Tuesday, July 01, 2014

PIcking Wool and Toting Water

July 1 and it's HOT.  I spend a good deal of time morning and afternoon toting water to ducks, dogs and chickens.  The sheep seem to be getting their water from grass and clover.  They go out to graze early in the morning then come back in the barn to lie on the cool manure pack on the floor.  I offered them water this morning but they looked at me and went back to chewing their cud.  I'm picking, washing, dyeing and drying wool every day.  I am out of dyes and will have to wait until I can ship more in before dyeing the remaining fleeces.  I'm taking advantage of this glorious, sunny hot weather.  It is infinitely easier to work with wool in the summer, outside in the light and air,  than the winter when space and light is limited.  I'll have a massive amount to ship out to the carding mill.   Won't it be fun to see it come back after John has worked his magic. Working with wool is hot, wet and dirty but I have the milk room stove to cook it in and a dedicated wool washing machine just feet from the stove.  I've got a rhythm going - pick, wash and cook it in the evening, then let it cool down overnight.  Toss it in the washing machine and rinse twice before spreading it out on the drying rack in the barn yard.  During the whole process I'm pulling apart locks and picking out little bits of hay, seeds and dirt. What I can't see I can feel with my fingers while washing the wool.  I'm in love with wool so it's all a labor of love.  I must have been a shepherd in a past life.  Summer is the time to grow hay to feed the animals who grow the lovely fibers.  Speaking of hay, I connected with Julia at the Stewart's in New Berlin yesterday, along with Shepherd Mary and her husband Robert.  She's ready to go and I'm excited.  It's up to me to pick a weather window, which is always iffy and nerve wracking.  I have to rake a whole lot of hay on the bottom of the huge hay mow floor.  There is a hole in the floor where the skid steer was putting round bales in the barn last year.  There is too much to worry about before I start Summer School on Monday.  The door to the milk room is broken from the pigs pushing in to get the grain.  When I go in there I have to reach out through the hole and pull a barricade up against it or the room fills up with goats and chickens.  The door out of the milk room has a broken latch.  I chase the goats out and frequently they bust out the wrong broken door and run down the driveway.  I go in and out of the milk room dozens of times a day.  You can just imagine how annoying it is.  Spouse is still laid up with his infected foot, which the hospital says is healing appropriately even though it is still oozing and very painful. So it's just me to figure all this out.

 One day at a time...  

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