These cardinals waiting their turn at the feeder are about the only spots of color out there these days. It has been dreary and grey, except for this past Tuesday when the sun shone but the temperatures were still in the 20's. So I have not been out and about with the camera too much.
The chickens hate this weather and have stayed in their coop for the most part. However, yesterday a couple ventured out and over into the yard and left proof of their outing in their tracks on the footbridge heading back to the coop for the night. If we don't collect the eggs in a timely fashion, we end up with frozen eggs. One day this week, I collected 4 eggs that all made a soft "pop" when I picked them up, so they were taken in and scrambled up for the chickens to eat the next morning. I also have a heated water bowl in the coop. It is a plastic bowl that holds about a half gallon of water and has a heating element enclosed in the bottom of it. The cats have one of these as well. Anyway, I picked it up off the floor of the chicken house one morning this week to empty and re-fill it and 2 mice scurried away. They had been in the little space under the bowl enjoying the warmth of the heater! They are lucky the chickens did not get them.
Agility classes resumed this week. They were supposed to start last week, but were cancelled due to bad weather. I must say I was very happy to go back. We have missed it. What's new is now we are working with the full set of 12 weave poles. As novices, we only do 6 at trial, and I think maybe we had done 8 or 10 in our last couple of classes and had been working with 8 at home, but this was Grover's first try at 12. He did fabulous! But really, he can't count right? So he just weaves until there are no more poles in sight. He was a bit wound up, as were most of the dogs in class. There has been no outside practice either since right after Christmas and the December trial. Our next trial is in a little over 3 weeks. Let's hope we do real well and get a "Q". I will be happy with one. So will Rowdy because then Grover brings him a toy.
As I mentioned, we had a sunny day on Tuesday. It felt good to be out in the sunshine and we had a nice walk. Even when it is below freezing on a sunny day, the snow and ice on the road will melt. As the dogs trot along they fling this dirty melt-water up onto the long hair on their legs and bellies with each step. And then, since it is below freezing, this freezes into an icy muddy fringe. And when we come inside, it melts. I brought the dogs in and shut them in the mud room, and Grover lay here by the door waiting for me to come let him out. The 2 marks to the right are his front legs and the larger blob behind is his chest area. Yeah, he may have required a hosing down in the bathtub after this, especially since it was agility class day and I couldn't put him in the new truck like that!
I have had a lot if indoor time. I re-warped my new loom for more kitchen towels. I just tied onto the warp from the first towels I wove, which was not as easy as I had hoped. But I got it eventually and should get 4 more towels out of this. I plan to keep some of these for me, as I have no hand-woven towels! My shuttles sitting on top of the loom look kind of like little wooden shoes, don't they?
Here are the first towels I wove on this loom, first project in fact. They were given to my mother and my mother-in-law for Christmas.
I also wove potholders for Christmas gifts using loom waste I had saved from towels I made in past years. I then gave those to the people who had the coordinating towels.
And I have made great progress on the sweater I ripped out at the beginning of the month and re-started. I have finished the body of the sweater and have started the first sleeve. It also has a hood, so I still have some work to do on it. I would like to have it finished by the end of the month.
This is the bottom of the back of the sweater, showing some of the cable details.
This is my world at chore time this morning. It just LOOKS cold, doesn't it?