out - but I sure miss having that hatch back -

I'll have some time this weekend to update you on my most recent "FO" or "Finished Object" the star shaped baby blanket that I started while we were on vacation last month. (and the new baby to go with it!)


Leigh said...

Sometimes life interrupts everything! *lol*

Violet's fleece is absolutely luscious.

Tammy said...

Looks like good swaps were made all around, with benefits to everyone (even the llama--once it gets used to it's new flock members! ;-) Is Violet Shetland--(love her markings)? Both the new girls are lovely. The Icelandic is allot smaller than I thought they would be.

Wrensong Farm said...

It's so nice that you were able to find a good home for your culled girls!

Violet is gorgeous! The photo of her fleece makes me wish I could touch it.

Glad to hear the Jelly Bean is on the road to recovery! :)

Kathy said...

What a great post, Tina...I loved seeing the pictures of the newbies and their fleece as well as the story about the brave llamas and goats. :)
I hope The Shepherd hasn't gone over to the "Other Side" w/the Icelandics. LOL! Looks like a couple of keepers to me.

Tina T-P said...

Violet is indeed a Shetland (Leigh if I can, I'll send you a little piece of her fleece - it is SO SOFT!) - Lila is Icelandic - she is only 6 months old. We are hoping she stays on the small side, but that probably won't happen, as she is getting very good nutrition (ie - she's first at the food bowl and vacuums it ALL up... :-) T.

Sharon said...

but have you sinned in thought *and* deed - me thinks not and you're in the clear. Yup - the llama alarm is pretty unique. They are remarkable animals.

Kathy said...

I just put Skit up for sale on the NASSA site. Ralph and I wnet out for breakfast and to get hay/feed for the month and talked about whether or not to let him go. As we're not breeding this year, it should be someone else's turn to use him. I just can't keep him to myself any longer. ;-) turn to call!