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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I Know It's Still February, But It Feels Like April!

This weather has been crazy!  The daily highs have been in the 60's since Friday.  As seen in the above photo, this is prime tree-tapping time for maple syrup production, which is at its peak when the days are above freezing and the nights drop below freezing.  Sam set out 39 taps a week ago today.  The photo shows part of our  "sugarbush" .  I also noticed in this photo, just to the left of Boomer the dog, a tree that has been affected by the emerald ash borer.  It is the tree that is the light color.  This winter is the first time I have seen the damage caused by this insect in our woods.  It seems it is now here and that is sad.  There are numerous ash trees on this hillside that have been attacked by this insect.  It appears as though the bark is being slowly peeled from the tree trunks.  Very sad.

I'll write more about maple season but first, I'll back up to right after my last post.  Grover and I headed out early on the morning of Feb 11 to attend our club's agility trial in Zanesville.  We had a good 2 days.  All our runs were good, but only one was good enough to get us a Q, so no Double Q's toward our eventual goal of a MACH.  Obviously we still have a lot to work on.  Notice he is not holding his "contacts" on the A-frame and dog walk.  He's getting them, but not holding, despite my asking him to wait.  At least he got on the table this run, which had been the cause of our No Q the day before.  So yesterday I took advantage of the good weather and "Mcguyvered" a table to practice on at home.  Grover is going to LOVE getting on the table before too long.

As I mentioned, Sam tapped trees a week ago.  I checked the buckets on Thursday and there was some sap in them but not much.  Friday Sam was out of town, so I was at the office all day and didn't get back to check the buckets until Saturday, at which time I collected 20 full buckets of maple sap.  It was bright and sunny following a fairly cold night.  I don't think we have EVER had that much sap at once.  That meant Sunday was "cook" day.  Sam started the evaporator in the sugar shack around 9 am and then I manned it for the next 12 hours.  We can add in one bucket of sap about every 1/2 hour and need to put wood on the fire about every 20 minutes or so to keep a good boil going.  In between doing these chores, I do sudoku puzzles, knit, work on clearing brush around the pond, or wander in the hayfield and woods with the dogs.  It is not a bad way to spend a day, especially when it is 60 + degrees and sunny.  We take the boiled down sap off the evaporator when there is only about an inch in the bottom and I finish it on the stove at home.  We carried home roughly 2 gallons of cooked down sap and I ended up with only about 1 gallon of finished syrup, which is disappointing from that much sap.  It means the sugar content was extremely low.  The sap has not really run since and the weather is forecast to stay warm for another 3 days, so we will see if we get another run.  I hope so.

The well pads around us have been very busy, lots of equipment noise and lights at night, which were very visible from the sugar shack up by the pond Sunday evening.  They have been working on water and gas pipelines just past the end of our property for some time.  These pipes are on our neighbor's hayfield and our property on the other side of the road goes down to where the red circle is.  That is where we cut back into the woods to go up to the pond the back way.  The dogs and I have just walked past some kind of temporary compressor station that was installed a month or so ago and there is a guy sitting there in a truck at all hours.  


 Here is a view from where we leave the road and head into the woods.  It is just kind of weird to have all this going on on our quiet little road.  But I think they will be finished soon and move on.  I'm not sure about that compressor, though.

Our winter has been mild.  Mild enough that we still have lettuce and arugula growing under our little hoop frame in the garden.  So last night I made a favorite for dinner:  
Grilled pizza with arugula   I made it with some of my canned romas, some frozen basil cubes and mozzarella and parmigiano regiano because that is what I had on hand.  It is SO good.  And so nice to have greens fresh from the garden in February.  It makes me anticipate planting season, which will be here soon.

                                                   Here is a photo of the lace shawl I am knitting from some handspun yarn.  I have really been enjoying this knit.  It has been going pretty quickly.  I am still working on my sweater.  I am on sleeve #2 and I plan to get that finished in the next day or so.  

Last post I wrote about my orange stripey rug and the mistake in it.  Well I decided to rip it out and re-weave it.  I have not yet ripped the rug apart, but the new warp is on the loom and will be ready to weave by tomorrow, so I think I will rip out the rug tonight.  I just couldn't see leaving it as it was and never doing anything with it.  So I will be re-doing it and making it a bit longer.

I also did some linen weaving the last couple of weeks.  Linen is a plant fiber from flax and it is very different from anything I have ever used in the past.  It has no elasticity at all and feels almost like horse tail hair.  This coarseness is compounded by "sizing" the warp before putting it on the loom.  I used liquid laundry starch for this.  I measured my warp into hanks or "chains" and dipped them in the starch solution and then let them dry.  It made the fiber very "crunchy" and hard on the hands for warping.  The reason to do this is to help protect the fibers from abrasion as they travel through the metal heddles and the metal reed.  The idea is to have a little breakage as possible.  While the linen is coarse prior to weaving, linen gets softer and softer with use and washing.  At last that is what I am told.  I will find out soon.  This was a learning experience and quite a challenge, though in the end I decided I am looking forward to more linen weaving.  This project is now off the loom and will become two bread bags once the fabric is washed and sewn.  I have always wanted a bag to keep homemade bread in and I can see these making nice gifts for my family and friends who also bake bread.  I should have finished photos next time I post.

 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

And Now It's February

A week into February and our winter continues to be incredibly mild.  In fact, we had 3 days this week where the temperatures were in the low 60's and the sun was shining.  Needless to say we managed to spend a good deal of time outside.  The dogs got walked, Grover and I did some practice in our agility field, Sam and I contemplated putting the new "roof" on the poly-shelter  (and even made some progress before Sam decided he needed to think about how we did this the first time).  We even had a thunderstorm come through very early yesterday morning, about 2:45 am.  The forecast for the coming week is still for warmer than usual weather and it concerns me as to what will happen with our maple syrup season.  We really need the nights to drop below freezing and the daytime weather to be above freezing, preferable with some sunshine.  

Saturday Sam couldn't resist taking his drone up to the hayfield by the pond and getting a look at what is happening on the well pad across the hollow from us.  There has been a lot of pipeline work down on our road and now there is a lot of equipment going back into the well pad, which has been quiet for some time now.  They have been fracking on a pad a couple miles away from us and we are wondering if this one is next on the schedule.  It looks like it could be.

 
 Sam also got a nice shot of the pond while he was at it.  He is next to the buggy out in the hayfield, just above center on the left side of the photo.  If you continued upward in the photo, where the trees start is where the hollow starts.  The well pad is on the next ridge over .   The red roof is our pavilion and maple sugar shack.


Until we tap trees, for syrup, there is not much going on on the farm.  Work continues on my studio.  The drywall work is in progress and I spent some time on Monday sanding walls.  It is nowhere near finished however.  The little gas heater Sam put in sure is keeping it warm, especially with as warm as it is outside.  But the warmth helps the drywall mud to dry which is a good thing.

The weekend before last, I did some dyeing.  I had warped my rug loom using brown and natural and red and orange cotton warp.  I wove one rug using natural colors which came out fairly well, but I decided I would like to add some color to the weft as well and I took some white rug yarn and the spools of warp cotton home to see what I could come up with.  I have to say I was quite pleased with the results.  So often, you can come close to what you want and other times, not at all.  But look at this! 




I don't think I could have gotten a closer color match.  And it even matches the cool mug my mom gave me for Christmas (which I LOVE).   I only dyed about 35 yards of each color, planning to use it with white in a striping pattern.  



 
I was quite pleased with how the rug came out, until I noticed a treadling error near the beginning.  I have not finished the rugs yet (cut them apart and sewn the bindings) as I am not sure what I will do with them.  I was also not happy with the way the stripes are in the warp.  I was following a simple draft in a book and I don't know if it was my error or if it was written that way.  I could live with that, but the treadling mistake in this rug is glaring to me.  I may just decide to rip it out and re-warp and re-weave because I really like the rug.  I chalk it up as a learning experience.


 




I also took my alpaca scarves off my small loom.  They came out alright.  I fulled them a bit and twisted the fringes, which I still need to tidy up.  I used my own yarn from my alpacas in natural and hand-dyed.  They are nice and soft.

I am still knitting on my stripey sweater.  I am about 3/4 of the way finished with the first sleeve.  I also shortened the sleeves on the sweater I had finished for Sam before my last post.  I had to undo all the seams and unravel a couple inches of each sleeve at the top and then re-seam.  I am glad I did.  It fits him much better now.

I also started knitting a lacey, beaded shawl from handspun, just because I love that kind of knitting.  I'll get some photos for my next post.

This coming weekend Grover and I will be at our first trial of the year.  It is our club's trial in Zanesville.  It is Saturday and Sunday and I am really looking forward to it.  Can we get another double Q?  Wouldn't that be nice!  Grover and I will head over to Dayton to visit with my mom and my brother and his family after the trial on Sunday.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone.

 Below is a photo of Grover and Boomer walking across a part of the beaver dam on Wayne National Forest on our walk this past Monday.  I was hoping to get the scale of the size of this feat of engineering these beavers have accomplished.  It is truly awesome.





 
 


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It Sure Has Not Felt Like January....

Boomer
No kidding, it was in the low 60's on both Saturday and Sunday.  Overcast, but mostly dry.  Needless to say, not much got done indoors either of those days.  On Saturday, Sam and I went out into the lower hayfield and played with the drone he got for Christmas.  He needed me to figure out how to work the video camera on it while he was flying it.  I must say  it is quite an impressive "toy".  It will be fun to see some drone footage of Grover and myself running an agility course once the weather improves.   

 Driving back to the house in the buggy, I spotted what I at first thought was a tree branch in the pasture across from Mom's house.  I said to Sam that that branch looked just like a couple of really large deer antler sheds, and since there are no trees in that pasture, a branch there would have been unlikely.  So we investigated and found these

 I wish I had used a yardstick to show the scale here.  The longest tine on the antler on the right is about 10" long.  Even though these are not at all symmetrical, these are from one deer.  He is known by the guys down here on the creek as "Big-Timer" and he has been around for many years and he has made it through yet another hunting season.  I had hoped to post a trail cam photo of him along with the shed photo, but I can't seem to access it.  Maybe next time.  So anyway, finding these sheds means that it is time for the bucks to be dropping their antlers and Sam went out the next day and found 3 more, one of which was also very large.  We have a big collection of sheds and I used to have them displayed on the fireplace mantel, but it got too hard to keep them cobweb free, so I recently boxed most of them up.  Now the mantel is acquiring new shed decor.

2 down



 Sam finished the drywall on the ceiling and on 2 walls of my studio last week.  If the weather had not been so nice last Saturday, he may have gotten the last 2 walls done as well, but that just isn't gonna happen if he can be outside.  I can't really blame him for that.  Good weather in January needs to be taken advantage of.


2 to go

 Once the drywall is up on the remaining 2 walls, the mudding and sanding has to be done.  Sam installed a gas heater, but we will likely change it out for one with a thermostat on it eventually.  It is amazing how warm it has stayed in there since the ceiling and insulation went in.  



Not much else has been going on on the farm this time of year.  The insurance adjuster came out and looked at the poly-shelter and we will be getting some money toward replacing the roof on that, which surprised us.  A new roof has been ordered.  Getting it up will be fun.

I finished knitting the sweater for Sam from handspun alpaca/shetland yarn.  The sleeves are too long, so I will be taking the sweater apart at the seams and shortening them a couple of inches and re-seaming soon.  I think I could have gotten by with knitting the smaller size, but as Sam said, he'd rather it be a little loose than too small and I agree.

 

I have made good progress on the striped sweater for myself using a commercial grey yarn and some of my hand-dyed alpaca.  I usually get plenty of knitting time in this time of year when it gets dark by dinner time.  I finish the dishes and turn on Jeopardy and get comfortable next to the woodstove, usually with a dog snuggled up next to me.

I am almost finished with the alpaca scarves on my small loom at home that I posted a photo of in my last blog post.  There is a Weave Along on a group on Ravelry for any project made of linen right now and I have never used linen before.  So I bought a kit to weave a couple of linen bread bags and that will likely be the next thing on the 8 shaft Compact loom at home.



 

I have started a couple of rugs on the big 4 shaft loom at the office.  I decided to use some color in the warp and see how the rugs turn out.  I should get 2 rugs from this warp.

Grover and I still have over 2 weeks until our next trial.  I have also been looking at trials scheduled in May, June, July and August.  We will be in Zanesville Feb, March and April, but then we have no more trials there until September.  Right now I hope to be in the Cleveland area in May, Cincinnati in June, Pittsburgh in July, and Dayton in August.

 



 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

We Welcome 2017

This old dog still loves the snow and cold.  I think he may have been a Husky in a former life.  

Yes, it is 2017.  The time goes by so quickly the older I get.  I would love to be able to slow it down.  Even winter no longer drags like it did when I was younger.  I try to get some joy out of every day and usually I can.  Even if it is nothing more than sitting by the fire with a dog at my feet knitting or spinning.  

Since my last post, there have been some changes.  First, Grover and I ran in an agility trial hosted by our dog club in Zanesville on Friday and Saturday of New Year's weekend.  Unfortunately, we got NO Qs either day.  But our runs were good and it was just one little thing each run that kept us from qualifying, so I don't feel like it was a disaster at all.  I still had a good time and that's what matters.  Our next trial is the second weekend in February.  

The biggest change has been the addition of a foster dog to the family.  Boomer is a young dog, about a year old, who was adopted from a shelter in Phoenix last July by my brother and his family.  Last post I said that they were in transition, moving back to Ohio from Arizona, and in fact are already living in Ohio.  My sister-in-law and the kids are staying with her brother until the house in AZ sells.  My brother is traveling with the band he is part of and will be back and forth to AZ.  Boomer needed a place to stay and so he is on the farm with us for now.  He and Grover get along quite well, with Boomer following Grover everywhere.  Of course it got really cold here right after Boomer arrived, so I have been keeping some old cria coats on Boomer and he seems to be doing ok.  He's not one to miss a chance at a walk in the woods, despite high temps in the lower 20's.

 




Son Zac flew back to California last Thursday.  He was here for about 2 1/2 weeks and it really was a very nice visit.  It was sad to see him go, though I am sure he was ready to get back to his life out there.  We currently have no plans to travel west to see him or Ian at this time, which makes it harder to say goodbye.  But I am sure we will get out there sometime this year.  I would really like to get everyone back to Bend, Oregon again.  Another week in that gorgeous luxury "cabin" would be fabulous.  

My studio is now complete on the outside, except for stain and railing, which will have to wait for spring.  I installed insulation in the walls in December and Sam started putting in the ceiling.  Our neighbor generously loaned him a drywall lift to help with that project.  Unfortunately, the weather got too cold to comfortably work out there for several days, so Sam only got a few sheets up.  The forecast this week is for above normal temps, so maybe I can help him get the rest of the ceiling up this weekend.  Then we can turn on the heat and start on the walls.






As I said, it was extremely cold the last several days, with overnight temps down in single digits, which meant I had to thaw pipes a couple of mornings.  Our gas also froze up Monday night, dropping our gas pressure to about 2 pounds, which is below the minimum required to run a house comfortably.  Thank goodness for our wood-burner.  Yesterday, the weather changed and it is going to be much warmer the next few days.  With that weather change came some very strong gusty winds.  And those winds caused a bit of damage on the farm last night.



This is how the equipment storage structure that  we call the poly-shelter looked this morning.  Granted, we put this up in 2002 or 2003, so it has lasted a good long while.  There was a tear down the center of it that we noticed a few weeks ago that was about 2 feet long and apparently a huge gust of wind came through late yesterday afternoon and ripped it right in half.  Sam is talking about putting a metal roof on this instead of replacing the tarp-type roofing and if he does that, we may use some of the hoop structure to build a greenhouse.  But for now, I think Sam will be cutting up the torn heavy duty poly fabric and using it to cover some of the equipment we do not want left out unprotected all winter.  








The last 2 handknit Christmas gifts were given and so now I can post those.  2 more pairs of socks, the purple for my mother and the green for my sister-in-law.





I am continuing to work on the sweater for Sam from handspun alpaca/shetland and have only one sleeve left to go.  Then I need to seam it together and knit the neckband.  It may be done by my next post.  That would be good.  









 


I started a new sweater for myself after the first of the year.  I am using some of my hand dyed alpaca yarn along with a commercial wool yarn in a striping pattern.  The blue is my hand-dyed alpaca.  I love this color combination.   This photo is just a small sample "swatch" to see how the yarns will work together.


 
I am also back to weaving, now that I have my weaving space at home back.  I have some alpaca scarves on the loom there, using some natural colored yarn and some of my hand-dyed.  I have not used my commercially spun alpaca as the warp before, so this is experimental and I am learning as I go.    I have woven only about 6" of this so far.  

And no photo yet, but I am in the middle of putting a colorful warp on my big loom for more alpaca rugs.  I should have some progress on that next time I post.

Happy 2017!!
 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

We Say Goodbye to 2016 and Wonder What 2017 Will Bring

Merry Christmas from Sam, Cathy, Rowdy & Grover

We just celebrated Christmas this past Sunday.  It was a nice day, made nicer by the fact that our younger son is here with us.  He arrived from California on the 19th of December and he will be here until January 5.  He didn't really intend to stay so long, but air travel at this time of year can be quite expensive, so he is saving some money by staying longer.  We don't mind at all.  This is his first trip home in 4 years and it is just great to have him here.  We had a quiet Christmas morning and then went to Sam's Mom and Dad's place for an early Christmas dinner.  Sam's brother was there as were his daughter and her husband.  It's always nice to be able to spend time with family.  Sam, Zac and I will be going to my mom's on New Year's Day for a family gathering.

I can hardly believe the year is almost over.  A lot has happened, and much of it has been good.   The highlight of the year was probably the wedding of our son Ian and his longtime fiance, Michelle, in Oregon in June.  A large number of our family were able to attend to celebrate and it was also nice to meet most of Michelle's family.   Ian finally started his 2 year program at Oregon State and I so look forward to attending a graduation in a couple of years.  

We had a good year on the farm, though part of that was selling off most of our alpacas. It has been an adjustment for me to have so few to take care of, but it has allowed me time for other pursuits.  One of which was doing a better job of tending the garden, leading to a very busy canning season in late summer and fall.    And of course Grover and I came a long way in our agility career this past year.  Watch for more of that to come.

What will 2017 bring?  Well, the first big news is that my Arizona family is moving back to Ohio.  Right now in fact.  Sister-in-law Jill has a new job in the Cincinnati area starting in January.  I am so happy they will be back here within a few hours' drive.  But they still have a long road ahead, as their house in AZ will need to sell so they can buy one here.  They will be staying with relatives for now.  

At some point my new weaving studio will be complete and I will be able to move into that and do some serious fiber and equipment organizing.  I do look forward to that.

I am sure other things will come along as the year goes by, but right now there is nothing new looming in our future.  I will hope that anything new that comes along will be a blessing.



I received a pasta making attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas (which is funny because I sent one to Michelle and Ian!) and I watched Zac make pasta with it the other night.  He has made a lot more pasta in his career as a chef than I have and I was happy to observe his technique.







In addition to the pasta maker, I knitted some Christmas stockings for Ian and Michelle.









 



I knit Steeler's socks for Mary, my mother-in-law






And a hat for my neighbor.



I am still working on Sam's sweater, and will soon be ready to start the sleeves.    I haven't been weaving because my loom at home is put away while Zac is staying with us as the loom resides in the guest room.  I'm planning to start warping my big loom for some rugs in the next couple of days. 

Meanwhile, Grover and I will be running in a trial in Zanesville on Friday and Saturday this week.  It would be nice the end the year with another Double Q (or 2!), but anything can happen.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

First Snow

We actually got our first real measurable snowfall here in SE Ohio.  Not a lot, but Rowdy sure likes it.  He loves snow.  He loves to walk in it, run in it, lay in it.  I think he has an inner husky.  But he has no tail with which to cover his nose when he curls up in the snow.  

I have managed to stay busy since my last post.  On December 3rd, I attended the annual Woodsfield Christmas Festival with my various handwovens and alpaca socks and yarn for sale.  Crafters are allowed to set up inside the courthouse, which is nice and I have done this every year since they started the festival.  My friend Tari sets up next to me and it is always a fun time to talk to people and sell a few items.  I sold a lot of socks and some yarn, but none of my handwoven items sold.  It kind of surprised me.

The dog club Christmas party was on Monday the 5th and I attended that, so I skipped agility class on Tuesday because driving to Parkersburg 2 nights in a row is more than I want to do.  In addition, I was leaving on Thursday the 8th to go to Cleveland for the Crown Classic Dog Show, where Grover and I were entered for 3 days of agility.  It was really cold and it snowed, but it was an interesting show.  It was not just agility, it was conformation and obedience as well, so there were 20 some rings of dogs of all kinds being shown.  It was huge.  And there were lots of vendors selling everything having to do with dogs.  And Grover and I did very well.  On both Friday and Saturday, we got double Qs!  Sunday, we did not Q in standard, but we did Q in our jumpers run.  We also entered FAST every day, but we are at a level now where it is difficult for us, so no Qs there.  In all, it was a good weekend, despite a little mishap in the FAST ring on Sunday morning.  I was running all out to race Grover to the finish since we had already NQ'd and somehow, he cut in front of me and tripped me and I did a faceplant and slid on the artificial turf, removing a lot of skin from the bridge of my nose.  But after icing it for a while, I went on to run both our other classes.   This photo is today, 4 days after the incident.  Still ugly, but healing.  Double Q count: 4 total.  We need to get to 20!



Meanwhile on the farm, Sam has gotten just about all of the siding on my studio and I have put in all the insulation in the walls.  Next up, moving inside and getting drywall in.

This week I am getting ready for Christmas.  Our younger son, Sam/Zac/Satchmo is arriving on Monday.  This will be the first time since 2007 that either of our kids will have been home for Christmas.  When they both worked at Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite, the lodge closed after the New Year for about 6 weeks, so they came home for a week or so then, but they have been doing other things the last few years, so that hasn't happened.  It will be so nice to have him home, especially since Rowdy will be 12 in April and he and Zac bonded when Rowdy was a puppy the summer before Zac left for college.  I know Rowdy's eyes will light up when Zac comes through the front door. And I know Zac misses him as well. 

Today it is very cold here, with the high forecast to be about 15 degrees.  So yesterday I put a coat on Chiquita, my oldest alpaca (18), who does get cold when the temps are so low.  I also put a heated water bowl and heat lamp bulb in the chicken coop.  I put out a heated bowl for the barn cats as well, but it doesn't seem to be working.  I wish I had known that yesterday as I was in a place where I could have bought a replacement.  In 2 days, we are supposed to be back into the 50's.  The cold and snow do seem to have helped Grover with  his allergies.  His scratching has lessened quite a bit this week.  Finally.  

And that's about it.  I have finished some Christmas knitting, but can't post it yet and both my looms are sitting empty.  I'll get back to it soon.  I have plans, but just need to wait for time to do things.  




 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Holiday Season and Deer Season are Upon Us.

Thanksgiving was last week and that is pretty much the beginning of the Holiday Season.  As usual, Sam and the dogs and I trekked across Ohio on Thanksgiving morning to my mom's house to share the day with her and my brother and his family.  It was a rather quiet day, compared to Thanksgivings past when there have been over 20 people at Mom's.  Next year may be noisier....

Unfortunately, I did not get to do much "Black Friday" shopping because Rowdy got very sick about 11:30 Thursday night and at 3:15 am I decided he needed to go to the emergency vet clinic just down the road.  It was after 5 am by the time I got home and I was really in no mood to go out again. I won't go into details, but Rowdy was pretty sick and was given medication and sub Q fluids and was on a bland diet for a couple of days.  I am happy to say he is fully recovered and back to his old ways and habits.  

We arrived home from Mom's in the early afternoon Saturday and then Grover and I headed out at 5:30 the next morning to Zanesville for the last day of an agility trial.  I am glad we did so well in Morgantown because we did not do well at all on Sunday.  Our next trial will be the end of next week.  We will be running Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the IX Center in Cleveland, which I understand is a huge dog show.  

Monday was the start of gun season for deer here in Ohio.  Sam got another deer,  so we are set for venison for the year.  

Yesterday was a beautiful day for the end of November, bright and sunny with highs in the mid 60's.  I took the cover off the lettuce and arugula in the garden.  It is doing quite well.  Actually, we still have uncovered arugula growing, despite a few nights of well below freezing weather. 

I also spent some time putting up insulation in my studio yesterday.  Sam bought several packages of the batts that don't need to be cut at the auction last month and I probably put up about a third of it.  Sam has most of the siding up, but not all.  I really like the way it looks so far.  


 During gun season, I generally stay out of the woods with the dogs, even on our property.  Even though Sam is no longer hunting, we allow the neighbors to hunt on our place and it is just best to stay out of the woods.  So yesterday, I walked down the road to the beaver pond with the dogs in the mid-afternoon.  The beavers have been very busy preparing for winter and I was surprised at how much they have done.




They have really built up their lodge and have been working close to the road.



Rowdy is standing by the road and I am down along the water and there are cut trees everywhere and clearly defined pathways.

In the photo at the top of this post, Grover is standing on the far side of the lodge from where these 2 photos were taken, and you can see where the beavers have stockpiled cut branches in the water close to their home for easy winter access.  I would love to get another glimpse of these busy creatures, but they seem to do all their work in the dark.  I guess I don't blame them.  

 



I have also been busy.  I have been finishing up items to take to the Christmas Festival in Woodsfield which is this coming Saturday.    I finished 4 woven runners and 3 baby blankets and also made a pillow.








 

 
I am still working on fringe on scarves, but those are almost done.  And of course I have rugs and socks and yarn and maple syrup and a few alpaca bears to sell as well.  It will be a fun day sitting in the courthouse chatting with people and visiting with my good friend Tari.   I always look forward to it.





 



I knit myself a new hat and Sam's sweater is coming along well.  I am almost done with the back.