Monday, August 25, 2008

Mama never told me there would be days like THESE!

So.....the day started out innocently enough, but it had just lured me into a false sense of security.

Michelle started to give me directions and then I just though, heck I'll see what the GPS does (I know, you'd think I'd know better by now.....). Came up to a ferry crossing (oh, yeah, that's the one that Michelle said she didn't like to take with a trailer.....) waited to board this small ferry for a short water crossing. It went off without a hitch, whew!

Soon I'm on I-5 heading north at a good is good.....

Portland....traffic starts slowing down, then crawling. Once over the bridge and into WA it picked up again but the thrill was short lived. Just south of Chehalis it again slowed to a crawl, then stopped.

I called home to see Guerdon had heard anything about accidents or traffic. He hadn't but then he called back and said they said it was solid all the way to McChord AFB and then again for Tacoma Mall past the Tacoma dome.

After crawling along for awhile I decided Kylie and I needed a "potty stop".

Once we were done with that I got this "brilliant" idea! My GPS has a button for detour for when the traffic is bad. So punched that and headed off on a country road breezing along....ha, ha, ha, what the!..... it seems that there are a few GPS owners out there, especially the folks with motor homes. Back to a standstill. Slowly creeping thru Yelm, picked up speed again once on the highway to Puyallup and made pretty good time from there home.

Considering I should have been home by 5pm I guess 9:30Pm isn't as bad as it could have been.

The fun was just beginning though! Because it was so late, Mary decided to pick her ram lamb up next weekend, and because it was so late, so dark and I was SO tired I decided to not try and back my truck and trailer down the narrow road to the barn.

Another brilliant idea...back the trailer up to the top of the hill, open the door and coax the sheep down the hill with grain. If I had been thinking clearly I would have realized that no sheep in their right mind is going to follow a stranger in the dark down to a place they can't even see in the dark no matter how much baaing from the other sheep is going on.

Nawwwww, I think we'll just hang out by the house they said to me. Guerdon and Finn decided to try and slowly move them back towards me so I might get them down the hill. They decided to take a short cut and came over the hill through the brush. At least they were heading in the right direction....Constance decided to do her deer impression and did a nice little leap off one of the ledges.... I hope she concluded that she should remain a she was flying thru the air she went sideways and landed on her side. She hopped up shook herself off and looked at me like "I meant to do that!".

Finally heading into the paddock.....we're home free.....nope.....Rechel decides to heed the Call of the Wild and bursts through the trees and on through our hot wire to the wilds beyond.

Got everyone else settled into the paddock, turkettes in a stall in the barn, and tried to call Rechel back. All I could hear was crashing brush and splashing water. In between great bursts of cussing I decided that it could be dangerous for me to go looking for her as there was lots of drop offs and bogs in that area.

Unloaded the truck and then realized I couldn't go to bed without giving it a try to locate her. Armed with a flashlight (and would later wish I had a cell phone or at least my compass), my Border Collie and clothed in my polar fleece I head out into the night in the pouring rain.

The area that Rechel went into is comprised of almost nothing but blackberries, stinging nettles and bogs. Finn and I picked a spot and started crawling thru the blackberries.

After awhile I think we ended up going around in circles. I couldn't see anything, even above me was covered with blackberries, only giving me a glimpse of sky. It seemed everywhere we went we encountered a bog, I attempted a few of these, sunk up to my knee and almost lost my shoes a few times.

I started looking at dry patches thinking I could curl up, go to sleep and wait for it to get light. I looked at Finn, "if you were anything like Lassie you would go and get help, or at least show us the way home". He'd start off when I'd say "Go home, Finn" then stop and look at me as if to say "I like it a lot better when you break the trail". Seeing as I was soaked to the skin and it was still down pouring I decided I should keep trying to get home. I finally found an area that went up-hill and followed that. Eventually we came out to the power lines and I knew where I was then.

Slogging along, we arrived at home. The other dogs barked and snarled at us, which now really doesn't surprise me as I'm sure I looked like something from the Creature From the Black Lagoon........

I know we had to smell different from wallowing around in the bogs, and judging from the muddy tracks (after I took my shoes off!) going across the hardwood floor not to mention the moss and branches I left behind wherever I walked I would have made an interesting picture (if only Guerdon wasn't sound asleep).

By then it was midnight. I have to get up at 3am in the morning to feed and make it to work by 5;30am. I laid there trying not to rub all my stinging nettle welts and blackberry scratches, wondering where Rechel could be and if she was ok. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep.

The alarm went off and by that time I had decided to stay home from work at least until it got light and I could find out what happened to Rechel. Headed down the hill and what do you know! There she was standing on the other side of the no-climb gazing across at the other sheep.

I went back up and turned the hot wire off, locked the dogs up and got a sheep halter. Back thru the blackberries and stinging nettle, crawled thru the hot wire and started coaxing....."Rechel, here you lovely little ewe...... She stomped her feet gave me a look that said " I AM THE WILD AND WOOLY SHEEP" and off thru the woods she sprang. I was about to give up when she circled around and came up to the fence again.

(ok, no this isn't Rechel.....) :)

I started creeping forward, talking softly, pleaded with her and got within 6 feet. She stomped her foot again and I think muttered more that shouted "I'm the wild and woolly sheep" and then looked a bit tired. I took one step closer then sprang and encircled her with my arms. She didn't struggle much and soon had her halter on.

She followed me up the hill, I held the hot wire apart, put first one of her front feet then the other and pushed her bum thru. Success!!! She happily trotted towards Bevin and the two Jacobs and I swear I saw her heave a sigh of relief.....well, maybe that was me. :)


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

All's well that ends well, so they say! We can only hope that Rechel decides you were her lifesaver and becomes your best friend. I didn't sleep very well here, either, if you want to know the truth.

I can't believe you took the ferry! But that is the quickest way to I-5, so if you made it on and off without dragging your hitch, you did good.

Ian said...

Hi there,

Sorry to be a bit off topic here, but you were recommended to me by Joan at Mud Ranch's Real Dirt.

The reason I am writing to you from deepest France is because I run a blog (completely and entirely non-commercial) called

At Farm Blogs I am trying to gather in one place the very best of global blogging about farms, farming and rural life.

You can find the blog roll, sorted by country (and a General Interest section).

My posts are made up of the blog recommendations from farm bloggers and I also post regular stories about world farming.

All blogs have been recommended to me by other bloggers or identified by me during my occassional browsing.

You can find Joan's recommendations at
(If you'd just like to see recommendations please use the label 'Recommendations'.)

I have a pretty broad definition of farming - if you're producing food, you're a farmer, to my mind at least.

So blogs range from ranches to part-time smallholders, and resources for them.

Once recommended, I add them to the blogroll and then contact the bloggers (just as I am contacting you), asking them to send me a few words about their farm/small-holding and their blog and, critically, to recommend their favourite farm/farming blogs (just as Joan recommended you).

And so it goes and grows.

So, I've added you to my blog roll and I would very much appreciate it if you could please consider:

a) writing to me with a brief description of your blog and holding (at a minimum location; acreage; stock and crops in order to help people find like minded souls) along with permission for a once off only use of a couple of photos from your blog, so that I can make a posting about you;

b) writing to me with your favourite farming/rural blogs recommendations;

c) add a link on your blog, if that's possible, to; and if you can find a moment even make a posting about and how this blog is growing organically accross the world from other farming bloggers.

d) please feel free to send me the odd photo, both now and on an on-going basis. The blog tries to pick up different seasonal activities in different parts of the world at different times, so any photos would be much appreciated - they also help drive traffic to your site.

Very much hoping to hear from you,

With kind regards,


Farm Blogs
Ranch Blogs
Rural Blogs
Countryside Blogs
Smallholding Blogs
Homesteading Blogs
Allotment Blogs

Pamela said...

Whew! What a night! So glad everything came out ok.

Nancy K. said...

Poor Rechel.

I've got to get me one of those GPS systems...


I'm glad everyone's home, safe & sound!

Anonymous said...

Wow, and the day started out so nicely! I'm glad it wasn't one of the new jacob lambs. They surely would have become wild sheep never to be seen again :) I'm glad Rachel decided to let you catch her!

Anonymous said...

Shew! That's quite a day. I too am glad it wasn't the Jacobs. :) They would have been off like a shot... Glad things ended well and you got Rechel back in!

patchworkfibers said...

Hi Tammy,

I just found your blog and am enjoying catching up with what you've been doing. Sounds like you have been BUSY!
Linda at Patchwork Farm

Twinville said...

Whew! What a crazy experience! I'm glad all the sheep including wild and wooly Rachel are now safe and sound.

Quick question: Why not a build a bridge, instead of keeping the ferry? Amd I missing something? hahah :)