Friday, August 28, 2020

It's been a week

As in, "it's been a week since my last post." Or, "It's been quite a week." Both would be true.

Bardot broke a leg strap of her coat, so I took a photo of her before putting on a larger coat. On Tuesday a new fleece customer came out and we looked under the covers of ALL the sheep. (I take that back. We didn't look at Vienna's fleece because she is already reserved.) It's always enjoyable to have "sheep visitors" and talk about all things woolly.

Brian hasn't had much work this week, but isn't making great use of his freed-up time to do all that needs doing before leaving for college. We wouldn't want to change any habits now, would we? (Dripping sarcasm; shame on me.) Having him hanging around the house being unproductive while on the verge of being very, very expensive stresses the mama. And I can't decompress on the back of my big, red goober of a mustang, because Lance came up lame this week. The likely problem is bad news, but Rick will have to do more diagnostics to know for sure. I do groundwork with Stella every day in anticipation of eventually riding her, but I don't know when she'll be ready for that. Oh! The other day when we were working in the arena, a young buck walked up through the woods and laid down next to the arena fence. Using Stella as a 'blind,' I was able to get fairly close for a picture.

Poppy was really whiny the first half of the week, I think from lack of 'play' and lack of 'prey.' The mice are either getting scarcer or smarter; we haven't seen any for awhile in tack room or henhouse. But last night we checked the henhouse after the light went out, and there were four. She managed to get three of them once Brian helped flush them out of the cranny between the nest boxes and the wall. Between that and three playdates in three days (above is the first one on Wednesday), she is much more settled now.

I've been busy making yarn, plying up the singles I've been spinning for the last couple months. Above is four ounces of yarn ready to skein and wash; I've started another ply job since. I want to be ready to start spinning a new fiber when we make the long drive to Walla Walla, WA and back to drop Brian off at school.

The days are getting noticeably shorter now. I'm catching more sunrises (the photos above are from one morning), and find myself willing to go to bed at a more reasonable time. Does anyone else need a few hours of dark before their mind and body can wind down for the night?

That's it for tonight from . . .

Friday, August 21, 2020

Fruit and flowers Friday

There are no masses of flowers anywhere on the place at the moment, just scattered blossoms here and there. But I gathered up a bouquet of pictures to enjoy.

There was also a smattering of fruits to be found, harvested, and eaten. The first prune ripe enough eat, the second (and last) fig, a handful of blackberries while out riding Lance, and a peach (courtesy of my MIL). I also harvested enough basil to make a batch of pesto from a new recipe (it's really good!), and enough rhubarb to make a small crisp for our Sabbath dessert.

I got a lot done today in spite of circumstances, but my nerves, patience, and coping skills are all spent. I'm going to bed and hope that resets everything.

Good night from . . .

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Double digits

We've left the blistering heat behind for now – hopefully for the rest of summer, but time will tell. Today it actually sprinkled a wee bit, but only enough to make it HUMID, not settle the dust. Ah well, we can't control the weather, only complain about it. 😉

Poppy's mouse tally is now in the double digits. She's killed nine in the tack room and two in the henhouse for sure, but today she moved a mouse to the middle of the tack room floor that had been dead awhile. Number 12? Or one of the two I thought she ate? No matter; she's doing her job which is more than I can say for the "barn" cat. Twice now I've been in the tack room trying to flush a mouse for Poppy when it ran by me out the door I had neglected to close – and right by a waiting Chuckie. 😒 He does the same thing while Poppy hunts in and around the henhouse, lounging around and swatting at Poppy's lead while the "ratter rats":

Looks like our August egg tally is going to be down in the double digits for the first time this year; I'm only getting one or two a day. Some of my blue Wyandottes are molting; I think the one has finally gotten over her broodiness.

In just two and a half weeks we're taking our offspring to college. 😲 Yesterday he got off work early enough to get a haircut, and came home actually looking the part of a college man. We're hoping and praying for his success and yes, looking forward to an empty nest, but like the weather, only time will tell if he chooses to buckle down and take responsibility. It won't take a lot of time to find out, because engineering will require he hit the ground running and work hard to keep up right from the start.

Here are a couple more pretty sky pictures. The first one was taken at sunset, the second one at sunrise the next morning; yes, both from our deck pointing the same direction. Who needs a western view when sunset color shows up so well in the east???

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, August 17, 2020

Heating up and slowing down

Friday is usually filled with cooking and cleaning in preparation for Sabbath, a day of rest and worship. But the best-laid plans of mice and (wo)men don't always work out. Our power went out at 10:30 in the morning, not too long after I returned home from taking Brian to work. The recording on our utility company's phone system estimated that it would be restored by 1:30, so I (kinda-sorta) followed the examples of Chuckie and Poppy and took it easy, sitting in my chair and spinning (a near-vegetative state is not my style).

I needed to go to the bank and post office at the small town just over the hill, so I took Poppy along so she could play with her sister Penny.
"Sisters, sisters; there were never such devoted sisters,,,,"

Both good-looking Decker Rat Terriers, but in different ways. Poppy looks like their dam; Penny looks like their sire.

By the time we got home it was well after 1:30, but the power was still out. Since I couldn't cook or clean and it was heating up outside, I stayed in the relatively cool house and spun. As soon as Rick got home around 6:00 I asked him to start the generator to power the refrigerator and well, because I suspected the sheep and horses were in need of water. Within a minute of him getting it out and running, the power came back on – of course!

Sabbath morning dawned clear and warm. How come the dusty, weedy pasture looks better in the morning sun than my dusty, dirty house?

Chuckie was feeling his catnip. Fortunately, he can't take it out on the hand that pets him when he's up a tree!

The boys are all doing well now. There's not much to eat in their little 'pasture,' so they get hay:

Poppy and Chuckie were both interested in the fresh gopher activity in the yard. Although Poppy has a much higher prey drive than Chuckie, she doesn't seem to posses the ability to lie in wait like a cat. It's "Go! Go! Go! Hunt! Hunt! Hunt!" It works sometimes; as of this morning she has killed eight mice in the tack room.

My two hills of summer squash are starting to put out. I'm picking them young and tender (that is a small, RV-sized dish drainer) and using them in yummy pasta salads which is this summer's go-to staple. Rotini pasta, whatever fresh vegetables are on hand, olives of any kind, and a simple homemade vinaigrette dressing. I've added fat-free feta cheese when I've had it. We all love it and it's refreshing in this hot weather.

Yesterday Poppy and I rode with Rick in his air-conditioned truck to the coast for vet calls. I had finished the roving I was spinning the day before, so I didn't have something to keep my hands busy – until lunch. We were both hungry by the time Rick finished his calls but there weren't any good spots that we knew of to get food, so we started driving home. We passed a cute little gift and flower shop that advertised pizza on a sign; I suggested going back to see what else they had. I just had a good feeling about the place. Rick went in while Poppy and I waited in the A/C, and eventually came out with the most amazing grilled cheese sandwiches! Mozzarella, pesto, tomato, and avocado; it probably had more fat than I usually eat in a month but tasted soooo good. Of course hunger IS the best appetizer. 😉 Rick even bought a treat for Poppy (yes, he's a good man 😊).

It's been awhile since I've gotten a good sunrise photo. Now that day length is shortening, I'm sure to be sharing more. Here is one from this morning:
Trying to keep cool at . . .