Wednesday was very interesting. An odd quartet of events may have changed my plans for Summer. It went like this –
I emptied out the storage unit and brought everything back to Towanda, put out the awning for the first time and settled in for a relaxing day off.
A clothing designer in LA emailed me about my angora rabbits.
I randomly came across your website while searching for the best process to dye my angora yarn. But what got me super excited was the fact that you have your own bunnies – as I have been looking for someone who has angora rabbits – and creates yarn from their ‘fluff’. I prefer to live a vegan life style, but as a fashion designer, there are certain fibers I am completely in love with and have a hard time letting go of. It is my hope to find a ‘bunny ranch’ that provides their rabbits with an awesome, cruelty free life- and proves me with awesome yarn! Do you still sell angora yarn?
Huh. I don’t recall ever advertising finished yarn, but the interwebs is a big place so maybe I did. End result is that I will be spinning up some samples for her to see if I can give her the quality she desires for “embellishment on some haute couture style dresses.” I’ll be charging her a pretty penny, too.
And then I received a response to an ad I placed to sell some of my sewing magazine collection (20+ BWOF if any of you know it) and when she asked what I wanted for them I found myself inflating my original price because all of a sudden I wasn’t so hot to let them go. She paid. Happily. Crap. Sent them off yesterday.
And then Sabu and I went to the dog park. We were alone for about half an hour when an older couple drove up and two ginormous white dogs squeezed out of the back of their minivan. Oh, shit! I had been told stories about this pair of dogs and was warned to leave right away if I didn’t want my dog bullied and perhaps injured – the dogs are wild and their people have no control over them! I mean, I heard the same story from at least four different sources, so I was worried.
I put Sabu on her leash and backed away from the gate. The two dogs (almost a foot taller than Sabu and three times her weight – these are LARGE dogs) bounded over, looking rather like giant puppies, but with a purpose. They moved as a team, surrounding Sabu and aggressively sniffing.
I said, “if they’re going to gang up on my dog I’ll have to leave,” to the man and he replied, “Fine! Goodbye then!” which made my hackles rise and I decided to ride it out and see what would happen – neither Sabu nor I are cowards!
There was some growling and snapping, but none of it was serious and so we stayed, and I’m glad we did. The dogs are a brother/sister pair of Maremmas, a legendary livestock guardian breed, and for those who don’t know, they generally live with the flock they protect. They are not generally “family” dogs that go about riding in cars and visiting dog parks. Why? Because they have been bred for hundreds of years to patrol in pairs or trios around their flock, investigating and killing any predator that comes near. They are not what you might call “domestic” dogs – they are bred to be suspicious of unknown humans (potential thieves) and their duty is to kill anything on four legs that threatens their flock. Not exactly dog park material.
I have read about people who try to keep Maremmas and other LGD (Livestock Guardian Dogs) as pets in their home or apartment. It doesn’t go well. LGDs are bred for independent thinking, spending all of their time out in the weather, patrolling their territory 24/7 and you just can’t give them what they need in an urban or suburban environment. They will be miserable and they will surprise you with the variety of their bad (and destructive) behavior.
Anyway, I asked the man if he had a farm and livestock for his dogs. He has goats and recently started boarding 10 sheep for a friend. I asked what kind of sheep and he gave me the strangest look. “I don’t know what breed, just that they’re huge!” As always when I ask people about their sheep I have to explain that I’m a fiber artist and I spin wool into yarn, etc. etc. etc. so they understand that I’m curious for a valid reason, not because I’m mental 🙂
We chatted a bit about the dogs and I asked if they were their first LGDs and how it was going with them (the dogs are about 2 years old.) The wife piped up, “the last two years have been a nightmare!” before the husband could get a word in, so I can guess that these people did not know what they were in for.
We didn’t have long to talk but they invited me out to their farm to see their animals and talk wool as they want to get some sheep of their own some time soon. I’ll try to get some pictures of the three dogs together so you can see how tiny Sabu looks beside Lilly and Logan.
At this point it was only about 1:00 PM so I headed back to Towanda to check e-mail and maybe get a nap. There was a note from The Other Boss (TOB from now on) asking me to give him a call about scheduling some upcoming projects. Huh. It’s odd to actually talk to TOB directly, it’s usually the less senior engineer who works out this stuff with me.
So I get him on the line and he says that we have a very busy Summer coming up and I tell him that I’m ready. There are two very large projects coming in and he wants to be sure I’m on board and have the time he needs. I assured him that my job here on The Coast is part-time and I’m ready to rock.
That’s when he told me that The Boss (the engineer that I worked for over in the Valley, not the owner of the Sweet Shop) told him that if I were to walk into his office that afternoon he would put me to work full-time for the foreseeable future. Now it’s getting interesting! Seems TB and TOB are going to be working on these two large projects together, one will do the Private Utility part and the other will do the Public Utility part, and I will do ALL of the drafting. We’ve done this before and it means long hours for me (8-5 for TB and 6-11 for TOB) but the money can’t be beat and I love the work. Sleep becomes a problem after a couple of weeks, but I’ve done it before and can do it again.
And then he started talking faster, saying that we would all need to discuss if I would do the work here or go over to The Valley. TOB said he was sure that I would need to make at least a few trips over there – would I be okay with that?* It was at that point that I decided to reveal a bit of my private life, not something he has ever been interested in. I told him that M is out of the picture and I live in a 30′ travel trailer, just me and the dog, so I am perfectly mobile and unencumbered and if he needs me over there, I will come over.
I could hear the wheels clicking over in his mind. He has a slab with hook-ups on his property, conveniently located only yards away from his office building up on a hill in the woods surrounded by chirping birds, cows and horses. TB is only a short car ride into town. I asked for a couple of days to think about it (he didn’t offer to let me park on his place, but I think he will when I give him a final answer) and get back to him.
Pretty sure I’ll be moving myself and Towanda East for at least the Summer. I can’t wait to have a Summer where it’s warm enough to wear short sleeves, warm enough to go barefoot all day and wear shorts! Not only that, but a friend over there has just acquired a fiddle and wants to learn to play. What fun! It’s about 1.5 hours from The Coast, so it’s not like I will be abandoning my friends here and I would be a total idiot to pass up the opportunity to make some Real Money again.
Sigh. Life is good!
* I used to travel over there on a regular basis, but as you can probably guess, M made it difficult in many ways, often insisting that he drive and rushing me through every meeting and then rushing home as fast as we could go, no shopping, no eating, no visiting, just right back to the prison that I lived in. I resented him for it at the time and am grateful he will never have that hold on me again.