Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Praise

Now that my Thanksgiving break is coming to a close, I will stop and take a moment to reflect on ALL that I have to be thankful for. I have thought about this many times over the past week and a half. Having the responsibility of faculty devotions last Monday started my thanksgiving praises.

I am blessed!!

First and foremost: Jehovah Jireh, My Provider. I am thankful that He sent His only Son that I might be saved and have a personal relationship with a mighty God!

My family: My precious husband, Rothey, who willing puts up with me daily! Thank you for 21 years!! My two daughters, Katie and Lauren, both are in college and are very good daughters- beautiful, obedient, smart.

My parents: at 81 and 82 - the most Godly, supportive parents anyone could ever have!! They also provide a place for part of our sheep.

My brothers and sister: Peter, Michael, Jimmy, and Cindy. They have given me their love and 10 nieces and nephews as well as mates and great nieces and nephews.

Rothey's family: Papaw, Nana, and his sister, Daphne, and her family. If it wasn't for them, our home wouldn't be where it is today and neither would the rest of our sheep have a home.

Aunts and Uncles

Our two dogs: Belle, my beloved friend of 15 1/2 years! She is a dachshund-terrier mix that is going to live another 15 years at least!!!! Tucker, our 10 year old Australian cattle dog.

Our flock of thirty something Shetland sheep: They provide relaxation on a stressful day, and stress on an otherwise relaxing day. I love them, worry about them, look forward to seeing them, love using their wool to spin, weave, and knit, and cherish the time they come running to greet us when we feed or have cookies or leaves or whatever. I especially love Jane, Joy, Sarah, and Padgett--all my bottle lambs--they are Special!

Hendersonville Christian School: The place God has allowed me to be able to minister for the past 10 years. For the middle schoolers whom I have taught and for those that taught me. For the faculty members that have been my friends and extended family over the years. For the administrators that enjoy pushing me out of my comfort zone. For allowing my two girls to have received an excellent Christ-centered education that is allowing them to be successful in college.

Mud Creek Baptist Church: A place that feeds me spiritually and allows me another opportunity to minister.

My home on Hidaway Cove: Small and cozy and a place that is very peaceful at the end of the day. This includes my bed and spinning wheel!

My friends: Sherri, Terri, Evelyn, Denise, Mandy, Jill, and many more! My friend, DeeDee, that went to be with the Lord at the beginning of 2008.

The United States: What a privilege to be here in the US, in North Carolina!! The greatest place to ever be!!

Good health

Four vehicles: My Mazda (1990 model) that keeps on going, Rothey's Chevy truck (2000 model), Katie's Toyota truck (1999), Lauren's Chevy Blazer (1997)- all trusty vehicles that Rothey maintains diligently.

Basic needs: food, clothing, shelter, jobs

This list could go on and on. There are so many things that could be added! It definitely hasn't been exhausted!!

Thank you, Lord, for supplying all of my needs and then some!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lambs Are On The Way!

Breeding groups were put together on Saturday, November 1st. There are 3 groups. This year we are only breeding 9 ewes. The gentlemen above will both be 2 in the spring. On the left we have Rare Find Farm Emmett. He has great confirmation and a nice grey fleece. He gave us ram lambs last spring so we are trying for a few great grey ewes this year. (I like the grey fleeces best!) The ram on the right is Hidaway Farms Razzle. Razzle is a son from Cory, our head ram. We hadn't planned on keeping him but realized last fall that we could put him with Shania (yuglet ewe below) and possibly get spots. His mother is an HST. It worked on one ewe lamb. We are trying this breeding again. Both boys are for sale as soon as breeding is finished. Razzle is a grey katmoget with a nice curly fleece that is very soft.
Shania and Bethia, a grey ewe, are Razzle's 2 girls this fall. Bethia was bred the day we put them together. We think most of the girls are already bred.

Here is Annie, our aged ewe that won Champion Shetland Ewe at SAFF in October. She is with Emmett. Last year this pair gave us two ram lambs. Their fleeces were huge and 2 different shades of grey. I love to spin the more primitive fleeces. We hope to get some ewes from these two. Emmett is also with Butterscotch (fawn katmoget below) and Abigail (moorit). Butterscotch is a yearling and Abby is two. Abby gave us a grey and moorit set of twin ram lambs this past spring from Emmett. We wethered both of them. They have the most incredibly soft fleeces.

Below is our grand ram, Rare Find Farm Cory. He will be 4 in the spring and has improved our flock greatly in the fleece department. He is the son of Underhill Gordon (AI breeding). Cory has a very, very crimpy fawn fleece that is soft! He puts the soft in the long fleeces that I love. Every once in a while we get a short fleece like Abby's and then they put soft in their lambs. Cory is very gentle and respectful. He has great horns, great conformation, and a nice small tail. He is here to stay. Cory has four ewes this year. (We believe they are all settled.) Standing awkwardly is Ruth, a black and white yuglet flecket. (We hope to get a spotted ram next year to put with our spotted ewes but until then...) Then there is Cara. Cara is a light grey and she gives us white babies with Cory. Cory's dad is white. Next is Cara's sister, Maisie. Maisie has a very long, soft black fleece and with Cory she gives us babies with long staple length fleeces that are so soft. Sprinkles, a yearling, is with Cory for her first breeding. We have no idea what she will give with Cory.

It was nice to get all the breeding groups moved around within 2 hours. (We have sheep at 2 different places.) 3 of our ewe lambs had to be moved to the other place and we sure miss them being here at our house. One of them being my Baby Jane. She wants to come home. In December we will shift them all around again. All the bred ewes, 3 ewe lambs, and Sarah (our 2 1/2 year old bottle baby) will live here at our house.
Christmas will come again in April and we can't wait!! We're praying for safe deliveries and healthy lambs, good mothers, and lots of ewes!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF)

Sheep, old friends, new friends, lots of colorful fiber, wonderful sheep artist, spinning, showing, selling (bittersweet) & an overall good time...

What a great 3 day weekend we just had at the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair in Asheville, NC!! Thursday evening we loaded up quite a few Shetlands--to show and to sell. SAFF is a great fiber event that is very close to home--about 25 minutes.

We didn't attend the NC State Fair for the first time in many years. With 2 daughters in college and SAFF being on the weekend, we decided it would be too difficult this year.

Rothey, Katie, and I settled the sheep in the Ag. Center and ate a late supper at Subway. We enjoyed a little extra sleep on Friday morning and leisurely returned to SAFF. We show on Saturday and Sunday, so Friday is a day to enjoy all related to fiber! Friday is a day to talk sheep and check out the booths full of great stuff!! It was very cold and rainy. We ate at our favorite burger joint again, Fuddruckers and picked up mineral while we were in Asheville. Back at the barn we discussed more sheep things with some sales along the way. Some of my roving and spinning wheel hooks were available in one of the booths inside. I also entered two fleeces in the show and sale area. This was to try and sell them mainly. Lauren came up after classes and work on the campus of Gardner-Webb University. We enjoyed supper with a big group from the 4-H club we used to be part of when the girls were younger.

Saturday and Sunday are show days. Letty Klein was our judge this year. The junior show is Sat. which was Lauren's last time in this group. (My girls are all grown up.) Lauren had a 1st place ewe lamb in a large Shetland class- Amelia. Jane was 4th. She had a second and third place with Butterscotch and Sprinkles in the yearling class. Lauren's Annie won the aged ewe class and she is 7 years old. Annie went on to win Champion Shetland Ewe--not bad for an older gal! Jane was 2nd and Amelia was 4th out of the fleece class that had 13 sheep participating.

On Sunday in the open show we had a 2nd place ram lamb with Wilbur, a 2nd and 4th place with Amelia and Minnie Pearl in the ewe lamb class, 1st and 2nd with Butterscotch and Sprinkles in the yearling class, and our best aged ewes were 2nd with Annie and 4th with Cara. Out of an all breeds pair of ewes class, Katie and Lauren placed 3rd with Cara and Sprinkles. (This pair was the Supreme Champion Pair at the Mt. State Fair in Sept.) We had a 2nd place fleece with Wilbur and Amelia was 3rd in this class.

Even better than winning--we were able to place 4 ram lambs, 2 ewe lambs, and 4 wethers in great homes from Tenn., Georgia, South Carolina, and of course, NC. I sold 6 balls of roving and 3 spinning wheel hooks as well as one of the raw fleeces in the show/sale. I sent the other one with Zeilingers to be processed. That was SUCCESS!!

My purchases-- a Lendrum very fast flyer--Merry Christmas to me (Now only if I could figure out how to thread the thing--why doesn't anything come with directions?), some silk to mix with my yarn, some specialty fiber to spin, a print by an amazing artist that depicts sheep in all kinds of situations, a sheep pulling a cart with 2 bags of wool figurine, and 3 buttons that say, "Got Sheep?", "I love Shetland", and "I love spinning".

What a weekend!! It was fun, relaxing (believe it or not), and all around worthwhile. We arrived home in daylight, unloaded, fed sheep, fed ourselves, sent Lauren back to college and tried to clean the dust and dirt from our stuff that was in the barn!! Aren't sheep fun?? ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Love Is In The Air!!

Saturday, October 18th---My nephew, Timmy's wedding-- a beautiful, cold fall day in Mills River, NC.

Lauren and Katie pose with the ring bearer, my great nephew, Drew.

My sister, Cindy and my
brother-in-law, Steve come down the "aisle".

The groom and groomsmen arrived in a 1940 maroon Ford truck. The bridesmaids arrived in a 1957 Chevrolet convertible. The bride was driven in by her father in a 1956 Ford Thunderbird. What a grand entrance!!

Lauren's father and Timmy built the gazebo just for this special occasion.
Mr. and Mrs. Timmy Starling

The grandparents celebrate with the happy couple after the wedding.

The wedding took place in Timmy and Lauren's backyard. The reception was held in a large building where all the antique cars are kept. We had barbeque (made by Steve) and enjoyed listening to a live bluegrass band. When the happy couple left we all held sparklers and there were fireworks.

It was a beautiful way to celebrate a relationship that started between the two in middle school!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fridays And Fall Days

Fridays and fall days are my favorites. Why? Friday is exciting because it is the last day of the work week. Working with middle schoolers all week can be exhausting. Friday lets me know that I have made it through the week. I can look forward to Lauren coming home from college which means that our little family is all together again for the weekend. We always go out to eat after taking care of our sheep. A real treat was going to Asheville last week to eat at Fuddruckers, our favorite hamburger joint!! Sometimes it's Hot Dog World. Last night we went to Chick-fil-a. Friday also means that I can sleep a little longer in the morning. :)

Fall days in western North Carolina are beautiful. We woke to a grey morning that turned into a sunny afternoon. Since Rothey didn't cut hay, we enjoyed watching the sheep enjoy eating fallen leaves. Our colors are getting better but we're not quite there yet.

Emily and Charlotte enjoy this weather along with us!

Here's mom, Shania, with her girls. They still don't get too far away from her. These are 3 of our favorite sheep! Can you tell? My daughter asked me why I took so many pictures of them.

This picture should be the first. We came to let them into a little side pasture. Notice this one is free of leaves. See those round hay bales in the background? It is so good to know that we have plenty this year and won't have to worry with winter feedings! Last year we cut it real close. It was the first time that we fed all that there was to feed. (Some of the hay was a couple of years old.)

This is the flock at our house. We have many more sheep at my parents' place.
We also have more favorites over there. Yes, we love our sheep!!

Baby Jane says, "Aw, Mom, you know that I am your most favoritest of all these sheep!" Yes, Jane, one of my most favorite of the sheep!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

NC Mtn. State Fair - Part 2

There were approximately 75 Shetland sheep that participated in the Open Show. It was the largest group for one particular breed. Those 75 came from 5 farms. We took 21 sheep to the fair. We had a great day!! Probably the best showing we've ever done.

We started out with the white ram lamb class where Hank Aaron was 1st out of a class of 6. Wilbur Wright was 4th in the natural colored ram lamb class with 12 ram lambs. Razzle and Emmett were 1st and 2nd in the Shetland natural colored yearling ram class.

Hank took Champion Shetland Ram and Razzle was Reserve Champion Shetland Ram. Here is Hank below with Lauren. Hank is for sale as well as 3 other ram lambs that we have.

Jackie O. went into the white ewe lamb class and placed 1st out of 7 white ewe lambs.

One of our biggest thrills was in the natural colored Shetland ewe lamb class. There were 17 beautiful little Shetland girls participating. We placed 1st with Jane Austen. She's my baby! We were 3rd with Amelia Earhart, 4th with Charlotte Bronte, 5th with Emily Bronte, and 9th with Scarlett O'Hara. Wow!! We were amazed. Jane later went on to win Reserve Champion Shetland Ewe.

I'm on the far right with Jane. Next to me is Mrs. Michaels in 2nd. We purchased our ram, Cory, from her and these are his babies and grandbabies. Lauren is next. Then Katie has the cute little moorit smirlset ewe lamb (2 colors on the face) and then Christian has Emily, a grey katmoget.

Katie had the 1st place yearling ewe and Lauren's ewe was in 5th. There were 12 ewes in this class and the judge said they were the hardest Shetland class to judge. Hidaway Farms took 1st and 2nd place in Shetland pairs. This is where you try to pick 2 similar sheep to show together. There were about 8 pairs in the class.

Baby Jane was a hit with the judge. She won 1st place in the natural colored Shetland fleece class and Charlotte was 2nd. There were about 15 sheep in this class.

Below is Katie with Sprinkles and Christian with Cara. Rothey and I always get these two confused in the pasture. Beside them is Lauren and Hannah (my great-niece) with Emily and Jane. Look at those intense showman!! They could taste that win.

Christian and Katie went back into the show ring with all the breeds of sheep to compete for Supreme Champion Pair of Ewes. They did it as you can see in the picture.

We finished out the day winning the ribbon for best Shetland Flock. Our flock was made up of Hank, Butterscotch, Sprinkles, Jackie, and of course, my baby Jane!!

Everyone was ready to go home and call it a night. We are all just about recovered from a very tiring and exciting weekend. Now that it is Thursday night, we wish we could go back and do it all again!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

North Carolina Mt. State Fair- WOW! What a great fair!!

What a fabulous time we had at the Mtn. State Fair!! We are very proud of our flock! Mary Anne Johnson from Ohio was our judge. These are some of our shining moments. Saturday was the Jr. show (showman are 18 and under) so only Lauren could show. We put sheep in the Shetland classes and in the Fine Wool classes. Above you see Lauren showing in the white Shetland ewe lamb class. This is Jackie O. and she was first in her class. Lauren also received her showmanship pin in this first class.
Here is Lauren showing Jackie in the Champion Homegrown class along with her college roommate, Breynna. Jackie won homegrown Shetland ewe. Breynna is showing Jane Austen who won homegrown ewe in the Fine Wool class.
Above: Jackie O
Above: Baby JaneShania takes 1st place in the aged ewe class. Shania is a 4 year old spotted Shetland. She is one of our favorites.
Below: Lauren with Baby Jane who just won the Champion Fine Wool class. Baby Jane is the little ewe lamb who's mom died the day after she was born. She was our bottle baby for this year.
Below: We are so proud of Jane. She won Reserve Champion Ewe for the Jr. Show!! Wow!!Lauren won this director's chair for being the Premier Exhibitor for the Fine Wool Classes.
Another highlight of this show: out of 12 natural colored Shetland ewe lambs Lauren placed 1st with Amelia Earhart and 2nd with Charlotte Bronte. We also had Reserve Champion Fine Wool Ewe with Abigail. This was one of the best Jr. Shows that we've ever had!

Tomorrow I will highlight the Open Show! It makes all the hard work worthwhile!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Need a fiber friend?

This post will highlight the fiber friends that would like to find a new home. There are some amazing fleeces on these sheep! Here are Alexander Graham Bell and Abraham Lincoln. Alex is a very soft moorit wether. His brother, Abe, is a very soft grey wether. They have nice fine fleeces and are looking for someone who will enjoy those lamb fleeces! Their mother, Abigail, won best natural colored fleece at the North Carolina Mtn. State Fair last fall. Here is Ricky Ricardo. He is a black wether that has a soft dense fleece. He has a brother, Fred Mertz, that looks identical to him. Both are ready to go home with someone who likes the darker fleeces. They have great faces!!
I was hoping to keep this fellow a ram but his horns concerned us. He is a fawn, spotted katmoget wether. His fleece is very soft. It will be a great spinning fleece! Plus, who can resist that face?
We also have 3 more wether lambs available. Two, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, are very friendly (great pets) and they have very dense black fleeces. We also have Orville Wright who is going to be grey, and he has a huge fleece. If you're interested, we would love to hear from you.

We also have a couple of older Shetlands that would like to live in a spinner's flock. Introducing Goliath...he is a 2-year-old black (greyling) wether. This past spring he produced the largest fleece on the farm. He is shy but loves animal crackers!

Next we have Windswept Madam Hooch. She is a 5-year-old light grey ewe. She has a beautiful soft fleece. She usually has twins or triplets and always rejects one of her lambs. Yes, we continued to breed her for some crazy reason,and we have 3 sheep that we can't part with. The first is now three-years-old. Padgett lived in our house in diapers and even went to school with me. Then we have two -year-old Sarah. We learned our lesson, and she lived in the barn. She still doesn't think she is your normal sheep. Neither does Padgett for that matter. Then we have a yearling, Almond Joy. She is the most "normal" out of them all. She will still call to us when she hears us coming. We finally realized that we had enough bottle babies so we didn't breed Hooch this year. (Then of course this year Cadey died, and we have bottle baby, Jane Austin.) We would like to sell her to a spinner's flock because she will never win the "mother of the year" award. We don't recommend any further breeding. Some days she is extremely friendly towards humans and loves to be rubbed. Then there are days that she likes to be independent.

Later this week... rams for sale and ewes for sale!! Be watching for 4 ram lambs, 1 yearling ram, 1 yearling ewe, and possibly 3 ewe lambs!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy 15th Birthday to Belle on July 4th!

We are a two dog family! Belle celebrated her 15th birthday yesterday! WOW! She is a dachshund-terrier mix. We always take a Belle birthday picture. Other than cataracts, being hard of hearing and a few fatty lumps, she is quite healthy. She sleeps most of the day and every once in a while will have a running spurt. Katie was in Kindergarten when we got Belle. It's hard to believe that Katie has already finished two years in college, and Lauren will be going in the fall.

Tucker Blue is an Australian cattle dog. He will be ten years old at the end of the month. Tucker used to go to the barn every day with Rothey until we got Beulah, our donkey, in January. Now he just looks on from the fence and gets to play with his rope when Rothey comes back from the barn. He never truly was used for herding. Tucker just thought that was his job.

Belle has always been the head honcho since she was 5 when we brought Tucker home as a puppy. Although, he tries to "herd" her sometimes! She doesn't stand much of it these days.

It is truly amazing how your dogs become a very integral part of your family! They are always happy to see you, and they love you no matter what!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


What prompted this blog post? Two things really. First, my parents have moved from their home to a retirement mobile home park down the road. This meant that I needed to clean my stuff out of their attic. Boy, was there a bunch of STUFF! Secondly, my oldest brother has begun sending me items for my latest collection.

I think it's because of my oldest brother, Peter, that I have all the "collectibles" that I have. I don't know, maybe I've always collected and he & I are a lot alike? My earliest memories of collecting go back to when we would vacation and I wanted knick-knacks to take home. I've had collections of small "ceramic" animal families, mushrooms in fourth grade, shells, rocks, balloons and bears in college, angels, cows, Noah's Arks, and now of course, sheep. I found many of my earlier collections packed away in my parent's attic. Many were broken and were disposed of. The rest were repacked and are now in my in-law's attic. Can you guess that we have no attic?

My latest collection you see here. My brother came for a visit from Pensacola, FL in the spring, and he brought two unique gifts for me. The first gift he brought was of a dachshund (we have a live one) that is colored like a Holstein bull with horns and it says, "100% all beef hot dog." He thought I was still collecting cows. I still have a few around but that was about 15 years ago. (My favorite is a black and white cow clock with a swinging udder for the seconds.) When he found out I was collecting sheep, he purchased a sheep made of cauliflower with a mushroom head. It is adorable! (You would think with all the real sheep we have, it would be enough. Nope, I have many inside as well.)

We discussed what fun it would be to collect these "Home Grown" animals and keep them in the kitchen. Well, leave it to Peter. I received my second one in the mail in April. The next one came in May for my birthday and yes, I received one in June. He calls them my "jelly" of the month. I so look forward to each month to see what critter I will get next. My brother loves me and keeps me collecting after all these years. (When I was collecting mushrooms at 9 and 10 years of age, he helped me set up a mushroom display in our local public library!)

Cauliflower Sheep Lemon GoatLime RabbitOrange CatsI can't wait until July to see what the next "jelly" of the month will be. Thank you, big brother! I love them.