Monday, August 17, 2009

Thoughts on MFF

I arrived to Stephen's farm on Wednesday, early afternoon. After unpacking the dogs and their belongings (crates, fans, xpens, etc) We headed to Lake Michigan and the home of a large nursery. The name escapes me but it is the home of a botanist who was the leading edge of the unique evergreens that were all over the property. We met Jim and Betty Garpow and toured the place and headed to Sagatauck for supper and a bit of shopping. The stores and food were incredible! I had some renowned fudge and icecream, went to a spice store, a 'fun' store and walked the boardwalk, listened to a band playin in a city park and took a small trip to the beach on Lake Michigan as well as the lake drive. All in the presence of great company and wonderful weather. We ate at an Enlgish Pub and grill. I'm beginning to love those places!

Thursday morning I stayed at the farm and caught up on my email. Stephen had to take his mother to the hospital as she had a big fall on Wednesday and wasn't feeling any better. We headed to the London Grill in Plainwell (another British pub with Indian food, my favorite place to go). Thursday afternoon I helped him sort sale sheep, deworm the group and go over the BFLs. Thursday afternoon Bill Stearman arrived and, the Garpow's and Stephen and I headed to the Rock Bottom Bar and Grill and we pretty much laughed and scared the whole group out of the basement! I had the most amazing chicken alfredo pizza ever!

Juliann Budde arrived after dark and we took her out to Applebee's where I had a great mudslide drink for dessert.

friday morning I got up early and drove north an hour to visit Beechtree Farm where Brenda and I went through most of her sheep (especially the ones for sale) and I listened a lot and learned a great deal about the history of her flock. I wish I had a voicerecorder for that! After a quick lunch at Arby's we headed down to MFF with their show string in the trailer. I helped unload their sheep and get the pens ready and said hello to a few people I knew. Before I knew it the day was close to over and I had to rush back to Stephen's to shower and get ready for Sam's Joint where we have our traditional meal with Shetland friends and enthusists (and many backrow spinners!) Kim Nikolai, Carol Bator, the Gygi's, Garpow's, Karen Valley, Juliann, myself, Stephen, Bill and Gail Former, as well as many spinner friends enjoyed a great meal.

After I could hardly move, we then ran (seriously I nearly did, incase the last black bottom pie was there for me!) and there were no less than 22 people there as Rich Johnson finally made it there to enjoy a well earned dessert at the 747 bar.

Saturday morning I 'slept in' until about 7am (eastern) and went to talk sheep outside and then headed to the show. The Ludlam's won just about every ribbon you could think of in the Shetland show! In the BFLs (whites only) Brenda won 1st place ewe lamb with Carol Bator a close second! The entire ewe lamb class was a sight to behold and I would have loved to have owned any of them. The ram lamb class was won by a ram lamb named Kirkdale, who I had purchased just the day before. I guess I have an eye ;) A close second and definitely a strong contender was another Carol Bator lamb who was just breathtaking! He is going to produce some lovely offspring! Again all of the ram lambs were just beautiful and another sign of the good things to come with the breed. Overall champion was a yearling ewe and reserve was the 2nd place yearling ewe. The yearling rams were overall champions with I believe Brenda with the champion and reserve going to the Densmores? Correct me if I'm wrong!

The natural colored longwool class was won by a yearling ewe from Margaret VanCamp, followed by a Border Leicester ewe and then Brenda's yearling ewe. The lambs I cannot remember so hopefully someone can help me out with that as well :)

After a long day of showing (I STILL have not gone to see the vendors!!) I raced back to Stephen's to shower and then head over with the crew to The Ludlam's annual event. Numbers were down, but the laughter was still quite high! I met so many new and wonderful people it was really great to meet them! I couldn't believe how fast the time wait all year to go to MFF and then when you are there its hard to believe its almost over!

Sunday morning I loaded up the last of Stephen's BFLs as he is unable to keep them any longer. I ended up taking Beechtree Kearsley an F2 CH/V2 homozygous white ewe, her twin ewe lamb daughters out of Beechtree Cragganmore and a yearling white ewe Catalonia who is a triplet sister to my Burma here. I also snatched up a Blues x Guinevere gray katmoget ram lamb. He was just too nice to pass up!

A hundred thank yous to Juliann and Kim for helping transport sheep for me while I was driving my dogs in a tiny Focus Wagon. I think Stephen is a class A guy for putting all his friends up, driving us around, and doing such a wonderful job at promoting the classic Shetland and the fine fleeced animals that he produces!


Michelle said...

JUST what you needed - another black-based katmoget! :-) AND more BFLs....

Becky Utecht said...

Thanks for the detailed scoop on your time at MFF, Garrett. It's always been so much fun when I've gone, I'm glad to be able to read all about it. I hope you'll get some photos of all your new BFLs posted when you get a chance.

Available sheep

With my work load continuing to pile up, and less time to spend with the sheep, I am offering the following: My entire flock of BlueFaced ...