Wednesday, December 28, 2016

We Say Goodbye to 2016 and Wonder What 2017 Will Bring

Merry Christmas from Sam, Cathy, Rowdy & Grover

We just celebrated Christmas this past Sunday.  It was a nice day, made nicer by the fact that our younger son is here with us.  He arrived from California on the 19th of December and he will be here until January 5.  He didn't really intend to stay so long, but air travel at this time of year can be quite expensive, so he is saving some money by staying longer.  We don't mind at all.  This is his first trip home in 4 years and it is just great to have him here.  We had a quiet Christmas morning and then went to Sam's Mom and Dad's place for an early Christmas dinner.  Sam's brother was there as were his daughter and her husband.  It's always nice to be able to spend time with family.  Sam, Zac and I will be going to my mom's on New Year's Day for a family gathering.

I can hardly believe the year is almost over.  A lot has happened, and much of it has been good.   The highlight of the year was probably the wedding of our son Ian and his longtime fiance, Michelle, in Oregon in June.  A large number of our family were able to attend to celebrate and it was also nice to meet most of Michelle's family.   Ian finally started his 2 year program at Oregon State and I so look forward to attending a graduation in a couple of years.  

We had a good year on the farm, though part of that was selling off most of our alpacas. It has been an adjustment for me to have so few to take care of, but it has allowed me time for other pursuits.  One of which was doing a better job of tending the garden, leading to a very busy canning season in late summer and fall.    And of course Grover and I came a long way in our agility career this past year.  Watch for more of that to come.

What will 2017 bring?  Well, the first big news is that my Arizona family is moving back to Ohio.  Right now in fact.  Sister-in-law Jill has a new job in the Cincinnati area starting in January.  I am so happy they will be back here within a few hours' drive.  But they still have a long road ahead, as their house in AZ will need to sell so they can buy one here.  They will be staying with relatives for now.  

At some point my new weaving studio will be complete and I will be able to move into that and do some serious fiber and equipment organizing.  I do look forward to that.

I am sure other things will come along as the year goes by, but right now there is nothing new looming in our future.  I will hope that anything new that comes along will be a blessing.

I received a pasta making attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas (which is funny because I sent one to Michelle and Ian!) and I watched Zac make pasta with it the other night.  He has made a lot more pasta in his career as a chef than I have and I was happy to observe his technique.

In addition to the pasta maker, I knitted some Christmas stockings for Ian and Michelle.


I knit Steeler's socks for Mary, my mother-in-law

And a hat for my neighbor.

I am still working on Sam's sweater, and will soon be ready to start the sleeves.    I haven't been weaving because my loom at home is put away while Zac is staying with us as the loom resides in the guest room.  I'm planning to start warping my big loom for some rugs in the next couple of days. 

Meanwhile, Grover and I will be running in a trial in Zanesville on Friday and Saturday this week.  It would be nice the end the year with another Double Q (or 2!), but anything can happen.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

First Snow

We actually got our first real measurable snowfall here in SE Ohio.  Not a lot, but Rowdy sure likes it.  He loves snow.  He loves to walk in it, run in it, lay in it.  I think he has an inner husky.  But he has no tail with which to cover his nose when he curls up in the snow.  

I have managed to stay busy since my last post.  On December 3rd, I attended the annual Woodsfield Christmas Festival with my various handwovens and alpaca socks and yarn for sale.  Crafters are allowed to set up inside the courthouse, which is nice and I have done this every year since they started the festival.  My friend Tari sets up next to me and it is always a fun time to talk to people and sell a few items.  I sold a lot of socks and some yarn, but none of my handwoven items sold.  It kind of surprised me.

The dog club Christmas party was on Monday the 5th and I attended that, so I skipped agility class on Tuesday because driving to Parkersburg 2 nights in a row is more than I want to do.  In addition, I was leaving on Thursday the 8th to go to Cleveland for the Crown Classic Dog Show, where Grover and I were entered for 3 days of agility.  It was really cold and it snowed, but it was an interesting show.  It was not just agility, it was conformation and obedience as well, so there were 20 some rings of dogs of all kinds being shown.  It was huge.  And there were lots of vendors selling everything having to do with dogs.  And Grover and I did very well.  On both Friday and Saturday, we got double Qs!  Sunday, we did not Q in standard, but we did Q in our jumpers run.  We also entered FAST every day, but we are at a level now where it is difficult for us, so no Qs there.  In all, it was a good weekend, despite a little mishap in the FAST ring on Sunday morning.  I was running all out to race Grover to the finish since we had already NQ'd and somehow, he cut in front of me and tripped me and I did a faceplant and slid on the artificial turf, removing a lot of skin from the bridge of my nose.  But after icing it for a while, I went on to run both our other classes.   This photo is today, 4 days after the incident.  Still ugly, but healing.  Double Q count: 4 total.  We need to get to 20!

Meanwhile on the farm, Sam has gotten just about all of the siding on my studio and I have put in all the insulation in the walls.  Next up, moving inside and getting drywall in.

This week I am getting ready for Christmas.  Our younger son, Sam/Zac/Satchmo is arriving on Monday.  This will be the first time since 2007 that either of our kids will have been home for Christmas.  When they both worked at Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite, the lodge closed after the New Year for about 6 weeks, so they came home for a week or so then, but they have been doing other things the last few years, so that hasn't happened.  It will be so nice to have him home, especially since Rowdy will be 12 in April and he and Zac bonded when Rowdy was a puppy the summer before Zac left for college.  I know Rowdy's eyes will light up when Zac comes through the front door. And I know Zac misses him as well. 

Today it is very cold here, with the high forecast to be about 15 degrees.  So yesterday I put a coat on Chiquita, my oldest alpaca (18), who does get cold when the temps are so low.  I also put a heated water bowl and heat lamp bulb in the chicken coop.  I put out a heated bowl for the barn cats as well, but it doesn't seem to be working.  I wish I had known that yesterday as I was in a place where I could have bought a replacement.  In 2 days, we are supposed to be back into the 50's.  The cold and snow do seem to have helped Grover with  his allergies.  His scratching has lessened quite a bit this week.  Finally.  

And that's about it.  I have finished some Christmas knitting, but can't post it yet and both my looms are sitting empty.  I'll get back to it soon.  I have plans, but just need to wait for time to do things.