Thursday, January 5, 2012

The New Year is Upon Us

And we wonder why the vet says he needs to go on a diet! 

The New Year arrived rather quietly down on the creek.  Although we had guests from Lithuania staying in the guest house.  They are the family of Lee's wife, Viktorija (I am sure I spelled that wrong!) who  have been visiting for a couple of weeks and wanted to come and see the farm.  Lee and his wife live in the Dayton area, but are remodeling the old farmhouse they purchased this past year just up the hill from us.  Lee's grandfather is our closest neighbor.  So there was a New year's Eve party at Deb & Rick's party barn.  Poker, pool, ping pong and darts were enjoyed by all, along with the requisite beverages.  

Monday brought the first measurable snow of the season, though it was only about an inch.  It also brought very cold temperatures, with lows in the teens Monday and Tuesday night.   

The alpacas don't seem to mind this small amount of snow, but the chickens weren't very pleased about it.  It is funny to see their tracks all over the place, though.  

Apache has been on stall rest for almost 2 weeks now.  I removed the wrap from his foot on Saturday and started soaking the foot every day for about 15 minutes in warm water and Epsom salts.  He actually seems to like it.  Or maybe it is just the feed he eats while his foot soaks that he likes.  I am sure he must be tired of looking at the walls of his stall.  Tomorrow it is supposed to be almost 50 degrees, so I will probably let him out and see how he is doing on the foot.

I think  I mentioned last week that Sam had taken our truck in and had it fitted for natural gas.  Here is the tank that now resides behind the cab of the truck.

 My guess is that this truck will now get more use than it has gotten in the last 4 years or so.  We have only driven it when absolutely necessary since it has been so expensive to run at only about 15 mpg.  Once we got our Honda CRV we didn't even need it to get to the office on bad weather days anymore.  It seems to be getting about 150 miles to the tank before switching to gasoline, so that will be a significant savings.  

Our little foster dog has settled right in.  Here is Dobby the House Elf in her favorite spot on the loveseat (which she can get up on all by herself using the footstool) next to the woodstove.  She is going back to the vet on Tuesday for more X-Rays.  I think she is doing very well.

I need to get myself in gear and get some fleeces ready to send to the processor.  I need yarn and I have some roving I would like done.  It is hard to get motivated about preparing fleeces when it is so cold out.  This is when I wish I had a basement.  I have actually skirted fleeces in the mud room before and maybe I will do that again this weekend.

Saturday I go to my first "Bee Class" and then will drop by my spinning guild's get together to celebrate "Roc Day"  also known as St Distaff's Day:


Of course there was no such saint! St. Distaff's Day, the "first free day after Twelve-Eve Christmas," was a holiday of transition from Christmas revelries to the round of everyday work. It is suspected that St. Distaff was invented by the poet Herrick, who dedicated some lines to her:

Partly work and partly play
Ye must on St. Distaff's Day;
Give St. Distaffe all the right,
Then give Christmas sport goodnight;
And next morrow, everyone
To his own vocation.
Women did not spin during the twelve days of Christmas in old England and this was their day to get back to work.
They were not without their troubles, however, for the plowmen thought it sport to set fire to the flax and tow. Pails of water were kept handy and as fast as the farm hands started their fires, maidens put them out with liberal "bewashings." When the flax was scorched and men and maidens thoroughly drenched the day was properly observed. After that the farmwomen could spin without interruption.

This description of Roc Day  is from Blue Moon Fiber's website.  Our guild and many others use this day as an excuse to get together and enjoy each other's company and have fun and eat...of course.    

HAPPY 2012 EVERYONE!!           

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