Saturday, March 19, 2016

rather random rambling

 Just about every day after morning chores, I comb cashmere.
Sometimes one goat, sometimes two.
Occasionally, three.
It depends on how much each goat has shed since the last combing.

The goats generally don't drop all the cashmere at once, and my thought is that several light combings will pick up more fiber - and cleaner fiber - than waiting till clumps are hanging off the goats and then trying to get all of it that's left in one huge session.

Of course it's even more labor-intensive to do it this way. But I've got a herd of animals that produce lovely fiber in tiny quantities. I don't want to lose more than can be helped.

Either my internet service or laptop has been failing to function properly; possibly both. I haven't been able to watch even tiny videoclips from peoples' blogs. YouTube and Livecams have been nearly impossible. And it's bad timing, because those baby owls grow by the hour!

Here's a screenshot from the 6th:

See the babies?

(Left-click pictures to embiggen.)

Here they are today:

Fortunately, people have been posting screenshots on twitter, as I mentioned in an earlier post. I also try the livecam link a couple of times each day, just in case. Last night it worked, briefly. Maybe my tech issues are healing themselves. Fingers crossed!

Yesterday afternoon my errands took me through several weather events. We had snow when I drove to the Post Office and library. When I came out of the library, the sun has returned. By the time I got to the grocery store, there was a harsh wind. When I came out of the store, it was hailing and Piper said, "Thank you, no," when I asked later if she wanted to walk in the woods. Today has been sunny but so cold that yesterday's hail is still on the ground.
I blame myself: early yesterday morning I dismantled one of the bucket de-icers to clean and repair it, and decided not to put it back out.
Thus guaranteeing the return of freezing weather.
Sorry, New England.

Speaking of going to the library...something I love:

InterLibrary Loan.

Central and Western Massachusetts has a wonderful regional library system. Which is nice for everyone, but especially for the thousands of people who live in villages and small towns where the Library was probably built in the 1800s and is very limited in size.

Isn't it a special luxury to have access to books without having to buy them? I love a brand-new book as much as anyone does, but I've reached a point where I don't have the urge to own them all. And probably 95% of my "reading" is audiobooks, which I download online from the same library system and listen to when I'm cooking or knitting or trying to get to sleep. When I first tried audiobooks, years ago, it actually took me a little while to learn how to listen - after all, I'd not been regularly "read to" since childhood. But now, hardly a day goes by that I don't listen to a chapter or two. Or ten.

How about you?
Do you use your local library?
Are you a book collector?
Do you enjoy audiobooks?



  1. I've never tried audio books because I know full well that I'd get sucked into it and never get anything done. I'm bad enough with print books! As for the library I'm at ours at least once or twice a week and make good use of interlibrary loans too. Hope your freezing jinx doesn't extend this far.

  2. I love my library and inter-library loan. If they can't find the book anywhere in the MA systems, they'll go out of state to find it. I just finished the latest in a series I've been reading, and this book was shipped in from Kentucky. My library is small, so they charge me $5 if the book has to come in from out of state. Still, cheaper than buying a book I'll only read once. (My old library would ship them in without any charge.)

    1. I wasn't sure Eastern MA has a regional system, but I'm glad it does! It's interesting and good that local libraries retain so much autonomy within a larger system, isn't it? My library won't let people pay late fees that are generated by the regional system - the local librarian manually deletes the charges.

  3. Our quilting guild meets at the library. I mainly check out art and crafting books. I prefer a physical book in my hand to audios or kindles.
    Are you getting close to spring?

    1.'s 19F right now, but the sun is shining and the days are much longer, so..yes! :)

  4. I just did a bit of spinning this morning -- drop spindle. And hanked and hung the yarn to dry. So I was thinking of you as I inexpertly worked my spinning! About your fiber that is. About the books-- all of the above. Currently have audio books and print books and Kindle download ready to read. I love audio books because I work to them. Like print books but I can't do anything else while I read!

  5. Love the heaps of cashmere you are combing out of those darling goats. I would have thought it would be easier to comb a little bit over a longer period. My dog and my rabbit are losing fur like crazy right now. It's just EVERYWHERE in the house.
    I go to the library every Friday, but with little people in tow for their "fireside storytime". These kids are a handful, and it's all I can do just to read titles of books as we breeze by :( I would love to listen to audio books, but my hearing is very poor and I think it would all be lost on me. I can only watch movies with subtitles now too. A pain, but something I have learned to live with. This is one reason I like blogging because I can read the conversations rather than struggle to listen to people.

    1. I know what you mean about struggling to hear people talking, as I have one "good" ear and one that's mostly decorative. I hate wearing headphones or earbuds, but did buy a little USB speaker for my laptop, and sometimes use it when listening to audiobooks - depending on the narrator. And like you, I also use Closed Captioning when watching videos, just so I don't have to strain to hear and get frustrated at missing things. Glad technology has some practical uses that make life more entertaining!

  6. I hope the snow today isn't bad, and just a nice sugar type snow!
    As for computer issues...I haven't been able to see the owls that often because the site doesn't work. I sometimes have to refresh the page a few times before the cam opens.
    The beautiful building library here is busy, and keeps up well with recent best sellers. Reading encourages me to write more.

  7. Do the goats like being brushed or is it a fight to get it done? Jingles begs to be combed at least once a day but I shan't be making anything with her little furry tufts. :) Ha! Crazy weather. We've reached our season of instability. Last week it was cloudy and then dusty. A quick little burst of rain at one point and my girlfriend who is about 20 minutes away sent me a picture of hail stones her girls had gone outside and collected but we didn't get any here. It cleared for a few days and now we are back to dust again. Bleh! Have a great week.

    1. Well, my goats all enjoy getting personal attention, but I don't know that any of them truly enjoy being combed - not like some horses I've groomed, who could just about fall asleep!


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