Friday, September 25, 2009


When I agreed to take in an orphan lamb many, many (many)years ago, I had no earthly idea of the path I was stepping out onto. Looking back, I don't think I had much of an idea about anything at that point in my life! I had three young boys, one nearly four, one nine and the oldest 11 years old. I lived on a small farm and had the horses I had dreamed of my whole city childhood. That first lamb, Sheba (I know, I know, so predictable), was a Suffolk/Hampshire crossbred and she came to me at the tender age of one day old. I knew nothing about sheep and I mean nothing! It's a miracle she lived through all my learning experiences. (In fact, she lived to be seventeen years old.) I loved her in a way that was completely different from my affection for my horses, dogs and cats. When she was two years old, I took her to a neighbor's farm to be bred. Five months later, Sheba had her first lamb and that was it. I was hooked. I knew I didn't want to raise sheep for meat, but the idea of raising a wool breed and actually using the wool was so appealing. It was a life changing decision for me. I have involved myself in many activities during my adult, tennis, (anyone out there need a practically brand new pair of ice skates?) just to name a few. None of them worked for me. It's been the sheep and fiber related activities that have been the one constant and the point I'm trying to get to (in my usual round-about way) is that the friends I've made, because I raise sheep, are the true blessing.

Those of you who have read this blog for a while know that I lost a ewe who was very special to me last year. Pauladeen was bottle baby, mine from the moment of her birth. She was such a funny, quirky personality and I still miss her. Not long after Pauladeen's death, my friend, Lindy (locolindy), gave me a plaque she had painted with a likeness of Pauladeen and it was captioned "In my heaven, let there be sheep". Just this past weekend, Sara (thecrazysheeplady), gave me a wonderful needle felted sheep she had crafted to look like Pauladeen and she even created it from some of Pauladeen's last fleece. (Just writing this makes me tear up.) Who could ask for more caring, wonderful friends? Not me, for sure!
So, in spite of the fact that you've just been told a big chunk of my life story, my real objective here is to say thank you, thank you, thank you to my "sheep friends" for being so thoughtful. (And, how lucky am I that my thoughtful sheep friends are also very talented?)


  1. Dianne, I too have found my sheep/fiber/blogging friends to be wonderful, enduring, REAL friends, and incredibly generous as well. I am new to your blog so didn't know about Pauladeen; I am truly sorry for the hole she left in your heart.

  2. This is so lovely and heartfelt.
    I do understand...years ago when we moved here, we bought a few sheep and two keep the grass and other things "down" while we grew and made our nursery. Low and behold, eventually we had many, many sheep and a milk cow and pigs.
    It was wonderful, our boys were growing into men, I loved my Jersey cow and milked every day come rain or shine, before and after work.
    The animals provided all of us such a lesson of constancy and dedication; boys who could go to other countries for FFA experiences.
    We are so fortunate to share our life with such wonderful creatures who are, many times, more forgiving and loving that we are.
    Best to you.

  3. Awww, you made me tear up, too! I so understand how you feel. I've really been missing you and hope to gain some semblance of sanity so that I can join you for knitting again sometime soon.

  4. What a beautiful post... and beautiful friendships.

  5. Thanks for sharing all of that. I didn't know the story of how you got into sheep.

    Having heard you talk so affectionately about Pauladeen - how she got her name, how she was your favorite and meant so much to you - 'makes me tear up every time I think about your loss. Lovely, thoughtful friends ease the hurt, though.

    'Hope to see you this weekend at the Wool Fest.