Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cures for what ailed me

Between the national news and a failing old gentleman ram, I've been feeling sad and unsettled this week. But yesterday Nightcap rallied some (I'm plying him with goodies)

and I was inundated with blessings in the form of produce. One of Rick's clients invited him over to pick green and mung beans, and they also sent home a bunch of yellow crookneck squash and a few tomatoes (to add to my piddly stash of tomatoes and bountiful harvest of zucchini).

While they were gone, a neighbor called to tell me our favorite little peach orchard was opening up to just a few locals for limited hours this week only for FREE picking! Earlier in the summer we were told there wouldn't be any peaches from them this year; the trees were hit hard with leaf curl. (We suspect he didn't spray this year because he plans to tear out the rest of the trees for wine grapes.)-:

So Rick and Brian got home, unloaded garden produce (I was already prepping for dilly beans, starting with green beans from our own garden), grabbed boxes and laundry baskets, and headed down to pick peaches. Oh glorious day!
Between 14 pints of spicy dilly beans and the big bowl of green and mung beans we grilled for our supper (along with veggie burgers with all the fixin's, garlic from our garden, and onion slices) that giant mixing bowl of beans has been reduced to a handful. Now on to freezing peaches – and a fresh peach pie or two!

That's it from blessed and busy . . .

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fall's coming; I can feel it!

Of course, I may not be able to feel it tomorrow or again for weeks to come, but last weekend's weather has been followed by a few deliciously fresher days and nights. And it's not just me; the other morning I saw a Western Gray Squirrel industriously burying hazelnuts!
I really should harvest some of those hazelnuts and English walnuts for our own use. But when we've collected them in the past, few got shelled. I like to knit or spin when I have a chance to sit down, and my guys have no inclination to busy their fingers at all while sitting.  :-/

Rick and Brian have been stacking firewood in preparation for the change of seasons, though. That is a form of "squirreling away."
No squirrels here, just some pretty pastel flowers on my hostas.
That's it for now from . . .

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Breathing room

Hallelujah! After two weeks of heat and horrible air quality, we got a respite. Last night a fresh coast breeze blew in, followed by a shower in the early morning hours. Today was cooler, cloudier, fresher – a blessed relief, however brief.

Another blessing was that my guys cleaned out the sheep fold today, creating a much healthier environment for the lambs and two young ewes who have been staying in there since the foxtail headed out. Of course they had to be moved for the task, so after some shuffling they went out to the wooded lot.
Oh, to have a lush, green "lawn" for them like my Kentucky blogpals have!

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, August 11, 2017

Flock Friday

Just a couple sheep shots before I head to bed. Here's handsome flock sire Blake,

and his three 2017 daughters, Bardot, Brigitte, and Bacall.

That's it for today from . . .

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

My chair of bowlies grows

Thanks to ME (one of my favorite artists):
and my husband (my favorite wood-turner). That big bowl in my last post got its beauty treatment yesterday, and it's a show-stopper!

Call me greedy if you want; this one is staying RIGHT. HERE. So is the little dish; Brian claimed that one.

We're supposed to have a cooler week-end, maybe even some rain:
I can hardly wait!!!

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Black and blue

Our new blue girls
 are fitting into the flock of black ladies
about as well as can be expected. They stick together and there doesn't seem to be much hen-pecking.

In watching the flock since the Wyandottes arrived, it has finally dawned on me that one of the olive-eggers isn't just "unkempt."

I do believe she has a frizzle gene causing her frumpy-feathers look; it's also evident in her lightly-feathered shanks.

I've been skirting and weighing fleeces as requests come in; this week I did Bing's 2016 and 2017 fleeces. Both weighed more than the interested party wanted so are still available; I must say it's tempting to have them processed together into roving for myself! Such lovely crimp, length, and color....

When I was at work Monday, Rick called to say we got the green flag to pick blueberries at his client's commercial farm. He and Brian grabbed all the containers they could find at the clinic and headed out; I joined them when I got off work . . . in the middle of the afternoon. Ugh; after a bit of a break from last week's record-breaking heat, we are now hot AND muggy. My work clothes were soaked with sweat within minutes. But we got our year's supply picked – then I spent hours last night and this morning cleaning, sorting and freezing them.

There are a few other colors showing up, too. I picked our first non-cherry tomato the other day, and this morning I picked a bucket full of green beans.

The bumblebees are really working my lavender:

and Rick and I have been working on our respective hobbies:

(Pictured is one little dish. and one big bowl, unstained, in various poses with my smallest Jenkins Turkish spindle, a Kuchulu.)

When I dumped the horses' stock tank to scrub it out and refill it, it was clear the raccoons have been working – or playing:

And I've even worked my asthmatic horse a wee little bit! Sunsets are always prettier from the back of a good horse.  ;-)

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Déjà vu

My grade school years were spent in Southern California. I remember spending much of my summers in the community swimming pool – except for the required "time out" every hour or so because of poor air quality. I don't think it was any worse then than this:
Yesterday morning
This morning
Yesterday morning it almost looked foggy in the valley at first, and I noticed a gentle breeze from the north. Before the end of chores that "fog" surrounded us; turned out it was smoke blowing in from wildfires in British Columbia. Today it's even worse, with the addition of smoke from a fire near Mt. Jefferson to our east. My eyes are burning; the critters are all heat-stressed and my asthmatic horse is breathing hard. I wish I had an "ark" so I could take all our animals over to the coast until fall!

The increased haze kept us from getting quite as hot today, although what's a few degrees when you're already in the triple digits. I have our AC set at 80° and the heat pump runs continuously at that. Last night Rick insisted on turning the thermostat down to 74°(!), even though we have a cool(er) daylight basement we could sleep in. I guess he's feeling like Mr. Moneybags.... (The dogs and I hung out in the basement when I got home from work this afternoon.)
The vegetable garden is pretty happy with the heat, though, as long as I keep it watered. Yesterday morning I went up to move the hose, and was startled to see some big green beans. I went back to the house for a bowl that almost wasn't big enough:
We'll have some steamed tonight; I'd make dilly beans but I don't have any dill. Last night I made zoodles with pesto from zucchini and basil from our garden, and then mixed up some zucchini black bean burgers for lunches. I'm planning to try these soon with our eggplant, and we ate up all the snow peas for lunch the other day. A few little tomatoes and sweet peppers are beginning to ripen; I hope they come on strong. I love eating from our garden; it's a pleasure – AND a necessity after spending so much on hay last month!

That's it for now from hot and hazy . . .