Friday, May 31, 2019

Never alone

I often say I need my "alone time," but it would be more accurate to say I need "people-free" time. Animals are usually welcome – usually. Good thing, that 'usually.' This morning while on the 'throne':

Later this morning, while skirting Bridget's fleece:

On the job front, my boss texted me yesterday morning asking me to come in early for a 'pow-wow.' It sounds like she is planning on three of us (a fourth employee will continue fulfilling her specific and limited role) absorbing all that her full-time Jill-of-all-trades did – without anyone (but maybe the boss) working significantly more hours. We'll see!

I finished spinning a third color of Jamieson & Smith combed Shetland top, and am getting ready to start on something MUCH more colorful.

The bearded iris are petering out after a wonderful show; now Centaurea montana (perennial bachelors buttons) and white flag are blooming in my island bed:

Last night I was shocked at how much light lingered in the northwest at 9:45. I guess it makes sense; the longest day of the year is coming up in June. Tis sum-sum-summertime!

Speaking of which, I've got to get the rest of the fleeces off the sheep and spend some serious time in the garden. Clone me, please!

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Drained . . . and energized!

My goals for the holiday weekend (that was Sunday and Monday for me) seemed reasonable: in two days, weed a patch of our driveway and shear two sheep. Well, I worked for HOURS both days and still didn't finish grubbing out all the weeds in front of our island bed. There was definitely progress (which is more impressive from this angle, which is why I chose it),
but what's left (in just this one area😳) isn't insignificant  – especially now that the ground is drying out. There was neither time nor back pain tolerance left to shear any sheep....

Tuesday morning I got to work to learn that the only full-time employee there is leaving for other opportunities. The boss wasn't in, but I'm bracing myself for what she might ask. I am a duty-driven person and it would be hard to say no, but like my wise younger sister reminded me, this is not my problem to fix. I have my own circus and monkeys to deal with....

Sooooo many monkeys. I had a monkey on my back while weeding,

I have a couple of big gorillas in the house 😏, and most of my flock of woolly monkeys still need to be sheared. Today I had to decide whether to weed or try to get someone sheared before having to leave to pick up Brian from school. You may recall that I haven't always succeeded in that time frame. But today – today I pulled out Bridget to harvest the last reserved fleece (I decided to hold off any more advertising until after the rest are sheared) and it came off beautifully with plenty of time to spare! Woot!
Such luscious locks!

She's just a little pudgy
Jumping up on people has been a bad habit since she was a lamb 

It's amazing how good it feels to have something go your way for a change!

That's it for now from . . .

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Catching the evening show

It rained all afternoon and evening yesterday. I enjoyed our weekly day of rest even more in the knowledge that I was getting more grace for weeding. This morning after my guys took off (and ended up being gone all day!), I bent my back to the task. Chuckie 'helped,' jumping in my lap, jumping on my back, attacking my legs, and batting at my weed poker.

I also finished a big filing job I'd started weeks (months?) ago. Now the piles of paper that were all over my office floor are in order in a banker's box.

During supper, an impressive thunderhead towered over a partial rainbow. Once everything was cleaned up and put away, I headed to the barn to get Lance out for an evening ride. Colorful clouds surrounded us on all sides while we warmed up in the arena,

so we hurried up the driveway and gravel road to get a better view of the western sky, snapping photos along the way. There's nothing better than a good sunset on horseback!

I hope you clicked on those to biggify them; the clouds are just amazing.

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, May 24, 2019

Skirmishes and victory flags

So I've been mounting incursions since my last post, trying to retake territory while the conditions are favorable. Rather than my scattershot approach of grabbing grass that's heading out from whatever bed I happen to be passing, I focused my forces in little pitched battles. The victories, though small, are decisive, which does wonders for the moral of the troops (me!).
Ollie or the sheep boys benefit from the pulled grass
First, I cleaned out the narrow bed between the front sidewalk and the lawn.
Post-weeding, where the pots are on the left; more on Jackson later
Next I tackled the driveway edge along the railroad ties.
After starting with a big clump of weeds in the lower right
Much better!
Cleaning up that edge of the driveway made me ponder the feasibility of tackling what really bugs me.
As you drive towards our house, you see this ugly green beard extending down from the island bed. Not only does it look unkempt, it is stubbornly entrenched – and growing. Most of the weeds are false dandelion, which are nearly impossible to pull up by the roots, throw their seeds everywhere (just like true dandelions), and have a cumulative toxic effect in horses (not sure about sheep). Rick has sprayed them with RoundUp in the past but they aren't much affected (not sure about the rest of us!).

Well, there's no time like the present! The weather is still favorable, with clouds and occasional showers to keep the ground from drying out. I've shot across the bow; we'll see how far I get. Chuckie is cheering me on,

and the iris are waving cheerful banners:

That pink one surprised me today; I thought all the colors we were going to see this year had been revealed.

A doe has been hanging around the house in broad daylight; I took these photos of her today:

She has a visible udder, so she must have a fawn or two hidden in our upper pasture.

Skirmishes do continue elsewhere. I've weeded some in the garden, and planted two more tomato plants. My beans and beets germinated well, but so far only one zucchini has appeared (my guys would say that's plenty).
More is going on, but I'll save that for another post when I know more. I'll close with Wednesday's beautiful sunset, captured in various directions as it progressed:

That's it for now from . . .