Thursday, September 25, 2014

Back to Reality

It's been three weeks since I posted last which just seems impossible yet there's no arguing with the date on the last entry.  That time has been spent in a whirlwind of preparation for the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival which was last weekend, and now getting back to more normal routines.  The festival was great - super weather on Saturday and acceptable weather on Sunday.  I did not freeze to death in the camper.  It did not pour torrents of rain.  People were in a good mood and willing to spend some of their hard earned dollars with me and all the other vendors.  The gate count was 1,935 on Saturday and just under 800 on Sunday.  This does not count kids under 12, other vendors and their helpers, guild members and others on the grounds to volunteer their time, or demonstrators.

Did I take pictures?  No, sadly I did not.  I was too busy in my booth to venture beyond my boundaries during festival hours, and after hours Saturday I made a fast trip to meet up with a tech from our vet's office who hand delivered to me the export paperwork needed for Sunday's arranged pick up of a Cotswold ram lamb who was sold earlier this summer to a couple in Canada.  Then it was all over and we were dismantling the booth, packing up and headed home.  Pathetic that I didn't chronicle a visit from Sara and 20!  That was a highlight of the weekend.

Monday, the day after the festival, guild and festival members were treated to a special class given by Barbara Parry - Color Play for Hand Spinners.  It was a fun workshop that had us spinning samples like crazy and exploring ways to handle multicolored roving and how to create multicolored batts.  I discovered I like Navajo plying and dislike cabled yarn.  Mostly it was just fun for me to be led through lessons and learn new things.

Tuesday morning Andy and I set up the scale and ran all the ram lambs over it to check weights and eye scores. We worked till done and after a late lunch he went to cut a field of alfalfa (roll those dice!) while I unloaded the truck and trailer from the festival.  That's mostly straightforward work except that I have to find and return items to The Fiber and Art Emporium, note which things I sold and take them off the website, take inventory of some things, etc, and now several totes of goods are parked in the breezeway until I am ready to take them back to storage.  During this time the dishwasher became seriously incontinent. Oh joy.

Wednesday morning we caught 4 ram lambs and took photos of them for someone trying to decide on a new ram for their flock.  After that Andy went to tedd the hay while I did paperwork and made a run into town.  After a late lunch I did computer work including answering emails and editing and cataloging all the lamb pictures and then emailed the interested party.  He went back out to mow a field of wasted oats.  Between being drowned by a three inch rain right after planting, and becoming weedy despite spraying, and the sudden engine problems with our ancient combine, we decided that trying to harvest the grain wasn't going to be worth the effort so he's mowing the whole mess to hopefully bale for bedding.  We still have oats in our bin and could buy more.  The bedding is nearly as important as the grain.

We turned the ewes and ewe lambs into the big south pasture for the third time this year and they were thrilled as only sheep going into lush pasture can be.  They knew something was up as soon as Andy walked into the north pasture - he didn't even have to call them.

Bug notices him first.

Then the others start coming from the far corners.

A couple of lambs paused just briefly to look me over.

Then they all swirled past me  like a school of fish and ran on into the fresh pasture.

Cue Pharrell's "Happy".........

Daffodil is still hanging in there.....

Flopsy grazed her way over to me.....

Told me she was pleased.......

And grazed off again.

Fuzz was eating so fast she looked like a vacuum cleaner.

The ewe lambs were stuffing it in so fast you could almost see the expanding like woolly balloons.

"Woolly balloons!  Ha ha ha ha!"

"Wait....... what?  Hey!"

"Thanks, mom, this is great!"

Today we set up the weigh scale in the lower barn and embarked on a marathon of weighing and deworming where necessary in the ewe flock. Between adults and lambs we handled about 140 sheep today and although nobody caused serious problems we are both whipped puppies tonight. On the upside, I have some beautiful lambs coming along and good pasture going into October. 

Happy, indeed!