Sunday, July 15, 2018

Borrowed lines

All quiet on the northern front. That's right; after two solid weeks of intrusive, nerve-wracking activity, there was blessed silence today. Rick and Brian stopped to talk to the excavator last week; he said that for now the lot on our north and the one to its west are going to be planted in alfalfa and hayed. He is someone we have some knowledge of, however, and we'll believe what we see over what he said.

Anticipa-a-tion is making me wait – although I did pick a nice bunch of basil to make broccoli pesto pasta for Sabbath dinner. There is now a smattering of blossoms on the bush bean and snow pea plants, and the white eggplant is flowering, too. Cucumbers and peppers are filling out, and two small tomatoes are starting to change color; woot! Oh, and a friend brought me a small fig tree offspring from her parents' hardy tree, and said she could bring me another if we want. Mmm; sweet green figs from our own tree. Now we've got to decide where to plant it.

And the beat heat goes on. And on and on and on.... Really saps the productivity. My sheep shopper rescheduled for Wednesday; Rick and Brian went to a car show with friends in the morning while I watered the garden, did laundry and dishes, and visited with my fig-delivering friend. When my guys returned we all hung out in the air-conditioned house most of the rest of the day (spinning time!) until temps moderated this evening. I did spin outside awhile; Brian wanted me to watch him wash my car.

Next up: On a clear day you can see forever. Yesterday we hiked to Cape Lookout on the Oregon Coast. THAT deserves a post of its own!

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, July 13, 2018

Suck it up, Buttercup

It's hot. I hurt. Need sleep. This sucks.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all have trials and tribulations, and we all have blessings. I have A/C (even though I'm loath to use it and pay the electric bill). The heat is a good excuse to spin. And all those noxious weeds that covered that lot? They're getting torn out.
That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, July 12, 2018

So much for succinct!

 On Tuesday I planned to do a short and sweet post yesterday titled "Red Wednesday" with those photos, but so much has been going on that I had to stop and catch my breath, then regroup.

The trackhoe has been hard at work since Tuesday piling all the boulders and all the brush and blackberry vines into separate piles. Part of piling the latter includes shaking each "bite" to dislodge as much dirt as possible, which a steady north breeze/wind (an unusual direction for wind here) is blowing right at us. Even though I'm keeping the windows closed, there is a heavy layer of dust on all surfaces inside as well as out. That north wind also blew the clouds away and a heat wave in by yesterday, so at least the A/C (heat pump) is on during the day now to make up for the closed windows.
several piles on Tuesday
consolidating piles

the dirt-breathing monster

Hope the wind isn't blowing our way when they light those brush piles!

With the heat blasting us, keeping the garden watered and the berries picked is critical. Yesterday we put 10 or 11 containers of marionberries, boysenberries and raspberries in the freezer. I had already picked most of the red currants; I'm afraid the white currants may shrivel on the bush before they fully ripen. The vegetable garden all looks happy, though; maybe those tomatoes will actually turn red! The grass, however, has almost all turned brown, a seasonal phenomenon that always surprises those who think the Pacific Northwest is always rainy and green.
Jackson's way to beat the heat

Yesterday was also busy on the fleece and fleece producers front. I got a call out of the blue from an acquaintance I haven't talked to in ages, asking if I had any available sheep. She's looking for a wether and two ewes; before she comes out Sunday, I've got to make the difficult decision of who I'm willing to sell, besides the obvious choice of Bogie. Problem is, I'm pretty happy with all my ewes as proven or prospective fine-fleeced Shetland breeding stock! But I can't breed when I have this many sheep, so.... The ewes that would be easier to part with aren't as friendly, but she wants friendly sheep to join her one remaining, very friendly, wether. I've also been thinking that I should let Blaise go to the breeder who has wanted her for the last two years. Selling five sheep (counting Butler) might give me the option of breeding Sarai and Vienna to Blake again this fall....

Then yesterday evening I got a message on Ravelry from the person who bought Bittersweet's fleece. She (and her co-workers at the fiber mill where she works part-time) just love his fleece, so she wanted to know what else I had. Waiting to hear if the last of my fleeces will be flying out the door together!

So far I've kept up with spinning every day on the Tour de Fleece. I'm making lots of progress on Braveheart's roving with the miniSpinner, mostly at night, although that's not the best time of day to monkey-pick out debris (this fleece came from the days before sheep suits).

I'm doing less spinning and more photo ops with my horn spindle because of the Jenkins team challenge to try and spin in a different, distinct place each day. Five days in; so far, so good. Tomorrow I may have to walk down to the neighboring winery for a new location, as I've already used up the options of my house (inside and outside).

Seeing what others are doing for TdF is inspiring. Sara turned the trashy neck wool from one of her sheep into gorgeousness. Makes me want a set of wool combs to salvage something from my flock's trashy neck fleeces. I'm seriously considering these; what do you think? Would I use them? Would I hurt myself with them?

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

If a tree falls in the forest....

The backpackers returned late Sunday afternoon. While we were all unloading the car, one of my Japanese maples just fell over. 😳  It was a strong-looking sapling from the maple that broke off in the ice storm years ago; I'm thinking this variety must be prone to breakage. I had Brian haul it down for the boys to enjoy:
Now to get my guys to grub out the stump so I can plant one of my several varieties still languishing in pots....

I've received a deposit on Butler; three cheers for Nightcap's last son getting his own harem! After he leaves next week, Bogie will (carefully) join the big boys, and I'll only have two groups of sheep instead of three. Progress....

I'm also making progress on getting fleeces out the door. I've sold three more this week, so am down to two last 2018 fleeces, plus two fleeces from last year. Meanwhile, for Tour de Fleece I'm spinning Braveheart's hogget fleece from ten years ago; yeah, I figured it was high time. I pulled the 5+oz. of his roving I hadn't sold to spin with my miniSpinner, so my horn spindle is working on the alpaca all by itself.

Lovely oatmeal color

The garden is still lookin' good. I'm keeping up with the weeds in the main vegetable patch and everything is flourishing. I have three strings up for the snow peas and need to add a fourth; one of my squash plants is blooming and there are LOTS of flowers on the cucumbers. Tons of tomatoes are being big green teases, and there's quite a few little peppers, too. Strange that the "bush" beans are putting out tendrils, though....

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, July 06, 2018

At least my feet are happy!

My new shoes got a good test run on Wednesday. We parked some distance away from the municipal fireworks display and then walked on pavement, uneven ground, and large gravel there and back. Pure comfort! I wore them to work the next day; still perfect.

The 4th was gray all day, and we even had a few raindrops. Rick called it gloomy, but I thought it was a blessing, both to keep the heat down and to reduce the risk of fires starting from fireworks. (I love fireworks, but are they worth the risk to property and life, along with the extraordinary cost of fighting resulting fires, to continue to allow selling them?) Anyway, after a busy day of working around the place, we headed to town for the municipal event. On the way, the sunset lit up the sky with its own fireworks:

followed by that comfortable walk to and from a fine show:

Unfortunately, it's been a tough week on the horse and neighborhood fronts. Today, both trackhoe and caterpillar were working just over our fence line; it felt like an invasion!

I busied myself weeding, watering, and picking in the garden, where I was screened from view by trees. Then I headed to the quiet of our daylight basement and tackled defrosting and reorganizing our fruit freezer. Now they're gone, a cool coast breeze is blowing, and once again I can hear bird song. I'm going to lace up my new shoes and walk down to get the mail, do chores, and then enjoy an evening of Bible study, instrumental music, and spinning alpaca fluff in peaceful solitude. Peace to you this weekend, too!

That's it for now from . . .