Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why I Hate Rain and Other Stuff

Adobe. Yup, that's the soil here. So when it rains for a time it looks like the photo above. It sticks to your boots and if you aren't careful will pull the boots off your feet. It's very slippery also. And the poor horses have to live in this during the winter. A few miles from here it's sand. I envy the sand people. This muck does not dry up easily. So when there is a break in the rain we wish for two things; sun and wind. So if you get up in the morning and see fog you know you aren't getting either. But this morning I woke up to sun and the tiniest of breezes. The weather man said fog and rain. I'm certain he's in an office with a fine computer and no windows at all.

We have worked hard to raise one end of each stall so that the horses can have a dry spot in this weather. But small dry areas in this muck isn't really enough. They like to run and play. Sarah hates being cooped up in a stall so we rarely do it. Stormy will put up with being cooped up and Sugar down right demands being in her stall in bad weather. She doesn't like the mud. She also gets cold easier than the other two horses.

It's very difficult to keep their feet healthy when they stand in water all day for days on end. Darryl work very hard to fight fungus and foot disease all winter. It's impossible to keep stalls clean if they are in them all the time as well. They will muck up the dry part with the wet part. So we have to try to balance the whole mess. That's why I hate the rain. I don't care that we need the water. It can rain everywhere else for water and we will make do with a light weekly sprinkle that dries up nicely but waters our plants.

This chicken is a bully. The chickens don't lay eggs in the winter. I could force them by putting a light in their coops but I think they need the rest. I turned this one out for a while. She'll hang around and not go anywhere. She's just laying there basking in the sun. If the weather holds for a few days I'll put her back in and give her sister a bit of freedom for a while. In the winter they can't eat plants that aren't blooming, don't dig holes in flowerbeds and I don't have to hunt for the eggs because there aren't any. The only thing to worry about is if she decides to go over the back fence into the back yard. If she does that and the dogs are out she'll be dead in seconds. So far she's opting for sun and I think the barking dogs are keeping her out of the yard.

This is my drop spindle. Last month a friend of mine showed up at our Women's Circle meeting with a drop spindle and fiber I had given her. I had shown her how to use it and she'd forgotten and wanted a lesson. Well, she's not the only one that had forgotten how to use the drop spindle. So I promised her by the next meeting I will have honed my skills and will give her refresher lesson. Monday I figured out the next meeting is this Friday. Mostly because I got an email reminding me. So I dug out my drop spindle and am relearning a skill I barely knew in the first place. I am practicing about 45 minutes a night. You really notice the difference in fibers with a drop spindle. I'm sorting through stuff and looking for the easiest to spin so I can give her some easier fiber than she has now.

So I'm fooling around with this thing and the next thing Darryl had grabbed one of his homemade spindles and is giving it a whirl (pun intended). I don't think he could stand it that I'd have a fiber skill that he doesn't. When I pick my spindle up in the evening, the next thing I know, he's got his and is spinning away. It's not nearly as quick as a spinning wheel but it's a little bit addictive. I'm not sure why. Maybe because it's done with a more primitive tool so we feel just a bit more accomplished? I don't know. But I'm digging out a bit more fiber today to see what they do.

In the meantime I have just the one project on the needles. It's my shawl. I was worried about running out of yarn and now I think I might have a ball left over. It will be smaller than the one in the book, "Shawl Style". I think it will be plenty big for me. It's kinda folded over in the picture. D seems to think it's a wide scarf but it's not blocked and nearly as wide as the finished size in the book. We will see when it's all done. I'm loving this yarn but at $20 a ball I don't think I'll have the chance to buy it again. It was D's 60% off draw on his birthday that did it. I bought five balls but if I have a bit left over I'm seeing a matching hat of some sort. I'll just bet I can do an
entrelac hat if I tried. Entrelac is the method of knitting that basket weave effect.

I have ideas for other projects but haven't cast anything on yet. There's a market bag out of paper yarn (yes really, and washable too), one of those big circle scarves out of some leftover chunky and I'm thinking
mobius, a pair of socks with a flame pattern, out of sparkly yarn, and the Firebird socks that I have never done and are waiting for me.

I just want to mention that the template for this blog isn't my favorite. I haven't figured out how to change it. When I go to the help page they want me click on a tab I don't have. I haven't sat down to spend the time to figure the whole thing out. I apologize for not having the links up yet to other blogs you all like to read either. I got a request from my sister, C, for blog addresses now that we are all blogging again. I'll get on that soon. But not today.

By the way C, we love comments on our blogs. Just saying.


  1. I've never heard you use the phrase "just saying" before. It made me laugh. I can't wait to see your shawl when it's done.

  2. The shawl is turning out beautifully. I love the colors. It's one of those things that will put you in a good mood if you're down.

    Great choice!

    I agree about the comments. It helps to know people are reading what you take the time to write.

  3. The shawl is so pretty, I wish I could reach out and touch it, it looks very soft.

  4. FINALLY sat down to see what you are up to with this blog business. How fun, Elayne. You are one ambitious woman!

  5. I don't think people realize how much work it is to keep healthy happy horses. You guys do a great job.
    I love the bully chicken! LOL