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Friday, January 17, 2014

Looking Forward

January is definitely a time to look forward.  And one has time to do so.  Sometimes I am only looking forward to the next week, as I did 2 weeks ago, preparing for the incredibly cold temperatures that we endured for a couple of days.  Those thing have to be foremost as there are animals to take care of and precautions to take to ensure that life goes as smoothly as possible despite a difficult situation.  Wood has to be stockpiled for the stove, a heater needs to be turned on in the crawlspace so the water pipes don't freeze, hay and feed need to be ready at hand in the barns so that as little time has to be spent outdoors a possible, animals need warm bedding.  



chicken house with feed sack draft blockers
But there is also next month and then spring and summer and, well you get the idea.  February is the beginning of maple syrup season.  Sam had grand plans of building a sugar shack to house the evaporator and acquiring a new flat pan to replace our other system.  It hasn't happened yet, though he says we will be getting a new pan.  A new pan means we can produce more syrup in a shorter amount of time with less clean-up (which is the most tedious part).  That means we need more taps and buckets.  I think we have plenty of taps handy, so I am trying to get as many buckets as I can.  We'd like to have 50.  

Other planning includes getting ready for my latest batch of yarn to arrive from the mill.  It is supposed to be ready the end of this month.  I have gone through my dye supply and made a list of colors I need to replace. I am low on some colors.  I may go pick the yarn up at the mill and take some more
fiber to be spun into rug yarn. .





 

And speaking of dyeing, I finally have some fiber dyed and ready to send off for roving.  The mill I use in Michigan has discounts in January, so I will be shipping this off in just a couple days.  It is a dark dark blue green and will be blended into a swirled roving with a black fleece and a rose grey fleece.  


I am not attending a fiber festival until Memorial Day as a vendor, so I have plenty of time to prepare.  I decided  not to attend the Knitter's Fantasy in Youngstown Ohio in early April.  While I enjoyed the show last year, my sales did not justify my time and the expense of gas and  a hotel room.  If I could manage without the hotel cost, I would likely do it again, but it is too far away to do in one day having to be set up by 8 am.

I am also moving ahead in planning to disperse most of my alpaca herd.  I have some very nice young females who would do well in a breeding program and I am just not up for the breeding end of things anymore.  That being said, if they are not sold, we may just have 2 crias this spring.  I've got 2 young females that I am pretty sure are bred to our rose grey male, Opi.  We will have to wait until May to see.  

So those are just some of the things I am looking ahead to.  I will also be driving to Florida at the end of this month with my mother as she goes down to spend the month with her sister.  We have plans to visit some old, old friends whom I have not seen since high school.  I will stay a few days and then fly home in early February, in time to start tapping trees.

That's about it for this week.  My  older son has a birthday in a week, so I have been doing some "secret" knitting which I can post about after his birthday.  He probably does not read this, but I never know.

The weather has not been conducive to taking many photos.  It is rather grey and dreary for the most part and uninspiring. 
It's January.  But it will be spring soon, won't it Rowdy?






  








 

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