Monday, September 27, 2021


I've been taking the same pano shot (east to west, facing due south) for two weeks. As they say in the informercials: "Just add water!"

From the greening grass of home at . . .

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Right on cue

Yesterday was warm – in the 80s. Last night felt balmy, like the summer evening it was – the last summer evening of the year. Yay! 😁

This morning fall kicked uff with a lovely sunrise. I took a couple shots off the deck, then took Poppy out for a potty walk. As I rounded the north side of the house, there was Mt. Hood surrounded by glorious color. Score!

The rest of the day was mostly cloudy and cooler. I had a haircut scheduled for noon in nearby Amity, so Poppy and I left early so she could have a playdate with her sister Penny. Yes, this is how Deckers do fun  (this, and running FAST). 🤣

We're not quite through with summer weather, which is good because I need to pick bush beans, tomatoes, and basil. But next week looks like sweater weather!

Welcoming the change of seasons at . . .

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

And rain it did!

We got 2.2 inches over the weekend, the most in a 24-hour period since January 16! Sunday was dry except for a few sprinkles and the rest of the week is supposed to be in the 70s and 80s. I expect the garden to get a boost, weeds to germinate like crazy (it would be great if the beets do, too!), and the grass to start greening up faster than it would seem possible. (I took a panoramic shot of the upper and middle pastures last week; I'll take a companion shot in a week to show the difference.)

Thanks to the coming rain kicking our rears into high gear, Rick and I made fresh-pressed muskat grape juice and steamed concord (mixed white and purple) grape juice with the grapes he picked, and I put much of what I picked on Friday in the dehydrator – one tray of cherry tomatoes, two trays of tomatillos, and two trays of eggplant. I'm looking forward to putting these into hearty stews this winter; yum. Next on the seasonal agenda is picking apples and making applesauce (me), mowing the pastures and spreading manure (Rick, once he gets the radiator replaced on the Kubota).

In the breeding shed, things quieted down quickly. First Blaise, then Bridget hung out with Spot; I haven't observed who is his 'favorite' at the moment. Spot is taking his flocksire role in stride this year instead of the frantic excitement of last year. He's slimmed down some, too, which is fine; he was looking rather portly. He still loves his chin rubs, as did Blaise on Sunday.
Bridget and Spot

Bernadette and Bette


Last Sabbath Rick had to go on a call near the coast, so Poppy and I rode along. After the vet call we drove to the beach, and managed to hit a dry spell for a walk. As always, Poppy zeroed in on the seagulls; she desperately wants to catch one and hauls on the lead like a sled dog. In fact, she hit the end of the retractible leash so hard it broke, and off she raced, into the surf! I shrieked and Rick took off after her. Fortunately she didn't get swept away, and after a few moments actually saw and heard Rick and returned to him. Whew; I really thought we might never be able to catch her again when there are seagulls to chase all along the beach. I had brought along a regular leash for just such an emergency, so we continued our walk with that.

Just before that retractible leash snapped!

That line in the sand is Poppy digging in  and pulling

All's well that ends well at . . .

Friday, September 17, 2021

SO much going on at home

Not to be outdone by Wisconsin, this was Monday morning's Oregon sky:

While I was away, several things of significance occurred. 1) Rick and Brian finally unloaded the trailer full of green oak firewood so they could 2) pick up and stack the last of our year's hay supply, two tons of third cutting orchardgrass for the sheep. 3) Josiah, the guy who has been staying in our basement guest quarters since Memorial Day weekend, moved out and 4) sold Brian his old car (he bought a new one while living here). The boy has his own wheels! (Well, almost; he has 30 days to pay for it and get his own insurance.)
1993 Toyota Camry; he got a deal.

As for me, I pretty much hit the ground running. The garden needed water ASAP, and I picked cucumbers (English and my first Armenian!), tomatoes, and parsley for a big batch of tabbouleh.

There were still useable prunes on the tree, so I've filled the dehydrator three more times. (Chuckie is always positioning himself for attention, and if he doesn't get it, he'll snag me!)

On Wednesday I did a major sheep shuffle in order to put together my breeding group. Spot got a fresh coat (and obligatory fleece shot) to replace the one with the broken leg strap and was secured in one side of the Ram-ada Inn; Bing and Bittersweet got corralled in the other side; Bette, Bridget and Bernadette got pedicures, then got moved to the Ram-ada Inn lot with Blaise; Bing and Bittersweet were moved to the Sheep Sheraton; and Spot was turned loose to terrorize romance his chosen ladies. The three maiden ewes were truly alarmed at first; Blaise less so since she was in Spot's breeding group last year. Now I'm crossing my fingers and toes that everyone settles in the next five weeks! That's all the time they get together as I don't want lambs to arrive while I'm gone for my annual women's retreat at the coast.

Ladies in waiting Bette and Blaise

Bette, mid-side

Ladies in waiting Bridget and Bernadette

Speaking of lambs, Berlin needed a bigger coat so today I changed it out and got some photos of her, too.

Look at that tiny little tail!

Monday morning before I went to work, the farrier came to trim the horses and noticed that Lance's right hock was really swollen. No way to know what happened or when; Rick had been cleaning stalls every morning, then turning the horses out in the lower pasture during the day, and he hadn't noticed anything. By Monday afternoon, gravity had pulled the swelling all the way down Lance's cannon bone, which makes me think the injury was pretty fresh that morning. Even though Lance wasn't lame on it, I kept the horses in a couple days as a precautionary measure, but it wasn't until I turned them out that the swelling went down – temporarily. This morning the leg had blown back up and was painful. We've added antibiotics to the anti-inflammatory; we'll see what happens.
Monday morning

Monday afternoon


The old hens are dropping feathers instead of eggs these days; the four youngsters are still growing. 

Lottie and Kate

Lottie, the largest and most likely to approach me

Supermodel Spangle

Splash, the smallest of the four

Splash and Spangle, the Whiting True Blues

With heavy rain predicted tonight, then off and on over the weekend, there was a flurry of activity today. Rick picked all the grapes (while workers in the winery's vineyards frantically did the same); I picked the garden produce I thought most likely to crack or split:

The parsley was added to the tabbouleh already in the fridge

We got the window put back in the henhouse, and Rick cleaned out some of the gutters on the house. I kept thinking how relieved and refreshed all the flora will feel with the dust rinsed off and moisture around their roots.

Oh! Earlier in the week, inspired once again by a post on Leigh's blog, I decided to plant some seeds for fall harvest where the snow peas had been. I found two partial packets of beet seeds, but ended up only using the Chioggia seeds as there were plenty for my one row (and they weren't as old as the others). Hopefully the coming rain will give them a boost, not wash them out!

Poppy's ready; her fleece coat is on hand for cool mornings and rainy days:

We're all ready for rain at . . .