Thursday, September 18, 2014

Michigan Fiber Festival trip in August

I neglected to post the photos from my trip with Kim Nikolai to Michigan Fiber Festival in August.......
So here goes nothing.

The fleece show had a large Shetland class, I think about 35-40 fleeces were in that show, but that's a guesstimate.  I was pleased with how well I did and felt that, my fleeces got beat fairly because the fleece that won Best of show in the Shetland class was beautiful and the win was well deserved.

Here is a photo of my line up.

I was happy with how the weekend went.  

Once again, we had a grand time with our friend, Stephen, during our 4 days stay in Michigan.  The festival was lovely and seeing old friends was the highlight of the time we there.  

We got to head to Four Roses Cafe and have one of their top shelf meals........

Pear pecan salad w/ lime vinaigrette dressing
Scallops-seared in whiskey on a bed of alvocado
And the best part: Scarlett O'Hare cheesecake.  w/ pecans and a toffee glaze.
They have a pastry chef that makes about 40 different desserts at 5 am every morning.  God bless that woman!!!!  The Dessert Menu at this place is longer than the main coarse menu!!! 

They say you should eat to live and not live to eat, but the person that said that has never tasted the food at this place.  If they said it loud enough for the customers to hear, my guess is that they simply not be heard from again. 

2014 Midwest Shetland Sheep Breeders show results

I bet a large share of you were wondering, "Where is Kelly and why is she ignoring us?"  Don't worry, I have not forgotten about all of you, but the show chair job seemed to consume a considerable amount of time this year along with some other obligations that made my summer fly by too quickly.

We had another great year at the Wi Sheep and Wool Festival and everyone involved in the show made the show successful and fun.  Thanks to all the people that volunteered and brought sheep, fleeces, handmade items or skeins of yarn to exhibit.

Silent Auction table....everyone's generosity is overwhelming

Please follow us to the MSSBA fleece show..........(Thanks to Garrett for taking over the fleece show this year)

We proudly welcomed Mary Gibbings, Somerset England, as our fleece judge this year. Mary did a spectacular job of judging approx. 40 Shetland fleeces for us.

Karen Valley got Champion Fleece with a white ewe lamb fleece
I got Champion Rooed Fleece w/ a white fleece from Sheltering Pines Catherine (9 yr old ewe) 

I won this lovely "Best Rooed Fleece" award donated by Maurice and Gilly Wakeling, they were our Sheep and Fleece judges in 2013 and generously donated funds to sposnor this award.  I'm so thrilled to be the first recipient of this trophy. 
Theresa Gygi got Res. Champion fleece w/ a colored fleece
Mary giving a fleece some serious consideration and Kim Nikolai lending a hand for this year!  (Thanks Kim)

Philip is going to kick my butt for this photo being circulated, but it was too cute to not share it.....EVERYWHERE!!!
Allow me to introduce our 2014 SSS Judge/Inspector.....(drum roll please) Philip Cowen, Durham County England. 
Amy on the left and Philip on the right.  (big, big grin)  
And here Philip is looking a bit more sophisticated judging the youth showmanship class.  
Here is my amazing, super hero husband showing Elvis in the Senior ram class.  
Clayton (in foreground) showing Danby in the Best Spotted, Colored or Modified class.  The winner (our OK Acres Danby) received a lovely multi-year award sponsored by FFSSA in the memory of Sue Russo and all her years of dedication and contributions to the Shetland sheep breed.  
Philip in center holding the Sue Russo Memorial Trophy, Mike (Super hero to Kelly) on the left, OK Acres Danby in the center and me on the right.  (Yes, I was pretty frazzled at this point- and looking it!!!)  
Tiree thinks she's a Lipizzaner Stallion performing "Airs above the Ground" here.  She was walking so nice at home and when we got to the show, she was less than impressed with the process of standing quietly.  Cute as it may be here, it's horribly embarrassing in front of the judge, fellow exhibitors and the audience.  I have no clue how she won 1st place in her class.  Maybe her acrobatic skills impressed the judge and swayed his choice. (grin)

No, I didn't purposely flip her over for the judge to see her from all angles...........I was livid.  Never again!!!! (notice Philip is laughing at me-and can you blame him? )
Both the the photos above will need a bit of explanation.........THIS is what happens when you decide to bring a ewe lamb to the show at the last minute and think she's leading quite well at home after only a week of gentling her.  Ummm, NOT.

 This year's big winners are shown below.............
Sydell generously donated a trimming stand to this year's Supreme Champion!!!  I was blown away by their donation when I was called over to pick it up!  
Theresa Gygi with her Champion Ram/Supreme Champion, Under The Son Stilton

Meghan Namaste and Karen Valley with their Champion Ewe/Res. Supreme Champion, Wintertime Alanis

Lori Stephenson and her Granddaughter Campbell with Res. Champion ram, Sommarang Lief

 I will do a post of some fun photos in another post, this one has become very picture heavy and I better cease and desist.  :)

Congrats to all the winners of this year's show. 

Monday, August 04, 2014

Shetland Island Trip Part 6

One of the reasons we planned our trip for October was because we wished to attend the Flockbook Ram Show and Sale.  So we crossed our fingers that the weather would cooperate and I think we got fairly lucky except for the unfortunate timing of our trip over. (aka The Ferry ride from hell) 
Friday night we were invited to watch Oliver Henry judge the Shetland Fleece show at the Mart where the Show and Sale would take place the next day and we just couldn't pass it up.  Oliver has been sorting and grading Shetland fleeces on the Islands for about 50 years, so he kinda knows what he's doing by now. 
We were pretty surprised to see that the fleeces were single coats, with a few fleeces having some minor guard hairs, but nothing excessive that would create an overly long tip.  We had heard that the purebred Shetlands on the Islands had much longer fleece, and I did see some of those, but they were simply sheep ON Shetland and I have no way of knowing if they were cross bred or purebred.  The sheep at the Show and Sale, however, were all purebred Shetland sheep and were first inspected prior to entering the show.  Not all the rams passed inspection, but a large share of them did meet all the criteria for inclusion in the Flockbook.

Left to right: Suzanne Meikle, Philip Cowen deep in thought and Alan Hill watching the show on Saturday

Hamish Hunter with the white ram

Fleece show photo

Oliver's "Scoring" sheet

Best group of 3

More winners

Add caption

Moorit group of 3

This one shows how the peat makes the fleeces appear to be grey, but it does wash out.  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer sunshine..........

My lilly's are blooming now and the hibiscus is on the verge of doing the same, my favorite of my perennial flowers at our place because neither requires much care to be spectacular. 

I always thought this was such an odd flower.......Red Hot Poker???  I just don't see it. 
And last but certainly not least......the hardy Pansy
And I'll include some shots of my nephew, the one that had open heart surgery last year and is now a thriving, delightful little toddler that brings my nothing but joy when he visits.  His mom, Emily, likes to bring him to the farm and turn him lose in the sheep pasture (of coarse  we are there!!)  and he can run to his heart's content.   No worries about him going anywhere and having to be on top of him out there, there's a fence that will stop him eventually. 
Fence Monkey!!!

10 acres of pasture is a lot of ground for little legs

Emily likes to pet the sheep and Landon is easily distracted by running sheep! 
I will leave you with a shot of my baby boy, Tyler, and his girlfriend in front of their new apartment in Madison.  Ok, ok, he's not a baby, he just turned 27, but he's always going to be my baby.  :) 
Tyler and Kara in front of their new apartment

Friday, June 27, 2014

Signs around Lerwick

We sure had a lot of fun with the different signs in and around Lerwick, on the rest of the Island and even in Scotland and England.  I suppose when UK folks visit us, they are equally amused by our signage, terminology and the names we have for everything here. 
Here are just a few of the ones that "the American's" found amusing.  I think we amused our UK friends far more than their signs amused us, we are all a bit different.  (big smile)

Apparently Lerwick residents abhor littering as much as we do, but without the photo.........Dunna Chuck Bruck seems like a nice name for a large meal. 

And here's Garrett, clearly violating the sign's directive of NOT obstructing the life saving appliance. 

Actually, this one concerned me a wee bit........were we supposed to pay the machine and then display some portion of ourselves to it?  Or were we being paid to display something entirely different?  Thank heavens Susan and Suzanne were there to help us with this one. 
You will notice the exceedingly lovely Floatel in the background, it's a very large floating hotel for the oil line workers that work on the Island.  Charming, isn't it?  (it's the giant grey box on the left) 

Back to more serious things in my next post..........

Mike and I

Mike and I
Mike and I at Nick and Emily's wedding

Raised beds & chickens coops

Raised beds & chickens coops
Can't wait for this stuff to actually be food....