Thursday, July 20, 2017

Unexpected battle midst the never-ending war

After chores this morning, I armed myself to launch an attack on the noxious weeds. This is an ongoing war; new recruits emerge, and seasoned soldiers that escaped detection in earlier battles are now locked and loaded:


It is essential to take them down before those flowers turn to seed heads! (If only the owner of the logged lot to our north would do the same; grrr....)

I worked my way through the upper pasture until I got near where that ewe was bedded down yesterday morning. A movement at the fenceline caught my ewe; a fawn was caught!
I ran up to see if I could free it, but realized that the job was going to require wire cutters. I sprinted to the garage and back while my mind sprinted through the hints I'd gotten over too many days indicating that this fawn had been trapped for awhile. I snipped and freed the leg, and the fawn dropped to the ground   – exhausted? Scared? In pain? Playing dead? Likely all of the above.
I groaned over my lack of foresight; I should have grabbed some sort of antibiotic spray or cream from Rick's vet truck to apply to the deep wound before releasing it. The ewe was waiting in the weeds beyond; I doubted the fawn would wait for another round trip to the garage for medicine. Sure enough; after I moved away, I could make out the fawn moving through the grass and weeds towards its waiting mother. All I could do was pray that it heals and survives, poor baby, and get back to work.

I turned my attention to picking berries and red currants and taking pictures of current and future harvests.










I made a big dent in the boysenberries, a smaller dent in the currants, and a tiny dent in the marionberries before my horse escaped under the single electric strand containing part of the upper pasture. I put my containers in the garage for safe-keeping and moved both horses to the securely-fenced lower pasture. Since I was down there anyway, I checked the sheep's hay feeders and water buckets – and Brigitte slipped by me.
She's as tame as a dog so haltering her and putting her back in the fold was not a problem, but I needed to assess and photograph the four weaned lambs for marketing purposes anyway, so.... You know how it goes. (You'll have to wait until tomorrow for those photos.)  ;-)

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Good fences

Early this morning when I started water on the strawberries, I noticed someone watching me from the other side of the garden:


(I didn't notice the brown lump to the right of her until I uploaded these photos; I wonder if that's her fawn.)

This is why we have a small garden space; it's what we could afford to put an 8' fence around!

It may be small, but it helps feed us. This evening I harvested a nice-sized zucchini, two more small Japanese eggplant, and a big handful of kale leaves to make a quick and easy sauté (along with one of those big garlic flowerheads and a can of garbanzo beans) to serve over red quinoa for a friend and myself. It was tasty, and I have enough for a repeat meal tomorrow. It should be good fuel for all the things I want to get done before driving to the Portland airport to pick up my guys. Tomorrow is supposed to start out cloudy and stay cooler, perfect "hard work" weather. I'll just have resist the siren song of my spindle.  ;-)
That's it for today from . . .

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Excuses, excuses, excuses

I've been working, I've been medicating (my horse), I've been gardening, I've been tired, I've been camping, I've been holding down the fort alone.... All true, but the bottom line is that I'm a one-trick pony, not a carnival juggler. I tend to get absorbed in one thing at a time, and my free time has been wrapped around a spindle like the singles I've been spinning. Facing the hours it takes me to compose most blog posts has not been appealing in the least this month, when a pretty little Jenkins Turkish spindle is waiting to be twirled for the Tour de Fleece.

But I started feeling accusation emanating from my blogs (the animosity of inanimate objects), so I posted a long overdue update on Dances With Horses on Sunday and ordered myself to do the same here before I go to bed tonight.

The vegetable garden is doing great. I've been harvesting some "first fruits" here and there; my first Sungold cherry tomato, three little zucchini, some basil and kale, a small Japanese eggplant Рand I dug all the garlic, which is now drying on my front porch. I plan to try saut̩ing some of those pretty garlic flowers with eggplant, zucchini and kale and serve it over red quinoa, a big kettle of which I cooked for myself and have been eating for breakfast for several days. That's one of the nice things about my guys being gone РI can cook whatever I want, and eat when I feel like it!


Right now the daylilies and lavender are blooming in my yard, and the wild sweetpeas are decorating the roadsides with their bright pink flowers. Sunday afternoon I took a long walk up the hill with my neighbor friend, and finally snapped a photo.



Last Friday morning I woke up to use the bathroom at the perfect time to catch the sunrise. It's been awhile since I've gotten to witness this morning miracle; it was a treat.

My presence on the deck made a doe in our middle pasture nervous; my camera couldn't freeze the action in the pale pre-dawn light when she leaped the fence!
If you are wondering if the stars of this blog are still around, then you are obviously not within hearing distance. Yesterday morning before leaving for work, I pulled Sarai and Vienna, the dams of the oldest lambs, from the Sheep Sheraton and put them in the Ram-ada Inn lot with Blaise (who was out there keeping Nightcap company after Bramble died). I hoped the mamas and lambs would get most of their weaning wailing over with while I was gone, but they waited until last night. :-/  It's time to take some photos and advertise the ones I know I can let go, and get serious about halter-training.


Seven "little" lambs and two young mamas left in the fold


As for the TdF, I've spun up the 100g of mohair locks I got at the renaissance faire last September, and started on this gray Jacob roving. I'm ready to utilize the last of my eleven Jenkins spindles; it has been fun getting reacquainted with every single one of them!




I've got to run; a friend has wanted to take me to an ethnic grocery store in Portland for years and we're finally going this afternoon. That's another nice thing about my guys being gone – I've had time to connect one-on-one with several dear friends. I do hope my guys get home safely Thursday night, though. Rick has had some cardiac symptoms on their trip and finally went to the hospital with a cath lab to get checked out on Sunday. The cardiologist said everything looked okay so it's probably just the altitude, but also said he was wise to come in given the symptoms and his history.
Jackson thinks all this working and spinning and meeting with friends is boring

That's the update from . . .

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Time travel

So last week was the kind of "full" that made it seem two weeks long, as opposed to the kind of "full" that makes it zoom by. Somebody explain those phenomena to me, please!

We arrived home from horse-camping Tuesday afternoon after several somewhat stressful hours on the road. We took two vehicles because my MIL joined us (four won't fit in the cab of the pickup); Rick and his mom were in the pulling truck and Brian and I followed in Rick's vet truck. The pulling truck (or horse trailer) emitted periodic puffs of smoke so I was keeping a close eye on that, then Brian got his first opportunity to drive on a narrow bridge (see photo and description HERE) and on an interstate (I-84), which kept me on full alert, to say the least. Prayers were answered "yes" and we got home without any problems. The rest of the day was spent unloading, watering, doing laundry – and enjoying long showers. Ahhh; indoor plumbing. At the end of the day, I was too tired to stay up for fireworks!

Wednesday through Friday Rick's secretary was on vacation, so I worked at the clinic except for when I made a mad dash to Salem to meet Sharon and Ian on their way from Bend to Hillsboro (Sharon bought Bree's fleece for spinning at her volunteer gig at the High Desert Museum) and took Brian to his violin lesson. Working at the clinic gave me time to catch up on emails and blogs, and spin along with the Tour de Fleece. I've put at least 10 grams of this lovely white mohair (purchased at the renaissance fair last September) on each of four different spindles (for the Jenkins Turkish Spindle Showcase), and am working on my fifth.

We've also been spending quite a bit of time treating my horse for Inflammatory Airway Disease. We've been giving him prednisolone and cetirizine (Zyrtec) for awhile now; Rick wanted to add fluticasone via nebulizer to see if that would improve lung function so he ordered a fancy new mask and nebulizer that's supposed to do the job well. Well.... Let's just say that the system has been a little finicky, the administration takes much longer than anticipated, and then you have to thoroughly clean everything – twice a day for now. We'll see if it helps.

Today we have a long list to try and plow through before Rick and Brian leave early Thursday morning for a week-long adventure. There are berries and cherries to pick and freeze, tomatoes to stake, lambs to vaccinate (and one to band), electric fence to fix, a sheepfold to clean, meals to fix and clean up after, laundry to do, etc. I'm trying to get Brian's rear in gear to help me; Rick left early this morning on a vet emergency and isn't home yet. We'll see what we get done!

That's it for now from . . .