Friday, April 26, 2019


I've been peddling as fast as I can, burning the candle at both ends, putting out fires, swimming so I don't sink, chasing my tail. The result? Behinder than ever, I'm afraid.

Oh, I'm getting things done, just not at the same pace as they are piling up. Extra work in the form of additional office-job hours (getting everything moved, unpacked, set up, and stored) and having an additional horse here in short-term training (I've ridden two horses daily for nine of the last eleven days) on top of all the usual (animal chores, cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, being wife and mother) hasn't left much time for the seasonal pressures, like shearing sheep, prepping fleeces, and weeding. But here's proof of trying.

At this time of year the vegetation around here has dreams of world domination. The grass and weeds (and leaves and flowers) are growing so fast that it is no wonder why so many turn to chemical warfare. But I did make a dent in weeding the island bed; unfortunately the daffodils beyond the little gate may have to be dug up to get the weediest part under control again.

I'm hoping that Rick will tackle the weeds in the garden, since he put in the first planting. But I harvested the first crop of the year; a rhubarb crisp is ready for tomorrow's potluck.

I got Blaise sheared this week, and her fleece is ready and waiting to go to the post office on Monday. (Hopefully I'll also have Bittersweet's and Blake's fleeces ready to ship then, too.) I usually shear from front to back or back to front, but for some reason I decided to part her down the middle and shear each side. Good thing I did, too; as I finished one side I realized I had to leave to pick up Brian. I simply put her coat back on to keep things clean and finished shearing her (after removing Chuckie from his newfound throne) when I got home. Today I arranged the two halves together before rolling up the fleece to bag for shipping.

I started on Sarai, but after rooing her belly, rump, and upper legs easily, I found that her fleece was still firmly attached on her body. Oh well; back on went her coat until a more opportune time!

I'm still taking at least 15 minutes a day to spin or ply thanks to a 'daily challenge' on the Jenkins Ravelry group. If I'm going to be riding in a vehicle or hanging out in a waiting room, I take one of the two spindles and spin; if I'm squeezing in some time at home at the end of the day, I ply.

I have a lot more miscellaneous photos but I'm struggling to stay awake after several past-midnight bedtimes this week, so they will have to wait for another post

Sayonara from . . .

Friday, April 19, 2019

Thursday's cloud sandwich

Yesterday I got up earlier than usual and caught the lovely sunrise tinting the clouds, followed by sunshine lighting up the cherry orchard down the hill and the neighboring field.

I left for work before Rick did, to continue moving the fiduciary office across town. After a full day of that, I came home to school my friend's horse and give Lance his exercise. I thought Lance and I might catch a dramatic sunset as we headed down the road, but it never really colored up. Still pretty, though. By the time we came back, the clouds were darker and more dramatic, forecasting the approach of today's rain.

But between the clouds of the morning and evening, yesterday was sunny and warm, the warmest day of the year so far. Chuckie was basking on the front-end loader of our little tractor when I went down to ride; I hope it did him good. He is still recovering from whatever traumatic incident he suffered, and is not the fat, sleek, and sassy cat he was before it.
The rosemary is rife with blossoms,

but the double-flowering cherry is mostly cherishing its buds. This morning I found one sprig opening up its tissue-paper petals; such extravagant beauty!

And yes, that is a freshly-mown lawn in the background; my husband did that last night while I was working horses. 😍

A blessed weekend to you all, from . . .

Wednesday, April 17, 2019


And I'm not just talking flora and fauna! But the grass and leaves are busting out all over, along with the continuing spring flower brigade:

Fallen pieris bells look like pale pomegranate seeds
The garden isn't burgeoning yet, except for the rhubarb – and weeds
With Brian gone this week, I let my boss at the office know I'd have more availability to help with the  imminent move. My friend of the New Year's Day wreck had also asked if I'd be willing to put in some rides on her horse before she gets back on, so I told Kate this would be a good week for that, too. And somehow I thought I'd be able to get more fleeces harvested, and start skirting.... In my mind it all works, you know; why does everything take more time in real life? 🤔

Brian cleaned the henhouse before he left

The boys are shut in so their feet can dry out

Yesterday morning I scurried around doing chores and preparing the stall and barn for the arrival of another horse. The weather, which was forecast to be wet, looked better and better, so I decided to exercise Lance (who had been cooped up for three days) while waiting for Kate; we finished just before she arrived.
We put Dinah in the arena while we unloaded feed and tack, then I saddled up and rode horse #2.

After showering, I headed in to work for what I thought would be a couple hours of packing files into boxes. But plans had morphed and it ended up being six hours of packing, loading, driving, and unloading – up a flight of stairs to our new second-story space. 😳

Last night Rick and I were both too pooped to party; me from my long, physical day, him from being out half the night before on veterinary emergencies. We watched the end of the Portland Trailblazers' second play-off game (which they won against the Oklahoma Thunder) and collapsed into bed.

We're starting to look as gimpy as our old bulldog, but you gotta use it to not lose it completely. So this morning we carried the big extension ladder up from the barn so Rick could clean out the clogged chimney topper before leaving for work. Don't know that we'll need the wood-burner again until fall, but it needed doing.

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, April 15, 2019


This cartoon was in an email from Interweave this morning. What??? So I clicked on the link, and am sharing it here. I've never put out yarn scraps for the birds, but I know of others who have.

Of course, fleece scraps would be perfectly fine to leave out for nesting material – and yesterday I could have supplied a great many birds. I sternly told myself that two sheep HAD to be relieved of their fleeces, and duty-driven person that I am, I was obedient. I decided to start with the boys, since I have reservations on two of those three fleeces. In addition, Blake can be reliably rooed, which is easier than shearing (for me), and he has been limping on a front foot. Ever since Nightcap came with a slight limp, I think I've had foot root bacteria in the Ram-ada Inn lot; Blake is so good on the stand that I figured I could soak his foot with zinc sulfate while rooing him (he was; I did). This year I rooed him at the perfect stage; the fleece came off easily and he had a lovely covering of short fleece when I was done.

Next I did Bittersweet, who took much longer. By the time I finished cleaning him up, I was finished (for the day, at least), as well!
Anyway, between the two of them, the trashy discarded parts (necks, bellies, britch) equaled the weight of a marketable fleece – if not more. 😳  I always feel guilty tossing that much beautiful wool, but I don't have the time to try and salvage spinnable fiber. I think of bygone days on the Shetland Islands when fleece was livelihood; I'm sure they utilized every bit.

Speaking of utilizing every bit and public service, the turkey vultures are back! Three of them found something on the north side of our fence earlier this week, so I grabbed my iPhone and snapped some photos.

As you can see, the grass is greening. The earliest spring flowers are fading and others are taking their place. The last varieties of daffodils/narcissi to bloom:

The white flowering plum is opening,
and pretty weeds adorn the grassy verges of our driveway that are too wet to mow.

That's it for today from . . .

Friday, April 12, 2019

Well, THAT was interesting!

•  Earlier this week I went in for a check-up on my recent tooth extraction site. My dentist said it's healing well and removed the stitches and barrier that were helping hold the bone graft material in place. I got up the nerve to ask if the tooth had indeed been cracked, and he said no, but there was a cyst on one of the roots that came out with the tooth; he even showed me photos. He said it had probably been infected for a long time; it was good to learn we made the right call in taking it out.

•  Yesterday morning I noticed this moth on the outside of our deck door. Took a closer look when letting the dogs out, and was startled at its beauty! I looked online and found several that look very similar, but I think it is a Feralia jocosa, or Joker Moth. Any moth connoisseurs out there?

•  This morning I was sitting at the table doing payroll taxes when my face started feeling flushed. The sensation spread to my neck and head, kinda like a localized hot flash. I got up and looked in the mirror, and I was as red as a lobster! I considered an allergic reaction, but hadn't ingested anything unusual nor done anything outside for a couple hours. Then it dawned on me; it must be a niacin flush. The dermatologist had recommended I take niacin twice a day to possibly help prevent more of the pre-cancerous spots she had frozen off; strange that it hadn't bothered me before this morning. Eventually my whole body was affected; quite a sight in place of my usual winter white!

That's it for now at . . .