While as I write this it is rather bright and sunny outside, but frigid, most of the days lately have been on the gloomy side. That does not mean we have to stay inside. The dogs and I manage to get out for our daily trek most days. Rain and dark sometimes stop us, but not always. Grover has perfect snowy woods camouflage: If he were to stop moving among the trees in the snow he would all but disappear. Normally, however, he does not stop moving.
Rowdy has been undergoing laser treatments for osteoarthritis in his hips and right hind leg. He has had 4 treatments over the last 10 days and will have 2 more next week. I am not sure if the treatments are helping or not, but the medication we tried affected his liver, so this is our alternate choice. We'll see how he does.
Saturday was our town's local Christmas Festival. It was started probably 6 years or so ago and has grown into a nice yearly event. It starts with Breakfast with Santa for the kids and then the local shops have specials all day and small businesses who do not have shops in town are allowed to set up in the county courthouse for a nominal fee (which I do), and there are free carriage rides and it all culminates in a parade in the evening. I have participated in the festival as a vendor since the event started and I enjoy it. I mostly sell alpaca socks and imported alpaca teddy bears, but I also sell small hand-knitted items (mitts and hats) along with honey and maple syrup. I have my yarn displayed (just in case a Knitter comes along) and my rugs are around the corner. It is always fun. I talk to lots of people I know and of course my friend Tari is set up just across the aisle from me so we get to spend some time together.
Sunday was the last day of gun season for deer. Sam was coming back toward the house as the dogs and I headed out for our walk Sunday afternoon. No one was hunting on our property except Sam, so we were able to get into the woods again and hike up by the pond. Of course the dogs and I saw 2 deer at the pond, a doe and her fawn from this spring. The fawn bounded around my side of the pond quite close, which was fun to watch, as the dogs chased the doe off the other side of the pond. My dogs only chase a very short way. Usually once the deer goes into the heavy undergrowth, they give up.
I baked some more bread this week. I found a really good recipe on line I like, though I have modified it a bit.
http://www.bestbreadrecipe.com/ Sam hand grinds the wheat for me. I make half a recipe and get 3 small loaves. I reduced the amount of honey since I thought the bread was a bit too sweet the first time I made it. I cut it by about a third and it still has a nice sweetness. Really wonderful bread. Bread baking has to be one of the best smells ever.
The last 2 mornings it has only been about 12 degrees F outside. Everyone is always happy to see me but I think especially so when it is so cold. Everyone is waiting for breakfast.
I am happy to see smoke coming out of the chimney because it means the wood I put in the stove before going outside has caught from last night's embers.
You may wonder why we love our wood stove when we have free gas we can heat with. The answer is that our house has almost no insulation (tax records show our house being built in 1870) and the furnace we put in 7 years ago would have to go all the time in order to keep the house warm. As it is, my kitchen, which is farthest from the furnace, was only 57 degrees this morning. The wood stove just makes a warmer more radiant heat. Also, if the furnace comes on less, our bedroom stays cooler, which makes for better sleeping.
I still have no fiber-y stuff to show since I am still working on holiday gifts. I am down to one (!) which I hope to have finished by Sunday or Monday and then I plan to be quite self-indulgent. So maybe next week I will have something to show off. Nothing finished, but something.
Now for something completely humiliating to dogs, though they know nothing about it!
From the look on Rowdy's face one would think that hat really was on his head!