Thursday, October 27, 2011

Welcome To The Family! Lambs and Kids

Last year at the fair I purchased the Grand Champion Fleece from a lovely Romney sheep.  I found her again this year and was able to photograph her.  Her name is Ruby.

The next thing I did was to find the judging table for the mohair fleeces.  They had not been judged yet, but I managed to find the owners and arrange to purchase some of this lovely fiber.  I'll post more pictures once the fiber is in stock here.  Three of these bags are coming our way!  
Now the big news, my friend Helene has a property 25 miles north of me.  She has been so sad since she moved to Arizona a few years ago because she had to give up her flock.  She used the opportunity at the state fair to find some new babies to start a new herd.

Helene and her family offered me the opportunity to be able to have my own, my own sheep and goat.  I am thrilled beyond words to have this chance.  So now I had to go pick.  It was just too easy.

Introducing!  Moorit Shetland Sheep ewe lamb number 40, born 12/30/2010.  Yup, she doesn't have a name yet.  She is a beautiful Snack Size Sheep from breeder Cecilia Parsons.  Cecilia is well known in the industry and she has authored many articles in the agriculture world.  She is very well respected in her field.
Isn't my girl beautiful!!!!  Not bad for a city girl.
Next, I met up with Allen from Eureka Mohair Farm.  He had this adorable little Angora kid goat.  He is perfect!  I was told I could change his name if I wanted to.  I asked what his name is and said I would keep it.  Why?  That's another story in itself!

Back in the late 1990's my husband and I were in a different business.  We owned a custom knife business.  We bought and sold pocket and hunting knives created by individual artists from around the world.  We were one of the top 5 best known companies in the world.  We sold that business in 2002, but getting back to the story here-

One day in November of 1999 I received a phone call from a young lady.  She said she was the road manager for Billy Gibbons and that the band was coming to Phoenix to play at the America West Arena.  Now, I knew we had a customer from Texas named Billy Gibbons, but I had never assumed that he was anyone other than a person named Billy Gibbons.  (Unlike the time I had a phone conversation with Wesley Snipes, or the call from Jim Belushi on my birthday.  He's a Gemini too.)  

So the young lady explained to me that Billy wanted to buy some gifts for his crew for Christmas and could we come to the Arena with our stuff, go backstage, have dinner, see the concert....  Billy is Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.  I said YES, of course.

I sauntered back to the bedroom to tell my husband about this.  What was he doing in the bedroom on a work day?  Ahem, we all had the flu.  I was on the road to recovery, or son was better too, he had caught it first.  Our daughter did not get it until after the visit with the band.  I told my husband that I had a date that Friday.  I told him I was going to ave dinner with ZZ Top!  I explained the rest to him and tried to find a baby sitter.

No luck, no babysitter.  I called the manager back and explained the situation.  She said no problem and that Friday afternoon we dragged ourselves downtown to the Arena where we spent a lovely evening backstage with Billy Gibbons and the rest of the band.  We sat at the catered dinner with Billy and the drummer from Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Oh, did I forget to mention that they were touring together?  The kids were given several souvenirs to take home.  

We also got to go on stage and had a tour of the set.  All of a sudden we heard loud cheering and clapping.  Our daughter, who was about 7 or 8 at the time, wondered up to the front of the stage and started dancing behind our backs.  The incoming fans loved it.  Right after that evening we found out our daughter wanted to sing and she had many years of private voice lessons, Phoenix Girls Chorus and performing arts programs.  Both of the kids are musicians and our daughter still plays piano.

But what does this have to do with our new kid?  His name is ZZ Top!

ZZ Top

Mohair with ribbons
The judge and helper
Grooming for the show ring
Here comes the next part of the story.  You thought I was done, didn't you.

I was invited back on Friday to SHOW ZZ Top in the show ring.  This was a place I had never thought I would ever be.  I, was in heaven.

I arrived at the fair in the morning and I was able to park in the exhibitors lot.  I went into the barn and met up with Allen from Eureka.  We spent some time pulling straw out of goat hair to prepare them for the show ring.

Next came getting the goats from the pens to the show ring, which is about 50 yards away.  Allen asked me if I had upper body strength.  I said no problem an he put a kid in my arms.  I carried that baby 50 yards to the show pens and went back.  I ended up carrying 3 of them to the show ring, including ZZ.

Next came the more mature goats.  Have you ever tried to get a goat to cooperate?  They do if they want to. Several of mine planted their feet and refused to budge.  There I am, grabbing a goat on either side of the neck and pulling them forward, with me backward, into the show ring.  I must have been quite the sight!

Allen had a crew of us to help him show his herd.  I probably showed about 6 of them including ZZ.  It could have been more, I didn't keep track.  And of course 2 of them escaped my hands while I tried to get them in to the ring.  There we were, chasing them down.

After the judging we took all the goats as a herd and put them back in their pens.  We had to make sure that they didn't go down any aisles or make a break for the doors all the way back to their pens.  I was a sheep dog!

Allen took home many ribbons, a few of them Grand Champion.  ZZ took 5th place, out of 5 and third in pairs out of 3, but we had so much fun.  I even got to wear a Eureka Mohair Farm shirt for the show ring.  Allen, thank you so much for letting me be a part of this.
In the show ring.  Allen is in the middle.
ZZ, after returning to his pen

Going home-

"Dreams Are Made Of These"


Michele said...

Farm pets are sooooo great! They open doors we would never ordinarily get to go through and allow us to interact with a very special group of animal lovers.
Great stories Karen!!!!

One Planet said...

Thank you Michele. It was fun to write. Now I need to set up a CSA farm share program for their fiber.