Thursday, May 30, 2013

Age of Aquarium

At the beginning of this week I was feeling completely overwhelmed. But now I'm feeling like the Little Engine That Could, straining up the grade with a full load but making progress and getting closer to the crest of the hill. SO glad I have photos from last weekend's activities to share with you until I can get my head above water, though!

These Portland Aquarium residents prefer to say UNDERwater:

These tiny jewels like it wet:

This little fellow took up less space than the palm of my hand. Shooting without my glasses, I didn't realize how beautifully complex his colors were until the photo was on my computer screen. Definitely click to biggify (if snakes don't totally freak you out)!

The last – but not least – creature we were blessed to see, just as we were exiting through the gift shop. Watson the Scarlet Macaw lives behind the scenes and is taken out periodically by his [excellent] handler.
Such intelligent eyes! Large hookbills are truly amazing creatures. To read about one woman's "heart bird," click here. (Have tissues on hand.)

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lorikeet love (a long leap from lambs!)

Memorial Day weekend Sunday was our family "play day." I scored Groupon tickets for four to the Portland Aquarium, remembering how much Brian, his friend and I had enjoyed it in January. This time, I made sure I had plenty of camera battery reserves for the lorikeet exhibit!

At first, the lorikeets were not very active except for one friendly but nippy fellow named Chris (bottom photo). But the longer we stayed (Brian and I would have been happy to hang out there all day), the more playful some of them got – every bit as much as puppies and kittens are! I took some videos of their antics; I hope you find them as much fun as I do!

If you'd like to see them, I have a few fish and amphibian photos from the aquarium as well.

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Black beauties

Welcoming committee

Sabbath afternoon I rode along when Rick went to treat a patient. The client owns Shires – lots of them – including the ones Brian drove to victory at the State Fair last year. I have a weakness for beautiful black horses; my very first horse was black, and who hasn't read Black Beauty? Photo op!

I think this coquettish young lady would make a nice mount. Years ago when I first started competing in dressage, one of this client's Shires was being shown successfully in the area.

Broad bums

Aaah; a little to the left!
Oh! Kelly's comment reminded me that I took a photo of Duane's bay Shire, too (yes, they come in bay, and gray as well). Teddy is a big, handsome boy, broke to ride and an impressive sight when used carry the American flag around the arena at the draft shows. But I caught him in a silly dog sit on Saturday after he'd had a good roll. If you click to biggify, you'll see something that makes him look even sillier; heh!

That's the second installment on our holiday weekend from . . .

Monday, May 27, 2013

Close to home

Our first horse-camping trip of the year was planned for this weekend, and I was so looking forward to it. The location at the base of Mt. Adams is breathtakingly beautiful, fellowship with members of our Christian trail riding club is always fun, and I was looking forward to my young horse's horse-camping debut. But according to the weather forecast, we were as likely to stay huddled around a smoky, tarp-covered campfire as we were to be out on the trails on horseback, so the camp-out was scratched. Oh well, more time to get things done around here.
We have pulled at least five wheelbarrow-loads of weeds from the iris bed, and it is starting to show . . . some.

Our lettuces are looking twice this big now, with all the rain we've been getting. When it dries out enough to work in there, I'm sure there will be a lot of weeds to pull there as well.

I have gotten in a couple rides on Lance, too. On Friday Brian accompanied me on his bike, and on Sunday morning Rick joined us on foot. The bottom photo was the view of the valley on our way home. I love where we live!

That's it for part of our holiday weekend at . . .

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fiber/photo finish

Yesterday was the last session of my homeschool co-op Textiles 101 class. With the exception of one girl who took her weaving project home to finish (I'll get the tools from her later), the students were able to take their finished weaving samples with them. Whew! It was a good thing my class was held first period, because only ONE student finished her project during class:

The rest of the students worked hard and made a lot of progress:

(In their defense, the announcements took forever and ate up 15 minutes of our scheduled 50-minute class time!) I and two helpers had the next two periods free, so we worked feverishly to finish up what the students couldn't get done. I had also woven on each project at home so that they could hopefully be finished by the students on time:

I enjoy teaching this class; in fact, I'm signed up to teach it next fall to the 5th graders. Until then, though, I am looking forward to pursuing my own fiber projects – like spinning up the rest of this homegrown light grey Shetland (there's more than is shown):

Spinning and plying this fiber will be my training event before the Tour de France/Fleece starts next month. I want to begin the TdF with empty spindles and miniSpinner and fresh fiber challenges!

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Um, yeah; that's supposed to be gravel in the foreground

We had August temperatures at the beginning of the month; now we're having March temperatures! Last night we contemplated building a fire in the wood-burning insert, but just pulled on an extra polarfleece  and shivered instead. Today's high is supposed to be a record low, although if we break 50 degrees it will still be warmer than yesterday. Crazy! But the rain is a welcome blessing, and I plan to take advantage of its soil-softening action to pull as many weeds in our driveway and iris bed as possible. I'll give Brian the benefit of free vocational training, too (he's been doing yard work for a couple of our neighbors); I'm such a generous mom. ;-)

At least my buns will be cozy – and beautifully presented! Adrienne knit this lovely piece for me to Pay It Forward, and it coordinates perfectly with my grandma's Franciscan Rose dishes.

I recently finished a cozy little gift project myself by knitting a row here and there when I could. Who knew they'd look so tempting in late May? (And I guess they coordinate with my dishes, too.)

The sheep are still confined for Bart's sake, which has given me more opportunities to cozy up to them. My herding assistant (a certain adolescent) has been less than calm when helping with them, so my flock had all gotten decidedly more skittish. I'm working on rectifying that!

That's it for today from . . .

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A pair of portraits

Lap vs. laptop? Dozer says "no contest." (Love those pudgy paws!)

Best 'hair' in the hen house; Buffy rocks the upswept 'do.

That's it for today from a busy . . .

Monday, May 20, 2013


This week is packed as tightly as any I have lived, so my time on the computer will be limited. Still, my dogs think any time on my laptop is too much time....

That's it for today from . . .