Monday, February 20, 2017

Life is just a chair of bowlies

(with a sweeping bow to Mary Engelbreit,
and a half-hearted apology for the bragging and photos that follow ;-)

After Rick's stunning woodturning debut under his client's tutelage, he has continued playing at our lathe at home. The first small bowl he turned here had a natural flaw that I've encouraged him to turn into a yarn hook. But he was on a bowl roll, so he set that one aside to try again. His third effort in Big-Leaf Maple resulted in an exquisite complement to the debut "salad" bowl. Then he tackled a chunk of black walnut, creating a vessel the perfect size and shape for a cake of yarn.

I think all of them are gorgeous, and could admire their beauty for hours while turning them in my hands to see the grain and chatoyance. Rick sees and comments on their "imperfections," and wishes they were better (with the exception of the salad bowl; he's pretty happy with that one). I guess that's okay, because that means he'll keep "practicing"!

That's it for now from . . .

Sunday, February 19, 2017

All the news that's fit to print

Sheep first (this is the Boulderneigh blog, after all!):
All the woollies are doing fine. Bramble is still keeping Nightcap company in the Ram-ada Inn:

The girls in the Sheep Sheraton aren't showing any signs of impending lambing so I suspect we're a month out from the first-bred older ewes' due dates. I think our church's annual women's coast retreat will land safely between the first set of lambs and the second set of lambs.

The boy band is co-existing peacefully in the wooded lot, growing beautiful wool. Dear deaf Benny didn't hear me approach this morning, so I caught some cute snooze shots before he woke up.

Knitting update:
I finished the owl hat but for the button eyes; so cute – and easy! I think it might be too short for its intended's taste, though, so I may be knitting #2 post-haste (there's plenty of yarn left over for another). I need to get back to the red fingerless mitts, too; I have to pick up stitches around the cabled band and knit the wrists, then add the thumbs.

Non-acquisition year update:
So far, so good! I had one little hiccup in January, when I spotted a bin of FitBit bands at the grocery store. I had worn out my basic black band so needed a replacement, but also spotted a pretty, patterned one in gray and white. I purchased both (for a grand total of $5) but realized the patterned one was an acquisition and returned it. Some of you might think that's a little silly, but I really do have more than enough of every thing, and this is a personal exercise in recognizing and being thankful for that. Besides, this new year is already smacking us with lots of unexpected, large financial challenges; every little bit not spent helps! Which leads us to...

Vet truck update:
This is a mixture of bane and blessing. I mentioned that the clutch had gone out on a trip over the hill and Rick had crept home in first gear. Once home he crawled under and investigated, but concluded it would have to go to a "truck doc." So he rented a tow-dolly to take it to the mechanic . . . only the tow-dolly wasn't big enough for an F350, so he had to call a tow truck. In the process of loading it, he and the tow truck driver discovered that the steering was non-functional – broken steering box. The driver noted that "Someone must be looking out for you;" amen! Now the big beast is at the Power Stroke specialist, who has diagnosed a host of heavy-hitting deficits. We're looking at $5000 minimum to get it back on the road, but considering the cost to replace it, we don't have any choice. Let's hope it goes another few hundred thousand miles (it has over 400K now)....

Heavey horse update:
Thankfully, my husband is a better vet than mechanic. ;-)  Lance is doing much better, and that makes my heart sing. After getting his immune system calmed down with dexamethasone injections, we're maintaining him with twice-a-day oral prednisolone. I'm hoping we can switch him to an aerosolized version or a bronchodilator, which have fewer risks of side effects.

Sports-mom update:
Brian played his last JV basketball game last week. The varsity team made it to the regional finals and won their first game Friday. Last night we attended game two. "Our" team lost the game; Brian and I lost our voices.  ;-)

That's it for now from . . .

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Poems, prayers, and promises

After two full days of non-stop rain
The sun broke through our skies of gray.

The good Lord knew my desperate need
And filled it in His timely way.

Actions taken, cost unknown;
Let the chips fall where they may.

Prayers continue unabated
That all, in the end, will be okay.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The sun also rises

The woman also knits.

I thought I posted this Sunday! The hat (same WIP, different light) has grown considerably. See the owls?

One day at a time, at . . .

Friday, February 10, 2017

Brighter colors

Thanks for your love and concern; I can't share more. It's not normal family stuff; we're talking "waaaaaay out in left field" stuff that could last a long time. In the meantime, I have brighter photos to share.

This morning there was actually SUNSHINE, so I took one of my DH's current wood-turning (he's getting good!) projects out on the deck for a photo shoot.

This small, unfinished big-leaf maple bowl has a natural flaw in it, so I suggested he turn it into a yarn bowl. ;-)

While out there, the resident male Anna's hummingbird buzzed around, finally landing on the feeder. I was able to carefully turn just enough to aim my camera at him and get some stunning photos, if I do say so myself. I'll share just one for now, as a teaser:

This afternoon at the violin teacher's house, I captured a shot of one of their resident squirrels. I don't know what kind it is; I was captivated by its fuzzy red ears!

Later, back at home and out on the deck again shaking rugs, Mr. Hummer came for another feeding and photo op. The light wasn't as good, but he's still gorgeous.

When I scared him, he flew to an oft-used perch in the side yard and scolded me:

In closing, the evening cloudscape:

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Shades of gray

Mum's the word on the load I'm bearing, so I'll just share a few recent photos – which I realized when uploading are all fittingly in shades of gray:

I do have a more colorful photo to share. When I parked outside the garage and got out of my car this afternoon, my nose told me the sarcacocca on the north side of the house is in full bloom. Sure enough. Those tiny white flowers are powerfully perfumy!

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, February 06, 2017

Row, row, row your boat

After needing chains to get down our hill on Friday morning, we almost needed a boat once off our hill yesterday! There was already "a river running through it" when I went out for morning chores,

and the rain didn't let up all day. After Rick limped home* from an afternoon of wood-turning at a client's house, I dashed into town to pick up feed, navigating several spots where water covered the road.

*The "limping"? The clutch went out in Rick's vet truck yesterday. He managed to start it in first gear and crawl home, but now it sits in our driveway, "dead in the water" so to speak. Oh, and now he's come down with some feverish, miserable bug that Brian and I are desperately hoping to NOT get. A heavy load of stress is not helping our immune systems....

But the sun did make a cameo appearance this afternoon,
and I grabbed the brass ring by jumping on my copper pony for our first ride since his diagnosis of COPD and subsequent beginning of treatment. It was, in a word, WONDERFUL.

That's it for today from . . .

Friday, February 03, 2017

Always winter but never Christmas

Chains were required to get off our hill this morning

The icicles continue to grow as rain falls

This winter resembles that remark. Actually, The Chronicles of Narnia have been on my mind a lot lately, especially The Last Battle. I see so many parallels to the times in which we are living.

But in spite of that, all is not doom and gloom. There are sunrises to lift the spirits,

and sheep to cheer the soul.
Sweet Sarai, my BWF (best woolly friend) of the day

None of the other girls were feeling' the love that morning
And once in a while, my husband surprises me in just the right way.
Found tucked in my unmentionables drawer this morning

That's it for now from . . .