I had a fabulous and very busy weekend this past weekend. First, I went to a Neko Case concert at the Hoyt Sherman Place auditorium. It was an amazing concert which I have no photos from as the artist had really strongly expressed her desire for the event to not be photographed or filmed and for us to experience it in real time. Just a tip, if they say “no photos” don’t be a dick and start taking photos, even if they are “just to put on facebook”. Anyway, it was an amazing concert in an amazing venue and I was really happy to get to go to a concert even if it meant that I got to bed at around one in the morning *ahem*.
I then got up at a quarter to five the next morning and did an extra big set of chores as my friend Corinne was arriving at half past and we were heading up to Jefferson, Wisconsin for the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. It’s a great festival that I have had the pleasure of going to three or four times now and I always enjoy it. Anyway, we got on the road bright and early and headed up there. We got there a little after ten and immediately went to the vendors markets (as one does). We then did (almost) the whole festival experience hitting the silent auctions for both the festival and the Shetland breeders, checked-out the fleece judging (and said hi to Deb Robson for just a moment), watched a bit of the Shetland breeders show, ate some festival food, chatted with friends both new and old, and generally had a great day. For the first time ever, I actually won something in the silent auction for the festival. I forgot to take a photo of it, but it was a gift basket type of thing from Sheep! magazine with three t-shirts, a few copies of the most current issue, a customized gear tote, and a year’s subscription to Sheep! magazine. Corinne won a number of lovely things as well (I think she’s a bit more cutthroat in her silent auction bidding than I am…).
During all of this, the two of us decided to bid on a few ewes that were in the silent auction for the Midwest Shetland Sheep Breeders Association. Corinne bid on a lovely ewe/ewe lamb pair from OK Acres and I bid on an adorable single ewe lamb from Ramble N Farms. We didn’t do this spur-of-the-moment. Corinne called her husband to make sure that it would work and I, well, what’s one more sheep? We both won the sheep we were bidding on as well as several other lovely prizes.
Since we were staying at an AirBNB, we left the sheep in the stall that night. Over dinner, we did a little research and found that there was a Theisen’s in Jefferson, which made our endeavor significantly easier. The next morning, Corinne picked up a halter for the adult ewe while I picked up a mid-duty tarp for the back of the car. We then headed back to the fairgrounds for day two of festival excitement. We listened in at the panel discussion that Deb and Lettie Kline took part in. We did a little more shopping, and watched the sheep to shawl contest for a bit. After lunch, we started prepping to head home. The back of the Fit was flattened and all purchases and bags were moved directly behind our seats and secured so that they wouldn’t move if bumped on by the sheep. We fastened-down the tarp and generally made the car as splash-proof as possible. When we went through the exhibitor gate, we had expected that they would question us a little bit as we didn’t have a trailer or, you know, a truck. However, the lady at the gate barely glanced-up when we stopped to tell her that we were picking-up sheep.
I could have easily backed the Fit down the alley of the sheep barn to where the sheep were located had a young girl not been giving me the total side-eye. So I backed in a little ways and we had to figure-out how to load three sheep with only two women. Getting them into the back of the car was sort-of an all-or-nothing kind of thing where all three ladies were loaded and then the hatchback firmly closed. I grabbed a gentleman that I knew and asked if he could carry a lamb for us as he was clearing out his farm’s Shetlands, and thus we very quickly moved all three animals pretty quickly and easily. As we were leaving, we stopped at the gate and told the lady that we weren’t kidding about picking-up sheep and this time she stopped and looked.
As we headed East, we did stop a few times on the way. First was Paoli, a small town outside of Verona that has a ton of shops and art galleries. The next was the Duluth Trading Outlet just down the road in Belleville. Both Corinne and I like their clothes and being that close to the outlet, well, we had to stop. The last stop was Culvers in Mt Horeb where interestingly our sheep weren’t the only ones in the parking lot!
At all stops we parked in the shade and had windows and sunroof open. It was around seventy out with a nice breeze, so the ladies were really comfortable in the car.
After supper, we hit the road in earnest and we arrived back at my house around nine pm. We quickly unloaded my sheep and then transferred the pair (along with the tarp) to Corinne’s vehicle. Really, the entire trip home was as smooth and easy as I had expected (and no my car wasn’t trashed).