Wednesday, August 21, 2019

They might be giants

Okay, the band by that name isn't really my thing; I'll take giant horses any day. However, alternative rock would probably be a fitting soundtrack for riding a slick, round, one-ton powerhouse in a big hayfield/pasture with only a bar bit, especially when she gets a bit amped! Meet Emma:

Actually, Emma and I got on pretty well for a first date. Apparently I passed muster; Brian told me on the way home that he overheard the owner and friends talking about putting me on a more challenging gelding after watching me handle Emma. I'm going to nip that idea in the bud if it comes up when we go back out!

Brian worked his team while I rode, so no reciprocal action shots. Afterwards we hosed off our sweaty partners, and I captured some neat photos then.

The sky was amazing last night!

It was also pretty spectacular this morning:
Mt. Hood in pre-dawn light

Mt. Adams up in WA with 'shower curtains'

The new neighbors' 'day lodgings;' they don't stay there overnight

Rick and Brian were up and out of here early to make it to the State Fair by 7 a.m. to check in livestock. I got up and made their lunch, and was rewarded with that sunrise. It's been cloudy ever since, but no precipitation yet. Chuckie is doing his best to summon some!
Chuckie believes in "the power of the paw"

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Life's little surprises

Last night Rick and Brian got home late; I didn't know they were going out to Rick's draft horse client's again so Brian could practice driving for the State Fair. Then Rick surprised me with a request from his client: would I be willing to ride in two classes? Rick's client needs someone for the 'Draft Horse Bareback Equitation' and 'Draft Horse Riding, Walk/Trot' classes, so I said “Sure!” So tonight I'm going out with Brian so we can both practice with our horses for our classes, and this morning I rode Lance bareback just to make sure I still can. 😉 As an adolescent in Texas, most of my riding was bareback, but now I'm convinced that a properly fitting saddle is more comfortable for a horse than a person's 'pin bones' digging into the muscles on either side of the spine.

While riding Lance in our arena, I noticed a big, nasty plant down in our woods. So after riding, I went down to investigate – and found two burdock plants, no doubt seeded by deer bearing burrs.

Fortunately, I also stumbled upon a missing spade leaning against the big maple holding Brian's old treehouse. Brian is notorious for taking tools and not putting them away; in this case it was fortuitous, because these suckers have long, tough taproots. I dug them out and deposited them in the trash bin; we don't need another noxious weed trying to establish itself on Boulderneigh.

I also spotted something else in that maple. At first I thought it was a piece of white plastic, maybe a lid from a plastic bucket. But when I got closer and stood on my tippy-toes, I could see it was a huge fungus of some sort!
my big fist for scale
Speaking of Brian, he surprised me Saturday evening by wanting to drive me around to some of his favorite hang-outs near the Willamette River. Of course I took advantage of the offer for some rare bonding time with my near-man:

It is warm and dry, but that's summer for you. Earlier this month we got the barest hint of precipitation, just enough to bejewel the grass spiderwebs scattered around the yard and landscaping: 

We'll be watering the garden and landscaping plants for awhile yet. Seems like the rainy season is arriving later each year. This morning it looked like the new neighbors on our north side were having their well tested; I hope and pray their usage doesn't affect our low-output well.

Off to move the sprinkler and pick some more cherry tomatoes!

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Checking in after a busy week

 Yep; I've been busy as a bee!

My mom arrived last Thursday night for a visit and just left today. (But before heading home to Texas, she's continuing on to Alaska to visit her brother.) We talked and cooked and shopped; we went to church and visited Deepwood Estate and drove by Brian's school; she wanted a 'project' while she was here – and peach season provided for her wishes.

These are our favorite variety, Canadian Harmony, hard to find except for the small orchard just downhill from us. We will relish every morsel of these fresh and frozen, as the owner tore out half his small orchard last year and plans to tear out the rest this winter. 😭 I guess wine grapes are more profitable. 😖

In spinning news, I finished this spindleful this month and will start on the second half of the braid soon. Since this is for a spindle-spinning challenge on Ravelry, I won't be using my new tool, but can hopefully 'play' with it soon, too!

That's an Electric Eel Wheel Nano, a tiny little e-spinner I backed on Kickstarter and received Saturday. I know; I know. I don't need another spinning tool, but I think it will be a fun little travel wheel and the price was hard to beat.

Brian's combine driving job ended last week, so he's back to working with his dad until school starts two weeks from today(!). A week from today they will be spending part of every workday at the State Fair, where Rick has been contracted to provide veterinary services again. Brian will also be driving Shires in the draft horse show again, his last year in the Youth division; he is getting in his first driving practice tonight. And so zooms by the rest of summer 'vacation.' 😳

This pooch has rallied a little bit, apparently thanks to the Adequan injections. In fact, he's gone walk-about once each of the last three days, the first time he's had enough comfort and energy to do more than the bare minimum in weeks. The first time, Monday night, he had us in a panic, because we couldn't find him anywhere after letting him out for a bedtime potty break. Rick and I hunted with flashlights all over the property and beyond until midnight, when Brian called to us from the house, saying Jackson was waiting on the front porch. Apparently coming back from being on death's doorstep has given him permission to shed the "good dog" mantle, because he has studiously ignored me the next two excursions even though I could SEE where he had wandered off to – and I know he saw me! 😂

Caught up for now from . . .

Wednesday, August 07, 2019


Last night Rick went out and sprayed the hornets' nest, but didn't grab my bucketful of apples. So by dawn's eerie light, I headed up to the apple tree to collect it. Too late; the deer had polished off all but this half. I would have picked the last few apples on the tree to have something for my time, effort, and pain, but there were still a few nasties flying around. I didn't tarry.

On the positive side, that recipe I posted yesterday and made for supper is a KEEPER.

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Hazards and highlights of harvest

First on today's to-do list was to pick apples from our tree that ripens first. There aren't many, but I had spied some red ones when I had ridden Lance around the neighboring lot. So after morning chores I carried a ladder and a bucket out and got to work. I had just positioned my ladder to reach the last ones when I heard some buzzing. In a one-second blur, I spied a volley-ball-sized nest, got stung on the inside of my arm, and sprinted through the nearby gate toward the house, managing to avoid the rest of the angry insects. I'll have to retrieve my small bucket of apples tonight after dark or very early tomorrow morning; hopefully they will still be useable after sitting out in the sun all day.

After applying a baking soda paste to my sting, I started water in the garden and 'shopped' for supper.

I love the book title "Eat Your Colors;" it certainly applies to my harvest! I turned to my favorite source for vegetable recipes and settled on this one for tonight. I'll add some of the Yukon Gold potatoes a church member grew and gave us, and I think I have some fat-free feta cheese in the freezer. 😋

Yesterday's sunrise, showing off summer's smog:
It feels very much like summer, but the days are getting noticeably shorter. Our new neighbors have been busy figuring out where they want to situate their house; their dry window for building is getting smaller every day.

I need to tell you about our weekend in another post; it was pretty great!

That's the 'end' for now (heh) from . . .

Friday, August 02, 2019

Crawling out of the swamp

Two nights of short-but-deep sleep (thanks, Dayquil!) and being a total slug after work yesterday has me feeling more like myself today. The weather cooperated with gray skies and a little "spit" (more like a little sneezing, actually); I am much more productive when it's cooler. I got out this morning and did some picking before starting the water; there's still basil, numerous little Japanese eggplant and tons of kale out there, but I'll probably pick that early Sunday morning. It'll have to be early, as Sunday is supposed to be a scorcher.

We are being treated gently by the weather this year compared to so much of the world.
I wouldn't leave early, guys; it's about as good as it gets here!

I took the last photo when I finally stirred and walked down to get the mail last night.

A real treat arrived in the post, this piece (well, three pieces) of gorgeousness was a prize I was picked at random to win for participating in the Tour de Fleece on the Jenkins YarnTools Ravelry group. Squeeeee! Rick recently made a comment about all the spindles I have; I reminded him that he has a lot of tools, too. It's not my fault that my tools are pretty than his tools. 😉

Jackson is holding on, more or less stable in his weakness. He likes the new program of lots of treats (food – mostly as pill-deliverers – and ice cubes) and enhanced breakfast and supper (I've started to add a spoonful of canned food and a bit of hot water to both his and Dozer's kibble to keep the old men eating). Sometimes the pain of impending loss swamps me, but mostly I keep my chin up and give Jackson lots of love.

I'm going to head out while it's still overcast to exercise Lance. Our territory has diminished yet again; a "For Sale" sign went up on the lot to our north and has now come down, and there's a truck and travel trailer parked there now. I'll introduce myself; maybe the new owners will still let me ride around the perimeter.

That's it for now from . . .