Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rain in July

We've been having plenty of rain lately. It's so nice to be able to use my electronet fencing again. For a while there the ground was too hard to insert the posts. In some ways the rain is most welcome and in other ways, it's not.

Yesterday afternoon rain hit fairly hard while I was doing the Pine City Arts Festival. It was then that I discovered my tent needs waterproofing. It handled the drizzly-misty stuff, but when the rain became steady, the drips started in on my inventory. Of course, wool can get wet, no problem, my sheepskins, felted and knitted things are washable, so no problem there either. But sure enough it came in right on the blank note cards and the goat milk soap! After the customers cleared out of my drippy booth, I managed to pack everything up in plastic bags as quickly as possible. I was doing the booth all by myself. I tucked the plastic bags and containers under the tables and ran for my van -- vendors have to park over a block away. Why do I never think to pack an umbrella or even a raincoat?

Well, other vendors had already gotten the parking spot near my tent, so I parked across the street. The water in the gutters was pretty deep and my little Minnetonka moccasins were no match for it. Back and forth across the street with bags of wool and big Rubbermaid containers, I was totally drenched.

The worst part was that I really needed to use the rest room! I simply had to take time out to walk across the park to the porta-potty, looking like a drown rat, past the other dry vendors in raincoats standing their non-leaking tents. But oh, what a relief it was! ;-)

Fortunately the parking space opened up by then and I got my tables put away and decided to tackle the tent. Lesson learned: when your tent has big pools of water in the corners of the roof, use something besides your arm to push up the roof and displace the water. It was like pouring a bucket of water down my arm!

I pulled the pins and lowered the sides, pulled up the stakes and squeezed the EZ Up into a manageable bundle. Slid it in the van on top of the other inventory. Said good bye to the ladies with the woven rug booth across from me - they were so nice! And headed for home.

It wasn't until I called Stan to tell him not to bother coming to help me when he got off work, that I remembered all the money and checks were in my jeans pockets. Yes, all totally soaked. Thankfully the checks dried out with the ink still legible. ;-)

Anyway, I still had a great time! It's always fun to talk about sheep, wool, spinning, felting, knitting and soapmaking with the public. I'll use something to waterproof my tent seams before the next booth comes up in September. I hope that does the trick...

In August, I'll have some of my sheep on display in the Baa Booth at the Minnesota State Fair (the Baa Booth is an educational service of the Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers). At least that is under cover. And hopefully, we won't let any sheep get away from us this year when we load them up! I still shudder to think what could have happened to Brita when she escaped last year.

On another note, I helped fellow shepherd, Kim Nickolai, shear four sheep a few days ago. That was a very fun and rewarding experience. I came home with some beautiful Shetland fleece to work on! Makes me want to invest in a stand and electric clippers. I took the sunset photo above on the way home that evening.


  1. Oh my Gosh, Becky! What a day at the Arts Festival! You tell it so funny but you had t be Miserable!!

    Has Kim still not got her flock sheared??? Those poor sheep must be cooking in this heat and humidity! If gas wasn't so darned expensive, I'd go up and help her out for a day or two. As it is, I'm sticking close to home for anything other than work or the Jefferson show...

  2. Well at least it was warm out so I wasn't freezing in the rain on Saturday. Trying to work your way out of totally wet jeans is an adventure in itself. :-)
    I would love to go back and shear more sheep with Kim. It took us a fairly long time to do each one, and we got really dirty, but the sheep looked SO good afterward. No nicks or cuts, no fiber ridges. Her dog groomer skills really shined through.


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