Yes, I guess it is official, now that Thanksgiving is behind us the Shopping Season is in full swing. I must admit that in the last several years, mostly since my sons have grown and moved across the country, I have had somewhat of a scrooge-like attitude toward the Christmas season. I really can't get into decorating for just Sam and myself and as for shopping, I will admit I love to be able to do most of it from the comfort of my own home. I can remember years ago making a last minute Christmas Eve dash to the mall and circling the parking lot looking for an available space. Never again!
Thanksgiving was at Mom's as usual. Our crowd was smaller this year as none of our Michigan relatives attended. They decided that they needed to stay and give thanks closer to home since my cousins' father has been through a bout of cancer and is now in remission. I think it was the right thing to do, though I missed them terribly. On Friday, we had dinner at my brother Larry's. He has been adding a timber-frame addition to his house. He has done all the work of shaping the beams and pegs by hand and has had some help with the raising of the massive frame. It is under roof but still needs work and is impressive nonetheless.
On Saturday, prior to driving home, we stopped outside Cincinnati and picked up Carter!
Carter is about a year old. He is an Aussie like Rowdy, though nowhere near as fluffy. He is red merle and white with one blue eye and one blue/green eye. His eyes almost glow when he looks at you, which is often. Lots of eye contact with this guy. We are slowly introducing him to the farm, which means cats, dogs, alpacas, horse and of course chickens (of which we still have 3). He does not have the fixation on things Lacy had and it is easy to divert his attention from things. I plan to get him into an obedience class. It will be good for both of us. Yeah, yeah, I know, I could use it too.
This is a difficult time to bring a new dog home due to it being gun season for deer. That means a lot of traffic on our unpaved road and no walks in the woods. And no new dogs off leash. But we have been getting some miles in on the roads every day. Last week, we sat in the dining room and watched this doe come down the hill behind the house to the creek, which is dry there. I am sure she was looking for water, and had she turned the other way and gone up the creek, she would have found it in only about 100 feet. But she eventually went back up the hill and into the woods.
Here is a shot of the pond similar to the one I took last month when there were still leaves on the trees. We have had no snow yet. The weather remains rather warm during the day and very dry. We really still need rain.
The alpacas are now eating more hay and there is ice on the water buckets in the morning. I have not yet resorted to getting out the heated buckets, though we have plugged in the heater on the automatic waterer in the main barn. That is more to keep the mechanism from freezing than the water. It is fed by a rather small metal tube that freezes easily. Plus it is not as much of an energy hog as the heated buckets.
Just a shot of some fuzzy weeds up near the pond with the afternoon sunlight highlighting them.
I have 2 rugs woven on my loom and need to do the third yet today. Then I can tie the fringes on them and have them ready for the Christmas Festival in Woodsfield a week from Saturday. I think this is the 4th or 5th year for this festival and I enjoy doing it. It is only one day and we set up in the Courthouse. I get to see lots of folks I don't see much of the rest of the year and it gives me a chance to sell some alpaca products.
Speaking of which, here is a pair of fingerless mitts I made from some handspun yarn. The yarn was made from some roving I had done up in a 3-way swirl earlier this year. It is one fleece dyed in 2 colors and some left natural. Scroll to the end of this post
http://www.straightforkfarm.blogspot.com/2012/02/im-always-up-to-my-knees-in-something.html for a photo of the roving.
I had to go to the bank this morning and I finally got a photo of my favorite sign in town to post. We have a lot of Amish in our county and almost all the stores have a hitching rail, but I just love this sign. Maybe they should put a poop bag dispenser up like they have in some parks!