Sunday, February 26, 2017

California Weather Gone Bad or This Is Just CRAZY!

This is how it looked about a week ago and then we got this

And after the hail we got rain and more rain and wind and mud. Did I mention rain?

And then we got this for a daytime high.

Followed by

And also this
So we come friends to yesterday and look what do we have here?

And now what do I see?  
With a forecast of rain showers tonight snow mixed with rain showers after 4 AM and before 10 AM tomorrow. Accompanied by our recent morning temps in the 28 - 31 degree range. I am not putting up the citrus trees dresses any time soon.  I must say I am not holding my breath on that one!

I will close this post with a photo from a friend of mine Facebook page. She is up the hill about 2000 ft. These are her solar panels the other day wondering why the batteries aren't charging?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Brief Weather Report

We had a mixed bag today. Early chores were met by cloud cover and an occasional sprinkle . Mid morning put the bucks out in their field and we had a brief down pour. Then the clouds parted the wind stopped and the remainder of the day  was down right balmy . Well balmy may be  a bit of an embellishment. Let us just say mix of sun and clouds. Until this came to visit about 6:30 just in time for dinner.

First a sprinkle , then it picked up to metal roof big drops of rain and then it sounded like we were tbeing stoned. Quick check outside , hey I was hungry, pea size hail.Then the pounding got heavier and in the end we had  snow  rather deep hail.

Even the Calli and Ari ventured out on the deck   and left their mark. 


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Grateful To Live on Higher Ground

Welcome to Northern California where when we say rain we mean it!

This is a view of the Sacramento River yesterday as I flew down our mountain to pick up a few items. Look closely to the left yes  that is a mobile park and yes the water is encroaching on the cabins and mobiles currently living there.  Below is another view and I wish I could have stopped on the bridge for a better shot  but there were others behind me. However it gives you an idea of how it is moving .

But when I got further down the road I was greeted by this pastoral vision. Reminding me that there is beauty even in the middle of potential disaster and also one always needs to make choices . Yesterday I choose Anderson via Cottonwood. I am a wimp I couldn't decide so stopped at both little towns.
I have pretty much been hanging out at home the last few days and will continue until Wednesday which is my girls day out. I have quilting in the morning and an evening at The Shed which was featured in my blog entry a bit ago
In fact I was there last Wednesday but was spinning up a storm (no pun intended) and didn't get any photos. Promise more this time. 

Then there is the loom thing. Some of you may remember this post  Well I am still working on the Hammett floor loom to this day. It has taken some detective work and such to find out exactly what is needed to make her weave. Besides me the weaver. The mystery to this loom is the age (something older than me ahha!) she rolled off the line in 1946 with that said has had multiple owners  lives that is . And as happens over time some will be purist and some will try to build a better mousetrap loom. This dear loom had holes and missing pieces that she accrued along the journey. I am hopeful that I will have the last piece to my puzzle done soon. The "black hole" you are looking at below should be adjusted to look like the photo to the right with a proper bolt , bushing and nut.  


Took me bit to find a fellow weaver on my weaving group online that has the original set up as I do. There were several folks who have the same loom and year of production but their looms had been tweeked along the way by someone. There was a positive side to this loom being in my friend's storage area from 1969 to 2016 it kept it from anymore rearranging of original parts.  And I need to attach the spring to the warp beam release treadle aka brake that is attached to the pawl that keeps the warp beam from moving while one is weaving. In laymen's terms it keeps the warp on the loom from advancing forward while one is weaving.

With all this said I have high hopes to have a warp on by the end of March and will then do two things. Begin my rug weaving endeavors and add part two of my walk down how to weave on a floor loom for you all.

With the advent of Spring also springs forth finishing my greenhouse. Until I change it after this post the greenhouse has been living only as a feature post on this blog Again delayed by rain and wind. All ready to roll except for the attachment of the plastic. I have missed my planned winter of puttering in it growing winter salad fixin's but to everything there is a season. I will be glad to see it done and get growing!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Mish Mash

The first full week of February has certainly been a mish mash and it has involved all aspects of life on and off the farm. Above you see the mighty Sacramento river. Feel free to read more about the river here

The photo above was taken on Thursday last when the river was breaching its banks in some areas. And not forgetting the Oroville Dam  spillway incident here

We are near the river but up the mountain at roughly 1000 feet so the flooding will not be a problem for our farm. Travel on the valley floor could be impaired in some areas though. Oroville is three counties down from us and had no influence on our area except for the show of "don't mess with mother nature". 

But we have had  tremendous amount of rain beginning in October and we are looking for more beginning this coming Wednesday.  Geoffrey keeps a running total but hasn't added it up from October yet. As soon as I get it I will let you know how much we have had at the farm. I think that a lot won't begin to cover it. 

The week itself was busy as could be weaving this scarf to finish off for a birthday gift. 

Which I did finally get done yesterday and I will get a full photo for you after I get it blocked. Before I send it off to the birthday girl. 

On Wednesday the free sew at Blue Iris was booted by a workshop so I took the rainy morning to get my truck oil changed.  Then I took a drive up to Round Mountain to visit a friend Judy Sours. Judy is a weaver, spinner, knitter who lives with her hubby off of Buzzards Roast Road in a straw bale off the grid house they built themselves. They are pretty much self sufficient  having their own dairy cows , chickens , large gardens and orchard.Newest addition to the farm is their honey bees. I had the pleasure of enjoying some honey in a nice cuppa peach tea with the apricot coffee cake I baked up as a thank you for the visit.  They also raise Angora goats and have sold their stock all over the country. Judy is a fiber artist and Stan her hubby is also an artist and taught art now is a well sought after judge for Angora goat shows. 

You can shoot me for not getting photos but I have a bad habit of forgetting to pull out my phone for pictures up there. This trip especially as Judy had just bought out a ladies weaving studio including tubs of silk. And I mean TUBS of it. We spent hours just looking in each tub and enjoying ourselves. Just before I left for home Judy invited me to join her at the fiber group gathering that night. It is comprised of friends Judy has influenced in one way or the other with weaving, spinning , knitting or all of the above. She didn't have to ask twice and *that* I got photos of ;-)

This loom is the most recent loom to the group it came with the silk that Judy (to the right) acquired with the studio buy out. They were experiencing a bit of stick to the harnesses upon treadling but all was resolved shortly. The loom had been out of use for some time it is an eight harness loom.

The building that the ladies meet in is on a friends property and is called The Shed catchy no? For you none weavers a shed is the space created in the warp by raising and lowering the harnesses and though which the shuttle passes. 

There must be at least 8 to 12 looms plus two wheels (my Matchless is the one in front of the chair) and numerous other weaving , spinning equipment that catches the eye when entering the room. There are loads of books and magazines plus cones of fiber and much much more for use by those who come to the gatherings.

As you can see from this photo no shortage of baskets full of materials also and arty farm signs and wall hangings abound. 

Loving the rug to the right with the straps created on a Inkle loom to the left of the rug

Pam is creating on this loom and she wove away on the table runner near by where I was spinning up singles (meaning it will be used as a warp therefore a single yarn) of Shetland roving on my wheel. Love the sound of the loom as the shed rises and lowers very rhythmical. 

 This is Lori she is smiling, why? Well I would be smiling too as she has just been gifted a lovely silk scarf woven by Judy. Lori lives on a cattle ranch not far from the Shed and brings great snacks to gatherings. She most certainly deserved this lovely gift. She is also a nice person!


I cropped a bit of this scarf so you could enjoy the exquisite weaving done by  Judy.   
Judy with back to the camera and Lori going through a rather large basket of fibery goodness looking for the right yarn to use for a crochet project Lori is working on. 

I am looking forward to the next gathering at the Shed on this coming Wednesday. You can be sure I will be there spinning away some more Shetland singles for that blanket warp I am doing. Hoping that Janet from the cattle ranch across the way will be joining me.

The mish mash week rounded itself out on Thursday with an all day trip for supplies to Redding plus mailing the newest quilt top and backing to my long arm quilter Pamela in Madera( promise photos when it comes home)   and finished yesterday with a trip up the hill to Shingletown to get some needed items for the dogs and cats at Doc Lydon's clinic. Had a  nice catch up visit with his lovely wife Jana and then headed home to do some catching up of my own.

Have a blessed weekend , stay warm and safe.

Friday, February 3, 2017


Some of you may remember me mentioning that I live about a mile from a cattle ranch called The Armstrong. Janet the wife of the head cowboy there and I  have become fast friends through our love of fiber and animals. Janet is the calf whisperer on the ranch as she cares for any orphaned, abandoned or sick calves. This is a free range operation so the heifers calve over a lot of acreage and even though the cowboys keep a close eye on the "heavies" heavies being a heifer or cow who is getting close to calving. As I was saying with lots of land to cover and the usual hazards of life there are a number of calves in her care each year.

Little Buttons was about 2-3 weeks early and Janet's cowboy husband found her abandoned at about 12 hours old. Every attempt is made to locate the mama and reunite her with her calf but with a total of 800+ heifers on this ranch sometimes that doesn't work out. The important thing at that age and her premature nature is to get the calf down to Janet for colostrum and heat. When ever I have extra milk from my goats I take it over to Janet to feed to any calves she has in her care. It is a nice place for my extra to go and does something helpful.

Buttons warming shirt decorated in stylish blue painters tape say proudly "FARM GIRLS HAVE NICE CALVES" how cute is *that*!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

And The Winner Is . . .

I imagine there has been a bit of finger crossing going on for our entrants eligible for Leigh Tate's book Guinea Tales. If you aren't the winner visit Leigh's blog and check out her books . 

Without further ado would Mommy of Two please email( me your contact info and I will see that your book is sent to you. Congratulations !

Well I am a bit red faced. This should have publish on February 1st on auto. Technology is only as good as we think it is. I apologize for the mishap now I need to find out why. Mommy of Two let me know when you see this as I sent you another notice thinking this had been made public. Everyone else stay tuned for Little Buttons coming up soon!