Friday, August 25, 2017

Signs of the season

You know it's a certain time of year when yellowjacket traps are hung out,

firewood is gathered in,

food is put up,

and spindles fill out.
Oh, wait. Spindles fill out year-round. ;-)

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Changing routines

My days are suddenly simpler . . . emptier. After days – weeks? – of babying Lil'Country Nightcap along, hoping he would regain his strength while giving him special meals and helping him get to his feet several times a day, yesterday he took a hard left turn for the worst. I couldn't get him up; he wasn't interested in food; his breathing was different. Rick said it was time to end it, and I knew he was right.

If the grand old man wasn't going to make it, I guess it was a blessing to lose him this week. Next Monday I have to leave before dawn to drive to Spokane, returning the following night, and I was worried about him not getting enough support while I was gone those two days. No need to worry now....

Today I got Brian registered for the new school year, which starts Monday. We'll be back to twice-a-day trips to Salem and a much more structured schedule – at least once the first week is over. Brian is going to drive draft horses in the State Fair for Rick's client again this year after last year's hiatus, so we'll be pulling him out early Wednesday and Thursday for that. Friday afternoon we may be leaving for a horse-camping trip – or we may not. From there on it feels like a long toboggan ride to the holidays, starting out at the top with a gradual slope but quickly picking up speed while I struggle to hold on.

But rather than focus on the coming frenzy, I will try to focus the beauty around me.

It's everywhere, it's everywhere, at . . .

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tasty Tuesday

'Tis the season for feasting on fresh food, and preserving some of the bounty for the rest of the year.

Even though we've been up to our armpits in peaches since last week, each one we eat brings forth sounds that would be indecent in any other context. They are SO good! I've put up 14 quarts for Brian, who likes them canned, and 25-30 pints have been stashed in every nook and cranny of both freezers for Rick and I, who prefer them frozen. I've also made a BIG peach cobbler for church potluck, and a fresh peach pie which we shared with friends. I've kept a bowl full of sliced peaches in the frig for breakfast, brought home some whipping cream today so I could try a Moosewood cookbook recipe for peach ice cream that sounds heavenly, and should make at least one more pie. The rest will be made into this for ourselves and for gifts, although I'm toying with making it more exotic by adding some spices.

But it hasn't been all peaches all the time. I've made two batches of tabouli (with quinoa), as well as black bean zucchini burgers, pumpkin zucchini bread and muffins (used a pint of frozen sweetmeat squash puree to make room for one more pint of peaches), and zucchini fritters. I'm craving this, but don't have enough tomatoes at the moment – hopefully that problem will resolve soon.

Finally, I am tickled to announce that today I got the first pullet-bullet from one of the beautiful blue Wyandottes!

Eating good in the neighborhood at . . .

Monday, August 21, 2017


We were blessed to live in "the path of totality." One million visitors were expected to flood the central swath of Oregon to witness this celestial event, and we didn't have to go anywhere! I alternated between looking through my eclipse glasses, and pointing my camera through a lens of the glasses and looking at the viewfinder. My modest little Panasonic Lumix didn't do too bad at capturing some memorable moments. ;-)

The changes in the color and intensity of light fascinated me. This photo looks like early sunset, but the shadows are going in the wrong direction for that:

Brian alternated between watching, and jumping on the trampoline:

That's it for an awesome day at . . .

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cures for what ailed me

Between the national news and a failing old gentleman ram, I've been feeling sad and unsettled this week. But yesterday Nightcap rallied some (I'm plying him with goodies)

and I was inundated with blessings in the form of produce. One of Rick's clients invited him over to pick green and mung beans, and they also sent home a bunch of yellow crookneck squash and a few tomatoes (to add to my piddly stash of tomatoes and bountiful harvest of zucchini).

While they were gone, a neighbor called to tell me our favorite little peach orchard was opening up to just a few locals for limited hours this week only for FREE picking! Earlier in the summer we were told there wouldn't be any peaches from them this year; the trees were hit hard with leaf curl. (We suspect he didn't spray this year because he plans to tear out the rest of the trees for wine grapes.)-:

So Rick and Brian got home, unloaded garden produce (I was already prepping for dilly beans, starting with green beans from our own garden), grabbed boxes and laundry baskets, and headed down to pick peaches. Oh glorious day!
Between 14 pints of spicy dilly beans and the big bowl of green and mung beans we grilled for our supper (along with veggie burgers with all the fixin's, garlic from our garden, and onion slices) that giant mixing bowl of beans has been reduced to a handful. Now on to freezing peaches – and a fresh peach pie or two!

That's it from blessed and busy . . .

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fall's coming; I can feel it!

Of course, I may not be able to feel it tomorrow or again for weeks to come, but last weekend's weather has been followed by a few deliciously fresher days and nights. And it's not just me; the other morning I saw a Western Gray Squirrel industriously burying hazelnuts!
I really should harvest some of those hazelnuts and English walnuts for our own use. But when we've collected them in the past, few got shelled. I like to knit or spin when I have a chance to sit down, and my guys have no inclination to busy their fingers at all while sitting.  :-/

Rick and Brian have been stacking firewood in preparation for the change of seasons, though. That is a form of "squirreling away."
No squirrels here, just some pretty pastel flowers on my hostas.
That's it for now from . . .

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Breathing room

Hallelujah! After two weeks of heat and horrible air quality, we got a respite. Last night a fresh coast breeze blew in, followed by a shower in the early morning hours. Today was cooler, cloudier, fresher – a blessed relief, however brief.

Another blessing was that my guys cleaned out the sheep fold today, creating a much healthier environment for the lambs and two young ewes who have been staying in there since the foxtail headed out. Of course they had to be moved for the task, so after some shuffling they went out to the wooded lot.
Oh, to have a lush, green "lawn" for them like my Kentucky blogpals have!

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, August 11, 2017

Flock Friday

Just a couple sheep shots before I head to bed. Here's handsome flock sire Blake,

and his three 2017 daughters, Bardot, Brigitte, and Bacall.

That's it for today from . . .

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

My chair of bowlies grows

Thanks to ME (one of my favorite artists):
and my husband (my favorite wood-turner). That big bowl in my last post got its beauty treatment yesterday, and it's a show-stopper!

Call me greedy if you want; this one is staying RIGHT. HERE. So is the little dish; Brian claimed that one.

We're supposed to have a cooler week-end, maybe even some rain:
I can hardly wait!!!

That's it for now from . . .