Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hats Off!

Hats off to the many people who have worked so hard to put together the annual Calvary Episcopal Church Advent Festival Bazaar again this year.  It's a major labor of love, providing substantial funding for community outreach, including dental care for the uninsured, food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, riding therapy for the disabled and many other grants given to local agencies providing services for those in need.  It's so inspiring to see this dedicated group pull together to help others.  And hats off to people everywhere who open their hearts, homes and piggy banks in this season of thanksgiving  - and every season throughout the year! 

My small contribution?  I donated a felted hat last year that was quickly adopted by one of the bazaar workers, so I was asked to make another one this time around.  It was a near thing, since the bazaar is on December 1st and it the hat was still wet from the felting process and drying on its form last night!  One of these days, I'll choose a yarn that actually *wants* to felt.  My attempts always take about 15 full-length runs through the washer.  Other people tell me that theirs felt in less than a single washing!!  I did love this thick, purple yarn, though, so it was worth the extra trouble.    

I'm also delighted to be contributing another round of my special bird cookie dough for filling log feeders (the feeders, themselves, will be made by someone who has the tools and expertise to create them based on my brother-in-law's instructions -- he made the ones in my yard that have been featured in earlier blog posts).  The woodpeckers and chickadees will be happily snacking in few more yards this winter.  Oh, and the form that I used for the hat?  It was a great big peanut butter jar that I emptied while making the bird cookie dough. Everything is interrelated!  Hee hee!!  

I had grand plans to do so much more than I managed to accomplish (as usual), but I'm glad that I could help spread at least a little good cheer.  :)  Now, I just need to start in January and maybe I'll be ready in time next year -- I have some really cool ideas!!  (I can dream about better organization, right?)

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Forest and the Trees

My sister, brother and I have been doing a little bit of planned forest management on a piece of land we own in common.  Recently, we had a number of trees removed by a man that uses a team of horses to get into the woods and do the work.  This is nice because it doesn't tear up the ground or the two-track trails we have wandering through the property -- the big trucks and skids tend to leave big ruts and mud holes and other messes.  

It's also nice to work with small, family businesses that do a good job and take pride in their work.  Besides, I think well trained work horses are just awesome creatures. 

While work was in progress, my siblings went out to the site to watch the process and my sister shared some pictures with me.  I thought you might enjoy seeing a couple of them, too.  :)

The team has a snack to get fortified for the day's work. Aren't they beauties?  They're so solid and patient with the set-up, too. 

I think they make a very handsome team.  I wish I had gotten to see them in action with my own eyes, but my sister tells me that horses and human worked really well together, as well they might, since they depend on each other for their livelihood!   I have the sense that there was also mutual respect, though. 

Here are the veneer logs, all lined up in a neat little row by the side of the road, waiting to be hauled out of the woods and to the mill.  There are different types of trees in the lineup, some of which were taken out ahead of disease progression in the area - no walnut or anything else of extreme value, just good, solid timber.

And there they go off into the woods.  It sounds to me like they did a good job and we will probably invite them back to do some more work when the time comes.  :)