Wow. It has been a while. Again. What can I say? I get easily distracted.
Let's catch up. We have had a tough year with the sheep. Seems like every time we turned around we lost somebody. And it was always the sheep who held a special place in my heart. Lots of tears have been shed in the last few months.
We bred nearly all of the ewes this past winter, and ended up with 30 lambs. Four lambs became bottle babies, and became very special to me. Two of those lambs developed mechanical pneumonia due to being bottle fed, and did not survive.
We have "rented" a pasture adjacent to ours in exchange for the upkeep for several years now. Since becoming shepherds, we have used that pasture as the main pasture for out cattle. In May, the owners decided they wanted to sell, and the price was too steep for us to consider for nothing more than a cow pasture. It was too steep period. Anyway, it was bought, and we lost that pasture. Now some tough decisions had to be made. We chose to reduce the sheep herd by half, and sell most of the Boer goats. I now have a herd of sheep made up of my very favorites with marvelous fleeces. It was hard to let the others go, but we were significantly overpopulated, and feed and hay have become very expensive.
We have also decided to host the First Annual Diamond State Fiber Festival here in Greenwood in October. This part of Arkansas does not have a big fiber festival, so we chose to put one on ourselves. Crazy? Quite possibly! You can visit the Diamond B Sheep Farm website for more information.
I have also decided to fairly well close the Etsy shop. I have come to the realization that nearly everything I make is for sale. For years I have been crafting - quilting, sewing, knitting, etc. But when I look around my home, I don't have much to show for it. I am not leaving a legacy for my children. I want them to have keepsakes in their homes that Mama made, things they can pass on to my grandchildren. It takes a lot of time to run a successful Etsy shop, always making new items to add, photographing and uploading pictures, cataloging items, time that could be spent on other pursuits. Now I will be focusing on the four fiber shows I attend each year, I will sell fleeces from the website in the spring, and spend my free time working on lovelies for my family, friends, and home. I may even dig the sewing machine out from under the bags of fleeces! And who knows, I might possibly find time to update this blog more than once every 6 months!