Yes, it is definitely spring. The weather has been cold and rainy and grey one day and then warm and sunny the next. The grass has become almost blindingly green as it is only in springtime, and the little wildflowers are starting to pop out in the woods and along the roadsides. Daffodils are blooming and when it is warm, I can't seem to stay inside. That being said, I have planted a few things, some new blueberry bushes, which I tried to grow once before and they got lost in the weeds and eventually were accidentally weed-whacked. I won't allow that to happen this time. I have a lot more time to devote to gardening now that I have so many less animals to take care of. I planted a new rhubarb plant, which I had also planted before which suffered the same fate as the blueberries, though it did last a little longer. And I put in some more asparagus. I keep looking for little asparagus spears to starting poking up....
I am now a little more than half done with the syrup clean-up. All the bucket lids and the sap pan are cleaned, along with about 1/2 the buckets. This job has to be done outside and I can't avoid getting wet doing it, so I do require warm sunny weather which is why it takes so long. I decided that this year's clean up was not worth the small amount of syrup we produced. Let's hope for a better year next year.
One of our small population of barn cats, all of which are spayed/neutered, disappeared last fall. Timmy came here from the Humane Society as unadoptable because he was terrified of people. After 3 weeks in our barn he was the friendliest cat we had. But while I see that our barn cats are fed every day and get medical treatment when necessary, they are free to come and go as they please and sometimes they don't come home. Now it seems that Timmy's replacement has come along and this kitten looks very much like him. This little guy just showed up. We started catching fleeting glimpses of a half-grown cat around the place and then last week he started coming out of hiding in the barn when I would put the cat food out every morning. I really don't want another cat, but he/she is here and I will feed him/her as long as he/she is around. I would guess this cat is 4 to 5 months old and I have been able to pet him briefly as he eats. I sit and talk to him while he is eating and touch him just a little to get him used to me. He will need to be handled enough to be taken in to be spayed or neutered. My biggest fear is that this is a she not a he and will have kittens before I can tame her enough to get her in. I do not want to add to the population of unwanted cats. Wish me luck. Since I don't know if this is a Timmy or a Tammi, I have dubbed him TimTam for now.
This past Sunday morning as I sat at my computer drinking coffee around 8 am, there was a boom, similar to thunder, and the whole house shook briefly. It kind of freaked me out a little, but it was so quick, I didn't think too much about it until later, when I found out it was an earthquake, centered about 3 miles away. 3.0 magnitude, which I understand is fairly minor, for which I am grateful. Considering there are several deep-well fracking sites close to us right now, there is a good chance that that is the cause. Disturbing.
In other news, Grover and I are heading to Columbus on Friday for an agility trial. The trial is 3 days, but we will only be attending on Friday and Saturday. This is a new venue for us and I am really looking forward to it. We have only trialed 3 days so far in 2017, but we are entered in 2 more 3 day trials coming up, one this month and one in May and I am looking at several this summer. Wish us clean runs!
Sam is working on putting in the laminate flooring in my weaving studio. I think it will be fabulous, especially with my wonderful hand woven alpaca rug, which I finished this past week. I am so happy with how it turned out, and I have enough of the dyed yarns left to make another rug that size.
The finished rug is 6' X 43" . I can't wait to see how it looks in the studio!
I finished the lace shawl I was knitting. It came out gorgeous. The yarn is hand spun by me, but I did not do the dyeing. These are most definitely my colors, however and the shawl was fun to knit. The "wingspan" of this is about the same as my wingspan, so it is a very nice size. Now if only I had someplace to wear it! The yarn is wool and silk and bamboo with some sparkle and while they are hard to see, there are beads as well. Love it.
I have also finished weaving some hand/kitchen towels on my small loom. I wove 4 towels, but I got to keep one for me since it had a couple little mistakes in it. These 3 are for sale at the Monroe Arts Center. I was very pleased with how they turned out. They are about 18" X 28".
And I already have the next project on that small loom.
These will be napkins in 100% cotton in a pinwheel pattern. I plan to make 6 of them and I don't know if I will keep them or put them up for sale. I guess I will decide when they are finished.
I am also planning my next project on the big loom. I will be weaving valances for the 2 windows in my dining room. I have some lacy valances on them now that are really old and very discolored as I discovered when I took them down to measure last week. Washing did not really help. These windows are on either side of the main entry to our house and since I will be getting a brand new door soon (!) I think new window treatments are in order as well.