Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Farm life/Sheep shearing

One of the spring rituals at our farm is sheep shearing. The sheep would be too hot wearing those wool coats all summer. Since 1989, the same man, who was the seventh fastest sheep shearer in the US, has shorn them. This year for the first time, his son took over; the same son who used to come with his dad, and play with our son while his dad worked. He is the one in the orange tee shirt. His friend did the hoof trimming and worming.

Waiting their turn, none too eagerly.

After the haircuts.

The sheep on the right is the one featured the other day in the "sheepish" blog entry. What a difference!

Years ago, I bought a spinning wheel and I had high hopes of becoming one of those women I so admire; one who spins the wool and then knits it into sweaters and hats and mittens. What I neglected to include in my dream is that I am not good with my hands. I can garden and I can cook, but I'm just not capable when it comes to using my hands in sewing or knitting. And I never could get the hang of that wheel. I had to do one thing with my hands while peddling with my foot, rather like the old rubbing your tummy and tapping your head at the same time. So, very, very slowly and reluctantly, I came to the realization that this wasn't going to be part of my life. We sold the wheel to a friend, a man who really does spin and knit. He makes himself a new sweater every couple of years or so using the wool from one of our sheep, one bag full. We give the rest of the wool to a woman who uses it to make felt toys.


  1. Guess what? My Dad used to have a sheep farm near Yreka, California!!! I remember the time I got to go out there when there were new lambs!!!! I will try to send pictures of that or put them on my blog sometime!!!

  2. Welcome home! I've missed you. How do you pronounce Yreka? Eureka? We had lambs just one year. We aren't really farmers in the sense of raising stock to eat or sell. All the creatures here live till they die of natural causes, and that's why we just had lambs the one time. :<) I'd love to see your photos.

  3. Ba Ba Black Sheep, have you any wool?

    So, how many sheep do you have, Nan? 7?

    BTW, I used to live near Yreka, CA when I was a little girl. I think it's near Humboldt and the Redwood National Forest (near Redway & Garberville).

  4. We have six sheep.

    What a small world! You and Laura may have been there around the same time. Amazing.

  5. Hi Nan,
    I just found your blog! I love the sheep, I got 2 ewes last fall to keep my horse company. This spring was our first shearing. WOW! That man works hard.
    Love your blog.

  6. Hi Laura, thanks for stopping in and leaving a note. I so love to know when people visit. I just popped over to both your blogs, and though you've closed down the one, I still want to read it. And I'll be spending some time at the Mother of Two. (I am one, too, though mine are a bit older - like 20 years!) Still, I love reading about women's lives with young ones, and wish there had been blogs when mine were little.


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