Monday, March 30, 2009

Opposite Day/Week/Month

It’s now the 30th day of March, and April is just around the corner. We’ve passed the Vernal Equinox and spring is officially here. We’ve had just enough days of sunshine and warmish (50s - hey, it’s the Pacific Northwest - that’s warm for here) weather that I’ve said in the last few weeks that it’s time to get out the short-sleeved T-shirts & put away the long-sleeved ones. (Yes, I am a slave to fashion.)

I have been thinking of summertime knits. . . maybe a 3/4-sleeved cardigan in cotton, with some bright color like Provence’s Be-Bop Rhubarb variegated red. Or perhaps even getting out the crochet hook again to do a Luna Lovegood short-sleeved number that would be a great topper over. . . what? Well, I’ll resolve that later. And it seems to me that *every time* I entertain such thoughts, we have snowflakes and/or I awaken to temperatures in the 20s again. So I’m taking a different tack.

From now until May 1 (I’ve chosen that as an arbitrary day - surely it won’t snow in May) I’m going to knit as if it were November, and blizzards are just around the corner. I am going to knit socks - warm boot socks out of heavy yarn that will keep my toesies toasty on the way to the barn as I tromp through icy puddles. And if I can find the thrummed mittens that I started on St. Distaff’s Day, I’ll work on those, too. And the sweater under construction will be wool (although a springy green color that will wear well if the weather were ever to change).

I will cook soups. Hot, hearty beef barley, split pea with ham and carrots & parsnips, and maybe even a beef stew. No chilled green salads for dinner, and maybe not even for lunch. It’s going to be spicy chili & cornbread. Or maybe posole.

As for the sheep, most are in full fleece right now, and will need shearing whenever the weather turns warm. We sheared four of the ten grown-ups, while under the delusion that spring had arrived. We just ordered new coats for them. The little ones are still in polar fleece & it’s a challenge to keep up as they grow into larger sizes, but their fleece is growing out and they are pretty comfortable even without. So there are a couple of naked sheep out there right now. Fortunately they are able to take shelter.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Busy Days

I suppose I deserve flogging for letting the blog go so long without a post. I have truly had my hands full with a barn full of lambies & their moms. At this point, I'm really behind with pedicures, which need to be done at regular intervals to keep the sheeple comfortable. But that's on tomorrow's agenda.

Weather here has been abysmal. We got away for a week long vacation in Arizona, where it was in the 70s. We enjoyed our visit with Doug's folks, and our trip to the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park where we visited with giraffes, rhinos & birds. We were very happy that our daughter got to come with us on this trip.

The morning after we returned, we awoke to two inches of snow on the ground, and temps in the 20s. Snow here, and especially with temps below freezing for a long time, means that it's time to drag the hose (full of ice) into the house & place in the bathtub to thaw. Then I drag it back out to the barn & loop it over the pillars, so that after I'm done watering the animals, I can easily drain the water out & keep the hose from freezing solid again. The spigot in the barn doesn't freeze - just the hoses. This sure beats dragging buckets of water to the trough.

I got some serious knitting done on our vacation. Finished the Tina Shawl, a Fiddlesticks pattern. I've drug this project around for about two years now and I'm very glad to have it finished. Woohoooo! I am planning to enter it in the Lynden Fair this year. Other than the shawl, I've been test knitting a sock pattern for a friend. This pattern uses Cat Bordhi's method of toe-up socks, and it's given my brain a bit of a cramp, but I think I'm on the right track. Pictures will follow when I finish.