Friday, February 26, 2016

Paved with good intentions

The day dawned beautifully this morning...
...the teenager did not.  :-(  Before the forecast rain began – and before I reached a level of frustration that would have rendered me an unfit rider, I went down to school my horse. That went well in spite of the activity just past our property line; if the smoke had been blowing our way I would not have asked Lance to work.
While I rode, the girls enjoyed some lush, green grass;
then we all went back inside under duress.

Dealing with the teenager didn't get any easier, and by the time Rick got home, I was wrung out, most of my to-do list sacrificed to get my son through his subjects. Then the doorbell rang. Great. My face was red and puffy; I was in no shape to face anyone. I asked someone else to answer the door; it was probably just the neighbor boy looking for Brian anyway.

"What do you mean, it's someone looking for me? I'm in no shape for a visitor." With that I retreated to my bathroom to put a cold washcloth on my face.


I have a dressage show on Sunday; my dad from Spokane has never seen me compete. Rick got the bright idea to invite him to come for it and surprise me. I think by tomorrow I'll be able to forgive him. By Sunday I might even think it was sweet.

That's it for tonight from . . .

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Morning Show and the evening news

This is my kind of morning show. ;-)

The rest of the day was yet another opportunity to exercise flexibility. I was pushing Brian through his schoolwork before homeschool co-op when I got a text followed by an email that co-op had been cancelled due to an issue at the facility we use. So rather than a trip to McMinnville for co-op and assorted errands, we took a late-afternoon trip to Salem for these:
I'm calling these year-old, green-egg-laying Easter Egger hens the "Inkspots."

Our ten aging hens have given us a grand total of THREE eggs this month. :-/  Last weekend Rick mentioned getting some chicks at the farm store, but pouring four to five months of food and labor into them before they start producing just doesn't appeal to me. I've thought about hunting down some pullets; thought became action when a Speckled Sussex hen died yesterday. I found the above girls on the Oregon Homesteaders Classifieds Facebook page, and the cancelled co-op allowed our schedules to mesh for pick-up. Here's hoping they integrate quickly, and turn out to be good layers!

Good-night moon, from . . .

Monday, February 22, 2016

I could blame it on the phone

Our landline has been dead for at least a week; we noticed we had no dial tone last Monday. The phone company said they'd send a tech last Thursday, then left a message on my cell phone Thursday saying that all the techs were swamped so we were bumped to Friday. No one showed up on Friday, so I called last night to be a squeaky wheel. Was told a tech did show up on Friday but encountered a closed gate. Well, yeah, but that wouldn't have been a problem if said tech had given me a call to tell me he was on his way like I was told he would! So today I am waiting on that call so I can let the tech in so the tech can fix our landline so that we can get calls and messages from all those people who have been complaining that our line is constantly busy when they call. Sheesh! (How's THAT for a barrage of words?)

Lessons in flexibility; life gives us lots of them. I think God knows how much we want/try/think we ought to be in control, and is constantly reminding us to "let go and let God" (be in control).

Can't control the weather, of course. Yesterday was supposed to be wet, wet, wet, so I was surprised by the beautiful sunrise. It clouded up shortly after that and began to rain, but it didn't continue as forecast. In fact, most of the day was beautiful, and ended beautifully with that full moon. The rest of the week is supposed to be warm and dry (until Sabbath), so I was surprised to awaken to the sound of rain this morning. But after a bit the sun managed to peek through the clouds, and the clouds to the northwest started to break up.

Then the fog moved in.

Ah well; we'll take what comes at . . .

Sunday, February 21, 2016


I have photos, but my editor's brain is MIA. Maybe words will come tomorrow.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dodging raindrops

According to Portland meteorologists, this is wettest winter on record (defined as December-February), with over a week left to add to the totals.

Thankfully, the rain here is not continuous, and I do my best to take advantage of the breaks. This morning I slipped out during one of them to ride my horse, and during another one I caught some of the birds outside our windows.

You can tell spring is coming; the wild bird crowd is growing!

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Too much rush and weather for much of a post, but there was this shy gift of a sunrise this morning:
Because of the clouds, most of the action was happening north of Mt. Hood for a change.

Later, alligators, from . . .

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Posies a-popping!

Yesterday while riding in our arena, I could see a patch of low-growing plants with white flowers down in the woods. Of course I had to investigate with camera in hand:
Violets! I also noticed blossoms on the little unidentified understory tree:

That sent me on a flower safari, and I found these around the house:

The crocus is the sole survivor of the bulbs I planted at the front of our house years ago; I need to plant some more. The daffodils are actually on the lot north of us, apparently protected from the leveling by their proximity to our fence line.

That's it for today from . . .

Monday, February 15, 2016

Monday, Monday, full of joy

So many things to delight in today!
  • It's not raining (my horse and I have a date to align our spines).
  • There's more hay in the barn. We were down to less than three bales of horse hay (plus the "sheep hay" I was jealously guarding, especially for the ewes). Rick found some OK stuff for sale on Craig's List that we were going to pick up yesterday afternoon, but first, one of his long-time clients needed to have her last, old horse put down. Rick noticed she had hay and offered to buy it from her, so now we have almost two tons of gorgeous second-cutting timothy hay that the horses AND sheep think is candy.
The timothy, in front of the sheep hay and under the last two bales of horse hay
  • A project I've been drooling over for nearly a year is finally on the needles, a Valentine's gift to myself. The pattern, the yarn, the smooth Addi Turbo needles, the gifted yarn bowl – everything makes this project perfectly delicious.

  • The bluebirds of happiness are checking out the nest box outside our bedroom window. I think I got some worthy photos with Rick's big-boy camera and lens this morning; will share if I can retrieve them.
  • No more troubling raccoon sightings.
That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sweet Sunday

How is that for a segue of colors and textures?
From top:
Dog o' my heart's heart
Wee fungi on the stump of my ice-busted Japanese maple
Valentine treats from Rick to the family
(I gave him and Brian milk chocolate oranges)

Happy Valentine's Day from . . .

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Scary Saturday night

Earlier tonight, I let Jackson and Dicey out at the deck door to do their business (Dozer was ensconced on the couch and didn't need to go, thankyouverymuch). After a bit, I went to the front door to wipe eight wet feet and let them in. Only Dicey was there; somewhere in the darkness I heard growling and snarling. In a surge of adrenaline I bellowed for Jackson to come, counting on his reliable recall to get him away from whatever he was tangled with. He came limping up the driveway, but I couldn't find any injuries or blood while thoroughly toweling him off all over. (Later we did find a couple small scratches on a foreleg.)

What made this scary was the phone call I got from our neighbors last night. Laura had gone out on her deck to call the deer in for a snack when she saw a dark form near their trees. She looked through the scope to see a large, tailless raccoon. She tried to startle it unsuccessfully, but when she gave her special call for the deer, it started running in circles. That brought to mind a dead bat they found in their yard five days before, so she felt compelled to call and warn us.

Could Jackson have tangled with a rabid coon? He's current on his rabies vaccination, of course, the sheep aren't, and neither are us humans. Rick loaded his .45, grabbed a flashlight, and went out to investigate. Seeing nothing, he had me follow with Jackson on a leash, hoping he would indicate where the animal had been, but Jackson just got excited at the prospect of a late-night walk. Brian couldn't be left out of the excitement, of course, and came armed with his compound bow and a knife. We saw nothing and went back to the house, but I turned around and headed out again, ostensibly to do chores. Armed with a flashlight and my iPhone, I wanted to look around some more – and spotted a raccoon not far from our entry gate. It was circling a fir tree, starting up, then coming back down, then starting up again. Finally, it headed up with purpose, so I moved in for a closer look. It was the tailless raccoon. I watched for awhile, trying to ascertain if its behavior was in the normal range. Rick went out later and couldn't find it.

Hoping it's moved on from . . .

Friday, February 12, 2016

Feathered Friday

This morning for one of his classes, Brian put the dogs in the laundry room and brought out Sprite. I worry that she will fly into one of the six east-facing windows in our great room, but that is a risk Brian is willing to take. She is such a sweet and pretty bird, even with the scattered pinfeathers.

That's it for now from . . .