In order to get my new ewe, I needed to get my ram to the breeder in Michigan, and the ewe needed a ride home from Michigan. I wasn't sure when I would be able to go and make the switch since Michigan is a bit of a drive from here. Luckily for me, the Michigan Fiber Festival was going on a couple of weekends ago, and being that I have some pretty awesome friends, it didn't take me long to find transportation. My friend, Juliann, was going to be attending the festival and was willing to transport sheep for me. So, Wednesday before the Festival, I hauled my ram to Juliann's Little Country Acres farm in Illinois. Juliann is one of a handful of breeders that are breeding for polled (hornless) Shetlands, and she has had amazing success achieving the goals that she had set for her flock. She is producing some really well conformed polled Shetlands with wonderful fleece. Unfortunately, they were not very cooperative for their photo-op.
After a nice visit with Juliann and getting to spend some time admiring her beautiful flock, I left the ram with her. Juliann then dropped the ram off in Michigan and then brought my ewe lamb back to her place after the festival.
Last Wednesday I made plans to head back to Juliann's to retrieve little miss sheepie. I decided to take Bailie, my 10-year-old Golden Retriever along for the ride. Gary always feels better if I take one of the dogs along on my excursions...I am not sure why..as I mentioned, Bailie is a 10-year-old Golden retriever, not exactly like traveling with, say, a Rottweiler. The worst thing that Bailie could do would be to "happy" someone to death.
I must say though, Bailie makes a wonderful traveling companion. She never asks how much further the ride will be, she doesn't care what radio station I listen to-or how loud it is, and she doesn't even mind my terrible singing........
"Make it stop!"
It is only about 2 1/2 hours to Juliann's place from here, and since I live a couple of miles North of I 80 and Juli lives a couple of miles South of I80 it is pretty much a straight shot. However, there seems to be a lot of 'phantom' construction happening on the route that slowed us down a bit. The entire trip there were signs, barricades, arrows and flashing lights telling us to reduce speed because there were construction workers.....I guess they were invisible (you should never take pictures while you are driving).
Other than the mystery construction, the trip to Juliann's was pretty uneventful and Bailie was eventually able to tune out my 'singing' and snooze most of the way there.
When we arrived at Juli's farm we could hear the faint rumblings of thunder in the distance. I knew that we were expecting some bad weather back at home so we quickly gathered up my new ewe, got her loaded in the truck, said our good-byes and headed back to Iowa. We got about 20 minutes away from her farm and suddenly the winds kicked up, and the rain was coming down in buckets. I heard on the radio that there were tornado watches and warnings, but I had no idea what county I was in, so I had no clue as to where the really severe weather was....being that I was in the middle of torrential rain and getting blown around by the strong winds....hmmmmm, not good. I could no longer see the road, or the pair of taillights that I had been following. I desperately wanted to just pull over and wait it out...but I had no idea where 'over' was and given all of the construction barricades that I had seen earlier, I was afraid that if I did pull over I would fall off the face of the earth into some construction pit. At this point Bailie was sitting up, staring at me, like "are you going to do something about this, Dorothy?" and the ewe was looking at me with the same expression through the back window. After a few harrowing minutes the storm let up as quickly as it had begun and ( once I was able to release my death grip on the steering wheel) we continued on our way and arrived in one piece safe and sound back at home.
Sooooooo...here is my pretty little gulmoget ewe in her new home.
The other girls aren't doing their happy dance because of the new ewe...they heard that I will be going to Wisconsin in a couple of weeks to pick up boyfriends.....for the ewes...I guess I should have specified....that did not sound good..