Saturday, June 25, 2016


Do you see it? It is everywhere! In colors and textures, in light-play and shadow-dance. Sometimes I just soak it up, other times I try, with limited success, to capture it for sharing.

After Friday's woolly work (see last post), I headed to the house. The hens were hanging out,  oblivious to the fact that their feathery finery would put royal robes to shame.
Last night after supper, we spent some "quality family time" in the berry patch picking boysenberries, marion berries, and three colors of raspberries. So pretty – and so tasty!

That's it for now from . . .

Farm Friday

After three days of barely being home except to do chores quickly and sleep, Friday was a welcome change. With our biggest horse-camping trip of the year coming up quickly, my to-do list was (is) a mile long – a mile high is actually more like it! So what did I start out with (after chores, of course)? Some sheep maintenance. ;-)

Benny and Blake both needed coat changes. Benny is the only one of the boys who is staying fat on last year's coarse grass hay we picked up in early spring to get us through to this year's crop, and he needed a bigger coat.
Benny, photobombed by a cat and two horses
"Who are you? Do we know you?"

Blake's coat fit, but one of the leg straps was dangling so it was only a matter of time until it slipped sideways and entangled him or got ripped. While I had him uncovered, I decided to clean up his fleece. I had him sheared instead of rooing him this spring, which was a mistake. Not only did he get a lot of nicks, my shearer struggled with the rise, going under and over it. In order to have a marketable fleece next year, I needed to remove the cotted mats of old fleece where he was sheared over the rise. After pulling some of it off by hand and snipping some off with scissors, I settled into combing it out with a sturdy mane comb. Combing messed up his lock structure, but it will have plenty of time to normalize before his next shearing.

Blake was oh, so patient; as you can see, I combed off a LOT of old fleece tips! He is such a nice ram to handle – easy to catch, walks beautifully on lead, and stands patiently for whatever I need to do. For his patience, he got to eat some weeds before I headed up to the house to tackle other stuff on that to-do list. That's the problem with having lots to do – I got busy doing it, then my guys got home, so there was no chance to finish this post. That's why you're getting it today – and I have another one in the works!

Posting when I can at . . .

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Up, up and away

We were all up a little earlier than usual this morning so Rick and Brian could check out some hay before their first call. I took in the view out our east-facing wall of windows and saw a stationary speck in the distant sky:
Then it was out the door to start water on the strawberries, do chores, pull a few weeds, and eat my breakfast fruit "on the hoof" (boysenberries and Rainier cherries). Yay; a little extra time for a blog post before getting ready for work! Might be the last one for a bit; the next three days will be long ones. Today I work until I need to leave for Salem for a late-afternoon meeting at the school Brian will be attending this fall. Tomorrow I work again, probably until our early evening family photo shoot for our new church directory. Thursday I work all day at Rick's clinic because his secretary needs the day off. Friday I may have to work at my office job again, since we'll be gone most of next week.

So yesterday I worked hard at deep-watering my vegetable garden with the soaker hoses, and got most of it done. The remainder will have to be worked in early and late the rest of the week, like the strawberries this morning. While I wish I had a few more things filling in the empty areas (to the left of what's in the photo), I'm very happy with our little garden this year. So far, I'm ahead of the weeds!

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, June 20, 2016

Don't quit your day jobs ;-)

Last night's painterly sky
My guys got home safe and sound last night, ready for "real" food, hot showers, comfortable chairs, and soft beds. They kept telling me how great the trip was in between moaning with satisfaction over one of the above, and Brian kept asking, "Aren't you excited about going with us next time?" Effective PR agents for backpacking they are not – ha! I heard about rain, snow, and sleet, freezing nights, leaky tents and wet sleeping bags; EVERYthing came home smelling of smoke from the campfire they huddled around trying to get warm and dry. Fortunately, their last day was warm and beautiful so they came out smiling. I also made Rick smile with a Father's Day strawberry/rhubarb pie (with fresh ingredients from our garden), even though the new crust recipe I tried turned out more like a bomb shelter. :-/

I did not sleep well last night; must have been the full moon. After fighting for rest through the early morning hours, I finally surrendered to wakefulness and got up. At least I got to see the sun rise. It wasn't "spectacular," but I enjoyed the show.

Morning definitely gilded the sky at . . .