Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Summer is Flying By

So fast!  Fall will be here before we know it.  But there is still a lot to be done in August.  This week I go to Michigan to visit my family there.  It will be a quick trip involving a lot of driving, but worth it to spend some time with my aunt and my cousins and my mom.  When I return, I will likely have to start harvesting and canning tomatoes, because there are SO many green tomatoes out there.  Then the weekend of the 20th, Grover and I have a dog trial up near Youngstown Ohio.  Then it is only a couple of weeks until Labor Day weekend.  Wow.

We had our first corn and tomato from the garden last night.  The corn was probably a little early, but not too much so.  It was quite good.  Only 1 ripe tomato so far, but I expect 100's to ripen all at once.  I think we have about 3 dozen plants.  More or less.

My weaving studio is coming along.  Sam got the framework all done and put on the sub-flooring this past week.   

 I had supervisors while I was screwing the sub-flooring down on Sunday evening.

The next step  is to start the framing, I think.  I know Sam has been hauling logs out of the woods and leaving them by the sawmill and trusses have been ordered.  I, of course, have been trying to figure out where I want lighting and windows and the sink and that kind of thing.  I will have gas heat and there will be a sink, but no hot water.  I will have a microwave that I can heat water in when needed.  That's the plan for now anyway.

It has been pretty hot around here lately, as one would expect for mid-summer.  Grover and I have been working on agility, but we aren't out running around too much.  We are working on getting him to do a 2 on 2 off at the end of contact obstacles, to prevent NQ fly offs.  Grover needs to touch in the bottom contact zone with at least one paw or he does not Q.  So we have a little board we are using:
 The 2 front feet are supposed to be off the board and the 2 back feet are to remain on until he is given a release command.  We work on  this for a few minutes every day.

I also bought a remote controlled treat dispenser 
manners minder treat and train and I am using that to try to encourage him to work ahead of me especially in the weave poles.  I set the dispenser 10 feet or so past the end of the weave poles.  When I send Grover into the weave poles I can use the remote to dispense a treat once I am sure he is going to finish the poles.  I stay behind him and encourage him to go on.  It's too soon to say we are making progress.  But I think it will work.

 I planted sunflowers at the end of my tomato garden this year and this weekend the first one bloomed.  I think several more will bloom very soon as well.  This is by far the tallest one, probably 9 or 10 feet.  In this photo it is just starting to open up.  I can hardly wait for more to  bloom.  I love them.

Another scene from around the farm this week is Road Runner the cat.  She came to us at least 4 years ago from the local shelter where I used to volunteer .  She is semi-feral, preferring not to be touched or petted, but she shows up every day at meal time.  This was the second time in 2 days that I looked into the barn and found her lounging in  this bucket. 

I was looking for bees in the Rose of Sharon that is blooming in the backyard, and I found this one.  She is just covered in pollen.  After she left this bloom she flew to a higher spot and sat on a leaf and cleaned some of that off of herself.  She was too high up for me to get a photo, though.  I am sure that much pollen would cause her to be weighted down during flight.

I finished a shawl yesterday.  This is made with 100% alpaca from my farm.  It is close to 6' across, which is hard to tell from this photo.  This will make a nice booth sample for the Wool Gathering, at which I am vending once again in September.  I missed it last year due to the re-scheduling of Sam's hunting trip, but this year I will be there.  I still have a lot of yarn for sale even though I don't have many alpacas left.

I just warped my small loom at home for some tencel scarves and I have alpaca rugs on the big loom at the office.  I am doing pretty well with my goal to keep those looms dressed with projects.  The scarves are from a towel pattern in a recent issue of Handwoven magazine, but I thought it was too pretty for towels (and I had just done towels), so I decided to make it into shiny silky scarves.


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