Posted on

I am a productive beast. In other news, winter is coming.

Yesterday Daniel and I met up with Christine and a couple other people at the Fall Fiber Festival at Montpelier, the former home of James Madison (the founding father and former president). We got to watch Border Collies move sheep around, and shop fiber! Daniel, who toils not with fiber neither does he spin, was along to make sure I did not come home with an angora bunny. I want one so badly. Apparently you do not have to comb the fiber off them, but can instead just shear them every three months. Since the fiber goes for $9/oz, roughly, it is extremely economical to have your own bunny if you want angora fiber. But, y’know, I do not need more critters, or at least not a bunny who requires keeping clean and some minimal grooming to avoid mats.

Anyway, I managed to get out of there with merely eight ounces of Blueface Leicester wool top for spinning, in mixed white and brown which should produce a lovely yarn in a manly color that I could conceivably use to knit something for my beloved if I were the kind of person who ever finished a knitting project. But given that I had just acquired eight ounces of alpaca fiber (also in mixed browns and greys) the week before at the state fair, bringing me to a total of one pound of spinning fiber in the last week, I thought I’d better actually get back to spinning, with the end result that I finished two bobbins of purply stuf that Mom likes and plied them for my first ever two-strand plied yarn. Go me! It’s currently drying in the bathroom along with a skein of single-spun white wool which I will dye at some point.

Fall is approaching rapidly. Jeremiah Swakhammer is still awake and moving around, but we shoveled a lot more leaves into his pen to give him a nice insulating blanket for when he decides to go down for the winter. The possums and the raccoon or raccoons (it’s hard to tell if we have more than one coon) are snarfing down dry food in massive quantities on a nightly basis. Romeo and the Patriarch, two of the local toms, have been spotted, and Dreadnought continues to come back. The girls are still the only ones we see in person; Briar Rose has yet to bring us any kittens although the Havahart trap is standing ready.

We’ve decided on a general area for next year’s garden and picked out a chicken coop that we just need to order, Daniel has started a compost pile, and we’re working towards readiness for spring planting and spring chickens. Wood has been split and stacked for winter, the days are noticeably shorter and cooler now.

There will be pictures of all this busy-ness at some point I’m sure, but for the moment I’m too lazy to even do lazyblogging. Which is pretty damn lazy.

Posted on

Saturday Morning Post

Noodlehead came up alone last night, so I didn’t get to tell Sister that my friend jettcat has christened her Emmaline. I just really like the way “Noodlehead and Emmaline” sounds, because I am easily amused like that. I am slightly worried for Emmaline, who is so very thin, but usually once they figure out that coming up when I’m home guarantees a can of wet food, they start doing it more often. Maybe I’ll see her this weekend to cement the “Let me take your picture and I’ll give you gooshyfood” bargain.

Speaking of coming up alone, and also pictures, I finally got a (very bad) picture of Romeo last night. He’s a big grey and white tom who I have previously only seen in the company of young lady kitties. He has squired a couple up to the feeding station on my porch, including Stinky, who I then snagged and sent off to Illinois where she is safe from his blandishments. At any rate, voila Romeo, who is looking a little tense because I was right at the edge of his flight distance:
A large grey and white tomcat (you can tell by the enormous jowls) lies on the ground but is tensed to flee as he stares at the camera.  We'll just pretend this picture is not blurry.

I found free plans yesterday for wooden cat shelters over at Alley Cat Allies, which is an incredibly useful site although they are more geared toward the city audience than rural feral cat feeders like me. Their shelters are made from one sheet of plywood, some paint, and some roofing shingles, and are larger than the Feral Villa, plus cheaper since I just have to buy the supplies and build them, not buy plans or villas and then also pay for shipping, which didn’t worry me that much since I have a contact with the shipping containers from, and they have great prices. This means I can set a much lower fundraising goal, so yay!

In Dog News, after 5 years of trying, Beowulf has finally learned an indoor voice. I know this because he told me about a very nice-looking akita puppy and her person who were walking by, without doing his normal roar of rage and thunderous barking routine. Well, actually he did them, expelling all the air as he would for his normal protecting-the-territory noises, but without engaging his vocal cords. At first I thought he was trying to cough up a lung. When I realized what he was doing, I got him cheese and told him Good Dog.

This morning I’m probably going down to Spotsy for the big commercial re-enactment as the 54th Volunteer Massachusetts Infantry will be there and I’ve been stalking them for two years now. Previously they’ve waited until I was traveling for work or out of the country to attend events, so I’m pleased that this time I’m around.