09 September 2007

A very productive day

This morning we headed up to Gram and Grandpa's house to help with the sod: their yard is finally landscaped, and wow, does it ever look big with the sod in place! We all got dirty and muddy constructing a green patchwork quilt in the yard, but the final result is lovely. Gram made a great meal for us when we were done, so we headed back home tired, happy, and full.

Back at Apple Jack Creek, The Reluctant Farmer fired up the bobcat and pushed some fence posts into place with the bucket (he's been wanting to try that - pounding posts with a steel post pounder gets old really, really fast), and then recruited The Boy and myself to get the last bit of vapor barrier sticky stuff on the outside of his foundation. Indoors, The Boy did a couple of loads of wash, packed up for camp (his class is going to an outdoor education camp this week), and was generally useful in running errands for the activities happening outside.

Late in the afternoon, The Reluctant Farmer drove the bobcat around the yard, pushing dirt down around the foundation and working on the backfill. That job can't be finished completely until the windows are in, but it sure is nice to have some of the piles of dirt flattened out!

Meanwhile, Bruce the ram was up on the trimming stand for shearing. He wasn't really happy about being there, crosstied to a couple of fence posts and unable to go anywhere, nor was he thrilled about the snipping noises he kept hearing. Still, I did manage to get a year and a half's worth of fleece trimmed off, and without a single cut on either sheep or shearer!

I did leave Bruce with a fair bit of wool covering, as winter is coming on quickly and he won't have time to grow a nice long coat before the cold weather arrives. He looks really goofy - I haven't yet figured out how to trim a sheep smoothly *and* get no second cuts in the fleece, so whenever I shear, the sheep end up resembling those foam egg crate mattress toppers with lots of hills and valleys ... at least for a few days, after which the wool seems to fluff itself back up into some semblance of decency. I really should take a shearing course. My priority lies in getting useable fleece from the sheep, rather than in leaving them as pretty as possible ... so far, they are (temporarily) quite ugly and I have nice fleece, so I guess it's working!

Bruce has lovely wool - I will be spinning some of it tonight. I weighed the box of fleece when I was done: 7 lbs of wool! That should keep me occupied for a little while.

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