Welcome to Walnetto Farm in the most southern tip of the Cascade Mountain range. Just a stone's toss from Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park and all the treasures these mountains hold. We raise LaMancha dairy goats,laying hens and garden. A homestead realized on "42 Acres of Paradise" off the grid.
When we first moved to true northern California almost 6 years ago it was fun to see the sites. I was wowed the first time I saw this flag flying high above Interstate 5 that runs the length of the state going north /south. It is always a breath taking site and always a breeze that ruffles her feathers so to speak showing how large it is.
We have had a lot of this lately . Thunder on occasion with no lighting in these foothills. For which we are grateful as there is little to no rain hitting the ground but the air smells like it is. Dry lighting isn't what we like to see when the grasses are dry all around us since it often is the cause of wildfires. We do have a minimum of 100 feet defensive space around house and barns but that at times won't be enough.
Please excuse my swollen tootsies. Last Friday as I was putting the goats and Pyrs to bed for the evening I got strung and bitten numerous times by a "meat bee" who is technically a member of the yellow jacket family. They are scavengers by nature and we see them each summer to one degree or another. I kind of did this to myself as there hadn't been but a half dozen around so far this year and I wasn't thinking when I found a fledgling sparrow floating in a water bucket on the fence line earlier. I picked it up out of the water and tossed to the side a few feet intending to retrieve it for placement further out the next day. By the time I went back out that evening the word was out and these little scavengers (think hyena's with wings) were doing their job and sent out a scout to give me a warning. It felt like a knife was rotating in my toes, swelling commenced immediately and by Sunday it was creeping up my leg and itching like mad. I had been bitten multiple times the summer of 2012 when I was tending the critters while Geoffrey was hospitalized. To the extent that I have apparently developed an allergic reaction to them. Not a good thing.Finally now a week later I am doing much better. The photo above was taken on the first morning after the bite and here is a link for some light reading https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowjacket
And in case anyone is wondering I have no history of reacting to honeybee stings.
This is my latest project. It is a four shaft Nilus LeClarc table loom called Dorothy. This is one of the earlier models and I have had it a few years. Getting it ready for a new project. A scarf of organic cotton gradient colors. Pictures as time allows.
I will interject a "Geoffrey update" if I have one. Today I do . He is recovering nicely from a diagnostic surgery and we are still dealing with CLL (chronic lymphatic leukemia) not Mantel Cell. Next step is a bone marrow biopsy for diagnostic purposes and then finally later this month a meeting with the oncologist to determine a treatment plan. He is napping more often and not as active as time passes but in good humor and trying to keep things normal as possible. Me too.
A nice soothing photo of the river at one of my favorite places Burney Falls in McArthur Burney Falls State Park.
I apologize for my silence of late but a good deal of changes have occurred on the farm in the last few weeks. And the one of most impact is large. I will be dropping in from time to time to do a "normal" post or update on my husbands new battle with the "C" word. Some of you may have known from the blog before this that my husband has danced with Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia since July of 2012.
We now know that he is out of remission and we are scrambling to get some more finite diagnosis and then learn of our choices for a treatment plan. I don't mind sharing as I hope that I can offer someone comfort by knowing that they and the one they love aren't dancing this dance alone. There are multitudes of families such as ours. But in the same token when the next new normal comes into focus I will be posting about the beauty, love and fun of life. This blog will not become one large pity party.
So with that said we are off to surgery tomorrow to get more info as to exactly what is going on. I hope you all can forgive my sporadic disappearing acts and stick around to see what is new and exciting as summer morphs into fall here at the farm.
I got that funny feeling , you know the one I mean, about last Thursday. It started with a sneeze or two and then I was exhausted. No matter how well I ate or how much I slept at night I was pooped! By Saturday it was clear that my intestinal functions were going into full rebellion by Sunday I was dragging myself around doing what needed to be done and then back inside to plop down and knit or spin.
Monday had me on the road with errands and such still feeling like a discarded dish towel and eyeballing food with suspicion. I even took a brief nap in the afternoon which would be as out of character for as to see John Wayne in a musical hoofing it.
Today WOW. I woke at five in the AM greeted the cool morning feeling (as Tony the tiger said) "greaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! I guess I got sidelined by a bit 'o bug. I am thankful it was short lived and not nearly as coyote ugly as it could have been.
This morning I managed to tattoo Starry Nite who with her sister Katz Tracks and Patience are going to a new home when I take the grand girls home after their first week of August visit. I committed to the new owner to tattoo and register prior to their arrival. I used to tattoo all my kids and register them all also. But by the time I hit 50 kids in a kidding season I had to be a bit more discriminating due to cost. So I started by only papering kids as I sold them but tattooing at about a month. These three girls I kept as they are lovely does destined to be excellent producers and hold their own in the show ring. But it took a year before the right person came along.
The blond girl to the left is Patience (Dam Nutmeg to her immediate right) Katz Tracks is the lovely red doe and lastly Starry Nite . Katz and Star are full sisters . Star has since birth been more cat like always seeking her highest level. Her first acrobatic endeavor was as a young (3 months) and she learned to jump in the hay bunk of the feeder and climb into the hay rack (but wait there is more) onto the top of the rack and balance herself with ballet precision on the opposing bars. Sadly my camera was never around when she executed this stunning (and breath taking) act. How she managed to make it to adulthood where her weight and distribution of kept her firmly planted on the ground without a broken leg or worse I will never know.
I digress . I then plunged into cleaning two barns and rearranging the hay barn. I was yes indeed feeling darn good!
Say "hello" to my loom. Yes it is different from the one I brought home in October. It is a 8 shaft, 12 treadle jack loom. It has a 46 inch weaving width. This is a Pendleton loom manufactured in Sedona , Arizona by Mary Pendleton and company.
Why? You may ask another loom. Well because I gifted a dear friend with the counter balance loom I brought home last October. Janet is a natural weaver and dear friend. She needed a larger loom to weave her saddle blankets on such as the Best of Show one in the prior post to this one. So off it went and then I fell in love with this one at The Shed one fiber night. My Baby Wolf is in a new home and facilitated by sale the funds to buy this loom with. It is a great loom for me as I do so prefer jack looms and with the 8 shafts I will be busy for a long, long time.
Spinning up some tussah silk and shetland blend to be a skein to be entered into the fiber division at the Mc Arthur fair in August.
Also now in the skein line up. I found this to be an interesting combination almost illegally soft and needing some serious predrafting and stripping prior to spinning for desired effect.
These are three of the six skeins I hope to enter . Working on some more blends and a very nice long draw Teeswater.
I giggled when I found this lovely kitchen aid mixer all dressed up and clucking to go on a homesteading group I frequent. Whoever produced this did a great job!
On a more somber side I was totally over come by so many emotions when this photo was posted to my Facebook page. This is the Wall fire in Butte county close to the town of Oroville. You may remember Oroville from this winter when the spillway to their large dam was undermined and the water came crashing down. This apparently isn't a good year for this small town. Both the home and Old Glory were saved by these brave firefighters.
Ending on a sweet happy note meet Peppermint Patty who is residing at the home of White Dog Ranch in Potter Valley CA. She popped out this sweet colt foal and he most certainly is a beautiful boy! White Dog Ranch http://www.whitedogranch.com/is the breeder of two of my Great Pyrenees that have worked with my goats.
Where oh where did the goatldi go? She went to the Shasta District fair. I haven't been to a fair in about nine years. There were those wonderful 4H years with my children and our chickens , rabbits and goats.Where fair week was a live in event and one learned to love barn food with a sprinkling of alfalfa , constant washing of show whites and hot show rings.
The Fresno county fair was in October due to the harvest. Back in the day the 4H'ers and FFA kids lived on family farms and the crops weren't in until September or so . The schools even based their opening dates on the crops for many a year.But dream on in the San Joaquin valley it isn't unusual to hit the show ring in October in 110 degree heat.
This was a new experience for me. I judged the senior baked goods and demonstrated spinning in our both in the same building. The food was great and yes I made it through one entry packed division after another living to tell of it. I found these slippers in a knitted competition and fell in love.
Then there were the BOS (best of show) choices. I was particularly pleased to see that in about 11 BOS 3 went to ladies from The Shed fiber group.
Miss Janet's hand spun hand woven alpaca saddle blanket
Carol's Fair Isle style hand knit hand spun hat.
Judy's hand knit sweater with her own
A great time was had by all and I will try to remember to get a few pictures before I break the booth down come tomorrow.
Prior to the fair I was in the valley attending to Miss. Emily's high school graduation. Emily is my second oldest granddaughter and has an eye on marine biology. She graduated 50 years after this Gammie did and it is a sweet bond to share.
Aubrey on the left who graduated last year (grandgirl 1) and Miss. Emily
Same two only a few years younger.
The weather has been weather. We have had 100 plus every day for a week but as of tomorrow relief is in sight. It has been better up here in the hills the valley really fried hitting the 108-113 range often and it certainly wasn't helpful that it stayed up in the low to mid seventies as a low. Almost thought I had been transported back to Fresno County on the Golden West Side.
We lost the peas and the goats profited by that . Yum pea hay! The cukes never had a chance even though we were in the 104-107 range. The heat hit just when they were setting blossoms. The tomato's loved the heat but then the squirrels found the tomato's. We still are with the jury out on how that will fair.
I had an ant infestation in the laundry room and kitchen. But after a late night floor cleaning and setting those liquid bait traps things look a bit more under control today. We will see.
Everyone stay cool and enjoy the season. I will be back next week with more news from the farm and fiber pursuits.
Loved this full moon just as the sun was starting to sink into the western horizon it made an appearance in the east.
Then about a week later I snapped these on the long and winding road (33 miles) to The Shed for fiber night. I am so blessed to live where I do!
On a nice afternoon I found a "Bad Apple " aka Helen our totally blind kitty napping in the apple basket on the kitchen table.
And imagine my joy to harvest the first quantity of the ripe blueberries yesterday and they found their way into scones this morning. I owe you that photo as it is on my phone in a text to my sister. :-)
I don't take any joy in killing anything. The first rattler of the season made its way into the backyard last night to sleep in a warm area . I almost stepped smack on it as it was curled up tightly between the ground and the underside of the gate. I made a beeline for the garage grabbed a shovel and quickly dispatched a potential problem. I don't do a catch and release program for many reasons number one is they don't work with snakes and I won't make my deadly problem someone's else problem. This was a young snake shedding it's first button.
And this is PT basking in glory in a patch of dandelions. I thought it quite appropriate considering. She is one of many reasons poisonous snakes go to snake heaven. PT was bitten the first Spring we were here.
Here are reasons number 1-2-3 and 4 of many more.
Look how big Waylon and Willa have gotten and not even two months old!
Above my easy keeper with its geranium that is on year three at this point.
A dear goat friend in Mendocino county gave me a large amount of bulbs during a visit late last summer. They are called "Naked Ladies" and this is their first bloom at the farm. They do well in direct sun so the front of the house is perfect for them
You may remember my Day Lilies from last year. This is the first bloom of the season for them and as you see many to come behind this beauty!
Last but not least is this mum on the porch by the front door. There are two plants in here. The glorious yellow on the right and a deep purple on the left. You will have to look closely to appreciate the purple as it isn't as bold as the yellow plant is. These two plants are on year two. I have a gigantic purple mum in the back that is on year four of blooming for me. They are amazing!