Are we ready for winter??

Oh such silly questions you ask! Every year we promise each other to have the sheep and barns set for cold weather. BEFORE it arrives. Nope, not this year either. It was 50 degrees one day and today 21. No wonder people get so sick in the winter!

Anyhoo, Jim and I spent today putting tarps, plastic and plywood up on the barns. Both groups of sheep will be in the dairy barn for winter. The horses and llamas have the back barn to themselves now. The goats are so silly but quite happy in their cabin/courtyard.

Tomorrow there is more fence to walk so the Pyrs can have a larger area to patrol than the back yard. We got a dusting of snow two nights ago. My wish is that all our sheep winter well AND we have a traditional WI winter. SNOW not ice like we’ve had the 10 years or so.

I love having the sheep all cozy and warm. Makes for nice midnight visits to the barn!

(The horses were very helpful. Snort. They were too busy napping. Notice the little kitten photo bomber?)

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A Spinning Adventure!

Last fall a few sheep from Michigan joined our flock! We’ve never had CVM/Romedale here- they are a very rare breed. They are sweet sweet girls and you can read more about them here…

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I have not touched a CVM/Romedale sheep, much less had the opportunity to spin wool from one. Consider me smitten!

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It is just as soft as Merino wool but easier to wash because the CVM/R has less lanolin. It also reminds me of Corriedale because there is a little bounce to it. Our girl’s fleeces average 4 inch long locks and a variety of shades of white, silver, gray and black. Ooh la la!

The sheep are from Michigan and their family owns a grocery store. A nice group of people near us donated produce. It took me a minute to think up why the CVM/Romedale girls were so gleeful about produce? Egads Sandy!







An Interesting Article!

The sheep thought this article was applicable to some of our own business. We work hard to find new uses for things we come across and believe in using everything we can in our yarn, from our fleeces and for our sheep. This also talks about the cost of such ideas and beliefs. It doesn’t cover EVERY part of our personal business. However, worth a read to see how other people are working hard to be good caretakers of our world!

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sustianable-brands-vs-fast-fashion_n_5bbe04c2e4b01470d057aecb

(And of course, some more pictures of the sheeps!)

 Our Brinley and Trevor were twin Babydoll Southdown sheep. I miss their smiley faces, they were such angels!

Our Brinley and Trevor were twin Babydoll Southdown sheep. I miss their smiley faces, they were such angels!


What a web she weaves!

I swear I do vacuum our screen windows- specially in the kitchen. I named this spider Charlotte. She’s been very busy- it’s a beautiful web. I’m not big on spiders so if I see words in her web, it will freak me OUT! She is outside though!

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A Whole Lotta...

Hide and seek fail! It’s an epidemic here it seems?

Noodle?

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Cocoa Bean?

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Really Mayhem?

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Fletcher??

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I will post more as I come across them- what a hoot! In the mean time, our friend Linda sent this poem to us- written by Dorothy Keely

I'm hiding, I'm hiding
And no one knows where;
For all they can see is my
Toes and my hair

And I just heard my father
Say to my mother -
"But, darling, he must be
Somewhere or other;

Have you looked in the inkwell?"
And Mother said, "Where?"
"In the INKWELL?"said Father. But
I was not there.

Then "Wait!" cried my mother —
"I think that I see
Him under the carpet." But
It was not me.

"Inside the mirror's
A pretty good place."
Said Father and looked, but saw
Only his face.

"We've hunted," sighed Mother,
"As hard as we could
And I am so afraid that we've
Lost him for good."

Then I laughed out aloud
And I wiggled my toes
And Father said —"Look, dear,
I wonder if those

Toes could be Benny's?
There are ten of them, see?"
And they WERE so surprised to find
Out it was me!


First week of September?

Already? The sheep are SO not ready to turn the clocks back! I hope we get a Fall season this year and don't skip right into Winter. Seems we miss our Spring and Fall now in WI. My favorite times of the year-except the sheep love Christmas for obvious reasons. You would think after opening present after present- fruit loops- would get repetitious? Nope! 

So now we switch to our get ready for winter list. First cleaning up of branches and some overgrown weeds by the road. Get the sheep to mow the front lawn again. They might need help from the Suri alpaca girls since we've had so much rain! (The Suris say they can handle the entire job, they don't need any help from the sheep?) Whoa!

We also get any barn repairs done and all clean for winter. The goaties decided they would rather live in the little cabin so they moved back in. They go out and eat weeds in the 'orchard' (3 trees that fell over but are still growing apples??) during the day. They are an amazing brush/weed clear out group. They are very acrobatic out there chasing apples too. Hope you are all ok in the crazy weather across the states- and world. Stay safe and have a happy weekend! 

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New Handspun Yarn!

I'm working on photographing new yarn for the website! It is all handspun by me from our sheep's fleeces. The yarn takes on its own personality while spinning. I love letting the yarn tell me how it wants to be spun. It also keeps the character of the sheep who provided the wool. The only thing missing is YOU! The circle from sheep all the way to your next project is too precious and fun! 

You can find our yarn here...

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This yarn was created by our Apollo sheep! You can read all about him in his bio and his yarn will be available on the website this weekend! 

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Becan's Shenanigans!

You've probably heard of our little Becan sheep right? He's a Shetland sheep and is 14 years old now. His eyes have always had an old soul looking out of them- a very smart old soul. Shetland sheep are naturally bouncy, happy sheep. And very mischievous. 

Becan must be having a little identity crisis this summer? He's decided he would rather live with the llamas and horses than with his sheep family?? He has a tiny space in the adjoining fence he  wiggles through. Every night we put him back in with the sheep, every afternoon he's back with the llamas. This has been going on all summer. 

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This past weekend Becan decided he was going back into the llama pasture to 'help' Jim feed Bull, our shire horse. 

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When Becan tried to slip through the gate he got his back leg caught. Jim got him out of the gate right away but Becan was shook up. Limping like he broke his poor little leg. I gave him a dose of anti-inflammatory and pain meds. Midnight barn check found Becan walking with barely a limp! Whew! What a giant relief it was only a sore muscle! 

Of course Becan acted like we completely over reacted. (Which I do.) By the next morning he was happily scampering about with his sheep friends. By the next afternoon, he had slipped back through the fence to continue his dream of becoming a llama! You can read more about our little hooligan Becan in his bio...

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What a memory!

When we came home today we were blessed to see a pair of immature Bald Eagles! One was circling in the sky above our hay field. The other was in a tree right by our house? Whoa! They are gigantic and one of my favorite animals. To see them so close? 

 (This is not a picture of the birds we saw here, I borrowed it from the Internet. It belongs to Ron Dudley, photographer.)

(This is not a picture of the birds we saw here, I borrowed it from the Internet. It belongs to Ron Dudley, photographer.)

We know there is a pair of adult eagles living in the woods behind our farm. We only saw them in the sky until a day we were leaving for town. Drove over the top of our hill and there they were, taking care of some roadkill. Right in front of us in the middle of the road. WOW! I was so shocked I couldn't get my phone/camera on them quickly enough. They sat and looked at the car for a while then went off about their business. 

There are many eagles in this area because we are not far from the Pecatonica River. But to see them up close like this not once but twice? What a priceless gift they gave us! 


This Honey Badger Don't Care....

Our days can be SO silly here! Specially if you are talking about our Great Pyrenees dogs. Today I went outside looking for Fletcher aka Puppy. He didn't come back into the house when I called. He was up by the goat's 'cabin'. He wiggled through the gate and couldn't get back out.  Pretty picture though right? 

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Then things started to make sense. Puppy would not look me in the eye as I walked up to him. 

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The picture of a dog feeling SORT of guilty. Then quite proud of his work. 

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We use shredded paper for bedding in the goat's cabin. I set it inside the cabin so when I cleaned it out this weekend, the bedding would be there. The dogs are not able to get into that area so should have been a safe bet. They also LOVE a good wrestling with anything they think needs opening. Boxes, bags or anything else they get their paws on. Thus, bedding of the courtyard outside instead of inside the cabin. Really Fletcher? 

He took care of business- THIS honey badger don't care! 

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(I'm also quite sure there were two other Pyrs in on the action- they managed to get back on their own- ditching their cohort to take all the blame!)


Laundry Day!

Oh I LOVE to do laundry! What you say???? You heard right! 

However, I hate doing people laundry. My absolute favorite is washing fleeces and yarn. The yarn looks like I've accomplished something when it is hanging up to dry. Very zen for me. The Fiber Palace looks all festive and decorated! 

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Here is a picture of the next load. Single ply, two ply and more. And you can read about our yarn washing process here...

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Have to wait a day or two so the lash yarn is all dry. I hate putting the yarn away, all set for orders and shops. The Fiber Palace looks so bare with out it! Watch for more pictures- weekends are for spinning of yarn and sheep! 

Smooches from Jonte (read more) and Mayhem (read more). They are enjoying a few cooler days right now. Even walking all the way out to the big pasture to munch on new, rain sprouted grass! Looks like a postcard out there! 

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Stormy evening!

7/13/2018

Yeowza! We have quite the storm roll through here! I got caught outside as it rolled in. That's not unusual for me though. I was outside checking on sheepie Isaac because he looked like the heat was getting to be too much for him. 

As I hit the button to take the photo, the wind raced in with the storm on its heels. I was not far from the back porch but wow. Little dust devils about a foot high all around our gravel driveway, stones being flung against the house and what really freaked me out? The giant, half-dead tree in the middle of the yard. 

It sounded like it was coming over right on top of me? It turns out I can move much faster than I thought! If you look hard at the picture you can see our little Penny sheep in the bottom left corner. I think she looks like I must have? What I would call a mutual holy crap moment. Oh, and the tree did not come down. We are getting estimates to take it down this week I hope! 

Don't go outside to take pictures everyone! This storm actually scared me beyond my usual stormy day hinky. And I don't scare very easily! We are all fine animals, people and farm. We are hoping the next storms come through with no crazy attached!

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Holiday week! (7/6/18)

Happy Fourth of July everyone!!! 

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I love the celebration in my parent's town of Wonder Lake! Tradition finds Dad and grandchildren on the lake watching the fireworks from his cool fishing boat. Thank you to my sister for the latest photos! 

Hope all of you had a fun, safe celebration with lots of family and friends. Maybe sheep? Our sheep partied too hard. They always get mad at me because I will NOT let them shoot off fireworks. Not even fire crackers or sparklers. I am so mean! I think if they invited me to their Fruit Loop Margarita parties? Well, nope, wouldn't change the fire works ban! 

We always stay home. From the tallest hill in the pasture we can see fireworks in almost any direction. Much prettier to us to be home watching with the sheep. 

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The sheep have been doing a bang up job keeping our lawn mowed. I'm glad because I do not like the push mower. We don't really have much in the way of lawn. When it is 100 degrees and humid, the sheep don't go far from the barn. The front yard is closer than the big pasture they romp. They like how close the yard is and there is plenty of shade. Lucy- pictured above- is one of our CVM/Romedale gals. She's the leader of the pack today. 

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Speaking of lawn mowing, did you know that long ago sheep mowed the White House lawn? How cool is that?! 

We have a break from our wild weather for a few days. It's only 80 degrees and not very humid. Even a breeze?! Much more critter activity outside now. We don't fuss with the sheep much when it is that hot. I wish they liked the benefits of water- even a little leg shower. Nope. 

The llamas LOVE showers and their pools. The Suri Alpaca gals prefer a leg shower. Gives us something cooling to do with them every day. I want to get a sprinkler for the llamas and alpacas- what a fun day that will be! 

Somehow the sheep snuck into  town and picked up scuba gear??? What is UP with that? 

 

Our week! (6/25/18)

Lots of crazy going on here this week! Almost 10 inches of rain over the past week finds us waiting for three days with sunshine to get our hay cut/baled. We usually are watching the second crop grow by now. Eek! 

Still working on getting fleeces sorted. Mary and I are determined to have them all sorted before they hit the fiber palace shelving! Well on our way! The sheep are laying low, it's been 90 degrees and 90% humidity. Ugh. They spend their time in our old dairy barn- leaning up against the stone walls to keep cool. Smart sheep! 

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A few weeks ago we welcomed two lambs to the flock! Isaac is a Blue Face Leicester cross and the little Cotswold lamb still needs the perfect name. We're working on it! Here they are- ooh la la right? 

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More info about the lambie boys to follow! 

Lots of stormy weather this week- wonder if the goats were heading for higher ground? Tee hee! (Smart goats!)

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We've been working hard to get the sheep's fleeces sorted and onto the website. Hope you will have a look- some really rare breeds of sheep live here now. The photo below is our Della's CVM/Romedale fleece! Unwashed wool...

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Read more about  our CVM/Romedale sheep...

Please please remember your pets and livestock during the July 4th time frame. Loud noises are scary for them. They will run and could be hurt or very very lost by the time they stop. Keep them close! 

Have a great holiday week! 

San & the sheeps

www.sanctuarywool.com
...where sheep may safely graze

 

 

 

This week's news! (6/20/18)

Mary and I spent time sorting fleeces. One of our favorite jobs. It is so fun to watch the fiber unfold to show off all its unique features. Ooh la la! 

 Spice's Romedale/CVM fleece! 

Spice's Romedale/CVM fleece! 

This is our new wool, Romedale/CVM. It is sooooo soft! The girls came to us last fall after a friend needed to retire a few of her older sheep. We are so lucky to have them. I've never spun R/CVM wool so this will be an adventure for all of us. Can't wait! We'll be selling some on the website and some will head off to Shari at Morro Fleece Works for carding. We'll get some gorgeous pindrafted/coiled roving back. 

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Teagan was quite helpful sorting through papers and putting them through the shredder yesterday. Snort! 

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Zippy's been equally helpful 'helping' me pack up yarn to send to the shops. Wonder if she is aiming for a vacation to Connecticut or California? Ha! 

It's been a very rainy couple months. We have LOTS of grass in the pastures but have not had 3 days in a row of sunshine/no rain. We just need three days to get that hay baled!!! Fingers crossed- getting late in the summer. 

We've been adding fleeces as we get them sorted. Planning a big update with new yarn on Sunday/Monday. Keep an eye out ok? Let us know if you have questions or need wool/yarn you don't see on the website. The sheep love to be enablers! 

 Our CVM gals! Smooches everyone!    

Our CVM gals! Smooches everyone! 

 

When is a rescue a rescue?

Or a retirement a retirement? We do rescue injured, needy sheep. We buy sheep for their cute factor. A lot of our critter family 'retires' here. People run into life circumstances that force them to downsize a flock or re-home their beloved sheep. It is a heartbreaking decision for them to make. Those animals are a part of their family. Most of the critters have belonged to the family since the day it was born. It is a heartbreaking decision and nobody should have to be in that situation. We are a sanctuary for them, promising them a good home, to be well loved and cared for. For the rest of their sweet little lives. 

Recently we adopted (retired) five beautiful Suri Alpaca sheep from a friend. Definitely a tough life decision forced her to downsize her herd. I hope it gives her a little bit of peace to have them here. 

 Welcome! 

Welcome! 

They are all girls and what a palette of colors! Teagon is a black/bay; Spice a dark rose gray; Brook medium fawn; Abbi true black and Tinkerbell is a light fawn. Ooh la la! 

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 Tinkerbell!    

Tinkerbell! 

 

 Gismo goatie is not so sure what the heck? Aliens have landed?? 

Gismo goatie is not so sure what the heck? Aliens have landed?? 

 The llama boys were very impressed with the new girls! (They look like buffalo next to the girls!)

The llama boys were very impressed with the new girls! (They look like buffalo next to the girls!)

There will be much more to tell of course- for now need to gather myself back up from all the shearing of critters activities. Whoa! The girls are busy grazing/mowing the back yard and seem to be settled in for the most part. We are lucky to have them with us. Thank you so very much Heidi!

Spring has sprung!

I am a sissy farmer and do not breed our sheep. We have had many bottle/orphan lambs in the past so you will find their pictures below. Enjoy!

 A very serious lamb at Mary's practicing his lamb hops!

A very serious lamb at Mary's practicing his lamb hops!

 Our little Penny the Jacob sheep- she's never forgiven me for making her wear a tutu! 

Our little Penny the Jacob sheep- she's never forgiven me for making her wear a tutu! 

 Our Baaxter Romney sheep- twin to Piper!

Our Baaxter Romney sheep- twin to Piper!

 Little baby Piper Romney- twin to Baaxter!

Little baby Piper Romney- twin to Baaxter!

 Our very first ever bottle lamb- her name was Hope. 

Our very first ever bottle lamb- her name was Hope. 

 Becan Shetland sheep! 

Becan Shetland sheep! 

 Tater the Suffolk cross- his mom was our Ruby and he was twin to Frannie!

Tater the Suffolk cross- his mom was our Ruby and he was twin to Frannie!

 Coco Bean the Cotswold sheep! 

Coco Bean the Cotswold sheep! 

 Jonte the Jacob Sheep!

Jonte the Jacob Sheep!

 Baker the Border Leicester!

Baker the Border Leicester!

 Chance the Lincoln cross!

Chance the Lincoln cross!

 Biscuit the Romney sheep!

Biscuit the Romney sheep!

We have many more lambie pie photos but I think we'll do a second (or even a third?) post so you can see them all! Happy weekend everyone!