Friday, April 27, 2018


After days of record-breaking heat, today dawned gray and cool; blessed relief! Some people bemoan our gray days, but I prefer gray/cool to sunny/hot, and find gray days better for photographing nearly everything. Like this colorful front corner of our house:
Here's close-up of that orange flower at the bottom of the photo, which I posted on Instagram earlier this week:

A few more photos taken this morning in the kind light of an overcast sky:
It was also a good day to capture my one grey Shetland's marvelous marbling post-shearing:

Finally, did you know there is a "grey area" in "Shetland" wool/yarn/textiles? Here is a link to a Jamieson & Smith blog post highlighting the industry use of the term "Shetland wool." Buyer beware: Not all "Shetland Wool" is from Shetland sheep!

That's it for today from . . .

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tired dogs

My legs, that is. And it really doesn't make sense. After taking Brian to school this morning (Rick had to sew up a cut horse), I chose Bardot to shear. I tried to follow the same plan of attack detach I used with Babette, but struggled to make it work. When I finally looked at the time, HOURS had passed – and I had a half hour before I needed to clean up and leave to get Brian! I quickly texted the mom whose daughter I pick up on Tuesdays to see if she could bring Brian to the park we meet at just five minutes from my house, and she agreed. That gave me JUST enough time to finish Bardot, take a shower, and grab something to eat, and not a minute more. Hence, I got ONE photo:
In it you can see how light the cut side of Bardot's fleece is compared to the tips. In between are varying
shades of almost metallic grey; it really is stunning. I'll have to get a photo of her "naked;" her body looks marbled.

I was inexplicably exhausted, but had promised Brian we would play some disc golf today. We were planning on playing the course on the grounds of the Oregon State Hospital, which we drive by on the way home from school, but Bardot's marathon shearing threw a monkey wrench in that. So after picking Brian up we drove the fraction of a mile to the Wheatland ferry, parked the car, and walked on – and walked through the park to the course, and walked through seven holes. That last hole was surrounded with poison oak, so we called it a day and came home. Of course, I couldn't resist a few more photos:

Headed to bed at . . .

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Hot flash

That's what we're experiencing here; it's suddenly summer, with record-breaking temperatures soaring over 80°! And boom, just like that, the foxtail is heading out, a sad signal that the sheep's grazing privileges will soon be revoked to prevent those wicked barbs from ruining fleeces and burrowing into flesh. Sigh.
The horses got a wee bit of turn-out for the first time today. Rick is extremely cautious about the risk of founder; he's seen a lot of cases as an equine vet. Plus, Lance is still recovering from a suspensory injury, so I held my breath and hoped he didn't frolic too much. I turned Oliver out in the arena for awhile to burn off steam, and took Lance for a road ride first so he wouldn't have excess energy. It was a beautiful afternoon!
Later I transplanted a geranium I bought recently, and captured this shot of our front yard.
Freshly mowed lawn; Japanese maples leaving out; blooming candytuft, geranium, and pink flowering cherry – it looks pretty good out there right now! I'll be ready for the cool-down at the end of the week, however.

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, April 22, 2018

From sheep to sweater

I got one, count her, ONE sheep sheared today. At this rate, it will only take me 42 hours more to shear the rest of my flock. 😳 Let's hope I get a lot faster!

Babette was the lucky loser of locks. She was a good girl and I got her fleece off in one piece, revealing a sheep in fine flesh. Here she is before and after:

Unbeknownst to me, Brian snuck a photo of us while I was finishing Babette's neck:
She was on the blocking stand behind me for the majority of the job; I use the mounting block as a ramp of sorts to get sheep up on the stand. After getting a fresh white coat, she joined the other ewes out on pasture – and was immediately surrounded by unfriendly flock members who weren't at all sure she belonged. Such is the not-so-gentle nature of sheep....

While I worked on Babette, Rick and Brian did the yeoman's work of cleaning out the Sheep Sheraton. The hay and poop pack was the deepest it's ever been, thanks to the number of sheep I have and the amount of time they've had to stay in there (there may have been some muttering about getting rid of some sheep on my DH's part). It certainly looks better now!

I haven't posted anything about my current knitting WIP. My niece is expecting her first child, a boy, in July, so I'm working on a little cardigan for his first (or maybe second) winter. I bound off the body today when we drove to Salem for errands and dinner.

That's it for today from . . .

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Familiar places, new paces

This afternoon we took a family walk through Willamette Mission State Park after parking our car on our side of the river and taking the ferry on foot. We've walked, biked, and ridden horses through this park, but today's walk was prompted by interest in a new activity – disc golf! Brian got to try it on the school trip this week and is eager to get some discs now. I mentioned the course at Willamette Mission, so he wanted to see it. We took a flying ring with us for fun, and walked almost all 18 holes, with lots of photographic pauses for spring flowers (I saved my favorite for last). It was a beautiful day!

That's it for this week from . . .

Friday, April 20, 2018

And just like that, it's almost over

Brian has been gone with his whole high school (it's small) since Monday, and returns this evening. Without the daily 1.5-hour round trip to pick him up from school, I had unrealistic plans to get all kinds of things done. Mostly I've done all the usual tasks, plus got a haircut (and gave my horse one), dealt with details relating to my dad's estate and upcoming memorial service, and the biggy – photographed 15 sheep, trimmed 60 little hooves, collected and documented 15 fleece samples. So of course yesterday I decided I might as well advertise on Ravelry with an invitation to reserve fleeces. Boom; one third of my clip is already spoken for, forcing my hand on scheduling shearing/rooing! Because apparently I looove to work under pressure. 😂

There's nothing like beautiful flowers to ease stress:

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Beautiful in any weather

We've gone from wet and gray to clear and sunny, but whatever the weather, the scenery is scenic! (Oreo, however, does seem to prefer the sun.)  (-;

That's it for Monday through today at . . .