Spinning at the NC State Fair; Becky’s stroke :-(

Oct. 25, 2010   Our local Southern States just got a load of fantastic 2nd cut alfalfa hay, and we have a load of it in the barn, thanks to loaning our trailer to a friend, and asking, in exchange, for him to help us unload it and move it to the barn–then he took the trailer for the day.  The sheep are very pleased with this improvement in their menu!

While the guys toted hay bales, Jan and I put coats on the sheep. Since we now have alfalfa again, they’ll be covered with it. Thank goodness the coats were in OK condition, so I didn’t need to mend them. I have a couple more to mend, and may make a couple new ones. With the chopped alfalfa they had no way to pick it up and sift it all over each other… but they didn’t like it much, either–now they’ll have good hay again– from Ohio. We’ll need to make 3 more trips to get enough for the winter. Since it’s been dry, best stock up while it’s available… We won’t need as much as last year, but I don’t want to run out and get poor hay if we need to buy it in March.

We had a workshop here on a Fri.-Sat. for a change, by popular request, and it worked out fine. Now there are 2 more spinners “out there.”

We visited Cedar Creek Battlefield in VA to watch the reenactment of the battle, as well as to visit my daughter and son-in-law who were participating. Fun weekend, but very cold and windy. I’m glad I wasn’t sleeping in a tent like they were! I enjoyed knitting with the women sitting in a circle near the wood fire.

I planted my Swiss chard finally–hope it stays warm for a couple more weeks so it sprouts. It’s supposed to be warm this winter, comparatively speaking, so I’ll just throw a sheet over the fence that surrounds the garden at night, and pull it back in the sunny day time, so the ground can warm up a bit, then maybe not get quite as cold at night.  We’ll see. This is very late to plant… we need to put rye grass seed in the field and yard about now, too. And I need to find some pansies to plant in my pots on the deck!

Took all my abundant bundles of wool/mohair/alpaca from top 3 shelves in bedroom and the abundant space under the carding table out to deck for a day of sunshine and fresh air. Not a sign of a moth, thank goodness, I sorted them into fewer larger bags by color.

Here’s  a picture from yesterday on the Wool Sheep competition day at the NC State Fair. It was a work day for Dirk (wireless is available), so he took a rare break to get me something to eat. Mostly we were there as an unusual couple, one from this century, one from a previous one! I had a full pillow case of green fleece to spin, carded by children at the Jordan Lake Heritage Festival about 3 weeks ago. That’s now morphed into a big ball of yarn, and tomorrow I’ll have children wanting to get into the wool, carding red fleece for me. Children want to spin on the wheel, which really isn’t practical, but they can work off some energy carding fiber, and they enjoy watching the lumpy washed wool turn into a cloud of fluff!

Becky, our 13 yr. old Australian Sheperd, is getting around a little better today, and her eyes are moving less in the sideways tremor of nystagmus. She had a small stroke early Saturday morning before we left for the fair. She can get up and walk if I roll her over on her stomach, so she can gain purchase with her back legs, and tonite walked out of the living room, down the deck ramp to the yard, and came back up to the deck, where she was looking for the possum, which was perched on the deck rail with his head away from us, in the rosebush. I was right beside him before I saw the large ball of gray fluff half-concealed in the rose canes! I don’t know whether the possum, Becky or me was more startled! Becky did an immediate U-turn and came right inside the house! Usually she barks up a storm, but she’s never not located him before when he was out there. Her vision isn’t quite right yet, but is improving each day. She’s eating, but not much enthusiasm with it (dizziness makes nausea…), and won’t take either the pumpkin or the beans, so her diet has abruptly changed. Maybe tomorrow… Liam, our part-Maine Coon cat, is her personal trainer, bumping her in the head, in the nose, shoving her head with his, like, “Get UP, Becky!”  Liam lies down beside Becky, keeping her company.

I spun today a half-day at the fair, like yesterday. I can’t DO anything for Becky, except be sure she has eaten and has water in several places, and is outside, so she can go potty when she needs to. We closed the driveway fence so no neighbor dog can get into the yard and harass her. Lucky for all of us, the weather’s lovely. If it were rainy, this would be more complicated. We need to lift her down the front steps to the grass–except tonite, for the first time, with rugs down the slippery deck ramp, she can make it all the way to the grass herself! A big improvement!

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