~ A portion of Thistle Cove Farm's woolly flock ~
The snow is knee deep, again, this morning and even deeper in some places. It looks like just another snowy day on the farm but I'm going to try and get to the studio today which, lately, has been difficult due to drifts up against the studio door. The studio is mere steps from the back porch and behind the house but the snow tends to wildly drift on this farm, in this valley and my good intentions oft go astray.
~ Roman nosed Romney ~
Even so, Sheep Shearing Day 2010 is approaching and, earlier this week, I was able to meet up with Clinton, the shepherd who has been shearing my sheep for many years. Last autumn, Clinton met with an unfortunate accident when the girth on his saddle broke and he was, unceremoniously, dumped on the ground. Although I wonder if there's any ceremony whatsoever in being dumped; I think not but am leaving the idea open. He did not escape without injury and, in due time, had rotator cuff surgery - YEOUCH! - and will not be shearing for me this year. Heck, he may not be shearing for himself this year, time will tell.
~ Derreck Spangler ~Derrick Spangler is a Certified Fiber Removal Specialist, for sheep, alpacas and llamas at Lord Willin Shearin, in Floyd County, VA and I've asked him if his schedule is open for shearing at Thistle Cove Farm. April is a bit late, at least most of the folks in our county have already sheared by April but I like shearing in April. We'll still get snow and cold but we'll also have some warmer weather and sunny days and, as my flock is somewhat, ancient, the warmer days assist greatly. If you've never seen a sheep sheared, visit his website where he has an under two minute video of him shearing a Tunis sheep.
Easter is the first weekend in April, this year, and there's a re-enactment the third weekend so I've, mostly, tried to arrange shearing on the second weekend, the 10th this year. Derrick is checking his calendar so, if you're a praying person, please say a quick one his schedule will allow. If it doesn't that's okay too, we'll just work together to find a date that's good for both...perhaps the last Saturday in April...?
I've run across Derrick's name and Lord Willin Shearin for a couple of years now and always people have good things to say. I mean, how could you not like a guy with such a great sense of humor!?
~ Ride 'em, Cowboy! ~
BTW, both photos were used with Derrick's permission and were borrowed from his website. If you're interested in discussing your shearing needs with Derrick, or you'd simply enjoy looking at his photos or website, please do visit. His site is easy to navigate and it's easy to contact him. Something tells me I'm going to enjoy his visit to Thistle Cove Farm....Lord willin. -smile-
~ Mary's felted soaps, hand knitted cloths ~We open the farm, free, to visitors and it's a great family day. Lost Arts Guild members will demonstrate and sell crafts that would have been absolutely necessary to this farm of bygone days. Last year we had a basket maker, spinners, blacksmith, loom builder, dulcimer maker, quilter and gourd decorator. Additionally, a professional photographer set up a studio for photo folks wanting their photos taken with black spring lambs.
~ Mary, basket maker, feeding lamb ~The Cove Community Association will sell hot food and drink with proceeds going toward educational programs concerning agriculture and the part it plays in all our daily lives. You're welcome to visit, please dress in layers with coat, hat and scarf as it's always been chilly in the morning and warms up as the day progresses. We welcome service dogs only as well as your cameras; it's a great photo opportunity. Parking is alongside the road except for media and those with handicapped designations on their vehicles, we save a small area just inside our gates for those folks. If you're able, come join us.
~ Leslie and Sandra ~
Leslie of Greenberry House, Alice, in aqua colored jacket, and Mary the basket maker but not shown are three woman who help skirt fleeces. For their troubles, they get the fleece of their choice and I feed them...well, I feed everyone who is still here...supper. I find myself still putting up photos of Sheep Shearing Day because I'm trying to recognize all that green and brown stuff on the ground. Most of what I've seen since 18 December is this:
~ latest snow storm, yesterday ~Well, Dave has put on a beef roast for supper tonight and I'm going to make a blackberry cobbler from berries picked last summer. Our Verizon telephone has worked only sporadically since 11 January so, most days, we're well and truly stranded because we our land line, generally, doesn't work nor do we have cell phone service in our valley. Verizon keeps saying they've fixed the problem but in the midst of that phone call, the call is dropped and then, nothing, no dial tone, no static, nothing, nada, zip, nuttin honey. Call me silly but it would seem like that's a Big Head's Up, doncha think? But hey, when you're sitting in a nice, warm office somewhere in Jersey what do you care for a customer's problem you're never going to meet in a state you're never going to visit? Verizon, Verizon, Verizon...shame, Shame!
The Lost Arts Guild and Cove Community blogs need updating and the studio awaits so it's looking like another full day in our hood. Ahhhh, it's still a wonderful life!
Until next time,
Blessings ~ life ~ Dave ~ Clinton ~ Derrick ~ Leslie ~ Alice ~ Mary ~ Cove Community Association ~ and all the wonderful folks who make Sheep Shearing Day a day to remember for everyone ~
Thanks for visiting Thistle Cove Farm,