Friday, January 30, 2015

Words and Waterlogue

It's 9:40 at night and one of the neighbor's roosters is crowing. Must be time for someone to get up, kinda like "it's 5:00 somewhere." All I want to do is go to bed, and maybe after this I will.

Even though I desperately want to spew out a boatload of frustration, discouragement, and despair, doing so wouldn't make me feel better and would likely make you feel a whole lot worse. I tell my son, "If you can't say anything nice...."; guess I'd better practice what I preach. (Hey, at least that way I would know at least ONE person listens to me!)

Redirecting. Recently I purchased an app for my phone after a blogpal wrote a glowing review of it. I dabbled with it without satisfaction until trying it out on a photo of the fountain in the neighboring winery's fire abatement pond that I took at dusk.

Waterlogue made magic out of it!

Hmm; I wonder if I could "Waterlogue" my life?

Shutting up now at . . .

Thursday, January 29, 2015

My, how big the sky!

See Mt. Hood above the left end of the barn?

After four days of living in a low-ceilinged world, such vistas can take you by surprise. A very pleasant surprise!

That's it for today from . . .

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tight jeans, rough hands, dirty floors

Sounds like the title of a risque Western, but ya'll know me better than that, right?  ;-)

Life has been hectic, and the light has been lame. After an incredible "June-uary" day last Sabbath, we have been socked in with low clouds/fog. So not only have I had little time for exercise (tight jeans) or housecleaning (dirty floors), there has been nary a sunrise to brighten my mornings or share on my blog. Wood heat is overkill as our temperatures are above average, but the house grows damp and cool without it, so we keep the home fires burning. My cracking fingers and dry hands are suffering from the season as they always do, so I'm hesitant to cast on a new knitting project or start a spinning project.

This morning was the first time all week I was home during the day long enough to turn the ewes out. Loud-mouth Bali has been belly-aching about being cooped up, and the straw we so recently bedded the Sheep Sheraton with is already badly soiled; I'll have to strip it again before lambing.

But when we left homeschool co-op this afternoon, the sun was weakly shining! I drove Brian to his grandma's house for a piano lesson, then headed out for a brisk walk around a nearby park.
The exercise, fresh air, and photographic opportunities were just what body, mind and soul needed. On top of that, we got "dessert" as we drove home!

Feeling refreshed at . . .

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A motto for Tuesday

Until I have time for some photography, that's it from . . .

Monday, January 26, 2015

A meme* for Monday

*An Internet meme (MEEM) is an activity, concept, catchphrase, or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry, from person to person via the Internet.

Dormouse, way over in France at View From the Teapot, recently answered a list of questions about herself. I enjoyed her responses, and thought doing the same thing would be a good post to do ahead for a manic Monday. Here goes:

Four names people call me other than my given name:
I'm afraid this one's a non-starter; I've never really had nicknames. I give nicknames, often silly sing-song ones, but I've pretty much always been just Michelle.

Four jobs I've had other than my current one:
Stocker and clerk in a natural foods store; typesetter and proofreader at a printing company; college teacher; advertising salesperson at a newspaper.

Four films I've watched more than once.
The Sound of Music; Fiddler on the Roof; Chariots of Fire; The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Four books I'd recommend:
Like Dormouse, I tend to think of authors more than titles, so anything by C.S. Lewis, anything by Madeleine L'Engle, anything by Irving Stone . . . and Les Miserables.

Four places I've lived:
La Sierra, CA; near Hereford, TX; near Manhattan, KS; and near Perham, MN.

Four places I've visited:
Baja California; Washington, D.C.; Guadalahara, Mexico; Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.

Four places I wouldn't mind being right now:
At my parents' home in TX; at the Oregon coast; on my horse anywhere; on a massage table.

Four things I won't eat:
Meat; fowl; shellfish; horseradish.

Four of my favorite foods:
Curries of many types; grapefruit; Dubliner cheese; and, of course, chocolate! ;-)

Four TV programs I watch:
Nightly news is the only 'program' I watch with any regularity, but I do occasionally catch Dancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and The Voice when they are airing.

Four things I'm looking forward to this year:
This is a tough one, as we aren't making any big plans or approaching any big milestones. If I can find any way to swing it, I'm going to fly to Texas for my niece's wedding in July. Her mom has passed away and her dad (my step-brother) is in prison, so I want to support her; plus, I'd get to see my folks and probably my sister, too. Oh, I am looking forward to lambing season, and to working with my friend's mare, and to another year of dancing with my own fine steed!

Four things I'm always saying:
"It's time to get up." "Focus." "(name that attitude) is a choice. You can choose to look at it differently, or you can choose to be miserable." "Pick up/put away your clothes/schoolbooks/toys." Can you tell I'm a mom???

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Our poor pooches

Recently our dogs have taken us on a roller coaster of health concerns. First Dozer lost interest in food; then Jackson threw up, then Dozer went through a couple days of occasionally yelping for no discernible reason, then Jackson threw up again. That last one happened Friday evening, and things went downhill from there. Jackson woke us to go outside every hour to hour and a half, and by morning was weak, listless, and dehydrated. Before we left for church Saturday morning, Rick ran some fluids with glucose sub-Q; when we got home Jackson was feeling slightly perkier but still had bloody, mucousy diarrhea and no interest in food. His temp was normal, so it appeared to be a bad case of enteritis.
Dozer couldn't figure out what was wrong with his buddy!

Finally, by Saturday night, he was willing to eat some white rice.

This morning, Jackson ate some more rice and was much perkier. He still had diarrhea, but was clearly on the mend; I am so relieved!

Happy to have healthy hounds again at . . .

Friday, January 23, 2015

Wait for it....

This morning while having worship, I noticed some color on the horizon. These things can be fleeting, so I snapped a photo.
But instead of being the sum total of the dawn's glory, that was only the precursor to THIS –

While I stood in the doorway to the deck taking the second photo, a male Anna's hummingbird with even more stunning colors buzzed me repeatedly. I was actually concerned that he might get by me and into the house! So I closed the door, then got the idea to capture the bold little fellow at our feeder with the sunrise in the background. I waited, finger on shutter, until I finally had to capitulate to my complaining back.

It coulda been a contender.... ;-)

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Winter's perfume (with added photos)

A "drive-by shooting;" the evening sky on our way to fencing class tonight

This afternoon, in my brief time at home between work/errands and Brian's fencing lesson, I stepped outside to clean dog paws and was hit with heady fragrance. I knew instantly that the sarcococca was finally in bloom!
Inconspicuous but incredibly fragrant flowers
Sarcococca line the north side of our house (plus our dead heat pump)
A close-up of fully opened flowers

I've checked on it several times in the last month to see only buds; I should have known it would clearly announce its debut. Before too long, the daphne odora on the opposite side of the house will add to our olfactory delights. I love our winter bloomers!

Speaking of bloomers, my woolly girls look like they are wearing some. Some of them acted bloomin' silly, too, when I turned them out late yesterday afternoon while I rode!

I didn't notice until watching this video clip on my computer that I caught one of Annabelle's stumbles. Earlier this week Rick was helping me bring the sheep in at dusk, and when he walked out into the pasture he found Annabelle cast and had to help her up. That's why she gets a protected corner when in the fold, and I don't leave the ewe flock out when I'm not home. She eats well and enjoys life, though, so we will continue to accommodate her as long as that's the case.

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, January 19, 2015


We DID make it to the beach, and it was wonderful! But I came home to a sad sight;
Rick had cut down my doomed Japanese maple, leaving a shocking stump to greet me. ;-(  Thankfully, I have several replacements to choose from. I need to refresh my memory on the qualities of each to make the best choice for this spot; Rick still needs to pull the stump.

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, January 18, 2015

My weekend in a rain gauge

For the drizzly Pacific Northwest, that's a lot of rain. Most of that fell by yesterday afternoon; at the moment I can see glimpses of blue sky through the clouds. I'm hoping to take advantage of a break in the weather at some point today to ride my pony, even if Kate and I don't have a big enough window to haul our horses to the beach.

Homeschool co-op starts up again this week after a long holiday break; I'm feeling a little panicky about that. I've finally gotten the hang of keeping all my plates spinning – but add another? Just wait for the sound of crashing china.
I told my boss, who is the yearbook co-teacher, that I didn't think I could continue in the co-op with the addition of my job, and she told me "YOU CAN'T QUIT!" (I think that applied to both the co-op and the job.) I told her I might need a raise; heh.

There has been knitting; I got a lot done on Kate's socks while sitting in the ER Thursday night. I really wanted to finish these so she could take them to Johns-Hopkins tomorrow, you know, to wrap her (or at least her feet) in love. That's what we knitters do; the Yarn Harlot expressed this beautifully here. But this is just a short trip for a consultation; there will be more, and the socks will be done.

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, January 16, 2015

New life

Unusual circumstances continue, so I enjoyed the above skyscape as I headed down to water and feed all the stock before work yesterday morning (Rick cleaned stalls later). Then the day turned gloomy and eventually wet; the rain gauge showed 2" this morning. Today was supposed to be wet, too, but we've been blessed with a sunny, mild day. I did chores again this morning, including refilling the girls' mineral feeder:
Can you tell they were out of kelp and minerals for awhile?

A little later I turned the girls out on pasture for the day. Vienna (L) and Sarai (R), the two ewes I put with Blake last fall, both look appropriately blimpy. They aren't due for another five weeks at the earliest (unless Vienna took advantage of the male companionship she had during her extended transport to Oregon), so they will only get bigger.

Yikes! For comparison, here is Marta, who didn't get bred but has much longer fleece than Vienna and Sarai:

My two potted rose bushes are starting to put out leaves:

Spring is on its way!

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My turn

That's what I get for waxing nostalgic about morning chores – this morning I got to do them all by myself!

We all got to bed after 1:00 this morning after a little visit to the ER, but as usual, I woke up first. I decided to let my guys sleep and headed to the barn. Hello, my beautiful wool-bearers!
It's "all about that fleece." ;-)

After feeding, watering, and cleaning stalls, I decided to cut Breezy's tail. What's left needs a good soak and soaping to get all the cancer gunk out, but that will be a more manageable task now.
Yes, Lance, I see you waiting in the wings. A friend gave me a feed ball to help keep my mouthy mustang occupied, so I filled that next. I think it's a hit!
We didn't do any schoolwork or practice today, so I got a LOT done. Laundry, scrubbing and vacuuming floors, cleaning out flowerbeds, making a big kettle of tasty soup – even cleaning and re-bedding the Sheep Sheraton with Rick's help. (That's twice in as many months, a new record!) Now I think I'd better hit the hay and try to get enough sleep to function tomorrow at work.

That's it for today from . . .