>Ah, April 15. The end of the first wave of tax returns for the year. I guess what really upsets me more than the usual litany of people not knowing what to bring for their returns and people bringing stuff in late is the fact that folks have no clue how much they actually pay in income tax. They phrase it in terms of “I got this much back — I didn’t have to pay”, not actually absorbing the concept that they’ve been paying all year. It’s food for thought, and maybe it’ll inspire some of you to actually look at page 2 of that 1040, line 61, and see how much of your hard-earned money is going to the government every year.
But my political opinions are not why most of you come to this blog…
You come for fun things, like SHEEP!This past Saturday I played hooky from work and went to the Atlanta History Center for their annual Sheep to Shawl festival. The festival featured re-enactments of life as it would have been on the Tullie Smith farm in Atlanta in the 1850’s. It’s amazing that the actual structure still standing — we don’t have a lot of pre-War-of-Northern-Aggression buildings standing around here considering how rude Sherman was with the fire thing when he came through. But this one was and they moved it to the grounds of the history center. There are animals there, including one ram and one ewe who were in need of shearing, since it’s spring and they were sporting their heavy winter fleeces.
The unhappy sheep you see in the picture is Napoleon, a roughly 250 lb ram who was the first to be sheared. Took three men to bring him out. The gentleman shearing him is a professional sheep shearer and has a farm here in the area. Silly me — I didn’t know there were enough sheep in the area to merit a professional shearer here, but evidently there are. He carefully sheared Napoleon (avoiding obvious boy parts… and boy, were they obvious once all that fleece was gone). The shearer said that the sheep would cooperate pretty well as long as their hooves were up in the air.For his part, Napoleon cooperated pretty well except for in mid-shear when his hooves did hit the ground and he decided to make a break for it in the pen, with half his fleece hanging off him. He was quickly wrestled into submission by the three men again and put over onto his side so the shearing could be completed.
When he was completely sheared, the shearer let Napoleon up to run free. We thought he would run around the rather large pen, but instead, he said “Check, please!” and made a break for the barn, where he no doubt told the ewe what was in store. And actually, it was a bit chilly out and well, he was nekkid at that point. The shearer passed around the fleece for the kids there to grab a handfull — I passed on that one after explaining to one rather perplexed mother that the fleece would feel sticky because of the lanolin in it. She expected it to feel like a cotton ball.
There were other exhibits of blacksmithing, basketmaking, dying with natural colors, and cooking, but for us, of course, the highlight was the shearing.
After the shearing, we went up to the Swan Coach House there for lunch. When I worked in the area, that was a favorite lunch spot for me and my co-workers when we felt like taking a long, leisurely lunch. I hadn’t been there in 20 years, and I didn’t know if it was the same. I was not disappointed — the chicken salad in timbales and the frozen fruit salad was still delicious. Plus I splurged on a dessert:“The Swan”… a meringue base with whipped cream goodness concealing a chocolate mousse middle. Yum. Blog worthy.
As for stitching and knitting during tax season — precious little, considering I generally fell asleep once I sat still, and frankly, after Oscar passed, I wasn’t in the mood to do much. But in early February I had one completion I hadn’t blogged yet. Richard asked for and got a handmade scarf to keep him warm in the winter weather:Pattern is the Scrunchable Scarf (look it up on Ravelry), made with two skeins of Manos del Uruguay wool.
So, I’m back and hope to be posting more now that my silly job will allow. Actually I’m thankful that most of my clients came back and I picked up some new ones this year. I’m busy, but it’s all good.