Thursday, October 24, 2013

Is It Really Almost November??

It is hard to believe October is almost over, though yesterday it certainly felt like November.  We are having beautiful days interspersed with previews of the colder weather to come.  I took a lot of photos of the fall colors when the dogs and I took our daily hike last Friday and the next day I did a full day's horseback ride and look at my attire!  It was great fun, but it was very overcast and threatening to rain most of the day.  We were lucky and only really got rained on the last hour or so.  I was pretty happy that I was able to spend 5 1/2 hours in the saddle with no after-effects. I'm ready to go again.

Everyone is now moved to where they will spend the winter.  I moved the 4 girls who were over in the garage pasture into the main barn, so now all 17 female alpacas are in one place.  The barn seems crowded, though I have had many more than that in there before.  I am glad it is down to a more manageable number, however.  Sam and I also went out Sunday morning while it was still cold and picked up the top bar hive and moved it about 25 feet into a spot that gets more sun.  I am still feeding them a 2:1 sugar to water mix at least once a week.  Fingers are crossed they will overwinter all right.

For years I have had a sign for our farm up at the top of the hill where you turn off the blacktop county road onto the gravel township road and I had made a sign to hang on it for eggs for sale a couple years ago.  Well I had used cheapo cup hooks that I had laying around and earlier this summer they gave out and the signs fell off the farm sign.  So now that I have eggs again, I decided to upgrade my hardware and do signs for honey and syrup.  I got that done this week.  Whether or not this will help us sell our farm products, I don't know.

Tomorrow my friend Tari and I are heading north to Amish country for the day.  I have an appointment to drop off all that skirted alpaca fiber at Morningstar Fiber Mill and then we plan to hit a fabric store Tari knows of where she says there are incredible deals to be had.  I am looking for upholstery type fabric to re-upholster my dining room chairs and make a new cushion for the bench.  I have had this table and chairs for over 20 years and I recovered everything once, but it has to have been at least 10 years ago.  It is ready for a change.  Tari and I also plan to stop at a cheese factory and hopefully a bulk food store.  Regardless of where we go she and I always have a good time when we get together.

Sam and I will be making a trip to visit our sons in Portland soon.  You may remember that younger son Sam/Zac has been living at a lodge at Yosemite National Park and was evacuated in August due to the "Rim Fire" which devastated the area.  He is now moving to Portland and moving in with my other son, Ian, and his fiance, Michelle.  I spoke to Zac yesterday and he said it is just so hard to see the place he loves so destroyed.  The lodge itself and the grounds were protected thanks to the fire crews, but he said once you leave the lodge property, everything is gone.  He says the national forest which surrounds the lodge is closed until probably next September due to places where fires are still smoldering underground that can collapse into fiery pits on occasion.  Zac has lived at Evergreen Lodge for about 3 1/2 of the last 5 1/2 years and I know he and Ian both love the area.  I have been there 4 times over that period and I am glad I won't see it like it is now.  Very sad.

   As for fiber, other than my trip to the mill, I have finished the "Willow Cowl"  I was knitting out of some 100% merino wool yarn that I won.  It came out rather larger than I like, so it may become a gift.  We'll see.  I have been working on my weaving project and also on a summery sweater (in October, I know) which I hope to finish in the next few days.  Then it is on to the next Christmas present!


I am going to end with some more photos I have taken  recently on dog hikes.


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