Monday, December 31, 2007

A one-eared salute to 2007

Jackson's left ear is all Aussie, but his right ear thinks it might belong to a collie. It tries to stand up part of the time; the rest of the time it flops over his head. He has grown so much in a month!

Below are my last FOs of 2007 finished during our Washington trip (they count even if the ends still need weaving in, right?) and my first work in progress (WIP) for 2008, started last night and NOT FROGGED ONCE - a milestone for me! - all for gifting. From top: a shawl out of Tammy's homespun; a wild and crazy scarf and a basketweave scarf, both out of Lion Brand yarns from my stash. I haven't committed to spinning and knitting only from my stash in 2008, but I am making a concerted effort in that direction.

I have so much to be thankful for; this time of year is a good reminder to reflect on those things - including YOU! I don't make resolutions, but I do pray that God will help me be more like Him, to grow the fruit of His Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance - hmm, I see myself sorely lacking in some of those traits!), to have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8, one of my favorite passages). That's a prayer He will answer, if I will only let Him.

Happy New Year, everyone. Thanks for all you have added to my life in the past year, and may God bless you real good in 2008!

That's it for now (but more holiday recapping to come) at . . .

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Snowboy and Snowdog

One of the great attractions in Brian's mind for going to Washington for Christmas was SNOW - a commodity we don't usually see a lot of at Boulderneigh. Sunday we drove straight up to my dad's condo at a small ski resort north of Spokane. It was snowing when we arrived after dark, and both boy and pup had great fun romping in it until we made them come in for bed. I wasn't sure what Jackson would think of his first experience with snow, but he was obviously in his element from the git-go.

The next day was mostly sunny and GORGEOUS. I supervised the youngsters outside while my dad and Rick got in a few hours of skiing and Louise did some cleaning. Brian tubed, sledded, romped and flopped -

and Jackson met a couple new friends, most notably a cheerful Golden Retriever named Molly who lives on the mountain with her family year-round.

We left for Spokane that evening, and boy and puppy were happy to see that there was snow there as well.

That's it for now from . . .

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Home safely

We got back from our Christmas trip tonight. It was a bit stressful having an active boy AND an active pup at someone else's house, trying to keep both from making messes or breaking anything. But both the youngsters LOVED playing in the snow (there will be plenty of photos forthcoming as soon as I have time to download them from my camera) and we had a lovely Christmas with family. We get 24 hours to rest up before the next wave of company arrives; Rick's mom and step-father fly in tomorrow night!

I learned that the shawl I knit for Tammy Ward's mother-in-law arrived in Canada today. I included a little surprise I made to keep it around the recipient's shoulders; now that Tammy has seen it, I can show it to everyone else (click to biggify):

Two other knitting projects got finished (except for tucking in the yarn ends) on the trip. I'm not sure what I'll cast on next, but I do know what will be on my wheel when I get a chance:A new fiber for me, that Blue Texel was a sample included with the Louet S10 I bought on eBay from Holland. It arrived stinky-dirty, but washed up lovely and soft. Now I'm carding it as I have time, and look forward to spinning it. I think I'll ply it with the Dorset Tammy Powell gifted me with, for a total of about 100 grams of yarn. Then I may overdye the variagated yarn blue....

That's it for now at . . .

Friday, December 21, 2007

The littlest shepherd

Every morning Jackson goes to the barn with me to do chores. At first I had to put a leash on him to get him there and keep him there; he wanted to hightail it for the known safety of the house. Now he goes down happily and stays with me of his own accord. With his newfound confidence, he is eager to interact with the sheep. I keep a hand on him so he doesn't chase the sheep when they run out to pasture, as much to keep him safe as to prevent bad habits. Dinah and Rechel are both very leery of the young "wolf," and would flatten him if given the chance. Valentine is more curious and less aggressive, not butting as readily, perhaps because she came from a home with resident Border Collies. Braveheart shows no fear of or aggression towards Jackson at all, seeming as eager to get acquainted as the pup is.

Once the sheep are safely shut in their area, Jackson is free to interact through the fence. He sniffs noses, tries to crawl through the spaces, then does his best to entice the sheep to play, "tucking butt" and racing up and down the fence, stopping every once in awhile to play bow and sniff noses again. It's a hoot to watch!Notice Valentine's bloody coat? When I first saw this mess yesterday afternoon, I was momentarily shocked, wondering if something had attacked the sheep. I quickly realized that Braveheart's horn nubs were the source of the gore.There was nothing, really, to knock off, but he sure managed to spread a lot of blood around in his amorous pursuits of the girls!

Braveheart struck this handsome pose, a la Bighorn(less) Sheep, on a big piece of concrete in the pasture this morning. Perhaps the step up makes my littlest sheep feel more ramly?

That's it for now at . . .

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Piranha pup, or werewolf?

Having my sister here as "bait" allows me to get photos that I wouldn't otherwise be able to get -- because I would be fending off those razor-sharp teeth myself! Can you say "Little Shop of Horrors"? We have a wide variety of puppy toys all over the house, but Jackson prefers people parts and their coverings, and metal (i.e. cabinet knobs, zippers). Wooden furniture parts will do in a pinch....

That's it for now at . . .

Monday, December 17, 2007

The problem with testosterone

Last night I picked up my sister from the airport. Since her plane arrived at midnight, we didn't get home until 1:30 this morning. After introducing Kristine to Jackson and bringing in her bags and some things of mine, we both headed to bed. Even though I figured Rick had heard us come in, I slipped in our bedroom quietly so as not to disturb him more. As soon as I closed the door, I heard a sound I knew -- the mumbled, wrathful roar that Rick makes when he's having a nightmare about fighting off something bad -- along with the whoosh of covers being thrown back. I SHRIEKED "Rick! It's me! It's me!" -- scaring my sister half to death but having the desired effect of waking Rick up before he reached me in full sleep-charging attack mode. I have a big ol' bruise on my rump from slamming backward into the door handle in my attempt to get out of his way!

Six hours later while doing chores, I noticed Braveheart was chasing Dinah round and round the fold, a ram intent on breeding a ewe intent on evading his attentions. When chubby Dinah's breath started coming in loud, raspy gasps, I decided intervention was necessary. I haltered Braveheart and led him out to the rainy, muddy sheep lot and left him out there by himself. Figured he could run himself silly rather than making one of my ewes sick or causing her to lose her lambs. At least he was a gentleman to catch and lead, both going out and coming in later -- AND he has a quiet voice!

Testosterone: can't live with it, and can't live without it!

That's it for now at . . .

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Looking more like Christmas

Today we finally decorated our Christmas tree. A tree this size doesn't take nearly the number of ornaments or lights that the more statuesque versions we have had the previous five years did, especially when you don't decorate clear to the bottom.

If you look closely, you will see some small gifts tucked up in the branches, and a notable lack of gifts UNDER our tree. Well, except for the occasional furball of a boy's birthday gift - the reason no package would be safe for long....

Like the decorations above our fireplace? Not many people have a velvet OB sleeve "Christmas stocking." Gotta love life with a large animal vet....

That's it for now at . . .

Friday, December 14, 2007


Beauty in brown: frost on the dead leaves littering my bedding areas.

Simply irresistible: my dad getting some puppy love from Jackson.

Gift exchange: the shawl I knit for Tammy out of her homegrown, homespun Shetland yarn, washed, blocked and drying (ends still need to be woven in).

Shop for a good cause: go here for a variety of items donated by NW Shetland sheep breeders to benefit Black Sheep Creamery, a small family sheep dairy devastated by the Chehalis, WA floods earlier this week. I need to take photos of my scratchboard prints; they are NOT easy to shoot!

That's it for now at . . .

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Looking for action

See why we call him "Action Jackson"? We can almost SEE him growing; he's certainly bigger in just a week. Must be all that fresh air, green grass and exercise!

That's it for now at . . .

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bobsey twins, birthday boy

Remember the two mini-cardigans I knit? The first one fit my mom as I hoped it would, and I finally got the buttons and i-cord loops on the second one, so we wore them to church last Saturday. The photo isn't great because Brian was the only available photographer when we needed one, but there it is. My mom said, "I can remember a time you would have DIED before you would have worn matching outfits." I guess it just goes to prove that we all grow up sometime!

We held Brian's birthday party Sunday afternoon, which was a lot of fun. He wanted a carrot cake decorated with a photo of him, Jackson, and Jackson's dad Jack, so that is what he got. If you look closely, you can see Brian licking his lips in anticipation. The whole wheat and honey recipe is the same one we used for our wedding cake more than 23 years ago; it IS tasty.
All good things must come to an end, they say; our week of family fun ended today when I took my folks to the airport.

That's it for now at . . .