Archive for February, 2009

More Snow Coming…

February 22, 2009

Well, we got our 8 inches of snow cleaned up late Thursday afternoon, and now we are expecting another storm on Sunday. The weather channel on line says 8 inches; the national weather service says 12-18. Usually, the weather channel is a little more accurate, but who knows. It is supposed to start tomorrow a.m. and go through Monday a.m. That means probably a nice quiet  Sunday.

I finished the little kid sweater and hat I was working on last week, and have the four pieces of a size 6 or so aran sweater made, for which I used the leftover aran yarn I got in Ireland when we were there.  Looks like I’ll have just enough.  And if it is snowing tomorrow, maybe I’ll have time to put together the quilt I pinned last week.  That would be nice.

The grandkids were here last weekend and I messed up my knee stopping the sled in front of which Lizzie tripped and fell…stopped the sled alright, but also bent my leg at the knee.  It’s been slowly healing.  Today it’s aching a little, after two days of no aching at all…I suspect it’s the storm coming in.

And Lizzie turned a year old.  She celebrated by peeing on one of our small rugs (luckily a washable one), while her “children” were here, too busy playing with them to remember to tell us she needed to go outside.  Just like a little kid.

I finished Barack Obama’s “Dreams from my Father.”  I didn’t like it as much as “The Audacity of Hope.”  But it was interesting. What a varied and interesting family he has.  One of the questions he seems to address throughout the book is the question of community: in Hawaii growing up, in Chicago while working as a community organizer and in Kenya.  One of his observations was that along with technology, individuals all over the world, apparently, have moved around so much, and gotten so busy, that time for family and community ties gets harder and harder to find.  In agrarian cultures, the family all lives and works on the farm, and you help your neighbors.  Once you’re spread all over the place, with young people heading for cities looking for jobs, all that seems to go by the wayside.  I remember my grandparents being at our house every Thursday for dinner, and my grandfather being at our place on Saturdays, while Grandma was working, unless, of course, we were at their house for the weekend.  All our relatives didn’t live in the same town, but within half an hour of each other.  Today, our grands live 6-1/2 hours away and with school, they don’t get to come here often.  We can go down there for a quick overnight, but not much longer, given the animals who need care.  As far as village community goes, it used to be in Vermont, that town meetings happened during the day, for most people were farmers.  They gathered mid-morning, after chores, brought pot luck dinner, and stayed to visit with neighbors, while they talked out stuff and voted.  Mostly, today, people work during the day, so there’s an information session at night, sitting in rows, all facing front, and we vote at machines, or at least carels,  the next day.  Churches still seem to build community among their members, but there aren’t a lot of people going to churches any more.  Maybe school PTA’s and other parent groups do the same thing.  And interest groups.  My quilting group, my knitting and spinning groups…there is community there.  But they require travel, sometimes only 15 minutes, but we’re not all in the same town.

Just recently I was talking with a friend about this whole issue: how people will come to either of our houses for dinner if we invite them, but most of our friends just don’t have people in for dinner anymore.  They meet at restaurants.  The whole culture seems to be changing.

The son of our oldest friends in Vermont, who is a logger, had an accident yesterday: a tree fell on him.  He is in Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center with a smashed pelvis, two broken vertebrae, a broken arm in two places, smashed elbow, broken collarbone, broken ribs, torn spleen…and feeling pretty down right about now.  So, if you are the praying type, or the sending good thoughts type, please pray for  or send to Doug.  I’m not sure what the future holds for him; whether he’ll heal well enough to go back to work, or be on disability all his life…I do know that DHMC has some very fine doctors, so he’s in a good place.

Friends are reporting lambs and sending photos.  I’m getting a little impatient, but there’s still a month before any lambs come here. Before then, I have some research to do, some equipment to buy, some planning to do, relative to the goatie girls and milking.  Guess I’d better get to it.


Things are looking up…

February 11, 2009

Twenty years ago, when Meryl Streep was 39, her career was OVER: she was too old to play leading ladies. Fifty or even sixty year old men wanted or got 30 year old leading ladies. But not anymore. Just out of curiosity, I looked up the bios on all six leads in “Mamma Mia”, and it seems the three women (Meryl, Julie Walters, and Christine Baranski) are older than the three leading men (Pierce Brosnan, Coliin Firth, Stellan Skorgaard).  AND, the romantic lead for Christine is a twenty year old, hot looking young black guy who is absolutely adorable!  Now that may be a bit much (the age difference…) but hey, I can probably find movies where there is a late 50’s male paired with a 20’s female!  No one seemed to blink an eye at that.   Anyway, in addition to this role, Meryl is also winning awards for her very different, very serious role as a nun in the movie, “Doubt”…so I guess her career wasn’t over after all…You go, girl!

Phil saw his shadow, I’m told…

February 4, 2009

Big surprise! We’re gonna’ have another six weeks of winter…Actually, ONLY six more weeks of winter sounds pretty good to me. I don’t think Puxatawney Phil has much relevance up here. I’ve been plugging away at quilts and knitting, slowly making progress. I’ve gotten four quilts stuffed, tied, and bound (small ones) with one more small one to go.  And I still haven’t gotten my log cabin blocks laid out and pinned so I can sew those.  I’m working on a “Cozy Cabin” pattern quilt, the result of a class two weeks ago at Country Treasures, in Chester.  I’m hoping to have all these quilts done by Feb. 14th, when I have another class.  And I’ve been using the leftover yarn from my St. Patrick’s Day sweater from last year to make a little baby sweater.  So, little by little, the stash is getting used up.  Only 6 weeks to go until shearing, however, and there’s still some fiber in the basement to spin, so I have to get busy on that or give it away by 3/15, in keeping with my rule about holding over fleece from one year to the next.

The sheep are starting to fatten up some, looking pregnant…at least some of them. I’m still wondering if one of the rams I got new last year actually bred anyone.   He seemed monumentally uninterested at the time.  And several of the girls are just not looking all that pregnant. On the other hand, most of the ones in with him were yearlings, first timers, and so they don’t spread quite the way the older ones do, and normally only have singles, ditto.  Time will tell.  It’s always fun at shearing, when they are upended, to see if any remain unbred. I wouldn’t be all that disappointed to only have 7 of them bred, instead of a dozen, plus the two coopworths.

Lizzie continues to become civilized.  She’s almost a year old now (Valentine’s Day) and comes when called, if slowly and only with coaxing, sits and lies down  (if sometimes she gets the two confused), and in general, is much better behaved than she was two months ago.  I can see some light at the end of this behaviour training tunnel.  She continues to be a very sweet little dog.

Friends all over the country are starting to report lambs, and send photos.  This is the time I start to get itchy, but with the weather so cold, I’m not all that impatient. I keep thinking that if I were lambing now, I’d be out in single digit and below zero type weather, and that cools my impatience pretty quickly.  All in good time…all in good time.