Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Sad Sad Truth About what Happens to a Ram when He's Past his Prime... and How Merlin Escaped Certain Doom...

As most of you know our ram Merlin did not do his job this year of producing babies, which in the past has been his claim to fame.

His record was 16 babies in two week's time.  On our farm it is very difficult to have more than one ram.  Rams are very territorial and will actually try to kill another ram.

So the question was....what do we do with Merlin??

He has done his job well in the past but obviously he is past his prime.  A "real" farmer does not feed an animal that will take up space for a ram that can't he has horns and knows how to use them.

....So I started to pray for a solution.

 A few weeks ago I got a random phone call.  The man said, "My name is Jimmy, and your number is in my phone and I am trying to clear out numbers that I don't need.  Do you know who I am?"

 I had no idea.

He asked me if I had sheep and I told him about my sad story of having no lambs born this year and I really need a new ram, but Merlin is really mean and no one would want him.

 Jimmy told me that it was funny that I would say that because he was hired by the state of New Jersey to clear land with his goats.  He was apprehensive  to put his goats out in this fenced area because he was afraid that someone would steal them.  If he had an "attack ram" in with his goats, then no one would bother them.

 I told him to come and get Merlin for his new job.

 When Jimmy got here to pick up Merlin he had remembered coming to my farm about 3 years ago to pick up sheep for someone else, so that is why he had my phone number.

About one week later a girl scout troop came for a class and I shared this story with them.  The girl scout leader told me that the department that she works for hired the goats to clear the land.  She explained that there is an endangered species of turtles that live in bogs that are being overtaken with briars and if the goats eat the briars there would be cleared bogs for the turtles to live.

Now I am even more proud of Merlin for having such an important job.

     Jimmy had asked me what I was looking for in a new ram (I guess he travels around the sheep circle).  I told him that I use the wool for spinning and making wool creations.  To make a long story short.... he found a Black Shetland Ram for me that we are naming MoJo.

Isn't he handsome? 

     The next hurdle that needed to be jumped is my sheep shearer comes once a year and he is coming on April 18th.  So my new friend Jimmy is bringing MoJo on that day, and bringing Merlin back so he can get sheared to so I can have his last fleece before he starts his new employment.

     It just makes me so happy to know that God cares about making all things work together for good.  MoJo has a new home with six eager ewes for next year's Lamb Celebration Day, all the sheep will be sheared, and Merlin has a job working for the state.

Win. Win. Win. Win. Win.

If you would like to meet our new ram, Mojo, plus wish Merlin luck and give him a good send-off, you can come to our annual SHEEP SHEARING DAY!  

This Saturday, April 18th at 1:30, the shearing will begin and our ram will be delivered!  Come to the farm for the FREE EVENT.  Our shop will be open with lots of felted goodies, baskets, jam, scarves and more.  (Think Mother's Day gifts!!!)

Looking forward to seeing you there!
For directions and more info see our website:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bending my Rules for my Anti-Trend Lifestyle

I am not nor have I ever been a "trendy" person.  I can distinctly remember scoffing at my 8 year old sister's decision to pour out her savings to purchase POGS.  "Why are you wasting money on a FAD!?! It's going to be so dumb in a year when no one plays with them any more."  Was I right?  Yes.  Were POGS awesome?  Yes.  (Google it, kids.)  Do I regret not following suit and diving into the world of Slammers?  Nope.

In fourth grade I went through a phase when I only wore black stretch pants.  My mom couldn't get me to wear a pair of jeans if my life depended on it.  They weren't comfortable so I refused.  Form over fashion, people.

I can say with certainty that I would not have married my high school sweetheart if Christian school uniforms hadn't intervened.

Being comfortable and not spending money on things that won't last have always been the most important things to me when making purchases.  Finding a shirt that fits me and I like??.... well, buy 3 of them in 3 different colors, of course!  No brainer!

However, wading into the world of retail where trends are actually IMPORTANT has thrown me for a loop.  The first garland that I made, I sold a ton of because I knew that after having a baby, the color kings of nursery decor were gray, white, and yellow.  (Thank you Pinterest.  You do have a greater purpose than causing self-loathing after all.)

And now that I'm in it to win this whole entrepreneurial Etsy thing, I have to step up my game and not just know what colors people like NOW, but what they will like a YEAR from now.  I thought I would hate having to research what is trendy since it was never really valuable information to me.  It turns out, it is ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING to me to watch color trends.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I went for a little overnight get-away.  Our original plans were derailed due to the extreme cold, so we ended up spending most of our day walking around a mall.  This used to be an activity that would have caused my inner 2 year old to throw a hissy fit, but because now I'm forced to care what other people like, it might as well have been Disney World.

*Insert Hallelujah Chorus upon stumbling upon an Anthropologie store.*

Hello, MINT, PEACH, NAVY, TEAL, CREAM, CORAL....I had no idea you could be so lovely when paired together!  Oh, and hello, $158 price tag for ONE blouse!  If people are willing to spend that much on a shirt, they don't just like the color of it....they LOVE it.  You're just not going to get research gold like this as Target.    

So if my target audience is nesting and mamas with young children, why not do some research for nursery decor at Babies R Us?

Here's my theory:

The very first lesson we long to teach our children is this: This world is beautiful.
How to we teach that?  We prepare for their arrival by crafting a room for them filled with what we think are beautiful colors.
How do I know what colors people deem "beautiful"?  It is the color they choose to live their lives in....first in the clothes they wear.  Not just the comfy go-to hoodie- its the clothes they INVEST in.  If they choose to wear a color, they will eventually love it so much they will paint their walls that color.

That's why Babies R Us is still filled with white, gray, and yellow.   Because I bet if I was watching things three years ago, these were the colors people were wearing.  (Who knows?  I was probably in a hoodie and comfy black stretch pants at the time.)

It's just a theory.

Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe people that buy on Etsy have a hankering for a color palette that includes coral, and aqua, and teal, and mustard, and mint.  But I do know this...gone are the days of pinks for girls and blues for boys.  We have way too many influences like Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr that mold our tastes for color these days.  (Which, by the way, I am watching because it's my job now.)  

"Once Upon a Time" Garland. This is a big seller these days.

I would like to say that all of this trend watching hasn't changed me.  It has.  Now I buy 3 DIFFERENT shirts in the same color.  See? Look how trendy I've become! (while shopping the clearance wrack at Kohl's with my 30% off coupon)

You'll still never see me in a pair of skinny jeans.