Wednesday, November 18, 2009

women vs skins

After last year's sheepskin debacle, I was firmly convinced that there was absolutely no way that I was undertaking that chore again. The resulting pelts did turn out to be quite beautiful; they sold fairly quickly; they were well appreciated by the people who bought them (and by my brother, who received one as gift). But still... no way.

Famous last words, of course.

As I was loading the sheep on the trailer, I noticed that all three had absolutely stunning fleeces. I couldn't do it. I couldn't bear to throw them away. So when I dropped them off at the butcher, I asked them to save the skins, but to absolutely make sure to cut the legs off first. (They thought this was pretty funny. Butcher humor.)

Unluckily for me, I didn't realize that another 4-H family had an appointment with the butcher the same day (because given the night I had, and the trouble we had hooking our trailer to the truck due to a broken trailer jack, I would have gladly paid them to haul ours down there as well and save me the trouble). Luckily for me, the other dad recognized our sheep when he dropped theirs off. Their kids had insisted they save the skins this year, so we made a deal: they would pick up all the meat from the butcher, and I would take the skins to the tannery.

The meat arrived yesterday, and we all realized that we had no room in our respective freezers for the pelts, so we would have to defrost them immediately. It was at this point that the husband announced that he was going to work that night (he is a long-distance truck driver) and so he would not be around to perform the cleaning chores when the skins defrosted. Time is of the essence when this happens: the skins must be cleaned, salted and delivered to the tannery within the next 24 hours.

And, oh yeah, my LSH had to go to work earlier than usual this morning.

So guess who got stuck with the job? That's right, the women. I have to give Norma props. She initially tried to back out last night with some excuse about her daughter and a dental appointment, but I told her she wasn't getting out of it that easily. When the rubber hit the road this morning, however, she took to it much more quickly than I did last year and got right down to business with the knife and scissors. We chatted companionably away while we cleaned, scraped and cut; I can only imagine that we looked like some tale right out of greek mythology to the uninitiated observer. In short order we had all five skins cleaned, salted, and bagged to go.


I considered titling this post "girls vs skins" but it really didn't fit the circumstances. No way could girls have pulled this one off. What's that song? "We can bring home the sheepskins, clean them out in the yard." Or something like that.


  1. You never cease to amaze me! Mrs. C

  2. YOU are my hero!!! A testimony of all the women in the history of the world that did these kind of chores for centuries! Surely I am a 21st century woman as I have a hard enough time looking at those pelts in the bag let alone scrape the guts off of them!