Saturday, November 18, 2017

Let Us Be Thankful In Many Ways


Garden Meditation, A Poem by Reverend Max Coots (1927-2009):

Let us give thanks...

For generous friends... with hearts as big as hubbards and smiles as bright as their blossoms;

For feisty friends as tart as apples;

For continuous friends, who, like scallions and cucumbers, keep reminding us we had them;

For crotchety friends, as sour as rhubarb and as indestructible:

For handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants and as elegant as a row of corn -- and the others -- as plain as potatoes, and so good for you.

For friends as unpretentious as cabbages, as subtle as summer squash, as persistent as parsley, as delightful as dill, as endless as zucchini, and who -- like parsnips -- can be counted on to see you through the long winter; 

For old friends, nodding like sunflowers in the evening-time, and young friends coming on as fast as radishes;

For loving friends, who wind around as like tendrils, and hold us despite our blights, wilts, and witherings;

And finally, for those friends now gone, like gardens past, that have been harvested - but who fed us in their times that we might have life thereafter;

For all these we give thanks.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


This was the view on my way to the Shed last Wednesday.  For anyone out there in blogland new to my blog the Shed is the aptly named  small yet ample building our fiber group comprised of spinners,weavers,knitters and you get the idea , meet weekly. October came in with a lost burst of summer what?! Then gave us 72 hours of winter including low temperatures, rain and the first fires of the new Fall season. Those who know me also know Fall and especially winter are my happy place. With Spring being o.k. and summer not so much. This photo is a representation of where I cruise my favorite blogs and nosh with the cats. Dogs and hubby tucked away in bed under down comforter and flannel sheets dreaming of flannel and dog cookies. 

Then as quickly as winter came it left with not so much as a by your leave WHAT???!

Then summer was back almost 10 days worth with warm 84 degree days and warm 50ish nights. But not being whiners we persevered and had a fun October feast at my long time friend of thirty two years home . Donna is also a goat enabler for it was  she who sold me my first Nubian dairy goat when we lived in Fresno county  and who knew we would end up living thirty minutes from each other all these years later in True Nor Cal ? 

right of photo
We are eagerly awaiting the return of winter about Wednesday of this week including the usual suspects rain , cold , low snow levels and wind. The plus is it appears at this point to be the real deal and inclined to hang around this time hopefully for many months. 

I am ending this with some photos from the last few weeks. I had intended to wait to post until I had the results of the testing for the direction our current journey in cancer land is heading . Again for those of you new to us my hubby is , since 2012 , a chronic cancer patient.  I don't intend to make this a pity party blog but if my speaking of his progression or not and someone can relate and take comfort from not being the "only one" it is worth the sharing. Also some folks have asked after him of late. That blog will come later this week I hope until enjoy a slice of life around the farm. 

Gift on the little table loom for someone close to my heart 💕

Awesome bargains at our cancer society thrift store in Redding. Check out the prices and they were 50% off in addition. Helped a cause and got nine skeins of 100% wool blends for $9.12!

Let's go out with my favorite. My veterinarian and dear friend doing one of the things he does best. 


Thursday, October 12, 2017


I found a blogger app. Apparently there is an app for everything. Things have slowed down a bit so I am giving it a go round. 

This nest was in an oak tree next to the buck pen .  I watched as a flock of sparrows busy at work in early spring and by end of summer this nest of dried hay, goat hair, chicken feathers and a few tiny pieces of baling twine gave many Mama's a place to lay eggs and hatch out the young ones.Some fairly strong winds and it landed on the ground below and outside the pen. I packaged it up gently and took it with me last night to fiber night at  the Shed . Judy took it home to her hubby and fellow artist Stan to sketch.  

This is a black bear. They are large and fluffy they can be aggressive towards humans. I was driving through the forested area on my way to the Shed last night just before sundown. I always say  whine to Janet fellow fiber addict that I always see deer , turkeys, skunks but never anything exciting. Such as a cougar or bear.  I was almost to Whitmore road and spied a rock on the shoulder of the road on the right hand side. As I got closer I realized it wasn't a rock but a very large black bear. He was very intent on something on the opposite side of the road.  So much so he was almost leaning over to the point of falling onto the road. I figured that whatever was demanding his attention must have been in the cover of the brush as I didn't see anything. When I was almost upon him he was so surprised he gave me a frantic look and turned hitting the ground running. Seeing this bug guy fly back into the under brush at high speed I got a good idea of why humans can end up as "good eats" ! 

Sarah finished her very first weaving project a kitchen rug. We are very proud of Sarah and expect her to go far in her journey with fiber. 
This was taken a few weeks back while a work in progress aka WIP in fiber circles. 

Well now that I have found a way to add photos back to the blog I will as time allows get a couple more blog entries up to share. Check back often and see what we are up to at Walnetto Farm.

Friday, September 22, 2017


Blog friends. I am in a heap of deep. My laptop died I got an iPad which is great for my needs EXCEPT when I attempt to load new photos up to the blog to share with you NADA big NO!

My iPhone  and my iPad are talking to each other but the blog only gives me four options I can load from existing blog photos, from a URL, google album archive and lastly my phone.

For whatever reason my phone option only has ancient photos available to me nothing current. Even though there are new photos on my phone itself. Anyone out there who can offer up suggestions I have spent way to much time looking for an answer and so far none of the suggestions front YouTube to apps have a solution.

If I can't fix this you will only "see" me in the printed word from now on.  Old photo but cute English Ivy and Sherman in 2013.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Magic of Fiber Workshops


Fiber is a large part of my life. I have been spinning for about twenty years give or take and weaving on and off for about fifteen give or take. I also knit and but don't  crochet. Somehow it never flipped my creative switch like knitting did. I also have done my share of fiber preparation from raising sheep to skirting, washing and processing my own yarn. But as much fun as all those endeavors are one of my two favorite fibery activities is fiber workshops. I also love to demo spinning at events because I firmly believe that we need to pass this craft on to the next generation or be prepared to loose it forever.

I think the commonalities in those two events are what makes them my favorite fiber activities. They are a combination of education and socialization. In one venue we are the educators and in the other we are the students. On August 26th  I had the pleasure of enjoying the company of fourteen other spinners to soak up the knowledge and magic of Stephenie Gaustad in her presentation of Productive Spinners Workshop. Stephenie is half of the dynamic duo of Guastad and Amos.

 When Alden Amos passed the fiber world lost more than a skilled wheel maker and what he left the spinning world could fill volumes. Stephenie is a skilled fiber artist and a top notch teacher who brings brilliance , tricks of the trade , dry humor and magic to her classes. She is also a sweet and gentle soul.  Everyone passionate about fiber should take at least one, two or more of her classes. Well worth your time without question.

These ladies are beaming and their faces reflect the theme of the day "we are here to learn and have a wonderfilled time!" And we did from eight in the morning until five in the afternoon. And everyone of the participants (all of different skill levels) left with more knowledge and tricks of the trade  than they came with. As organizer of this event I was told countless times from these ladies what a great day it was and how they were already looking forward to the next workshop.

Flash forward to September 9th and the Tehema County Historical Society Jubilee. My neighbor Janet and I had the pleasure of being the teachers at this event for the second time. We spun from nine in the morning until two in the afternoon as guest of the Tehema County Spinners and Fiber Arts Group.

 Paula was demonstrating the great wheel aka walking wheel.

Trinna in front of the group banner working on a early 1900 hundred counter balance loom that was restored by Colleen Harvey Arrison a group member.

Trianna again at the loom chatting with young man who was mesmerized with the weaving process. His Dad to the left was once a sheep shearer.  Below what is on Trianna's loom.

I am very excited that we have one more demo day in September . We will once again gather at Arapaho Rose Alpaca's to participate in the nationally celebrated Alpaca Farm Days.

National Alpaca Farm Days

It's Fun and it's FREE!
Saturday, September 30, 2017 10 am - 4 pm
Join us for our 6th annual open house on National Alpaca Farm Days.  We are joining alpaca ranchers across the US and Canada opening our ranch so you can meet the alpacas face to face.  Walk through our pastures and experience the gentle nature of our alpacas.
Bring your camera to take pictures with the alpacas. Learn about the alpaca and the life style directly from your local alpaca ranchers. Watch demonstrations of spinning, weaving and other fiber activities.

Start your holiday shopping early in our boutique where you'll find alpaca apparel and products.

Bring your knitting or crocheting and join us for the afternoon.

Thursday, August 31, 2017


Just to think only four short weeks ago I said "self it is August the last of the summer month the last of any really hot temps" I think I jinxed it. We had some moderate days for the most part and then a few days that were strangely reminiscent of August in Fresno county. Such as 107 but after a few days it righted itself and once again I was lulled back into complacency. In the last week we have experienced full payback for my apparently over optimistic expectations. 

We will have a fire cracker HOT Labor day. Yes Labor Day not Memorial Day. And how does that work? You may remember from my June post we had a bit of heat. Approximately ten days of the annoying stuff. So now it appears that is on the agenda again. We are talking 110 yuppers our tempatures here in the old foothills of the southern cascades will be 

Then we will slowly cascade into under 100 degrees with great hopes of not seeing that again until next summer!

If you pop the lead photo you'll notice that it appears the road is dipping into a bowl of pea soup fog. Close but no cigar. In addition to our toast up we had a wind shift that lands us in pea soup smoke from our neighbors in Oregon  and Trinity county California who are experiencing fires. God bless them and I am grateful that as mildly annoying as it is I will take their smoke over their fires anyday. We are also under a two day Red Flag warning since the weather is hot and the ground is dry but there are some clouds brewing up in the high elevations which could lead to dry lighting and more fires.

Heck of a way to end the summer but we here at the farm are looking forward to fall and getting into the greenhouse that has been way too warm and sticky to even think about . But I have been thinking and I am looking forward to getting some salad greens going and perhaps radishes and some carrots too.

The excessive heat also delayed Willie and Waylon's trip to their new home.
                           Waylon on right is now about twice as big.                          

Moving away from home brings enough stress as it is for the goats . Adding extreme heat to the equation is just asking for trouble. Our goats welfare always comes first in the decisions we make regarding them. So we will enjoy their company for another two weeks until we are sure the heat isn't coming back again. 

Leaving you with this great quotation from the "keeper of the board" at my Chiropractor's office.

Sunday, August 27, 2017


Geeze is spousal a word? Wow it is I just looked it up on Yahoo. I am wondering if doing that means I should be worried about my mental stability or do I care ? Basically because I know that in the last few months and those to come my mental stability is questionable at best.

When it became clear to me even prior to medical confirmation that Geoffrey was coming out of remission (wives know these things, heck , anyone who has lived with someone for 46 years gets it) I started a mental list of how I was going to lighten my load so I could be able to be there as needed. First thing on the list as painful as it was to admit was letting more of my LaMancha goats go. I needed to do this now while I could still find a home of my choosing for them not a home for them anywhere because I put it on the back burner until they had to leave and right now. That would not of been fair to them or me.

So two weeks ago I took Twist and her two 3 month old doelings, Jamboree a two year old buck to a dairy run by a friend in Marin county . Check out Marin county on the net pretty nice zip code to live in. And the last weekend in July I took my last three yearlings to a friend in the foothills of the central valley above Fresno. A win win for all as it was the appropriate placings for all involved.

This coming Wednesday I will take Waylon and Willie two wethers to another friend about 10 miles up the mountain from me. All this is difficult but there will still be goats on the farm. I will retain a ten year old doe, two six year old does, a three year old doe, a two year old doe and her 4 month old doeling. I am planning on parting with the doeling to correct home also but I will take my time. In  addition I have two bucks a 8 year old and his 6 year old son. Of course in spring of 2018 they will all be a year older.

I have decided not to breed this year and next spring will be odd the first in 32 years with no kids on the ground. But I will not say I will never breed again as I am very fond of both my goats and the lovely milk they provide.

Even doing the not so joy filled journeys in our lives bring joy. After the trailer was emptied at the dairy my traveling companion and I had a nice lunch at Point Reyes Station .

Then we headed towards the Pacific ocean and found four cow dairies established around 1850 three still working and one that is now part of the state park system.


The dairy barn in the old days then in the early 1900's a hay barn for beef cattle.

The original house built by the first owners . It survived the 1906 San Fransisco earthquake with only loosing its chimney.

Behind my friend Donna the school house where the teacher made $74 a month and educated all the farm children and the children of local fishermen.

The old equipment barn and what looked to be perhaps a piece of haying equipment now an oversized planter for indigenous vegetation.

The old dairy and below center some information on its production. Pretty amazing for its time! 

Looking northwest from the farm to the bay.

So here we are two weeks later. Having seen the doctor at the oncology clinic and arranged for six months of chemotherapy to begin in mid September. This trip as bittersweet as it was presented a diversion to what life is throwing our direction . And diversion is often the key to good mental health. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017


This is not here because we are at this place in time. I want to make that clear. A friend of mine shared it and I love it. It says to me so much.

Please give it a read. This is a very personal topic and I feel this Doctor has nailed it.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


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
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.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017


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.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017


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 the breeder of two of my Great Pyrenees that have worked with my goats.