Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Weekend Roundup: K

The prompts for this weekend from Tom the Backroads Traveller are: Starts with K, Kids, and Favourite.

Starts with K
Knitting starts with K.  I bet some of you could guess that's what I would choose for K.  I haven't had as much time for knitting lately as I would like, but I try to keep on going with at least one or two projects.  I always try to have a "mindless" knitting project that I can knit while Marc is driving us somewhere, or while I am having a conversation.  That kind of project has to be simple and repetitive so I don't have to think about it too much.  My current mindless project is the Verdant Shrug by Gina Bonomo - her picture of the final item is shown below in green.  It's a free pattern, too!
Image result for verdant shrug
Image copyright:  Gina Bonomo

It is essentially long sleeves connected with a knitted section across the back.  It's for times when you don't need a whole sweater, but maybe you have short sleeves and you need a little extra warmth.  Or you can wear it over a sleeveless item for an extra bit of cover.  Here's mine so far. It will just be continued flat knitting for the full length until the other cuff.  Then I will seam up the arms about 15 inches or so.  

I am knitting it in "Gale" colourway of classic yarn from Fleece and Harmony in PEI.  I do love using locally grown and milled yarn!  The mix of light blue-grey and pink is like the sky after a storm.  

We have lots of fur, fleece, and feathered kids.  To be precise, we have 2 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, 1 rat, 1 dog, 2 cats, 2 sheep, 1 goat, and 22 chickens.  Here are most of them, except for the chickens, of whom I have shown 3 examples!

Here is a favourite little friend whom I often see outside my home office window.  I took this through the window last week during a snowstorm.

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Weekend Roundup: J

The prompts for this weekend from Tom the Backroads Traveller are: Starts with J, Joy, and Favourite.

Starts with J
Jumper starts with J.  In the UK, and some other commonwealth countries, a jumper is what we here in North America call a sweater.  To me, a jumper is a sleeveless dress that is designed to be worn over a top of some kind.  In any case, I was recently inspired to try a new wine from a winery called Tussock Jumper.  Each wine they produce has a different animal on the label, and in each case, the animal is wearing a red jumper (sweater).  The wine I tried was the Sauvignon Blanc variety, which is one of my favourite wine grapes, and I really enjoyed it.  However, with this cute label with a sheep in a red jumper, how could I even resist trying it?!

Tussock Jumper makes a whole range of different wines with cute jumper-clad animals on the labels.  I'd like to try the Rose Moscato with a rabbit in a jumper on the label, and there's a Cabernet Sauvignon with a really cute penguin!

I am not very joyful today - unfortunately little Ivy, our pet rat whom I featured last week, died last night.  It was a sad day for me and I am sad for her sister, Violet.  Sometimes when I am feeling sad, spending time with pets and animals helps me to feel happier.  So, I found some joy today when I went out to spend some time with the chickens.  I have a little plastic step-stool that I take out to the coop and I sit on it and just relax and let them interact with me.  There are several hens who will immediately come over and jump up on my lap.  The first one is almost always Amelia.  She flew up onto my shoulder the day I brought her home, and she has remained very interactive ever since.  Here she is on my knee today, doing some preening.

Amelia has really lovely feather patterns.  She is a maran cross breed hen.

Such a beautiful hen.

The two young birds that have been the subject of prior blogs, which were incubated by my white silkie, Whisp, are now out in the coop, and they are also extremely friendly with me.  Willoughby, the little rooster, and the little hen Buttercream, both fly up to my lap very quickly, and as I pet them, they soon settle down to sleep.

Here they are shortly after flying to my knee.

Such a sweet pair.  How can I not feel some joy when they are so eager to sit on my lap?

Buttercream flew up to my shoulder for an adventure.  She made me smile, and that's a sign of joy.

Shortly after that she came back down to my lap, where her brother was already asleep.

Soon I had two sleeping chickens and after a time spent enjoying the antics of the rest of the flock, and collecting a few eggs, I had a much improved disposition.

A favourite shot for this week is this one I unexpectedly snapped of a red-breasted nuthatch who had just dropped its seed, presumably by mistake.  I didn't realize I had caught that moment until I downloaded the pictures.  Since a person who drops things is sometimes referred to as a "butterfingers," I wonder if I can call this bird a "butterbeak?"  

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Weekend Roundup: I

The prompts for this weekend from Tom the Backroads Traveller are: Starts with I, Inside, and Favourite.

Starts with I
Ivy starts with I.  One of our two pet rats is named Ivy, and the other one is Violet.  Unfortunately, Ivy has had some respiratory distress this week so she went to the vet this morning and she has pneumonia.  She is on antibiotics, which she gets drizzled on cheerios cereal, which is a favourite treat.  

We do hope Ivy will recover quickly.  

I keep all the chicken food - both their pellets and their scratch grains - inside galvanized metal garbage cans.

This means that I don't have bags of feed laying around to be temptation to raccoons or other creatures that I don't want stealing the food!  Keeping the food inside the bins also keeps the food dry and clean during inclement weather.  The lids have a simple locking system integrated into the handle and the raccoons can't open them.  I keep the cans right next to the coop so it is convenient for me to access.

I was thinking about using "ice" for my letter I word.  Ice is not a favourite thing of mine, but this picture of ice in my backyard is a favourite for this week because the ice in the yard is starting to melt, and I can see the little green shoots of the sphagnum moss growing underneath.  There is even a green blade of grass in there. Perhaps spring will arrive in March this year instead of the end of April!