Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Home from Yosemite

We have been home from our trip to Yosemite to visit our son, Sam/Zac/Satchmo, who lives and works at Evergreen Lodge just outside the National Park, for almost a week.  He has lived there on and off since 2008 and this is our 4th trip there to see him.  We love it, but wish he weren't so far away.

Both Sam's and my mothers went with us on this trip.
They were tired of hearing how beautiful it is out there and wanted to see it for themselves.  We had a great time and excellent accomodations at Evergreen Lodge

Since we were there last, there is a beautiful pool and hot tub with a fantastic sunset view which we took advantage of on a snowy day. 


The lovely sunset view was unfortunately  enabled by the fact that so much of the landscape adjoining the lodge property was devasted by the Rim Fire in 2013.  After evacuation of the lodge personnel, including our son, 250 firefighters stayed onsite and prevented the lodge property from burning.  It is amazing to see how close the flames came and how untouched the lodge property is.  It gives me great respect for the men and women who fought that fire, which is the 3rd largest in California history.

We arrived home to absolutely fabulous weather for mid-November.  Sunshine and temperatures in the 60's and even 70's.  And it looks like it will continue to be nice for a while at least.

The beavers have been busy getting ready for winter, with a new layer of mud on their lodge.

 And with the leaves off the trees and the undergrowth  frost-killed one can get a better look at their pond from the road.  In this photo 
<<<  you can see the old bridge in the center and their lodge is on the right side of that old collapsed bridge.  You can see the railing in the photo above.  Maybe now I will be able to get a glimpse of the beavers again.  


Everyone is enjoying the sunshine

And the dogs were quite happy to swim in the pond on Monday.  

Sam shot a big 8 point buck with his crossbow Monday evening, and spent all day yesterday butchering it.  He got 100 pounds of meat off this deer and we will share some of that with his parents.  Tomorrow I will be canning some.   Sam is also going to tan the hide using the brain of the deer, which he has never done.   I apologize for no photo, but it was late when Sam got in with the deer Monday and he got right to skinning it since the weather is too warm to delay.

Upcoming, Grover and I have an agility trial this weekend in Zanesville.  It is a 3 day trial, so we have 3 attempts to finish our Open Jumpers title.  We need only 1 Q run to move up to Excellent in Jumpers.   Another Q in Excellent standard would be nice as well.  But I really want us to get that last Jumpers Q.


I took a couple small projects with me on our trip, a pair of socks for Sam, of which I finished one.  I think I got most of it done on the plane.  Socks are great plane knitting.

The other project was another pair of mitts for sale at the Christmas Festival.  I have been delving into my yarn stash and using up small amounts of leftover yarn for these mitts.  This particular yarn is some of my very first handspun.  The grey is from an alpaca named Jillian, who we acquired in 2000, and the blue is some merino wool top I think I bought on ebay.  I plied the 2 together and I am sure I knitted something from this years ago, but I have no idea what.  I like the way the mitts came out and this used up most of the remainder of that handspun yarn in a lovely way.

In case I do not get a chance to post next week, Happy Thanksgiving!!


Monday, November 2, 2015

We Turn the Clocks Back, It Gets Dark Too Early!

But you just never know what will show up on the farm.....Over the years, we have had random animals just show up:  a horse (my son thought it was one of ours, but it was a stray), cattle, 5 pigs, and a donkey among others.  And now, a giraffe!  My father-in-law heard I loved the giraffe mailbox I pass occasionally and he made this for me.  Kinda awesome.

Yes, we turned the clocks back this past weekend and it is now dark by 6 pm.  That makes me sad, but in reality, it gives me that more time to spin and knit and weave after dinner.  I have to fill those hours between sunset and bedtime.  Might as well be productive.  I do have a 9' runner on my loom at the office.  It is for mom and not a secret:


And I wove some colorful towels for my bathroom.  Maybe too colorful.  Once I took them off the loom, I started weaving the remaining warp in one color and like it better, the pattern is much more obvious.  It's just a sampler as I don't have enough warp left for a full size towel.      
 I am still spinning for my big project, but yesterday I spun up a sample of the gorgeous alpaca/shetland wool roving I had processed.  It spins wonderfully and I hope to ply the sample tonight in a 3 ply and wash it and see how it looks.  I would really like to spin this for sweaters for Sam and myself.

The fall weather has been gorgeous.  I think I take a photo just like this at the pond every year.  But I just love this view.  

I took advantage of the fabulous fall weather this week and did some fence work.   First, I tore down a stretch of fence between the garage and the garden.  It was either tear it down or replace 4 of the 8 posts which had broken off. We do not plan to keep animals over there anymore, so I tore it down.    Then, I used the woven wire fence I removed there to replace this stretch of fence.  This was at the very back of the alpaca pasture and all that was holding it up was weeds.  There was new fence on either side of this 40' stretch, so it was not a huge job.  I had to tear out the old cheap welded wire fencing and I took the easy way out and replaced the 2 broken posts with metal T posts.  And I came up with a makeshift fence stretcher.

The stretcher did a great job and now I don't have to worry about Buck and Star going on walk-about.  And it just looks so much better


While I was out there working on fences, I got a couple photos of the 2 crias from this past spring.  They are now 5 months old.  This is Trillium and her cria.  Cria looks almost as big as her mama.  This is the cria who continues to nurse from her great-grandmother, Tunita, as well as from her mother.  Everyone seems very happy with this arrangement.  I still find it amazing.

 And this is B'Nita, who is the mother of Trillium, daughter of Tunita, and her cria, who is probably a little smaller than Trillium's cria.  But then she is getting milk from only one source!