November 13, 2021

The Sheep Barn

Little Mitzi worked hard in the sheep barn in her childhood. She went to sheep shows with her dad. Many are the stories she tells that originated in this wonderful sheep barn.

The Sheep Barn
The Beautiful Wanship Valley. 

Mitzi grew up in a rural agricultural community.  Over the past few years, she has shared some fun stories with me.  Many of them involve this old saw mill..... which the Woolstenhulme's used as a barn.  Stories about hand shoveling foot deep sheep maneur. Hauling hay. Tromping Wool. Docking lambs.

I've been wanting to see the barn. Smell the barn. Photograph the barn. Mission accomplished :)

This is the silo where grain is stored.  Mitzi tells me about carrying two 5 gallon buckets full of grain.  Heavy.  One in each hand.  No spilling.  Multiple trips until all the sheep were fed.  

She also tells me of the suffocation dangers of being trapped in a huge pile of grain.

This sheep trailer is what Mitzi and her dad would pull behind their little Datsun truck to sheep shows in the Mid-west. She tells me of summer nights when she would toss a gymnastic pad in the gooseneck and sleep out with her sisters.

Mitzi's mom and dad found this gypsy trailer and converted it into a sheep camp in the early 1980's.  Mitzi and her sisters helped make the curtains, the quilt, lay the carpet, and paint the cabinets.  It was the best childhood clubhouse and has everything needed to camp comfortably for days. Even a wood burning stove!

She has a million memories in this place.

The barn stores alfalfa. It's a sweet smell and now I understand why Mitzi loved riding her bike by the alfalfa fields in St. George when we lived there.

Mitzi and her sisters and cousins wrote their names on the wall of the barn with breeding chalk :)

Some young adult sheep, curious about the intruder with the camera.

This is the nursery where the baby lambs are kept after they are born. It's heated and comfortable for them and the moms.

Mitzi demonstrates how the baby sheep get docked.  aka have their tails removed.

Don, Mitzi's dad, is a meticulous record keeper.  He keeps track of his lambing on this chalk board.

Tractor and trailer. The tractor didn't arrive until after Mitzi left home and wasn't working the barn anymore. She would have loved to clean the sheep poop with it instead of a shovel!

Near the rafters there is a center metal pole.  A few inches below the pole is a tightly strung wire.  Mitzi tells me of an early rendition of a zip line her parents bought them one year for Christmas.  She tells me of the hours they spent climbing up and zipping across the wire.  She doesn't ever remember getting hurt :)

Sunlight streaming into the bales of alfalfa.

We climbed up on top of the hay bales for a birds eye view of the barn. Mitzi explains the wheres and whats of the barn operation. She's at home among these giant rafters. She's cute!

The office.

The sun is starting to settle and the light is getting soft as we end the tour.  Mitzi tells me of the many summers she spent painting the fence, and her gymnastic tricks she would attempt on the gates :)

I can clearly picture little Mitzi working so hard all those years in her childhood.  She developed a deep love for manual labor on this ground.  It's a peaceful place full of adventurous possibilities.  What a great place to be a kid!