Saturday, June 24, 2017

ALMOST POST SHASTA DISTRICT FAIR AND CRAZY WARM WEEK


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    
                             special design.











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.






Monday, June 5, 2017

Picture First Patty Pan Of The Season


A short post at the beginning of a most busy week. 


The first harvest from my garden in pots. I will be enjoying in a salad tonight as Geoffrey won't eat squash of any sort. Pity !

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Pictures At Eleven


 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!






Saturday, May 20, 2017

How Many Events Can A Week Hold?


Is that anything like how many cowboys does it take to rope a calf? Baaaaad lead in! On Mother's Day Donna who went to see Dr. D with me at the beginning of May treated me to the Cottonwood Rodeo for a belated birthday gift. We had a great time as watching the events for several hours.

The  rodeo grounds at Cottonwood.


First was the Drill Team from the Redding Junior Rodeo Association.
  This group of young ladies had it down to a science and were a delight to watch!
Then came the the youngest members of the Jr. Rodeo Association  with a calf drive. For so many of the participants in rodeo it is a multi generational event and a way of life. 

And we also can cheer on folks we know. The cowboy "glued" to the bucking horse is Casey who I have a connection to in two ways. One he is the nephew of the long time friends and breeders of my Great Pyrenees livestock guardian Sherman and Spinner my second Pyrenees was one of theirs also.

The second connection to Casey is his wife had the litter of Border Collie X Australian Shepherd puppies that I got my Callie from. Small world isn't it?

The next day my dear friend Pam and her hubby Tim stopped by and stayed over a night on their trip to their new property in Idaho. I am thrilled that they have finally seen their forever dream come true and look forward to visiting them later this year in the Bonner Ferry area.

Wednesday is fiber night at the Shed. If you have read my blog post in the past you are aware that it is the spinning, weaving with the girls night. Nothing keeps me from my fiber friends except maybe this.
 This young lady was blocking the exit and after more than enough time to be in a pushing stage Twist was still just hanging out. So I went in and fished out this girlie. She is tri colored and pretty as a picture. I will get up more pictures of the kids soon. It has been so crazy busy since they were born with changing  pens and cleaning barns time has gotten away from me.





Second in line was this young lady. She dried to a lighter strawberry blonde. Now for the name game 
I have to put my thinking cap on.

I have managed to get a nice collection of photos to share when I can manage more time. The last couple of days have been as full as the first couple and poof there goes a week! But one last photo before I head for bed.

Part of the 2017 garlic harvest. I am very pleased with the quantity and the size of the bulbs. They are now hanging in the back of the hay barn for a few weeks.



Saturday, May 6, 2017

What A Week It Was



In the beginning of the week I finally finished the binding on the quilt I made and my dear friend Pam quilted on her long arm machine. It is a totally scrap quilt in the https://www.thequiltedcastle.com/Just-Cant-Cut-It-Quilt-Pattern-All-Washed-Up

I love this pattern as it is simple, quick and easy. If you depend on your fabric's colors and design one can do this quilt often letting the elements make a statement. To date this is the first quilt I have ever kept for us and it is the eighth quilt of this pattern I have done.I will find time to haul it outside and hang it from the clothesline for truer color and a full look at it. 

Then there was Monday in Redding doing first of the month stuff. Like banking, marketing and so forth. Tuesday was catch up day with laundry and cleaning. Wednesday was, well it takes some splaining Ricky. 

This is the Rodeo ( we pronounce it Ro-de-o leaving the Ro-day-o for the stars in So Cal) Beach. You will find it just south west of Sausalito https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sausalito,_California
at the Marin Headlands https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marin_Headlands

My friend Donna (who sold me my first Nubian goat 32 years ago) and I live about 30 minutes from each other now. Then we lived about 10 minutes from each other on the Golden Westside . Just west of  Hwy 99  in Fresno County. Anyway with the goat I got two life long friends one was Donna and the other was Dr. Philip T. Durfee the top notch ruminate veterinarian in the central San Joaquin valley. Years went by finding Donna and I living in True Northern California and "Dr. D" residing in San Fransisco. We visit him somewhere in the Bay area about every two years or so. We are all getting on in years and we value his friendship and the wealth of commonsense goat knowledge he gave us. Not to mention the 4 in the AM emergency C section and endless 4H goat project meetings he has done. And in my case the spark all of that lit and eventually landed me in school getting a degree in veterinary technology . 

So this reunion was a picnic on the beach and about 3 hours of good visiting time. Dr. D is 81 years of age and can still be found practicing at a clinic 3 days a week . He also is a volunteer in two different programs for care of the pets who make their way through this world with their people who are homeless.
Thank you Dr. D for all you have given to this world. See you soon!

Thursday I found myself at the chiropractor . I have abused my body senseless in this life time with most of the damage involving something with four legs. So every so often all those old dings remind me very vocally "we are here"! A quick trip to Costco to get some Sun Shades to install on our porch to help defray the heat from our western exposure in the summer time. 
 
On Friday I cleaned the hay barn again and picked up and stacked hay. I got this great photo of my baby sister who is a third grade teacher in the same school district as my son and at one time Geoffrey my hubby too. The district has deep roots in ag and the big spring event is always Ag day out at Central West High School . It was the original high school in a district which has grown to huge proportions. SIGH. And my sis Paula texted me this cute photo taken while she chaperoned her class out at the Ag farm .       
 
Today was back down into the valley to pick up the supplies I need for the next week because after I pick up the new laying hens at a friends tomorrow I am going no where until fiber night cause I am exhausted!



Sunday, April 30, 2017

My World Is Full Of Color

It is getting warmer. The mornings and nights are still on the cool side but the fire two nights ago was quite possibly the last of the leftovers from the winter of '17. The late afternoon temperatures are dancing with the high 70's and by weeks end the low to mid 80's. So with that said the bodacious wild flower display we have enjoyed in the last four to six weeks will end.  Before they go here you are.


 







I will miss the delight of seeing the new blooms on my early morning walks in the back 21 with the Pyrenees Sherman and Yarrow. We have had a multi colored floral carpet under foot for so long it is hard to imagine that in short order this will all be gone and the native grasses turning brown for lack of rain and potential high 90 to 100 plus degree weather. 

But when one is a lover of color it dots our lives in more ways then natures offerings in the environment.  

This is my lovely offerings from Weaving Southwest http://www.weavingsouthwest.com/  
check them out and look for the Churro club . The skeins above are from several months of offerings for Churro Club members.

Look what Miss. Janet at the Armstrong Holiday Ranch deposited on the bed of my truck for our viewing pleasure. The rug to the left is out of cotton warp and flannel sheets stripped down and woven for a nice kitchen or bedroom rug. The one on the right is of multi colored blues in a baby soft chenille to park your wet tootsies on when a bit wet and fresh from tub or shower. Both are part of a graduation gift for a beloved grandson who is moving from home to start life on his own after the graduation in June.

But look there is more! Lori on the left (weaver of this piece) and Carol (the Vanna White of The Shed) are showing off Lori's piece woven on a two shaft loom that was gifted to her from a family she has known for years. The matriarch of the family was a weaver and the loom was hand made for her by her husband. Both of these homesteading originals from the 1960's have passed but the family children wanted Lori to have their Mama's loom. Sweet!

Miss. Janet hiding er acting as a human wall tapestry hanger with Lori's other piece on her new to her two shaft loom. By the way all the yarns in both of Lori's pieces are out of a super stash find at the local Discovery Thrift store which is run by the American Cancer Society.


Lori gets a closer look at the fantastic rug that we saw earlier on the bed of my truck.

What would a post from the farm be without a dose of cuteness? Little Trouble's kids are growing fast. But they are still cute as a bugs ear and entertainment center on the hoof.


Wilhelmina on the left and Waylon on the right. So yup so guessed it we have Waylon and Willie in the barn! And yes that is Mama on the right center photo bombing silly LaMancha ;-)








                            

Monday, April 24, 2017

Farming/Homesteading Ain't For Sissy's


                                                



We have had some nice sunny, warm weather this past week. Now we are back to showers, rain and potential low snow (not here though) until Thursday. Then it promises to be dry and sunny plus warmer again. The lovely yellow rose is blooming as is just about everything else around here. I have six rose bushes and they are all in various stages of bloom. In fact I have already had to dead head three of them.



With the warmer dry weather comes the spring cleaning barn style. I got the hay barn cleaned and organized yesterday and also began to move thing into the new greenhouse.   The photo here is before cleaning. Of course I didn't get an after because when I get focused just about everything else goes out of my brain.  You have to trust me it is a clean hay barn now.                                                                                                     
                                                        
Here I will share a photo of what I took out of it and is now in the new and improved compost pile. 
I then washed out some pans and bucket that were really needing it. I also cleaned a few crates and got that organized as well.   Note Libby my lovely assistant director of quality control.                                            


Sherman in the foreground and Yarrow behind him. Good grief they were up all night keeping the bad guys on their toes. And it was a warm, lazy afternoon for some of us! 
The blueberries promise a bumper crop this year provided the birds keep their beaks off them. That is one reason they reside in pots on the deck. This is the "cat deck" so it provides natural bird control.

 I managed to get in a quick visit last week also to the Armstrong across the road . Janet introduced me to the latest "house calf" and of course I got to see LD (Lonesome Dove) the rejected wool/hair cross ram lamb. In fact I had come to take his manhood away but he was hanging on to them and that would have to wait for another day. 






I managed to go to free sew morning at the Blue Iris again. Got the binding on the quilt waiting on top of the sewing machine to load up done. Now just to take the time today to hand stitch the binding on the backside and then it will hit the couch. Promise photo when I get that far.

Don't you just love the fun tote that Janet gifted me with ? 

One of the neighbors on the east side of the driveway was watching my progress to the gate. I lovvvve my neighbors!!

Monkee was not a happy camper last week. Had some ear issues that earned him a cone of shame for a few days. April was not kind to us cat wise. First was sweet Helen who may be have beginnings of liver failure. She is twelve and a sweet girl . Chloe who had a dental issue and lastly Ari the English Setter had to break the cat streak with a bilateral puncture wound between the second and third digits. So a multiple $$$$ later and I am hoping we are done for awhile. Critter issues do seem to come in groups.

The temp is dropping and I need to get on with the quilt binding day. I will be back when life allows and hopeful to have some more wild flower photos for you all before they take their leave for another year.