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Whirlwind Weeks in Review

Phew!  It’s been a crazy frantic couple of weeks!  I thought so many times about posting but would fall asleep on the couch, wake up in the wee hours of the morning and go to bed.  Not very productive…

On Monday the 3rd, I finished packing & shipped off our first year’s Fiber CSA shares.  I was excited… but anxious at the same time.  At one point while I was feeding shipping label info into the UPS site, our credit card company shut us down because they thought someone else was using our card.  Guess they really are on top of things… It took some sorting out but we managed to convince them that we really were the authorized users.  Sending off the shares felt good!  All the boxes have arrived at their destinations by now and to the shareholders who’ve commented here or sent me emails — thanks a million! I’m so happy to have your thoughts, ideas, critique…I really do want to know what you think!

The dooryard in front of the Studio/Shop. The only thing blooming in the wildflower garden this year is black eyed susans...too wet I think.

The dooryard in front of the Studio/Shop. The only thing blooming in the wildflower garden this year is black eyed susans...too wet I think.

From there I fell right into getting ready for the BIG Maine Fiberarts Open House weekend which actually included Friday.  So…I quickly got to work in the studio cleaning up all the packing stuff, breaking down the empty fiber boxes, etc.  I’d been wanting to create a comfy spot for sitting, spinning, knitting or whatever — so some furniture got moved around and then while everything was pulled apart, I brought out the big guns…the vacuum.  I’m not sure why but as I get older I like the vacuum less and less…the noise just makes me want to scream!  I know it sounds crazy but I really prefer the good old dust mop…very quiet… and I get some much needed exercise beating the heck out of the rugs.  Anyway, the end result of all this is a fairly clean, more organized space with a nice spot for relaxing.

A comfy place to hang out in the Studio.

A comfy place to hang out in the Studio.

On Thursday, the shelves got stocked with fiber and skeins, a big bunch of lovely fresh flowers arrived (compliments of the flower CSA Jim gave me for my birthday) and the studio was looking pretty spiffy and ready for visitors.

shelves and baskets full of fiber

shelves and baskets full of fiber

I kept up with regular chicken chores but Jim took on the rest along with some “out of the ordinary” stuff.  The pigs got moved to their woodland home…finally!

Jim with the pigs & all their paraphernalia on the move.

Jim with the pigs & all their paraphernalia on the move.

It’s been SO wet that it was impossible to get the trailer into that area before now.  We’d actually had a few rain free days in a row and the lane along our back rock wall had dried out some so he jumped at the chance to get the move accomplished.  The pigs’ curiosity made it fairly easy to get them into the trailer without much fussing and off they went.

They’d become bored with life in the sheep shed.  While we’d been able to give them a small space outside to wallow in and train them to the electric fencing, they’d found some soft spots in the shed floor that apparently were quite tasty. Yes, definitely time to move on!!  Well, they’re happy, happy pigs now!!

In their new woodland home, the pigs have already made a wallow and are totally covered in mud...happy pigs!!

In their new woodland home, the pigs have already made a wallow and are totally covered in mud...happy pigs!!

Jim also moved our larger ewe group in one of the pasture locations off the farm.  A lot of work!

When Friday rolled around, the upcoming three days of studio time was such a luxury for me!  Rarely do I even get three hours of uninterrupted time in the studio!  Even better, the weekend was punctuated by people stopping by on the tour — woohoo…people!  Many of our visitors were vacationing in Maine and were very excited to have found the Maine Fiberarts Tour Map.  They were having a blast visiting around and were pleasantly surprised to find a fair number of farms, studios & shops open right here on our little peninsula.  Jim was invited for a Saturday afternoon of sailing with friends so off he went — a well deserved break for him!

On Sunday, Jim was hinting that his wisdom tooth was giving him some trouble.  He already had an appointment to have them (the last 2) removed on the 21st but it was looking like he wouldn’t be able to make it to that date. On Monday, he called the oral surgeon and on Tuesday, the offending tooth and its stubborn friend were extracted.  Unfortunately, I’d already made plans to make a trip to the island of Vinalhaven on Wednesday so I had to leave Jim on his own…thank goodness for drugs!

Vinalhaven was amazing!  It was overcast as I left home and not much had changed when I boarded the ferry 45 minutes later. But as the ferry approached the island, the clouds opened up and it became a beautiful day!

A common sight on the ferry...supplies for the island.

A common sight on the ferry...supplies for the island.

I’d been invited to visit and advise the owner and farm caretaker of Long Cove Farm on fleece preparation for handspinners.  They’re raising Merinos and until now have been selling the fleeces for commercial purposes.  So…this was a very fun time!  After arriving and having a fine lunch of lobster roll & other goodies, we got into some lovely fleeces.

I spotted this boat with a great name as we were leaving Rockland harbor.

I spotted this boat with a great name as we were leaving Rockland harbor.

Unfortunately, my camera batteries died before I could take any photos of the farm or fleeces…argh!

The owner of Vinalhaven Long Cove Farm, Wanatha,  gave me a trio (2 hens & a rooster) of CuckooMarans so I put together a temporary home for them in the big barn while we got the henmobile ready for the long trip to the back fields…finally it’s dry enough that the house won’t sink into the pasture.  I have to say that this particular pasture is one of my favorite spots.  It’s always cool and when you walk around out there, the wild mint is bruised under foot and sends up its lovely scent…ummmm!  Bad news…sheep won’t eat it!  So we’re putting the chickens up there and will see if they eat it.  I’ll be very surprised if they don’t!

Right about Thursday, summer arrived on the coast of Maine…88+ degrees and about the same percent humidity.  This is unusual for us but hey! it’s not raining so I’m not complaining!  By Sunday afternoon, the big ewe group had again been moved to new pasture, the boys had been FAMACHA scored and moved as well.  The new chicken trio had been introduced into the henmobile with the laying flock (in the middle of the night) and the whole kit n’ kabootle had been moved to the back pasture.

The henmobile hits the road...Skye brings up the rear!

The henmobile hits the road...Skye brings up the rear!

On Sunday we went to the harbor for a lobster dinner and celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary and my [not 39th] birthday…it was a perfectly beautiful evening.

4 comments to Whirlwind Weeks in Review

  • The studio looks absolutely beautiful and oh-so-welcoming. Wish I was closer to have dropped in and spun a little!

    • Pam

      Thanks! Kris — I’m really liking the new arrangement and have been spending a little more time there lately. I wish you lived closer, too…

  • caryl carr

    The studio looks wonderful – I wish you many happy hours of fibery fun. The studio tour sounds wonderful – wish I wasn’t on the opposite coast.

    Tell Jim I’m so sorry about the stinking wisdom teeth – I had a root canal earlier this week, so I can truly emphathise. I’m very impressed with a flower CSA birthday present – excellent! I hope it keeps coming for several months. He’s definitely a keeper (but you already knew that…)

  • Pam

    Yes, Jim’s a keeper for sure!! The flowers have been amazing and the colors are becoming more intense as the weather cools. This is absolutely the best gift…flowers every week for several months!! I wish you were closer, too, Caryl. Maybe you’ll make it to Maryland or Rhinebeck sometime?

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