Stormy evening!


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!


Holiday week! (7/6/18)

Happy Fourth of July everyone!!! 


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. 


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. 

sheep in central park.jpg

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! 


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? 


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!)


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...


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
...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. 


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


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. 



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! 




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! 

Friends of the Sheep!

Over the years we've made many many friends. My friend Mary has a beautiful farm not far from ours. She and her family raise a neat variety of fiber animals that are well loved. Happily bouncing around on big grassy pastures! 

They raise Angora Rabbits with fiber that is incredible. The fiber is usually 3 inches long and she spends lots of time combing them. If you haven't tried any of their Angora fiber, you can find it here. 

French Angora bunny

French Angora bunny

She also has gorgeous sheep and they are a variety of breeds. Including Shetland, Cotswold, Baby Doll Southdown and some mix breeds. I'll write more about each bunch later on but here are a few photos! 


Keep an eye out for the cool stories that come with her sheep, goats, bunnies and llamas. They are a hoot! 

Smooches from the sheep everyone! 

Memories Monday! It's Baker!

Our adorable flock started out with a bunch of Border Leicester sheep. They are such elegant, stoic and just wonderful to be around sheep. Baker arrived as one of our bottle lambs long ago. He had the most adorable 'rabbit' ears! 


He and his brother Treasure romped around the house for a few weeks, then it was warm enough for them to go out and be 'big sheep'. I'm always sad to send them out but I hear that means I am doing a good job, raising good sheep? I still cry every time though! (Sissy Farmer that I am)

Baker was a Border Leicester sheep with long, curly, soft locks. I spun my first skeins of my lash yarn with his wool.  read more about Border Leicester sheep.

Young Baker in partial fleece!

Young Baker in partial fleece!

Before our Wisconsin weather became so unpredictable, we sheared our Border Leicesters twice a year. Every six months they gave us shiny curls that were 4 to 5 inches long. Once the weather went off kilter we sheared them once a year. Wowser the locks were long!! 

Baker was a sweet sheep who loved his Fruit Loops (very much) and his friend Brady. 

Taking a snooze! 

Taking a snooze! 

What ARE you looking at?!

What ARE you looking at?!

Keep an eye out, Memory Mondays are fun since we've had so many wonderful sheep over the years. I remember every one of them and miss them all. However, it is fun to write about them and share their stories! 

Happy almost Spring! (Shearing day will be around the weekend of April 21- woohoo!)

Happy Holidays to all!

Another year has flown by? Wow. The sheep had a giant Christmas Eve party. It left a giant mess for their cute selves to clean up too. I often wonder why we don't get invitations? I did find a few lampshades in the barn. That is not a great sign right? Ha! 

Our Gilbert- a rare California Red sheep! 

Our Gilbert- a rare California Red sheep! 

Many of our sheep arrived in groups so it's been a tough couple years as our friends have gotten old and headed to the great pasture in the sky. We now have 42 sheep, maybe 1/2 are over the age of 8? (I try not to keep track!) 

However, we've also welcomed a few new sheep to our flock! Gilbert (above) is a rare California Red sheep! I really have not seen many in WI. You can read more about the breed here..

Our Romedale/CVM girls! 

Our Romedale/CVM girls! 

A family in Michigan contacted us last Spring to see if we had room for a few of their sheep. The ewes needed to retire and it was a very tough decision for them. Of course we said yes- twist our arms right? Ha! 

The girls are also a rare sheep- a breed I've never seen before they arrived last fall. They are beauteous! Soft fleeces, a variety of colors and they are very sweet sheep. You can read more about the breed here...

After January 1, I will of course start fussing about shearing day. I am very predictable! I'm always amazed how quickly that sneaks up on us despite our best efforts to be prepared. Kind of that way with winter around here too. 

A big thank you so much to all who donated items, bid on auctions and made donations for Zippy's surgery. I am truly overwhelmed and humbled by all the kindness this kitten has been shown. She is a very happy kitten, growing and sassy! Thank you! 


All of us here wish you the best new year! If you are out celebrating, stay warm and drive safe ok? We have a long due newsletter in the works- keep an eye out! 

Jim, Sandy & the sheep
...where sheep may safely graze.




Life is amazing!

Hi All! You may already know we have an ongoing fundraiser right now. I was very reluctant to ask for help. I am not good at that. I would rather help someone else. Anonymously is even better! 

And so are all of you! This year a small kitten got her paw caught in something. It smooshed her bones and she had to have her front leg amputated. Her bill was $685 for the surgery. Ouch. There was no second thought about whether to do the surgery. She was only 8 weeks old and animals adapt fine to missing a limb! 


Vet bills are always high for us but Zippy's surgery put us over the top. (At least for me) Thus the auctions.


I am overwhelmed at your response to our Zippy's medical bills. And the fact that you've requested the auctions continue humbles me. The new auction item winning bids will go into Zippy's saving account. She needs to be spayed and have her vaccinations when she's old enough. The sheep always have a vet bill so if you all choose to continue with our auctions, you will provide the sheep a little help too! 

Thank you for being members of our 'flock' and for your year round support. There just are not words. You are all so good for my soul. 

Zippy loves you all and sends smooches! 

Zippy loves you all and sends smooches! 



Change is wonderful...

right? I am NOT good with change. Maybe that is why the sheep and I get along so well? They hate change too… (But definitely adapt quicker than I do!) 

Thanks to our friends Ashley  and Dayna  , we are launching our new website! The sheep are having fun doing some writing and adding new photos. We are also working hard to make sure the site is full of fun things to shop, updated sheep biographies and much more. We are so excited about your visit!! Ashley did the hard work setting it up (and both gals did the awful task of putting up with ME). I've FINALLY gotten the hang of a new program. Giddyup!

We’ve been lucky to have the same web host, Beyond the Sidewalks , for our entire business career. Thank you for so many good years Sandy V.  We will miss you but wish you well in your new adventures!

Here is a change that has been fun to try out! We recently got the chance to try out a new wool wash called Power Scour!

The photo above shows Moon Pie’s Wensleydale locks. Left: unwashed, right, washed and sparkly clean!

I really like how easily it washes a fleece, but with a very little bit of the product (PS). I also found I needed fewer rinses to get the fleece clean. The other bonus, for me, is the PS is amazing to use when washing Camelid fiber.

My llamas and alpaca are such naughties! They do everything they can to stay dusty and beyond dusty. I used lukewarm water and a little bit of PS and wowser! It cleaned the fiber right up. I only had to soak the fiber once in clear water, 1 soak in the PS and another clear water soak (maybe 2) and wa-la- clean, not dusty fiber! Ready to pop into a dye pot or dry/spin. Saves SO much time! And water since the fiber needs less rinsing. Tried it out on Suri & Huacaya alpaca and llama fiber. Awesome results each time.

SO, if you are up for a change in your wool washing supplies, I do recommend Power Scour!

If you don't see the wool or yarn you are looking for on the site, please email the sheep ok? We are stocked with beauteous wool & handspun year round- we'll get you set to go! 

Hope all is well with you all and that you are enjoying some good weather-

Sandy & Jim Ryan
(& our happy sheeps)
Homestead Wool & Gift Farm
...where sheep may safely graze.

Picture day!

I have so many beautiful pictures of our sheep that have not been 'out in the public' yet. SO, here we go! 


Baaxter - Romney sheep- 10 years old


Marshall - Corriedale sheep - 13 years old


Puzzle - Wensleydale sheep - 3 years old


Casey- North Country Cheviot sheep- 9 years old


Niles- Wensleydale sheep - 11 years old


Dalai Llama - 15 years old


Penny - Jacob sheep - 5 years old

SO, we have so many great sheep and great pictures- most of these taken by my friend Heidi Ellefson. She has such a talent catching the sheep's expressions!

Be sure to check out the sheep's website ok? Lots of new items for sale- the sheep said you might want to sit down with a big cup of coffee to browse!

Smooches all! Jim & Sandy Ryan ...where sheep may safely graze.