Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Charlie story.

So as I was leaving the church parking lot I was flagged down by another parent. He asked if we still had sheep. Anyway, he was looking for some sheep for his boys to practice on for the mutton busting down at the rodeo later in the week.

I thought about it and then said, well, we can try Charlie. At the very least they can pet him and see how he feels.

So they came over and had on their full 4 wheeler gear. Helmets and pads including a chest pad thing.

The first boy was easy. He came over to Charlie and pet him with me and his dad right there. I fed Charlie some leaves that he couldn't reach on his own and the Dad plopped his son on Charlies back over the front legs and hanging on at the neck.

Charlie took a few steps and then dropped down to his front knees. He proceeded to do this the next 2 times with this boys younger brothers. Well we decided to try for a 2nd ride for everyone.

This time Charlie wasn't as easy to get. But he couldn't resist those tasty leaves. The father put the son on Charlies middle and boy did he get a ride! He went about 20 feet before falling off. But 20 feet and a fairly quick speed! So it was fun. We were able to do that one more time for the next son. It was pretty funny to watch!

It didn't work so well with the 3rd son since Charlie was to skittish now. We gave up after Charlie ran out from under the boy.

All in all it was a lot of fun and I wish I had gotten pictures. A few days later Charlie was bothering the girls so I decided to make him skittish by putting a girl on his back. Strangely though, A wouldn't cooperate. :) So I climbed on. It didn't work so well and really there was no way I was going to pick my feet up off the ground and risk injury. Anyway though I kind a sat on his back and that made him skittish enough to the point he left me and the girls alone for the rest of the chicken feeding session. :)

Big things happening over here!

So, we sold the sheep.

I've been thinking over this decision for the past month. Ever since my shearer said he had some great fleeces he'd sell me for $5. Well that sounded to good to be true. Probably meant $5/lb. I know most people sell fleece for about $7/lb.

So a few weeks after that I get a call from the shearer who has some colored fleece for me and will be in the area. I had told him my budget was $25 so thought I might be lucky and get 2 but at the very least 1.

He showed up with 3 nice fleeces. 2 were great and the 3rd was slightly less soft. more of an outerwear or bag fleece. I asked him the prices. Its a little vague now (this was a few weeks ago) but I gave him a $20 bill and got about $4 change and came away with 3 fleece.

Now, to raise 4 sheep for one year you have to pay for feed, shots, deworming, and shearing.

They go through about 1/2 ton of alfalfa per winter. So its around $40-$60 depending on the quality and market. Lets go with $40 for our calculations.

Shots are not that expensive. you pay about $20 for enough supplies for around 3 years. So lets say $5 for a nice easy number to work with.

Deworming cost is really really low. You pay about $7 for a tube of ivomectin (sp?). This is a horse dewormer. We've had the same tube for about 3 years. Lets say $2.50

Shearing costs $30-$35/year.

so it was costing about $$77.50/yr on the low end to raise 4 sheep for a year.

I can buy fleece as good as or better than those fleece for around $20.

But sheep are food storage on the hoof. They eat down the pasture. They are fun to have and easy keepers. Yes to all of those statements.

But I couldn't get over my actual costs.

So I put them on Craigslist for my dream price. $100 each. And said if you take all 4, I'll give you a deal. I was still reluctant to see them go so I wasn't all that bummed when I didn't have any responses.

That was a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday I got a response. He said I'm interested in all 4, what kind of deal did you have in mind. I said all 4 for $350. I paid either $60 or $65 for them at a few months old, and now they were 4.5 or so years old. Sheep can live to 15 or so with a good shepherd, so their lives were 1/3 over.
At $350 it comes to $87.50 each.

Well this morning the guys came to look the sheep over and I said they had lovely fleece and they said they looked yummy. Yes, they intended to eat them. And then proceeded for the next 45 min to offer $300 over and over.

I stuck to my guns at $350. Which wasn't hard. It was hard to think of them being eaten. Such great fleece. I made sure to let them know that they weren't hair sheep (which ironically is what they call sheep with no fleece, intended for eating). I made sure they knew that the girls could be bred. I made sure they knew that they were sired by Buzz Lightyear, a registered Cormo.

By the time they left they told me (or lied. who knows) that they would keep the girls for breeding and eat Charlie.

I told them what a great pet Charlie was and how much fun he was. How he was nice and fun to pet.

Anyway, in the end after much dickering, And pointing out that they weren't for eating, I finally accepted the $350. I had to walk away from many many offers. The guy even showed the cash and tried to hand it to me. I just kept walking away.

Did I mention he was not American? I think he was just bartering with me like they do over in Turkey. But I think he may have been Czech.

Anyway, after rounding the sheep up for a teeth inspection ( I had to hear that one is looking a little old over and over) We helped them load the sheep into a trailer much like dads. We dragged Charlie into the trailer and the 3 girls jumped into the trailer on their own after much coaxing.

Its the end of an era.

Friday, July 15, 2011


How I choose a cutting board (or bowl or whatever)

"Ho Hum, I need a cutting board to put this bread dough on. "
opens drawer
"What? Only the huge cutting board is clean? The one that won't fit in the dishwasher? That stinks."

How it feels like other members of my family choose a cutting board (or whatever)
"Hey cool! The big cutting board is here!"


Does it bother you when other people post large amounts of pictures of you and your family on facebook?

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Ahhh Highway to Heaven. The reason I am always on the lookout for a snake in the toilet.

Did you know its on locally on that Retro TV station? I found it by accident the other day.

And if you are bored and ready for a light silly LDS romantic comedy, check this one out.