Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November Arrives

I promised a chicken photo.  Well here they are.  The somewhat lighter colored hen in the foreground is one of the 3 hens remaining from the 8 I got a little over 2 years ago.  It is nice that the new hens are a different color so I can tell them apart.  I started letting them out to free range a week ago and only had to herd them back into the yard and coop two nights and then they figured it out.  It has been a week now and everyone has returned home safely at night.  We have always lost one or two in the first few days in the past.  And now that I have put that in writing one will go missing for sure.  I am pretty sure one of the new hens has started to lay eggs as there was a small perfectly egg-shaped egg in one of the nest boxes both Monday and Tuesday.  We had only been getting 1 oddly shaped egg every couple of days from one of the older hens until that point.  We will be overwhelmed with eggs before too long.  Just in time for holiday baking!

In family news, my son and daughter-in-law learned the gender of their expected baby.  My grandchild will be a boy!  Everything is looking good, so now we just wait for the arrival in April.  And of course I can knit and weave for the little guy while I wait.

In my last post, Grover and I were preparing to attend an agility trial in just couple days, and we had a great weekend, Q-ing in 5 of our 8 runs and getting one more QQ toward our goal of 20.  We also were the only 20" dog to Q in standard premier on Friday, earning us a blue ribbon.  You can see that run here:Premier Q 
Be warned, there is a lot of barking.   And now 2 weeks later, we are once again looking forward to a weekend of agility at Incredipaws in Pataskala, Ohio, which is just east of Columbus.  This is also a 3 day trial.

The weekend of our last trial we had real Indian Summer weather.  It was in the upper 70's with sunshine all weekend.  Since then, we have had light frost several times, including yesterday morning.  A week ago Sam cleaned the chimney and the woodstove and it has been cool enough that we have kept it going pretty much ever since.  Chimney cleaning is one of Sam's least favorite jobs and it needs to be done at least twice a year, once before starting the stove in the fall and usually once again mid-winter.  It involves pulling the woodburner out from the chimney and taking the stove pipe apart.  The difficult part is putting it all back together.  But to avoid a chimney fire like we had in 2010, it needs to be done.  And while we have a gas furnace that burns natural gas from the wells here on the farm, we really prefer the radiant warmth of the woodstove in the living room.  

Rowdy is doing pretty well.  He is now 12 1/2 and he is dealing with both arthritis and Cushings and doesn't move around a lot, but I can tell he is happy cooler weather is here.  He loves the cold.  I was feeling bad about leaving him behind when Grover and I take our daily hikes, but now he gets a Kong stuffed with Zukes (yummy treats) and peanut butter when we leave and I think he forgives me.

Grover looks like he is sitting guard while I am in the alpaca barn in the morning feeding the 3 alpacas and our livestock guard dog, Star.  But in reality, he is waiting for a cat to make a critical error in judgement and come out of the barn on the other side of the creek.  The barn cats have his number, however, and will do no more than sit on the bottom of the half-open dutch door and taunt him.  Especially since they know that their area of the horse barn is my next stop to put out food.  They will exit the barn and go off and do whatever outside cats do during the day once Grover is back in the house.  The cats know the routine.

I did a little sock knitting in Socktober, which is now over, so I can move on to other things.  Although I need to start another sock to take along to the trial this weekend.  Socks are great for travel as they are small and do not require me to carry a pattern around.  It's all stored away in my head (unless I am doing fancy lacy/cable-y socks).  I also have a couple of sweaters I am working on, one of which I completed last February and decided I did not like, so I ripped it out back to the underarms and am re-knitting the body.  I would not have worn it the way it was and I love the color combination, so hopefully I can make something I will like better.

I also finished a couple of alpaca rugs

These are 25"  X  46"  and I am very pleased with them.  I will probably be listing them for sale in my Etsy shop  later today.

I also finally finished 2 scarves I wove with some of my alpaca.  There was very little finishing that needed to be done.  I'm not sure why I didn't do it sooner.

These are 100% alpaca from my farm and are each approximately 60" long and 8" wide.  

Otherwise, I have warp for a new to me weave structure on my big loom that I have yet to start weaving.  And on my small loom I started some holiday towels that were not going to be successful, so I am now just using different tie-ups and treadling patterns and making towels that are different than originally planned.   

Early morning light on the hilltop


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