Thursday, June 30, 2022

Wrapping up June

We're only nine days into summer but there is plenty to report.

#1 – Last fall I ordered a triangular shade cloth after our neighbors to the east shared how much of a difference theirs made. Brian helped me install it to provide some shade over our east-facing windows, and it does seem to reduce the solar gain. Win!

#2 – The weekend after Fathers Day, with the promise of good weather, Rick and Brian took off on a short backpacking trip. They came back groaning and complaining about being sore, raw (Rick), sunburned (Brian), and exhausted. The trail in and out had been covered by snow, greatly increasing the time and difficulty, and though they saw lots of fish in the lake, they couldn't catch a single one. Inexplicably, they seemed to really enjoy their misery-sharing, male-bonding experience!

#3 – Here it got HOT. The Stella D'Oro daylilies popped, Poppy panted, little snakes emerged, the horses sought shade, and Chuckie acted like he always does. Cats really do seem to enjoy hot weather, in spite of their warm fur coats!

#4 – I didn't just stay home and swelter. It was also the weekend of Black Sheep Gathering, and a friend had agreed to ride down with me on Sunday. We split up because we had different 'shopping lists.' On mine was getting Jenkins Turkish spindles for myself and proxy-shopping for others, finding cotton roving to spin for handknit washcloths, meeting up with Ravelry and blog pals, and checking out fiber mills for a couple of my fleeces. Check, check, check-check-check, and check.

"Jenkins Junkies" with Wanda Jenkins in front

This is Rico, who belongs to the daughter of a blog pal I got to meet

Oops; this isn't cotton but it came home with me anyway

My preciousssss new spindles

The sweet border collie needle holder my friend got me for driving

New spindle in use on new fiber; this batt is now spun

Anther new spindle with another batt, also now spun
A new spindle with some 'old' fiber, ready for Tour de Fleece

#5 – I conducted a partial survey of our fruit trees. The cherries are pitiful, the Braeburn apples are non-existent, the Brooks prunes are spotty, but the little Italian prune tree, at least, is loaded.

#6 – Bridget and I are still ladies in waiting; she got close, but no cigars warranted yet. I was thinking of using Belated and Behind for her lambs' names, but now I'm thinking she's holding out for for an Independence Day theme. Boom, Bang, Blast, Bottle Rocket, Black Cat?

Ready or not, here July comes . . .

Monday, June 20, 2022

Right on cue

The summer equinox is tomorrow, and it looks like summer weather is going to arrive right on cue. Yesterday was the last cool, gray day in the forecast, so I did a weeding marathon while the 'pulling' was good. Not that most people will notice, because I worked in the arena. And not that I made a huge difference in the arena, but I'm hoping I made difference enough that Rick won't be tempted to spray poison in my 'sandbox.'
I finished weeding down the boards on three sides

Progress before yesterday's work is visible from the house

I've also pulled thistle and tansy in all pastures...

and found these sweet wild garlic blooms

The garden is a neglected jungle beyond my sole abilities...

so I put a 'garden' in a pot.

The weeding marathon came between making a nice breakfast for Rick and me, and making supper and a four-loaf batch of bread for our larder. Today was my first Fathers Day without a father to see or call. Rick's dad has been gone over 30 years, and he still feels the loss. (Having a less than appreciative son doesn't help; hopefully that will change some day.)

The white flags are blooming now –
which reminds me that I never showed 'the blog' something special. Several years ago we went to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens for Mothers Day. Afterwards we wandered through the plant sale outside the entrance. An intriguing tag above tiny pots with slender stalks of green caught my eye, and Brian bought me one for my Mothers Day gift.
This year they bloomed for the first time!  And yes, they DO smell like fresh, sweet plums!

Bridget is starting to give me some hope that she'll lamb before July. Still little udder development, but there are other signs. Now that I've gotten four solid (non-greying) lambs from Spot (counting Berlin from last year), I am hoping Bridget gives me an Ag grey ewe lamb to keep. No, I don't plan to keep all my lambs forever. But I have learned that selling really stunning lambs with the idea that I can always breed more since I have the parents who produced them doesn't always work out. Sometimes the genes don't combine in the same fortuitous ways . . . and sometimes the parents don't live to produce again.

Gratuitous photos of cute companions alert. I've been letting Bing out by himself to graze the driveway verges because he needs the extra calories and doesn't go up into the yard. (The ElectroNet fencing I need to contain the ewes is backordered.) Poppy wants to play with the old gent, but he doesn't engage much. Yesterday morning she was trying yet again and I scolded her for hassling him. "Who, me; chase sheep? I'm just companionably grazing with one!"

Don't let her fool you; Poppy is all terrier outside. Inside, though, she is a fine companion! 

That's it for spring from . . .