Rowdy enjoys the snow, even when we don't!
I know I kind of skipped the whole second half of January, so now it is time to catch up.
Sam and I celebrated our 25th anniversary on Jan 25th, so we went on a 10 day Caribbean cruise to the Panama Canal. We left Ohio on Jan 21 and the days prior to our leaving were so full of planning and preparation for being gone so long that the blog just had to be put on the back burner. We had a great time and we are home and very happy to be back!
We have a neighbor who comes in and takes care of our animals for us when we go away. We have never been gone so long before and I try to have as much taken care of before we leave as possible. I make sure there is ample hay for the time we are gone in each building as well as feed and I have to leave instructions with emergency phone numbers and what to do if this happens or that happens. Needless to say, by the time I leave, I am usually quite stressed. And on top of that, I don't really like to fly, and it's a 2 hour + trip to the airport and who knows what the weather maybe like in January, so I get myself in quite a state. Once we are at the airport and through security (which was a big nothing both ways folks, so don't sweat it) I can start to relax a little bit.
So here are Sam and I in Costa Rica after going zip lining. I won't post any other photos on this blog of our trip because that's not what this is for, but one pic of us should be ok. Besides, we rarely get a photo of the two of us together!
The week before we left, we had a minor woodburner crisis. It seems there is a wire mesh "cage" around the top of the new chimney liner to keep birds out and this clogged with creosote and consequently, the house filled with smoke. Of course the roof was covered with ice and snow and I do wish I had taken pictures of Sam up there cleaning it out. He had a rope thrown across the lower part of the roof and tied to the tractor on the back side of the house and then once he got up there and needed to get on the upper part of the roof, his rope was not long enough. So I had to find another rope and throw it up to him and then he had to throw it over the house to me to tie to one of the cedar trees which are right in front of the house. Now, you know a man trusts you when he assumes you will tie a knot that will not come loose when he is on an icy roof in January. I was never a boy scout, but I've spent some time around boats and horses, so I CAN tie a decent knot. But I was still glad when he got the problem fixed and was back on solid ground.
Otherwise, I have not had time to work on my studio or weaving or much else. I did take some knitting with me on the cruise. I finished up a sock I was working on and decided I am going to frog ( rip it, rip it this is a technical knitting term for unraveling) it and re-do it on smaller needles. I also took some commercial alpaca yarn and started a purple lace shawl, which I will be gifting.
Here is a photo of the first skein of yarn I spun for Michelle. If you are reading this, I hope you like it because I intend to finish up the second skein and get it to you by the end of the month! it's not as green as I had intended, but it's quite colorful.
I went into my hairdresser to get my hair and nails (nails only EVER happen prior to a vacation!) done a couple days before we left and I came home with this awesome bench:
Of course it's kind of hard to see with Rowdy sitting on it and one of my hand woven rugs thrown over it, but it is made from an old whiskey barrel. The father of one of the hairstylists made it and I could not resist it. It will go perfectly in my studio and will be great for spinning or even for sitting on when I weave on my smaller loom.
I also felt bad about leaving the shelter for so long. Shelley, who runs it with me is great, though and we have some other great volunteers as well. But the morning after I returned home, I had to show up in town at the courthouse at 9:30 for the arraignment of a local man who had shot his former tenant's dog. The local news was going to be there and there was a possibility that one of us would need to speak to them on camera because we have contributed heavily to the dog's considerable vet bills. But as it worked out, I did not get interviewed. Saturday we are having a benefit bake sale for this dog and the "Secret Angel Fund" we have that the money has come out of. I think I will be baking Steeler's cupcakes and dog biscuits all day tomorrow. The cupcakes should go over well since many residents of this area are Steelers fans and of course the Super Bowl is Sunday.
Just going to finish off this post with a couple photos of a very cool tree that I call the Octopus tree which is on the border of our property and the next one. I took these photos a couple weeks ago. Maybe next week I will post a photo of what we just call the "big tree" which is an incredibly immense poplar tree that is on our farm.
|Octopus tree from our hiking trail|
This is the view we see every time we hike by the tree and below is from the other side, where you can see it is a semicircular formation of popular trees. I think it's pretty cool that they have grown this way!
|Rowdy in the center of the "Octopus Tree"|