Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chicago and the Rain is Back!

Sometimes Ginger has a hard time getting up in the morning
Well we did enjoy a few days of nice weather, but we had rain and wind last night and now our temperature is only in the 40's!  So much for a lovely fall this year.  Maybe next year.

This past weekend I met my cousin Tracey in Chicago for a girls' weekend.  The weather was good, cool and windy (big surprise there, huh?) but no rain until Sunday morning which was when I was heading for the airport anyway.  We had a great view of Navy Pier from our room in the Sheraton but found Navy Pier to be disappointing.

It is likely nicer to visit in the summer.  We ate and drank well and I can recommend "Yolk" as a great breakfast destination if you want endless choices, including such things as "Red Velvet French Toast" which sounded more like dessert to me!  For a wonderful dinner, Roy's which specializes in "Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine" was excellent, but the Hawaiian Martini (vodka and a splash of pineapple juice) at $11.95 is really not worth it.  Tasty, but not $11.95 tasty. 

Once home from Chi-Town, I had Monday and Tuesday  to get some outdoors work done before the rain returned.  I admit I was able to finally get some of those holes in the barn floor filled in!  2 loader scoops of  lime screenings and 3 80 pound bags of Sackrete and lots of shoveling, raking and scooping really helped the situation.  Those 80 pound bags are about more than I can handle.  There is one bag left, but it is on the floor in the garage and I am NOT picking that sucker up!  The other 3 were stacked and I loaded them into the loader on the tractor.  Put the loader bucket directly over the wheelbarrow and open the bags and dump them in.  I love my front end loader!


Wednesday morning, the rain was back and there was a beautiful rainbow in the west as I did chores early in the morning.  My camera was in the house, but the rainbow  stayed around long enough for me to dash inside and get it and take some photos.  *Sigh*  you can see most of the leaves are off the trees already.

I hate to say it, but I think the southern end of this rainbow is right where they are drilling that first well into the Utica Shale about 3 miles from our place.  I know a lot of folks who are certainly hoping so.

This is Timmy, our newest barn cat.  He came into the shelter this past summer with his mama and while she was very friendly, Timmy was not.  He was basically feral and hated being handled and would hide whenever volunteers came into the shelter.  We figured he would be impossible to adopt out, so once he was old enough to be neutered, I offered to make him a barn cat.  

When I bring a new cat into the barn, they stay in a large dog crate for several days to get accustomed to the surroundings and the other cats and yet feel somewhat safe.  I figured when I let Timmy out that would be the last I would see of him.  Well honestly, he has become such a nice boy!  Every time I go out to the barn he is underfoot and up in my face, purring and wanting petted.  Maybe he just hated the shelter.  I don't know.  But he is doing great and getting along with the rest of the crew.  I'm glad.

 Here's most of the rest of the crew at morning feeding.  The black and white next to Timmy is Cami, short for Camilla, who I found eating garbage next to my burn barrel in April.  She is now sleek, fat and spayed.  Behind her is Chuck, short for Charles (we are not that formal and I didn't name him!).  He also came from the shelter.  The gorgeous grey is Grayson, also from the shelter.  Stubby is not present at this feeding.  He is an old fellow I have had for many years and he was not a youngster when I got him.  He lost part of his tail a few years ago, hence the moniker Stubby.  I think I called him Tabby prior to that.

I have been working on my lace shawl.  It doesn't photograph well at this point,  I need to pin it out and see if I can't get a decent pic.  I am putting it aside to work on a special Thank You gift, which will only take a few days.  I had to spin up some yarn for that.  I am using a lovely "rose grey" fleece, which is kind of like a grey with brown in it.  Much prettier than it sounds.  It is a very rare color of alpaca and alpacas that are this color can sometimes appear to be almost lavender in color.

 I am also spinning up some alpaca/silk blend yarn.  Unfortunately in the photo, you cannot see the shine of the silk.  I am just using some alpaca roving and adding in the combed silk as I spin it.  I plan to spin several skeins of this and then dye it.  The alpaca and silk should take the dye slightly differently and the silk will add shine.  It should be very nice.  It will be a while before I get to the dyeing stage, though.
 This is on my wheel at the office and we have not been at all busy lately due to the Utica and Margellus shale drilling craze in our county.  I have lots of spinning time.

My two sons and Michelle, Ian's girlfriend, are now residents on the south rim of the Grand Canyon.  I believe they start work today.  I would really like to visit them while they are there, but I don't know if we will get the chance.  Time will tell.

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