Happy Easter one and all; it's the day after sheep shearing. The days leading up to sheep shearing were full of work, cleaning up after the winter storms, fence and barn repair, gate painting, cleaning up the farm office and other chores. It's great to fill the day light hours with rewarding work that can be seen as soon as it's accomplished.
This week has also been full of fun. I celebrated a birthday and am grateful for good health to enjoy all the blessings bestowed upon me. We celebrated quietly at home with home made crab soup and bread dipped in a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Of such little joys are the memories of life.
Not all the sheep were sheared yesterday must to the consternation of some visitors. But, we're on farm time and emergencies happen that are beyond our control. Farm life sure keeps a body humble. Clinton, our shearer, has had more than 90 sets of triplets born this spring and lambs continue to come. He was able to shear a few of my sheep before packing up and heading back to the lambing barn. The sheared sheep are nekkid and a lot cooler while the un-sheared sheep continue to battle the heat. Can you imagine wearing a fur coat in 80 degree F weather? Ugh! It makes me break into a sweat just thinking about it.
Leslie Shelor of Greenberry House came to help skirt fleeces as well as demonstrate spinning. She spins lovely yarn and has already written her blog entry along with lovely photos.
Leslie is shown on left with Donna Crick on right as they skirt a lovely sun kissed brown Romney fleece. Some of the Romney fleeces will weight 25 pounds before skirting and will still weigh in between 15 and 18 pounds after skirting. Usually a vigorous shake will get rid of the vegetable matter and the nastier bits are picked out by hand.
Ah, but how good is life? To be up to one's elbow's in fleeces on a warm, beautiful day in this valley...as near to heaven as one can get on earth!
People really enjoy seeing demonstrations and Leslie shared space with Larry Counts who makes decorative and useful brooms.
Ken Smith of the Coalfield Education Endeavor was in uniform as Johnny Reb and told people of the life of a Confederate soldier. The non-profit CEE's mission statement "..Securing our Future through the Preservation of our Cultural Heritage.." and does so by working with both gifted and at-risk students. Their three-pronged approach uses Living History, Aerospace Education and Genealogical Studies to promote pride among the region's residents and to "encourage the youth and adults of the area to develop their potential and increase their knowledge".
Richard Vogel is an expert woodworker and uses only antique or handmade tools to make benches, hay rakes, hay forks, grain shovels, spoons, stools and other useful, decorative wooden items. A couple of years ago, Richard made us a king size bed using massive cherry tree trunks and putting the whole thing together with pegs. It's an incredible piece of work!
Charlie Butcher, luthier, came and brought his lovely family including his beautiful first grandchild, Benjamin. It's been said babies are God's opinion the world should go on. Who could look at this precious child and disagree?