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Wednesday, December 02 2015

     While most additions to the farm are a result of tedious research and obsession, others are an accident of fancy. I went to the ranch estate sale with the intent of buying all the purebred Navajo Churro sheep I could afford, but I brought a Wild Card - my husband. Let me take a moment to explain that I was feeling particularly indebted to him that day.

One of my absolute pet peeves is someone wasting my time, and my husband, bless his heart, is the kind of person who flys by the seat of his pants. He often starts his day in one direction, but whimsy leads him in a completely different direction.  A quick trip to the store can take hours. Running an errand with him is like a trip to Gilligan's Island. You end up a castaway when you started out on a three hour tour. This may be fine for him, but I don't like to be dragged along on these adventures. They are his adventures. I see them as a waste of my time. And I make sure he knows it. (sorry, I'm a bitch)

Anyway, on that Thursday night, Dear Friend Kim told us about this giant ranch estate sale that was taking place November 20-21. Since Other Half is a sucker for these sales, I assumed it would just be one more of his adventures and I had no plans on going. Then Kim dropped the bomb.

"They have those Navajo sheep that you've been wanting."

Sign me up!  I obsessed all night long. At 8 am Friday morning I called the number to ask about the Navajo sheep. No answer. I forwarded the estate sale flyer to Dear Friend Sue who is my Sheep Mother. Sue called immediately and ordered me to buy ALL the purebred churros. And she reminded me of this rule,

"Remember, there are no bad sheep."

I assured her that my intent was to buy all the churros. In fact, the weather was supposed to turn really ugly on Saturday and I was hoping that would keep other buyers away. I smugly announced that no matter what the weather, I planned to be at the gates an hour before the sale opened on Saturday. That's when Sue pointed out that the sale was on Friday and Saturday. Not Saturday and Sunday. (Cue the Homer Simpson "Duh!!") It was 9 am on Friday. The estate was two hours away and the sale started at 8 am.

I rushed into the house, woke up my sleeping husband, and announced that we had to leave NOW!

And God bless him, this man who doesn't willingly get out of bed before 10 am, hopped up, threw on some jeans, and drove me across North Texas to get my sheep. No complaints. None. I was humbled. I thought about all the times I had bitched and griped as he dragged me along on his adventures, so as the rolling countryside passed us by, I announced that I owed him an apology. He took it graciously. (I think he was simply in shock.)

We got to the estate and to my relief, the sheep had not been sold yet. So while I picked out all the churros, he took one look at the large flock of Churro, Jacob, and Southdown sheep, and informed me that we needed to get some of "those spotted ones." I told him those were Jacob sheep, and thus not part of the plan. He pointed out that they were cool looking and he liked them. Alrightie then. Add a couple of the 'cool lookin' ones too. I mean, he did sacrifice his entire day without complaint to get sheep for me. What's a couple more sheep?

Now since I didn't plan to buy Jacobs, I hadn't researched Jacobs, thus all I really knew about them was that four horned sheep were more desirable. Other Half announced that he thought the 4-horned sheep were "evil-looking." Okay. No 4-horns. That was fine. Since we were not Jacob breeders, it made more sense to leave the most desirable Jacobs for someone coming behind us who may be looking for Jacobs, not Navajo Churro. Other Half selected two Jacob sheep that he liked. Bonus. One of these came with a half-grown lamb the lady threw in for free.

I must admit, I didn't think much about the Jacobs at first. I just bought them because Other Half wanted them. They are cute little sheep, but since Jacobs are not part of my breeding program, their addition was merely an added expense. But then I got to know these little guys and found that I genuinely enjoyed them. Instead of richocheting into walls, the Jacobs are calm and thoughtful sheep who influence the others. They were the first to accept me as their shepherd.

It looks like Other Half picked out an older ewe, her baby, and an additional yearling ewe.

Long range plans? Who knows. They are blending well with the flock and they don't cost much to keep. Now that I'm retired, I'm able to explore my interest in learning to spin and weave, and the Jacob fleeces will add some interest to that. We'll see. I believe there are no accidents in life. It remains to be seen what these little ewes will bring to ours.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 09:07 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Thanks for posting about the Jacobs. I LOVE them, but living halfway down Florida, like I do, Jacobs are probably not in my future. They are very distinctive looking even without the four horns.
Posted by Patty on 12/02/2015 - 08:47 PM
I LOVE JACOB SHEEP! They are my second favorite after Valais Mountain sheep, and since I can't bring those into Canada, to my knowledge, I guess someday when I manage to have some semblance of a little farm, I will be on the lookout for Jacobs. Saw them at a heritage site in BC a couple of years ago and that was that. My only real sheep experience is a friends finns - and I love them, and it's cool that their mass-productivity means that you can get a LOT of lambs out of a smaller flock...but I have decided I want Jacobs if I can't have Valais. Or maybe I want both!
Posted by AlbertaGirl on 12/04/2015 - 01:17 PM
I have enjoyed your blog for awhile. It reminds me of my childhood in Eastern Europe. I the town of Farmersville, East of Rockwall, the people from the following link have the supplies and classes for wool spinning and coloring: Good luck and keep on living your dream.
Posted by David on 12/07/2015 - 03:12 PM
Awwww... that's sweet! Thank you! I'm glad you have enjoyed the blog. Thank you for the tip too. I plan to get more involved with fiber sheep in the future now that I have time!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 12/15/2015 - 02:23 PM

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