So, you know how sometimes, when you take a late summer vacation, you get back and there are piles and piles of laundry waiting for you, and there’s back-to-school shopping to be done pronto, and there are 302 (no joke!) work-related emails sitting in your inbox? And you take a deep breath and dive in head first and come out a month later, kind of groggy and mumbling confusedly to yourself, “Whatever happened to the peaceful, relaxed, old fashioned vacation vibe I had going there?”
Still, though, now that I have stored up memories and photos for somewhere in the neighborhood of eight (8!) new blog posts, it’s high time I started sharing them with you, groggy or not.
First up: Bombadil.
(Isn’t that the most perfect name for sheep you’ve ever heard?)
No, wait. Now that I think of it, Joel should come first.
Joel Tollefson is a young man who . . . well, I probably shouldn’t write all the nice things about him that he deserves, as he’ll probably be reading this as soon as I post it to Facebook, and I really would hate to make him blush.
Joel is . . . cool. That’s okay, right? I can say that about a teenager without embarrassing him too badly? Good.
Joel is very cool.
As soon as my excellent mother-in-law (whom you may remember as the spinning granny from my last post) shared with him that I was interested in fiber arts, Joel graciously invited me, Brenda, and the younguns over to the family farm to see . . .
his drum carder . . .
A drum carder, for those who (like I was just over a month ago) are not fully initiated in the way of the wool, is a contraption that works a lot like the hand carders I learned to use before my spinning lesson — except that it goes a lot faster and can do a lot more wool at a time. What’s more, the bats that a drum carder can make are way easier and much more pleasant to spin than the hand carded rolags. And it’s still 100% old fashioned.
Joel is a lucky, lucky guy — with great taste in hobbies.
his loom . . .
his blue-ribbon winning scarf . . .
. . . and his Bombadil.
Isn’t Bombadil fantastic? In fact, I think Bombadil is so fantastic that he definitely deserves more than a single photo (however picturesque).
Bombadil and his equally picturesque roomies deserve a full-on pictorial play-by-play, methinks.
First, we meandered out from the barn to the pasture, enjoying the beautiful Oregon day.
Bombadil met us at the gate.
He was a friendly fellow — very patient with us and quite willing to be pawed and petted (within reason).
We did learn that, unlike dogs, sheep ought never to be petted on the heads. (It apparently triggers their butting instinct, which is best to be avoided whenever possible.)
He liked Joel best of all, though — and given the children’s exuberant rambunctiousness and my incessant photobugging, I can’t say that I blame him.
Thanks again to Joel Tollefson for welcoming us to his home, his barn, and his pasture — and for making our Oregon vacation much more fun, much more educational, and much, much more memorable. We had a blast!
(P.S. — shameless plug — if any of you would ever like to hire Joel to do some carding, spinning, or weaving for you, drop me a line in the comments, and I’ll put you in touch with him.)