Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas From Our Farm to Yours!

 Thank you to everyone who purchased our Shetlands, bought our yarn and roving, shawls and scarves, and to those who encouraged us along the way in 2012. Thank you to Laura and Brooke who sold us our first Icelandics.
 Thank you to all who continue to pray for the recovery and restoration of my precious Rothey!
 We are so thankful to our All Powerful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for the miracles in our lives!
 Thank you to our beautiful Katie and Lauren for all their help and love...and for being really terrific young ladies!

Thank you to our families for loving us through thick and thin...what a blessed Christmas!!

Looking forward to what the Lord has in store for us in 2013...we KNOW He has a perfect plan as long as we trust in Him with ALL our hearts!!

Rothey, Christine, Katie, and Lauren
Tucker and Dixie
And Our Flock

Monday, November 19, 2012

What's Next?

 This is Darla, our newest acquisition. Darla is a black mouflon with spots. She is an Icelandic. For several years, Hidaway Farms talked about having an Icelandic or two. With many families in our area into Shetlands we thought it might be time to try something new. We aren't planning on getting rid of our Shetlands but wanted to branch out. Darla was born on July 2nd. She is precious!  We love her markings and her wonderful stocky confirmation and tiny, tiny fluked tail. We were excited to see a pen of 4 Icelandic ewes at SAFF. They are relatively unusual around our area. We were fortunate to purchase her!
 "What is out there? It sure is big..." Huck and Darla check out what is beyond the gate.
 "Oh, it's just our neighbors...the cows!"
 Icelandics have double-coated very long staple length fleeces. Because of the growth of these fleeces they must be shorn twice a year.
 Katie decided to hand shear this year for Darla's fall clip (her first time). Anthony will shear her in the spring and next fall we will probably have her shorn at SAFF. Katie will wash the fleece and tail spin the locks into a fancy yarn.
"Oh dear, oh dear...I must hide!"

Friday, November 9, 2012

Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair--October 2012

 What a wonderful way to promote Shetland sheep! The Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) in Asheville is probably our favorite event of the year. We take our sheep up Thursday evening so that we can enjoy ourselves on Friday rather than worry with loading sheep in the morning and then getting everything settled. This year we were very blessed to have sold the sheep we needed to sell before coming to SAFF. Because of this we weren't tied to the barn and were free to shop and roam around all day Friday.

Katie and I enjoyed looking around trying to decide what to purchase. We went in together and bought a WILD drum carder. This is a small carder to make "fancy" batts to spin. We then searched for glitz to add to our own roving. We bought Angelina sparkly stuff, Merino nepps, silk, Chinese grass, and even recycled soda bottles (a shiny white, soft fiber). Katie was in search of exotic fibers to purchase and try her hand at spinning. She bought yak, camel, Navaho-churro, Finn, Jacob, and some other rare breed wool. This will be fun to play with this winter!!

Saturday was the junior sheep show...Katie and Lauren aged out several years ago. We watched part of that and then went to the fleece show where we had several fleeces from our spring clip. They were in the primitive class with other Shetlands and some Jacobs. There were 1st and 2nd placings in both white and natural colored. We didn't win anything...the reason...because we had skirted our fleeces so well which the judge said was wonderful and perfect for handspinners wanting a fleece but---they didn't have enough bulk compared to the fleeces that hadn't been skirted as well. Oh well! The fiber mill will be happy!!

Sunday was a very, very, very cold and windy day. SAFF ended at 4 and the show went on until about 6. Above is Katie showing Hidaway Farms Cedar in the ram lamb class. We sold his father that we had for about 6 years and decided to use this little guy as his replacement. He will receive 3 ewes in his breeding group this year.
 Lauren is showing Hidaway Farms Hickory. He went to a new farm farther west in North Carolina.
 Cedar was placed 2nd in his class.
 Katie showing our bottle lamb, Rosie. She is a spotted/kat. Lily (not pictured) placed 2nd in a very large natural colored ewe lamb class.
 This is our yearling ewe, Cinderella. She will be in Cedar's group.
 Katie is showing our aged ewe, Amelia. She had a year off from lambing so we look forward to what she will produce in the spring. She was 2nd in her class.
 This picture is amazing to us. These four katmogets were born on our farm in 2 years. We only own the one in 2nd place. Solitaire in 1st and Vesper in 4th were purchased by the Woods. Scarlett in 3rd is owned by the Orrs. These were the first four placings in a good sized aged ewe class.

Lauren and Katie with Amelia and Nala in the pairs class. Guess what they placed out of about 12 Shetland pairs? 2nd!

It was wonderful to see and connect with old friends and new ones. We saw many that we have sold sheep to and many more that would like to purchase their very own in the future. About 7 families show Shetlands these days. We are excited to say that around 5 of them started out their flocks with Hidaway Farms Shetlands!!

Next post.. a new breed beginning at Hidaway Farms, a new Shetland flock sire, and a new craft that uses up some roving which we have in abundance.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day Trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway

 Around 215 miles, 8 hours, a picnic in the truck because of rain, stopping at 5 visitor centers, beautiful scenery by our Creator, and being with family...PRICELESS!!
 Above the clouds...
 At Graveyard fields...
 Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi, 50 degrees and drizzly...
 The family included Dixie Dotson, Lauren's Dachshund... ;)

 Wow!! Mountain ridges as far as the eye can see...
I am so thankful to call North Carolina home!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

2012: NC Mountain State Fair Open Sheep Show

 Letty Klein was the judge for the Open Wool Show as well as the Open Sheep Show this year. Katie and I entered 7 fleeces from this past year's shearing. One was in the white Shetland class, and 6 were in the natural colored Shetland class. Katie's white fleece from a yearling wether, Gus, won the class as well as Shania's natural colored fleece. Both went on to be judged in the Champion Fleece class. Gus won the Champion white fleece. How exciting as Hidaway Farms has never had this honor before!
 Katie with both of her 1st place Shetland fleeces.
 Classes for Shetlands averaged about 18 sheep. The largest classes were ram lambs, ewe lambs, aged ewes, and the fleece class. Katie's ram lamb, Hickory, placed 2nd in his natural colored class.
 We had the 1st place white ewe lamb with Carolina Rose (Rosie) shown here by Lauren, 1st place white yearling with Cinderella shown here by Katie, 4th and 5th place natural colored ewe lamb with Juneberry, and Lily, 4th place natural colored yearling with Nala, 3rd place aged ewe with Heartthrob, 1st place white fleece and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place natural colored fleece.
Katie's Cinderella won Reserve Champion Shetland ewe.

We showed well this year and even better than showing well...my miracle of a husband drove the truck and trailer to the fair!! Thank you, Jesus!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


 Hens and Chickens for those of us not into Latin names!! I am hooked!! 
 For the past two summers I have not been able to worry with gardening due to caring for my parents and being at the hospital last year with my husband...not that I do very much gardening, but I do like it to look nice around our house. With my precious Rothey now really recovering and us having time at home, I have been able to play around a bit. I have had a pot of rather plain hens and chickens for years. My mom switched pots on me last summer, and they grew like crazy. I decided to separate them, and then I discovered that there are many, many varieties as we went looking for perennials for one new little garden. So...Rothey and I went to many local garden shops and nurseries in our area in search of different sempervivums. The search was on! (It has been addicting!)

In the first picture... I purchased a strawberry jar and was able to use four of the varieties in it. The second picture is a closeup of one of our favorites. Unfortunately many of the tags on my hens and chicks didn't tell what the variety was.
 The overhang of our house is larger than usual so my garden near our front steps has to be stuff that is drought tolerant. My father-in-law pulled out a huge prickly shrug, and I decided a different kind of garden would replace it. The search was on for containers to hold my new succulents. I bought two window boxes and filled them with cow dirt (we get that free from a big pile in the pasture) and added 2 kinds of sedum and sempervivum.
 I had bought this interesting shelf at Goodwill last year and decided it could hold some hens...oh yeah, and I used my parents' old watering can that had been forgotten at my nephew's house. I filled it with dirt, added 2 types of hens and chicks and added it to the garden. It's tilted like it is watering the other hens and chicks.
 Katie and I went down to the creek and picked up a bunch of rocks and...a drought tolerant garden was created!
 The first garden I worked on this summer was the one in front of the addition we built for Mom. (So much has happened in 2 years. My Dad passed away in August of 2010, my husband became very ill in January of 2011, and my Mom passed away in March of 2012. Yet God is faithful and has carried us through this difficult journey! Oh, and He is still carrying us...we aren't there yet!)

Katie and I went to a garden jubilee on Main Street, and we saw a display of plants in a birdbath. My Mom had this one, and it never held water. So...you see what happened! This garden has phlox, yarrow, balloon flowers, delphinium and bee balm. There are also 2 Mexican heather plants that I later found out were annuals. I would love to just maintain this garden and not replant each year. I purchased an edger and watched a youtube video on how to use it. I knew my Dad used one but I never had. They would be happy with my sudden interest in creating these gardens.
 The majority of the hens and chicks in the birdbath are from my original ones. The little clump on the left came from a local nursery, and the one at the top with pink came from our local grocery store's garden shop. The sedum hanging over looking like water pouring out is from my parents' old home. Katie bought the succulent in the center, and we added blue pebbles we had from an old vase. This was a lot of fun to do!
 We are going to use stain and water sealer on this porch, and then I would like to plant a hydrangea on the side by the downspout. Yes, it still is a work in progress. I find myself looking for plants my parents' had through the years. Their gardens were something else! Mom would rather buy plants than food. Dad would always buy trees and shrubs for her for birthdays, anniversaries, and just because. He even bought them for me when I was younger.

"We are Blessed!" the little sign says in this potted garden! Yes, we definitely are!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sheep Antics! :)

 Let the races begin...

Being a lamb...such hard work!