Christmas on the farm has been wonderful. I didn’t get nearly as much done as I would have liked –it seemed like the time just flew by. We did have a number of day trips during the week, so I’m sure that was a good deal of it. We did do plenty of wandering about the farm. Several of the dead trees have started producing a prodigious amount of fungi. I guess to be accurate, the trees are only playing host to the organism, but still I’m impressed.
We got out solar power panels completed and laid in some pea gravel underneath. We think we’ll also close off the sides and ends so we can use it to store all-weather gear like shovels and the wheelbarrow and such. We’re producing more than we use already (okay, so the sun and the solar panels are producing it, not us actually), so from here on out we can say goodbye to the electric bill. I’ll figure it out for sure, but I believe we are now carbon footprint negative on the farm.
One of the day trips that I made was back to DC where I sat with about 20 Navy women for Secretary Clinton’s unveiling of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. She gave a very stirring speech and kindly pointed out that we were in the audience. We had great seats, 6 rows back from the podium. If you haven’t checked out the plan, I highly recommend it. If we want a better world, we really need to encourage more women to be involved in making the decisions about it.
We also traveled to New York to see the girls and share a meal with them. This, of course, was the scene of the great Marshall Chess Club caper. I can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of Jenny while we were with her. She was, as always, a delight to be with. She even got Dale to try some vegan food after we pulled off the heist.
On Christmas Eve we made the trek to State College to take Dale’s mom to dinner and share gifts with her. She got the Foggy Coast cardigan I’ve been working on…and seemed to like it very much. It fit her great!
Two of our Santa surrogates (you and Chris) evidently thought we needed a little more of the birds and the bees. Chris gave us this awesome birdhouse…the copper roof goes so well with our porch roof. We put it in the side garden right next to the turret. And you (of course you know this, but someone else might be interested) gave us this very cozy bee house. We’ll place it out in the treeline where we get some great wildflowers and hopefully we’ll get a little colony going there.
Dale was a VERY nice Santa too. He got me some very nice things (like the tee shirt I’m wearing while I type this — “Think Globally. Act within local variable scope.” Show it to your favorite programmer. he will probably love it as much as me.) and I was very, very content. Then he told me to close my eyes. When I was allowed to open them a Kromski Sonata was sitting in front of me. Talk about a surprise! Picture me (the one without a single wheel spinning lesson) spending the rest of the day figuring it out. I used pencil roving to do the bobbin full of the purpley-greenish-blue single. I realize this is the “slice and bake” of spinning, but it gave me a good shot at getting used to treadling. Then I played with two scraps of roving that a friend had given me when she was trying to get me to try spindling. The yellow worked out very nicely. The maroon was thicker, but still pretty even. It was very sticky and I couldn’t get it to draft for anything. Can certain dyes affect the slickness of the fiber? I noticed when spindling the fiber optic fiber that the dark blue was more troublesome than the other colors in that braid. Of course, I have no clue what the fiber was — may not have been a new spinner’s friend.
So we had a great Christmas. Especially Ruby who got many extra treats and then snoozed under the tree. I trust yours was wonderful as well…and that you are enjoying the family and friends who have come to Minneapolis for the holidays. Wish them all well for me too!