Monday, June 27, 2016


White currants for the freezer, rhubarb for potluck crisp
Where has June gone? I know, I know, it's not over yet, but for me it might as well be. All the end of month things (Rick's payroll and quarterly payroll taxes, the church newsletter) have to be done early because of our upcoming horse-camping trip, on top of getting ready for our upcoming horse-camping trip (arranging for chores, meal planning and prep, loading horse trailer and camper). We want our garden and potted plants to survive our absence, so the well has been feeding soaker hoses and sprinklers nearly non-stop, and there have been ripe berries to pick and freeze so they don't go to waste. Oh, and we found some good hay, so of course that had to be gotten while the getting was good.
There's one small "hole" left for a couple tons of second cutting orchard grass for next winter's pregnant/nursing ewes, otherwise we're set. And for the first time ever, Brian handled more bales than I did – finally!

Stuffed in the gaps here and there I've sorted out a little problem in my current knitting project, attending a custody hearing in support of a friend, and did my best to stop and be sociable when I've run into people I know. I did that today in the grocery store while picking up some final items for our camping trip and as a result will probably be getting three started pullets when we get back! I still need to snag some fiber from my stash for the Tour de Fleece, which starts this Friday. Since I'll be camping, I'll take one of my Jenkins Turkish spindles.

Hoping this "vacation" is worth the crazy at . . .

Saturday, June 25, 2016


Do you see it? It is everywhere! In colors and textures, in light-play and shadow-dance. Sometimes I just soak it up, other times I try, with limited success, to capture it for sharing.

After Friday's woolly work (see last post), I headed to the house. The hens were hanging out,  oblivious to the fact that their feathery finery would put royal robes to shame.
Last night after supper, we spent some "quality family time" in the berry patch picking boysenberries, marion berries, and three colors of raspberries. So pretty – and so tasty!

That's it for now from . . .

Farm Friday

After three days of barely being home except to do chores quickly and sleep, Friday was a welcome change. With our biggest horse-camping trip of the year coming up quickly, my to-do list was (is) a mile long – a mile high is actually more like it! So what did I start out with (after chores, of course)? Some sheep maintenance. ;-)

Benny and Blake both needed coat changes. Benny is the only one of the boys who is staying fat on last year's coarse grass hay we picked up in early spring to get us through to this year's crop, and he needed a bigger coat.
Benny, photobombed by a cat and two horses
"Who are you? Do we know you?"

Blake's coat fit, but one of the leg straps was dangling so it was only a matter of time until it slipped sideways and entangled him or got ripped. While I had him uncovered, I decided to clean up his fleece. I had him sheared instead of rooing him this spring, which was a mistake. Not only did he get a lot of nicks, my shearer struggled with the rise, going under and over it. In order to have a marketable fleece next year, I needed to remove the cotted mats of old fleece where he was sheared over the rise. After pulling some of it off by hand and snipping some off with scissors, I settled into combing it out with a sturdy mane comb. Combing messed up his lock structure, but it will have plenty of time to normalize before his next shearing.

Blake was oh, so patient; as you can see, I combed off a LOT of old fleece tips! He is such a nice ram to handle – easy to catch, walks beautifully on lead, and stands patiently for whatever I need to do. For his patience, he got to eat some weeds before I headed up to the house to tackle other stuff on that to-do list. That's the problem with having lots to do – I got busy doing it, then my guys got home, so there was no chance to finish this post. That's why you're getting it today – and I have another one in the works!

Posting when I can at . . .

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Up, up and away

We were all up a little earlier than usual this morning so Rick and Brian could check out some hay before their first call. I took in the view out our east-facing wall of windows and saw a stationary speck in the distant sky:
Then it was out the door to start water on the strawberries, do chores, pull a few weeds, and eat my breakfast fruit "on the hoof" (boysenberries and Rainier cherries). Yay; a little extra time for a blog post before getting ready for work! Might be the last one for a bit; the next three days will be long ones. Today I work until I need to leave for Salem for a late-afternoon meeting at the school Brian will be attending this fall. Tomorrow I work again, probably until our early evening family photo shoot for our new church directory. Thursday I work all day at Rick's clinic because his secretary needs the day off. Friday I may have to work at my office job again, since we'll be gone most of next week.

So yesterday I worked hard at deep-watering my vegetable garden with the soaker hoses, and got most of it done. The remainder will have to be worked in early and late the rest of the week, like the strawberries this morning. While I wish I had a few more things filling in the empty areas (to the left of what's in the photo), I'm very happy with our little garden this year. So far, I'm ahead of the weeds!

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, June 20, 2016

Don't quit your day jobs ;-)

Last night's painterly sky
My guys got home safe and sound last night, ready for "real" food, hot showers, comfortable chairs, and soft beds. They kept telling me how great the trip was in between moaning with satisfaction over one of the above, and Brian kept asking, "Aren't you excited about going with us next time?" Effective PR agents for backpacking they are not – ha! I heard about rain, snow, and sleet, freezing nights, leaky tents and wet sleeping bags; EVERYthing came home smelling of smoke from the campfire they huddled around trying to get warm and dry. Fortunately, their last day was warm and beautiful so they came out smiling. I also made Rick smile with a Father's Day strawberry/rhubarb pie (with fresh ingredients from our garden), even though the new crust recipe I tried turned out more like a bomb shelter. :-/

I did not sleep well last night; must have been the full moon. After fighting for rest through the early morning hours, I finally surrendered to wakefulness and got up. At least I got to see the sun rise. It wasn't "spectacular," but I enjoyed the show.

Morning definitely gilded the sky at . . .

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Relishing the days

Oh, how I have enjoyed the weather this week! It has fit my definition of perfection: days dancing on the edge of warm; nights bracingly cool; an occasional refreshing sprinkle; the exquisite play of sunshine and clouds providing an unparalleled sky show –
with a special feature every evening at sundown.

And yes, I am enjoying my quiet weekend – although 'quiet' is relative. Two of the three dogs are in hyper-alert mode, exploding in nerve-shredding vocalizations at every real and imagined sound. I'm sure they expect the missing members of the family to walk in at any moment and want to be the first to greet them, but OY! I haven't done much since the guys left yesterday mid-afternoon; mostly I've just decompressed. I did spend a couple hours yesterday afternoon walking and talking with a friend in Willamette Mission State Park; it's been ages since we've had a proper "catch up" and she had never been to the park in spite of living here all her life.
Tomorrow I plan to hit the ground running so I can cross off all the miscellaneous tasks I've assigned myself to do while my guys are gone. A friend and I talked about hauling our horses somewhere to ride together, but her dog is whelping today so I'll fit in a ride alone – and probably get a whole lot more done!

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

High as a kite

No, not this evening's clouds;
this teenager!
A 40# pack for a two-day trip; oh, my!
Rick decided to take Brian camping for Fathers Day weekend, and Brian couldn't be more excited. Brian's best friend and his dad are going, too. It will be the inaugural trip for Brian's new backpack, an 8th grade graduation gift from his grandpa.

I've agreed to participate in a slightly longer family backpacking trip sometime this summer to celebrate Brian's 8th grade graduation. Here's hoping my knees hold up!

That's it for today from . . .

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Good morning

It's a new DAY.

May your day be mauvy!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Good night

Scenes from our evening sky:

That's it for today from . . .