Thursday, May 16, 2013

Lots of Preparation

Look how high that hay is getting!
Yes, there is a lot to prepare for right now.  And it is not just us on the farm.  All around us preparations are under way in our area for oil and gas drilling.  It has been going on for a while, but now it is coming within sight of our property, so it is becoming much more obvious to us.

 This hill is just above our one alpaca field and hayfield, across the road from the guest house.  It is kind of hard to see in the photo, but yesterday this tall structure appeared.  There has been a lot of heavy equipment movement up there the last 2 or 3 weeks and I know they are planning to drill here in the near future.  Noise from dawn to dusk.  It will be 24 hours once they start drilling.

This is a gas pipeline that is going in just about 50 yards from our far property line, so just under a mile from the house.  This is where it crosses the road.


On to more fun preparations!  Next weekend (Memorial Day) is the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster Ohio, which is about 2 1/2 hours from me.  Most of my prep consists of dyeing up my most recent batch of 100% alpaca yarn so that it will be ready for the show.
I have dyed 2 more colors this week:

Once I dye and wash the yarn, I usually re-skein it because I think it looks better re-skeined.  To do that, I put the skein of yarn on an umbrella swift, which folds up just like an unbrella when not in use.  It adjusts to the circumference of the yarn skein.  Then, I use my "niddy noddy" to wind the yarn into a larger circumference skein and that splits up the color variations so they are no longer in blocks.

Umbrella Swift and niddy noddy

Here is the swift clamped to the  desk at our office and the niddy noddy is leaning against it.  The swift spins around as I wind the yarn onto the niddy noddy.  Time consuming, but I like the re-skeined look.

Here are 3 colors.  The skeins on the right of each pair are how they look out of the dyepot, and the skeins on the left are how they look re-skeined.  Once all are re-skeined, I will label them and they will be ready for the festival.

In addition to this preparation, I have also been moving some panels around in the alpaca barn to make room for shearing, which we will likely start this weekend. 

I am glad we had not shorn as of yet since we did have a stretch of rather chilly weather this past weekend, with daytime highs only in the 50's and 2 mornings of light frost.
My mother was visiting for several days from the Dayton area, which is 3 1/2 hours away.  She and her dog arrived on Friday and stayed until Tuesday morning.  So for Mother's Day we had her and also Sam's mom and dad over for a nice get together and dinner.  Unfortunately we were unable to enjoy a meal on the deck due to the very cool weather, but it was very nice despite that.

Last Thursday was the first obedience class for Grover and me.  We are going to Parkersburg Obedience Training Club where Rowdy and I did agility about 4 years ago.  It is a nice facility.  I think Grover did very well at his first class.  We did our homework prior to going but have not been as good this week.  Having a houseguest and a 3rd dog in the house for several days kind of put us behind, but we will do fine, I hope, when we go back tonight.  Grover is very responsive and attentive.  We are using clickers and as soon as I get that clicker out, I have his full undivided attention (and Rowdy's).  Grover just wants to be on top of us.  He does not discriminate.  He will get into the lap of a total stranger, given the chance (meaning if the stranger sits down).  We call it "encroachment".  First, he comes over and puts his head on the arm of your chair and gazes lovingly at you with those multi-colored eyes.  If you even acknowledge his presence (looking at him counts) he begins a slow climb onto your lap:  first the head and neck, then the front legs, then one leg at a time the rear legs find their way up and next thing you know, you have a 50 pound Grover in your lap.  If you don't sit down, why he just leaps up on you so he can be closer to your face.  At first it is cute, but it gets old fast.  He is definitely a work in progress!

The yard and deck are invitingly shady once again


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