Monday, October 31, 2011

Birds of a feather...

...and fleece together!

Sunday I gave a dressage lesson at a stable I'd never been to before. Driving down unfamiliar back roads to get there, I noticed a pasture full of sheep - and bird decoys. No, wait - those big white things are REAL birds! When I stopped to snap some photos, I noticed some other birds hitching rides on sheep. And it wasn't until I got home and looked at my pictures on my laptop that I realized there was a great blue heron out there, too. (As always, click to biggify and see more detail.)

Celebrating getting along at . . .

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What price victory

(Or, One not-so-tough farmgirl)

So this morning I was hurrying through chores so I could get ready for church. After opening the pop-door into the run for the hens, I noticed someone had laid an egg on the floor of the coop, so I shut the coop door behind me and went over to retrieve it. When I turned around, the door was drifting open and a Speckled Sussex was about to escape. I dove for her, knowing I did not have time to play chicken round-up. I succeeded in grabbing her in a move that would have made an NFL right tackle proud - my left shoulder crashing into the door frame and my right middle finger pile-driving into the ground, breaking the nail off deep into the nail bed. My shoulder was already turning color by the time I returned to the house. Tonight, it looks like this:

Country life has its hazards at . . .

Friday, October 28, 2011

One tough knitter

As seen on the Yarn Harlot's blog. Best.Tatoo.EVER! Not that I'm the I'll-pay-you-to-stick-me-with-needles type. But seriously? I need this on a knitting bag!!!

Happy Friday from . . .

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ausome Awetumn (-;

I read recently, somewhere, that this season has two names because it is the best season of the year. It can't just be called Fall; it's so awesome that it is also called Autumn. I like that!

We are enjoying a beautiful spell of clear, sunny weather, with warmer than average nights - until last night. I don't think we got down to freezing, but it was definitely nippier out there this morning than it has been. I'd better get all the green tomatoes picked. Last year we actually had tomatoes from our garden through the end of the year! No, they weren't the ambrosia that sun-ripened tomatoes are, but they were no worse than what are sold in stores.

Anyway, here are some of the things I find awesome about autumn:
Crisp, flavorful apples, fresh off the tree

Bunches of grapes bedecking vines

Fall colors

A full woodshed

Warm, homespun handknits

Evergreens? Well yes, a special one - our 2011 Christmas tree! Our neighbor said we could pick one out and mark it for later harvest so it isn't cut by the buyer who is coming. We picked a lovely, natural, TALL Noble fir - see the yellow plastic in the middle marking it? It is standing next to a 6' fence!

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Speaking of the Captain and Tennille...

Do that to me one more time....

Today I broke up my breeding groups as planned, but I almost did it Friday. After all, that was 19 days after I set them up, which should have spanned two breeding seasons after removing the CIDRs. Good thing I didn't, though, because guess who was getting some serious attention yesterday morning when I went out to do chores!
And it wasn't just posturing on Bunker's part. The date went on the calendar.

Now my rams are back in the Ram-ada Inn (from left: Cadbury, Bunker and Blake; wether Browning not shown) and my ewes are in the Sheep Sheraton (back to front: Marta, Sarai, Annabelle, retired Inky, wether Bart's rump; Bonny was nibbling on my camera case; Bramble not shown). Once everyone gets "flocked up" again, I can lead the ewe group to and from pasture.

I am so happy with my little flock of many colors. From them I have the potential for white, musket, grey, moorit and black sheep with or without the gulmoget and katmoget patterns. Modified colors and spots are in there genetically, too, although less likely to show up. Structures are excellent to good, tails are excellent to acceptable, wool grows on the poll of each one, and fleeces are soft and eminently spinnable with varying amounts of wave/crimp. All will be micron-tested next spring, and I expect them to fall within acceptable limits (back when our breed description still listed a micron range).

This morning's sheep shuffling prompted some coat changes and one pedicure. Here's Marta from the side and at mid-side before getting a size D coat:

Here's Cadbury from the side, at mid-side (dark) and at the flank (lighter) before getting a size E coat and a pedicure:
(Note: Marta & Cadbury were shorn late - July 11.)

Brian's wether Browning has gotten a LOT lighter with age-greying. This is his fleece at mid-side before getting covered with a G(!) coat:

Now to dream of lambs at . . .

Muskrat love

Well, actually it's a nutria, but there were indeed two of them grazing together in this park
which we walked through last night at twilight to join friends at our favorite restaurant to celebrate my DH's 50th birthday. Here's to my muskrat man. (-:

Doin' in right in the evenin' at . . .

Friday, October 21, 2011


Blake's handsome, hornless head. I love his woolly "earcuffs"!

Sweet little bud among the "adult dahlia" flamboyance.

I love Buffy's "up-do." Makes me wonder if this Easter Egger has some exotic chicken genetics in her background.

Ruby slippers seeds.

You know I'm a sucker for wood grain (consider my spindles).

Purple berries on my purple beautyberry bush.

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, October 20, 2011


While Brian was in his Science Outreach class at George Fox University, I ran an errand. I had plenty of time, so I pulled over here and there to try and capture some of the flaming foliage around the town of Newberg. I could practically hear angels singing the Hallelujah Chorus in rhythm with the dancing leaves! Then I sat in my car and seamed up one of the two projects that needed it. Amazing what a little finish work and a lot of fall color does for the soul!

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


You, my dear, distant friends, are blessings! Some of you I have met; many I have not. But I consider all of you who visit and comment here on this little spot of the blogosphere to be friends - my blogpals. Your support, sympathy and suggestions in the comments of yesterday's post and via email have helped so much, as have a couple phone chats with my sister. She is 13 years younger than me so it's not like she has a clue about menopause, except what she remembers our mom going through when Mom was about my age. But like you, she gives me a sounding board and makes me feel sane again - at least temporarily. (-:

I have many blessings in my life and give thanks for them many times a day. That doesn't keep me from feeling like I'm mentally unraveling or wanting to scream sometimes, but it sure helps.

Behold four of today's blessings (besides you):
  1. A beautifully warm, sunny day (probably the last time we'll see 70-something on the thermometer this year).
  2. Firewood, free for the hauling and splitting.
  3. A husband healthy enough to load all those logs by hand, alone. Over a year ago he suffered a heart attack, making me acutely aware that I cannot take his presence in our lives for granted. One blogpal lost her husband yesterday, and another blogpal's husband recently underwent his third surgery for brain cancer. My heart aches for them; I pray for them daily. I pray for my husband, too!
  4. A healthy, intelligent son, all boy and noise-box that he is.

That's it for today from . . .