Friday, May 27, 2022


A week ago I posted the above photos on Instagram and Facebook, for Dad. That morning – ten days after I left – he died peacefully at home. Thankfully a favorite aide and the wonderful hospice nurse were there with Mom, and then the next-door neighbor came. She took Mom over to her house while the body and hospital bed were removed and then went back to the empty house with her to sit and talk. My sister was already planning to drive down; she and her son arrived on Monday. A week from today we will fly down for the second memorial service in two months.

We all miss Dad, but would not wish him to linger longer, trapped as he was in a hospital bed by the effects of an inoperable brain tumor. We have no regrets, and  know he is at rest until God's trumpet sounds on Resurrection Day – reunion day! Gotta smile at that.


Life goes on here. The weeds got a galloping head start all over the property and we will never catch up, much less get ahead of them. That may very well mean no garden for us. I considered hiring help, but we have had significant extra expenses so I abandoned that idea. Might as well enjoy that which blooms in spite of neglect:

The animals get more attention, and will get their own posts. One sheep still needs shearing and another still needs to deliver; fleece harvest will be completed by the end of May but lambing will not. Yes, I could miss the last lambing just as I did the first; such is life. For the same reason Poppy and I have missed numerous agility classes but we are still making progress and have fun. Stella and I progress more slowly, but the joy is in the journey – and her beauty. She and Lance are enjoying the maturing pasture even while the sheep are frustrated by their lack of access, now that the foxtail awns are hard. They have to be satisfied with first-cutting hay (the 'horse hay') and occasional opportunities to graze the edges of the driveway.

Anyway, like I said, there are photos and posts for all of that. Until then, my blog friends.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Pretty perfect

I've been home a week as of last night and like the burgeoning biomass outside, my photo files/blog fodder are running rampant. Today is my best opportunity to wrangle those photos and thoughts into a blog post so bear with me; it'll likely be a big 'un.

On the flight home, my itinerary included a long stop in Austin, TX. I'd never been there, so I walked from one end of the smallish terminal to the other while I waited, seeing much to appreciate. Local eateries, lots of art installations, equal-opportunity parenting facilities, cupcake vending machines (plural), and live music.
A friend saw this on Instagram and asked if it was me and Poppy. 🧐

Landing in Portland always raises my spirits. Beauty can be found anywhere, but NW Oregon resonates with my soul like no other place.

Instead of bustling off to work the next day, I stayed home. I figured my boss had managed without me for two weeks; she could manage one more day and I would just go in on Thursday as usual. Nearly strained my arm patting myself on the back I did, it was so blissful to take a day to check in with all my animals and ease back into my home responsibilities. The lambies have grown, of course, and all three of them got 'snuggle time' before I let them out to graze along the driveway edges.

Bad photo but wonderful moment; heretofore Boop has been very skittish.

I realized after that first day, though, that the foxtail awns weren't mature yet, so the ewes and lambs have been getting lots of pasture time. That is a great blessing as our sheep hay supply is running very low and the cost of hay, if one can even find any, is running very high.
"The grass is as high as a Shetland ewe's eye"

When the sheep are out, Poppy doesn't get to run around the property. She thinks it's great fun to 'play' with sheep and horses, but that is likely to end in disaster for either other animals or her. I took her for a walk one day and Bling was close to the fence when we returned. Poppy was so excited to see her (not as) little friend; Bling was far less sure. Another time Brian had Bling out when Poppy and I headed to the barn; visually they are about the same size now, although Poppy weighs more.

I've gotten two more fleeces harvested since getting home. Berlin's first shearing is just stunning, even though she was a complete idiot on the blocking stand. (She's now back in with the other ewes and behaving herself.) Blaise's fleece lifted off with barely a tug; she had a complete break in her fleece, no doubt from nearly dying back in March. She is still thin, so she got wormed and is getting extra groceries. Next up is Bing, so he and Spot can go out into the wooded lot and graze on what's grown up there instead of eating precious hay....

Both yearling Berlin and petite Blaise are wearing size C coats after shearing

Chuckie was as happy as ever to have me home and paying attention to him:

I don't like the brownish cast of Chuckie's coat. Poppy's 'beauty treatment' (grabbing Chuckie by the head or neck and rolling him around on the wet driveway) isn't helping his appearance any!

Let's finish up with some beauty shots from around the place:
Japanese maples mingling

the last of the apple blossoms

That's one big update from . . .