Saturday, April 30, 2016


I have no idea why I have such a dearth of lamb photos this year. After all, there's only one to try and capture!
Obviously, Babette was DONE with the photo shoot. Not big sister Bree, though. She saw me sitting on a board and came running over!

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Beautiful browns

Today while the first "brown" iris unfurled nearby,

I unfurled and skirted Vienna's fleece.
Isn't it pretty? Last year's fleece didn't look as good because by the time I realized Vienna wasn't able to be rooed, there was a layer of rise above the cut line. I had that fleece processed into roving for myself, knowing it will have some neps and noils; this fleece is going to a repeat customer who is buying seven of my fleeces this year.

See this? That's another spike of buds developing on my orchid! The white blooms on the second spike are still perfection; this plant is truly the gift (from Rick for our anniversary last June) that keeps on giving!

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Getting what you pay for, or . . .

. . . getting your money's worth?

A hair "salon" chain is having a haircut sale, and we all took advantage of it this week. Rick went "under the knife" on Monday, just before we headed to Portland to watch the Blazers in the NBA playoffs. (Fantastic game then and tonight! Go, Rip City!!!) His hairdresser got overzealous and he came out looking like a peeled onion.

Yesterday I took Brian in for a much needed haircut at a different location, where he's gotten good cuts before. While he was getting his ears lowered, I decided I might as well get a trim, too, since it is difficult to get in to see my usual hairdresser. The nice young lady who cut my hair . . . cut my hair . . . and cut my hair. I was getting more and more nervous; why didn't I say anything??? You know it's bad when your son tells you to wear a hat. :-/  But hey, none of us will need haircuts for awhile! No, you don't get to see it. How about some flowers and leaves? ;-)

Got Bittersweet's fleece skirted this evening:

Hope to get more done tomorrow!

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, April 25, 2016

Knee-high to a grasshopper

Benny lost his coat yesterday, but I just didn't have it in me to round up the boys, catch him, and fit him with a new suit. This morning Benny's white(ish) wool was bright again Blake's coat as they both slept in. (Click to biggify Benny's sweet sleeping face. ;-)

By the time Brian and I finished morning chores, the boys had gathered in the Ram-ada Inn's lot (I think they are looking for the missing member of their flock). Moving quickly, I blocked their escape and caught Benny.

With my grasshopper's help, he was quickly fitted with a clean coat and back out with his buds.

That's it for now from . . .

Sunday, April 24, 2016

And then we cried

Bart was dead this morning. He was curled up like he was asleep, so I hope he went peacefully. I'm going to miss my big, shy boy who gave me a big, stunning fleece each year; I am heartbroken that we could not help him recover.

The show – or rather, the skirting – must go on, though. I got a start today, getting Browning's and Benny's done. If Brian cooperates, I should be able to get another couple done tomorrow.

That's it for today from . . .

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Earth Day

The earth here is freshly washed and well watered. We had an actual thunderstorm and gullywasher last night, complete with lightning, and the rain continues off and on. We get so little thunder and lightning here in the Willamette Valley; it's one thing I miss about the Midwest (they can keep the heat and humidity, tornadoes and damaging hail, thankyouverymuch ;-).
The four boys out the in the wooded lot looked bedraggled this morning; Benny needs help with his coat but didn't want to be caught.

Bart and Browning are still tucked in the Ram-ada Inn. There is no change in Bart; every time I go down to check on him I brace myself for the worst. I don't know how he's hanging on; there's no evidence that he's eating, drinking, or peeing. The other day I offered him fresh maple leaves, one of the sheep's favorite treats, and he barely sniffed at them. I'm afraid he's dead on his feet. That's the way sheep are; they are incredibly tough and stoic, hiding symptoms from the casual observer as a survival mechanism. By the time their distress is obvious, it is often too late to successfully intervene, hence the old adage that "a sick sheep is a dead sheep."

That is not a dog toy; it is Brian's beloved Bear. Brian felt the need of his company yesterday, but made me swear not to tell anyone. (You're not "anyone," right? Hey, I'm not sharing the photo of Brian holding Bear while taking one of his tests!) It was a tiny ray of sunshine in a dark and stormy day – and I'm not talking weather. Sometimes I think my defiant, disrespectful teenager will be the death of me, trampling my time, energy, and trust on a daily basis. God must have some powerful lessons for me to learn in this season of life, but it's hard to see them in the midst of it. I try to keep looking up with hope, like Dozer:
And yes, Dozer's hope was realized. I need to remember that as an object lesson! ;-)

Speaking of looking up, it looks like we'll have a bumper crop of fruit this year; above are some of our baby cherries, apples, and prunes.

I'm so glad it's Earth Day, as it gave me a theme to get the blogging ball rolling. God made us an amazing planet to call home; we humans aren't always good stewards of it. Soon the time will come "for judging the dead, and rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small – and for destroying those who destroy the earth." Fair warning!

I'll leave you with a sweet little ditty from one of my favorite musicians:

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Talkin' 'bout a heat wave

Our area weather has been blowing records out of the water this week – baby, it's been HOT outside! Thankfully, it's starting to cool off – a bit. (Please, let this not forebode an even hotter summer.) The upside is that the grass has been growing gangbusters and is heading out, so the horses have gotten to enjoy some limited pasture time along with the sheep. We still had to buy a couple more tons of (expensive) hay to get us through to this year's harvest; we've never underestimated like this before. =:-O

Bart isn't doing well. This morning Rick bought him some time by aspirating a bunch of (blood-tinged) urine out of his bladder, and trimming off the unhealthy end of his urethra. I hope we're not just prolonging his discomfort before an inevitable end.... :-(

Now that I'm feeling better, I'm hoping to salvage what I can of Sarai's sagging fleece, and start skirting the rest. While you wait impatiently (hee) for fleece photos, here's a little tune from Brian's violin lesson this week:

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Back in the saddle...

...figuratively and literally.

After nearly a week of taking it easy, I'm feeling a lot less "broken." Yesterday I managed to put on my own socks, today I got back on my horse for a 20-minute walk around the arena, and this evening I was back at the barn doing chores for the first time since last Monday morning. Today was also the first time since Monday that I've reached my FitBit target of 12,000 steps.

Unfortunately, trouble was brewing while I was healing. I had noticed in passing that Bart seemed to be hanging out by himself, but it wasn't until today that I stopped and watched him. Drip.... Drip.... Drip. Uh-oh. As soon as Rick got home from errands I told him that Bart was dripping urine, and we moved him (and Browning for company) into the Ram-ada Inn. Manipulation didn't yield any urinary calculi, so I've started him on UROEZE in an effort to dissolve them. I pray it works; we lost Bart's half-brother Bunker to a ruptured bladder. :'-(

In better news, beautiful Babette is burgeoning,
mushrooms are multiplying,
and flowers are flourishing.
Please pray that my wether can start whizzing soon!

That's it for now from . . .