Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair, Canning, Hay, Never a Dull Moment!

Can you believe he's 27?
I just had to give Apache the mascot photo this week because he posed so nicely for me.  Doesn't he look wonderful?  He has put some weight back on this summer despite the dry weather.  Equine Senior and joint supplements are keeping him young.

So I missed posting last week.  It was not a normal week schedule-wise, and I just didn't get enough photos and I had planned to post from my motel room over the weekend, but I could not seem to download photos to my laptop.  I think I have never installed the CD that came with my camera to that laptop and things just weren't working.

It has been a busy 2 weeks.  It went from not a lot going on to many things happening around the farm.  First, I had to get ready for the Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair that I attended this past weekend.  There was not a lot to prepare since I had gotten so much ready for the festival I did in May and I still had most of that on hand.  But I had to make lists of what to take and I made another "yarn tree" (on which I was complemented at the show by another vendor for being so clever as to think of using a Christmas tree stand) to hang yarn and roving on and I had some roving to weigh out and package and some labels to make.  So this is how my booth looked.   I think the show was successful for me.  I sold the rest of our maple syrup from this year, as well as several skeins of yarn and some roving and alpaca socks.  I also met a lot of nice fiber people, both vendors and show attendees.  And of course, I "enhanced my stash" a little bit as well.

I canned a batch of tomatoes the day before I left as we had so many.  Yesterday I canned a batch of peach jam and a second batch of  Roma tomatoes.  There are many more on the vine and I will likely dry a few more batches.

 After I was finished canning yesterday, it was time to pick up hay out of the field.  Our nice creek bottom field was mowed on Sunday, tedded on Monday and yesterday it was raked and baled.  It is funny to me that every year when Sam starts baling, he says "we are going to get a lot more hay off this field than I thought we would get".  Every year.  Even this year.  So at 3:30 in the afternoon, with thunder rumbling in the distance and the sky turning black, I am rounding up people to help us get 300 + bales in the barn before it rains.  We ended up with all kinds of help and, despite the dark clouds and distant thunder, NO RAIN!  It passed us over with only a few stray drops.  So our loft is 3/4 full.  Today Sam is mowing our other hayfield, which is larger, but not as well established, and a small field of our neighbor's that we put in hay every year.  Apache and the alpacas will once again eat all winter.  It is nice that our alpaca herd is reduced because it will likely be even more difficult than usual to find hay this year as dry as most of the country has been.  Prices will be sky high.  It makes 2 days of hard work well worth it.

Lacy really enjoyed the hay work yesterday.  She was in and out of the truck and up and down the hayfield and behaving like a good farm dog should.  Rowdy made himself at home on the passenger seat of the truck (I drive the truck) and never left his spot until we were finished.  What a difference between a 1 year old dog and a 7 year old dog.    Lacy was not so good while I was away last weekend.  I know she chewed on at least 2 shoes (not a matching pair) and I don't remember what else.  This morning she chased and caught one of my chickens, again.  She was on her long line, so I was able to pull her away.  We are just not able to leave her loose in the yard.  Rowdy is teaching her how to pose for the camera, though, as you can see.

Lacy does know how to listen and we are working on basic obedience skills and I hope that with maturity we can overcome some of her annoying habits.  It is not fair to compare her to Rowdy, she is still an adolescent with much to learn.

Of course we still make sure we get in our walks every day I am home.  I took my camera along on a hike on Wayne National Forest the other day.  It was a beautiful day as you can see.  This field is close to where the old house stood until it was torn down and removed last summer.  It used to be a hayfield, but now it is just a field of weeds.  A nice pathway has been mowed through it to make walking a bit nicer.  The weeds are higher than my head in many places.  The path through the woods needs some serious chainsaw action after the derecho storm that came through on June 29th.  There are some places where I have to either crawl through the branches of downed trees or go around them through the multiflora roses.  The dogs have it much easier.

 I was trying to get a photo of a butterfly on a thistle bloom and I heard a buzzing right next to my ear, and here was a busy little honeybee collecting nectar.  The photo of her came out much better than the butterfly on the thistle, so here she is.

I am planning for our annual Labor Day weekend party.  The guest house will be full of family, even though we will have fewer family members here than last year.  My Michigan relatives will not be here.  This party is always a good way to get a lot of stuff done around the house and yard.  I need to do things like scrub the deck and clean up around the pond and whack down weeds.  I think I need to repaint the cornhole boards and make new bags again.  And lots of other things.

I have been working on knitting a cropped sweater to wear to my niece's wedding next month.  I forgot to take a photo though.  I am also spinning up some alpaca/wool roving for a  big sweater project.  

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