Saturday, February 21, 2009

Take The Afternoon Off

Usually the winter months are pretty slow. It's too wet or too frozen to ride or drive. There is more of a problem with not enough grass than too much grass. It's too cold to shear sheep and keeping everyone fed becomes the biggest chore. This is the time I cherish. I can get caught up on (most) everything that falls through the cracks during the summer and fall. I read books. Learn new things (well, I tend to learn something new every day, but usually not by choice!). Play with wool... You know, the good stuff.

This winter however has been go, go, go. Part has been self-inflicted - a new farm painting, new website design and a new etsy shop. And if you set up a shop, you've got to expect/hope to be busy. Now, I'm not really complaining - it's nice to have money coming in while you watch it all fly off a wagon as you feed hungry sheep - but as I headed home from the post office this morning I decided I deserved lunch out and an afternoon off in neighboring Georgetown, Kentucky.

I had lunch at a vegetarian friendly/healthy food choice place - a small chain, I think, called Justix - all the food is grilled on sticks - get it? ;-) I had portobello mushrooms with brown rice and broccoli, enjoyed talking to the owner for a few minutes and then watched part of the UK basketball game.

My first shopping stop was Bohannon's Books. I'd ordered Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook and hadn't had a chance to run in and pick it up. I discovered this bookstore during my pact to shop local for all my Christmas gifts. If you are ever in the neighborhood, stop by. If she doesn't have it - new or used - she can get it. While there I also picked up a copy of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I should have read this book two years ago (heck, we ALL should have read that book) when it first came out. I also found another small treasure.

My next stop was Stone's Throw Artisans, my nearest LYS (local yarn shop) and within walking distance of Bohannon's. Beth and her family raise sheep out in the county and her shop is full of beautiful yarn, roving and BOOKS! She has the new Judith MacKenzie McCuin book, The Intentional Spinner, in stock and I excitedly grabbed one. I've just glanced through it quickly, but am very impressed and have already picked up a couple good tips. I have a few spinning/knitting/weaving books in queue, but this one has moved to the top of the stack.

When I got home I took some more time off to sit with Wiwi (who'd been horribly neglected by my leaving for a few hours!), drink a cup of coffee and read the first chapter of the Kingsolver book - as always not just informative, but an enjoyable read as well. The statistics of transporting food all over the country - and world - are appalling. I am definitely going to make a bigger effort to eat locally this year. And if it's anywhere near as fun as shopping locally, it's going to be a great year!

On a (more) serious note - we really need to treasure and support these small, local businesses. They are fighting a mountainous uphill climb just to pay their rent, much less feed their kids, sheep, cats, dogs... I know I may have paid an extra dollar or two for my books, but received more than that back in good service and enjoyable company. And I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have found a lady walking with her sheep, cat and dog card at the "local" sprawl-mart ;-).

For real, a "crazy" sheep lady card - and not from the yarn shop!


~Tonia~ said...

Congratulations on your etsy store! It helps get your name out to a much wider range of people that is for sure. How are you shipping? I might know of a cheaper way for you. :)

I love the local stores, but sadly there are not many around here. :(

Claire said...

Wow, I wish I had a local yarn shop.

I did buy a couch today, and it is made by an Iowa company, so that was kind of neat. I didn't expect to be able to "buy local" on a couch!

Dianne said...

I love that "Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook". In fact, you got a boat-load of treasures from your afternoon off! All of those are great books and the Sam Toft card is terrific.

Heather said...

It sounds like you had a treasure-ful day! Good for you. That card looks so cute. Sheep love to go for walks.

flowerweaver said...

I wondered if you had the Henry Moore sketchbook. I saw it used in an online bookstore and thought of you, but figured you already knew about it or had it!

Wish I had something vegetarian on a stick around here. Sigh.

Urban Farmhouse said...

Excellent point about supporting the locals. I too plan on buying more locally grown foods and products for my home and family. I hope it becomes an unprecedented event during this economic rebound(! tired of saying slump, struggle, etc) and that droves of people do the same.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

When we were in Lexington a year and a half ago, it was very difficult to find vegetarian-friendly eateries. We went to Alfalfa's a couple times - YUM! - but didn't find much else. SO much easier out here in Oregon! Love all your book purchases! Since my husband are both small business owners (well, mine would more accurately be called a MICRO business), we know how hard it is. Some people (like my husband's secretary) have no idea....


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