Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sheep and wool festival pictures

Over a week has past since the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival and I have been threatened with bodily harm if I don't hurry up and post something about here it is!

When we go to the sheep show, we like to spend the entire weekend there, visiting with friends and drooling over sheep ( I don't knit, otherwise there would have been a lot more drooling going on...LOTS of beautiful fiber). This year, time and money were in short supply, so we had to make it a shorter trip. We headed to Wisconsin on Saturday morning and spent all day Saturday with some of my 'Shetland friends' watching the show, later we had a nice dinner with some old friends as well as a few new, and had to head for home Sunday afternoon.

I didn't even bring anything fuzzy home with me! Well, that is not entirely accurate, I did bring home this handsome little guy.
OK, don't panic, I didn't buy more sheep. Nichol, from Blue Goose Farm in Mississippi, bought this guy from Garrett in northern Minnesota.....hmmm, do you see the problem here? There were about 1200 miles separating this little rammy from his intended destination, so Garrett brought him to the sheep show in Wisconsin, I hauled him home with me, and Nichol picked him up here, in Iowa, last weekend....problem solved....sort-of...Nichol still had to drive about 10 hours each way to get her rammy, but I guess that is better than 18!

Of course, when you go to the show, you have to check out all the other breeds of sheep. This is a Katahdin Hair Sheep. They don't have fleece like the Shetlands, they have, well, hair. They shed out so there is no need for shearing. He wanted to come home with me. I resisted, aren't you proud?
This little boy was uber adorable -proudly showing off his lambs to the crowd and answering questions like a pro.Then we watched a little bit of the "big sheep" show. I think these are Club Lambs..I don't know, they are big meat sheep...I am sure someone will correct me. We are always amazed at the precision with which these kids show their sheep-following every move that the judge makes and pivoting in place to keep control of the sheep while not blocking the judge's view.
Then off to watch the Shetland show.
Shetlands don't really care about following rules, or what the judge thinks.
I was made aware after the show that, while the show was going on, Garrett was trying to get my attention.....I know this because I had several missed calls on my cell, as well as some sarcastic text messages mentioning that I should stop taking pictures and look up to see that he was waving frantically from across the arena...I thought he was exaggerating until I downloaded my pictures and found, well... pictures of Garrett waving frantically in the background.

By the way, the mioget ram in the above photo (on the left) is going to be the sire of a few of my lambs next spring. In the below photo he is on the right. He has awesome single-coated fleece, wonderful conformation, a perfect tail and nice wide horns.
The judge, Letty Klein, did a really good job with the youth classes-explaining what she is looking at in each sheep-as far as conformation and fleece, plus giving the public some background information on the Shetland breed.
The Czydlo boys-conspiring about something...Tyler was trying to convince Marie and I earlier that day that a spider was chasing us......not even funny!!

Sara from Dreamcatcher Shetlands.
Teresa from Under The Son Shetlands.
Above is a Sommarang Farm ram lamb. This ram lamb was going to be a wether, but I think he may have saved his manhood since he ended up winning several classes at the show. It was nice to see a scurred ram with very single-coated fleece do so well at the show under this judge.
Lori Stephenson won Grand champion with her ewe, Challis. I heart Challis, she is the dam to one of my favorite ewes (Edrea).

Then Juliann decided to make her own class........sheep rodeo riding. I think she even stayed on for eight seconds! She is going to KILL me for posting these pictures........oh, wait, what have I done? Juli is a police officer and carries a she is a crime scene investigator so she would know how to dispose of my body...oh well, totally worth it!
Sorry Juli, I couldn't resist!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A speedy little update.

I know that I have been greatly neglecting my blogging duties as of late, it has just been such a busy time of year and there is so much to be done before that 'other' season know, the one that brings the s.n.o.w.

I am going to attempt to bring you up-to-date in just one post since I will be leaving for the Jefferson Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in the morning and will likely have new blog-fodder after that.

The few crops that I was able to salvage after this very wet, cool summer actually did fare pretty well. My apples and pears are in huge abundance, although they are not the most aesthetically pleasing, still they are wonderful for jams and canning....which I have been doing at a frenzied pace. My potatoes look fantastic. I was able to dig most of them up last weekend...I say 'most' because with all the aforementioned rain that we had this summer, I did have quite a few taters that rotted in the ground before I could get them harvested. I think we will have more than enough to store for the winter though.

This is what happens when you plant potatoes in clumpy, wet get Frankentater.

Do I really need taters as big as Emma's head....probably not!

Changing gears.......we normally go to "Eldridge Days" every year. That is our town's little Fourth of July celebration...usually held after the fourth of July, oddly.....also, it's not really 'days' but a day, really......well, nonetheless. This year, because of all the rain, the celebration was postponed until the end of August. They always have a lovely fireworks display and since we live in a pretty small town, there is plenty of room to find a good spot to sit or throw a blanket on the ground to watch the show. More importantly, since there are fewer people that attend this show, it is much quicker to get out of the parking lot when it is all over.


OooooOOoohhhhh, that one looks like the Milky way!
....aaaaand we're done with that.

I was driving past a neighbor's house the other day, and noticed a sign saying: "free kittens, very cute, very friendly". Now, you all know by now that I, personally, do not need any more kitties, but I am always willing to help a critter find a good home, so I stopped to check it out. Turns out, they were very cute, and very friendly, so I had to find someone (that wasn't me) to take at least ONE kitty. My niece and her boyfriend seemed like the perfect targets.....uhh, I mean, lucky kitty recipients. We called them to come and look at the kitties, and, of course, they fell in love with one. Don't be alarmed by the picture, the cat is not dead, he merely likes to be carried this way....seriously. He did this when I picked him up and I handed him to Blake and he stayed in this position while we carried him to the was a little awkward as people driving by thought that we were carrying a dead cat and laughing hysterically.

It all made more sense when we met said kitty's mother...

Lastly, my 'Chickens Anonymous' rehab is not going as well as seems as though I have had a relapse. I blame my friends for this mostly. Cathy, Angie, Cassie and the rest of know who you are.

I ended up finding a really good deal on some Easter Egger/Americauna chicks, and since I can't keep up with egg orders, I figured I NEEDED some. These little girls should start laying nice eggs by the time market starts again in the spring.

So, now you are more or less up-to-date. Good night!

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