Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ruminating on Rhinebeck

The Gods of Google say I have used up all my "free" picture space on this journal and will have to purchase more room. Until I can figure out how to do that I will just write, then put pictures in later. Much less entertaining, I know. I love photographs and sometimes a picture inspires me to pour it all out on "paper." What would I do differently for next year's NY State Sheep and Wool? Let's see...I will try to get more product made ahead of time, and purchase what I need to make product ahead of time so I won't be scrambling, sweating out deliveries and staying up too late working on school nights. I got myself so run down no wonder I got so sick. Neither polka dot bags sold, and I knocked myself out to get them made. I left the apartment in a shambles and poor Mia felt compelled to clean up the place. Not something I wanted to leave her with. I pride myself on making everything for my booth, and we are fewer and fewer I noticed. So many booths I observed are delivered in UPS boxes. Sticking prices on and placing the items on shelves is all the vendor does. Not so here, and I like it that way. Why will people stand in line to buy cheap commercial yarn??? I just don't get it. There was gorgeous, luscious, natural fiber yarn everywhere you turn, but the lines for the cheap stuff were 30 long in places. There is nothing like the feel of natural fibers - and handspun natural fiber yarn can't be beat. Let's see, what else. Oh, yes, get the shelves made. I had to take the chrome rack out of the milk room, which worked alright, but now I have piles of what used to be on the shelves all over the place, contributing to the horror of the milk room. Ditto for the milk room table I needed for the booth. That stuff is on the floor. The trailer worked out wonderfully. Candace, my jewelry maker spinner friend, came by the trailer on Saturday night with her felter friend named Susan (forget her last name - she is married to a psychiatrist in Norwich) and we had a lovely visit. That's what I dreamed of years ago when I visited Doreen Keller in the same trailer. We had a lovely knitting/chat session and I knew I wanted one just like I bought it from her! It's an oldie but goodie. I still have a little trailer I used for lambing in the field at the last pasture. I am hoping to go get it one of these days. That one is truly historic. Hmmm, sales of bags. Every other vendor seemed to have bags for sale, and I think people were sacrificing that type of frivolous sale in favor of something more basic, like soap and fiber. I've had other "light" bag years. Speaking of light, I had a few comments about my bags being too heavy. It depends on what you want to use them for. If you are going to carry a spinning wheel you need a heavy, sturdy bag. I use high end upholstery fabric, and it's on the heavy side. I will try to make smaller, lighter bags. I can use them all in Maryland. I am always tempted to give them away as Christmas gifts. With Md. Sheep and Wool coming in the spring I will need them. I love to sew so much I am already cutting out more bags in my mind. I have another bottle of patchouli oil and will get a batch made as soon as I put the milk room back together. Sunday night we arrived home to find Mia flat out with a horrible, crippling headache. Nothing she took would stay down. Matt was too tired to help so I did the chores myself. He's been working late every night on the open house his energy non-profit group is having for state officials. I don't mind doing all the chores, but it takes me so long, and suddenly it's very cold. There are so many broken windows, or holes with no windows at all, in the barn and the rainy wind blows right in. I have to get thick plastic over the gaping holes. I have some students coming this weekend to help, but they cost money. Matt is way behind on his compliance work. I told him his weekends and nights of helping the neighbors is over, that he has to take care of his own farm. Speaking of taking care of things on your own farm - old barbed wire fencing can be deadly and we have plenty of it. Last night I came home to find Hecky, my young white goat buck, all wound up in a length of old barbed wire that should have been cut and discarded. He was covered with brown burdock burrs and screaming his head off. I had gone to Wal-Mart and was two hours late getting home, something I felt so guilty about. It sure makes me think twice about doing things after school. Something always happens back at the farm. I ran for my scissors, and wouldn't you know, every pair I have was buried somewhere in the trailer. I found a little pair in my purse and started cutting carefully away at the hair around the barbs that were sticking into his flesh. My hands were bloody, and realized later it was my blood as well as his. I got most of the length cut away, but the icy rain was coating my glasses and he was thrashing around. I ran for the wire cutters that are usually hanging in the milk room, but they were gone!!! Back to Hecky, and, to my horror, the length I had cut free was all entangled again in his mohair. I called Matt on my cell phone and he told me the wire cutters were across the road at the Stracks!!! You can imagine my reaction. No cars over there. This has been an ongoing problem - leaving tools at job sites and nothing at home when I need something done. Poor Hecky, no way to free him entirely. I saw Chris Kupris's car in his parking spot and banged on his door. It was dark inside, but thankfully I saw his face in the window. A burst of warm air from his wood stove hit my face and felt so good! He said just a minute and came back with some wire cutters!! He told me "they may have taken my farm away but they didn't take my tools!" We were able to cut away most of the wire but the part embedded in his side had to stay until Matt came home and I could "operate" on him. I thanked Chris profusely and he said not a problem, that he's just a lonely old man with nothing to do. My heart went out to him but I had to drag Hecky inside and get him stabilized. I put his head in the corn sack and he devoured it. Who knows how long he had been out in the cold rain. When Matt got home I got the rest of the barbed wire out, doctored the wound, and gave him a tetanus shot. I think I need one, too. Rhinebeck seemed a million miles away.

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