Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shear Delight

Last weekend was shearing day. I actually have a number of pictures, but blogger is not cooperating today. I have found it very frustrating that I cannot post and add pictures where I want them. The result is that I have to write the post backwards, so I can get the pictures by the text where I want them. If anyone knows a better way, I wish they would tell me. I know I am tech challenged, but I also know others who have done the same thing. Oh well, I guess words will have to do for now.

I have been attempting - not terribly successfully - to catch up on business and personal stuff the last couple weeks since I canceled my paint job. The big ladder tried to make an escape on my last job. I caught it, but in the process pulled something in my shoulder, and despite home therapy, its still not right. I'm taking that to be a sign I am supposed to be working at home. Only problem is for every thing I get done, I think of 2 or 3 new things to do. And that covers products as well as chores. I hope the notes will keep me on track while I do the things that need doing now.

Nope. Still won't let me add a picture.

Shearing was good this year. Nice clean fleece. some colored ones from the yearlings. Lovely long staple locks from the Coopworth. I dutifully ignored the comments from the shearing floor. I have learned over thee years that its therapeutic for the shearer. Ranting about the ewes genealogy seems to have an analgesic effect on the sore spots. The severity of the words used is directly proportional to the kicking and threshing of the ewe. Plus the occasional bite. And, this year there were words directed to the borrowed equipment (breakdown of our own) when it would occasionally shut itself off by wrapping the cord around the shaft. I'm not sure who was to blame for that set up, and I didn't ask. But overall it was a rather non-eventful harvest, which is good.

I got a good picture of an example of how much difference a cover makes on the fleece. This one must have been pretty clean when we put them on, because there wasn't even any dirt. Marketing would be so much easier if they were all like this. Especially for the colored ones.

We emptied the shelves of last years fleeces we didn't want to keep. Mostly the uncovered ones. Those we bagged for the commercial market. Lucky Alex will be getting some nice wool.

So another season is under way. Next step will be to set up the barn before the little ones arrive. Which, according to custom is March 19. Even if they are not due by math calculations until the 23rd. We'll see if they do it again this year.

Maybe the other pictures will get posted next time. For now, its in the bag.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Signs of ......

Over the last few days, the snow has receded. The cat has taken to night runs across the floor in pursuit of unseen prey, and a couple times has considered going out. Dolly has spent more time out than in, choosing sunshine on the driveway over the bark-o-lounger. All sure signs that winter is waning.

Braydon is a year old, and I a year older. His birthday was significant, mine not so much. Yet both of us continue on the adventure of life learning. I hope he is enjoying our shared time as much as I am, and is gaining as much. I don't think it will be long until Aurora will be ready to be let in on the secret, and then one day the new one. I never really knew a Grandmother, so I hope I'm doing it right.

So many things to do and take care of this time of year. Lots of clean up work to be sure, but its of the more rewarding kind. Its the making ready for the new. Don's preferred reading material are the seed catalogs. The last dyeing day results were decidedly hues of the coming spring, but by unconscious choice. And Saturday is on the calendar as the turning point of spring - shearing day.

As usual, the first real thaw came a week too early, and the muddy lots make me cringe, but I console myself with the knowledge that the covers at least will ensure that at least some of the wool will be clean. Most likely more than I can use or even sell. But then, you never know. I am excited to see the first colored fleeces from the yearlings. I wonder how many chocolate colored things I can think of to make.

The quilt is Braydons. I waited until I could make something especially to suit him. He loves his friends on the farm, and now he can have them with him all the time. Happy Birthday big boy Braydon.