Tuesday, September 27, 2022


Yikes; it's almost October! High time for a catch-up post; I've been BUSY.

Weatherwise we are still warm and very dry, even though the days are rapidly getting shorter and a bit of fog sometimes appears down in the valley. There is a good chance of rain in the next day or so, which would bring welcome dust relief at least. Then, after a couple cooler days the temps are to soar back into the 80s next week . . . in October. 🙄

Blog reader Tim commented that he'd like to see Poppy doing agility. Class members have switched around recently so it took a bit to find someone who would video us, but we did get some of our work recorded last Thursday night. This isn't our best run, but I'm really pleased with her willingness and attentiveness!

As home, as usual, it's easier to capture her in repose:

While Poppy and I only do agility class once a week with a smattering of training here and there at home, I've really been stepping up the frequency of Stella's training. In the middle of the month I signed up for an online training challenge because I hadn't been able to coordinate a lesson with my favorite trainer since January, so of course said trainer texted me the very next day with a date that did work. That's okay; the more help I can get with this hot little number, the better!  

I'm also getting training in a totally new direction – caring for and propagating African violets! Blogpal A noticed my mention of having my little plant repotted, and contacted me with some advice. Considering that she grows, shows, and is a judge of African violets, you could say she is eminently qualified. 😉 So I asked for her help with the African violets that live at the office (not mine), and have since collected the needed supplies to restart some crowns and start some leaves to try and save these. (The two with blooms were my boss' grandmother's and so have sentimental value.)

On Sabbaths, I've been picking up my dear 90+-year-old friends for church. The wife is now in a care home but the husband is still managing at home (but lonely); both are very frail so time together is precious.

I continue to find new ways to use my ever-growing rye sourdough starter. These cinnamon rolls turned out pretty but weren't good enough to repeat the effort; some other recipes definitely ARE keepers:
I have been harvesting our prunes over the last couple weeks. Some were shipped to Vermont as a house-warming present, some were shipped to my mom as a birthday present, and some went to my boss; the rest (of what I've picked) filled these two dehydrators:

The single red bell pepper I've gotten from my deck garden pot was harvested yesterday for stir fry; I don't know if the little ones still on the plant will have time to mature. Tomatoes are coming at a steady pace, and I continue to harvest basil as needed.

I'm still working on my big spin/ply project, combining colored singles with a fine black single:

Rick hauled home five more tons of second cutting orchardgrass hay today from central Oregon. We got the trailer unloaded (the bales are 100# so we're all bushed); the pick-up is backed under shelter so this "green gold" doesn't get rained on. We need at least another five tons before we're set for the year; not sure yet when and where we'll get it, but do have it sourced.
The Better Mousetraps are still doing their jobs well in the tackroom. I do feel bad for the cute little creatures, but can't have them destroying the tack and sheep suits in there.

Speaking of sheep (suits), BIG changes are coming for the flock. Recently someone contacted me about acquiring some fiber pets. Since Boomer wants to be friends and I haven't had any interest in him as a potential flock sire, castrating him so he can be someone's loving little fiber grower is the perfect solution. But who else could I part with? The buyer and I finally settled on yearling Berlin and retiree Sarai; I will be delivering the three of them in mid-October. Parting with some sheep means there is room for a few more, so I plan to put together a breeding group this Sunday. After Boomer leaves I will add his dam to the group; a friend is bringing over her dairy-cross ewe for Spot to serve then, too. Bridget won't have months to get around to breeding this year; Spot has reservations with another small breeding group in WA sometime in mid- to late November. He's going to be a busy ram!

Sayonara to September from . . .


Mama Pea said...

Wow, what a catch-up post! All so very interesting. I'm amazed at how you "make" yarn. You have so many varied interests . . . and that's a good thing (as Martha would say). It's what keeps us going and growing no matter what our chronological age. Sometimes a little pooped at the end of the day, too. ;o)

A :-) said...

So excited for you to be working on those violets - I hope it all goes well :-)

Poppy's doing great with agility! And that's exciting news on the sheep front.

Michelle said...

It is beyond me how anyone gets BORED, Mama Pea!

Me, too, A. You know I'll keep you posted.

FullyFleeced said...

sounds like you have been busy- and in so many different directions! i love the picture of your elderly friends' hands. very touching.

Michelle said...

Denise, that's me and Anneke holding hands. i know; I'm getting old, too! 😉

Donna said...

Wow-you have been busy!

Leigh said...

You HAVE been busy! All good stuff, though, which lots of interesting photos in your post.

Stella is gorgeous and Poppy seems like the perfect candidate for agility. I'm guessing she loves it.

Wanda said...

Such fun to watch Poppy going through the agility course!

Stella and you are looking good together.

Michelle said...

Always, Donna. 😉

Thanks, Leigh. Poppy does like agility, although she'd much rather play with other dogs.

I have some more videos to share, Wanda. Stella is coming along but she is definitely a long-term project. It's hard to remember now but the first eight years with my first Morgan also moved very slowly – and then his brain matured!

I'm sorry the smoke is even worse there, Jeanne. My asthmatic horse is definitely having trouble right now; I'm blaming the air quality. Yes on the African violets; my friend "A :-)" in comments above is an expert and showed me how in a Zoom call. Boomer does have excellent fleece but I can't keep them all if I want to see what else Spot and my girls can produce. I'm pleased to find him a fiber pet home. I did get enough cotton spun and plied to make a washcloth but haven't done that yet. Too many irons in the fire!