Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Nothing – and everything – has changed

They are a beautiful group of girls!

It's been another week, and still no eggs from our nine vacationing or retiring hens. But a friend of mine just ordered 19 chicks and five ducklings(!) and is going to sell me some replacements after raising them for a few months. I will take as many as my chicken accommodations can comfortably and safely handle at that time; time will tell how many that is.
A new day, and administration, dawns


I see a fitting analogy in this rotting squash sprouting!
It's been four years since Trump's "American Carnage" inaugural speech, which was clearly more prediction than reflection. Here's to today's theme, "America United," being prophetic as well, although I am under no illusions that the dark and hateful underbelly of our troubled nation will disappear or even lessen. But each of us can continue to focus on what we can do in our sphere to be 'light' and 'life.' In the words of the song we sang for praise service last Sabbath: "Brighten the corner where you are."

Well-run COVID-19 vaccination operation at the county fairgrounds
In just one day I've gone from 'sound' to 'sore,' although one area of soreness is a hopeful sign of greater soundness to come. The Oregon state veterinarian recently communicated to all practitioners that they and their staff are in the "1A" group for COVID-19 vaccinations, so Rick made appointments for the three of us in our clinic to get our first shot yesterday. Today my upper left arm is a little sore, which is simply a sign that my immune response is working. Afterwards, Poppy got to play with her good friend Glory (my good friend's Flat-Coated Retriever) as well as the office manager's dog for the first time at the clinic. Glory brought her treasured duck decoy, and Poppy absconded with it. Apparently she wants to add "retriever" her to her already extensive resumé that includes "vermin killer," "agility dog," "BFF," and "supermodel."






P.S. Loving the iPhone 12 mini's Portrait mode; it makes getting good photos of a black dog easy!

The other area of soreness is a blessed reminder of protection. Yesterday I was riding Lance and ponying Stella and a wreck ensued. I came off Lance but hung onto the reins so he couldn't try to kill Stella like he did the last time he was loose in the arena with her, which resulted in him dancing around on top of me. The only damage is to the muscle and skin on the back of my right thigh, which looks spectacularly awful right now but it isn't my femur or my knee or my torso (head was protected, as always, by my helmet). Rick ultrasounded the area last night and said it looked like the muscle was mostly just bruised and the swelling didn't look like a hematoma, but I'm going to the doctor's this afternoon as a precaution. Throwing a blood clot is a bit of a concern; prayers appreciated.

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Desert and deluge

It is January 13 and I'm putting the hens on notice. Not one of our nine hens has laid an egg since Christmas Day, and that was after getting only one egg a day (25 total) until that point. One of the neighbors who wanted all the eggs I could spare would be happy to take any of the hens off my hands for stewing. I hate the thought of doing that, but they are all five and half years old and feeding them costs money.

Yesterday was a wash-out, as in inches of rain. I bought myself another rain gauge but it isn't properly mounted yet, so I can't tell you how much fell here. But it was definitely a "splish-splash, I was takin' a bath" every time I went outside kind of day. Except for one period, remarkably, when someone came for a riding lesson in the afternoon. It was still windy, but neither humans nor horse got wet. What a blessing!

Things are quiet again on the home front; we took Brian back to college last Sunday. Well, they were quiet when he was here, too, just not a a relaxing way. It is stressful when an able-bodied young man stays in bed until after 3:00 p.m. when he has things he has been asked to do at home and paying work has been offered by a neighbor. Arghhhh. Anyway, while he was checking back in, Poppy and I waited in the truck and I amused myself by playing with the Portrait mode on my new iPhone's camera:
We left at o'dark thirty; the humans were tired.





I should have spent the waiting time walking her; Sunday I didn't meet my step goal. Granted, we had ten hours' driving time, but I could have walked more. I did get a lot of spinning done on the drive, though, finishing the fiber I had with me:

I also got some fun pix of Brian clowning around with his dad before we left, and Brian saying good-bye to Poppy, as well as a photo of a becalmed Columbia River on the way home:

I will admit to spending far too much time the last week monitoring numerous news sources to keep up-to-date on what is happening. As more and more comes to light (the number of "stupid criminals" who filmed, live-streamed and otherwise documented their criminal activities is both horrifying and wonderful – in terms of evidence), our nation looks more and more broken. Evil is in our midst, top to bottom. "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirit in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12. But "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 That's what I choose to focus on, even while staying informed of the awfulness.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go out into the beautiful SUNSHINE and work my two horses!

That's it for now from . . .


Sunday, January 03, 2021

Gimme a break!


At first glance, the weather forecast looked like a complete wash-out for the first week of January. At closer inspection, it looks like there are breaks in the rain every other day; I can handle that!

Today was one of those breaks. Poppy got her exercise in early, running the fence with Minnie, the neighbor's female with whom she has an across-fence rivalry (they are fine together when they are on the same side):
After she was ready to come back inside and relax, I turned the ewes out and exercised both horses.

Lance and I came upon a surprising scene as we walked down the lane to pick up yesterday's mail:

On our way back, the owner of the vineyard had walked down to survey the damage while one of the winery workers took photos (followed shortly by a sheriff's deputy), so I asked what happened. Apparently (as witnessed by several winery patrons) a visitor to one of the homes past us (not the winery) was departing at a high rate of speed, and lost control of her vehicle just an hour before. Incredibly, her SUV didn't roll or flip (the bank from the road down to the vineyard is deep and steep); I think the trellis might have kept it upright. Between the damage to the vehicle, the vines, and the trellis, methinks her insurance claim is going to be high!

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, January 01, 2021

Hydro and horses make for a happy new year


The well was refitted with new pump, pipe and wiring yesterday, so we are back in the land of those blessed with sweet well water at the touch of a tap. It took awhile to rinse out the rust from the well casing and oil from the old, failed pump; the well guy asked for a clean white container to monitor it at the well head. Then I had to run the water down at the barn for awhile to flush out more of the same before using it anywhere. But once I could, I ran the dishwasher, took a shower, washed two loads of clothes, and scrubbed the toilets. Today we put away all the Christmas stuff and hauled out the tree, then I vacuumed the house thoroughly. It feels GOOD to start the year with a clean house!

It also feels good to start the year with the one tradition I hold dear – being on the back of a horse on New Year's Day. The forecast was for a dry window in the morning before DAYS of rain moved in, so I didn't dawdle. First I rode Lance down the lane (after warming him up in the arena); then I worked with Stella and sat on her back for awhile. (Asking for her to actually move with me on her back today would not have been a good idea.)


As long as I don't get sucked into the teen's sullenness over his university's requested quarantine period prior to heading back to campus, I'd say this year is starting out just FINE, thankyouverymuch. I pray it is for all of you, too.
A bright Spot in 2020 – and 2021!

Happy New Year from . . .