July 1-4 – I am at a retreat at the Abbey of Regina Laudis, coping with the fact that we just bought a house in Albany, VT, just north of Craftsbury and Hardwick.
July 5-12 – Every day, I wake up in Williston at 8, handle the sheep, cat and birds, and pack the car until 11ish. Then I drive to Albany and unpack. Matt is busy making the water run, installing a hot water heater, and bringing the electrical systems up to code in Albany.
July 12-20 – We have moved most of the house items to Albany, but we are still living in Williston in a ever-more-empty room. Matt still has many repairs to work on. We are starting to move large items, like the tractors and implements. My mother comes and helps us move the cat and the birds. We also move the flock up to Albany in two trips in my truck. The back of the truck still smells. I’m glad I’ll never have to move the sheep en-masse again.
July 21-24 – Mom and I travel to Ohio and back in three days to purchase five more registered Bluefaced Leicesters. Day One is just drive across New York State, Northeastern PA and Ohio. Just rolling hills terminating in flatness. We reach a hotel just outside Cincinnati by 9pm. We spend the following day just stretching our legs, touring Cincinnati and preparing for the long slog. We got to meet Lowell Bernhardt. He has a beautiful flock of sheep nestled among the corn and soy fields. On Sunday, we got up at 5:30, grabbed some coffee and loaded the trio of lovely ewe lambs from Lowell. We set off for Howard, Ohio, to meet Anne Bisdorf and Lisa Rodenfels. Anne owned the ewes I was buying. Lisa no longer keeps sheep, but her flock was a major influence on the breed in the US. She was kind enough to drive a distance to see the lambs that descended from her flock, as both Lowell’s and Anne’s flocks originated with Lisa. Mom and I then drove back to Vermont, sheep baa-ing away in the back. The rest of the drive took 14 hours, and we arrived in Albany after midnight. We are both wiped and the sheep were sick of each other in their tight quarters in Mom’s van. Matt has been managing all of the animals for three days. He’s tired, too, so Monday is a rest day.
July 25-July 30th – Matt and I complete our move out of Williston. We took down all three of our Garage-in-a-Box outbuildings in one day and moved the chicken coop in an epic struggle with four of our best friends helping. I have put 2500 miles on my truck doing this move, with half of those towing heavy weights. We finished cleaning the house at 8:30 Saturday night and turned over the keys.
The flock is adjusting well to their new home. The grass here isn’t as good as the grass was in Williston. The soil here has been robbed of nutrients for too long, but we’re already moving forward on improvements. There is still much to be done just to make the house work, but the roofer starts next Monday and we have the chimney repairs scheduled too. We’ve ordered the barn, and we’re working on our Current Use enrollment.