It seems the only thing better than laying in the snow is enjoying a frozen pony turd while doing so....
Yes, we continue to experience a very cold January. I know, January is always cold. But we have had numerous mornings this month where we have awakened to sub-zero temperatures. It has been a constant chore to keep pipes from freezing and keep the house warm. We still have our upstairs closed off as well as our big sliding glass door. Our kitchen drain has been frozen for 2 weeks now, which is inconvenient to say the least. We had a thaw a week ago during which we had torrential rains overnight, about 2" and then 2 days later, we were hit with a fairly major snowstorm. Thankfully the power stayed on. We got another 2 or 3 inches of snow this past Tuesday. We are supposed to go above freezing again for the weekend.
The animals are doing okay. The chickens have been shut in for a week again. That coop gets so gross when they are shut in for days at a time. Ick. I was able to scoop it out last week when we had a thaw, but now it needs to be done again.
Unfortunately, we lost our oldest alpaca, Bodhi over the weekend. He would have been 19 in April, so he had a good long life for an alpaca. He had lost so much weight and it was just his time. He arrived here on our farm when he was about a year and half old and he sired lots of crias in his day. He was probably one of the friendlier of the alpacas and I had a soft spot in my heart for him, but it was his time. RIP old friend.
Apples now has a whole barn pen to herself. I could put her in with the remaining 2 female alpacas, but they seem fine the way they are. Peg, the alpaca on the right in this photo is the last of my original alpacas. She will be 19 in June. So far, none of my alpacas have made it to 19. Truffel, the other one, is 13 or 14 I think. She has a rather unpleasant personality and likes to spit. Another reason to let Apples have her own space.
Grover and I attended a 2 day agility trial this past weekend (we got to our hotel the night before and just before the big storm started) near Columbus. We had a great weekend. We were entered in 3 runs per day and we Q'd in all but our very first run! So we earned QQ14 and QQ15 toward our goal of 20. Unfortunately, we have only 476 of the 750 speed points we also need, so once we get all our QQs, we will still need about 150 points, by my calculations. But we'll get there. I am so proud of my little rescue Aussie! Our next agility trial is Feb 10 & 11.
An upcoming event here on the farm is maple syrup season. Last year was very poor because we had a warm winter and it got warm very early and pretty much stayed warm. For good syrup production we need cold nights and days just above freezing. We usually tap trees around Valentine's Day, but if we get a warm snap earlier than that this year, Sam will likely go ahead and tap early. I had no syrup for sale this past year. Syrup season is fun, though by the time it is over I am happy to no longer spend all day feeding the fire under the evaporator.
I also have some travel coming up. There is a baby shower for our expected grandson in February. It is in Portland, Oregon and I have made plans to attend. I have to admit I do want to see my daughter-in-law with her baby on board. It will seem so much more real then and maybe I'll even get to feel the baby kick.
Next Friday our son Zac is arriving from California for a week long visit. I have to admit I bribed him to come by purchasing the airfare and also by getting a pony. It has been a year since we last saw him and I also admit to playing the Rowdy card again as well. We got Rowdy as a puppy the summer before Zac left for college and they do have a bond. Rowdy will be 13 in April and he has health issues, so I know Zac will be happy to spend time with the old dog again.
I have nothing new to post about on the fiber front. I have some secret projects working and the sweater I started in October or November. It should be finished in the next week or so. I have not really been able to do anything in my studio as we had to shut off the heat out there for a few days when our gas dipped extremely low, so that loom is empty. I am counting down the days until spring!