Saturday, August 31, 2019

Can you hear me now???

Because I've been creating posts in my head for days!

What with State Fair prep, Brian's school's dedication (for the all-new facility just completed), State Fair starting, our church's annual campout followed by a houseguest for a couple nights, work, State Fair continuing, registering Brian for his senior year, competing at State Fair, school starting, more competing at State Fair, all while trying to keep everything watered, there has been no time for posting. Oh, I've taken loads of photos and thought a lot about things I want to share, but editing photos and creating cohesive paragraphs takes Time with a capital T as all of you bloggers well know. And now the photos and thoughts have piled up like a mountain of dirty dishes that I dread facing. But I'm going to roll up my sleeves, turn on the hot water, add a big squirt of dishwashing liquid, and start somewhere. Hopefully you'll enjoy the results more than clean cups. (Don't worry; without someone to dry, it's not all going to happen in one sitting – ha!)

Since last I posted...

The weather has been mostly pleasant. There have been some beautiful sunrises, some clouds, a couple of days (and one night!) that were scorchers, but no moisture – pretty typical summer stuff for us. I've been doing my best to keep the garden watered and picked, which means tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, and onions (the snow peas and green beans have died off) – just what I need, with the addition of some Yukon Gold potatoes we were gifted, for this delicious slow-roasted vegetable recipe:
One morning while I was in the garden, a small queue of deer walked past our northern fence line. I managed to get my iPhone out to capture the last one in line:

Warm weather makes some catatonic. One evening last week when I went down to the barn to exercise Lance, Chuckie was sprawled on the hay, sound asleep.

Usually he rouses when humans are around and asks for attention; this time he didn't move until Lance reached out to sniff his foot:

That made him jump and move farther onto the stack of hay,

but he didn't stay awake for long.

Another day the heat drew out this little snake to sunbathe on the driveway. I tried to nudge him out of danger with my toe, but he didn't respond.

But when I walked that way a bit later, he was no longer relaxed!

What brought about this complete transformation? Apparently a certain furry someone had decided to pester him!

"Who, me? I'm just a copycat, curled up here in the driveway!"
As you might guess, I haven't had much time to spin lately. But when I do, I have some special fiber to spin from a blogpal's own Shetland sheep, plus a bar of her adorable homemade soap to enjoy! They were a TdF prize my name was drawn for in a group on Ravelry.

Here are a couple photos from the dedication of the new school facility:

Like all building projects it seems, they were still scrambling to finish up some things when school started this week. But it's a beautiful new facility for this 121-year-old institution; I'm glad Brian gets to enjoy it his senior year.

In neighborhood news, the people next door have been plotting out their building sites, septic lines, and a new well (the existing one proved to be no good). The drilling rig was set up when I got home Thursday night.

Yesterday it growled loudly all day; I hope they were successful.

It's probably going to be a noisy year or so around . . .

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

They might be giants

Okay, the band by that name isn't really my thing; I'll take giant horses any day. However, alternative rock would probably be a fitting soundtrack for riding a slick, round, one-ton powerhouse in a big hayfield/pasture with only a bar bit, especially when she gets a bit amped! Meet Emma:

Actually, Emma and I got on pretty well for a first date. Apparently I passed muster; Brian told me on the way home that he overheard the owner and friends talking about putting me on a more challenging gelding after watching me handle Emma. I'm going to nip that idea in the bud if it comes up when we go back out!

Brian worked his team while I rode, so no reciprocal action shots. Afterwards we hosed off our sweaty partners, and I captured some neat photos then.

The sky was amazing last night!

It was also pretty spectacular this morning:
Mt. Hood in pre-dawn light

Mt. Adams up in WA with 'shower curtains'

The new neighbors' 'day lodgings;' they don't stay there overnight

Rick and Brian were up and out of here early to make it to the State Fair by 7 a.m. to check in livestock. I got up and made their lunch, and was rewarded with that sunrise. It's been cloudy ever since, but no precipitation yet. Chuckie is doing his best to summon some!
Chuckie believes in "the power of the paw"

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Life's little surprises

Last night Rick and Brian got home late; I didn't know they were going out to Rick's draft horse client's again so Brian could practice driving for the State Fair. Then Rick surprised me with a request from his client: would I be willing to ride in two classes? Rick's client needs someone for the 'Draft Horse Bareback Equitation' and 'Draft Horse Riding, Walk/Trot' classes, so I said “Sure!” So tonight I'm going out with Brian so we can both practice with our horses for our classes, and this morning I rode Lance bareback just to make sure I still can. 😉 As an adolescent in Texas, most of my riding was bareback, but now I'm convinced that a properly fitting saddle is more comfortable for a horse than a person's 'pin bones' digging into the muscles on either side of the spine.

While riding Lance in our arena, I noticed a big, nasty plant down in our woods. So after riding, I went down to investigate – and found two burdock plants, no doubt seeded by deer bearing burrs.

Fortunately, I also stumbled upon a missing spade leaning against the big maple holding Brian's old treehouse. Brian is notorious for taking tools and not putting them away; in this case it was fortuitous, because these suckers have long, tough taproots. I dug them out and deposited them in the trash bin; we don't need another noxious weed trying to establish itself on Boulderneigh.

I also spotted something else in that maple. At first I thought it was a piece of white plastic, maybe a lid from a plastic bucket. But when I got closer and stood on my tippy-toes, I could see it was a huge fungus of some sort!
my big fist for scale
Speaking of Brian, he surprised me Saturday evening by wanting to drive me around to some of his favorite hang-outs near the Willamette River. Of course I took advantage of the offer for some rare bonding time with my near-man:

It is warm and dry, but that's summer for you. Earlier this month we got the barest hint of precipitation, just enough to bejewel the grass spiderwebs scattered around the yard and landscaping: 

We'll be watering the garden and landscaping plants for awhile yet. Seems like the rainy season is arriving later each year. This morning it looked like the new neighbors on our north side were having their well tested; I hope and pray their usage doesn't affect our low-output well.

Off to move the sprinkler and pick some more cherry tomatoes!

That's it for now from . . .