Sunday, March 20, 2016

Well, what happened to the weekend and Ta Da - the "lost post #1000!"

Miss Frostiana - isn't she lovely?
 This post was supposed to happen back in February - you know, right after we sheared - right when The Shepherd started getting sick...

So we have double duty tonight - first - the Shepherd Update.  I can't figure out why I didn't post last night - I think it might be that I did an update to my Church email list and then, just slipped through my mind.  Not much has changed - they have been steadily dropping the liters per minute for the Oxygen - tonight (Sunday) when I left he was down to 7 lpm. and his "saturation rate was staying above 90 even getting up to 100% -  That is good - very good.

Micah, our Ace Shearer and barn helper
What wasn't so good was he tried taking a shower this a.m. without the oxygen and got a little panicky when he had some breathing difficulties. Once they put him back on the O2, he recovered very quickly, so I think that it will not be long before he can get along without it.  They said that he had to be down to 5 liters per minute before he could come home (on oxygen) - So maybe Tuesday or Wednesday - hope above hope...  We'll just have to wait and see, I guess. 

Emily throws those ewes around like a pro! 

These pictures were taken back on Feb 26. We met Micah through our friend Janet Maricle who is a 4-H leader and a Shepherdess of a beautiful, price winning, flock of Dorsets.  She recommended Micah to help John with some tasks, like worming, moving the ewes after they had been bred and she also mentioned that Micah and his sister Emily have both taken the WSU (Washington State University) shearing class.  After meeting him and seeing how he worked with the sheep, The Shepherd decided to take a chance and have them do our shearing this year.  They just did a fantastic job.  Because of school commitments and weather, we decided to do shearing on Friday evening - and we did it right in the barn for the first time.  Worked like a charm.  The Shepherd put a 150 watt bulb in the one light in the barn and it worked pretty good - (I think that we could have used another light on the other side of the barn - hopefully we won't be doing it at night again)

 The shearing went really smoothly - the kids sort of tag teamed - switching on and off - very few nicks on the sheep - one cut toenail, that they sprayed the heck out of with that purple stuff (should have put some spider web on it - bled like crazy)  Only one was hard to shear at all and that was Garnet - I think though, that she might have been coming on to the rise - Micah said that her wool was just "sticky"  (Shetland sheep, if left to nature, naturally shed their fleeces, called "rooing" and if you are trying to shear into the rise, well, it's just "sticky" 
Garnet being Miss Nosey

And luckily, unlike in years past, it didn't snow the day afterwards - although it did turn pretty darn cold and rainy.

Both Donna and Vanessa are showing baby bumps.  I don't think they are due until the middle of April though, so The Shepherd is going to have a couple of weeks to get better before the Blessed Event happens because you know he'll want to be out there snooopervising.  
Nekked girls - good haircuts, don'tch think?
It was a good shearing - Micah & Emily can shear for us again anytime -

So I have some observations on the past week:

~ The people who work at our local hospital, St. Joseph's, Peace Health Medical, are just fantastic.  Everyone has been so friendly and helpful.  I can't say enough about how nice they have been.

~ Sometimes you just have to depend on the kindness of strangers.  But the kindness of neighbors and friends can't be overlooked.  I have had so many offers of help, it has been really gratifying.  This has really made me step up to the plate and quite frankly has helped me get a little bit healthier.  I can certainly walk a lot farther than I could a week ago.  I can't remember if I mentioned in any of my updates that after nearly loosing my balance and falling over in the wind storm that we had last Sunday night, I determined that I would be safer to use my walker to get from the car to the hospital (about a block -maybe not quite that far, but it seems that way...) People are very willing to help you when you are using a walker - it is very sweet actually.

~  I'd like to mention, if you have a friend who is caring for a loved one, or has someone in the hospital, it is nice of you to say "let me know if you need anything"  - but here is what you might say:  "Can I go to the grocery store for you - give me a list of what you need" ;  "Can I bring you lunch at work" or, "What would you like for dinner, my treat".  Because I had been on the "sickly side" the whole time The Shepherd was getting worse and worse, things had kind of slid (worse than the normal slide) and I had 4 big loads of laundry to do - of course it had been raining cats and dogs, so I didn't dare do it at home - (drain-field issues) Our friend Nancy helped me take it to the laundromat - just the assistance of helping carry the laundry bags in, sitting and chatting while it washed and dried, then help with the folding when it was all done - that was enormous.

Sometimes it feels like there are too many balls in the air - juggling hospital, work, home, sheep.  Yes, I have hope above hope that he gets to come home this week.  Then I can at least take one of those balls out of the mix...

The "fruits of his labors" 

Ok, fellow spinners - doesn't Frostiana's wool (second from left on top) just make you drool - look at the beautiful crimp on that baby.  And it is snow white.  Lilah is the youngest of the six and her wool is the longest - I think it is probably about 8 or 9 inches long - I should go measure it.  One or two of them are pre-sold - the rest will go up for sale at the Wonderful Woolies Farm sale on April 9.

So there it is - Post #1000 - Michelle you won the "contest" - I'll be in touch about that lovely alpaca :-) 

Oh, and PS - Happy first day of Spring!!


Lilylou said...

My goodness, Tina, you both have been going through the mill for the past few weeks. You must be exhausted with work and home---and worry about getting everything done. Thank goodness for neighbors and friends who can step in and help.

I totally agree with you about how to help: a person who is in the midst of a difficult situation doesn't have time or energy to reach out to someone for help. We neighbors and friends need to keep a watchful eye and just step in when we see a need, not waiting for an invitation which may never come.

Keeping you both in my heart,

Michelle said...

So happy to hear the Shepherd is improving and you found a good pair of shearers! My sheep (that I don't roo) will be sheared a week from this Thursday. Having at least half my fleeces presold means I'll need to push the skirting to get them shipped off. So glad lambing is done before shearing; I hate manhandling very pregnant sheep. And thank-you for the contest; I'm excited about the alpaca, even if I have no time in my current crazy life to spin. Someday....

Tammy said...

Hi Tina,

So sorry--I seem to have missed your earlier posts and didn't realize this was happening! Yikes. You and John have been through the mill. I know it would be very hard to cope with everything in that situation--you are both in my prayers, and so glad to hear he is doing better!