Monday, November 28, 2011

Ewe's not fat...

...ewe's fluffy! And frisky:

(Maybe they just needed to work off Thanksgiving dinner - ha!)

The sheep have been pent up for two weeks because of our trip, so they practically exploded when I let them out this afternoon (for a short time, so they didn't get too much lush grass). Well, the younger ones (Sarai, Marta, Bart and Bonny) did. Inky, Annabelle and Bramble were above such foolishness.
Bonny and Bart, the only "lambs" in today's "lamb races."

That's the fun for today at . . .

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"After" photo, and a loss

We hear our area got quite the rain and wind storm while we were away! Almost all the deciduous trees have been stripped of their leaves, and as I suspected, things around here looked quite different upon our return. We got back Friday night, so couldn't really appraise the extent of the change until Saturday morning.

After taking the above photo, I headed down to do chores, relishing the quiet, and the chance to catch up with the horses, sheep, barn cat and chickens - minus Morgan, our tamest hen. The person doing chores had called while we were in Texas to tell me she had died, and I was not surprised. One of our original four chicks, Morgan was blind in one eye and had been spending a lot more time on the roost this fall. This beautiful blue Easter Egger was our chicken ambassador, and shall be missed.

Our weather has been gentle with us since our return, but the rain is supposed to return with a vengeance by noon today. So we're off to rake leaves and sweep up fir needles while we can. Have a great day!

That's it for now from . . .

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The best kind of Thanksgiving... shared with family.

Living off in Oregon, a long way from all our immediate family, makes such a celebration a rather rare occurrence for us. We are soaking up the opportunity to be here in Burleson, TX at my sister's house along with my folks. Hope I can come back after my sister's baby boy arrives! Today while we cooked, some of the menfolk put together this:
I think they are ready for him now. ;-)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Another "before" photo

The photo in the previous post was taken last Tuesday. We had a windy, rainy day and night Wednesday, and by Thursday morning before we left, it looked like this -

The loss of leaves was far more dramatic down the south side of our property, where the big maples went from just turning color to mostly naked overnight, covering the lane that leads down to the barn. Unfortunately, there was no time to rake them off so that the client of Rick's who is doing our chores wouldn't be driving on them for over a week; they will be well mashed into the gravel by the time we get back.

That client came over Thursday morning to go over chores; these two lovely girls - littermates - came along for the ride:
(I've long had a weakness for typey little blue heelers.)

We are having a wonderful time down here in the Lone Star State, and I'm taking a boatload of photos. I'll probably put them in a Shutterfly album and put a link to it here. But of course I can't resist serving up a sampler of "only in Texas" snapshots; enjoy!
Where rest stops have restrooms and storm shelters!

Where longhorns are daily driven through town...

...and stand ready for photo opps.

Where you might think you're in Venice...

...but for the obvious Texas pride.

A pride forged in bloodshed; "Remember the Alamo!"

And yes, there has been some knitting:

That's it for now, a long way from . . .

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Before" photo

This is what it looks like outside our garage door now (except everything is very, very wet at the moment). I'll post an "after" photo when we return.

There will likely be some posts between now and then. I have client jobs to work on, so am taking my laptop with us to Texas. And knitting, of course! I'm going to have lots of travel time to knit . . . I'd better add "wind yarn for second project" to my formidable "to-do-before-leaving" list. Off to tackle what I can in the few hours I have left!

That's it for now . . .

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Preparing to leave

When you have a bunch of animals, taking anything longer than a day trip involves a lot of preparation. I've been scrambling to get things ready to stay, get things ready to go - and take care of all the things that can't go or wait - like the deeply discounted produce I got at a stand that was closing for the season. (What was I thinking?!? Oh right. Stretching our food budget.)

Nevertheless, I am really looking forward to this trip. Thanks to Rick needing a certain number of continuing education hours annually to keep his veterinary license current and the annual American Association of Equine Practitioners convention being held in San Antonio this year, we're going to be able to spend Thanksgiving with my family! Not that San Antonio is close to Amarillo (where my folks live) or Dallas (near where my sister lives), but it's a WHOLE lot closer than Oregon. It's tough to have all our immediate family scattered in other states (AZ, NE, TX & WA); it makes the time we can be together that much more special.

Must dash to get Brian to his violin lesson; below are photos of a glorious tree on the campus of Linfield College, where Brian has a homeschoolers' P.E. class Tuesday mornings.

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, November 14, 2011

More autumn sheep pix

The ewe flock has been stuffing themselves on fallen maple leaves lately.
I call this multi-trunked maple the "sheep playground structure."

Fall is definitely in free-fall. I should take some "before" photos prior to Thursday when we leave for Texas. When we return the day after Thanksgiving, things will look totally different around here!

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, November 13, 2011

May-December romance

Love is in the air . . . .

Amorous old Inky is much too thin and arthritic to carry lambs again, so it's a good thing Bart's a wether (with over-active adrenal glands). Ignorance. Bliss.

No lambs were formed during the filming of this production.

That's it for today from . . .

Friday, November 11, 2011

I learned long-draw!

Let it not be said that an old dog cannot learn new tricks.

A few weeks ago I posted about my loose ends and frayed nerves, to which several replied that I clearly needed to loosen up a little. (These friends diagnosed my problem from the looks of my Water Lilies singles, which apparently showed my slightly obsessive side.) One of those friends, a very prolific spinner and knitter, followed up her suggestion by sending me some batts she carded up just for me to play with and perhaps spin with long-draw, a technique I've never learned. So I sent out a cyber-plea to Laura for direction, and she responded by arriving on my doorstep last night to give me a spinning lesson!

Here are the batts sweet Denise sent me:

Here's Laura demonstrating long-draw using a bit of roving she brought along:
After practicing on the fiber Laura brought, I turned to Denise's batts:
Can you believe that I spun AND plied both batts in one evening?!? I can't! It was indeed very freeing and fun, and I look forward to playing with this technique more. THANK-YOU so much to those of you who pushed me out of my comfort zone and especially to Denise and Laura for enabling me with materials and instruction!

Since I won't be using my "art yarn" for my favorite Romi designs, today I picked up these delicious treats, thanks to a generous birthday discount offered by my LYS and a gift certificate to the same from my MIL:

The individual shots are truer in color; from top to bottom they are Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Composition Book Grey; Tosh Light in Fragrant; and Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk Paints. Squeee!

That's about it for my first half-century, from . . .

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Believe it or not, it's been pretty much "dry" here lately, meaning water is not falling from the sky. There is moisture aplenty thanks to fog and dew and such, but fog is one of the things I love about autumn, along with vibrant colors splashed against both bright and deepest green.

Some of that green grows on rocks and tree trunks; this is a vignette from the wooded sheep lot (worth biggifying).

My Japanese maples come in various shapes, sizes and fall colors; I love them all!
The last photo was taken this afternoon. The weather today is exquisite! I'm off to ride my horse before company comes and daylight fades.

That's it for today from . . .