Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rain, rain, rain....Snow?

It is Thursday and it has been raining since late Tuesday night.  Above is the way our usually placid little creek looked yesterday morning.  According to the weather forecasters, we are in for more rain today, turning to snow tonight and we could see up to about 8" by tomorrow!  We'll see.  Oh, and then by Saturday, it is supposed to be in the 50's!  Gotta love March weather.
Of course all this rain means MUD.  There is mud everywhere.  The alpacas refuse to leave the barn when it is raining, so I put their hay inside and resign myself to cleaning the barn twice a day.  It is so heavy and wet and I need to use all my implements to clean it all up:  rake, shovel and fork.  Outside it is still too wet to do a proper cleanup, and boy will I have a lot to do once it dries out.  Something to look forward to.
Rain also means water everywhere.  There are little cascades running down the hillsides all over the place.  Here is one that is just across the road from the horse barn.  It's hard to see, but there is actually an old bathtub there that the water flows into and when we had 2 horses we used to pasture them over there part of the year (when the water was flowing) and that was their water source.  It's very overgrown now, though.
Apache is shedding
When I step out my back door now, I hear the sound of water.   The other night (before the rain) I also heard the wonderful sound of little peeper frogs up at the frog pond!  This is a sure sign that spring is on its way!  I love to hear those little peepers.  Another sure sign is that Apache is shedding.  He is leaving big patches of white hair all over the place.  He finds a nice place to roll and when he gets up, he leaves huge patches of winter coat behind.  When I pet him, the hair flies up in clouds and gets all over me.  Of course, he LOVES a good scratch, especially when he's shedding!

Well, since I did not complete my February To-Do list, most of those chores have been moved to  my March To-Do list.  I can say I have completed 2 of those jobs now:  The downstairs bathroom is complete and I have finished putting up the insulation in my studio:

I am pleased with the bathroom, but I need some new rugs and a new shower curtain, I think.

The studio now needs paneling.  I hope to acquire that soon.  In the photo you can see the front wall of the studio which faces the yard.  That is the door to the far right and the window has a stained glass horse scene hanging in it.  My plastic tubs will fit perfectly under the shelves and the shelves will hold LOTS of fleeces.
 The March To-Do list still includes getting all those fleeces in the photo skirted and off to be made into rug yarn.  Some of it is already skirted, but you can't tell because you can't read the bags from where you are.  

Speaking of rug yarn, I took my 3' X 5' grey, white and black rug off the loom yesterday.  My loom is still giving my fits.  I am looking at an upgrade, though.  Despite the troubles I was having,  I think the rug came out very nice.  I still need to finish the ends, but you can't tell in the photos because I have them tucked under.
It looks nice in our computer room.  Now if I can just keep "people" from walking through the computer room from the mud room in muddy boots......or maybe I can at least talk Sam into going around the rug.

And yes, I do decorate with balls of yarn and knitting needles.........

I had a doctor's appointment in Marietta Monday and so I went to Wal-Mart to stock up on things.  Here is what happens when I go to Wal-Mart and come home and start to unload the car:

That is Rowdy going through the bags in the back of the car to see if I bought him a toy.  I took this photo through the kitchen window.  He was disappointed on this trip, however, as I really think he has enough toys.  He exits the back of the car empty-mouthed.  Don't you feel sorry for him?  I obviously did not purchase any steak either!

 Star and Buck are doing well.  They have figured out how to move from pasture to pasture, under gates and fences.  Star will run along the fence line barking at passing cars and Buck plods along behind.  He is getting bigger by the day.  They are both very dirty right now.
We are pretty much done with syrup.  We got about 5 gallons, which was my goal.  I still have to go pull the taps out of the trees and clean everything up and store away for next year, but I'd prefer not to do that in the pouring rain.  The sap is not really flowing anymore.  The weather has gotten too warm.  
I have not been doing any spinning lately, too busy with everything else.  I have managed to knit a few rows a day on the purple lace shawl and am probably about 3/4 of the way finished with it.  I took a photo, but keep in mind it is still on the needles and the lace will not really take on its full loveliness until it is blocked.  But at least this gives you an idea.
The shelter has kept me busy as well.  Tuesday, the other co-director and I drove to Dayton and back and picked up 2 skids of free Iam's cat food that the Dayton Humane Society had acquired and was distributing to other shelters.  I wish I had a photo of the truck coming home.  It was full to the brim with bags of cat food.  We stopped in Zanesville and shared some with the shelter there as we had way more than we can use.  It will be nice to help out people in the area who may have a hard time buying pet food.  We also had a meeting last night to discuss fund-raisers.  We are in desperate need  of funding as we rely totally on donations and our vet costs are so high.  We are thinking of doing a monthly or bi-monthly bingo, but there are a lot of details that need to be ironed out.  
Sam is away on a trip to Las Vegas this weekend with his brother and a friend.  They have been doing this yearly trip now for several years.  They actually got started going when a big alpaca farm out in Washington state used to have an auction there every January.  If you went for the auction, they paid for your room and some meals and lots of other fun stuff.  I went with Sam a couple of years and then decided I'd had about enough of Vegas, because I don't like to gamble.  So the next year his brother and Kenny went with him and it has become a tradition, even though the auction is no longer done.  They still have  a good time and usually manage to get their rooms and some meals comped.  
Hopefully by next week when I post again things will have dried out a bit here in SE Ohio!

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