Monday, September 29, 2008

Off to the OFFF!

Shannon of Kenleigh Acres beat me to the posting of the title for this blog, but I'm staying with it....I guess great minds think alike???

Packed up the truck (which included Kylie), hooked up the trailer, caught and crated a Welsummer hen (soon to be Welsie) for Michelle, and hit the road for Canby, OR. about a 4 1/2 hour drive from my house.

Stopped at the McDonalds in Chehalis for Kylies usual "thanks for accompanying me on the road" treat.

OFFF (Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival) was a lot larger than I though! I expected it to be about the size of the Black Sheep Gathering but I think it was 2-3 times larger, more Vendors for sure, livestock there may have been about the same I couldn't really tell.

I met up with my friend, Mary Tonkin, of Shadow Mountain Jacobs, and she took me to Kenleigh Acres booth, so I could find out where Shannon was camped. Shannon thoughtfully offered 1/2 of her tent for me to camp in as I had planned to just sleep in my truck. I moved the truck in by the tent, made Kylie and Welsie comfortable and headed off with Mary to peruse the fair.

We strolled and drooled among the booths not only because of the beautiful fleeces, yarns, roving, handcrafted products....but also because the BBQ lamb smell wafted throughout the fair. I never have been much of a lamb/mutton fan but it sure did smell good! I tried a great natural soda called Hot Lips, which came in a variety of berry flavors, Marionberry, Blackberry, Strawberry as well as Pear. It was delicious and perfect for the warm day.

We each bought some tickets for a drawing, and meandered around the corrals admiring all the wonderful animals that you can get fiber from. Seeing some of the "full sized" sheep made me really appreciate my little Shetlands and Jacobs.....I couldn't imagine handling them for feet trimming, vaccinating, etc. they were HUGE!

We went back to the drawing table and I had won a pillow! Good thing....I hated to do it, but I left my pillow at home and planned on using if for sleeping.

Shannon asked if I wanted to go have dinner at Burgerville with her and her sister. I said sure, and after Mary was dropped off we went to my first Burgerville. I thought it was just going to be your typical "burger joint". I was pleasantly surprised. They use locally grown products and everything was so fresh. I had a pepper bacon cheese (not just ANY cheese but Tillamook) burger and it had lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion. A batch of sweet potato fries and a Blackberry lemonade rounded it out. Everything was delicious. Shannon said their seasonal Walla Walla Sweet Onion rings were delicious and I'm going to have to make a point of going back and having those sometime.

On the way back to the campground Shannons Ford started doing some strange things....lights coming on and off and doors locking on their own.....I expected her to break out in a maniacal laugh.....bwahhahahah.....and tell me that her rigs name was Christine.....she said her car had "issues"......uh huh......:)

Kylie (she's not the only one):) absolutely loves one of Shannons whippets, Danica, and they romped together and leapt around even while still on leash. I couldn't stop laughing watching them. Isn't she a beauty?

Amazingly they all settled down for the night and I never heard a peep out of any of the dogs....wish I could say the same thing about the train that seemed to roll by about every 20 minutes, and you could sure tell there were A LOT of crossings in town by the way they blew the whistle.

It was that very night I decided that if I'm ever going to sleep on the ground again I am getting one of those enormous eggcrate little backpacking one was like it didn't even exist. Fortunately the fairgrounds shower was good and hot and I was able to pound some of the lumps out of my back muscles with it's heat.

Got a call from Michelle, of Boulderneigh, where did I want to meet for my latte? She had been so very kind to pick me up a latte on the way to the fairgrounds. After getting my latte we headed to the Shetland breeders area and got busy picking grasses, sheep poop, etc. out of fleeces of the sheep that were getting ready to show. It was almost like an Easter egg hunt...."hey! look what I found!" "A matching pair of sheep nuggets! You could make earrings!" Couldn't you see it? What a great "sheep ensemble!" for the show ring.

It didn't seem like there was enough time and then they were heading for the showring. Michelle and another friend of mine I bought three sheep from, Briana of Call of the Wool, helped show sheep for their friends. I think I might actually get up enough nerve to try showing sheep next year. Following are some pics of the Shetlands in the showring.....

And now some of my favorite pics of Michelle, of Boulderneigh....

What's this??? Been crouched down too long.......? :)
(she'll probably kill me for posting that one......)

And after it's all done, it's time to put the sheep back in their corrals.....whether they want to go or not......

Here's some pics of Briana, of Call of the Wool:

The judge was a real character! He was from New Zealand, could hardly find fault in anyone's sheep (I knew I should have shown something this year!), and just made me smile listening and watching him. He even continued to judge while eating a sheep sausage! :)

Shannon helped put on a herding demo with her lovely smooth coat Border Collie, Kate. There were a few Shelties and another BC as well. (Of course, Kate, was the best!):)

Here are some pics of a Blue Merle Sheltie....

and of the other Border Collie.....

Met up with Mary, her husband and twins, and Michelle and I went over to admire the whippets, Paisley and Danica, one last time while Shannon put Kate up. The Whippets loved Marys boys!
Michelle and I then loaded up my new girl, Matisse and her new girl Butter (fleece as soft as....)
and headed to Michelles home. Here's Matisse:

Took Butter out and loaded up Valentine, a very difficult decision for Michelle. She is limited in the numbers of sheep she can have (as I SHOULD be!) and has decided to concentrate on polled genetics. From there drove the long drive home arriving at 7pm and unloaded the girls and got them settled.... I will take some more pics of the new girls and do a follow up post but for now I will leave you with some final pics taken by my friend Mary (with some encouragement from me on some of my camera wasn't working very well.):)
Here's me with a VERY large boy.....

Here's a ewe that had grandmas nightgown on....or curtains......:)
and a lovely young lass with her Shetlands.....
and this one requires....No Comment.......
The End. :)


goatgirl said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend. I think you should try showing next year. I mean really what do you have to lose?
I like the picture of Michelle grimacing in pain. I felt that way the whole time I was showing goats at the fair. This body has a harder time getting up and down.

Anonymous said...

Love the title :) great minds do think alike! Great post! I agree that you should definitely plan on showing your sheep at BSG and OFFF. It is great fun even if you don't win, of course winning is more fun ;) Great seeing you again and having a chance to chat!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I should have informed you of the rules when I handed you my camera; NO photos of Michelle! The camera hates me, and the feeling is mutual. Kinda like dentists, except they like me because I bring in money....

I do hope you come to BSG and OFFF next year, but Franna says that health certificates to bring sheep from WA to OR are really expensive. You have even more shows, although smaller ones (better chance of winning!), in your neck of the woods.

Hug Valentine good-night for me. I got home late from a meeting and learned that Butter took grain from Rick's hand tonight. She hasn't done that for me yet.... :-(

Pamela said...

Oh what fun! I wish there were some sheep shows around here, but as far as I can tell, there's not a single one.

You west coasters have such a blast!

melanie said...

Well, my favorite picture is the one of Michelle leading the "reluctant" sheep back to its pen. I got a good giggle out of that one!

I wish there were shows out East that had Shetland classes...just ot go watch, of course!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What terrific event full of friends, critters and good food, too.

I'm drooling over the HotLips beverages and the burgers and fresh food there. Yummy!

I enjoyed seeing all the great pics of the sheep and attentive owners, too. Is that a Sheep Show thing: Crouching, in comparison to standing and walking with say, goats?

I bet it's difficult to walk a sheep anyway. I've tried to get mine to walk on lead many times, and they will balk even when we are going where they want to go! haha

That one sheep with you is HUGE. What breed is it?
And OM goodness! Are all ram's testicles THAT HUGE!!



shadow mountain jacobs farm said...

Great show and so good to see you again. Kylie is such a beautiful dog, even prettier in person. I was overwhelmed with the talent of the fiber atrists at the festival. I really want to learn to wet and needle felt. Let's go again next year and bring sheep. FUN FUN FUN

Wrensong Farm said... crazy as it makes me feel I think I will show next year!

Shannon, I really had a great time with you and look forward to getting together the next "sheep gathering"!

Michelle....see people can appreciate and identify with the photos I took of you! (Meanwhile, I'm glad I didn't get the "rules"
before posting!)

Pamela, Melanie, there are so many beautiful sheep on the east coast I can't imagine there not being as many shows (if not more!)!

Lisa, they do walk around with the sheep....I haven't been to many sheep or goat shows so I don't know the "usual". So many of my Shetlands were already halter broke and it's a pleasure moving them around it would be easy to show them. I don't have any idea what breed that one sheep was except that he was huge in all departments! It was hard not to giggle and point at the myriad of sheep testicles to be seen! (just ask Mary who I coerced into taking the pics.....)
Mary, yes we definitely will go back next year!! (can you help me pick VM out of my sheeps wool before showing?) :)

Kathy said...

I'm beginning to think I should go to OFFF instead of BSG!!! Wouldn't it be nice to be able to afford to go to both next year? (sigh)