Another Week Closes

It was a glorious winter day, bright sunshine, no clouds, and temperatures that remind you that it is winter. We have some cold rain, maybe a real winter storm being threatened for mid week. As that forecast firms, plans to be ready for snow, ice, and potential power failure will be made. A couple of meals prepared that can be reheated on the wood stove, a bathtub filled with water for dogs and toilets, the big 5 gallon water jug we used when camping filled for cooking and drinking water, loads of wood brought in to the basement and garage for heat. These plans are usually in vain, but we did have an ice storm a number of years ago that took our power out for a week and those preparations were necessary.

We ventured in to town today to pick up our curbside grocery order and as usual, a few items not available and substitutions that were not acceptable offered, but not items that were vital.

The second fiber I was spinning for the month was finished today and more knitted on the square that I pulled off of the blanket when it had been knit as a strip.

I think that I will aim for a 24 breed blanket so that each month there will be an official breed and an unofficial. This month, the official breed was BFL, a very soft wool, the unofficial one is the gray Masham, a longwool that is drapey but to me not next to the skin soft.

Each day this week, there have been two Houdini hens, two of the Oliver eggers. Usually by the time I went out to try to lock them back up each day, it was either time to prep dinner or it was too dark to figure out where they were getting out. This morning before I let them out, I walked the perimeter of the run and discovered that they had tunneled out near the far end of the run. I large blocky rock was wedged in the hole and today they were foiled. They are finally providing enough eggs for the household each week.

So far it is just the Olive Eggers, the pinkish ones are the oddball Olive Egger that doesn’t lay Olive eggs. The lighter green ones are still fairly rare, but the dark Olive and pink ones are coming with regularity. The Welsumers and the reds aren’t back in production yet.

Today marked 4 weeks since I set up my Christmas hydroponic herb garden. Time to rinse the reservoir, refill and feed the young plants. They are all growing, not enough for cooking with yet, except the dill, but they are large enough to pinch off bits and taste them.

I think the dill is going to need a pruning, so a recipe that calls for it needs to be planned. My favorite recipe other than making dill pickles is to use dill in sauteed carrot coins.

To add to the household goods and car that have failed this week, the Epson Ecotank printer that was still printing black but not color decided tonight to not print black either. I have looked for repair around here, but there is no one that works on household printers. We still have the laser jet, but it isn’t networked, it has to be plugged in to the computer, prints only black, and doesn’t copy. I thought the Ecotank would save us money in the long run and I haven’t had to buy cartridges in two years, so that may have paid for the printer, but now it is a paperweight.

We have begun the process of researching cars, not something I wanted to have to take on at our ages, but necessary. Still no call on the vaccine for me, an email was received, asking for patience and letting me know that they were working through the current groups but focusing on 75 year old and up and essential workers, so I wait.

Another day on the farm

Yesterday too much time was spent in front of the television watching history and pagentry unfold. As I was preparing our dinner I took the kitchen scraps to the chickens and the one that wasn’t thriving had passed away in the run. Yesterday morning, she was tucked in a nesting box facing the wall with her tail toward the coop and that didn’t seem right. She was one of the 3 Welsumers that lay the dark brown eggs. That reduces my flock to 8. Perhaps in the spring when chick days arrive, I will buy a new flock of chicks so they will be laying by molt time next fall. The Olive eggers, at least two of them, have started laying again and I have gotten 10 eggs in the past week. I was going to go back to a pure flock of Buff Orpingtons, but having hens that lay most all year round is nice, even if it is only a few per week.

This morning, I woke to another morning of snow showers, lightly coating the ground and other surfaces, but by late morning it has stopped and what had fallen was gone. There are no more days of that type of weather predicted for a week or so.

It seems that the local Health Department is as disorganized as the national Covid task force was. About 9 days ago, DH registered for his first vaccine dose and received a call the very next day, getting his dose a week ago today. That was the day the state changed the guidelines that would have allowed me to get mine too, but they said they weren’t taking anyone under 75 unless they were first line essentials. I immediately that day registered for my first dose and still await a call. Today, he got another call to schedule his first dose, but has never been given a date for his second. The guy that called gave him a phone number, but of course it went to voicemail, and he told DH that they aren’t giving them to the group I am in yet, though the state is encouraging it. I think husband and wife if close in age should be on the same schedule, but who am I but a lowly citizen hoping for my turn.

I finished the hat I was knitting using the second half of my Christmas fiber and it is so soft and warm.

And I began spinning some gray longwool to be the next band on the blanket, but decided I did not like the log cabin idea and pulled out the teal band and reverted to the block idea, so I am reknitting on a block instead of the band and will continue by adding the gray longwool after I finish the teal.

Because the miter of the first two squares are not properly aligned, I am working off the edge of the gray square and will finish that mitered block next month and add to the Parrothead block in the opposite direction to make the miters line up correctly. This will result in two large squares offset by a block so I will have to figure out how to deal with that to make it look right in the end. I think the braid you see in the photo above will be next month’s spin on my spindle flock and I will pick another solid to extend off of the colorful block.

While typing this, we got a call that the Xterra that failed on us last week requires repairs that are greater than 3 or 4 car payments on a new car, so the mechanic is looking for someone who will buy it for parts and we will have to figure out the next step. And the dishwasher has self destructed at 15 years old. I guess we are all getting old and breaking down.

“The End of an Error”

I suspect that if you are reading this, you are of like mind, or at least tolerant of differing opinions. The title was seen on a social media platform this morning and I think it says it all.

It distresses me that 45 has caused such division in this country that the inauguration of the President will be before fields of flag instead of people, behind high fences with armed National Guardsmen as the only “spectators.” He is out of Washington, lacking the class to politely and civilly transfer the power as has been done throughout history. But he isn’t out of office for another 2 1/4 hours. He abdicated his power months ago and the VP has had to try to pick up the reins.

On 45’s way out, pardoning his cronies and those wealthy who might give him a boost. Issuing executive orders to undermine the new administration, lifting travel restrictions to countries hard hit by COVID. All attempts to make the transition more difficult.

The events of the last two nights have been class acts, the lighting of the mall and the 200,000 flags, the memorial to those who have died of COVID that was so grossly mismanaged by 45 and his administration and the lighting of 400,000 lights along the reflecting pool in their memory.

I hope that Biden’s administration doesn’t discover too many disasters. I hope they will meet with a smooth transition, but am already seeing some of the same players in Congress who tried to block the certification of the Electoral College, trying to block Cabinet member certification. Players who obviously don’t take their oath to uphold the Constitution seriously, instead playing to their own political agenda.

The last 4 years have made me tired and stressed. I hope the next 4 are less so. I have lived through a lot of historical events, some to cheer for, some to stress over, some to mourn, but never did I think I would live through a President impeached twice in one term that has tried to removed rights of the citizens, block immigration, and tear our country apart.