The next morning.
"Is Hug a Sheep Day really over? I didn't get any cookies!"
Bullwinkle. Everyone offered you cookies and you wouldn't eat them. Even Aaron, who can do anything with wool and even got Burrnie to eat cookies a couple years ago, couldn't get you to do anything more than take a cookie...and then spit it on the ground. I will give you lots of credit for being friendly though. You boys did a good job.
"But we could still have some cookies today, though, right? 'Cause every day is a good day to give a sheep a cookie, right?"
"I think we are just going to have to eat boring ole straw, Bullwinkle."
Kate's sure there might be some crumbs left. And Baaxter knows she won't share.
"Did somebody say Burrnie? Am I going to get some cookies, too?"
"I think she's just taking pictures."
We've had some crazy Hug a Sheep Parties in the past, but this one really took the cake. For almost the whole week leading up to the party, Tim was completely taken down by a kidney stone. I realize that's probably TMI, but if I just said "Tim was at the ER three times over the last five days", it would have sounded much worse. It was bad enough as it was.
Normal preparations that would have gone off seamlessly just couldn't happen. The hopes that the nightmare was finally over late Friday night were dashed the next morning when it was obvious he needed to go back to Lexington once again. There was no way to not do that. There was no way to cancel the party. Phone calls were made and within minutes help was on the way.
Friends and neighbors rallied together and the theme for the day was "We've got this!" Tim was dispatched to the big city, animals were cared for, the barn tidied up, road signs put out, hugging pen assembled and filled, tables and chairs set out, cider iced down (it was 80 degrees!), questions answered, drop spindle and wheel spinning lessons given, cookies (but not too many :-) were fed and lots of pictures were taken...but none by me :-/.
I've seen a few pictures posted on the Ravelry page and Instagram. I haven't had a chance to check Facebook yet. If anyone else has posted them anywhere and would like to leave a comment with a link for others to see or if you'd be willing to email them to me to share...I would be so grateful. In the meantime, here are just a few verbal highlights:
1. Obviously, pulling the whole thing off was the biggest highlight. A huge thank you to everyone!!!
2. We pretty much picked who was going to be in the hugging pen by which sheep were near the gate at the time. Somehow Woody and Murphy got left in the main flock. This actually worked great as they both worked on everyone who came into the barn so many of the other sheep got cookies just like the party sheep. Even Jester and Ford got cookies :-).
3. Bullwinkle seemed to like visiting with everyone even if he didn't want to eat "contaminated" cookies. When it got too hot to leave the sheep out front and we moved them over to the shade on the side of the barn, Bullwinkle stayed out in the driveway for a couple minutes to
work the crowd hang out with his mom. Just to be silly, I made a show of me feeding him cookies just to prove he did indeed like cookies :-D.
4. When we moved the sheep over to the shade, the entire flock became the hugging pen. Daniel came up to someone and gave them a sheep hug. He is just. so. sweet. The link back to the "sheep hug" post is fun. Wow, look at how young those sheep were. How did everyone get so old :-/.
5. Annabelly's yarn. I love how someone (especially a new spinner) buys a fleece, processes it themselves, spins the yarn (especially well), brings it back to show me, comes to the farm and by the end of the day is a new old friend.
Annabelly is the only Jacob we have that I thought I could probably catch out in the field for a hug and yarn picture. Annabelly has become one of my favorite sheep over the years. She's kind of a silly sheep and not the fanciest Jacob in the world (read, probably least fancy Jacob in the world ;-) and I've always thought she's kind of felt that she wasn't one of the cool kids.
For someone to show up and say "Oh, she's beautiful!" and pose for a picture with her and really, really pretty yarn spun from her fleece... Sheep are not dumb. As I tricked her into letting me catch her, she tried hard to get away. I told her why she was being singled out. That she was special. That this was a Big Deal. She stopped and it was clear she understood. Every mom wants their kid to be successful. Thank you for making Annabelly feel really special :-).
6. SO...when we moved the sheep to the shade and they all became the hugging pen...oh you know it. Maisie. I went out with everyone who wanted to go in and hug some sheep. I did my best to keep an eye on the little darling, but even though she wasn't looking for trouble, there is something about her that draws everyone in. One of the neighbors who knows quite well to "stay away from the sheep with the tail" would discreetly refocus my attention and I'd go intervene ;-).
7. We had a great group of spinners and knitters. I kept trying to get over there to join in and kept getting drawn other directions. When I finally brought my wheel out, it was almost "closing time". A few folks stayed on so I could at least sit down and visit for awhile. It had been a long week and that was a much needed treat.
8. This post is probably getting too long. As always, I got to visit with so many fun and interesting people. And as usual, I missed visiting with too many folks as well. I hate that :-/. If you had questions or comments or missed getting a picture with your favorite sheep...please feel welcome to correspond with me or make an appointment to come back out.
Remember - every day is a good day to hug a sheep!
* * * * *
Here are a few pics and there is a link to follow in the comments below.
Keep the pictures coming!
Murphy, Bullwinkle, Woody, Lila
When you run out of cookies, the hugging is over ;-).
Renny, Clover Belly (mostly hidden) Andy, Billy Belly, Beanie Baby, Annabelly Burrnie, Heidi, Blossom, Baby Belly, PPPP, B. Willard in back, Levi, Maisie, Rebecca Boone, Keebs, Spud, Daniel, Allie, Buddy, Woolliam (nose) and I'm not sure who's in the very back by the gate, maybe Liddy?