December Fourth

December Fourth, allowed myself to sleep in til 6:15, though I knew it was going to bite me later.  39 degrees, rain had stopped.

Fed dogs, they were super-duper excited.  Knowing I would be leaving them for most of the day, I allowed them to stay/play outside for a while while I weighed and packaged up mohair, drank a cup of coffee and searched for some more information to complete price lists.  Kept plodding at all details of road trip and moving things to front hallway by front door in preparation for loading the car.

Nessie, bad dog!  She had a white Delaware hen that she was holding onto in her mouth, pinning it to the ground.  I opened the back door and yelled loudly, “Nessie!” and she dropped the hen and came flying into the house like a shot.  She NEVER comes when I call her unless I whistle her special whistle or she’s ready to come in.  I know she knew she was caught red-handed.  I shut the door behind her and watched out the window for a while to see if the hen would move.  I decided I would walk away for a few minutes and then look again.  I found my paperwork for the price list and updated my information.

I looked out the back door and saw that the hen was still down.  I slipped out the back and ran across the yard to the hen.  As I got closer, about 20 feet away, she stood up and came running over.  She was slightly bedraggled, the only feathers out-of-place being the ones on Nessie’s mouth that she shed as she came in the door.  The little hen was just fine.

I have seen the hens do that before when they’re attacked.  Sometimes I’ve caught a fox mid-hunt and then they go blitzing off when you call them out, the hen stays quiet and reserved for a long time afterward, til she knows the coast is clear, then she gets up and struts off.  It must be a ‘playing dead’ thing to try to preserve their lives.  Well, good thing for Ness that she was fine.

I’m pretty forgiving when the dogs chase the chickens, which they seldom do.  They don’t have mal-intent, it is typically because Nessie is trying to put the chickens away that she would chase them.  She wants to put them all back into the coop.  Which is where she knows they live.  But she doesn’t understand that they’re allowed to free-range.  More supervision for Nessie tomorrow morning.

Set out some mohair that I was washing.

Closed up barn and quick-brushed my teeth, threw on fresh dress and grabbed purse, loaded car and headed north by 8:30.  I was due in Brandon at 10 a.m. to sell yarn, mohair locks and roving.  Arrived at 10:02.

Stayed at Creative Fiber Design in Brandon for 2 and a half hours.  They will be selling Wing & A Prayer Farm yarn, Shetland for now, and roving and mohair and Cotswold locks.  Finished paperwork, labeling and packaging up their order and chatted with customers and another farmer that came in to show off a project he’d just knitted.  He and I chatted about the car we both drove he’d asked me about mine, parked in front.  He knew it was mine because of the sheep bumper stickers.

Then I recognized Alyssa, Mocha, Iris & Latte’s former mom.  She gave me a big hug because she knew about this week’s loss of Indy. I thanked her for her kind comments, very meaningful condolences that she’d left for me.

We chatted about Mocha’s idiosyncracies for a while and then, finally, I finished up the work I had to fill the order for Creative Fiber Design.  Maria, the owner, and I chatted for a bit before I left.  She was so much fun to work with and she introduced me to her staff and we had a brainstorming/planning session.  The store would like me to come in February for a meet & greet/launch/activity and then bring a group to the farm in the summer for a visit, make a fiber weekend out of the field trip.  It is SO much fun to be a part of such enthusiasm and support for sustainable fiber and local business.

I left and beat feet to get back to Manchester en route to home.  I got my hair done! Whee!!!  I almost fell asleep while driving there, I was truly wishing to go home.  But my hairdresser’s salon has a policy that you have to pay if you cancel less than 24 hours before your appointment.  That is the only reason I ever get my hair trimmed.  If they didn’t have that policy, I would totally be cancelling every appointment I ever made.  It is the last thing I want to do, to sit in a chair and have my hair trimmed, but, in all honesty, I can’t cut a single hair without making a disaster out of it.  So I let the professionals do it.

Finally heading south and went to Kerry & Nat’s to pick up my coop order.

Chatted with them for a bit then tried to get dog food, but the store was closed. What?  It was only 4:15! But the place I usually get dog food at was very, very closed, making me wonder if they’ve been closed for a while and it was only my first time to stop there for that long.

Headed home, the dogs were SO thrilled to see me! I fed them the last of their dog food.   After they ran off their extra energy and I’d brought a few things into the house, I put my gear on to do the evening chores.  No special issues except that little Thimble is pretty lame in her hind left hip now.  She’s much worse off than she’d been the last 3 days.  I’m not sure that she would decline, being that she was in the stall all day for the past two days with her mom, Thalia.  I’m worried the meningeal parasite infection is creeping back into her spinal column.  I gave her a dose of Vitamin B, some oral Fenbendazole & a shot of Banamine.  I hope she’ll be improved by the morning.  I also loaded her and Thalia’s bowl up with kelp and a mineral blend.  They both dove into the fresh bowl.

Jim came home from fishing and helped me load grain into the tack room.

Ate an orange, made some tea.  Washed mohair and twisted dyed skeins into hanks while Jim made grilled cheese sandwiches.

Falling asleep while typing, calling it.  Tomorrow is a great catch up day. 38 and cloudy.

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