Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Monday moonrise; Wednesday wisdom

Monday night's moonrise

"We met for a reason. Either you’re a blessing or a lesson."
Frank Ocean

"Personal growth rarely comes from a place of comfort. In fact, it can be very UNcomfortable."

That's it for today from . . .

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I have been pecking away at my slooow socks and My Fuzzy Coyote since finishing the two pairs of fingerless mitts. Neither one is inspiring me right now, a mental state I have read about on other knitters' blogs but am not sure I have experienced heretofore. What DO I want to knit? For one, another pair of ribbed fingerless mitts for Brian's violin teacher's Christmas gift next year. Quick gratification and a head start on next year's gifts; that's a hard combo to beat!

If  they could be as quick to knit and as sure to fit (laughing hysterically), I'd also love to cast on for a pretty cardigan, like this

or this

or this:

Oh, and I really should tackle the two patterns I've purchased for Fair Isle tams:

On the other hand, I'd love to see brightly-colored fiber flow through my fingers – turning something like this

turn into something like this:
All the above photos shamelessly lifted from Ravelry.
Oh yeah!

But first I have to ply the white and grey Gotland. And finish at least one of those two WIPs. Sigh.

Amazing how much thought I put into hobbies I have so little time for! ;-)

Oh, here's a photo of the new hay feeder in use. (Having had a near-fatal case of grass tetani in one of my first Shetlands, I am very careful not to let them overdue their time on spring grass. So hay it is for breakfast.)

That's it for today from . . .

Monday, February 25, 2013

Plump with promise

My stuffed sausages got their first taste of real pasture this afternoon. You'd think several of them were pregnant, but all they will be producing this spring is fleece. ;-)

At first they didn't seem quite sure what to do, but soon tucked into the lush grass. Then they started boinging and bolting like a bunch of silly lambs! I would have tried for some video of their antics, but was getting my horse ready for a schooling session. He was alarmed when he spied them through a hole in the fiberglass sidelight of his stall,
so I lead him out into his paddock where he could get a good look at those scary sheep. (He's seen them before, but never in this pasture, so close to his quarters.) It didn't take him long to settle down, though, just like he did yesterday at his very first dressage show. He's got a great mind, this horse!

While I was at the show, Rick and Brian built a new hay feeder for the sheep. The 'roof' isn't finished, but it's useable as is. I've never had a very good system for feeding hay in the wooded lot, so this really fills a need. I'm so thankful to have a handy man for a husband!

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Two things

Nothing warms the hand like a freshly-laid egg.

Nothing warms the heart like a freshly unfurled flower.

The sun shining on said flower? Priceless!

That's it for today from . . .

Friday, February 22, 2013

FO Friday

Prize mitts #2 modeled by Brian, since the recipient says she has S/M hands
I guess this means returning to work on the sloooow socks or My Fuzzy Coyote. Or, I could start spinning one of the goodies I featured yesterday. Hmmm.

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, February 21, 2013


My definition of 'goodies' is "things I may not need but that sure are GOOD." Tuesday I got some goodies when I met up with Laura on her quick trip to the west side. Last October when I helped her at OFFF, she gave me this luscious 4 oz. braid of MBT (50% superwash merino/25% bamboo/24% tussah silk) in her colorway Tranquil Seas:

Since then Laura tried a different brand of dye and was dismayed to find that it bleeds color in a most unsatisfactory way. She was unloading the resulting colorways at a discount since they are not up to her usual standards, so I asked for a second braid of Tranquil Seas MBT. I figured I could spin singles from both and ply them together:

Laura had been to Columbia Fiber and Ashland Bay (I didn't know they're so close!) picking up supplies, and had to show me her unplanned acquisition – camel down! I expected it to be short and best suited for blending, and therefore easy to resist. But this stuff holds together very nicely and I'll be able to spin it just fine, so four ounces of that came home with me, too! (I have a special spin-and-knit project in mind for this luxury fiber, but first I need to do a little sleuthing.)

On top of that, Laura brought me a bunch of staples with which to make edible goodies – flour, wheat germ, whole wheat spaghetti, and more. She's going gluten-free, and we are the blessed beneficiaries of her pantry-cleaning.

Today some goodies of a different variety arrived in the mail:
Mary Ann mentioned these on her blog, and oh, how I wanted to see them! I had no idea Mary Engelbreit published a magazine for awhile; I just love ME's aesthetic and look for her page-a-day calendar every year. Mary Ann was kind enough to send me these issues to peruse; I just know doing so will be a treat!

That's it for today from . . .

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blogging and lambing

Sometimes I'm asked how I manage to post to my blogs so often. Much of it, I have come to realize, is a need to create with words and pictures. But it doesn't just flow out; I do have to work at it. A satisfying work, to be sure, but effort still.

In the interview with Madeline L'Engle I linked to in yesterday's post (it's fantastic; I hope you'll read it), she said "inspiration comes during rather than before." That is a message I first heard decades ago from one of my college art professors; basically the adage that "art is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration." So true!


The other day I received a surprise in the mail from blogpal Sandra. Even though I don't have lambs coming this spring, I hope to breed again in the future, and this handy little book is just what I've been wishing for since my first lambing seven years ago. In fact, I'm going to use it to document all the lambs born on Boulderneigh (since there haven't been that many) so it will be a complete record from the beginning. That will give me a good excuse to look back through my photo files for a 'lamb fix,' and while I'm at it, I'll post a photo of each lamb here, too. So stay tuned for cute!

That's it for today from . . .

Monday, February 18, 2013

Best-laid plans, and a wrinkle in time

Today was one of those days that takes "home" out of "homeschooling." Brian and I got up, ate breakfast, did chores, and headed out the door before 8:30 for his science class at a local university (yes, on Presidents Day). I was planning to meet up with a friend while Brian was in class, but her doctor's appointment ran long so I spent most of my time knitting on the second pair of fingerless mitts for the GYBP prize drawings.
Fraternal twins, despite my best efforts to measure and plan

As soon as class was over we headed to the Oregon coast – Depoe Bay to be exact – so Brian could attend a friend's birthday party. On the way Brian listened to the Gospel of Mark for a Bible Achievement team event next Sabbath.

The tide was out when we got our first glimpse of the sea; perfect! While Brian was occupied I was planning a delicious solitary stroll around Depoe Bay and maybe down a nearby beach, just me and my camera. But I ended up staying at the birthday party because the birthday girl's mom wanted to chat. So when Brian started begging for a chance to stop and walk on the beach on our way home, I was an easy sell. We turned into the public parking lot at Siletz Bay and walked down the inlet to the vast Pacific and back – just long enough to collect a few photos, stones – and memories.

On the road again, I got a call from Rick. Knowing we were going to be gone all day, I had asked him to stop by the house and let the dogs out if at all possible. He had not made it home and still had a meeting to attend, so I braced myself for the mess I was probably going to face in the laundry room.

To my surprise, the dogs had been able to hold it! So I turned them out and directed my efforts to warming a cold house. We had not bothered to stoke the wood stove this morning, so I sent Brian out to split some kindling while I prepared the firebox. When I opened the door, against all reasonable expectations, there were still coals! Hmmm; had Brian and I 'tessered' to the coast and back, while home dwelt in a wrinkle in time?

(Thinking of Madeleine L'Engle's wonderful books makes me want to drive straight to the library and read every single one of them all over again! Along with C.S. Lewis, she is one of my very favorite authors, and like Lewis, she is a pillar of faith who inspires me.)

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, February 17, 2013


When I let the dogs out this morning, this greeted me:

Such glorious light – it seemed to come straight from heaven!

Uplifted, I sat down in my chair to check email. A telltale sound came from the glass door that leads to the deck. I got up to see one of our less common visitors, a chestnut-backed chickadee, laying face-down. I quickly let the dogs in through the front door, hoping that the wee thing was just stunned. Sadly, it never moved again.
Ah nature; such an imperfect revelation of God! It reminded me of I Corinthians 13:12; "For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity; these three; but the greatest of these is charity." The God Who notes each sparrow that falls (Matthew 10:29) promises a time when "there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:4). Until then, love will see us through.

Blogpals often give me wonderful examples of love. Just this weekend, Donna wrote of rescuing some goats and sheep she had sold, Dormouse wrote of choosing to save lives over saving money, and  Anna wrote of buying a weak chick from the feed store so it could live a portion of its life on a farm, rather than dying unloved and tossed into a dumpster. Such tender hearts; sermons in shoes.

That's it for today from . . .

Friday, February 15, 2013

'False spring' Friday

L-R: Gilda, Buffy, Goldilocks
Looks like a second Easter Egger is gearing up to lay. We haven't had two blue/green eggs in one day in a long time!

Susan mentioned this recipe on her blog. I just happened to have a bag of fresh cranberries in my produce drawer, so I made it for our Valentine's dessert last night. Mmm, mmm, GOOD! I used the whole bag of cranberries, which was more than the two cups called for, whole wheat pastry flour, organic evaporated cane juice (I stopped buying white sugar), and olive oil instead of butter. I think Rick and I just may finish it off for supper tonight, since Brian is gone for the weekend.

He is with a church youth group at a 'summer' camp in the Cascades playing in the snow – a far cry from the weather here today! It got above 60 degrees, so I decided to give Lance a bath in preparation for his first show a week from Sunday. If he'll leave a stable sheet on, he'll stay clean enough that all I'll need to do is wipe down his face and maybe rinse off his legs again. But it will not surprise me at all if my mouthy mustang undresses himself. Oh well, he'll still be cleaner than if he hadn't had a bath!

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, February 14, 2013


(That's "bind off, cast on" for you non-knitters!)
I finished the navy fingerless mitts last night, and they are drying as I type. Soon they will be winging their way to merry old England to keep Carolyn's hands warm – taking that navy yarn almost full circle. That's a global economy for you. Jamieson's Shetland Double Knitting was grown and spun on Shetland, knit into mitts by a small-time breeder of Shetland sheep in Oregon, and are bound for a new blogpal in England!

So, one Grow Your Blog Party giveaway down, one to go:

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day to you all! I hope you treat yourself to something special; you know best what you like. ;-)  Me, I started my day off right with a ride on my big red goober! (It helps make up for my annual 'poke, probe and press' exams later today.) :-/

That's it for now from . . .