Grover, fresh from last night's bath. Of course he had to be bathed since tomorrow, Friday the 21st, is our debut agility trial! I don't know how we will do, I just hope we don't mess up too badly. I hope I don't trip over Grover or my own 2 feet. We are running in 2 classes on Friday and 1 on Sunday. Each course will have about 15 jumps/obstacles and I will have 8 minutes prior to the class to walk the course and memorize it and plan where I will make turns, etc. In class we have done up to 9 or 10 obstacles and sometimes it takes us a couple times through to get it right. And we will be in a place Grover has never been before. Lots of distractions (and people to jump on, probably including the judge). I am looking forward to it, despite what I write.
We seem to have gone straight from dry fall weather to coverall/heated bucket weather here. Mind you, that is not a complaint. Because in doing so, we have detoured around MUD season. I prefer nicely frozen ground to mud, as do the alpacas. When it is rainy and muddy, they spend most of their time in the barn and that means lots of scooping. And even after scooping, the barn floor is a nasty mess. Notice I said "detour" around mud season. It is way too early to think we will miss it altogether. In fact, I think it will arrive just in time for Thanksgiving next week. But for now, with daytime highs only around freezing, I have also had to plug in the heater for the automatic waterer, which is always smelly until the summer's accumulation of mouse droppings on the heating element burn off, and pull out the heated buckets for the boys. The heated buckets are always a challenge because most of them look alike and some of them do not work. The only way to find out if they work is to plug them in, fill them with water, and see if they are frozen the next day. If I have something with me with which to cut the cords off the non-working buckets, I do so and then they become regular buckets. But most of the time I don't have a tool with me to do that and the bucket gets put back in the building and the next year, when faced with a stack of buckets, I go through the process all over again. You'd think I would learn. I also had to put a coat on Bodhi, the butt farthest to the right in the photo above. He is 15 and the cold really seems to get to him these days. He just does not produce the incredibly dense fiber he used to.
Tonight is the second meeting of the Monroe Arts Council's Fiber Arts and Textiles group. I need to do a short presentation at that (which is why Grover got bathed last night instead of tonight). I will be doing that on different ways to do knitting in the round. I still need to finish preparing for that. All the knitting I have been doing has been Christmas gift knitting, so I won't be posting about it for some time. I did, however, get 2 more rugs off my rug loom, though I still have to finish the hems on them and I warped my new loom for the first time. It was a bit different from the other looms I have, so I had to work a few things out and have not yet started to weave on it, so we will see how that all goes soon.
Very much looking forward to Thanksgiving a week from today. Sam and the dogs and I will travel to Dayton to my mom's. We will be joined there by my brother Mike, his wife Jean and daughter, Krista, with her husband Paul and baby Blake. I think that is it this year. We are used to a whole house full of people on Thanksgiving and it is just going to be weird to have less than 10 people. The rest of the family is in Michigan, Phoenix and of course Portland. Life is change.
Rowdy took his last dose of meloxicam this morning. He stays off it for a week and I need to e-mail the orthopedic vet at OSU and let him know how he is doing. Then we will take it from there. Rowdy has done so well on this. He and Grover and I played with tennis balls in the house last night. No more "Stairball", but we can play fetch on the flat.