Thursday, February 10, 2011

Still in Winter's Grip....

The cold just doesn't get through that heavy coat Rowdy has on!

repair work!
January is past, but February can be every bit as much of a challenge.  Often, we get our coldest weather the first week or so of February.  So far, that seems true this year.  My thermometer read -0.9 this morning which is as cold as I've seen it this year, though the neighbors say we had some deep cold while we were away in the Caribbean.  Probably why our kitchen/bathroom drain is STILL frozen, despite Sam's best efforts.  He had dug a trench, if you recall, in early January to run the new gas line for the compressor for the CNG car.  He never really totally filled it in since the ground was so frozen and our best guess is that there was not enough insulating earth over the drain pipe and we have a slow drip in the kitchen sink, which over 10 days of non-use was able to fill and freeze in that trench area.   I have to give Sam lots of credit for trying to thaw that out, but as cold as it is, it ain't gonna happen soon.  Maybe next week.  Things are supposed to warm up.  But in the meantime, he got out the backhoe and tried to dig down to the pipe and managed to hit an old gas line, so the gas went out and of course he did not have the proper repair parts for that, so I think maybe today as I am at the office, he will get that repaired properlyIt's always something!!
I had my camera with me last Thursday as I was coming home from the office just at sunset (which is happening later and later!!) and managed to get a beautiful sunset photo on the road down to our house.  We live in a "hollow", or holler as some like to say, so we almost never see a pretty sunset.  It goes behind the hills way before the sun actually goes down, so I was quite thrilled to see the beautiful display over the top ridge of our property as I came down the hill..
And then I caught some naughty boys in action when I got to the bottom of the hill......I noticed some romping and running of young alpacas through the pine trees and stopped and grabbed the camera to photograph the antics.  Of course, instead of continuing with the play, everyone came to see what I was doing.  Now in this pasture, we have the 6 young'uns we weaned in December, so they are all about 8 months old now.  2 are males and the other 4 are females.  We usually separate them by the time they are a year old to avoid any unplanned adolescent pregnancies.  I realized when the 2 males came up to the fence that they had been chasing the females and biting at them.  Can you guess how I figured this out?  The 2 males are the ones closest to the
camera and they each have a mouthful of black fiber! There are 2 pretty black females in the field behind them (one is hard to see).  What ornery little fellows!

This past Monday the weather was warm enough for some light rain most of the day and then it turned to heavy wet snow about sunset and we accumulated about 2 inches of the type of snow that looks like wedding cake icing.  Tuesday morning dawned without a cloud in the sky and that gorgeous coating of snow and was incredibly pretty.

I had an appointment in Marietta to have cataract surgery on my left eye, so we were up before the sun to do chores so we could be on the road by 8 since we weren't sure what the roads would be like.  I took a few photos, but it was really too early to do justice to the beautiful day it turned out to be.  My surgery went well and I am now 20/20 in my left eye, which I have had poor vision in for years.  I hope I do not have to go through it again, though.  

Our weather forecast shows a warm up starting this weekend and I have been on some sugaring sites online and folks are saying we should have a good sap run starting this coming week if we can get some taps in.  Yikes, we are really not ready!  We do have the trees marked and the wood cut, but we need some more taps and buckets and gallon jugs and Sam has to build the "arch" for the evaporator.  Last year's season started so late I guess as newbies to all this we figured we'd have some more time.  I'll keep ya posted!

This weekend I am going to western Ohio to visit family and also to pick up 2 new dogs.  A 7  month old Maremma and a 2 month old Pyr.  Watch for news on them next week as well.

I have not had much time to work on fibery stuff, though I did send off some fleece to be carded into a 3 colored roving at Zeilinger's.  I sent 7 pounds and dyed part of it teal and part in purple/pink and left 4 pounds undyed light fawn.  They do a "3-way swirl" roving where the colors are not blended and I hope it comes out nicely.  Time will tell.  I probably won't get it back until sometime in late April.  

My chore list for February includes: making syrup, painting my downstairs bathroom, finishing insulating and then paneling my studio,  and skirting the rest of the fiber I have set aside for more rug yarn, among other things.  I plan to warp up my rug loom in the next week (count warp today?) to do a 3' X 5' black, grey and white rug for our computer room.  I better get busy!


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