Yesterday it was bitter cold--at least I thought so. Doing the chores was painful! I had mittens on, but kept having to take them off to open bolt and lobster claw latches. The metal was bone chilling. Visions of being frozen to something kept flashing through my mind--you know, like the kid in Christmas Story who froze his tongue to the lamp post. Fortunately, for me, my hands were dry and cold to start with. I did reach out and touch some of the geese to see what they felt like--they were kind of tinkling like a chandelier. Touching them explained why. They felt like blocks of ice. About half of them have been spending the nights in the heated chicken house, but the others are outside. They and the ducks seem to suffer from cold feet. They will walk or fly about 10 feet, then stop with their bellies on the snow and tuck their feet into their feathers. I don't really see how, since they felt like solid ice. Unfortunately for them, they have web feet and can't sit on the heated perch like the chickens and guineas do. One of the turkey hens has moved into the feed shed where she is making a mess of a shelf and a chicken has been trying to share the cats heated pad. After doing the chores I went up on the deck to do some shoveling. Rory came with me. When I was done, he stood there looking cold and in the glass slider. Oh, what a show he put on--how cold his feet were and oh, he needed in. I was worried about frost bite on his feet and almost let him go in upstairs (our deck is on the second floor) when I noticed he was looking at something on the other side of the door--a bowl full of cat food. The little trickster was trying to weasel his way into the upstairs so he could eat the cats' food. We did let him in, but downstairs where his things and food are! He is HUNGRY all the time and growing beautifully. He weighs a little over 52 pounds, now! The warm weather this weekend will be appreciated by all!
Good News gets to go first--I stuck to my 2017 New Year's Resolution and finished one or two UFOs each month. The months I finished afghans, I only did one project-- otherwise, I did two. There are so many unfinished objects out of the unfinished pile and into the finished that I am quite proud of myself. In addition, I made a project with each one of my Louet "needle of the month club" needles. That project was quite a challenge, because I never new what color the needle was going to be and I had to pick out yarn that didn't conflict with the needle. One of the first months I used exactly the same color of yarn as the needle and nearly went crazy. Lesson: needles and yarn should not be the same color! Other completed objects that didn't count in the New Years Resolution tally were sweaters for Mack and Wayne, each of whom got an alpaca sweater made with fiber from the boys--Machu and Piichu. The bad news is that I still have a huge backlog and I am itching to be out of good behavior. I counted this morning and I have 6 sweaters that need finishing, one afghan and lots of scarves, socks, etc. I am ready to start some new things. I picked out yarn for two new sweaters (bought it, too, and I have to make a sweater or two more out of the alpaca yarn from the boys) and the last couple of weeks I picked out the yarn and patterns for 5 new shawls. Three are kits and the others are from lovely new yarn--duo from Lorna's Laces. It is so lovely--one yarn is a hand dye with a number of colors and the duo match is a scattershot with the same colors on white. There are some lovely patterns which require two colors and these match so well--well I can hardly wait to get started. The pictures below are detail of one of the alpaca sweaters with home grown yarn and the other is the December UFO. Happy New Year to all of you and lets have fun with lots of knitting and sewing. Let those creative juices flow! P.S. If you see any mistakes, please DON'T let me know--it will be shipped off directly anyway!
OOOPS! I gave it away! Ultra violet is Pantone's 2018 color of the year. Well, I like it! It is a lovely color. One can look at it and wonder--Is it blue? Is it purple? After wandering around the store, four yarns stood out as the proper color. Next, a picture so you can see the color for yourselves. Unfortunately, my camera decided in favor of blue--you couldn't even see a hint of purple. Two days later and we have a picture (taken with Mack's good camera) with the color corrected.
According to Pantone the color ultra violet conjures up the mysteries of the universe with both mystical and spiritual qualities. What lies ahead? It is a color that causes us to reach out to new possibilities just as the night sky inspires us.
I don't know about all that, but I do know I have had some experiences with the color purple--particularly ultra violet. It is the color worn by kings and in many cultures, only kings or royalty may wear it. Years ago I was at a conference in Alaska in a beautiful ultra violet suit, when to my horror the Native Alaskan speaker started talking about the inappropriateness and lack of cultural awareness some people showed when they wore ultra violet since it was a color reserved for chiefs. I looked around and was the only person in any sort of purple. How embarrassing! It didn't break me, I still love the color.
Yes, I am still on track finishing objects (FO) each month. The sweater is November's FO! Unfortunately, there are still enough unfinished objects (UFO) that I may have to continue my 2017 New Year's Resolutioninto 2018. Boo hoo, boo hoo, it is more fun to start new things. Maybe I'll do both.
The other day we were taking our dogs for a walk and it was too windy to go into the woods, so we were taking a short walk over the dam of the pond. We stopped and were looking around at how beautiful everything was. The dogs were sniffing the air and enjoying the fall smells. Libby was running wildly as she always does when our geese are getting ready to fly to the pond. All of a sudden they made the flying honk--HONK, honk, HONK, honk and they were on their way. And they were headed right at us! Usually they land in the pond, but this time they were headed to the dam. 30 birds weighing up to 20 pounds each were heading right for us! Watch out, I said, here they come! Having had my geese fly into my twice I didn't wait to see what would happen. I dropped as low as I could, put my arms over my head, and tucked my chin into my chest. Mack didn't respond and all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I saw him drop like a stone while a white gander ricocheted off and over the dam of the pond. Scared to death I ran over to Mack. He was O.K., but seeing stars with the wind knocked out of him. The gander staggered around for a few minutes and then they were both up and about. However, Mack has a black ear. I thought I had a picture of them flying, but can't find it. Mack probably won't be too keen on taking one for me.
This morning there was another pile of white feathers out by the duck pen. Another duck was beheaded and partially sucked through the pen. This makes three in two weeks---and they are in a predator proof pen, or so we thought. It has an impenetrable floor with chain link fence around it. There is a little duck house inside. We have more chain link fence and a roof on the top. Down next to the bottom we have hardware cloth or vinyl siding. Last night the duck was attacked through the gap between the side of the pen and the door. The inch crack was obviously wide enough for something to get its paw through. It looks as though there are two attackers. One does something to get the ducks to run around and the other catches its prey when a duck comes too close to the side. Mack is home right now putting more wire and siding on the pen. We plan to have the wire and siding overlap the space between the door and the pen. It does make it a little hard to open and shut the door, but we will have to deal with it. We like our birds and we don't like to see them wiped out in such a horrible way. Any idea what could be doing this? We thought coyotes or bobcats. We have four turkeys in a similar pen and are now really worried about them.
Well October is gone and I am still on track completing my unfinished objects. Here are the two for October. The top picture is a winter project, the bottom a summer one. I guess I won't be wearing it until next year.
This lovely picture of a block on a bolt of fabric reminds me of home. We have the big red barn across the street (and some distance away), and the Amish buggies coming down the road. Fortunately, our road is two lanes (barely) and paved. We do have the cows and buggies since there is a small Amish community. There are lots of horses--work horses, carriage horses, riding horses and mules. Our neighbors across the street rescue horses and mules so there is always a strange mix over there. The foliage is lovely and should be for another day or so! This block, one of six, represents an idyllic country/farm life. We are extremely lucky to live in a neighborhood that runs from an Amish community to a very modern apple orchard and about everything in between.
On Monday this was my view from our sun room. When I first saw this creature hanging from the screen my immediate reaction was--oh, no a rat! But as you can see it has a hairy tail. It turned out to be a chipmunk. I was going to don my heavy leather gloves and remove it to the garden, but chickened out because I know chipmunks bite. Surely, it will go away! Sure enough a couple of hours later, it was gone. I breathed a sigh of relief. Later that evening there was a commotion out in the sunroom and the cats were all on alert. You won't believe it, but the chipmunk was in the house and in the mouth of one of the cats. Mack rescued the poor thing (it was still very much alive) and released it in the garden. Probably a mistake, but at least he didn't have to carry it far, and it was biting through the glove. How on earth did it get in? Why would a chipmunk try to get in the house when it is 80 degrees outside? Maybe it knows something about the winter to come? Who knows, but I hope it is doing O.K..