Friday, July 31, 2015

Stop the insanity!

Portland was hotter than Houston, Miami, and Reno today – and McMinnville was even hotter. I'm ready to go underground . . . or move to the coast. Rick and Brian are already there for a church camp-out; I'm going to drive over for the day tomorrow. I sure hope this year is an anomaly, and not the new normal....

While I was waiting for it to cool off (it didn't) before doing chores tonight, the blue moon put on a show. I hope you got to enjoy it, too; the next blue moon won't happen until January 2018!

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Triple play

This afternoon Brian and I beat the heat, watered the lawn, and gave my car a facelift  – with bonus water fights on the side. (And we rode our horses together this morning; see Instagram.)

It was a good day at . . .

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Twitter? Not tempting. Instagram? Intriguing.

I haven't used my iPhone to take pictures much, because it is a hassle to move the photos from phone to laptop for blogging. Instagram wasn't on my radar until the YarnHarlot said she'd be sharing photos  of her charity bike ride on Instagram. So I logged on to follow her, and instantly saw the appeal of sharing photos directly from my iPhone via Instagram. So if you want to see what I share there, click on that Instagram logo over in the right column. And if you like what I share, I'd really appreciate your comments!

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Catch-up, catsup

Or Ketchup and Mustard roses (seriously, that's what they're named). ;-)
I took those photos Sunday morning. We were hoping for a lot more rain out of the cool, cloudy front that moved through over the weekend, but those tiny droplets were the sum total for Boulderneigh; they didn't even settle the dust. Now we are headed back into the high 90s; what a summer!

We did get 50 more bales of beautiful third-cutting orchardgrass hay into the barn while it was cool. The resident hay inspector okayed the load; fortunately she approved it. I think we're set for hay now, which is a good feeling.

The Tour de Fleece ended yesterday; I didn't quite have my plying done. I'll do a separate post on that once I'm finished.

Brian's vacation is almost done, too; he flies home (by himself; eek!) tomorrow night. He has enjoyed himself with Grandpa and Grandma; Rick and I have enjoyed our parenting break. We even went on a couple dates! Last night I rode with Rick on his last call, then we ate at our favorite restaurant in Salem. We parked on the other side of a park and had a lovely stroll past the pond where life was imitating art,
followed by a lovely dinner-with-a-view,
followed by another lovely stroll back to the truck.

Sprite will be happy to have his boy back; I haven't had time to let him out to fly around as much as Brian does.

I haven't had time to do a lot of what I hoped to accomplish while Brian was gone. But that is life, and life marches on!

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, July 26, 2015

This Tour brought to you by....

I doubt I ever would have picked up knitting needles after a 30-year hiatus – forget about learning to spin my own yarn – had I not gotten Shetland sheep. My Ravelry name, "sheepmademedoit," says it all . . . and yet it doesn't. My little flock has done so much more than lead me down the fiber-arts rabbit hole; my sheep feed my soul in ways no other creature can.

This morning when I carried hay out to the pasture, Bree made it clear she wanted some attention. So I sat down, and soon had all but Vienna asking for their share. Rick spotted our lovefest, and grabbed my camera where I had left it in the barn.
Eventually I persuaded him to hand  over the camera so no one would get hurt. ;-)  To my surprise he lingered in the pasture, and soon he had a little fan club of his own.

I'm still plying away on my Tour de Fleece project, but it is good to remember how all this started. It is good to be (and have) a shepherd.

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, July 24, 2015

I can see the finish line from here

See that little bit of roving? That's the last of it! I'm thinking I'll have this spun AND plied by the end of the Tour – woot!

As for my other TdF goal – you know, spinning Blaise's fleece on my miniSpinner? Well, let's just say the end of the Tour snuck up on me; I was thinking I had several more days. Not that that would have made much difference. Between my limited time and my monogamous nature, I haven't even started it. But once my rainbow lovefest is finished, I will focus on Blaise. That's the beauty of the Tour de Fleece; it reminds me how much I enjoy this process, this pastime . . . among others.

(How DO people get bored?!?)

Sprinting to the end, at . . .


NW Oregon isn't supposed to look like this, right? Actually, we do dry out and turn brown every summer, but summer came early this year with record low rainfall and record high temps. The horses and sheep have been on full hay rations for awhile now. In the photo above, Blaise, Sarai and Bramble are off searching for something tasty, but they will join Vienna and Bree at the hay piles soon enough. (Vienna could stand to step away from the hay; she already looks preggers!)

We had some sheep and horse hay left over from last year. We knew we'd need more horse hay and bought what our closest source had available; we hoped we'd have enough sheep hay. (The horses get coarser, single-cutting hay; the sheep get second- or third-cutting orchardgrass hay.) But even with feeding the wethers and ram the finer-stemmed horse hay, my stack of orchard grass looked woefully inadequate. So I called my "sheep hay guy," one of the few local growers who irrigates in order to get more than one cutting; he had 50 bales left. I caved; they are being held for us. Good thing sheep sales were good this year!

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My magic trick

I'm mailing Bart's and Marta's fleeces to their buyer today. Little Marta's fleece weighs just over two pounds, but big Bart's weighs more than my scale's five-pound limit. I got out my biggest box. Hmm; Houston, we may have a problem.
But I have my methods. Those thin plastic bags are my stage assistants. Using my arms, legs, and body, I play "constrictor snake" and squeeeeeze the excess air out, twisting the neck of the bag to hold the vacuum. It took a few tries this time, but in the end, the deed was done!

Fleece buyers have commented on my ability to pack a fleece; fortunately, no one has yet said they've been knocked down or out by a fleece-Jack-in-the-box!

That's it for today from . . .

Monday, July 20, 2015

Balancing act

During these two weeks Brian is with my folks, I hoped to check off many things on my mental to-do list – some deep cleaning and significant decluttering; skirting the rest of the fleeces; riding my horse more often; meeting up with friends I see too seldom; spinning along with the Tour de France/Fleece; blocking three (four?) knitted projects – on top of all the usual commitments like my three part-time jobs, chores, watering, gardening, cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. Rick had ONE thing on his mental list: spending time with me. Isn't that sweet? Yeah, well, if I spend ALL my waking, non-working time with him, not even the bare minimum gets done – forget all those other things I hoped to do! So we compromise. I haven't gotten much done on my list, but Rick doesn't get me all the time, either (just most of the time). And when being with him involves travel time, I get in spinning time; woot!

Take yesterday, for example. Rick wanted to play all day, but I set my foot down and said I HAD to skirt Bart's fleece first. Just before I left for Texas, someone had reserved Bart's and Marta's fleeces; I got Marta's done last week (below) and needed a block of cooler morning hours in the shade of the house to skirt Bart's.

Once that was done, we headed for the coast with the dogs. After a long, winding drive, we stopped for lunch in Tillamook (can you believe we didn't get any ice cream?!?), then drove over the ridge to Oceanside and into cool, refreshing marine air.
I had never been to Oceanside before, and loved the tunnel access to the little beach on the other side of the headland. One of Rick's clients has some little rental cabins overlooking the beach in Oceanside; I think it would be fun to spend a weekend and explore some more. We couldn't stay long yesterday because Rick had a veterinary call to make before the end of the day and it was 55 miles SE of our house (we had traveled 90 miles NW to get to Oceanside).

Needless to say, there was no time to ride Lance yesterday....

That's it for now from . . .