Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Birth of a Blog

Well, here goes.....

Under the encouragement of one Michelle McMillen, of Boulderneigh, a very effective representative for the Shetland breed of sheep, I am venturing off on my first attempt at blogging.

It all started really, with a trip to the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR. I originally went there with only the intention of picking up three Jacob sheep, two ewe lambs and a ram lamb, to my Jacob flock. OK....and maybe 3 Snowy Call Ducks as well.

The Black Sheep Gathering, if you have never been, and have any attraction to sheep, cashmere goats, lovely rugs, sweaters, felted vests, spinning, yarns of every color imaginable, is something you should see. It is a yearly event and worth the drive for me even without picking up livestock!

I keep saying I don't need another hobby but the longer I have wool breeds the more I feel drawn to learning how to spin, knit and weave.....I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

Anyway, back to picking up my three sheep....while waiting for one of the breeders to return from a off-site sheep buying venture I meandered amongst the stalls of various kinds of sheep. I was standing by some Jacobs when this lady (soon to be identified as Michelle) :) came thru the aisles with a lovely little ewe on a lead. I admired the ewe and was told she was for sale. Oh, OK, says I, thinking I have Jacobs I don't NEED a Shetland, and we continued our separate ways.

Later, standing by some Shetlands where I was ogling a gorgeous little ewe lamb, some lady (Michelle) says that the lamb was a Gulmoget. I breathed a sigh of relief to see she wasn't for sale and moved on down to a conversation that the farm owner of that lamb was involved in. I mentioned that I had always admired the Shetlands, but I had Jacobs. A fellow there said, "Oh, Jacobs and Shetlands can get along great together", and there is where the slippery slope began.

I think, and at this point everything gets a little blurry (or is it foggy?) I mentioned I had even seen someone walking around with a sweet little ewe on a lead. Michelle, who was also standing with the group said "That was me!" Does everyone see a pattern here? Next thing I know I'm going over to see Michelles sheep and she made me an offer I couldn't refuse on sweet little Bella.
Little did I know it was just a teaser into getting me to take the Shetland breed, hook, line and sinker.

I still, it appears, wasn't done sheep shopping because when Shannon, from Kenleigh acres that I had bought the two Jacob ewe lambs from returned she asked me if I had seen the Meridian lambs. No, says I, hesitantly as I follow her over to the pen as if I have no control. We admired three beautiful little ewes and next thing I know I'm the proud owner of Meridian Gypsy.

Now, almost in a panic, I gather up my purchased sheep, and my three little Call ducks (also from Shannon), load them in the truck and trailer, and careen out of the parking lot (well, maybe just drive slowly in one direction, but I didn't stop or go back!).

My animal gathering wasn't complete until I made a quick stop in Dallas, OR on my way north. I had met this very knowledgeable turkey lady on a turkey list I was a member of (no, I didn't have turkeys at the time, but had been considering them). Camille took me around back of her house to her many pens of turkeys all of colors, types and ages. She was giving away young toms as she had too many and I chose two young boys of Wild/Narragansett descent. With a promise to come back to buy some turkey hens we loaded them into some empty dog kennels in the back of my truck and down the road we went.

Did I mention I also had 2 of my 4 dogs with me in the cab of my truck? My 10 year old Border Collie, Finn, and Kylie, my 1 year old Belgian Tervuren. For some reason I couldn't stop humming the Beverly Hillbillies song as we continued home, with the sheep baaing, the ducks quacking and the turkeys gobbling in harmony.

My next blog post will be on my continuing downward spiral of Shetland addiction.......


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Animal addiction is actually a very healthy thing, unlike so many other addictions one can be afflicted with. They keep you physically active and involved with something outside yourself, not to mention that fiber animals can help keep you clothed when the economy goes to pot and you can no longer afford to shop at Wal-Mart. If things got really dicey, I guess you could even eat them, but I'm a vegetarian so we won't go there.

Welcome to Blogland and Shetlands, Tammy! You're a worthy shepherd!

Tammy said...

Hey Tammy - welcome to the wonderful world of Shetlands. It is indeed a very slippery slope. I have 35 shetlands and keep saying I'm going to cut back - yeah right.

Nancy K. said...

Oh Michelle, you are GOOD!!!!!

Welcome Tammy ;-)

Kara said...

Welcome Tammy! I read Michelle's and Nancy's blog for a while before I couldn't resist leaving a comment and starting my own. I have learned so much from them and others. It is also so nice to get feedback from others that have similar interests and to know I am not completely crazy, or a least in good company anyway, because I love my hobby farm and all its critters. Shetlands are wonderful, enjoy!

Heather said...

Welcome aboard Tammy!

melanie said...

Congrats on "seeing the light" - Shetlands are awesome, but we have Narragansett turkeys, and we kind of like those careful!

(and geese, and goats, and chickens - it's definitely and addiction...)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Tammy - I'm so glad I could be a part of your craziness :) It sounds like you have a very cozy family now - just think you will never feel lonely :)

Wrensong Farm said...

Hi Michelle, Tammy, Nancy, Kara, Heather, Melanie and Shannon! Thanks, I really appreciate the warm welcome!! :) Tammy

Twinville said...

"I couldn't stop humming the Beverly Hillbillies song as we continued home, with the sheep baaing, the ducks quacking and the turkeys gobbling in harmony."

hahah! That cracked me up. What terrific imagery!

Except the Beverly Hillbillies didn't have that many critters and were on their way to live in the big glittery city! hehe

You know what. I've learned some powerful lessons myself. I have a similar animal obsession and am aware that it could easily spiral out of control quickly. And stuff happens, jobs change or go under, economy crashes, price of feed and hay skyrockets....
So, I've learned not to expose myself to anymore situations where animals beckon to me to take them home. I had to make myself a limit and exercise self control....sort of like removing myself from that candy store.