Friday, December 21, 2012


Yep.  I did it.  I finally qualified for my Technician Class Ham radio license.  I am SO excited!  I couldn't find anyone locally that would give me the exam so I looked on the ARRL web site and found an exam session that miraculously was at 1:00 p.m. and that wouldn't require me to get up at 3:00 a.m. to drive to reach a 9:00 a.m. test session.  It was still 3 1/2 hours away, but the 1:00 p.m. time made the drive doable for me. So, on December 8th (just hours before a snow storm was expected), I drove down to the McMillan Library in Wisconsin Rapids.  Other than one of the Volunteer Examiners (VEs), I was the only woman.  I passed the exam with a perfect score so they offered me the General Class exam to take.  I didn't pass but I did get 18 of the questions correct which I thought was pretty good considering I don't know anything about General Class.  The VEs were so nice and said if I needed help with anything to just contact them.  They really made me feel like a new welcome family member.  Now all I have to do is get a radio!  Many thanks go to Andy (KE4GKP) at The Ham Whisperer whose wonderful site I used for study along with the ARRL Technician Class License Manual.  I already bought the General Class Manual and intend to use Andy's site again; I already started his International Morse Code course.  And last night I was surfing You Tube and came across N7TFP's  channel and Ham Nation.  I think I'll learn alot just from these two channels.  Tom asked me what I was going to do as a ham and I said part of the fun will be dabbling in this or that area just to decide what I'd like to do best.  I do know I want to get involved with emergency communications and learn Morse Code.  There are also three dead computers in the basement that might be resurrected to serve ham functions.  Once I get more familiar with the hobby, maybe I can find a way to help Lara become a ham.  I know there are resources out there for disabled hams.  Anyway, a whole new world has opened for me.

I have also been busy working with my loom.  I went out in the forest garden and cut down two basswood poles that I trimmed and attached one to the fabric apron and one to back warp beam.  I'm not sure what I did but I wound up with half the warp threads I wanted.  I did manage to get the warp wound onto the warp beam, sleyed through the reed, and threaded through the heddles.  I bought a DVD called Beginning Four Harness Weaving that is fairly useless if you have a counterbalance loom.  I think All Fiber Arts has more useful information for this type of loom.  Once I balanced the shafts, made sure the warp was straight, and switched the treadles from back to front on the frame, I was able to get a decent shed and have been practising simple tabby and two two twill patterns.  Once I like the way my weaving looks I think I'll re-thread the warp and try weaving a scarf with a different pattern.  This web site has all the weaving drafts you can imagine. It certainly has enough drafts to practice reading. 

I've been coaxing the chickens out of the coop with winter squash.  They have been eating the squash with no problem.  So have other critters:

Our house will be full this holiday season so I'd like to wish all of you now a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  Peace Be to all of you!