Thursday, May 17, 2018

And A Month Passes......

One of Grover's greatest joys in life, diving after rocks.
I will blame my tardiness in writing a new post on life changes and just generally being away from a computer with a keyboard.  A lot has happened in the past month, two of which are changes that are truly major events in just about anyone's life, I think.  

The most amazing, of course, was the birth of our very first grandchild, Wilder James Delmore Redding.  He was born at 8:43 am on Wednesday, May 2nd, just as I was lining up to board my flight home from Oregon, where I had been for the past week, expecting his arrival.  However, the induction procedure was postptoned a couple of times, and even though I changed my return travel arrangements and stayed 2 days longer than planned, I missed actually getting to meet him.  But he is here now and he is healthy and my son and daughter-in-law are totally infatuated with him and all is good.  I will be returning to Oregon for son Ian's graduation from Oregon State in about 3 weeks, so I will get to meet baby Wilder then.

About 1 year ago...
The other big life change is of course our retiring from our Real Estate business.  It is now real and it has been over a month since I went in to our office for anything other than to clean things out and bring them home.  I always did my blog posts from our office, as I generally had time to spend organizing photos and my thoughts while I was there.  So it seems odd to be doing it at home.  We are still in the process of cleaning out years worth of accumulated "stuff" at the office and the building itself is for sale.  Sam is doing most of the cleaning out of old records and office supplies, etc.  For my part, my loom room is totally empty now and my studio at home is now quite full.

So I now have almost everything all in one place.  Sadly, however, since it is now full on spring and outdoor work season and it stays light so late, I am finding little time to work on projects in my studio.  And when I have had time to get out there, I have been working on a super-secret project, about which I will post later.

Grover and I have attended two agility trials since my last post, one right before my Oregon trip in April.  This was a 3 day trial put on in Zanesville by my club and we did not have a very good weekend.  Out of 10 runs, we only had one Q.  Most of our runs were good, but it takes only one little mistake to miss out on qualifying.  But this past weekend we attended a trial in Dayton at a facility we had never been to before and we had a pretty great weekend.  Only 4 runs over 2 days and we had 3 Qs, including QQ #19 on Saturday.  We came SO close to getting our 20th QQ on Sunday, but at the end of a perfect jumper's run, I pulled up too soon, causing Grover to hesitate just enough to knock the very last bar.  Talk about frustrating!  Grover also was 3rd place both days in standard, which rarely happens.  There were very few border collies at this trial.  They are always way faster than we are!  Doesn't he look happy?
Our next trial is the first weekend in June, right before we go to Oregon.

Sam and I have been working on getting the gardens in.  So far tomato, pepper, basil, parsley, oregano and thyme plants have gone in.   I have also planted seeds for Swiss chard, kale, lettuce, beets, cukes, butternut squash and pumpkins.  I still need to plant corn and would like to get some sweet potatoes and onions in as well.  We are harvesting asparagus and the garlic has come up.  Sam has hunted for morels with some success, but nothing like last year's bumper crop.  The bees are doing well and I hope to get a honey harvest before too long.  
As far as fibery stuff, we have two old alpacas who need to be shorn at some point.  The set up and clean up will take longer than the shearing!  I still have a lightweight cardigan sweater on my needles, but have not been working on it a lot due to what seems to be tendonitis in my right elbow.  I am down to part of one sleeve to finish and I will be done.  I would like to finish it before our Oregon trip.  I also have some cotton/linen towels in blue and white on my small loom.  They will be so nice.  I haven't used the linen blend for towels before and I like weaving with it.  The blue and white check is rather classic.  I like it.  

I need to put a rug warp on the big loom and weave some more selvedge rugs.  I almost forgot to add that I bought 40# of Pendleton wool selvedges on my trip to Oregon last month and checked 30 pounds of them through as baggage on my flight home. Thank you Southwest no fee baggage policies!  I couldn't fit the other 10 pounds in my dad's old army duffel, so will get them next month.  That should hold me for a while, I think.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Still Cold! And Big Changes.

I let Rowdy lay on the Pendleton wool rug I am mailing to son Sam/Zac/Satchmo in California.  I thought he might like to know a bit of Rowdy is there.  Rowdy was a puppy the summer between Zac's high school graduation and college, so he and Zac have a special relationship.  Rowdy will be 13 on the 30th of this month.  Last fall I wasn't sure he would be here for that birthday.  But he continues on, for which I am glad.

Both rugs are finished.  Zac's is packaged for mailing tomorrow and Ian's will accompany me when I fly to Oregon in just a few days.  Baby has not put in his appearance yet, but it should happen any day now!  The package with the baby wrap and the 12m size sweater was received and the parents to be seemed very happy with both.  I understand wrapping has been practiced.


Since my last post, the weather has been mostly quite cold still.  We did have 3 days that were nice last week, even into the 80's one day, but then right back into the freezer we went. 

In fact it was warm enough that the bees were out flying everywhere. I have been feeding them sugar water, a quart every other day or so, but I will stop that as soon as the weather stays a little warmer and more things start to bloom.  I want honey made with nectar, not sugar water.

Flowers have bloomed, but in general I think everything is behind.  Monday, it snowed.  Today it is near 50.  It was 26 degrees when I awoke this morning and we had a heavy frost.

 So I have been spending a lot of time indoors.  Last week I tore down my big loom, which had been at our office since I bought it 6 or 7 years ago, and moved it home and put it in my studio.  I also brought almost everything else from the loom room at our office home and there is still some organizing that needs to be done.  There is a large storage cabinet that needs to be moved from the office, and all its contents are in boxes waiting for it to be moved in.  
On Sunday I gave the big loom, Mira (the model of the loom), a good cleaning and conditioning and reassembled it.  Sam was able to make some improvements to the brake system on Mira, which I had contemplated replacing while I had the loom apart.  Now I think I may not need to do that.  Once I get a warp on Mira I will be able to tell.  This loom was built in the 1940's and I would like to keep it as original as I can.

The reason for clearing out my loom room at the office is that after 20 years, we have decided to close our Real Estate business and retire.  It seems like such a huge step, but then again, it just seems like yet another change.  Life has been a series of changes for Sam and myself.  We have not been afraid to take on new things, and it has worked out well for us. We feel very fortunate that the choices we have made and the chances we have taken have led us to this place in our life together.  We have been greatly blessed in so many ways.  At then end of this month, our business will officially be closed.  My studio was built last year with that in mind since there was no place in our house that would house Mira, my rug loom.  So it appears that I will now have a lot of time for weaving, gardening, doing dog agility and hiking in the woods and maybe some horseback riding....

And speaking of dog agility, Grover and I attended 1 day of a trial last Friday and earned our QQ18!  This weekend, we will spend 3 days bar hopping in Zanesville.  And then on Tuesday I will be off to Oregon for 6 days.

The lightweight cardigan is still on my knitting needles, though I have given it a break while I work on a kind of secret project.  Something totally new for me.  Details to be revealed at a later date.

I also plied 2 bobbins of hand dyed, handspun alpaca/silk yarn.  I LOVE how this came out.  I have 600 yards in this one skein, that is about 4 1/2 ounces.  And I still have 2 bobbins to ply.  I am not sure what this will become, but it may need to be a big lace shawl.  Whatever it becomes, it needs to be something spectacular!

By the next time I post, I should be a grandmother!  I should say I will be a "Nana" as that is what I will be called, following in the footsteps of some great women I have had the pleasure to know (and be related to!).

Thursday, April 5, 2018

April's Here, But it Sure Doesn't Feel Like It!

Sadly I have no cute dog or pony photos this week.  First, I have been away from home a lot due to some family issues, and second, the weather has not been at all conducive to carrying a camera around outside.  We have had rain and snow and more rain and the temperatures have been everywhere from the mid 20's to the mid 50's over the last couple of weeks.  And there has been wind.  So really somewhat typical March weather.  Why is it I always think March means springtime?  But it really is April....
I took several photos Tuesday morning as we were once again being inundated with heavy rain.  This rain was falling on ground that was already saturated from previous days of rain.  In the photo above, the big bridge, which has suffered serious damage this winter, can still be seen but is almost under water.  A few minutes later, it is entirely submerged.

There are cascades of water running down the hill behind the house (and across the road and...).  The water was up into the chicken yard.  The small structure with the green roof on the left is the chicken coop.

By late Tuesday afternoon, the rain had stopped and the sun was even peeking out from time to time.  On Tuesday evenings I drive about 45 miles each way to Parkersburg WV for agility class with Grover.  It usually takes me just under an hour over township, county and state roads.  I travel through 4 counties and 2 states.  I knew there was likely to be high water and maybe some road wash outs when I left a little early for class.  I also had some errands I wanted to run before class in Marietta.  I took a detour to avoid the township roads I thought might be in bad shape, only to find a "Road Closed" sign when I got to the state highway.  So I backtracked to a county road and took it several miles to another state highway which took me back to the one with the closed sign, but several miles further  to the south, knowing I would avoid one specific spot prone to flooding.  Once back on track, I drove through one short stretch of water over the road, maybe 20' wide, a few miles on.  After another couple of miles, I came around a bend and saw nothing but water for probably 300 yards.   I was driving a big 4 X 4 pick up truck, but that was it.  I figured if the road was flooded here, it would be even worse farther ahead.  I backed up until I could turn my truck around and Grover and I headed for home.  I was gone for over an hour and covered more than 50 miles and ended up where I started.  I found out after the fact that the state highway I was on was closed for its entire distance in Noble county, which is probably 15 miles of my usual route.  

Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that the beavers down the road on the national forest land are no longer in residence.  About a month ago, the rain washed out part of their dam, draining the pond.  In the past, they have been quick to repair these breaches and this time I have seen no such work being done.  I don't know if they moved somewhere else or if something happened to them.  It makes me very sad.  I know I only actually saw the beavers 3 or 4 times over the last 3 years, but watching what they did was fascinating.  They had turned what was a neglected, overgrown hayfield into a wetland environment complete with new types of wildlife.  I will continue to watch for their return.

Grover and I have an agility seminar coming up this Saturday, near Columbus, after which we will go to spend a few days with my mom.  Then next Friday we will return to the same venue for just one day of an agility trial.  We will also attend our club's 3 day agility trial in Zanesville the weekend of April 20, 21, and 22.  And on the 24th of April, I fly back out to Oregon, hoping to meet my new grandson, who is due right around that time.  This month is going to be very busy!  It is such an exciting time for my family.

I finished weaving the Pendleton selvedge rugs I was planning when I posted last.  They went very quickly with those selvedges and were really fun to weave.  I love how they came out .  Aren't the colors wonderful?  These are Grand Canyon and Crate Lake national park blanket colors.   Both my sons and my daughter-in-law spent one entire winter on the south rim of the Grand Canyon working in the lodges there a few years ago.  Ian and his wife have also been to Crater Lake, so there is some significance besides the colors being fabulous.  .  Both rugs are 28" wide and one is 48" long and the other 42".  I need to sew the hems on the ends and they will be ready to use.  I will be taking one with me to Oregon in a couple weeks for son Ian and the other will be sent to California to son Sam/Zac/Satchmo. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Still in Winter's Grip

Rowdy took a short walk with Grover and me last week

This time of year it gets so difficult to keep dealing with cold nasty weather.  We seem to forget from one year to the next that the arrival of March does not mean the arrival of spring-like weather, or at least not permanently.  I know I get my hopes up for warm sunny days spent outside getting the garden ready and walking the dogs without mittens, but in reality, while those days do exist, they are rare and fleeting in March.  We have had a couple of those days, and then we have days like this.

This was just yesterday morning.  I think we got off light, though, because the east coast got pretty hammered with snow.  One friend near Philly posted a photo of 15".  So I won't complain too much, but I am SO ready to be done with overnight temperatures in the 20's.  However, the forecast does not show much in the way of warming up for several more days.  It will come, spring.  It always has in the past.

Since my last post, Grover and I have had 4 days of agility trialing over two consecutive weekends.  Our first weekend was okay, with 2 qualifying runs out of 6 and no QQs.  Our second weekend was much better, with 4 qualifying runs out of 6 and our 17th QQ.  We also had good times on our runs and brought our point total up to 535.  We're getting close to that 20 QQ/750 point goal!  It is so exciting and I am very proud of the GroverGator.  We will have another 4 days of agility coming up in April.

Sam has been working very hard this winter to turn one large bathroom in the guest house into 2 bathrooms.  He is pretty much finished.  This photo is the wall that he built to divide the space.  He put a closet with shelves up against the back of the shower stall that is in the "new" bathroom, which is en suite with one of the bedrooms.  He was trying to decide how to make the doors and I suggested a sliding barn style door.  He built this beautiful door with lumber he cut from a pine log that he had sitting out next to his sawmill.  It came out so well!

This bathroom also got a new vanity, which I purchased before we decided on the sliding door or I might have chosen a lighter color.  But I'm okay with it.  Both bathrooms have fresh new drywall and ceramic tile flooring.  Such a huge improvement.

Sam pulled the taps on the maples last weekend.  We never got another run, due to that very warm snap we had a couple of weeks ago.  The sap never really ran again after that sadly.  So once again, we will not have any syrup to sell, but we did get a couple of gallons for ourselves and family.  Maybe next year will be better.  I hope so.

I finished a few projects recently, including this hat.  I also finished the baby sweater and the woven baby wrap.  My son and daughter-in-law know about these things, but I won't post photos until after I send them to them so that they will have a little bit of a surprise, just in case they read this.

I have started knitting a lightweight summery cardigan for myself and I plan to start warping my rug loom today to weave the Pendleton selvedge rugs.  I would like to take one with me to Oregon in a few weeks and I would also like to see if I like weaving with them enough to acquire more of them while I am in Oregon.  I'm quite looking forward to getting to work on them.  These selvedges are quite different than anything I have ever woven with before.

And just to prove we have had some nice days, here are Grover and the chickens enjoying the sunshine, just the day before the snow in the earlier photo.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Oops, February Got Away From Me.

Apples is always happy to see me!
I guess that's what happens when one is busy.  All of a sudden I realize that February is over and I have done only one post.  I have excuses.

A week after my last post, I flew out to Oregon to visit my son and daughter-in-law and attend a baby shower being given for their baby boy who is expected in about 7 weeks.  It was a really nice shower and Ian and Michelle should be well set up for their little one when he arrives.

I had woven a baby blanket in Portland Timbers colors using a cotton and linen yarn, so it should be nice for a spring baby.  Easy care as well.  

I also gave them a little sleeper and some bibs I sewed.  I also got them a "co-sleeper" which is a bassinet that sits right alongside their bed and keeps baby within reach, but not in the bed with them.  

My visit was very nice and I even walked to the yarn shop in town, about 1.7 miles each way, on Friday while they were working and bought nothing if you can believe that.  Saturday was the shower in Portland and then we did some shopping and met some friends of theirs for dinner.  It was 10 pm by the time we got back to Corvallis.  

Ian took me to a wildlife refuge on Sunday morning where he had recently taken some great photos of a bald eagle harassing a huge flock of ducks.  We saw lots of ducks, but no eagles put in an appearance, sadly.  But it was nice anyway.  

Monday we headed back to Portland in the early afternoon for some shopping and to drop me at my airport hotel for my flight home Tuesday morning.  We had time to go to the one place I wanted to go, which was the Pendleton Wool Mill Outlet Store   
I had heard of weavers acquiring blanket selvedges there to weave rag rugs with and wanted to acquire some for myself because it just sounded really neat. Well they had huge bins of bags of these in all colors!  It was so hard to choose, but  Ian is a big fan of Pendleton wool products and I had promised him a rug, so I let him choose the colors.  These selvedges are the edges they cut off the woolen fabric before they full and bind the edges of the blankets.  So they are strips of fabric with raw edges up to 6' long in the colors of the blankets.  They sell them by the pound.  These selvedges Ian chose are from the National Parks series of blankets that Pendleton has done.  The National Parks are very close to Ian's heart.

 This bag contains some Crater Lake and also some Grand Canyon colors.  It weighs 14 pounds.  I had to be very creative in packaging it to check through for my flight home.  I prefer to fly on Southwest and one reason is because I can check up to 2 bags at no additional charge.  This was my second bag.  Thanks to a vacuum seal bag and a lot of duct tape my selvedges got home with no problem. I got a lot of remarks on my unusual package, however.

I look forward to weaving this, but first have to finish the current project on my loom.  I have 2 more trips to Oregon planned in the near future and I will likely be back at the Mill outlet.  It was amazing.  You can buy remnants of wool fabrics by the pound or you can purchase their various wool fabrics by the yard.  They have some yarns on cones and all kinds of things I never had a chance to really look at.  It was overwhelming.  And Ian and Michelle thought it was wonderful, too, so it's not just for crafters.  I recommend a visit if you are in Portland.

Before I left for Oregon, our weather really warmed up, effectively putting a halt on the maple syrup production.  It was still quite warm when I got home, but has since gotten quite a bit colder.  There was a little bit of a sap run yesterday, but not enough to warrant firing up the evaporator.  Sam will check again today and see if he can run one last batch tomorrow.  I hope so because this is the second year in a row we will have had an extremely poor season with little production.  I think we have about 2 gallons of finished syrup right now.  Another gallon would be nice.  But there are no guarantees when you are at the mercy of the weather.

Grover and I are off to Zanesville for a weekend of bar-hopping on Friday.  And then we are going to Youngstown Ohio for the next weekend.  We have not done agility 2 weekends in a row before.  They are both 2 day trials.  We are getting closer to that MACH goal, so we may enter a few more trials when time allows.  It's getting very exciting.
I bought a chair for my studio at Ikea last month.  I had been wanting a chair and as soon as I saw this I knew it was the perfect one.  I have a computer/desk type chair already, but this is much nicer to sit in and look through magazines and books.  Grover likes it too.  Rowdy remains happy with the rug.


I have been working on a sweater for the grandbaby.  I am making it in the 12 month size so  he can wear it next year.  It looks big to me.  It still needs some some assembly and I bought some really cute buttons for it.  It should be finished soon.

I am almost done warping my small loom for a couple of new linen bread bags.  I think I posted a year ago about the linen bread bag incident wherein Grover ate right through a handwoven linen bread bag to get at the loaf of homemade bread inside.  The bag was fairly fresh off the loom and I was devastated.  It was not repairable, but I still have the remnants and may make something small from them someday.  So I decided to try a different pattern and make a new one.  I resolve to keep this one out of reach of Grover!

I don't know if I shared photos of these scarves I finished in January.  They are both on the same warp but using different weft and the same pattern.  There was not enough color contrast in the first one I did for the pattern to show.  However, I love how the second one turned out.  These are both 6' long by about 8" wide.  I will be listing them in my etsy shop, just in time for spring.

I think that's it for now.  There are signs of spring everywhere, though there are snow flurries today.  Apples is shedding, the peepers have been peeping and there are leaf buds on the lilac bush.  It won't be long now.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sugaring Time Again

Pretty Apples!

Tomorrow we will be halfway through February!  Truly a reason to celebrate.  It won't be long before the peepers are singing in the frog pond up above the house.  Meanwhile, the weather continues its crazy ups and downs.  


I arrived home Sunday evening from an agility trial with Grover and it was in the 50s and the backyard looked like this.

When I got up Monday morning, it looked like this.  We must have had 2" of rain followed by 3" of wet heavy beautiful snow.  I did not expect it at all.

Grover and I had a successful agility trial.  We were 50/50 Qs and NQs.  Fortunately 2 of the Qs earned us our 16th double Q.  4 more to go and we will start really counting points to get to 750.  We are at 492 as of this trial.  One of the dogs who was in Grover's and my beginning agility class, T-Bo, a Sheltie, earned his MACH this weekend.  I missed his MACH run because I was working in the other ring, but it was still fun to be there with him and his handlers.  And very exciting since he and Grover started at the same time.  We will be trialing again the second and third weekends in March.


Sam tapped trees on the 3rd of February.  The weather forecast had looked favorable for the sap to run, but as we all know forecasts are often incorrect and can change and indeed, it never warmed up enough until this past weekend.  


But Sam collected 11  3-gallon buckets of sap on Sunday, so I ran the first batch through yesterday all day.  I also added in another 3 buckets that I collected in the afternoon.  I was very pleased with the finished syrup we produced, though I wish there had been more of it.  I got 2 quarts from all that sap.  It represents about 12 hours of feeding the fire and stove-top finishing.  Hopefully the next run will have better sugar content.

 If you look closely you can see the steam rising from the evaporator in the sugar shack.  We have a bench seat from our old van in the shack and it is pretty comfortable, though I had a hard time getting warm yesterday.  It was around 32 degrees in the morning and never got above 40 all day.  

Monday afternoon
The sugar shack is at the pond which is almost a mile from the house.  Half of that distance is on an unpaved farm road which is all uphill.  And boy was it a sloppy mess yesterday!  So we try not to have to run back and forth to the house too much.  We do have an outhouse up by the pond. It can be seen on the other side of the pond in this photo.   I am glad I do not have to use an outhouse every day!

Monday morning

I do like syrup season.  First of all, I love the syrup and second, it comes at the tail end of winter, so spring is not far behind.


  Our maple grove (or sugar bush as it is often referred to) is on the side and top of a high ridge.  The photo of Grover with the sap bucket in the background was taken at the ridgetop.  It is one of the highest places on our farm and it is beautiful, especially in winter when one can see the surrounding terrain.  But one of the sad things we have noted in the last couple of years is that the Emerald Ash Borer has finally made it to our area and we have many, many trees which are showing signs of infestation.  I am told that the damage we see on the outside of the tree is actually done by woodpeckers which are going after the insects which are in the tree.  Sam has cut down some of these trees to try to see if any of the lumber is salvageable and others are just becoming firewood.  Our understanding is that these insects may wipe out most of the ash trees.  The EAB is an invasive species from Asia, as are the "ladybugs" which infest my house every fall looking for a place to overwinter.  They have been really bad this year....

I knitted this "Dark Side" hat for the 8 year old boy who lives down the road.  It has Tie-fighters on it also around the top, which cannot be seen in this photo.  I used a favorite hat pattern and borrowed the storm trooper chart from another project on and then graphed out the tie-fighters myself.  Son Zac was here while I was working on this and he now wants a Death Star hat...I'll have to see what I can do.

I also started something new to me, band-weaving.  This uses a small loom called an Inkle loom, one of which Mom gave me for Christmas.

This one I have started may end up as a guitar strap.  That is the intention anyway.  But I can also weave dog leashes and collars and belts and other types of straps or bands.  Because I don't already have enough things to do!  This has been quite a learning experience so far.  It is very different from weaving on a traditional loom, but it is also portable and it is fun.

Next week I am off to Oregon!  I am going out to attend the baby shower being given for my son and daughter-in-law.  I have not seen them since August and I am really looking forward to spending some time with them.  When I get home from Oregon, February will be almost over!  And then spring will arrive.....

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Crazy Weather Roller Coaster Ride

I guess I should expect crazy weather ups and downs in January.  I think it happens every year.  We have had temperatures as low as -10F and as high as 60F.  I'll take the 60 degree days anytime, thank you.  At least our kitchen drain is finally thawed out.  We had to use buckets and dump the water out the back door for almost a month.  Yesterday it thawed.  Cause for celebration!

Our younger son is visiting from California this week.  He finds himself unemployed at this time due to the closure of the restaurant where he had been sous chef for the last 18 months or so.  He expects to be back at work this coming month.  We bought him a ticket to fly home and it has been a nice visit.  

We have had snow, then thaw, then snow again.  The chickens really hate the snow, but after being literally cooped up for 2 weeks, they ventured out on a warm sunny day.  I think they were dismayed at being unable to find anything to eat.  A couple of them got "stranded" in a grassy place under a tree when it was time to go in for the night.  It was like they were on a grassy island surrounded by snow and they didn't know what to do.  I picked them up and carried them to the coop.  They are silly and amusing birds.

 I also made an icicle sculpture off the back deck by breaking large icicles off the roof and dropping them into a snow pile.  That one was a good 5' long.  

And then everything thawed (except the water line) and the bees came out.  That was good to see.  I was wondering if they had survived the sub-zero temps.  They still have a couple of months to go before I will be sure they have made it through.  


And I got some photos on a couple of hikes to the beaver pond.  This first one is of the back side of the pond.  The water between Grover and me is covering what used to be our trail.  The dam has been expanded a good bit.

On the second hike, with son Sam, we stayed on the road side and I took a photo of some of the work the beavers have done below the road.  I have been expecting that large cherry tree to fall for weeks.  It just amazes me what these animals are capable of and I love that I can watch what they are doing.  I just wish I could see them more than a quick glimpse once a year or so.  

 Sam likes to have a project to keep him busy in the winter.  This year he decided to turn the one huge bathroom at Mom's house/guest house/man cave into 2 bathrooms.  We have discussed this in the past and we renovated the bathroom shortly after purchasing the property in 2000 (?).  But we were on a budget and we did what needed to be done and just left the rest alone.  In the last couple months Sam has put up all new drywall and has split the room into 2 and made a doorway into what was a closet in one bedroom and that bedroom will now have and ensuite bath with shower.

 It is small, but functional. The other bathroom will have new ceramic tile flooring and a new vanity which will be a little bigger than the one that was in there, as the smaller vanity is now in the new bathroom.  It is also getting a new toilet.  This has been kept under wraps until now, but I thought I'd post it since the new bathroom is almost finished.  It needs some molding around the ceiling and a toilet seat, shower door and towel rack, etc.  

 I finished a project of my own this week that has been a while in the making.  This sweater is knit from yarn I handspun from the fiber of one of our alpacas that was blended with some Shetland wool I purchased at a festival a couple of years ago.  I made Sam a sweater with the same yarn blend last year.  So now we have sort of matching sweaters.  The yarn for both was spun on the wheel that is behind me in the photo.  This sweater came out well.  It is supposed to be oversized and comfortable and it is.  I think I will get a lot of use out of it.

Saturday morning I take son Sam back to the airport for his return to California.  Then the following weekend Grover and I will once again be bar-hopping at our club's agility trial in Zanesville and a couple weeks after that I head to Oregon for a baby shower.  And somewhere in there we will be tapping trees and making maple syrup.