Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Getting Ready for Winter

Watching for squirrels
Yes, it is really time to finish up winter preparations.  The squirrels have been incredibly busy and there seem to be so many of them.  Sam attributes this to higher survival rates due to last winter being so mild.  Whatever the cause, Rowdy is kept on his toes.  Most of the squirrels easily elude him by racing up a tree and then leaping from tree to tree while he watches in frustration.  

Looking wintry
This past weekend I relented and put my deck chairs and cushions away in the barn for the winter.  This is admitting that  deck weather is over until next spring and I hate to do it.  Of course now the forecast for this coming weekend is wonderful with highs supposed to be in the mid-60's.  But that will be short -lived.  Yesterday and this morning, we had lows in the lower 20's. 

Sam lit the woodburner on Sunday.  Yesterday I covered all the firewood we have so far with tarps.  We unfortunately did not do so prior to all the rain we got from Hurricane Sandy, so we are lucky the power was not knocked out or we would have had to deal with wet wood.  Our furnace does not run on our generator

We also replaced a broken door on the horsebarn.  Things still needing done include putting up plastic sheeting across the overhang on the south side of the alpaca barn and getting in more firewood.  This weekend will likely be a good time to get some things like that done.

Tom the cat perched high up in the loft.

The hay is stacked high in the lofts, although it seems to me like there is not enough.  I have to remind myself that I have half the alpacas I had last winter, so I only need half the hay!


Yesterday was the first sunny day we have had since before Sandy.  It was so nice.  Rowdy and I took advantage of the weather and went hiking over at Lamping Homestead.  I love a sunny fall day.  The temperature was right around 50 and so it was very comfortable to hike in a tee-shirt and hoody (orange of course since bow season is in and we were on public land).  It is such a nice hike.  There are stands of pines and also hardwood and beech forest.  At one point, I was walking along through noisy oak leaves that were ankle deep.  It is impossible to be quiet with so many dry, crunchy leaves on the ground.  Even chipmunks and squirrels sound like large animals this time of year.  We startled 2 flocks of turkeys up into the trees.


 The photo to the left is of what used to be a large stand of pine trees near the lake and picnic area at Lamping Homestead.  Most of these pines were snapped off like matchsticks when the derecho storm came through on June 29th.  

 I saw this fine fellow on the side of the road coming home from Lamping and was able to get a photo before he melted away into the underbrush.  The photo does not do him justice since I took it through the truck window.  Beautiful fox.

I am waiting to hear from the mill that my yarn is ready to be picked up.  I'm trying to decide if I should take more fiber to be spun.  I have plenty ready to go.  I would like to get a heavier weight done up possibly.  I also got 3 dozen socks from the New England Fiber Pool.  So if anyone is looking for American made alpaca socks, I have them.  They are really wonderfully made.  $15 a pair plus shipping.

My loom is warped and ready for weaving.  May start that today.  I have a good 4 weeks until the Christmas Festival in town and want to have these rugs done by then.

Still working pretty exclusively on Christmas gifts as far as my knitting goes.  I have 2 1/2 done and am working on the 4th.  Does that make sense?  I hope to have these all done by Thanksgiving and then have time to knit a couple small items before the Christmas Festival.  I hope I'm not trying to undertake too much. 

I have sent in my check to reserve a booth space at an event in April in Youngstown, OH.  It is called the "Knitter's Fantasy" and is a one day event with classes and a yarn market.   I was invited to attend as a vendor and am looking forward to it, though it is a long way off yet.  Youngstown is (like everything else) about 2 hours away.


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