Thursday, May 17, 2012

The best thing about having a laptop that I can tell you all about my weekend adventures while sitting in bed, wearing my pyjamas.

So, weekend adventures.  They are pretty exciting.  Last weekend, for example:

That's my friend Amber (the girl, not the sheep).  Her dad raises sheep and is one of the best sheep shearers in the region.  She grew up shearing sheep during her summer holidays.  She runs a printing shop and shears sheep on the weekends for extra cash.  She let me come along last weekend.  She's cool.

Halloooo, in there. 

This ewe's name is Marianne.  That made me smile.

Facts about sheep shearing that I learned on Saturday:
  1. It's slimy work.  Amber is wearing funny felt slippers while she is shearing and it's because regular rubber-soled shoes are much too slippery after the first sheep is done - the lanolin gets everywhere.  The felt slippers just absorb it and stay grippy.
  2. The fleece is really warm when it comes off the sheep.  Like really really warm.  Her two first sheep of the day were sweaty, she said.  They must feel so cool and comfortable, post-shearing.  Phew.
  3. Sheep don't recognize each other right after they've been sheared.  They smell and look so different that they're all disoriented for a few days and can sometimes fight, thinking that new sheep have been introduced and they need to battle for supremacy all over again.  The wittle itty bitty lambs are so confused - they can't find their mamas for a bit.
  4. Sheep fleece can be unbelievably disgustingly dirty.
  5. Even though the sheep look uncomfortable during shearing, I think they actually like it.  They let Amber manipulate them and hold them down without struggling at all.  She's not a big girl - she's maybe 5'-4" and 140lbs - yet, she had no trouble wrestling them into submission (ok, yes, some of that is just plain old experience, but still).  She figures that a shearing for them is the equivalent of us going to the salon.  And everyone knows how good THAT feels.  Bliss.
  6. There's a reason they dock the tails on sheep.  Long tails are really gross and full of poop.  Apparently not the easiest to shear, as you can imagine.
The owners of the sheep offered me the fleeces, but these sheep aren't bred for their fleece - they're meat sheep.  So I don't think the wool would have been very soft.  Also, I have no spinning wheel, nor do I have the ability to clean all that fleece.  And holy cow, the cleaning they would need...  No way.   That's ok - I will do more research and maybe see if Amber will let me assist in shearings happening in my neck of the woods.  It was really fun and so different from how I usually spend a Saturday morning.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My, how time flies

Right, so in the time that I've been away, the Blogger interface has completely changed and now I can't find my way around.  Dammit.  Let's see if I can do this without deleting everything...

So.  How ya been?  In the eons since I last posted, a lot of stuff has gone down around these parts.  First, I had another run-in with more crappy health (my IBS again...curses) and then miraculously woke up one day feeling like a million bucks (which is only *slightly* frustrating).

Then, my workload (at my day job) ramped up to 11 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Then, we contacted a contractor about getting all of our windows and exterior cladding replaced on our house, which necessitated some re-negotiation at the bank (we were up for mortgage renewal this year, so we decided to take advantage of the unbelievable interest rates).  So, new windows.  That's awesome.  But a lot of work to coordinate.

And then my computer pooched on me.  It had been on a long and steady decline so this wasn't entirely without warning.  And technically, it still works.  But the screen was crapping out on me (and would have cost $400 to fix) and something wasn't right with it's ability to surf the web without crashing.  Not sure what it was, but with the broken screen, I wasn't going to get too worked up about it.

So out came the credit card and welcome to my new padooder, everyone!

With the change in computer came the realization that my Photoshop software is from the paleolithic era and eventually, that catches up with you.  No more Photoshop for me.  So photos may be a little different around here, but oh well.  I'm not exactly Annie Leibovitz.

My iron died so I couldn't sew for a couple of weeks until I found a decent replacement (I think the problem is actually the hardness of our well water - it clogs up appliances/fixtures).  And then my sewing machine gave up the ghost...almost.  It turns out it was just in desperate need of a cleaning/oiling, so phew.  It's all good as new, now.  My sewing machine service people are some of my favourite people.  Really, they're dolls.

And THEN, I had to spend a weekend transplanting every. single. plant. we own into several new beds we my husband made.  Most of our stuff was all next to the house in planters or beds and because we're having all the shingles, trim and windows stripped, the contractors would have trampled the plants.  So, out they came, shuffle shuffle and back in they went.  All 100+ of them.  Phew.

Knitting update: I haven't made much progress on the Seamless Hybrid.  In fact, no progress.  Stay tuned.  Other than that, I am working on a couple of gifts that I can't show you (exciting, I know) and have yet ANOTHER bébé to knit something for.  He was born a few weeks early (but don't worry - there were no problems, he was just fully cooked and ready to come out of the oven) so I got caught with my proverbial pants down, gift-wise.  Ooops.  Emergency nursing cover, coming right up!

Hey, and get this: the new baby has the same name as my cousin's baby.  How convenient for me!

Anyway, that's all I have for you, at the moment.  It's a beautiful day, so I'm going to see if I can finish the laundry and hang it all on the line to dry.  Then I have to get sewing to catch up on some things I promised people and then I have to do some baking.

Have a great Sunday everyone (and Happy Saint's Mother's Day, if that applies to you)!  Here's a little parting gift for putting up with my pathetic blogging habits.  These little critters belong to some new acquaintances of mine - I'll fill you in on where/how I met them in an upcoming post.