Monday, July 30, 2018

Smoke gets in your eyes

At least if you live in the West! Last night on the news, the meteorologist showed a massive layer of wildfire smoke moving up from the south to our area. This morning, we awoke to a dingy yellow cast in the air, over the sun, affecting our light. As I headed to work this morning, I stopped at the top of our hill and took a photo:

On my way home, I stopped and took another one:

Although the atmosphere doesn't look as dingy in the afternoon shot, you can't see the foothills of the Cascades at all, whereas you still can in the morning shot. My eyes have been burning, and I imagine my horse's compromised lungs are, too. Others are experiencing far worse air quality.

Yesterday when I dropped off Brian at camp, I noted all the standing fuel left by an area forest fire a few years ago. It made me think of the camps in California I remember fondly from my own youth, currently evacuated because of nearby wildfires. So far, Pine Springs Ranch and Camp Wawona are still standing as far as I know, but the images I found on their Facebook pages are sobering, to say the least:

Pray for rain, people – and pray for the firefighters and people in harm's way.

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Looking ahead to "Oh no; August!"

I'm winding up July with a lot of highway miles. This afternoon I drove Brian to Big Lake Youth Camp, a six-hour round trip; he got a scholarship from his school that paid for nearly half the cost of a week-long teen basketball camp. Tuesday a friend and I are delivering Butler, my yearling ram, to his new home in Auburn, WA, an eight-hour round trip.

Then we turn the calendar to the jam-packed month of August. On top of the usual responsibilities, the garden will continue picking up steam; prunes, apples (ours), and peaches will need to be preserved; my parents will visit; Brian will return to school and drive draft horses at the State Fair; and we may go horse-camping in there somewhere. Time to tuck in my napkin and prepare to eat that elephant, one bite at a time!

I will leave you photos from my road trip today. Did a little spinning at Big Lake for a final location shot, since it's also the last day of the Tour de Fleece.

After wading in the lake to cool off

Three-Fingered Jack

Mt. Jefferson

Detroit Lake

Finished the dark brown roving this morning

That's it for now from . . .

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Distractions from the heat

Well, our escape to the coast Monday afternoon wasn't quite what we planned, but it was better than staying in the valley. After looking at two horses on the edge of Lincoln City (I stayed in the truck and spun; you can see it was sunny there), we drove towards the beach itself to find something for supper and watch the sunset. But a wall of cold fog met us, almost obscuring the surf itself, so we sat in the truck and ate, then headed for home. As we moved away from the fog, I could see some sunset colors above the fog, but by the time Rick found a place to pull over, they were mostly gone. Still a pretty view of Devils Lake, though.

So no walking on the beach or sunset over the ocean, but it was nice to escape the heat for at least a little while.

On Tuesday my first-ever Penzeys Spice order arrived, thanks to a heads-up from my sister about a special offer. Love the pin and magnet (and what the company promotes), and the seasonings look yummy. Can't wait until it cools off enough for cooking to be more appealing....

Wednesday morning's sunrise was worth waking early for, and was followed by some clouds that gave welcome morning shade.

Unfortunately, there was work on the lot next to us, too. A caterpillar and tractor droned round and round for hours, sending brown clouds of dust over our fence. My poor horse with his compromised lungs; ugh.
I wasn't around much of the day to be aggravated, though, and the house was closed up against the dust so the heat pump could keep it at 80°. I gave a dressage lesson in the morning, and in the afternoon I met up with Wanda Jenkins and another Jenkins spindle fan for pleasant conversation and iced coffee while spinning. Wanda brought some spindles so I could snag a one for an interested friend . . . and I may have ended up with another one in my "spindle stable" as well....

When I got home, I made sandwiches for supper from our first big tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, our own eggs, and my homemade bread. They were yummy!

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, July 23, 2018

Local updates

All's quiet on the sheep front. After the trio left, I pulled Bette out of the ewe group to keep her twin Butler company in the Ram-ada Inn (separated by a divider; no incest!), but she made it clear NO one would get any sleep with that arrangement. So I swapped her out for Vienna, and now everyone is settled. Butler is scheduled to go to his new home next Tuesday.

Is anyone else absolutely fed up with Blogger's process to prove you're not a robot?!? I have given up on leaving a comment several times lately because it takes SO. LONG. to click on all the corresponding images. I had to go through this to leave comments on my own blogs (so that your comments get emailed to me, another unnecessary hassle) – even though I have comment verification TURNED OFF. Grrr. So if I'm not commenting on your blog like I usually do, now you know why. There are only so many hours a day I can spend on my laptop....

The other day I went out to the garden and found this:

I was dumb-founded; I just saw the first blooms a couple days ago! There were only enough for my breakfast, but they will need to be picked regularly from here on out. I've finally got BIG tomatoes turning red (we've eaten two small ones),
cucumbers getting big enough to pick, green beans setting, bell peppers swelling, and basil burgeoning. The parsley is paltry and the eggplants take forever; the squash plants look fabulous, dahling – if you're not looking for something to pick. Fortunately a neighbor brought a couple boxes of summer squash to the neighborhood picnic Sunday so I have some to tide me over for awhile.

Yesterday it started heating up again. While the guys sweated it out continuing work on the new permanent fence around our upper pasture, I mostly looked for jobs to do inside where it was cool(er). One of those was dragging out my Featherweight Singer and mending at least six sheep suits.

I'm still spinning along on the Tour de Fleece, too. I'm striving to spin up all the dark brown Shetland on my miniSpinner, and use my Jenkins horn spindle in as many different locations as possible. This evening I'll be spinning at the coast; ahhhh. Rick and Brian are stopping by to pick me up any minute and then we are headed to a vet call there together. I don't often get to take advantage of it, but it is SO nice to have a coast to flee to when the valley is sweltering. It's almost 40 degrees cooler over there right now!

After the TdF ends on Sunday, July 29, I'm going to try out these babies:
Wicked-looking, huh? Those are double-pitch wool combs and I'm going to use them to prep the messy neck fleeces I've been loath to toss. But first I'll have to do some washing. Fleece will dry quickly in this heat!

Bye for now from . . .

Sunday, July 22, 2018

A week behind schedule

I meant to do a post on our hike to Cape Lookout last Sunday, but life – and weather – got in the way. When it's too hot my brain melts, and when we get a break from "too hot," I have to kick it into overdrive to get things done. But here are the photos now; a refreshing look back at an incredible outing!

There are two more trails that we could take from the trailhead, so I look forward to going back – as long as we don't take the winding backroads that always make me carsick. 😳 That's why we came back via Highway 101 and 18 – and were able to see the stunning sunset.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming at . . .