August 4, 2015

Sheep. And All That Baah.

August 4, 2015
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Oops.  I did it again.  I had a thought.  I thought about getting some sheep.  I thought about getting sheep so I could shear them and have lanolin.  How easy would that be?  So, after searching far and wide a friend notified me of a sheep man that would sell me two of his sheep.  Before I knew it I was the proud owner of two sheep, Memphis and Mavis.   At just eight weeks old, I trailered home two sweet baby girls.  They were exceptionally adorable. 
Bah Bah Brown Sheep Have You Any Wool???

Just as these two new fluffy babies were getting settled in their new home, Big Dog had a trip.  If you have followed my blog you will know that if anything baa-aad is going to happen it's going to happen when he's out of town.  I was once again left as a damsel in distress on a farm that I can't manage by own girly self.  So as luck would have it, tragedy struck.  One of our sweet, fluffy girls was attacked!  A vicious wound left her to die.  But not on my watch by golly.  There was a life to save so I bucked up and... and... and cried.  I cried out on Facebook and two of my friends showed up.  They had no experience with such matters but thought a big hug and hand holding would help. Still, Facebook didn't disappoint.  My distress call was answered by another friend.  Enter a number guys by day, cattle man by choice and you have a guy who felt the need to do what he could.  The Sheep Surgeon (his new title) came to my rescue with full determination to save the 'lil girl.  My two hand holding, huggin' friends helped wrangle the sheep and hold her down so The Sheep Surgeon could go to work.  And work they did.  And I'm so thankful they did because before they showed up I called Big Dog and asked where he kept the pistol.  I couldn't stand to see her in such pain and just knew I had to "handle it".  Big Dog didn't want me to be the one to pull the trigger so he called a few friends who would come do it for me.  Just as I was about to add another badge of courage to my farmer's wife resume I surrendered and begged for her life to be spared.  

*The following photos are graphic and not intended for those with weak stomachs*


The odor stench.  Oh the stench.  The smell was h-o-r-r-i-f-i-c. It was the kind of smell that sticks to your nostril hairs and hangs around for a while.  The sight was...was...unsightly.  And just when I didn't think it could get worse...IT DID.  MAGGOTS!  Maggots.  Maggots.  Maggots.  And more maggots.  Have you seen the movie Poltergeist?  Well I did at a very young and impressionable age and the maggot part came back in full real life reality.  I'll fast forward to the after part of the hour spent flushing out the maggots to the silver part.  Silver is so cool! (Dear reader, I don't care that maggots are actually good for wounds.  I don't care that in the Civil War maggots were a life saving agent for the wounded.  I don't care that they eat the dead flesh away.  I DON'T CARE!  Maggots are absolutely, positively, 110% disgusting in every slimy, icky, nasty, deathly way.  That is all.)

Just a typical Barn operating stall. Nothing to see here.

You see, The Sheep Surgeon didn't come unprepared.  He brought with him the magic bullet.  A bullet of a spray can containing silver nitrate.  Seeing as how there was actually and gruesomely nothing to sew together he concluded it best to spray silver over it in hopes of covering the gaping would.  Poor little girl.  She had been surgeon handled no doubt.  But The Sheep Surgeon and my friends didn't stop there.  No sir!  They came up with the genius idea to fashion a Tupperware container around her head to keep her from agitating the... the... the area.  

The Terminator Sheep
Now for a little back story.  My oldest daughter was preparing to leave for Army boot camp the very next day.  She had bravely decided to join the Army and become a medic.  What a gal!  (Yes, I'm in shock. Yes, I'm anxious for her.  No, we didn't see it coming. Yes, she is amazing.)  As we locked up the barn, said adios to our friends and The Sheep Surgeon, Lauren and I headed to the house to put the horrific day to rest.  On the way back to the house she said quietly, "Mom, I don't think I'm want to be a medic anymore".  Shocked, (just kidding) I turned to her and said, "Gee honey, why not?".  Gagging through her response she said, "I don't think I will ever get past what we just saw and smelled".  Right on daughter.  Know blood, guts, stench, and maggots when you see it and go the other way!

What a superb evening!  And just before I hung my hat on what we call, "just another day on the farm", The Sheep Surgeon's wife sent me the image above.   Pretty much!  Yep.  Thank you Sheep Surgeon's wife.  Oh how I love a good visual.  

Anyhoo, since then the sheep has recovered.  So much that we were able to shear both  of them.   I'm cautiously hopeful I'll get lanolin and felt to sell at Farm Girl Fair!  I'm sure that will be an interesting, no thrills process to tell you about.  Until then...

Following careful instructions from a "How To" site we begin the lanolin process.
I'm super excited the dying process is going as smooth as silk.  NOT!  I should have known it would take more than a
You Tube video to be a pro.
Screech!!!  I'll put the blog breaks on the "Until then" right here and now. That pending post about boiling, combing, cleaning, and dying to create pure lanolin and bright felt balls will NOT be coming soon.  The process was an EPIC fail and had me wishing I was back living the life of a neighborhood wife and mom.  I think I'll stick to growing tomatoes and cucumbers.  

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