I know it is September, and it has been over a month since my last post, but it has been a crazy month of so much going on. So I will do a post now, September 9th, dealing with the last 3 weeks of August and hopefully follow in a couple days with the beginning of September.
So to start off, Grover and I were about to head off to Niles Ohio for 3 days of agility when last I posted. We needed 60 points to earn our MACH (Master Agility Championship). From my lack of posting, one could conclude that we did not get our 60 points. And we did not. However, we did get 42 points over the 3 days and one more QQ, so we now need only 18 points. In just 4 days, we will be going to our club's September trial in Zanesville, which is a 3 day trial. 18 points should be easy. We should get our MACH. I will be so excited and nervous that I could totally screw us up all weekend. But my plan is to get that MACH!
The carpet is in in the guest house. It is amazing what fresh paint and carpet can do for a house, not to mention new drywall, a new bathroom, etc, etc. It looks wonderful!
Once all that was finished, there was some time to concentrate on my kitchen. The counters were in, but I needed to paint and do the tile backsplash.
Paint first, of course. And of course all this was going on in the middle of canning season. My color scheme is completely different now and I really like it.
Next, the backsplash went in. This was my very first tiling job and I did pretty well, I think. The only problem was I came up a little short on grout, so while I had plans of being finished prior to Labor Day, I had to wait until afterward to acquire additional grout to finish the back corner, but it was good enough to have house guests.
I am so pleased with the outcome. Considering I had no clue what I even wanted when I went to look at countertops, it has all come together quite nicely. I still need to do something with the flooring, but I just have not had time to deal with that. Maybe soon, though September and October are looking pretty crazy busy as well.
The garden has come along well. Except for my squash and pumpkins which have done horribly. I usually have an abundance of those. My pumpkin plants just died. And my squash plants are not producing well at all. I am placing some of the blame on the garden being totally underwater at least twice early on . That and lack of good fertilizer. I will fix that next year for sure. I have canned marinara sauce, Sam has dried tomatoes, I have made pesto and basil ice cubes. I canned a batch of peach jam and 8 pints of peaches that I picked from Sam's parents' tree. Like I said, we have been keeping busy.
Sam has gotten a really important project underway: the new bridge. He decided to go with one bridge that could be driven across and he put it where the old footbridge was. It is on hold right now while he figures out the next step, but it needs to be cemented before October. The creek needs to be dry when that happens. But for now, it is usable. which is really nice.
Sam and I also attended the annual Mountaineer Brewfest in Wheeling on the 18th of August. As a member of the Wheeling Alers Homebrew club, Sam is kind of expected to help out as a volunteer and I like to go along and volunteer as well. What a tough volunteer job! It is always a great time. I manned the Alers booth for several hours and then went on to pour beer for one of the many West Virginia craft brewers who were there. It was a lot of fun once again. That's me with a couple of the "Alers".
In nature news, I have been keeping my eyes open on my walks for Monarch butterfly caterpillars. I have seen no less than 16 of them in the 6 weeks. All different sizes. This guy here to the right is almost large enough to "pupate", or make a chrysalis and become a butterfly.
And then there is this tiny little fellow, who still needs to consume a lot of milkweed leaves. I have even had Sam detour with the ATV for several weeks to avoid running over a patch of milkweed in which I have found several caterpillars .
I was also surprised by a black snake that moved into a small organizing bin in a cupboard in my barn. It was all curled up in a very small space for about 4 days and then departed, leaving behind a 5' skin. I really didn't think that snake was that large!
The skin on the left is the one from the snake in the barn. Sam found the other in a granary down by the guest house. Black snakes are numerous around here and eat lots of little pests, like mice and birds who nest in barn rafters and crap everywhere. I like black snakes.
I have had very little time to do much fiber work. So everything that was under way in my last post is pretty much still being worked on. Since Labor Day is now behind us and the weather has decided to cool off I have had some time to devote to those more leisurely pursuits. I should have more on that soon. Maybe I will wait to post again after the agility trial next weekend. I hope to have big news by then!