Back to the grindstone today, after a brief trip to sunny South Florida to help with that mess I told you about last time. Things will straighten out in time, and thanks to those of you who sent along your kind thoughts and well wishes. I appreciated each and every note greatly.
I got back up here just in time to get a chance to shovel huge mountains of soggy snow - this is the heavy kind that most emergency rooms really enjoy. Fills the beds so that the occupancy rate is way up there and no hospital manager goes barking at the staff about how they need to get out on the streets and drum up business. Aching backs, strained muscles, cardio-vascular hysteria, and, believe it or not, dehydration are the usual culprits. For me, shoveling around the barn and house, the driveway, walkways, porch, etc, the challenge is to stay upright more than 90 percent of the time. It's not that it's slippery or that I'm feeble or dizzy - like most physical challenges around here the true blame lies right at the feet - all four of them - of That Dog.
You can't move snow without having her out there. She usually sits a few yards away from where I'm grunting away, and every so often, no real rhyme or reason to it, probably just a couple of loose wires in that noggin of hers make a random connection, it's time to hang on because here she comes, hoo-rady-cut-to-bingo (thanks, Grandma Churchill, for teaching me that one) right at your legs at land speeds formerly reached only on the Bonneville Salt Flats. I'm usually down before I even realize I'm falling, and then you've got to cover your face quick or you'll get slobbered on. This can then freeze and leave you looking like some bizarre snow creature that just happened to wander out of the woods and take an immediate interest in cleaning off driveways. I get the idea that Jenny and I will end up in the hospital one of these days, probably in the same room, both in traction thanks to some sort of hip injuries, only she'll be wagging her tail the whole time and I'll be thinking about ways to make useful souvenirs out of her various parts. That's some dog, right there.
A lot of new stuff around here - so I thought I'd make you a list. The site grows every week - that's our goal.
First - leather laces in Cougar Tan, 6 feet long per lace, sold in bundles of 10 or 100, or you can just buy them individually if only one of your boots is loose. These are on the 'Leather Lace' page if you can believe that.
Semi-Tubular rivets - new sizes in aluminum or stainless steel, lengths around 3/8" so these are perfect for joining a total thickness of somewhere around 16 oz (1/4") of leather. These are on the Parts and Hardware page.
Metric Arch Punches - Maybe you've purchased some of our standard arch punches (made in Maine!) before; now we have them in metric sizes from 4mm up to 52mm. These, surprisingly, are shown on the Tools page.
Also on the Tools page is a new small tool kit we're offering. I like this thing. It's simple, inexpensive, and contains a lot of neat little tools to help you through a one-time leather project or through several small projects. It's got hole punches, tweezers (?), pliers, a splash setter, some other stuff and a hammer that looks like it would fit in the hand of your old GI Joe, but it's a useful kit. Only fifteen bucks to your door.
Woven Leather Panels - I think these are very cool - we've got a few thousand panels of chrome-tanned calf leather in nice shades of tan, brown, oxblood, and black, each about 7 by 7 inches. These would make great inserts for the front of a book or whatever. Someone, somewhere, had to weave these things, and it wasn't me or you, so this is a case when a lot of the work has been done for you. You're a great manager. The more panels you buy, the better manager you are. See these on the Sides and Hides page.
Shearling - We received a shipment of little sheep hides, dyed all the way through, with the hair still on and all the hair cropped to a uniform length of about 1/2 of an inch. Lamb shearling I guess, but maybe it's some other wee beastie from far, far away. Nice shearling, I can tell you that, and we've got them for $20 each, with free shipping to all USA locations. These, as you may guess, are shown on the Hair-on Hides page.
Braided leather belting - something we had in stock years and years ago, and now we've got more of it. Spools of chrome-tanned cowhide leather in black or brown, 3 strands woven into a nice sort of belting leather that's about 5/16" wide. We can sell you the entire spool if you need it, or just order it by the yard and we'll chop it off for you. This is on the Leather Laces page because it looked closer to being lace than it did to being a hide, if you ask me.
I think the best way to reach all this new stuff is through our Site Map, which is here:
The Site Map is sort of like the watchtower from which you can see the entire kingdom. The Kingdom of Brettuns Village. Has a nice ring to it. That's it for today - so watch out for wet snow - keep your center of gravity low and hold the shovel tightly - and remember to lift with your knees or you'll end up at the krankenhaus waiting for the Ibuprofen to kick in.
The phones are supposed to be fixed this week. I'll believe it when I hear it.
Brettuns Village Leather