December Fifth and Sixth:
Woke up a little later each day, Saturday and Sunday, because I was catching up. My bod wanted more sleep, thankfully I was able to catch it. Coming off such a “hangover” after putting Indy down this week. Feel like I’m recovering from a deep flu or something. Very exhausted.
Edie left a message for eggs, washed and crated eggs and put them out for her to pick up. Put out two dozen.
Jim covered chores for me in a.m. on Saturday so I could finish labeling/packing car for trip to Burlington. Started out of driveway and a sweet couple whom I’d never met before were driving in. They’d lived for 11 years in Shaftsbury and were just discovering the farm as they drove by. I gave them a synopsis of what we do here and then passed my business card off to them to invite them to contact me for a proper tour some day. They wanted eggs so I directed them to the front porch and the money box. Told them they’d see Jim around.
Headed north and arrived in time to catch Kaitlin at nido and go through entire yarn order for their store. Megan was there. I felt like a fool that I hadn’t recognized her at first! Megan is the neat young gal that works part time at nido and has ordered yarn from me to knit with. She bought some zinnia-dyed Cotswold/Mohair when she was at the Sheep & Wool Festival this fall, then liked it so much she wanted more and so I dyed more at home and fortunately it matched! It was such fun working with her. Anyway, she was there, too, as well as another employee at the store whom I hadn’t met before.
They are super fun to work with, the shop is adorable, very busy while I was there. I got to pull in front like a real delivery truck! Pulled right into the “For Loading and Unloading Only” spot! Very professional.
So many gorgeous wares in their shop. I took over the area in back where the sewing machines were lined up and started pulling out piles. Kaitlin studied the swatches and my inventory and came up with an order. We pulled out the yarn for their shop, noting where I had run out of time on some of the labels. They loved the photo-canvas I gave them to put with the display.
As I left, Kaitlin & Megan helped me re-load my car and then we posed with arms-full of yarn in front of the “new yarn” sign while the burrito-guy took pictures for us. Loved everything about that rocket-ship trip. Plus, I got to see beautiful Lake Champlain and the ride north is always so pretty, so nostalgic for me.
Drove to Randolph and picked up sheepskins from the Vermont Natural Sheepskins. HOLY COW that was a gorgeous ride! I had the blessed good fortune to drive over the pass to the east side of the Green Mountain ridges and then approach from the west to get to my destination. And there was the sun setting, just beautiful.
Vermont Natural Sheepskins started up a year or so ago and have organic tanning services, washable and non-chemical treatment of hides. The wooly hides are beautiful. Sarah was so kind to wait for me to arrive, even though she had told me she was trying to get out by 4pm to go home to get ready for an event she had that evening. I felt terrible making her wait extra for me, she was very cool about it. Pleasant to work with, gave me a tour of their facility.
Jim texted me “Which one is the mamma goat of the sick one?” I texted back “it should be 164, Thimble is #64.” I hoped that he was able to sort it out. We’d been keeping Thimble and her mamma, Thalia, in at night because of her lameness and to avoid the damp and cold. I wondered how Jim was going to pull it off. Turns out he carried Thimble and Thalia just put herself in.
The roads west and south from Randolph are pretty dark and curvy for some time. It was like driving in the middle of the night even though it was only 5pm.
We met up to have dinner out, on my way home. The place was so busy we had to wait a long time. I might’ve been happy just to be home and in bed at that point, but food eventually arrived, the tippy table was still(ish) and the roar of the restaurant dulled a bit.
Spent almost the entire Sunday labelling yarn to complete the job. Unwrapped eco-dyed silk project that I’d prepared the other day with mordanting the blackberry-dyed silk and then laying Cranesbill geranium leaves between the folds, rolling up and wrapping with plastic wrap to cure. It came out very beautiful, lighter in some areas, darker in others.
Jim hung the new hanging light in place of the ceiling fan in the living room. He built some scaffolding for the beams and the whole thing pulled off without a hitch. It’s like a new room, now you can see in there! Huzzah!
He also used the tractor to lift and move the 3-sided hut from the third pasture to put into the second pasture for the Muppets to have additional housing.
Jim installed the new corner hay rack/feeder in the paddock. He tied it into the corner because the boards/post are not stable enough to have it bolted in.
We covered the hot tub which has been out of commission for some time. He cleaned it yesterday and refilled it. Something I’ve been struggling to complete for months. Yes! The cover doesn’t fit right anymore and it’s pretty ripped. On the list is to figure out a new cover. But it’s good that it’s not exposed anymore to collect leaves and dirt and just be a big, yucky cat bowl.
Thats the thing about stuff. It all requires care and upkeep. And we are so stretched.
Peppy was promised new bedding today, my intentions to clean out her pen were good, but my follow through was lousy. I was inside labelling far longer than I thought I’d be and I ran out of daylight. I did give her lots of nice hay and she was squeaky and grunty, so happy.
I noticed that Charlotte has a gold streak on her back, good job Custer! So now Holly’s sheep, of Wayfaring Farm, are both bred. Charlotte and Mary could technically go home now. But I will contact Holly to see if she wants to keep them here for another cycle, 17 more days, just to make sure.
That puts them at going home just before Christmas.
Peter Pan is acting sheepish lately. It’s like Lincoln has asserted himself as boss of the paddock where he and Neville, Nigel, Laurel & Martha are. I’m watching him. I think after I see if Laurel is bred or not, I will separate them because I think Peter Pan would like his own space, keeping him with Martha though as a companion. Maybe Neville & Nigel & Lincoln can have their own little boy band.
Tara showed up while I was finishing chores. She watered the goats for me. I had vertigo and dizziness both in the span of about half an hour. You know, it’s awesome when you have a friend like Tara that just shows up and goes around carrying heavy things for you, and she’s totally up for it. I am really watched out for, I am about the luckiest girl in the world. I have a tribe.
We fed Peppy and then I went with her to her car where she had a big bag of birch bark for me, that her mom had pulled off a fallen tree, and a bag of lichen that Tara had peeled off of some downed fencing. This is the kind of stuff people send to you and bring to you when they know you are a natural dyer.
And, and, AND…a plate of chocolate chip cookies! She made them for me because of Indy. She stayed and we drank tea and ate chocolate chip cookies for dinner and she helped me finish the labeling of the yarn, the re-inventorying of it all. It was a perfect, quiet ending to the weekend. A friend bringing cookies, helping you finish chores, helping you finish indoor chores, chatting and catching up.