Monday, December 17, 2007

I have another email address...

The EverRanch website's host has been down, then up, then down, then up. It's hard not to be frustrated when we have the benefit auction going. Please be patient! (That goes for me, too!)

When the EverRanch site is down, so is our EverRanch email! You can also reach me via my Comcast account:

Hopefully, both won't be down at the same time! argh.

- Franna

Friday, December 14, 2007

People are Amazing

I have always believed in people. Even when the news is dark, and cheats abound, identity theft is rampant, politicians are crooked. I still believe in people. People like you and me.

My faith is confirmed. We have such a generous outpouring of donations and bids in our Benefit Auction for the Black Sheep Creamery it is absolutely wonderful. There are donations for everything from skeins of yarn (beautiful handspun skeins at that!) to whole, prizewinning fleeces, lovingly processed rovings to a week long Artist's Retreat in a cabin on Whidbey Island - REALLY! I am officially hinting that there may be a loom or two in the auction by Monday :-)

Check this cabin out. It belongs to Petra and Adrian Martin and is in Bayview on Whidbey Island. Petra has decked it out as a Writer's Retreat and it could be a Retreat for any artist or anyone seeking some peace and quiet.

Wouldn't a week here be a wonderful Christmas present for the Artist in your life???

We have so many items in the auction, I'm going to split it up into 2 or 3 pages. I just need a little more time to do it. It should happen this weekend. My kids are coming next Thursday, so that time will be busy... and Great!

I took a little more time today, out with the sheep, scratching chins and ears, softly telling them how wonderful they are. For us, sheep are not just another piece of livestock. They have individual personalities and opinions. Our flock, like the dairy breeds, have been raised closely with people and tend to be curious and friendly. They all have names. I tried hard not to think of them having to struggle to stay afloat in ever rising water. Trying to keep that visualization out of my head.

Bid on the auction items. Pay it forward.

- Franna

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Counting Blessings and Sharing

What is all this???
The NW Shetland Sheep Group is pulling together and holding an online benefit auction for the Black Sheep Creamery, one of the family businesses devastated by the flooding in Lewis County, Washington. The above bits and pieces are all sorted out and shown on the Auction Site along with many other donated items:
Can you imagine losing 80% of your flock friends, and not being able to do anything about it because you're saving your selves and children? Can you imagine pulling semi-conscious ewes out of a pile of dead sheep and praying that they make it? (One of them did!) Can you imagine mud, mud, mud everywhere, in everything, covering everything, stuck to everything? It will be a long, expensive and hard road for the Gregorys and many of their neighbors.
We all have things to be thankful for, and especially that we can help others in times like this. If you can help either with donations, or by bidding, please do! Feel free to pass the word, spread the link around and encourage bidding. :-)
- Franna

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Every year about 14 days post AI, I go on sheep watch. Two to three times a day I feel like a voyeur standing in the shadows just watching. Unlike a voyeur, I hope to see nothing! Today is day 17 post AI. So far, FIVE of the little tramps have succumbed to the charms of the cleanup rams. Three in Bubba's group, and two in Kibbles group. Five sponges, five hormone injections, five procedures and five straws down the tubes. At least Bubba and Kibbles are 50% Gotland.
Bubba is sort of studly, in a Leicesterly, just past awkward teenage, longwool, white sort of way. He flips his very large, Leicester sized ears to accent his pillow talk. I wonder if the ewes notice?
Kibbles is very well built and moves with a powerful grace that I don't see often in sheep. His face, though... I guess you have to be his mom, and before weaning!, to appreciate it.

Here's Kibbles in front of "his" group of 8 ewes. Starting left, Pinky and Brain, Lindy, Bossie, Hortense behind, Tucker, Freckles and Charcoal. Can you see Lindy and Charcoal smirking?

Bubba (at right) keeps watch on 4 of his ewes. At left is Bibb, the first to succumb, then Bits, Niblet and in front, Lou. Niblet is a hold out, the other 3 will have Leicester-Gotland-Finn lambs.

Electra is looking smug after teaching Bubba a thing or two about Shetland ewes. She was our backup ewe for AI, and wasn't needed. Since she was synchronized with the other ewes, she's cycling right on time.
Buddy has a group of 5 Shetland ewes. Only two of these were AI'd with Gotland semen - Snowflake and Asa. So far, they've given Buddy the cold shoulder. From left to right are Snowflake, Emmie, Buddy, Val, Asa (lying down) and Bessie.

When I get past the next couple of days, I'll stop looking at the emptiness of the glass - it's 1/3 empty now! - and start looking at how full it is. ;-)

- Franna