Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Okay, so we did it. Robin and I met in the parking lot of our school and ventured in together, side by side, to give each other encouragement. Robin said we should check our mailboxes in the office. Sure enough, our names were there. We realized we must still be on the payroll. Oh, that BOCES air conditioning is lovely. The secretary was sitting in the office with a hooded sweatshirt on. The bank on South Street in Norwich said 96 F. but BOCES is so cold the employees have to cover up. God bless public education! We made out way down to our classroom and out popped Sharon, our happy, smiling Special Ed. secretary. Sharon runs the place. She keeps track of everything we could possibly need or want. When I want something I call Sharon and she either gets it for me or goes to the higher-ups to ask. As long as we have Sharon we are in good shape. As I turned the key in my classroom door knob I was anxious about how the summer school people left it, but no problem. Everything was pristine, shiny and beautiful. My computer and printer were unplugged with wires spread all over the desk. I called Sharon who said oh, you can figure it out but a Master's Degree only goes so far. I'll have to wait for the Tech or a clever student to help me. Robin and I examined the files of our new "clients" (special ed. talk for our students - or is it "consumer" now?)to become familiar with their backgrounds. Then we unpacked our boxes of goodies - school supplies - we ordered last year. It's like Christmas in August! Robin and I chatted then went our separate ways - me to ship 50 pounds of dyed wool to the mill and Robin to go home to her kids. I feel a lot better about starting school this year after having spent some time in the class, getting my bearings back. We're not going to change too much this year, just spend even more time on writing. The principal has given me permission to use the brand new kiln for potting with my students. There are boxes of nice, soft clay to work with in the closet, left over from the one year my room was used for art. I want to teach the kids how to make hand built tiles. I have to order glazes and read up on potting. Oh, what fun.
I'm going in to school today to meet with my trusty aide, Robin, and go over the files of some new students we'll be working with this fall. With our student population we can't just walk into the year cold. This late summer heat wave continues, and I hope to get another fleece out to dry when I get back. The goats and sheep have been escaping to neighbors fields, and are locked up. That means buying hay until I can buy and install some fencing. Randy and his father are coming this weekend to put some males in the freezer. I've been avoiding this for a while now but it's time. At least I'll know where they are. Some of my old Bluefaced Leicester wethers are big and fat with hardly a pound of wool on them. How can such a grand, fleshy sheep have such a small amount of wool? It just doesn't seem right. I won't be eating them, but I'll have cat and dog food for the winter. I'm getting out of town for this, and heading south to Morristown to bring Mia some things and see Lisa's new baby, Kai. They are flying in from San Francisco to show the little one to family. I sure hope Hurricane Earl does not conspire to ruin my plans.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I try to keep my cats off my fabric but it's not easy. I can't keep everything in the tubs or I won't be inspired to combine this fabric with that fabric, etc. Then I have to cut out the bags somewhere. Every time I turn around I find a kitty camped on my work table. I'm constantly tossing them out to the other part of the barn to "run and play" but they dash in whenever I open the door. I confess I enjoy their company.
It's 94 on the shady side of the barn without a cloud in the sky. I've been picking and washing all day, with a trip to the feed mill fit in between dye runs. This glorious weather is perfect for getting fiber dry quickly. I only have two big pots and two working burners on the dye stove. I don't dare dye wool in the apartment as it is hot as Hades in here already and my fans only do so much. With hurricanes coming up the coast, and school starting next week, I have to make these last few days count. I am still working with old fleeces, found in the tractor shed and corners of the barn. Gorgeous wool that's been passed over for a variety of reasons. Maybe they were in dark plastic bags, maybe I saw too much hay when I peeked inside and went to a cleaner fleece. Whatever the reason, these lovely fleeces are no longer neglected. They are picked, washed and dyed beautiful colors. Most are black or faded black and dye to beautiful muted, rich colors. Jacquard is a fabulous dye. Some customers ask about natural dyes, but I have way too many sheep to collect enough wild dye stuff to dye all the wool. I started out using marigolds, onion skins, cochineal, etc., but switched to synthetic dyes like Cushings. Then, when Donna of the Sheep Shed offered to trade her Jacquard dyes for yarn, I was convinced. On deck for tonight, a batch of soap (takes about two hours at least), dinner, chores, then some sewing which, blissfully, I can do sitting down. This Chartreuse angora will be blended with Sunflower Yellow BFL wool, and a little purple maybe, to duplicate that "chrome" run people liked so much last year. We'll see how it comes out...
Sunday, August 29, 2010
I've got an assembly line of fiber preparation going on here. While I'm picking and skirting a fleece I have another one simmering on the dye stove in the milk room and one drying in Mia/Hannah's room. Today the sun is so hot and glorious I put a black kid mohair fleece outside on the drying rack, but that makes me a little nervous. I have cats and chickens out there, and even with a length of rabbit wire over the fiber they could do damage if they wanted. I can close Mia's room off and spread the wet fiber over a sheet on the bed. I turn the overhead fan on high, and I can even put the electric heater on if I want, then close the door to all intruders. I've got to get these runs into the mill so John, my long-time friend at Frankenmuth, can card it for me. He knows just how I like it and gets it done quickly for me. I still have so much wool on the hoof that I've been scrounging around for old fleeces - annoying at first but it's been a good thing. All the fleeces I've passed over because they need extra picking, etc., are getting done. Picking, washing and dyeing works wonders. I found a big bag of angora, a gift from my old bunny friend, plus Kimmie Cornerstone's bunny wool, and I plan to do a yellow/chartreuse run with it. Angora is the only fiber I use that is not from my farm. I pride myself on raising my own wool. People are still asking about the "chrome colored roving." Trouble is, I can never get the same run done twice. It's fiber art and subject to the phases of the moon and what my sheep have to give me! Better get back to work. The day is awasting and I've got miles to go before I sleep. I just put up 7 pints of local raspberry jam from berries I brought home from the market yesterday. I only managed to eat a pint and a half before I got the rest cooked. Manna from heaven! What a gift those local organic berries are. I don't even rinse them, just pop them in and close my eyes and enjoy. Now I'll have enough to give Mia and Andrew a jar for a wedding present in February, when summer is a distant memory. It will certainly sweeten their kisses!
Friday, August 27, 2010
I finally got a pot of soap made today. I was worried I had lost my touch. I made a big soap making push before Maryland Sheep and Wool, but it's been a couple of months. I've been doing everything but soap - washing and dyeing fleeces, sewing bags, spinning wool, making cream and candles, but no soap. I got organized and made a batch of lavender today and it feels good to be "cooking" soap again. My operation is very, very basic. I use the same Walmart pot I've used for ten years. I stir the soap with a board and pour it into paper half-gallon milk cartons standing up in a box. I kind of like it that way. I traded wool for some nice molds but they require a lot of screwing and unscrewing, then washing. When the soap is hard I can tear the paper cartons away to reveal the lovely block. I cut up the block with a kitchen knife. I've been doing it this way for 15 years. And none of this melt and pour crap - that's cheating and you never know what's in the soap! And no coloring - my soap has it's own lovely natural color from the honey, shea butter and oatmeal I add to it. I don't need soap to look like it's had Kool Aid powder added to it. I like essential oils and I don't like blends. I like Patchouli to be Patchouli and not tainted with blueberry or chocolate or some such nonsense. I just couldn't do that to a lovely, expensive bottle of essential patchouli oil (my personal favorite). I confess I've made a couple of blends, usually adding lavender, like lavender-tea tree, or clary sage and lavender, but I don't think I'm going to do that any more. I would like to find a nice soap stamp someday but for now I'm content to just cut up my bars then wrap them in quilt fabric. It's an excuse to go to the quilt shop and buy more fabric - just shooosh, don't tell anybody!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
A nice neighbor came by to tell me I had some roaming goaties down the road. With the truck broken down, I asked her to give me and Izzy and ride to where they were. It turned out to be a very pleasant hike back. The fields down the road belong to an absentee owner who comes for vacations occasionally. I understand why the goats went there. The lovely green field is covered with globe amaranth flowers and other plants goats love to eat. My top field could look like this if the neighbor farmer who asked if he could mow and bale it would come back. He cut a few rows, let them get rained on and hasn't been back. I happened to have my little camera in my pocket, and I confess I stopped to take in the lovely field and views before Izzy and I got to work. Everywhere you turn in Brookfield there is a gorgeous view. If only I found this area years ago...but here we are now. I had a hard time keeping up with Izzy and goats, as he ran them up the hill to the winding trail they came into the field on. Izzy doesn't like to work alone so I had to follow. With this fabulous weather I could hardly complain. There is a hint of decline on the trees. In a month the piney ridge that lines my hill will be blazing with color. Then the harsh winter comes and we'll be hunkered down in my big, strong barn waiting for the green grass to return.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I'm trying to enjoy these last few halcyon days before the fur flies. I open my eyes and think "I don't have to go to school today." I know I should be thinking "thank God I have a job in a recessive economy," yada, yada, yada, but I hate to leave the farm. I get up early and work all day, God knows I do, but working at home is different. It takes a LOT of motivation to do everything I do and take care of all these animals. Sure it's satisfying to work with young people and make a meaningful difference in their lives, but the bureaucracy of public education is daunting and makes everyone so nervous. My sheep are oh, so peaceful and watching them graze takes away my stress. I think I'll heat up my coffee and watch them graze some right now - because I'm working at home and I can do that.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
This adorable jungle tote is for Kai Palmer Solon's baby paraphernalia. His mother, Lisa, is Mia's best friend from childhood and her Matron of Honor. Lisa gave birth to Kai last month in San Francisco. She is bringing him to Morristown in September where Mia will present him with his tote, filled with goodies I'm sure. The fabric comes from Fabricland, a huge and wonderful fabric store in the mythical land of New Jersey, where you can find beautiful fabric on just about every corner.
Forrest is a very affectionate sheep. No wonder, his mother is Lilly, who has VIS (Very Important Sheep) status on this farm. Lilly is incredibly affectionate and has passed that trait on to her son, Forrest. Forrest would rather rub his head on my arms and get a chin scratching than eat his nighttime corn snack. Sometimes I tell him bed time stories to help him get to sleep.
I'm having so much fun with my piggies every day. They are very serious about their food - or, slop, as we say in pig language. I approach the pen cautiously with my buckets as they line up and look at me as if to say, "Okay, Lady, put the food down and back away slowly and nobody will get hurt!" I use my shepherd's crook to pull the bowls closer to the fence so I don't have to climb over to get them. Once the boys have some food in their bellies I feel safer about getting in the pen with them. I like to feel their rubbery noses. Unfortunately, the BOCE kids have scared me with their pig stories about the uncle who had his forearm swallowed by a pig, etc. Scaring me was the intended affect I'm sure. After their liquid slop, water mixed with ground oats, corn, etc., the boys get a molasses covered corn treat called Fitting. Any meal scraps come later. I'll be sorry when I can't spend as much time with the boys come fall, school, sheep shows, and early darkness. The boys won't be with me too far into the winter. I've enjoyed spoiling them with treats and giving them the nicest piggie pasture I've ever seen pigs enjoy. They are only going to have one really bad day.
I picked a giant black ewe fleece while watching Sweetgrass last night. Sweetgrass is a documentary about a sheep drive in Montana. Very entertaining and realistic. They may have been in the wilds of Montana but they were dealing with many of the same situations I do here. They lost a sheep to a bear, even with six Maremmas patrolling, and did a lot of switching around lambs to get everyone on the teat. No, I don't have bear issues but I do have to get lambs on the teat. It was good to see real shepherds doing everything possible to have every single lamb survive. I can relate to that. I'll take another walk with the doggies up the hill this morning. It's cool and grey on the farm, perfect for working indoors. I had some nice sheep and goat interactions on the hill yesterday. I love hanging with them and listening to them munch.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Here's where I really have to keep my wits about myself. Two weeks to go before school starts, as if that is not enough to make me want to bolt, and three weeks before Colorscape Chenango, the local juried fine arts and music festival. I have three big shows in September and have to make enough product to fill up a booth. I'm not afraid of hard work, but organizing everything and making it sale-ready is a challenge. I'm way behind sorting, washing and dying fleeces and don't have enough soap. Neither can be done in a night or two. I'll just keep plugging away, I always do, and use the anxiety in a positive way and just keep busy. I have to get the shearer in before school starts and figure out what the heck I'm going to wear to work. After a summer in shorts and tee-shirts it's time to look at myself in the mirror - always a shock. I live in my own little world of animals and crafts and don't have to worry about what people think - until I have to go back to work. As someone once told me, Maggie - you GOTTA DEAL!!
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Long day at the market but it was nicely cool, contrary to the weather report, and breezy. We had some good traffic despite the Bouckville Antique Market going on nearby. Two bags I finished this past week, including one made last night, and one older bag sold today. Everything I make was validated in some way. I had a nice visit from the vet who used to take care of the Kupris cows in this barn. What a terrific guy who had some very kind things to say about Christopher Kupris, my next-door-neighbor. After packing up we made it home around four. Izzy was very relieved to finally get home with his bro's. I ran them all up to the pond then boiled up the raspberries I bought at the market. I only got two half-pint jars out of it. Wish I bought more berries but when I went to her table to get them she was gone! Another vendor who left too soon! Will take it easy tonight and spin some after chores. A woman from NYC bought a skein to sit in a basket on her coffee table because she thinks it's "just so beautiful." It was some variegated single strand mohair. Maybe I'll offer some more singles. I'm such a die-hard plier of strands, which takes three spinnings to make yarn - two bobbins must be spun, then spun a third time in the opposite direction, requiring an incalculable number of hours of spinning. Single strand yarn feels like cheating to me, but I might become more comfortable with it if customers like it. I'm going to lie down...
Friday, August 20, 2010
I like to have several new bags out on Hamilton Market day. The weather will be perfect, but don't know how attendance will be. The Bouckville Antique Extravaganza is in full swing with thousands of patrons shopping for bargains. I hope they swing over to Hamilton for their veggies and take a peek at my beautiful new bags. I've been waiting to use this lovely irridescent blue damask lining fabric with the nubby chenille bits.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I'm enjoying this "free time" waaaay too much. Forget about the fact that I am "stuck" on the farm. Forget about the fact that I haven't had a vacation in 12 years (except for the honeymoon cruise which I loved but Mr. Grouchy felt the Samoan stewards were being "exploited" by the Americans!!)and am not likely to get one this year other than sheep show weekends. Some fabulous times I am enjoying in no particular order are as follows:
Staying in my jammies until 10 am without worrying what the Brookfield Fire Dept. would say in the event of a barn fire.
Spinning wool while watching Morning Joe or the Today Show and getting all the latest news and political dialogue.
Walking my dogs to the pond in the high meadow and gazing at the world below.
Sewing tote bags to my hearts content and cutting out piles of more bags to be sewn at a later time when I am too tired from doing other things and need something I can do sitting down.
Watching my pigs slurp, slurp, slurp their slop then going back into the barn to get them more treats because I like them so much.
Spending too much time on Facebook and Blogger, but it's so much fun and I don't see many humans this time of year so I "talk" to them online.
Throwing corn out to the mother chickens and watching them lead their chicks away from the corn to forage for natural things because they are teaching them that the corn might now always be there and one should learn how to make do...there's a life lesson for us!
There is a minimum of housekeeping done this time of year and making product is a good excuse. There is no escape, however, from cooking the required "hot meal" for the husband and cleaning up the mess afterwards.
My box of Jacquard dyes came from Dharma yesterday and my schedule will be disrupted by the sorting, picking, washing and dyeing of my lovely fibers. It takes weeks to get them done and I am behind schedule. My first show, Colorscape Chenango, is a very classy fine art show where I think people are more interested in the bags, etc., but Fingerlakes in Hemlock follows a week after and the spinners/knitters who travel down from Rochester are very interested in fibers. So Maggie might not be able to spend as much time playing with the pigs, ducks, chickens and sheep. Better to be too busy then not busy at all.
By the way, here is the latest Bag of the Day.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
My pigs are enormous. There would be no catching them now. We haven't had any escapes lately. The fact that I feed them lots of good stuff twice a day might be helping with that. I'm enjoying The Boys. I think I will have them another ten weeks, after which I wouldn't mind another batch of piglets. They are the easiest food to raise, after chickens. After all, eggs come packaged in their own bio-degradable containers. That's hard to beat.
We built the outside yard for the ducks and chickens but some of them prefer to stay inside. I put these lovely greens in the pen to entice more of them outside, and it worked for some but not others. Since I'm the Italian mama of the chicken world I brought greens inside for the shy ones. It's so much easier taking care of everybody with a free flowing hose I can drag around. In another couple of months it will be frozen again. Chickens adore their water. I'll have a lot of eggs this fall. The purebred chicks purchased this spring are doing nicely. They are Comets, Buff Orphingtons, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Araucana (only one), Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rock. I'm giving a couple to Sister Grace in return for the delicious relish they've been giving me. The wild barn chickens continue to turn out clutches of baby chicks. One tiny mom is parading around with eleven puff balls following her. I don't know how she is keeping the cats away from them but she is. Chickens are excellent mothers.
I finished this bag today after chores and walking the dogs. It feels weird to have so much "free" time. Well, not exactly free as I have so much I should be doing - but I can pick what to do first. Izzy much prefers running around the hills. I got Precious from Netflix, and did some spinning while watching it. Good movie, very disturbing, but I like the teacher and the way she's trying to get them to write, write, write. Mariah Carey is phenomenal as the social worker. I'm going to get to cooking this giant bag of peppers, plum tomatoes and the six eggplants I brought home from the market. What was I thinking???
A reader just reminded me that I have been posting on this journal for five years. My first entry was in July of 2005. He was thrilled to find he has five years of my farm adventures to read. I was surprised and humbled to hear this. When I sit down to write I don't think of anyone reading it. I can't imagine anyone would be interested. Why would anyone leave a tenured position at a fancy New Jersey high school to live in Northern Appalachia? When I came up here with my sheep, and "dropped out" so to speak, my entries were more of a "please don't forget about me" effort. My kids are all over the place and could check in on their mother whenever they could turn on a computer. The other motivation came from my sense of history. I really like reading about personal stories of courage and heroism. Living in a little trailer, basically a tin can, over an upstate New York winter, with no wood stove to huddle next to, is either heroic or insane. I did my master's thesis in history on native American captivity narratives, all about people, mainly women, who were taken by natives and kept captive. Some escaped or were rescued and wrote their narratives. They are riveting. Not that my experiences come anywhere near theirs, but I felt I was a story in the making. I'm not ready to read those past entries. They will upset me I'm sure, and bring up things I want to forget. Like waking up with my hair frozen to the side of the trailer, or going to work dirty because the hoses froze. I could hold my arms out and touch the sides of the trailer. One end fell off the blocks and I felt like a stewardess, walking uphill, then down, all 14 feet of it. I would come home from work - I wanted to live off the land but Matt didn't agree - and the little box would be rocking back and forth from my dogs rioting at the sound of my truck. Too many of my plans didn't work out, but it's not for lack of trying. I have a lot of anger to deal with but I'm working on it. Today the sun is shining, I have lots of hot, running water, a bath tub to soak my weary bones in, and propane to cook with. This computer is working, my old sewing machine is running and Direct TV is giving me all the latest news and good movies. I finally got another Robin wheel, purchased from a friend who was desperate for money to pay for her cancer treatments. I had to sell mine to pay for hay during one of those awful winters. The hillside is covered with sheep and my dogs are happy. I have a job to go back to in September and show season is coming. People will buy my wool, soap, creme and knitting bags and the farm will survive another year. I don't know how long I can keep it going but I'm doing what I want to do right now. Life is good. Thank you, Anonymous Reader, for reminding me how far I've come.
Monday, August 16, 2010
I just finished this bag and I love it. It's a 12 by 18 inch paisley tapestry chenille snap frame tote with a tiny checked chenille lining. There are eight 7 inch deep, six inch wide pockets inside with a tab for a drop spindle or keys. This bag appeals to me on all levels - paisley, soft plush fabric, big enough for all my stuff including books, knitting needles, etc. I think I have enough fabric for one or two more. I buy high end remnants and often can't get more of a certain kind. The sun is out - off to walk the doggies up the hill to keep them happy and myself in some sort of physical and mental fitness.
Matt called about 20 minutes into his commute to Syracuse to say a big thunderstorm was on the way to Brookfield. He could hardly drive it was so intense and I should close the windows. I like to do chores in my jammies if I can but not with weather coming in. I turned on Weather.com to hear warning alarms and news flashes about the storm going through Syracuse and Utica in Madison County. That's me. I dressed hurriedly and went out with Izzy to get the sheep in, thanking my lucky stars that I have such a big, strong barn to shelter them. Not good to have a flock outside with thunderstorms coming. Sheep can be killed by lightning and wool doesn't like being wet in hot weather. I can lose it with felting right on the sheep's back. Well the sheep must have heard the weather report as they were filing in from the hill without my help. I ran around filling stock tanks with water in case we lost power. I slopped the pigs and fed the ducks. I made sure Miss Mamie was not stuck on her side again - which is how I found her yesterday - and gave her some hay. She can get herself down the slope out of the hay mow to graze a little but sometimes falls over and gets stuck. Matt also told me he noticed Sidewinder with a tooth stuck on her chest and that I should find her and clip it. This can happen when angora goats lick their thick mohair locks. It prevents the goat from eating or drinking and has to be taken care of with scissors. Well, the thunderstorm must have passed just north of me. It got me going early which is always a good thing. On deck for today - sewing a couple of the bags I cut out yesterday and cooking some of the eggplant, peppers and tomatoes I bought in a weak moment at the farmer's market. I have a couple of orders to mail out and banking to do in New Berlin. With the kids gone I've lapsed into my quirky little farmy life and plan to enjoy it for the next three weeks until school and shows start.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
The market is extended until 3 pm this year. I'm the last one to pack up and go, next to Ron the veggie guy across from me. I don't know why vendors leave at 1, last year's time, when they could have two more hours to possibly make a sale. I'm usually having too much fun to leave early, making new friends and chatting with old customers. After checking the Colgate Bookstore for the NY Times - no luck - I went home and ran the doggies up to the pond. Pip scared up a few frogs, with me holding on to the leash for dear life, and Tanner took a dip in the water to cool off. I still have pangs when thinking of the kids. Hannah called me at the market today and we had a nice talk. She loves the market and was curious about sales, etc. Hannah is a first class merchandiser and loves to work the booth. She also loves to shop. Candace Cain's booth is her favorite. I know where to get Hannah's Christmas presents.
This is the bag I thought would sell today. It's just off the sewing machine and I like it a lot. The fabric reminds me of the figs I used to pick from my uncle's tree in Georgia. It has a lovely chenille lining and makes me want to crawl in and take a nap when I look inside it.
A Hamilton Mad Art Committee Member showed me her brochure-in-progress this morning at the market. There was a lovely orange felted bag highlighted on Susanne Farrington's page. Susanne is a local potter who gives felting classes in Hamilton. The woman said you should go and see this bag, Susanne made it from your fiber. I got over to her space as soon as I could and saw the bag, artfully felted by Susanne. Susanne much prefers natural colors so I was surprised to see this bright orange bag displayed in her space. Later, she brought me the orange bag and gave it to me in appreciation of all the beautiful wool I've made available to her. Susanne thought a bag displayed with my wool would show people what they could do with it. I was very touched and grateful. The pumpkin felted bag has a nifty pocket felted inside and a button closure. So glad Susanne likes my wool because show time is coming and I need more of her terrific mugs for my shaving soap and brush combos.
I thought surely the weather report was wrong and it would rain. My pop-up was ruined when I left it in the barnyard after Sherry took her horse home. The wind took it away and left it torn and broken. I borrowed one from Candace but she needed it back. Luckily, I didn't need one today. The clouds blew away in a lively breeze and a lovely day emerged. I sold my chartreuse mohair bag right away to a woman who bought a bag two years ago. Funny, I never thought a bag of this unusual color would sell, even though it feels fantastic. Jane Porter had a Belgium mill weave this fabric for her when she had her dress business. One day at the market she came out of her shop and invited me to look at some remnants. I made two from this chartreuse mohair. The customer was thrilled with it. You see, there is a person for every Bundaflicka Bag I make. I just have to wait until they find me.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Market day rolled around pretty quick this week. The weather looks like it will cooperate. I have three bags to finish today. I like to have something new for the people to see every week. I don't sell a lot of bags at the market, maybe one a week, but they do draw people into the booth. Last week a woman rushed in and said is this the place where you sell the $20 bags? I said, no, not me, but check on the other side of the square. I knew the vendor she was talking about. I saw her march by later with the cheap bag. No problem for me. Nobody I know puts as much work into her bags as I do and I'm content to wait for the customer who recognizes the work. I'm making bags for fall shows anyway, and like to show them off at the market. I need to make more creme tonight. The little jars sell very well at the market. I have to put together more Mother Fiber Sample Packs but don't know if it will happen tonight. I didn't get much sleep last night and I'm fading fast. Eric called this morning and I was able to talk to Hannah and Luke, which made me feel a lot better. They are very excited and happy about their move. Departure day for Flower Mound, Texas, will take place on Wednesday. Annie will drive two kids, two dogs, two cats, a snake and two hermit crabs in her Toyota Forerunner all the way to Dallas where they will stay in a hotel until the closing in about two weeks. Brave woman! I got some hay from Stan, near Mary's, for Miss Mamie, my ancient crippled ewe, and the chicken nest boxes. I poked around the tractor shed and found some roving for Susanne Farrington, the potter who I get my shaving cups from. She likes natural colored roving for her felting classes and I found some Finn, Shetland and alpaca for her. I also found a gorgeous, new Etienne Aigner trenchcoat which I purchased for myself when Mia was a baby. I could hardly get one whole arm in it. Maybe it will fit Mia or Hannah. Trench coats are all the rage now, but then, they always were. I want to clean out that building someday. It will make fantastic hay storage, or an antique barn. Wouldn't that be cool?
Whenever I venture up the hill with the doggies I have a kitty or two or three following me. Usually it's Tiny Tina, Smudge and Bleaches. Today it was Tigger, Lizzie, Cassidy and Bleaches. We all went up to the pond, which is very quiet right now. I'm sure the frogs don't mind.