I’m a Rambouillet

I took a cute quiz here from the book, The Knitter’s Book of Wool.

And I’m a Rambouillet!  I’ve never knitted with Rambouillet wool, so I guess I’ll have to give it a try!  I’m a soft and cozy kinda girl.

Counting Sheep

I went to my Basic Shepherding class this AM at the MD Sheep & Wool Festival. It was taught by Dr Richard Barczewski who is a professor at Delaware State University. He was born and raise around sheep and his wife is a livestock veterinarian. Rich’s (that’s easier than his last name) assistant was Peter Austin from Quailhill which is just down the road a spell from me.

All and all I learned the basics of shepherding sheep. Funny, that’s just what the class description was called. I probably could have learned all of this from a book, but there was a lot of interaction and time for questions. And then of course I was able to browse around and look at the lambies.

I’ll have to let Honey know that I was at a Basic Shepherding class this morning, because it just makes sense to use at least one more type of animal on a farm. Cows like grass about 6 inches high and rip it off, but sheep are grazers. So they will mow the grass short.

See. No top teeth. So they just rip it. They rap that long tongue around it and yank.

Plus the cows will clean up any parasites that sit on the grass blades waiting to infect the sheep. Then I will follow with chickens to spread the manure and eat the fly larvae.

I’ve thought about it. But putting it all into practice will take time. I may not get sheep right now…..at least not this weekend….but there is always the county fair in August.

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I can’t remember what Peter called this, but basically he got this lamb in headlock and threw her. Then propped her up on her rear. Then he showed us how to trim her hoofs.

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The other sheep in the pen that we were all standing in went bonkers. When one decided that he wanted on the other side then all of them ran to the other side. That would have been ok if about 20 humans hadn’t been standing in the pen also.

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There were some early arrivals who were getting their sheep shorn an looking beautiful, ready for competition.

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This ram was huge! And so beautiful.

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Cute little sheepie, almost looks like a puppy.

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These guys were pretty friendly and liked having their heads rubbed. Their coats were so pretty.

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BaBa Blacksheep, have you any wool?

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Jacob Sheep

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Lookin pretty.

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This is a Jamaican Sheep…just kidding…he says “hey maaan”.

This guy had a really deeeeep voice.

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This was my favorite sheepie. This is a Leicester and she loved for me to rub her face….she just didn’t want me to stop. I wanted to stick her in my back pocket and walk out with her….but, well, I’m not sure, but I think someone would have notice that she was missing.

I can’t wait to go back tomorrow and browse around the merchants and visit my favorite local shop….Dancing Leaf Farm and get some of her Blue Faced Leicester fleece to finish spinning enough for a sweater for Honey. And heaven only knows what else I might find. If it doesn’t pour rain I’d like to watch the sheepdog demonstrations and see some exhibitions. And of course get a yummy lamb sandwich of some sort. Or a kabob…and I just might have to stay the whole day, just so I can eat lunch and dinner.

I plan to have a lovely weekend, rain or shine, enjoying life to the fullest.

Shepherding

Psalm 23:1

The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide, and shield me]. I shall not lack.

I’ve got news…..The Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival is this weekend!!!  Hooray!  Honey and I have taken a vacation in the beginning of May for the last two years.  Not this year.  Even though we’ve been busier than bees, I just said, “no”.  I love going to the Sheep & Wool Festival which is the first weekend in May every year at the Howard County Fair Grounds.  You see, I only live 7 miles from the fair grounds…oh boy so much for disclosure.  If you’re coming drop me a comment and I’ll meet you somewhere at the festival…wouldn’t that be fun!

If you’ve never been, you’re in for a real treat.  It is suppose to be one of the best sheep & wool festivals in the country and it’s practically in my backyard!!!  The traffic coming in off of the interstate is horrible, but I go in the back way and avoid all of that.  The weather is suppose to be just awful to boot.  Rain on Saturday and I haven’t checked Sunday yet.

But this year, since the farmer bug bit me, I’m taking a class on Friday.  Shhhh.  Honey knows I’m taking a class, he just probably thinks it’s a knitting or spinning class….we don’t keep secrets, but I haven’t told him the name of the class.  He hasn’t asked either….it’s “Basic Shepherding”.  I’ll tell him when I get home…maybe cause I’ll have a sheep or two in the back of the van…just kidding.

You see, I’d love to have some sheep too.  I love to spin and wouldn’t it be great to have my own sheep.  Kinda like having our own chickens cause we love eggs and our own cows cause we love raw milk.

Ok, the truth…..I lay in bed some mornings and wonder what in the world I have done.  Here I am at 50, my kids are grown and gone.  My demanding doggie has died and it’s just me and Lady and Honey.  Honey gets up before the crack of dawn and doesn’t ever demand anything of me.  I can lay in bed for as long as I wish and now what have I gone and done.  Of course except for those mornings that Rocky Rooster makes me go wild with rage.

I want to be a farmer!  CRAZY!!!  I know.  But since I am crazy, why not add a couple sheep to the mix.  You know “welcome to my crazy life”.

My favorite wool to spin in Blue Faced Leicester.  It has a long draw and it’s soft.

But my farmer that we are buying our cows from has Jacob Sheep.  They are suppose to have lovely wool.  And they are one of those heritage animals.  I know it’s crazy.  But I won’t do anything right now.  But just in case I ought to know how to Shepherd if I ever do.

They are so cool.  They have a double horn.  And spots!  Wouldn’t that make a beautiful natural colored sweater????  Maybe a couple sweaters and hats and mittens and scarves oh and……. cheese.  I just bought some really yummy sheep’s milk feta cheese.  Ok, I won’t do anything rash.  At least not yet.  I guess I ought to get really good at milking a cow before I think of milking a sheep.  But, a woman can dream can’t she?  I can hear Honey now….”just so long as you’re just dreaming. Dream on.”

Farm Girl at Heart

I stumbled upon a real keeper the other day….it’s a new magazine to me called, “Mary Jane’s Farm”. Wow, does this cute magazine capture everything about me. Nearly every page is filled with articles about organic gardening, stitching, crafts, and farming and there are practically no ads. It’s filled with pictures that express who I am at the core. I thought I’d browse around flickr to see if I could find images that reflect my heart. And this is what I found. Please note that these are not my images and I link back to the artist who captured them.

ENJOY!

The photo’s above were taken by Beebo Wallace.

The following images were taken by Kathy Harris and you can view more of her beautiful work on Flickr by clicking on any of the photos below. She has taken some lovely rural farms and they reflect my Farm Girl heart!

It’s my prayer the God will allow me to enjoy the farm life before I die.  For me it brings tranquility and peace to be surrounded by such amazing beauty.

Please note that on Flickr there can be some objectionable material.

Precious!

I just had to share this precious picture I took of Mama and Baby Lambie.

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“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

your rod and staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

FOREVER.”

~Psalm 23~

NIV