Monday, August 4, 2008

The Worst Week Ever

I don't mean to sound like a whiner but this summer is kicking my butt. 
And this last week was, without a doubt, the worst week ever. Ever. EVEREVEREVEREVER. Ever.

Don't believe me? Well, the week started with my getting poison ivy on my eyelids (MY EYELIDS!) and ended with Gulliver, our chihuahua, getting sprayed by a skunk. And, friends, those were the highlights.

But I am not ready to write about that yet (give me a week or two to regroup, por favor). Instead I am going to focus on the positive.

I have had some really great visits from shareholders in the past two weeks. Jessica and Jennifer came for what they thought was a day trip but I talked them into sleeping over and attending Patrick's big fundraiser with me. (Jennifer danced her butt off on stage with Jim Belushi. Photos to come.)  Dawn and her husband came for a visit and asked loads of questions in anticipation of starting their own alpaca farm down in Texas. Lisa came all the way from Hawaii. I have serious concerns about her being charged extra for her luggage because she bought so much yarn. And today I got to meet Susan and Ellen at the Farmer's Market and got a visit from Adele!

If you haven't made it over to the Island yet you should start making plans to come. 

Speaking of which, we are still trying to nail down a date for the Fall Shearing. I apologize for the delay in giving you a the info- I'm really completely at the mercy of the shearer and we have several calls into him now. Several. I will let you know ASAP because I know many of you are anxious to make travel plans. I'm shooting for the first or second weekend in October. I'll keep you posted...

This morning on my way to the Farmer's Market I got the phone call we have been waiting for for ages. The Spring 08 yarn is a spun up and ready for pick-up at the mill! [INSERT FIREWORKS AND CANNONS BEING FIRED HERE.]
As those of you who have been waiting ever-so-patiently know, we have a couple of glitches getting the fiber process this spring. The mill we had been using with great success for ages was overwhelmed by the amount of fiber we are shearing now and, after having our fleeces for a month, told us they wouldn't be able to get the job done. This was followed by lots and lots of phone calls to mill across the country, most of whom told us they would love to process for us but were on a six-month wait. 

We finally settled on a mill in Canada, which brought with it's own problems because of shipping and customs and whatnot. But our long national nightmare is finally over because IT'S READY!!! The roving for our Spinner's Shares is being processed at a third mill (are you following all this?) and it will be shipped next week.

I can't thank my original 100 shareholders enough for being so kind about the delays. There was a steep learning curve for us with processing this much fiber and we learned a lot. (Some day you and I will have a long and serious conversation about the relative merits of mini-mills vs. full size equipment.) I can promise you that next time it will be much, much smoother. And faster. And less likely to make me want to bash my head against a wall repeatedly. 

In other news, Patrick and I are busy getting ready for the Fair. The Agricultural Fair on Martha's Vineyard is the highlight of the year. It's a very wholesome event- not in a kitchy way at all though. It's very sincere in it's wholesomeness. There are all kinds of categories to enter, normal fair things like "Best Preserves" and "Best Pies" but there are also things I've never seen before anywhere else. Like the vegetable sculptures. I will take pictures this year, I promise.

We are entering three of our goats in the fair and I am entering a couple of my photographs. We will also have a big display in the fiber tent, so if you are going to be on Island during the Fair (August 21-24th) you must come by and say hi. 

The video that the etsy production team made about MVFF was featured on the front page of youtube for a couple of days this week, which is a huge honor. You can see it here if you haven't seen it already.

Things have been so crazy that I haven't taken many picture in the last couple of weeks but I am settling down and promise to get you some in the next couple of days. Here are a few new ones to tide you over.

Salina and Turman

Astrid and Tansy

My friends Eric and Karina let me borrow their children to model our MVFF t-shirts. I love this picture!
This is one of my new fall yarn colors. It's a lovely pinkish brown called Chocolate Milk.



Quansoo Beach


Rise and Shine

More soon...


jordiw said...

i will be STUNNED if the "airplane Ears" picture doesn't win something. I love that pic and I can't tell you how excited I am that the spring wool is coming!! Did you tomato juice the skunk smell? I had to do that once and it put me off tomato juice for a looooonnnnngggg time. poor baby, the skunk must have been bigger than he was...

Hooray for yarn!

caracolina said...

Sorry to hear you had a rough week, I hope you are feeling better now! My goat herding friend here in Arizona had a tough one, too, coincidentally. Their neighbor's house burned down and flying embers almost set their goat corral on fire and then their water tank broke which meant they had to truck in water and haul it to the live stock for several days. The tank is now fixed and better than ever - the joys of country life! Thanks as always for the lovely photos,


Lindsay said...

Susie darling, I'm so sorry to her about your poison ivied eyelids... my father was doing a trail race a few years ago and ran through some poison ivy. After the race, he changed his shoes (thus getting the oils on his hands) and then went to the restroom. He called me in a panic (because I have many years of camp counselor experience) to ask me, "Um, what do you do with poison ivy in a... um... well... sensitive male place?" Not posessing my own "sensitive male place" (or anyone else's, for that matter) I told him to go to a doctor. After I stopped laughing hysterically. He did go, and got a cortisone shot, but I never did find out exactly where the needle went. Hey, it's my dad... I'd rather not know! Anyhoo, thought that story might give you a chuckle and relieve a bit of stress. I'm going to be coming to the Vineyard this weekend and staying until the 19th, so if you need any help with any officy stuff, let me know... and is there a dyeing workshop this upcoming week? When? Where? How do I get to attend? You can email me at lindsaybob at hotmail dot com. See you soon!
Lindsay (Danielle at Kiddo's cousin)

mmamallama said...

Auuuugh, skunk! So sorry you had such a horrible week, that's not a lot of fun. Believe it or not our sweet but stupid dog has taught us that dish soap, water and hydrogen peroxide is a really good skunk smell dissapating mixture.

Hope things are calming down this week.

Yummy yarn colors!!! Please remember that I am in the thick of moving...waiting for contract info, will send soonest as I cannot wait to get my hands on this amazing yarn. Can I sign up now for next spring's CSA?

So sorry that I am moving without the opportunity to visit...I really really wanted to. Maybe next year I'll just have to plan a visit.

Fanamama said...

It will get better and you are so right to concentrate on the positive side! That's what I'm trying to do so I won't moan about where I've been and why I have no time....I'm just so happy to read your news and see your beautiful pictures! They are definitely a bright spot! Sorry about your eyes - ouch or itch!
Hugs, Lisa in Buffalo

kelly said...

Glad you're back! So sorry to hear about the terrible week (Your eyelids?! Ugh!) but I am SUPER DUPER excited at the news of the Spring 08 shares -- I'm dyin' to touch that yarn! :)

Hope this next week is better for you -- we've all missed you.

Diane said...

>>The Spring 08 yarn is a spun up and ready for pick-up at the mill! [INSERT FIREWORKS AND CANNONS BEING FIRED HERE.]


Hope you're on the mend, usual thanks for all your hard work.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

I only had poison oak once and managed to "only" have it on fronts of thighs and underside of forearms... Couldn't believe how long it took to ripen, and how much longer it took to go away. My heartiest, non-itchy condolences. And Thanks for the sheep pix. Maybe this week will be better.

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you; it takes a lot of love and courage to be a farmer and you certainly have both. I love the pictures too.Hey! who said they could help you with office work, jump on that!

habitual said...

Whoa - eyelids? EYELIDS? good grief - what can you do for that? I wish you chamomile-calm, non-itchy days ahead.

Poor little Gulliver....Dawn dish soap I've heard works miracles.

Hang in there! The photos are wonderful and are sure to fetch first place.

Alwen said...

On your eyelids! Ohhhh, sympathies.

I am now sensitized enough to poison ivy that I get "mango rash" from mango peel. Which I found out when I got it on my lips and upper ear - just before being in my brother's wedding! Itchy tiny blisters all over my lips. And I love mangoes, darn it.

So I know whereof I speak when I send you this sympathy.

Trinity said...

On your eyelids!?!? That would've been enough right there to qualify as the worst week ever. Here's to happier (and luckier) weeks ahead!

--Deb said...

Look how big Truman is getting! And the pictures you submitted are absolutely fantastic--good luck with that! And, and, your poor eyelids! And poor Gulliver! But, an ETA for the wool! And, how many exclamation points can I use in one comment?!

Well, hopefully, you'll have a nice little box to cheer you up, say, tomorrow?

Joanb said...

Susan - yikes, you poor thing. I hope your eyes are better, that's a baaaad place to have poison ivy (is there a good place)!
Wish we could be there for the Ag Fair... are you going to enter the skillet toss :)
Take care, love to you and Patrick and all the 4-legged ones.qn

My post-MFA life: said...

Wow--quite a week! Poison Ivy and a skunk? That's just too much! Glad you're muddling through though, and have such exciting news! I love the photos you chose. Good luck! and the yarn! I'm so excited! BTW, I've moved since I signed up. How should I change my address with you? Thanks!

lulubell said...

susan, your photos are stunning. Would you consider selling some? They would look wonderful next to my stash! Good luck at the fair.

Cornelia said...

HANG IN THERE - you're doing wonderful things. A visit may be possible in the Fall.

Meg said...

What an awful week. I would have crawled back in bed at the poison ivy. So glad you got the spring 2008 yarn in, how exciting!

GingerPyeJackson said...

Not much to say, just want to send a internet hug. {{{Susan}}} Stay strong Sista! Can't wait to get my hands on that Rise and Shine....
It's very PumpkinSpicey to me.


well, if it weren't for the awful times we wouldn't knot the greatest times....that was one of the ones i got when the fire ants attacked! which is crap! itching and burning and on eyelids is bad! was bad! and there is nothing i can say to make it better. so i won't.

does tomato juice work to deskunk chihuahuas?

boom! flash! how about the the balloons! confettii! cheers!

yeah...more pictures...i love pictures!!! and i hope yours wins at the fair!

i love some of your fall colors! like the chcolate milk, the quansoo beach, and the rise and shine!

o, dawn gave me hug but said there was something she forgot. i think her visit to you was one bright spot in her vacation! and your yarn got passed about and was ooo'd and awwwed by everyone!

hey, if ya come visiting in texas, will you let us know so we can have a meetup...just dawn and me and a few knitters we know...we are a fun group and not really scarey! just very chatty and constantly asking questions of one another!

please let us know if you guys win anything at the fair!!!

what was patricks big fundraiser for and how did it go?

this is more like an email than a you know you can find me on ravelry.

sandy (puddle duck)
hey, you haven't said anything about your aunt and uncle...did he get his chair? how are they doing? will you give them my love?

Angela said...

Good for you for focusing on the positive! But about that poison ivy...when I had a bad case a few years ago (emergency room for cortisone shots bad), I found Zanfel, which really helped get rid of it, and the horrible itching, much faster. Not sure about using it on eyelids, but here is their website:

Crista said...

How awful for you! Whatever do you put on poison ivy on eyelids and not get it in your eyes!!

The pictures are great and the spring yarn news is wonderful! I can get my my dye pot out...

Sneakers (my dog) got skunked big time a few years back. I have the recipe for clearing it up in my recipe box:

Mix 4 cups of hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 c. baking soda and 1 tsp. of liquid dish soap. Let sit on the dog for 30 minutes and and rinse and shampoo with regular shampoo.

mydogpetey said...

I so love the photographs of you and Patrick at the fundraiser! You need to get those framed for the house. You look like you both are having a grand time. Hang in there on the rough weeks. You are strong. You can handle it!

woolies said...

I started hyperventilating at the news of poison ivy on your EYELIDS. I'd be taking serious amounts of both prednisone and perhaps straight vodka.
Your pictures should win every prize.
and I need some of the quansoo beach yarn. perfect for teddies.

Vydellia said...

I absolutely adore the pictures that you are going to enter into the fair!

Sorry to hear about the poison ivy. I hope it clears up soon. I do have to wonder how you managed to get it on your eyelids...

Take care of yourself. I hope things start looking up soon for you.

Beverly said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear about the bad week! Poison ivy on your eyelids, I can't even imagine!

I love your mermaid colorway! I wish I could afford to be a shareholder.

woolies said...

hi again, I hope you read your blog comments, because you should stop by my blog for a little tiny surprise.

PS knitted horse w/sweater is done. BOGGED down in so much of my dogs needed major surgery last week. Car broke down. Leak in kids bathroom. Dentist visits....You're not the only one with a crappy summer.....