Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Another update!

Last night and early this morning I did 'CPR watering' in the garden and took closer stock. Some heat/sun damage is now apparent, especially in the beans, potatoes, and greens. But my hill of zucchini from starts was ablaze with blooms this morning, promising tender, young summer squash soon!

Before Rick left he helped me give Berlin her second CD&T shot. I had already done chores and hadn't noticed anything amiss, but when I went back down to catch my lamb, her dam Vienna was stuck in a corner unable to get up. She seemed to have no strength or will when I went in to help her; I wondered if Berlin was going to get a shot and lose her mother today. But eventually Vienna struggled to her feet with my help (she seemed even more thin than after shearing) – then showed an amazing burst of energy when I brought out the rice bran pellets! I refilled the ewes' mineral feeder with sheep minerals and kelp, then stood by so the two old ladies could help themselves first. Vienna again pushed her way in with vigor, not giving way even to Berlin who was squished against the wall. Considering the thoughts I'd had just minutes before, it was good to see.


My friend Kate sent me fresh photos of all four chicks this afternoon. Chippy, my 'chipmunk' Whiting True Blue, has gotten really dark. Spot, my white True Blue, still has her namesake markings. The other two reserved for me I have named Lottie (all white) and Kate (whose deep red feathers match my friend's hair color). I'm not sure what breed either Lottie or Kate are. Kate may be a Rhode Island Red; Lottie could be a White Rock, White Orpington, or White Wyandotte (I didn't realize there are so many brown-egg-laying all-white breeds!). Reinforcements are on the way – eventually. 😊

Both my Whiting True Blues

For supper I made a big batch of pasta salad from a recipe I made once before. It calls for arugula, but since mine is bolting/waning, I supplemented what I had with some kale, basil, and parsley. It's yummy!

That's it for today from . . .

Monday, June 28, 2021

From Death Valley back to the Willamette

After three days of blistering, record-shattering temperatures, the wind came roaring in from the WSW this afternoon, dropping the temperature nearly 50 degrees in a matter of hours. It also knocked out our power for a couple of those hours, but thankfully after it blew out the worst of the heat.

Unfortunately, we did have one heat casualty. This morning one of my beautiful Australorp hens was dead on the henhouse floor. We were worried about shutting the girls in last night – it never dropped below 90° – but didn't want to tempt any predators.
One  of the five black hens is gone now

This afternoon I surveyed the garden. The vegetables were all in decent to good shape, but I think the heat sucked most of the juice from the strawberries and caneberries. At least I got one little taste of black raspberries before they were toast!

baby Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes!

The ONE silver lining to the weather was how fast laundry dried. I usually use my dryer to get the wrinkles out of clothes and then hang them on a drying rack inside; everything dried in a fraction of the time outside in the heat – and smelled great to boot!

Poppy was the one creature seemingly unfazed by the heat. She was always up for outdoor time, chasing squirrels and carrying sticks as usual, the only difference her hanging tongue. We should all be so fit and lean!

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

My busy social calendar

I've had three 'dates' this week, which is unusual for me. Monday after work one of my best friends, who now lives in Virginia but is in Oregon for a short visit, came over. This morning, I went to Salem to meet another friend for coffee, and then met up with my Salem cousin that I saw in Alaska. We made good on our promise to get together more often, and intend to keep it up! To top it off, on the way home I stopped at the friends' who own Poppy's littermate for a short visit. Poppy was most upset to smell that I'd seen her sister without her....

In between those social engagements, I did manage to harvest the last fleece standing, that of Vienna. For the first time her fleece was loose enough to roo almost entirely. I had to bend over her to do it, because I couldn't get her up on the stand without her falling. 😔

I let Berlin out of the fold at first, thinking she and her dam would both be happier/quieter if they could see one another, but that didn't last long. Before I put Berlin back in the fold, however, I introduced her to my smallest halter, which is still a bit big:

Poor Vienna has lost a lot of weight and looks pretty tough, so I didn't take an "after" photo. Instead, I let her and my other old lady, Sarai, enjoy some grazing along the driveway. They both get some extra goodies, but I need to increase that; obviously, breeding Vienna again is off the table so little Berlin is extra special as Vienna's last lamb.

We are bracing for a record-setting heat wave this weekend. I am giving the garden and as much landscaping as possible a good soaking in advance. Rick wants to head to the coast or the river – he and tens of thousands of other Oregonians! I'd rather just hunker down in our cool(er) house and do as little as possible. I like being home

That's it for now from me and the 'old ladies' at . . .

Monday, June 21, 2021

After Alaska...

...I've spent time with my pup. In the last month she has become so much more responsive and dependable. Adolescence in dogs is blessedly short. 😉

...I've been tending the garden, which is really doing well this year! This was taken Tuesday, June 15 (after a lovely, soaking rain that weekend, and yes, ever-present Chuckie):
and this was taken Friday, June 18:
From right to left is my row of hand-me-down spuds lookin' good, a row of mixed colors of bush beans, the row of burgeoning wax beans planted after my saved seeds didn't germinate, a row of snow peas, a (hard-to-see but growing) row of onions, a row of arugula (a bowl of freshly harvested leaves on the far left) and kale (needs harvesting). Uphill are my various hills of zucchini and cucumbers (the latter are the only things not looking great), and peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, basil and parsley, and down the lefthand side are my six tomato plants. Besides the arugula, I picked strawberries Friday morning – for two and a half hours. It was "pick 'em or lose 'em;" there were probably half as many as I picked already too far gone in the patch. 😢

...I've chopped a lot of thistles in the pastures, taking advantage of the softened ground from last weekend's rain. Chuckie, of course, was sure I was searching for kitties to pet instead:

...I've taken Stella to her first horse show – which I still need to blog about over at Dances With Horses, and took in a sunset on horseback with Lance for the first time in too long:
So thankful Kate went along to be my 'show mom'

...I've gotten chickie updates from Kate:

...I've spent time with my sheep. Of the girls, Bernadette is the sole hold-out; hard to get good photos in the Sheep Sheraton.

Yesterday, I finally finished shearing Bittersweet (you can see longer growth on his rump, where I started weeks ago). So pleased to see him in better flesh than last year! I was going to do Vienna, too, but it got too hot, even in the shade. We may hit 100° by next weekend! 😱

Sorry for the photo dump! That's all for now from . . .