Thursday, December 29, 2016

Coming to a close

Winter is definitely here now.  We have about 16 inches of snow.  I'm tired of plowing already and we've barely begun!  The forecast says we are about to have another arctic blast next week.  Oh joy.  This winter is more like the winters of 20 or so years ago.  1983 was the year we moved to Montana, and that was a record setting winter!  Lows of -20 and -30 degrees, without wind chill.  Coming from the desert area of eastern Oregon, where snow was scarce , and cold was 10°, it was quite a shock to the system!   We survived, I learned how to cross country ski and got some snowshoes, and away I went. :-)

I am enjoying needle felting so much, I sold one of my spinning wheels!  Until I get my fiber studio built, I'm just going to have the one wheel, a Louet D75.  It's a good all around wheel that I can spin anything on, from a thread to a rope.

It's almost time to start the annual cashmere harvest.  The goats are full of fleece, which is good since we keep getting these cold spells.  I sold 6 more breeding does, three of which were bred, last week, so now I am down to 30 cashmere producing goats that I can use the fiber off of.  I have 45 goats all together. I've bred 6 does, so there will be a few babies come May.  Chores sure are easier with fewer goats!  Especially the fewer water buckets.

The goats are sure going to enjoy the lower pasture next year. Now that's it's actually a "pasture" instead of a forest, they will have lots more grass and brush to eat.

This is the second year in a row that I haven't seen a bear up here!  I didn't see one anywhere this year.  I didn't even see any tracks.  I admit, I didn't go off the property much, either.  But I didn't see any tracks or scat along the road, which is unusual. I didn't see our little herd of elk around at all.  I did see a few tracks along the road, though. I think it's time I got a horse again that I can just get on and go, and start exploring again.  All the trails I used to ride are probably overgrown, but a little saw will take care of that.

2017 is looking to be a good year, I hope it is for all of you, too!  

Thursday, December 1, 2016

It's December already!

This year has gone by so fast, it's almost unreal.  We have a couple of inches of snow on the ground that came yesterday and last night.  Winter might be here now.  A little later than it usually is, but that's okay, it enabled us to get more last minute things done.  It's supposed to be in the single digit temperatures by Wednesday, too.  Brrr!!  The goats aren't going to enjoy that too much.

The thinning project is now officially over.  It's been signed off on, all the slash piles are burned, and we can see through the forest and walk anywhere out in the lower pasture now.  It's actually more of a pasture than forest.  The goats are going to love it next year!  We have quite a bit of firewood for the next couple of years, at least, too.

Polly the horse went back to where she came from.  I am just not set up for a horse around here anymore.  She wasn't overly fond of the goats, the fencing isn't right, I didn't have an area just for her, and she didn't like being the only horse after spending 15 years as a member of a herd of them.  I think maybe next year I will build an area with horse friendly fencing, get a round pen built, a shelter just for a horse and do things right.  Then I will find a horse who is younger, one I can just get on and go that doesn't have any big issues, and that is an Arabian and a gelding.  Geldings are more even tempered usually.  Polly was a pretty girl, the right size, but she had too many issues for me to have the time to deal with properly.  And, I didn't have a good area for her to be kept in.  Everything happened rather suddenly, and I wasn't prepared for it.  I'll get everything set up properly next year and then see what happens.   I really want an arabian again.  They are my favorite breed of horse.  Either a black or bay one.

The Small Business Saturday deal didn't go very well.  There weren't all that many people downtown, and not very many came in the store I was in.  I only sold two needle felted animals and one little skein of mystery yarn I spun up that I didn't know what kind of fiber it was.  Some kind of wool, but I'm not sure what it was.  So, instead of writing a tiny check to the food bank, I donated 25 lbs of apples to them.   Those are a healthy, easy to eat item.

I think I'll start decorating the house for Christmas now.  We re-did things in the living room this summer, and now there isn't room for the tree!  This could be a problem!  I might have to re-do things again.  The joys of living in a tiny house.  At least I stay nice and warm in here.  Every time I go to someone's bigger house, I get cold.  I have to remember to dress in layers so I stay warm.

I was taking care of the neighbors animals while he went to visit family last weekend.  He has a sneaky little dog who is rather mean.  It's some kind of cattle dog, or heeler or something.  It bit me on the hand.  I was petting their other dog, a nice friendly husky, when this dog came over acting friendly, so I reached over to pet him and he bit down hard on my hand!  Thank heavens I had on a leather palmed glove!  Even with that on, he tore a nice jagged cut into the side of my palm, just below my little finger.  I was on my way to town, so I had to go back home, fix up a bandage to cover it, and then head back into town.  It bled quite a bit.  I was glad I only had a couple of quick stops to make.  I am so grateful I had the glove on, or I probably would've lost a good chunk of my hand.  Sneaky, evil dog.  That is the second time that thing has bit me.  The first time was when the neighbor came over here when they first moved here and brought the dog over.  The dang thing nipped me on my rear, on my property!  That was my first encounter with the dog.  It's a very sneaky, quick moving little jerk.  He's nipped at other people, too, so I'm not the only one, although I got the worst of it.  He needs to be neutered.  He also used to sneak up here and get into things, too, until I let Rocky out one day and he went after him and attacked him.  The dog hasn't been here since, at least not that I've seen.

Okay, enough of all the not good things happening around here!  It seems this time of year always has more stress and bad things happen for some reason.  Maybe the short daylight hours, the start of winter, or something.   There is always someone having a worse time of it, though.  I really feel for the people in the fire areas in Tennessee, that is just a terrible thing.  One doesn't think of fires in that region, it's usually more humid and damp.  I send prayers out to them.