Saturday with the Grands

After my post yesterday, the grands and I set out to finish the pruning task. As soon as we got out there and started on the big peach, we spotted this:

This was the biggest Eastern mole I have ever seen and it has been tearing up the yard. It was in the grass and I had leather gloves on, so I picked it up to remove it away from the yard, away from the chickens and the neighbor cat. It was removed to the woods, but will surely return. Did you know that moles bite. Fortunately, not hard enough to get through leather gloves.

We managed to get a good portion of the pruning done, except one very over grown apple tree that has a badly damaged secondary trunk. The top was broken out and there was older damage farther down that trunk. It had two thumb thick branches that bent down and were rubbing the damaged trunk. Tall grandson, on a step stool was able to remove the broken top and cut off one of the bent branches. We finally decided that the trunk needed to be cut below the damaged areas and worked on it, but it was getting to be dinner prep time and our fingers were frozen. We quit for the day, but will have to return to finish removing the damaged wood. The burn barrel is full and there is a huge pile of branches to be removed away from the orchard.

This is just a portion of what was cut. This was a task that was years past due. More will have to be pruned next year to bring these trees back to good condition, but the inside of each crown is opened up to allow more airflow and light. No more crossed branches, no more water shoots. Guidance says not remove too much in one year. Hopefully, once they are in healthy condition again, it will become an easier annual task. There is still a dead peach tree to remove, it has been dead for several years and is small, but has never been taken down.

While we were out and about, we saw the local Maine Coon cat who decided that he could tackle a full grown free ranging chicken. The chicken is slightly injured, it looks like a puncture wound near her breast, the cat is ok according to his owner. Unfortunately, the injured Buff Orpington is the one hen who won’t let me anywhere near her to pick her up and try to assess the damage. It occurred to me to get her from the coop last night after dark, but forgot. This morning, as usual, she wouldn’t come out of the coop with me in the run. There are a few bloodied feathers on the lower left side of her breast but above her thigh. She is moving with no impairment. Monitoring her over the next few days is in order and if necessary, just close her in the coop after the rest have departed and try to catch her in the enclosed space to see the damage. They are free ranging again today since the run cover failed, the run doesn’t keep them in and they need to be able to get in and out of the gate. If one flies over the fence they are too stupid to realize they can fly back in.

Sunday morning hot blueberry made from scratch muffins have been consumed by hungry kiddos. A plan to entertain them is in order for the day. Tonight we return to their house so I can get them off to school tomorrow and help with evening schedule until their Mom gets back around bedtime. I love having this opportunity with these kids.

Life’s Joys amidst stress

The state of the world right now is at the least stressful as we watch a world bully attack civilians without regard to anyone but his own ego. You can’t ignore what is going on, can’t escape the barrage of disconcerting news.

All I can do is focus on more positive things. This weekend, we are enjoying two of our grandkids, spending the weekend with us so their Mom can have a weekend away with friends. They are 10 and 15 and both really great kiddos. We did the usual Saturday morning breakfast out, egg delivery, then took them by their house to pick up a couple of missed items, then off to do a couple of errands. After that, with no complaint, they shared our walk, a 2.7ish miles. This evening, we will prepare dinner together, using it to help granddaughter study fractions as she has a test on them on Tuesday, then we will take them out for ice cream, even though it is the middle of winter and cold out, but a request that was made in front of their Mom last night.

Also a distraction has been knitting bulky yarn hats this week. So far, 3 have been made and added to the shop.

And of course, spinning with my spindles. As I am going to be offering a class at the local rec center in spindle spinning this spring, I ordered a basic top whorl spindle to use for demo purposes. It came with a second smaller one that I can make available to a grandchild or to someone in the class that comes without one.

I need spring time so I can get out in the garden. The seed came today. The granddaughter that is here is the one I help with her garden, so I think we will spend some time working on her garden plan this weekend as well.

Thank goodness for the joy of having family.

Letting Go

Tuesday morning in the drizzling rain, the recliner was unloaded at the dump. It was much easier to unload than to load, but it is gone and so is all the other trash we picked up while hoisting it up the bank and along the road.

The German Shepherd again has an infection and was due for heartworm test, Lyme test, and two vaccines. After the dump run, we loaded her into the car and headed to town for her appointment with the vet. Because we were early, she took our walk with us, the rain had quit. We only did 2 miles, but other than a couple startles, she did great. It has been a long time since we tried walking her on a leash in public, but she stayed right by my side for the most part and kept a slack leash, just like she was trained to do when she was young. We only passed one other dog and that pup didn’t seem interested in meeting, but she didn’t over react to it either. Her biggest fears are bikes and other wheeled riders, like skates, skateboards, or scooters, but there weren’t any out in the damp day.

Her vet visit was long and pricey and she came home with 21 days worth of antibiotics and a very expensive anaerobic culture sent to the Vet school for analysis. She has had an on again/off again infection all of her life. All we have been able to do in the past is put her on antibiotics until it calms down and wait for it to flare up again. Like the big guy, she is an old dog now, she will be 10 next month.

I finished knitting another hat, but can’t find the pom pom maker. This one is a mill spun yarn doubled to make another bulky hat. I’m really trying to use up the bits of left over yarns that occupy space around here. The bulky hats are quick and can be sold inexpensively. Another is on the needles, half hand spun and half mill spun yarn.

The caramel colored one is all mill spun superwash. The black and pink is a mix. The black is 75% acrylic/25% wool mill spun, the pink which really is more red is a variegated reds to black and is all handspun wool of unknown origin. Since I can’t find the pom pom maker and don’t want to cut them out of cardboard, I will attempt to purchase a new one at one of the local arts and crafts stores today, unless the old one miraculously reappears.

So you say, where did the title come from today? Well, in part because I am using up little bits of yarn to sell items cheaply, clearing out, and in part because I have reached a point in my life where things I don’t use or don’t love, don’t need to stay in the house to cause clutter. This winter has been a destash winter, many items sold or donated to clear out “stuff.” It is by no means done, but a work in progress, boxes of clothing, household items that just occupy space. Today, a spindle. A tiny little beauty of a spindle, gorgeous wood, made by my favorite spindle maker, but it just sits. It is too small for me to use comfortably and I hate for it to just sit unused. Jenkins spindles sell as soon as you list them or offer them to someone seeking one and that is the case here. It is packed up and labelled to be dropped off in town when we brave the current monsoons to go get supplies.

We went from springtime back to winter overnight. During the winter, I have been wearing an Eddie Bower down short hooded jacket that I used to use when we could still trust our aging bodies to ski. When worn with ski pants, it was fine, but with jeans or twills, my lower body gets chilled while walking, even if leggings or long johns are under my pants. Over the weekend, I saw a great sale at Eddie Bauer and purchased a mid thigh down coat and hope it arrives within the next day or so as it is again cold. There likely won’t be a walk today as it looks like the rain has set in for the entire day. This purchase of an item in, means the ski jacket will be donated and probably another hooded coat that gets little use, so item in, at least one item out. There is a donation pile of other clothing and household goods forming, but I need to find a box to hold it all. When the box is full, it goes to one of the thrift stores. There is still so much that might be someone else’s treasure that need to go in the box.