Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dear Diary:

Dear Diary,

I dreamt last night about that thing called 'internetz' again. It's a magical place where you can communicate with your friends, offer wares for sale, and stay in almost constant communication with everyone, all over the world. In my dream, you could even do all this in your own home but alas, in my dream, something mysterious called 'The Cable Company' messed up something called the 'Installation Date' and I was left with no internetz OR phone. For more than a week. (In my dream... I twitched a LOT for some reason.)

Instead in my dream, I had to drive to something called a 'Panera's Restaurant' where something amazing called 'wi-fi' allows you to connect to the mystical 'world wide web'. The only drawback in my dream to this temporary solution, is the drive, and the only real way to entertain the 5 year old.... is with a chocolate brownie. In my dream, we did not stay long or get much done.

But the brownie was awesome.



Club Update: Club sock 2 is going out the door this week. The kitchen, the bathroom, and the dye pots were unpacked immediately - everything else is still in boxes and obviously we can live without quite a bit of 'stuff'. An interesting experiment.

I should be back online the end of the week, I apologize if I have not responded to your emails - I really have no internetz and if I keep running to Panera's, there is no dye time and way to many brownies consumed. I have not been ignoring you! Kits ordered are also being dyed and shipped, I expect to be caught up with your orders by Saturday. If you have any questions.... well, you might want to wait a couple more days to email me ;-)

If you have a Sheep or Flock Rental, don't despair. The flock is in the care of friends, and still available for pictures and fleece for the Rental program, as part of the arrangement for their care. Newsletters did not make it out the door before the move, and as soon as I find the box their in, they will go out with all sorts of updates and information for you on your rental.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Sometimes, Life throws you a Curve.

Your heading down the road, and you see this
(does anyone really go 25mph?):And then you see this one:

And you realize, that where you thought you were going to end up, and who you thought you were going to be, are not at all what really happens. Instead of being a shepherd who dyes some yarn and plays around with fiber, you find yourself turning into someone who defines herself as a dyer, who plays around at being a shepherd. And you realize a few things. A few very Important things:
  1. Running a farm with 300 ewes and their occasionall 600 +/- lambs is a full time job for (occasionally) 3 adults (you are only 2 adults and a 5 year old).

  2. Marketing said lambs (and pork and beef) is a full time job (unless you plan to run 750 +/- sheep the next year)

  3. Dyeing and Marketing eleventy-billion pounds of yarn per year is also a full time job.

  4. There is only 1 of you, and only 24 hours in a day, no matter what you do.

Something has to give, and while I do enjoy the farm and the flock.... let's do some comparisons.

  1. Forcing 300 ewes and their offspring to walk through a scary chute system where their toes get wet, is not fun. In fact, it's hard labor and it sucks. When you can be thrilled it only took 6 hours to accomplish... well, that should say something. Comparison: Dyeing yarn, being creative, Earth Wind & Fire on the stereo and the internetz on the laptop? hmm. yarn dyeing wins that round.

  2. Hoof-trimming 300 ewes is a messy business. (do you know what they've been standing in while waiting to get their pedicure?) Comparison: What's that you say? No manure on my clothes, gloves, or body while dyeing yarn? Imagine that. Yarn dyeing wins that round as well.

  3. Healthcare for the sick, wounded, or injured animals. One word: Maggots. I think that says enough, don't you? Comparison: Any maggots in yarn? No? EXCELLENT.

  4. Unrolling 2 (two) 600lb roundbales of hay every day, all winter long, is so entertaining when it's accompanied by gale-force winds bringing several inches of snow. You can't beat this kind of entertainment, really. Comparison: What's that you say? Stay INDOORS BY THE FIRE and dye more yarn? totally.

There are also some very good points about the farm. New born lambs, wild baby turkeys in the field, baby fawns grazing the hillside with their mums.

And also? A daughter who knows how to assist when a mommy sheep needs help giving birth (when she was 3, she figured out where human babies come from after watching a lamb being born). A daughter who loves to give city kids a tour of the barn, and introduce them to bottle lambs & the baby chicks. A daughter who wants to wear a pretty Minnie Mouse dress when she goes hunting for worms. Getting to spend hours and hours and hours with her, watching her grow and learn new things.

So. I asked you what you thought the picture of the truck in the last post might represent. My 2 favorite answers from the comments:

  1. This is your new yarn truck with the build-in drying rack, that you bought after you found out that the Harlot posted about your yarn again. (It does look a lot like a livestock truck, though.

  2. that is a truck for transporting live kindergartners... or what I'd be tempted to use as one;)

Frankly, I'm not sure which is the better idea.

The reality, is that this vehicle is a triple-decker livestock hauler. Capable of holding 276 sheep. How do I know it will hold that many? Because that's how many we were able to get on board. Yes, we have sold off the flock. This has taken me some time to come to grips with (see earlier definitions post) but it has been the best plan overall.

The Amish signs - and the Amish - have been popping up around here more and more as they have been moving up from Pennsylvania lately. (Please drive carefully. They have just as much right to the road as you do. An accident between a car and an Amish buggy is not good.) This nice gentleman is taking the draft-horses home after a busy day in the hayfields. They live down the road from us.

Recently, some Amish friends of ours suggested to a family looking to move that they stop by our farm. Yes, they do just stop in the driveway and ask if your farm is for sale. With the right offer and the flock already mostly gone (there is still a flock of about 20 here), it became apparent that selling the farm and moving really is the thing to do. We've been looking at smaller farms, closer to Syracuse but haven't found one yet. And so, we will be renting while we keep looking, waiting to see what's around the next curve in the road.

The house we've found to rent? Well, let's start by saying it has a finished apartment downstairs with it's own kitchen. IT'S OWN KITCHEN, PEOPLE! If moving to a house with a built-in dye studio isn't a Sign, then I don't know what is. It does not however, have land for the animals and they are being moved to a friend's farm until we find something for us all.

When does all this take place, you ask? How does 'next week' sound?

Oh, and in other less anxiety-ridden news, I had a concert to go to last night. My daughter is in Kindergarten, and the elementary school had their music concert. Now, Stephanie, as it seems the baton has been passed to me, could you please ask Joe how many more of these I have left to go? Everytime I tried to add it up I got dizzy and couldn't concentrate. Thanks!

Well, that's all for now folks. I really should go pack some boxes now... I've heard a rumor that I'm moving soon.