Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ending the year with a ditty

"The sun and the moon go up and down...."
"The wheels on the car go round and round...."
"The drum in the washer goes spin, spin, spin...."
"The head of the vacuum goes back and forth...."
"The legs on the sheep go boing, boing, boing...."
"The feet of the horse go clop, clop, clop...."
"The muscles of the men go flex, flex, flex...."
"The sound of the gun goes bang . . . bang."

All around . . .

And that was just today! My folks and I headed to the airport this morning as the moon was setting.
Moonset through the garden fence

The roads were frosty, but far better than when they arrived last Sunday night in the middle of a beautiful, dangerous ice storm:

Thankfully, Christmas morning dawned with my husband and parents safely at home!
We enjoyed our somewhat unconventional Christmas dinner, and opened presents that night. We had agreed ahead of time to keep gifting minimal, since being together was our biggest treat.
We thoroughly enjoyed that treat all week. On Friday, instead of doing my weekly housecleaning, we played a multi-hour game of dominos. (Rick's not much for table games, so he played on his lathe. Results in a later post.)
So after today's scenic drive back from the airport, 
Mt. Jefferson
Mt. Hood
I got busy doing laundry, cleaning the house, and changing sheets (Mom and Dad stayed in our room so they didn't have to negotiate stairs). I did take an outside break to turn the sheep out
and ride my mustang man for the first time in too long. He gained weight over the holidays like the rest of us, and we need to get back to regular conditioning. Finishing this year and starting next year in the saddle helps cement that commitment.
A ride with a view!
Rick and Brian were already outside when I headed out, preparing to fix the floor of the henhouse. While I was getting Lance ready, I heard a commotion. I looked out of the barn to see Rick standing across the driveway from the henhouse and Brian sprinting toward the house. The cause was soon visible; the skunk hiding under the rotten floor waddled out the door and around the coop! When I got close enough to snap a photo (using my zoom) as it tried to wriggle through the wire of a chicken cage, it was also odiferously apparent; Rick got sprayed on the legs when he disturbed it.
Poor thing; I wish it had chosen a different place to live.

In spite of that one sad note, the day ended beautifully, with the setting sun in the west and the rising moon in the east.
I cherished the time with my parents; it felt like a week-long holiday! Now it's time to get back to my usual routine and activities, and face the new year. With all that has transpired this year, more than ever I feel the need of heavenly peace and courage to face whatever might come. Thankfully, that is freely offered.

So Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

'Twas the night before the night before

Last night at chore time, Babette had her coat dragging from her neck, several girls were backed into a corner, and everyone seemed agitated. The ewes hadn't gotten out due to church and company; that probably had something to do with it. I haltered Babette (she's a full sister to the aforefeatured ram lamb's dam), removed the damaged coat, and led her into the barn for a fresh one – after photos, of course!

Yes, her toes are long; she got a pedicure along with a clean coat.

This morning dawned wet and cold – I thought. But when I ventured out, I discovered there was a  thin layer of ICE on everything. I skated out on the deck to fill the hummingbird and black oil sunflower seed feeders, then crept down the driveway to do chores, being even more careful after collecting two precious eggs. The hens' production has dropped to an average of one a day, so I am having to strategize my holiday/company menu. This downy woodpecker needs neither seeds nor eggs for a good meal:

Oreo wanted attention more than she wanted food:

I've spent the rest of the day inside, preparing for my parents' arrival and working on a gift knit out of my comfort zone (synthetic boucle yarn on my biggest needles) when I needed a break. We're putting my folks in our bedroom so they don't have to negotiate stairs, so it and our bathroom have gotten a much needed deep cleaning in anticipation!

So why am I on the computer putting up a Christmas Eve post? Because the meteorologists got it wrong. :-(  Instead of warming up by the end of the day, freezing rain continues to fall as I type. I posted this on Instagram and Facebook this afternoon, and within minutes my neighbor called. Her husband had driven a relative to the airport today and it took much longer than usual. Interstate 205 was a sheet of ice and traffic was crawling along at five miles an hour. My DH (earning the "dear"!) put his 4X4 vet truck back together ( he was working on a wiring issue), chained up, and is driving to the airport as I type, bless him. That leaves me to do the last bit of cleaning, chores, the church newsletter, and lots of praying for his safety up and back with my folks while literally keeping the home fires burning. So once again,

Merry Christmas from . . .

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Sheep in heavenly peace

Well, not this guy:
Since the ram lambs got in with ewes (twice!), Bogie has been wethered, but intact Bonaparte still dreams of girls.Girls.GIRLS! His hoarse baaaas caused the neighbor to ask if everything was alright with my sheep.

He needs his own flock, where he's not related to nine of the ten ewes. But for now he's here, dreaming of ewe.

Brian as shepherd, far left

Our Christmas service was today, and all three of us were in the play that took the place of the sermon. The the pastor and his wife are coming over for dinner (they are originally from South Africa, and have no family here); they will arrive any minute. Then tomorrow my parents arrive for a week; hurray! So in case I don't have another chance to say it –

Merry Christmas from . . .

Friday, December 22, 2017

Sleep in heavenly peace

Jackson has become a lapdog. In the past he declined all invitations to join me on chair or couch, but then he started joining me on the bed, and now that I have a recliner he can barely wait for me to get the footrest up and locked so he can snuggle.
The shortest day of the year has been a cold and foggy one here. I welcome Jackson's body heat; Dozer and Rick enjoy the wood heat.
We should be in bed, but inertia has set in. I'm the only one awake now, enjoying the quiet and the Christmas lights. Silent night, except for the fireplace fan and heavy breathing from the two on the floor. Peace on earth, goodwill among men is easy to imagine. God rest ye, wherever you are.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The halls are finally decked!

I was beginning to think our Christmas tree would sport the minimalist look this year, with just lights and four ornaments. The first three were birthday gifts this year: a 2017 bulldog keepsake ornament from my friend Debbie (this is #12!), an adorable sheep from my friend Kate, and a Jackson ornament for Brian.

The fourth was last year's ornament from Debbie, stashed in a cupboard because we never got the Christmas box out last year.
But today, just 20 days after der tannenbaum's arrival, the rest of the ornaments now decorate its branches, and more lights and decorations went up all around thanks to the teenaged elf.

Yes, there are even Christmas lights on the woodshed – which actually work quite nicely when we need to refill the wheelbarrow.

Last night we attended our final Christmas party and had such a fun time. That was followed by the first night's sleep undisturbed by pain since my dental work on the 5th. With all that and decorating today, I'm feeling rather jolly!

From a merry and bright . . .