I finished The Grapes of Wrath (The ones about the Oklahomans, not the World War 1 book...). I thought it was a riveting book, and I am going to look up some more of Steinbeck at a later point.
Because it was a good book, but not exactly a laugh riot, I picked up Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett. I enjoy his work, and knew that he had written quite a few of the Disk World series, I decided to look up how many in total he'd written. 40, which is great! More to read!
And also, he died. Er... Oh. Guess I missed that one. Crap.
Had my birthday, which had people giving me flower seeds. (I had requested this. I thought it wouldn't be too much of a problem. However, turns out, I didn't request early enough, and most places have quit selling seeds by the tail of July... Meh, still have a great variety...)
I finally was able to get someone out to shear my llamas. These poor girls have been unshorn for nearly 2 years. I was getting to the point, I was concerned someone might turn me in for neglect. I had checked with shearers all across the state. I had responses from "We don't DO anything less than ten animals", to "sure, I will be there Monday", and they never showed. I called my local extension agency, who, very, very disappointingly, never got back to me. So, I saw a neighbor that had a llama. It was ONE llama, shorn. So, I went and asked.
He told me he didn't do shearing, but he'd look up the number of the gent who did. L, L. L, L, L, hmmm. No, it's not under L.
Oh, wait, I didn't put it under L for llama, I put it... Yep, under S for Shearing! (Organized like me... Hee hee.) So, he gave me the number, and I called. And couldn't figure out if I had managed to leave a message or not. I am still working the bugs out of my
Is Saturday too soon?
I groaned inwardly, as I had another appointment, but decided that I was going to take a chance on this guy. I told him where I lived, and he said, oh, blah, blah... Turns out, it was 8 minutes from my house!
Saturday came, I was up at a little before 5. Husband had put the chute out, I was out cleaning the area. (We use the chicken yard, and I raked up the little land mines, so it would be less of a mess, especially if the guy had to kneel.) Fed, watered, haltered up the girls, and the phone rang about 6:15.
Do you mind if I run into to town for coffee?
No, we have it all ready for you, so when ever you're ready...
Oh, do you want me over there now?
I tried not to bray laughter, I assured him that a cup of coffee was fine, and we were just a bit ahead of the game, not to worry.
He arrived, a big gent, with a grey t-shirt and camo shorts. Huh. Well, he'll get his gear on when he starts, I guess... Husband set up orange cones over the extension cord, as one of our neighbors has a bad habit of driving in and running it over, because he's busy watching what we are doing.
I get Dolly into the chute, and see he's oiling the clippers. Huh. I watch, as he comes up, lets Dolly take a sniff of him, pats her on the back, then starts in. Starts in while wearing his t and shorts. Most people I know have coveralls, and wear heavy boots. I even wear a jean jacket to keep the biggest majority of fiber, spit, and dirt off of me. Not this guy, and other than dust, he seemed to do fine.
Again, huh. Husband was tired, and his back wasn't doing so great, but I'd forgotten to ask the gent about doing the llama's toes, which needed trimmed. The gent looked up when Husband said to keep Dolly in so he could do that, and the gent pipes up, I have snips, would you like me to?
I kept looking to see where this guy was hiding his camo colored angel wings. He was gentle to my animals, enjoyed what he was doing, and certainly took the burden off the two of us for the 'grunt' work involved with this part of livestock ownership!
I gave him some extra for the effort, he looked so surprised. He then asked if I would like him to call next season, BEFORE the hot season, to shear and trim them. I nearly dropped my teeth. Yes, oh, thank you, yes! So now we have two very defluffed llamas (I told him to basically cut off all the hair, the llama equivalent of a buzz cut). He did, and the darker one, Dolly, actually looks like a deer with a long neck at the moment. A mutant deer? But they are doing much better, and it's supposed to get hot by week's end, again, so they will not be so overwhelmed with fur...
Husband did a job, and was paid with some of the company's product, which means that I now have 2 really beautiful, as well as excellent quality kitchen knives. We had made a trip just shy of 2 hours away for him to do this job, and I went, just for the day out.
I knew it was taking a bit, when Husband came out, he had me come in to choose said knives. I picked a bread knife, and Husband chose a chef's knife. Meanwhile, he and the maintenance man were having an intense discussion about machines, tools, and such. I was half listening, while watching two of the employees work on the knives. Next thing I know, the guy is offering Husband a job...
I really think that if they ever get this cloning thing figured out, I am going to have to hide my husband, or there will be several dozen of him about. At least if all the people who want help from him are any indication! (And no, he didn't take the job. 2 hour commutes are NOT his cup of milk. He doesn't care for tea...)
I picked a lot of black berries, and made jam. I did this over two days, so I picked, crushed, then put the juice in the fridge. Normally, I do all this one day, and so I never thought about it, just do. Well, I had this 'stuff' on the top, and I skimmed it before I made jelly. It was mostly fruit solids and such, but when I made the jelly this time, it was so much prettier than what I've made in the past. I might just have to do that again! So I have around 8 pints of jelly. Yay! Now I will have to bake up some bread...
(The chickens enjoy the seeds and leavings from the berry picking, but let's just say that the landmines around of late have a definite violet tinge...)
I also have been drawing up the t-shirt for the Ren Faire. I gave them several ideas, they narrowed it to two. I worked on both, just knowing they would love the one.
Nope, the other.
So, I worked on the other. They then wanted a change to that one, too. Hmm.
So, I did the changes, (fortunately, some of it I had on computer, so I didn't need to start from square one, thankfully). Finally, I was able to send a completed logo she liked, so I will get it out tomorrow, if all goes well, and we will have a new t-shirt for faire. I laugh a little about this, I draw well enough, but I know there are some that are astounding in the arts.
But when I ask around, would any others like to draw the shirts, we even had a competition, I was the only one that turned in anything. So, I have been the 'shirt artist', for something like 5 or so years. Hey, I get a free shirt out of the deal, so it works out.
Oh, and I have been knitting a pillow for a friend, I don't think she reads this blog, so I can get away with telling. She is a big Doctor Who fan, so the pillow is dark grey with speckles, like space, and the TARDIS will be centered on the front. She, and her husband, have helped me quite a lot, and I wanted to give her something nice. She is going through a rough patch at the moment, and I thought something nice and cushy would be good...
And a pillow will last a lot longer than a jar of jelly.