Monday, July 29, 2013

Sheep in the Mist

Monday morning has rolled around again.  The cycle of life continues here in the misty mountains of Northern Appalachia.  Market day on Saturday was everything I hoped it would be.  I don't know how I could expect any more out of that market than what it has given me the last three weeks.  A lot depends on how hard I work on it, having the same location year after year, THE WEATHER, my willingness to communicate to person after person the whole wool process from sheep to yarn to spinning, how my bags are sewn, how the soap is made from melting the silk fibers into the lye solution to raising my own goat milk for it.  Whew!  On Saturday I was chatting people up from nine to one.  When we're packing up that's when I eat lunch.  Non-stop snacking on fresh local blueberries helps.  The market is my summer job and I am very thankful for it.  My market vendor friends are running to other venues, this vineyard, that festival, but I pretty much stick to the Hamilton market all summer.  Come September, when school starts and the wool shows start up, they won't see me.   There is another good market on Thursday in Clinton, but I don't want to do it.  I know what pace I can keep up with and I love staying on the farm in the summer.  I am finally hoeing out (a local phrase for serious cleaning) my bedroom.  I have a mountain of clothes and sheets on the floor of the apartment.  I don't think I'll have to go shopping for school clothes other than a new pair of clogs and a couple pairs of pants.   I have so many things going on now I don't know where to start in the morning.  I have a huge amount of Diana English Rose Soap to cut up (in honor of her first grandchild), bags to sew, and, very important, fleeces to sort for sale as raw wool and to put in the dye pot.  My dye stove is still cold and that's not good.   If I don't get the fiber sorted, washed, dyed, washed again, put out to dry, packed up and shipped out to the carding mill I won't have any new fiber for fall shows.  Don't want to disappoint my faithful patrons.  So why am I sitting here?  I think I'll gaze out my window at the sheep in the mist and sip my coffee just a little bit longer.  Sheep are creatures of habit.  They sleep in the safety of the barn until something tells them to get up and amble out to the hillside where the first rays of sun are rising on the other side of the piney ridge.  They eat their breakfast, then go file back inside the barn where the coolness of the hay/manure pack keeps them comfy through the warmest time of the day.  The dreaded blowflies that bite them and lay eggs in their wool, leading to the awful fly-strike, avoid the barn for some strange reason.  I've been out to the barn to feed the kitties, chickens, goats and ducks.  Comet gets his bottle and a few tiny kittens get some sips to help them along the way.   Now it's time for me to make some of last night's eggs for my breakfast, or maybe a slice of Annie's hearts of sunflower bread, which is more like a delicious hearty slice of cake, and coffee.  Ah, yes, more coffee. 

No comments: