Sunday, May 31, 2015

Guess what we're up to

 We're filling the barn at . . .

Friday, May 29, 2015

Rattle! Hiss!

Yesterday I sent Brian out to the garden to pick strawberries. A few minutes later he ran through our front screen door (we have one of those retractable jobs, an "invisible screen") saying there was a rattlesnake in the strawberries!!! Since that is about as likely as finding a panther in the parlor (see last sentence; we are in Yamhill Co.), I urged him to go back out and do his job. He was SURE it was a rattler, however, so he called Rick, loaded his BB gun, and went hunting – but the snake had fled. When he came back inside, I pulled up a couple of videos (here and here) so he could see (and HEAR) the more likely causes of his panic.

Today he was outside doing something and found the big bad snake caught in the bird netting around the strawberries. He could see it wasn't a rattler but didn't want to try to free it by himself, so Rick assisted. Then he wanted to keep the gopher snake as a pet! He finally set it free by the woodshed, where hopefully it can do its job eating mice and voles without scaring the gardeners or getting caught in netting.

For the ophidiophobic, here are some flora photos to finish on, to help you forget the snake.  ;-)

From the peaceable kingdom at . . .

Thursday, May 28, 2015


That would be the sound of fleeces flying out of here! This afternoon I finally bit the bullet and posted photos and descriptions of my available fleeces in Spinners Marketplace on Ravelry, and three of the nine are already reserved. Now I have no choice but to make the time to get them skirted and weighed so they can be shipped. Do you ever put yourself between a rock and a hard spot to force your own hand like that?

I did have some extra time today as I didn't have to report to work, but didn't have the vitality to make the most of it. Now I'm sitting in the (hot, stuffy) fencing club while Brian cooks in his head-to-toe fencing whites. You gotta love this sport to do it through the summer!

That's it for today from . . .

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Creepy-crawly, snotty-slimy

I'm talking about my physical state, not this handsome specimen of a Pacific banana slug. Allergies, still combined with a cold virus I suspect, have me Itchy/Crawly/Sneezy/Snotty/Coughy/Sleepy/
Cranky – my own Seven Dwarfs of misery. (Did you know Sleeping Beauty's sidekicks have had many names over the years??? News to me!)

That's it for today from . . .

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fruits of our labors

This morning I took a closer look at the garden to better appreciate my husband's hard work. In addition to the starts, seeds are sprouting nicely – radishes, bush beans, peas, and carrots.

The vineyard and berry patch are looking good (as is my rhubarb, far left). There are strawberries (to the far right of the row crops) ready to pick as well; that'll probably be on my list for tomorrow.

On my list today was rooing Sarai. It was perfect timing; she rooed easily and was left with a good layer of new growth. She stood very nicely for me as well, one of the few sheep I have that doesn't fight the blocking stand.

The tugging of rooing stretches the locks and disrupts the crimp alignment, although that changes the nature and quality of the fleece not at all. But I snapped a photo of Sarai's fleece mid-side so interested parties can see what it looks like before rooing.
Her ram lambs yelled for her the entire time I rooed, of course. But when I turned her out to join them in the pasture afterwards, they didn't recognize her and continued to yell. She answered not a word, turning her attention to eating; Vienna acted far more concerned about all the noise. Then again, Vienna has been the more attentive mother all along. I plan to roo her tomorrow; it will be interesting to see how her girls react!

That's it for today . . .

Monday, May 25, 2015


I have no immediate family members who died while serving our country in the military, and recognize that to be a blessing and a gift of great price. My gratitude to those who have paid it.

I actually went to work today because the last week of every month is crunch time at my job. I didn't want to; I've come down with a cold on top of rampant seasonal allergies, and feel like hammered grunt. But I am nothing if not responsible, so off I went, then came home, guided my boy through violin practice, then hauled him off to a violin lesson. After we got home from that and supper was over, I headed out to ride my horse. I mumbled something to my husband about just wanting to go to bed, and he said, "You don't have to ride." I responded that everything that needs doing takes too much brain power, and I'd feel better after getting some fresh air. He said, "You can come look at my garden with me." (He'd spent much of the day weeding his grapes and berries.) I said, "That wouldn't take long; I'm not going to just stand there and gaze at it." He said, "You do with your sheep." I snorted and said, "I take pictures of my sheep, and snuggle with my sheep. You can't snuggle a grapevine." Then I quipped, "You're Cain, I'm Abel." Ha!

The gardener was willing to help the shepherd yesterday morning, though. I restrained so he could remove Vienna's stitches, tag lambs, and give them their second CD&T shots. It all went quickly and smoothly, then the ewes and lambs went out to pasture.
My beautiful Bree, with new accessory

A bit later, I caught Barbados so he'd be ready for his new owners to pick up at noon. He's mild-mannered, polled and fine-fleeced – just what they were looking for.

I have two more out of the same dam that are just as nice, if someone else is looking for a fine-fleeced flock sire. But their time as intact is running out!
Belfast's fleece, mid-side
Boston's fleece, mid-side

Now I need to muster myself off to bed at . . .

Saturday, May 23, 2015


A Sabbath treat at . . .

Friday, May 22, 2015


Bree and Brosna are the sweetest lambs ever. (Sorry, Liddy, but it's true!) Just downy-soft lumps of sweet brown sugar, they are. I would love to keep both of them, but have already promised to let one go.

This morning I wanted to get mid-side fleece shots from both of them, so Brian came in to hold them.
You know it couldn't be ALL business. ;-)

Feelin' the love at . . .

Thursday, May 21, 2015


The buyer of Bali's fleece asked for a sample of Bing's fleece. Since his neck looks so ragged, I thought I could just roo a mid-side sample, but it didn't come off easily. The hard tug disrupted Bing's lock structure and crimp organization, but you can still see how fine and crimpy it is. (You'll have to take my word for its incredible softness.)  ;-)

Bing is the only offspring I got from Bunker before he died. Tis a pity the bearer of this jet-black, super-fine fleece isn't a ewe!

That's it for today from . . .

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New vacancies

Last night Rick and Brian put up two more birdhouses. Brian made the one on the left; the one on the right Rick and I picked up last Sabbath at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. We went there to walk and bird-watch while Brian was at youth group and stumbled into the tail end of 19th Annual Tualatin River Bird Festival. Not only did we get a free bluebird box and some good information, I added Cinnamon Teals and Gadwalls to my lifetime bird list!

To the left of the above photo, the ewes and lambs were guzzling grass.

Lambs grow so fast. Sarai is on the far right with her sons standing next to her; Boston looks almost as big as his mom! (You can click to biggify.)

On the other side of the house a couple new iris have opened. The purple-edged white bearded iris is a favorite. The white flags are not, mostly because they grow in a huge mass that doesn't bless my island bed. It would take a ton of work to dig them out, though, so there they have remained.

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

At least I'm not allergic to wool

Although right now I feel allergic to EVERYTHING, as whatever I am allergic to must be blowing in the breeze. "The answer to my sneeze is blowin' in the breeze; the answer is blowin' in the breeze." Heh. Ah-CHOO!

I've been trying to avoid OTC allergy meds after reading that they may be linked to dementia; the company I work for has many clients with dementia and its effects are so sad. But between the sneezing and the runny nose and eyes so itchy they are in danger of being gouged out, I got very little sleep last night and am of very short temper today. I think my guys might prefer me crazy, so tonight I'm taking something. In the meantime I keep the tissues close.

This afternoon I got Bali's fleece boxed and ready to ship. Next I need to roo/shear Vienna, as her fleece is reserved, and Bali's dam Sarai, because her fleece is coming off in pieces. Good thing she's wearing a coat, as it keeps most of it in place. Here is Bali's fleece cut side down, and cut side up, zooming in on her black shoulder spot:
Sarai really stamped last year's get with her exquisite fleece type. (If you like Bali's, Sarai's and Barbados' are still available.)

Oh – I have news! Barbados is leaving for his new flock on Sunday! I also have strong interest in Belfast; and have decided to keep Bree and let Brosna join Bali and Marta in their new flock.

Just to show that this isn't the "All Sheep All The Time Channel," here are some pretties from around the place.
My "lilies of the field" – the iris out in the pasture
Yesterday evening's dramatic sky

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, May 18, 2015

Quick, before Sunday disappears in the rearview mirror!

Brian was gone all day to a youth event. While the boy was away....

Rick and I got a nice little parenting break.

The horses got grass.

Rick got the garden starts and seeds we had on hand planted.

I got Benny's fleece skirted.

Lance and I got in a dressage lesson.

I got a four-loaf batch of bread made.

And so started another busy week, at . . .