I've got to bring my computer in and get the portable device drives working again so I can access my camera's photo card-- not being able to download my current photos is making me crazy!
A lot has been happening here in Minnesota with the collapse of the 35W bridge in Minneapolis last Wednesday. I called my son who works at the U of M as soon as I saw the awful photos on the news. Thankfully he was home from work already.
Unfortunately, the son of an old friend of ours was working construction on the bridge and is still missing. He lived just north of Mora with his family. My heart goes out to his wife, Lisa and his mother, Dorothy. Dorothy was the first person to befriend us when we moved to Mora 30 years ago. She worked with my husband for many years and used to bake him peach pies from real peaches, not canned filling. He loved her pies! Dorothy is the friendliest person you'd ever meet and she has already seen enough tragedy in her life having lost two husbands very unexpectedly. I can't believe she's experiencing this loss now too.
On a lighter note, Sabrina and Kim came up for a visit last week and we had a great time. Kim brought up Bramble Annabelle who was extremely patient out in the popper while we visited the day away. What a beautiful ewe Sabrina went home with!
I was so glad that my white combed top came back from Zeilinger's while Sabrina and Kim were here. It turned out really nice. No VM or noils, yes! I can't wait until my black shetland/llama blend gets here. Now that I've seen how nice the combed top turns out, I'm going to send in moorit, maybe fawn and musket too. The minimum run is 8 pounds of washed fiber per color. So I may have to combine similar colors. I have only 6 pounds of washed BFL fiber, so I'll process that here at home with my handcombs.
Speaking of BFL's, only two more weeks until I bring home two natural colored lambs from Brenda Lelli's Beechtree Farms in Michigan! Kim, Garrett and I will be heading out to Michigan for all the fun of the Michigan Fiber Festival and we'll be bring back a few sheep -- if only there was room for lots more! I'm getting a gorgeous ewe lamb (bottom photo, I've posted it before) and a ram lamb too (below). It will be so great if I get some natural colored lambs next spring! I plan to use this fellow on several Shetland ewes and two shetland mule lambs. I'm hoping to see some markings pop out along with the color. I've seen photos of yuglet mules from other breeders, wouldn't that be fun.
I've heard lately that some Shetland people disapprove of crossbreeding Shetlands. Well, I say that's fine for them, they sure don't have to. But I'll use my Shetland ewes for what they do so well. And that is to give me an improved fleece and a heavier lamb. The fleece on the crosses is really nice and the wider build will allow the mules to be bred to even larger terminal sires. Of course, I'll still breed some purebred Shetlands, but the crosses look very promising for me and my market. And we've yet to see our first purebred BFL lamb, I can hardly wait!