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Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Leaves and Scaling Back

Had one nice day for a hike in the woods
Had to go to Vermont to realize fall is upon us;  the weather here was too nice to notice.   We spent a lovely 5 nights in that beautiful state, much too short for a trip that far.  The weather was a bit wet but we did have one nice day for a little hike.  We stayed at a wonderful inn, the Huntington House, in the little town of Rochester.  Unfortunately the area was hit hard by hurricane Irene just weeks before and they were still in shock and still recovering.  While there we learned how the town, cut off from the outside world for 5 days and without electricity, pooled their resources and worked together to do what needed to be done.  Many of the towns folk we talked with told us a similar story of the whole village working together as a team.  It was heartening.  There were several families still living at the Inn as their homes had been destroyed.  We did view lots of destruction as little creeks had turned into raging torrents.
In the town of Rochester, Vt.
We were in Vermont, not only for a bit of a vacation, but to also attend the NASSA AGM which was held in conjunction with the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival.   The AGM was put on by Linda and Tut Doane, the first to import the Shetland sheep into the US.  I really wanted to go back there to get a better understanding of what the sheep were like, the sheep of the original importation.  Linda put on a great presentation (as well as a wonderful meal).  Many of her observations of the sheep over the years confirmed my understandings.  Her concerns for their future also match mine.   It was very Solidifying.  And we did get to see some pictures of the original sheep.  The big disappointment was that time did not allow us to visit their farm.  I guess we will have to return.

Miss Katrina getting dolled up for her "man"
On our return trip we began planning what we had been procrastinating on, breeding.  Not us, no the sheep!  As Tom has begun his new career and is a busy beaver in the wood shop and I feel I have stepped into the full time roll of cook, house cleaner, farmer, grounds keeper and Shepperd as well as holding down my other job outside the home, we have decided to simplify whatever we can to make things around the farm a bit easier.  So this year there will be a limited supply of McTavish Farm Shetland lambs.  If you might be interested, we are breeding just 3 of our best ewes and rams.  It is a big cut back from the 9 we bred last year.  I am looking forward to a very easy and enjoyable lambing season this spring! 

Oh and one other thing.  While we were in Vermont we were able to personally deliver two of Tom's spinning wheels.  It was a bit stressful, unpacking them, making sure they were in complete working order and getting them to their new owners at a "pouring down rain" sheep festival.  But it all came together and the new owners seemed very pleased.   Check out these blogs:  http://thewoolenrabbit.typepad.com/  and http://etherknitter.typepad.com/  to read about their excitement.   There are some very nice pictures and humorous accounts of the "delivery".   This may be another reason we head east in the future.