Didn’t Used To Happen

Once in a while, an apparently unremarkable thing gives me pause and I think, “That didn’t used to happen.” In May, for example, I sheared some sheep that I shear every year. At the end of the job, the owner asked the common, perennial question, “What do we do with...

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My Book is Available for Preorder

That's a sentence I never expected to type. A couple of years ago, I started organizing notes, journal entries, and voice notes recorded during long hours of driving into a book, and the supportive, lovely folks at Oregon State University Press are publishing it....

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Can I come shearing with you?

Peak shearing season (January through June) has reached its halfway mark, though many folks perceive March and April as its beginning. This is the time of year when I receive a surprising amount of email along the lines of "Can I come shearing with you?" Given the...

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Charge More for Metal Scrapie Tags

Emily Chamelin, who must be one of the top shearers in the world (certainly in the U.S.), alerted fellow shearers to some unfortunate news today, news I want to share here. Current and prospective shearing clients: I now charge more to shear sheep with metal Scrapie...

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Shearing Sheep With Years’ Worth of Wool

Folks love stories of so-called Shrek sheep, found God knows where with years' worth of wool growth (and living proof that sheep do not "just shed" their wool if left alone in nature). But, as a shearer, those stories used to create nothing but dread. "Poor sheep,"...

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Vogue, Of All Things

If you had told me I'd end up in Vogue, and for sheep shearing no less, I'd have called you a liar. But there it is. I am so grateful to this esteemed publication for showing where our clothes come from, and for telling the world about the most wonderful people I...

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I, 80

"Where are you from?" people ask. "Where do you live?"  "I-80," I say. The name of this business still holds, though. Interstate 80 is transcontinental, inching east-west (or, I dare say, west-east) from San Francisco, California to Teaneck, New Jersey. Spend too much...

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Come Undone

And, just like that, May. I do not know the last time I did not work a weekend, which was not the point of quitting my day job, I'll have you know. The idea was to shear more on weekdays. The frenetic pace of life, the death of someone close to me every single month...

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Humble with Gratitude on National Ag Day

Today is #NationalAgDay. Doing the itty piddly bit of ag work I do has changed my life and my mind about a lot of things during the past four years. It has corrected a lot of my urban, uninformed, mainstream misconceptions. It is quite an experience to be on the...

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Shearing Season Opener

My shearing season officially opened on January 27-28, 2017 in Petaluma. I am elated to be back at it, putting my back into it. Historically, the first day back is humbling. This year was no exception, but I got off to a far better start than last year, and I am happy...

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