Saturday, November 22, 2008

Changes 21 and 22 & "Twilight"

In my last post I forgot to add some of my daily changes since Smitty's death, so will add them tonight.

Number 21. I don't get nearly as much knitting done as I used to. When ever we went anywhere in the car or truck, I would take along some knitting. Now that I have to do my own driving (I hate driving), I don't even think to grab some on the way out. I do have one friend, Kathy, who drives and knits at red lights.

Number 22. For some reason I now pay bills as they come in. I used to save them up until our Social Security and Retirement came in. I think that I'm afraid of not having enough money and wanting to be on top of finances.

☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

I had a wonderfully fun evening with Beth and my daughter, Terre. We went to the matinee to see Twilight from the book by Stephenie Meyer, and then out to dinner. I am currently reading the third book, Eclipse, in her series which is basically a vampire love saga. I think the film was very well done, close to the book and all that. The scenery was beautiful and I kept wondering if it was really filmed in the state of Washington. My old and dear friend Mac lives near Seattle and I thought of him throughout the film.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Another Use for Alpaca Fiber

It always wows me when I see the artistry and creativity that abounds in some folks. Kim bought some white Bellagio alpaca roving and sent me some pictures of what she does with roving. Pretty amazing, aren't they. If you want to see more of her things, you can take a look at her blog:
Kim lives in Brighton, Michigan which is about 1 1/2 hours from here. Maybe some day we will meet face to face.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Morning in the Barn or Ridding the World of Sh**

Hey, this might not be a pretty picture but it demands lots of minutes in my day. Yep, it's the manure spreader. I remember when we bought it new as a Christmas present to ourselves. The chain in the old one would break and someone would have to climb in to fix it. My city folk friends, the chain runs along the floor......
So what I do is push the wheel barrow up the wooden ramp. I'm not steady enough anymore to actually walk up it, so I walk along side, push it up, and tip the whole thing over. Shorter folks like Beth don't have arms long enough to do it. (But it's rather fun to watch them try)
I had this interesting comparison/metaphor this morning. I sort of dump all my sh**y feelings and thoughts into that spreader. Maybe we could do away with therapy if we could all dump poop everyday.
I'm sure you are asking yourself how many loads do I dump daily. Let's see, 4 horses @ 1 load each, and 16 alpacas for 2 more = 6 trips up the ramp every morning.
But you will see why it's all worth it in the next two pictures:

Here are two of the four horses greeting me. Each one has a distinctive morning nicker. I tell myself that it's because they are glad to see me, but know they want their morning hay.
On the left is Abbey, a now 30 year old Appendix Quarter Horse (that means that she has Thoroughbred in her). We bought her as a 2 year old for my middle daughter, Nikki. They did it all - Jumping, Dressage, Western, Trail (well, sort of, Abbey was a little flighty). She gives me the best nicker. Beyond Abbey is Ivan, my big guy. He is a Percheron/Thoroughbred cross and we specialized in Dressage and a little Jumping.

And down at the end of the aisle are the boys. The girls' pens are in the indoor arena just behind the gray guy, Gunny. The handsome Gold fellow is Polaris (Lars), our herd sire. The rest are "fiber boys" Gelded and fiber producers.
20. I depend so much on my two dogs for company. They are at the groomer's right now. Their last appointment was on the day of Smitty's funeral, so they have been here constantly since then. It was awful walking back in to an empty house this morning. Well, Riley Cat was here, but, frankly, he's not much company. How awful it must be for folks who have nothing live waiting for them at home.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Autumn Sunrise and Herd Blend Yarn

I wonder why Autumn sunrises are so intense? I took this at 7:30 this morning off my deck just before I headed to the barn to do chores. Wish I had sound because 3 of the 4 horses were whinneying and telling me to get my butte out there. It was raining a little but they don't seem to mind.
Remember I mentioned last week that I picked up some roving at Zeilinger's in Frankenmuth, Michigan? Some black and some white? This is the white. It's incredible! I used some white from the blankets of a few of my alpacas and purchased some from Katie, who is our shearer's daughter. It's all weighed, wrapped, and ready to go.
I have spun up a couple of skeins. It's very easy to spin and is coming out soft and beautiful. This particular skein is a slubby single plied with a normal single.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Blog Neglect after Great Weekend

What a really super weekend I had. Youngest granddaughter, Elizabeth, age 6 was here for an overnight. We played games, made yarn, petted alpacas, and went to dinner with Aunt Terre. The picture above is of her very first skein of yarn. EeeHaw! Maybe I'll have another fiber kid. My own girls aren't interested but both granddaughters are now. Elizabeth says that she wants to start knitting on her next visit.
When I took her home, I ran over to Frankenmuth to Zeilinger's to pick up some fiber that I had left. Oh, my! I have some really, really beautiful black and some white roving - about 5 pounds of each. Per usual they did a lovely job cleaning and processing it. Was Sunday afternoon and very quiet so I got to spend some time visiting with Kathy. She says the mill is processing lots of alpaca now. I have already spun a skein of the black and am working on the white now. It's incredibly easy to spin.

Remember how I mentioned that hauling buckets of water to the animals is tough in the winter because the hose freezes so I have to take it down? Look what Jim, Billie, and their grandson built for me. It's insulated and has a light bulb to keep the faucet from freezing. I am so fortunate to have friends who care....... Isn't it just the greatest?!?
17. Even though I have an electric blanket, I wear socks to bed - usually the ones that Chris made for me.
18. With a little help from Billie, I refilled the windshield wiper fluid. Heh, heh, was easy to find because it had a picture of a windshield on it. I bought the kind that won't freeze up.
19. I find that I'm more assertive with service people because I think they may take advantage of me. I seem to have more guts to stand up for myself now.