Well, today had its good and bad points.
The bad point was that this morning, when the ducks were let out of their in-barn pen (where they sleep at night) and encouraged to go out the door to greet the sunshine (as they do each morning), they decided to try a different route. Unfortunately, the route they chose led them straight into the pan of very dirty tractor oil that Kelly had drained from the tractor. Oh yes, I now had 10 black and grey ducks, who were formerly bright white. I had 3 black ducks who were even more black. And I had a very bad attitude about it!
We won't go into the details about whether pans of dirty tractor oil should be left open on the floor of the barn. No, we'll just ignore that factor. We will focus instead of the fact that this happened about 10 minutes before I had to leave for my morning class, so there was no fixing it at the time. The ducks were shooed outside and unfortunately had to try and deal with this problem for the day, resulting in liberal dispersal of motor oil all over themselves.
So, my task this evening, after a full day of work and school, was duck washing. Did I take pictures? No. It is best not to have a camera around an extremely wet, messy, greasy, unpleasant task. Kelly bought some "Dawn" detergent on the way home, which is apparently used in the cleaning of seabirds who have been in the vicinity of oil spills. A copious amount of Dawn was used in the washing of each greyish black duck, to transform it into a mostly white duck, with traces of grey. There was incessant quacking and splashing throughout the procedure, and I guarantee you that the ducks were NOT pleased or impressed with my duck bathing techniques.
We set up two Rubbermaid totes with water, one for the initial wash, and one for the rinse. Each duck was bathed for about 5 to 10 minutes (depending on dirtiness level) in the initial tub. Belly rubs were had by all. Washing under wings and tails was also needed, as well as bill washing, since they had oil on their bills and feet as well. After a complete washing, the duck was transfered to the "rinse" tote, in which a kitty litter bucket of water was poured over the duck and sloshed around to get all the suds off. Kelly hauled all the water and dumped the totes after every second duck. Yours truly did all the actual washing and scrubbing. About 1.5 hours later, we were finished, and the ducks were wet, but clean(ish). They are fortunate that tonight is not particularly cold - they should dry out well in the barn. Of course, it will take time for their natural oils to permeate their feathers again, but fortunately, the pond is frozen and they won't be swimming for a while yet, so I'm sure by the time it thaws, all will be well.
On to the good part of the day!
After duck baths, we finally had a chance to unload my car, which had a loom in it! I am very excited about this! Wonderful Becky at Yellow Jacket Ridge Angoras had purchased a loom a while ago, and (giggle!) kept it hidden from her husband in a basement storage area! She finally fessed up about its presence in their home, after having decided to sell it. And lucky me, I was the buyer! We had tried to figure out how it was going to make its way from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to my little farm in Iowa.
My colleague at work who gave us our original Nubian goats works part time in Iowa and part time in Colorado. He drives back and forth from Des Moines to Denver. All I had to do, was figure out a way to get it from Steamboat Springs to Denver. Originally, Becky's friend was going to transport it, but in an odd twist of fate, Becky herself was able to take it to Denver because her stepson is in hospital there, as you will learn if you read her blog. Remarkably, despite all the chaos in her life, she so generously took it to Denver and met up with my colleague Jim, who brought it here to me.
Tonight we looked over all the parts and pieces.
Unfortunately one piece broke getting it out of my car, but Kelly says he can easily fix it, it's just a "lap joint" he said. We will be studying some pictures of looms in an effort to sort out how it all goes together. It has a stamp on it that says "Rasmussen Looms, Seattle" so I will try to find pictures of that particular loom.
Accompanying the loom was a selection of weaving books and magazines which will also be handy, no doubt!
Thank you Becky, for this wonderful treat! Your check is on the way!
With all this busyness in life, I haven't been checking in to other blogs as much as I would like. I'll be catching up sooner or later! In the meantime, I'll be trying to get a little supper together here (at 9:36 pm) and then off to bed!