Monday, December 31, 2012

Well, THAT was interesting!

Last night the weatherman said we basically have a dry seven-day forecast – woot! He did say today would be grey, with a slight chance of occasional non-accumulating flurries. Well, it spit moisture most of the day, and for awhile this afternoon it turned into this:
Those are no ordinary snowflakes . . . they were the size of platters! Brian was excited and delighted –
and then it all melted. I'm glad; we don't need dicey roads for our early-morning trip to take my MIL to the airport tomorrow. It's scary enough to drive at all on New Year's Day!

That's it for 2012 from . . .

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Like a string of pearls

Dry and sunny winter days are rare and wonderful here in the Willamette Valley, and a whole string of them is enough to make one giddy. So giddy, in fact, that we got busy and took down the Christmas tree, pulled the Christmas lights off the house, vacuumed and washed windows! We have always left our tree up until after New Year's, but it feels good let the light pour in and have more space.
Our fallen giant, ready for the burn pile
The sheep are enjoying the sunshine, too.
Bonny and Marta

Bramble and Bing

The hay bag crowd – Sarai, Annabelle and Bittersweet

Hello, Handsome!

We're all enjoying the mid-winter sun at . . .

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Beautiful bookends

Taken this morning at chore time:

Taken this evening at chore time:

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blue moon

I know; a "blue moon" is the second full moon in one month. But last night we had a visible full moon in winter in NW Oregon – which is almost as rare as a "blue moon"! Got some decent photos of it, too. Woot!
Even more dramatic if you click to biggify.
The big ice ring made it look like the "Eye in the Sky"!

Speaking of eyes, I finished Brian's Fish hat last night. It's hidden away for his 12th birthday. :-)

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Boxing Bulldog Day!

Isn't he adoraBULL? That's my Christmas gift from Debbie, my dear friend who gives me the bulldog ornaments. This little fellow now sits outside our front door to greet visitors.

Now that Christmas is past, I can reveal a recent FO.

I started this for my mom last January, and then stalled out when faced with tacking down the "snail" and blocking it. Up against a Christmas deadline, I finally "just did it." My mom sent me a cute photo of herself modeling it, but I don't know how to get it off my phone and into my computer!

As of today, ALL my fleeces are reserved except for Bramble's, and hers would be if I thought it was marketable. (She was in the rise last spring at shearing, and I never got around to trimming her.) Almost makes me wish I had bred my ewes just to have more fleeces to sell . . . almost. (I still only have so much room for sheep.) It does take the sting out of not selling all the stock I've advertised, though!

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas miracle!

Growing up, we always opened presents on Christmas Eve as a family, and us kids could get up and plunder our magically filled stockings, hanging empty the night before, on Christmas morning. Looking back, it was a brilliant arrangement, IMHO. Evening celebrations are more intimate, with candles and Christmas lights shining more brightly and the atmosphere more cozy. Plus, children don't have to wait impatiently until everyone is awake and functioning in the morning – and parents can sleep in!

I did not marry someone with the same German/Scandinavian roots I have, so it was quite a shock when Rick refused to open Christmas presents "early." The past 28 Christmas Eves have passed rather sadly for me, as we followed his family's (on his father side) Christmas traditions.

Imagine my surprise and delight when Rick agreed to open Christmas presents on Christmas Eve this year! His mother is here so there are four of us; it was delightful. :-)

And no, I did not quite finish Brian's Fish hat. I was going to gift it in its present state, minus side fins and eyes, and finish it afterwards. But Brian got so many gifts that I decided to finish it at my leisure and save it for next Christmas. No point in spoiling him completely rotten!

Wishing you a very merry Christmas, from . . .

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fleeting gifts, and fine

That's it for now, from . . .

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My finished holiday finery

I bound off my Zephyr Cove tonight, and can hardly wait to wear it! Blocking can wait; it's very wearable as is. The only part that will change appreciably with blocking is the wavy lace edge.

Now to weave in ends on two Christmas gifts, and finish Brian's Fish!  =:-o

That's it for today from . . .

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Mr. Lumix and I captured the photo of Bramble above back in February and I posted it hereKelly saw it and prompted me to enter it in the Midwest Shetland Sheep Breeders Association show's photography contest, so I did. Decided to enter it in Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival's and Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival's photo contests as well. It earned ribbons everywhere it went, and a little cash, too. Then, just for kicks, I submitted it to Wovember's international photo competition. I learned yesterday that it placed third, earning a nice little voucher to Shearer Girl Yarns' online shop. Wow!

After all this photo has done for me this year, I figured it deserved top billing in my revamped blog header.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There's nothing like a little positive affirmation to motivate you to do more of whatever earned it. So here are some photos I took yesterday while working in the kitchen. I'm very happy with them, considering I was using Mr. Lumix's zoom function through my dirty windows! Love my camera!

Plus a bonus shot of the moon last night:

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ground cover

This was a busy place once I refilled it with black oil sunflower seeds!
It was still snowing earlier this morning, so Brian hit the "slopes"...
...and Horton hit the alarm button!
"What IS that out there moving so unnaturally?!?"
(This weather is seriously messing with my horse plans.) :-/

In spite of the fire in the wood stove, there is layer of white stuff on the ground indoors as well:
Now to go layer some stuff with chocolate!

That's it from this little elf, at . . .

Monday, December 17, 2012

And since we've no place to go...

Guess who went to bed excited tonight? (Hint: Jackson hasn't gone to bed yet, so it's not him.)

Let it snow, at . . .

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hitting the reset button

After hitting "publish" on my blog post last Friday, I started reading others' new posts. Tombstone Tidings' short post said something dreadfully cryptic about Connecticut, sending me in search of more detailed news – and then into a tailspin when I found it. I already had another 'Christmas spirit' post half-composed in my head, but how could I publish it while thinking of so many homes whose Christmas plans had just been shattered in a million pieces? But of course our lives here must go on, as do the lives of those affected by unimaginable tragedy around the world. As many reminded us in the wake of 9/11/01, NOT going on means that evil triumphs. And evil hasn't triumphed; Robbie Parker, father of one of Friday's young victims, is proof of that.

So back to our regularly scheduled programming.

On Friday we received a box of "Christmas" from Arizona. Rick's mother shipped us a box of oranges (with a few lemons) from her own backyard trees. Why are oranges "Christmas"? Because this is the season for fresh oranges, something we tend to forget in these days of year-round produce shipped from around the world. When my mother was a child growing up in Ketchikan, Alaska, oranges were a rare and expensive treat you might find in your Christmas stocking.

The other thing Rick brought home Friday was a gift from one of his clients – a bell-bedecked dog collar. Brian immediately had to try it on both the dogs in turn. I thought it might frighten Jackson; he is, after all, afraid of squeaky toys. But it didn't bother him at all, and the collar made the merriest of sounds as he jumped around, excited because I started singing "Jingle Dog." Dozer gets excited at the sight of a collar, period, so he was happy to model it.

Jingle-jingle-jingle from . . .

Friday, December 14, 2012

12+13=25; that explains it!

Because yesterday, 12/13, felt like a bit like December 25. Some holiday goodies were baked....
Nibby Buckwheat Butter Cookies
Regular and chocolate krumkake
(Having the time to do so felt positively luxurious!)

There were gifts in the day's mail....
Package #1 contained two beautiful new-to-me tools. The bigger is a Jenkins Swan Turkish spindle in Masur Birch, the smaller is a Jenkins Delight in Big Leaf Maple. They were being destashed on by someone on Ravelry for a really nice price, and I couldn't resist . . . getting myself an early Christmas present!

Package #2 was a birthday gift from a dear friend. We had hoped to meet up in Salem but never could coordinate our crazy lives, so she finally mailed it.
This is not just yarn; this is mill-spun yarn from my own sheep! Well, they are her sheep now, the four Boulderneigh wethers lucky enough to call my friend their shepherd. The black is from Bodhran, and the oatmeal is the combined wool from Banjo, Beau and Boo. I know some of you will understand how very special this gift is.

I'm close to finishing Zephyr Cove,

so I think I'll starting looking for a colorwork cardigan pattern for my Boulderneigh Shetland yarn!

That's it for today from . . .