Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's a New Year

Watching Mom get ready for the office
Rowdy knows that when I do chores then come in and shower right away that I am going to the office and he gets very sulky.  Carter (who is slowly becoming known as Grover) is not yet worried about the situation.  

So its a brand new year and it will be interesting to see what it has in store for us.  2012 was not a bad year, but we had some losses that were hard to take.  That along with our real estate business taking a hard hit due to gas and oil drilling in our area (no one wants to sell until they see what is going to happen) made it a difficult year, but things could always be worse.  Maybe I should not have said that.

There is a lot to look forward to, though.  Why just tonight, younger son Sam/Zac/Satchmo (have I ever explained the name thing?  I will some time, I promise) will be arriving into the Pittsburgh airport at 11:30 pm if his flight is on time.  Since we are 2 hours from said airport, it will be the wee hours of Wednesday before we get home.  While I am not looking forward to the trip, I will be so happy to see Zac!  And since I am the one who booked his flight, I can't complain too much.  But he lives 3 1/2 hours from the closest airport, so I have to consider that.  

He will be with us 2 weeks and then it will be almost February.  February brings with it a trip to Florida for me (Sam has opted to pass this year) where my mom and her sister are renting a house.  I am driving down with my younger brother Larry's wife Jill and my cousin, Tracey is flying down from Michigan.  Sounds like fun to me!  Then, we will be into Maple Syrup season when I return.  Sam plans to tap sooner this year than last year and we hope for a better season weather-wise.  Need to produce some syrup to sell!

Not much planned for March as of yet, but I do my first Fiber festival of the year in April.  That would be the Knitter's Fantasy in Youngstown Ohio on April 6th.  It is a one day event and I very much hope to see a dear friend of mine who used to be in my spinning guild who moved to that area a couple years back

And then we are into spring!

But until then here is what the alpaca barn roof looks like.  All the snow is slowly sliding off.  I have knocked off the snow right above the door to reduce the likelihood of it coming down upon my head.  The other day I had to take a load of hay over to the barn and it was very cold and the little truck was being cantankerous and would not start, so I used the big truck.  Well, I could not back it in all the way due to its size and then I had to climb up in the bed to unload the foremost bales.  I managed to bump the gutter not once, but twice with my head, causing a small avalanche of snow to cascade down the back of my shirt each time.  BRRrrrrrrr!

You may recall that in June of 2011, a friend and I went to Amish country and brought home a truckload of chickens, only 3 of which I still have.  This friend is hoping to sell her farm and move and still had several of these hens left and she offered to sell them to me along with a rooster.  Yesterday, I went over and picked them up.  Yet another way that a large dog crate comes in handy on the farm.  There are 9 hens and rooster in the back of my CRV.  I kept thinking of Han Solo saying "What an interesting smell you've discovered, Princess" all the way home.  It was only about 15 minutes.
Now this rooster is a much larger bird than the hens.  He also had spurs on his legs which I can only conclude are for the purpose of defending his harem from rival roosters.  Ilaina told me I may want to remove those, so before I loosed him from the crate, I went after the poor guy with hoof trimmers.  Ilaina did not tell me there was a blood supply in the spurs, which are like 1 1/2" long thorny spikes.  And very tough.  They are still an inch long, but no longer have stiletto tips.

So I now have an even dozen hens and we might even be able to raise some chicks this spring, if any of the hens go "broody" and decide to sit on a nest.  The rooster really is a handsome fellow.

 The neighbors' dog was down in our yard this morning and Buck was expressing his displeasure with his presence.  I wish I knew what Buck and Star were expressing displeasure about very vocally at 5:30 this morning.  Whatever it was, they barked loud and long.   I thought maybe the rooster had crowed, but he was still on the roost 2 hours later when I finally ventured out.  

I am almost done with my sweater in 50/50 alpaca wool yarn.  I should finish it today or tomorrow.  I love it.  I can hardly wait to wear it.

 I am into podcasts and videocasts about knitting.  One of the videocasts I watch is having a "Spin-Along" and I decided to buy the roving to join in.  It is a gradient roving which starts as a light wine color and goes to purple to blue.  This is a 80/20 merino wool/silk blend and I have 4 oz of it to spin.  Here is the first ounce and a half or so spun up.  The videocast is found here: 

Have a great week all and stay warm!

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