"Then" was last night.
"Now" is this morning.
Can you spot the difference?
Apparently much of the Northeast is getting hammered by a winter storm. We got only a dusting, but I took my camera out this morning for chores.
I'm pretty sure this isn't the only snow we'll see this winter. (I'm psychic.)
The animals seemed a little concerned, too.
The goats and sheep have actually been enjoying a lot of freedom lately, ever since they decided that that whole "fence" thing wasn't working out for them. We ended up taking the gate right off and they're tidying up the yard at their leisure. That's going to end soon, as they keep eating all the chickens' food. But for now it's interesting, to say the least.
Lucy sometimes pretends she's a turkey.
Mama turkey ended up with two poults.
That puts us up somewhere around a dozen turkeys. If you factor in how many we will slaughter for Thanksgiving, we should have, oh, exactly the same number left. We just haven't been able to do these guys in, I don't know why. Lucky them.
However, this is a great time of year for food around here. The freezers are packed with pork, beef and chicken. The shelves are full of tomatoes and applesauce, apple butter and apple jelly. If something hadn't eaten Every Last One of my pie pumpkins and various types of squashes (insert sob here), we'd be all set.
I made one last foray out into the garden the other day. Turned out to be a good thing, mostly because I found our two beef cows had knocked down the pigpen fence to help themselves to the grass outside their pasture. But also because I discovered a lot more hot peppers than I had noticed before. Stunningly red.
I also remembered I had planted a bunch of broccoli rabe in a spot formerly occupied by beans. Last year it got chewed full of holes, but this year? Beautiful.
Cook the stems in olive oil, garlic and coarse salt, then add the leaves toward the end, and you're good to go. Delicious. I believe I have some kale out there too...
I have to admit I've been slacking in the yardwork/gardening/fall cleanup area. The first burst of chilly air sent me right to the couch with my knitting needles. My husband has worked, I think, seven of the past eight weekends, possibly more. Seriously, he works seven days a week, which is awful except that it means business is good. It's been a while since we could say that.
Without him here being the farmer dude, I find it quite easy to sit guilt-free and knit all weekend. The gardens need work. But I've made some stuff.
My niece had a baby last week, but since they decided not to find out the gender I decided to knit just one small thing for now. It's a girl (Cori), so now I can move ahead. I think this was pretty timely:
Meanwhile, I cranked out Vivian, by Ysolda Teague. By far the most challenging thing I have ever knit. I'm fairly happy with the results, although the sleeves are way too long, as shown in the second picture.
The cables were pretty complex, but there was also shaping going on in between them that required constant vigilance. Due to my short supply of constant vigilance, I ended up doing a lot of ripping out and re-knitting. My husband said technically I should have three sweaters for all the knitting I did. (Correct, but two of them would be completely messed up.)
I immediately started another cardigan. Then I decided I needed a cowl (our office has already switched to winter tundra climate), which will be done today, I hope. Then my sister-in-law called last night to ask if I had any yarn for mittens for her.
"Sure," I said. "But I didn't know you knew how to knit."
"I don't," she said. "I was hoping you'd make them for me."
I'll probably move those to the front of the line, and then I have to spin more yarn for the lining for my very lovely mittens made months ago, since the stuff I spun last time was way too bulky to work. I tried.
Maybe I'll just use commercial yarn. It depends on how warm I want these to be. And how soon I need them...
So, you probably saw in my Vivian pictures above, that the gray hair is coming right in. Not evenly, unfortunately, but it's coming fast and furious. I'm 43. I have been offered the senior discount (over 50) on more than one occasion. Does this bother me?
Yes and no.
Yes, because I feel like I shouldn't have to dye my hair just to appear younger to other people, and yes, because I'm ticked off that I'm going gray so soon.
But no, because as it happens, I'm feeling pretty good these days. I believe I'm in the best shape of my entire life. I have tons of energy, I'm strong, and I have muscles. As of today I'm halfway through "Insanity: The Asylum," another of Beachbody.com's crazy-intense workout DVD series, and I'm rocking it, people. So, to offset the old lady pictures above, I'm including this one, the Asylum "before" shot:
I'll say it again: If you are over 40 and think you're past your prime and there's nothing you can do about it, think again. I, for one, plan to kick ass for quite a few years yet.
Now excuse me while I go refill my coffee and have another scone. (I earned it.)