In the dark

It rained and rained and rained, all day yesterday. We had just finished eating an early dinner when the power went out, no good reason we could see. Yes it was wet out, but we never did have wind. The predicted repair time was 12:30 a.m. today, so I dumped the ice from the icemaker into a huge bag and a cooler, turned off the icemaker, so we didn’t end up with water dripping through the basement ceiling.

By battery lantern, I spun on my spindles for a few hours to try to finish the fiber that I have been working on since the beginning of August. The last 20 some grams were spun last night before I turned in with the lantern and my book.

The morning brought thick fog, but the rain had stopped. We made a quick run to the Farmers’ Market for my preordered goodies but again, two of the vendors I shop weren’t ready, one was before I left, but the other was still setting up. I was hoping for some carrots, but came home without.

We drove back home, unloaded the goodies into the refrigerator and freezer, loaded the trailer on the Xterra and returned to town to pick up the mowers. They are home, but the grass is too wet to mow with it as tall as it is. When I start, I will have to raise the deck as high as it will go and mow half width passes and repeat at a lower deck height in a couple of days.

The fiber I spun last night was plied this afternoon and again is a very fine lace weight yarn.

That full bobbin gave me 475.5 yards before it is washed. Once it is washed and dry, I will remeasure both skeins to see how much yardage I actually got. It should be in the neighborhood of 900 plus yards.

This afternoon I attempted to attend the virtual Shenandoah Fiber Festival. It just isn’t the same. I sought out the three vendors I would have sought in person and ordered a “Shenandoah” colorway Falklands from Wild Hare, a vendor I have purchased before. The colorway was dyed for the event and I ordered some Coopworth/Alpaca blend and two color Coopworth from Hearts of the Meadow Farm, a friend who vends there. Trying to browse was frustrating.

As the weather chills, again I am noticing my right hand, the side from the broken wrist years ago gets colder than the left and the cold is causing more arthritis pain in that arm especially when I knit. This is going to be an issue as I have a Christmas stocking to knit for the newest grandson and a sweater for a grand daughter. It is good that I have all of October, November, and half of December to get them done.

Lost events

This weekend marks another lost event and another event at which I will be represented by some of my crafts, but not my person. For several years, we have gone north to the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, spent the weekend at a hotel with lots of social time with Son 1 and his family. Together, we all go to the Shenandoah Fiber Festival, visit a couple of vendor friend, see all the wooly and furry critters, and always leave with goodies. Yarn to knit first birthday sweater’s for a granddaughter that turns 4 this year, a spindle one year, fiber always.

That yarn became the sweater below for granddaughter.

Last year I was in the area to help Son 1’s family move into their house and we didn’t go to the festival as there were too many other things on the agenda that weekend.

This year it is virtual. There is no festival to attend. I have trouble buying fiber or yarn without seeing and feeling it, I don’t need any more spindles or wheels. I will miss the trip, but understand the safety of not holding it during the pandemic.

The second event is at the Museum where I do living history. They are having a fall festival with reservation only tours of 6 per half hour and 6 allowed to wander the outbuildings and grounds per half hour, but I am still not comfortable staying in a closed area other than my home for any length of time and wearing a mask in costume wouldn’t work, so my crafts are there on an honor system sale, but I’m not. I am hopeful that everyone will be honest and if anything takes a walk without payment, that it is really needed and will be loved.

We daily check the department of health’s website and see that the number of cases in our rural county have jumped more than 10 fold in about a month. For a very long time, there were only 7 or 8 cases here, then the students came back to the Universities in the area, the public school kids returned to a modified face to face school week, and we now have 88 cases and more reported each day (about 15 of them are public school students and/or staff). That doesn’t sound like a lot, but this is a small rural county with a handful of small towns and villages and no cities. This is also a mask resistant county, so we only go out when necessary and generally go to the next county to a larger town with more mask compliance, where we can get curbside delivery of groceries.

Today our adventure is to go get our curbside grocery delivery in pouring rain from Beta. I watched the pups this morning go quickly into the rain in belly deep grass to do what pups do first thing in the morning. Last evening, I called and the mowers are ready, but they have to be closed today (not that I want to load mowers in the rain), so we will go over in the morning before they close at noon. The weekend is predicted to be drier, so maybe set on the highest setting, I can reduce the height of the yard growth. We keep putting off going to get the brush hog because we will either have to pay for delivery or I will have to drive the tractor down the mountain road, about a mile down the highway edge, then return trip after we attach it to the tractor. I really should do that and have them change the oil and transmission fluid while they have it, that is a job I haven’t learned to do and have no interest in getting on the ground under the tractor to learn.

Until the deluge slows to a trickle, the chooks will stay in their coop with food and water. I will have to toss down hay in the run when I can get out there just to keep from sliding down the hill and to help keep them from taking mud baths. Chickens are stupid. I am toying with the idea of repairing the chicken tractor, removing it from the collapsed log raft and setting it on 4 blocks so the chickens can use it as a safe shelter when free ranging. It would give them a place to go if a dog or hawk threaten. There is no floor in it as the log raft was the floor, so they could get up into the perches or dust bathe under it.

The trees are beginning to color, we are seeing the yellowing of some and reds of some of the “trash” trees. I’m not ready for the woods to be bare yet.

Spin, knit, cook, read, walk, and vote

The bulk of my time with the garden in Autumn decline is to spin on my spindles.

Knit on a project I can’t share yet, as it is a gift.

Cook at home. When you want Lasagna and it makes way too much for two, get creative. If Stouffers can do it, so can I.

One for the oven, three for the freezer to be enjoyed on other nights. Made with local cheese, my pasta sauce.

Re-reading for about the 10th time my favorite book that recenters me each time I read it and reinforces my belief in buy local, eat local, grow it yourself if you can.

Take walks at the pond, there is always something new to see. The wildfowl have been absent for the summer, but there was a pair of ducks, an 18″ long garter snake, the usual plethora of turtles, and lovely light play in the woods.

One of these causes seasonal allergies, one does not, do you know which?

We had decided to vote absentee ballot this year due to the pandemic, but today when they came, we drove them straight to the county seat unopened and voted early in person.

No crowd, no line, two masked workers behind a shield wall, so safe and no chance that our ballot would be dismissed for whatever reason. Then we got home to find an article from Forbes on how the Trump Campaign is actively considering how to bypass the results if he doesn’t win. What happened to free and fair elections in this country? What will happen to this country?