Monday, October 5, 2009

Update on everything

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. Jonathan and I just returned (yes, about an hour ago) from a road trip to Tennessee. We delivered eight goats to a family from South Carolina that is starting a herd. They seem like a very nice family, which I am much more sensitive about since discovering that a couple of my goats most likely wound up in someone's freezer a couple months ago.

Speaking of those kids -- nope, never did receive a response from the buyer letting me know that my kids are happily living on someone else's farm. I'm trying not to seem like a crazy-neurotic as I sell kids now. I am really stressing the, "CALL ME if you have ANY problems, questions, thoughts, whatever. I really don't mind!"

The pigs are still happily munching on acorns that are picked up daily. We have five 50-pound feed bags full of acorns in storage, and we've only harvested from one tree. We really should have been weighing them. They say that a mature tree can produce a ton of acorns -- yes, literally 2,000 pounds -- and I'm starting to believe them.

I never did hear back from the people who carded and spun my wool, so at this point, I guess I'll never know the contents or origins of some of this yarn, which is sad, because I love knowing the entire history of my yarn. I'd at least like to know if the skeins contain 100% llama, Shetland wool, or a blend of the two. They could have at least said, "Gee, we're sorry. We really screwed up." But no, the only response I received when I sent them the detailed list of yarn was this -- they said that I was charged for 19 pounds of spinning, and if I received more than 19 pounds of yarn, I should send them $15 for each additional pound of yarn that I received. I was more than a little annoyed that they obviously didn't read my email very carefully and that their main concern was that they might have under-charged me for spinning yarn that wasn't even mine.

Since the weather has recently turned cold and rainy, I still haven't planted my garlic. I went out a couple weeks ago to plant it, but Mike was using the good shovel for fence work, and since we hadn't had any rain in about three weeks at that point, I couldn't break the dirt with my little hand spade. Then it rained . . . and rained again . . . and rained again . . . and it's supposed to rain all day Tuesday. If I don't get this garlic into the ground in the next couple weeks, it might be better if I just wait until spring, although they say the cloves won't grow as big if they're planted in spring.

I am happy to say that I am still victorious over the chickens! Woo hoo! Yes! They are still ignoring the flower beds at the gate. Now if we could just get up a couple of fences to keep them out of the front yard, I would be a happy flower gardener. They completely killed, pulverized, and decimated the mums I planted in the front yard.

The baby chicks
-- New Hampshire reds -- are doing very well. We've had zero mortality, which is exciting. Speaking of poultry, the Thanksgiving turkeys are also doing well, although after all the eggs and poults hatched, we have only 10 in the home stretch. Final tally on losses was about 60 eggs that didn't hatch and 40 poults that died from a variety of causes (from predators to poison) within the first week of life.

The reason you haven't seen any pictures lately is because Katherine left the camera under the oak tree when she was picking up acorns a week ago, and it's had a few problems since then. Mostly it's been refusing to take more than one picture without being turned off and on again. We are hoping for a full recovery, but you know electronics can be persnickety.

I've had some requests for posts on soap making and bread making, which I will write soon, although I'm not saying exactly when, because that never seems to work out. Speaking of food, though, Katherine welcomed us home with homemade truffles and snickerdoodles. Now I have to get to bed, so I can get up bright and early Tuesday morning and grade papers before teaching.

6 comments:

MaskedMan said...

Been busy, I see...

CONEFLOWER said...

Good night! You're last sentence knocked me over. You do all that you do and write about and you _teach school_ too!!! How do you do it all?

Thanks for the updates. It helps us curious minded readers to know how stories are working out.

All the best.

Deborah said...

I teach college part-time. I taught three classes in the spring, which was definitely too much. I took more than a month to decide about whether or not to say yes this semester. I finally decided to see if it would be okay to teach just one class. I am thinking about 0 next spring.

Claire said...

Just catching up a little and I'm completely disgusted by the reaction of the mill. I went back and read that post and am shocked by their complete dismissal of the problem. To me it seems pretty darn clear that you got someone else's yarn and that means someone else is going to get your yarn. I would be calling them daily to get to the bottom of it. Did you compare with the other farm name what they had sent in (color, weight) for processing? That's horrible business practice and pitiful customer service. Care to share the mill name so that none of us end up in the same pickle?!

Deborah said...

It's Wooly Knob and Aunt Aggie's, which is terribly disappointing. I've been hesitant to name them, because they've been so nice in the past, and kept thinking they'd do something. WK had been carding our wool for five years and doing a great job. This year, we decided to let them send some of the bags to Aunt Aggie's for spinning, which is owned by Jamie's parents. That's where the problem came in.

The only other thing that AA's said about the lower weight of my yarn was that poor quality fiber or fiber with a lot of VM will lose weight when spinning -- so if it lost weight, it's my fault for sending them crap. Every year we've asked Jamie point-blank what's the quality of our fiber, and he has always said very positive things about it, including the small amount of VM. Nowhere on either of their websites does it say that you can lose 20-25% of fiber weight in spinning. We don't lose anything when we spin it. In my last email, I said that if anyone would have told me we could lose that much in spinning, I wouldn't have had it done, because it's a loss of about $300 in roving. Also, we dropped off our fiber and picked it up, and at no time did Jamie ever say that it wasn't good enough quality for spinning. I cc'ed WK on that last email, hoping that they'd say or do something, even if AA was ignoring us, but no luck. Needless to say, I am exploring other mills. I'm thinking about Illinois Wool, since they're only a couple hours away.

Deborah said...

And, oh yeah, they did tell me not to worry about the other lady. They are replacing her fiber. I even said that I don't want her fiber and would be happy to send it to her, but I am unhappy about missing 5# of my own fiber. No response. They didn't answer the phone when I called either place, and they didn't return my phone call.

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