Winter solstice

Winter solstice

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Weathering a hurricane

  Since I moved to West Virginia 20 years ago, I have seen lots of hurricanes blow through here. Usually they come up through the Gulf and by the time they make it all the way up here there are nothing but a rain storm. No big deal right? However Hurricane Sandy made a turn like no other and we got to experience one up close and personal. We were told to prepare for over a week, for power outages, strong winds, rain and snow. We had plenty of warning of what was ahead. Starting last Sunday it was like we have been living in a cloud. Dark, gloomy days with a cold rainy, mixed with snow, drizzle. We haven't seen the sun since last week. By Monday evening the wind started to pick up and when I did the chores that evening, you could sense that something was on it's way. I know my animals very well and they were restless and pacing. I had the hardest time getting the Pyrenees in the barn. They stood out in the pasture barking at the clouds and the wind and by now, a driving rain. The goats and sheep were more than happy to be in the barn. It took and hour and a half to round up every last animal. It sure did feel good to shut the barn door on that storm. As I did the evening milking, I could hear the wind howling and the rain beating on the barn. I was so thankful for a big, block barn that is large enough I can put everyone under one roof. When I was done and every last animal was bedded down and muching on hay, I shut the door soundly and headed for the house in the dark. Rain and leaves were pelting me all the way. When I got inside, the milk bucket was filled with leaves. We never lost power and were really spared compared to our neighbors just an hour from here. The mountains have feet of snow and no power. Still this morning as I write this, we continue to have this cold steady drizzle. It doesn't seem to want to leave. I will be glad to see the sun.
      On a lighter note, all this weather brings us inside, close to the warm hearth, where I have been spinning every chance I get. I learned a new technique of "thrumming" where you knit little pieces of warm fleece on the inside of your knitting, which makes a very warm and soft inside to mittens and slippers. I can't wait to try this. I am in the middle of plying a yarn, one strand of wool and one strand of mohair. This should be a very warm yarn and wear very well. I love pulling on a hat made from one of our sheep or goats' fiber. The yarn has has a name and a face to go with it. There just isn't anything like it.
     The does are winding down on milk production. Marshmallow has dried herself up and Arwin and April Mae are down to half of what they usually give me. Their bellies are getting round and they all have to be dried up by the end of this month, so they can have a break before freshening again at the end of January. I can't tell if Boaz has done his job with he ewes. He is so calm and so sweet. I hope he stays that way.  Well, better go and check on the pig. This is her first day out to run with the other animals. Hopefully she doesn't get in to too much trouble. Enjoy your first day of November!!