Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Landed On 42 Acres of Paradise With History

 When we first saw our property in August of 2011 it was advertised in the listing as "like living in the wild west".  Well it is. Our 42 acres  is just a nugget  of acreage owned by the founding Dersch family in the late 1800's. The land became hundreds of acres of free range cattle land and the acreage that we own is the centerpiece for all the  sorting and branding done in the area through the years. Leaving several areas of our land with corrals constructed of three strand barb wire for the most part nailed to trees with an occasional fence post and in later days a few t post.

When we had the perimeter and cross fencing done in spring of 2013 we had the company doing the fencing remove a lot of it. Ari the English Setter had given herself a nasty laceration on her chest two years before while she and I were walking the area of corrals. It was nice to have them agree to it as this was still in the middle of Geoffrey's 3.5 years of chemo treatment. So it was most certainly something he wasn't up to doing.

Over the years the pups and I have found more barbwire and old nails, coffee cans and other items. We have several  rock walls not unlike the ones across the street at the Armstrong (Holiday) ranch. But not as wide or tall. The wall below is a visual lie as it is about 4 feet tall and about 4 foot wide. Ours are much smaller and not as numerous but attest to cowboy ingenuity and grit.

The folks who live behind us on an equal sized parcel have found artifacts from the then local indigenous  people. A tribe known as the Yana's were said to have inhabited the land we now call home. I have yet to find any artifacts but have found what appear to be several grinding stones for acorns to be ground into flour.

 Then coming soon to Nor Cal and most of the rest of the state in varying degrees. It has been pretty cold around here of late. Toss in a wind blowing out of the north giving a wind chill like a pitchfork tossed into one it is not spring anymore! Note we have multiple chances for some degree of snow this week and weekend. We have pretty much been left empty handed but if this lives up to the preview we have been getting it should be the real deal. In fact the weather is so intimidating that our group the other side of the mountain has decided to not meet tonight. They already have snow on the ground from the last brief event and driving can become a bit challenging at best even for us seasoned pros.

I have to make a run tomorrow to Red Bluff about 30 minutes south for provisions but plan to make it short and sweet. That is on the valley floor but they are calling for snow that far down tomorrow also. I find it irritating to deal with folks who don't drive weather well. They are dangerous to both themselves and the rest of us. So I will do only what needs to be done and come back up the mountain to wait it out until Sunday.

Will be adding more straw this afternoon to the barns and extra alfalfa in the feed bunks. Some of us who are ahum geriatric   older need extra help .

Flair who is 12 this year is styling in a well used thermal Carhart with shortened sleeves and a T-shirt. I later added an older sweatshirt with sleeves also shortened and she is now a snug happy doe. 

Have a good evening and I will take lots of snow photos ! Ahh the power of positive thinking! 

Photo send a few days ago by Lori of weaving fame of her place after the most recent weather event prior to now. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

And We Have Two Winners !

After a chilly start to the morning with the thermometer registering 23 degrees at 7AM this is the sky that greeted us on the deck for afternoon sock knitting at 1PM at 46 degrees. NOAA is still calling for lows around 20 tomorrow and perhaps lower on Wednesday which is one of the days this week they included the "S" word. S-N-O-W not the other S word.

Before getting to the knitting I had  Geoffrey draw the two winners of our Timber Creek T-shirt giveaway. Drum roll  please and the two winners are Myrna of The Iowa Housewife is the proud recipient of the Beige shirt and Leigh of 5 Acres and A Dream will be rocking the pink shirt.

Myrna I need you to send me your mailing information  please leave me a way to contact you. Leigh you are covered I know where you are ;-) Congratulations ladies!

 Sherman woke up from a nap in the sun today looking like Bozo the Clown. Reminded me of his puppy months when most Pyrenees sport the Bozo do. Have a wonderful day and love the ones close to your heart!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Watching Our Nor Cal Version of Artic Freeze Drifting In

Looks innocent enough no? A gentle Saturday afternoon after chores aplenty knitting on the back deck. But we are being told things like frigid temperatures, a dose of rain , cover your fragile plants and kiss the blossoms on your almond tree goodbye. They even said the S word for Monday and Tuesday. We will see . 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

If It's Tuesday It Must Be Time For A Giveaway!

While I am always inclined to agree with this there are exceptions to the rule. Sometimes things take us to a place that makes us happy and productive . In my case as I have said before all things fiber do that for me. As do baby goats but that is another post.

I have had fiber sheep at several times in my livestock/spinning fiber art life but after the last flock left and years later after I had either used up or gifted others with all that Romney goodness I decided at this stage of my life  it may be prudent to let others do the production and I can go to Etsy and just drool and push a button and partake in their talents and hard work . It also enabled me to a wider variety of product with many breeds to choose from and some bling man made on occasion. It also gave me another opportunity to support small family farms. Which I have been known to become wickedly opinionated about at times.

So while cruising Etsy one day I tripped over a farm girl named Janet Garman at Timber Creek Farm. An enthusiastic supporter of and educated in Ag. You can find her blog on the sidebar in blogs I follow or just click on this   And I ordered some skeins from her.

I made two pair of fingerless mitts one for myself and one for a dear friend who happens to be one of my go to veterinarians. They are soft, warm and yummy. Guaranteed to make you hands smile on 28 degree mornings like we had today. I also wove my hubby a scarf from a Romney Merino blend which I haven't been able to get a photo of yet . And I love her logo and all the cuteness she uses to make you remember her
 A postcard photo of some of the family happily munching away.

 As if all she has done and plans to do isn't enough she is also a published author and has articles in the latest issue of  one of my favorite publications Countryside magazine's.

 I want to take this opportunity to giveaway two Timber Creek T-shirts today. Yes they were supplied by Janet but I am not receiving any monetary or product compensation for this post or the giveaway. In fact I contacted Janet to do this as I am so intent on helping out folks whose products I have used and like.

There are two shirts the beige is a medium regular cut and the pink is a ladies cut sleeve in a large.

If you are interested in winning one of these fun shirts for yourself or to gift your favorite fiber fanatic please leave a comment and the shirt of your choice. Drawing will be held on Sunday February 18th and announced on Monday the 19th. All entries will receive a number as they are posted and numbers will be used in the drawing out of the hat. Yes a knitted hat lol.  


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Procarastination Or Life Got In The Way???

The sky this morning on my walk out to the barns. Ain't it great? But not as great as the temperature this morning. A balmy 34  degrees Winter you are back !!

I was even more thrilled about patches of frost on the ground and ice on some buckets. Not a hard freeze mind you as the clouds rolled in early this morning keeping us from enjoying an even colder start to the day. But none the less a frosty start to the day. Gee can't imagine why the goats didn't find the iced buckets as exciting as I did? 

Well I have to admit it wouldn't sink the Titanic but again we had ice. Doesn't take much to make this farm girl happy dance does it?

What , huh? Oh the post title. I know I keep mentioning the next post to be a giveaway and a shout out for a great gal I have come to know. This is not it. Sorry I sat down to put the pieces together today but then I had to go  outside to try out all the good stuff I learned at the nursery's berry class yesterday . And then with that done I had to fill up the sprayer with my white vinegar and spray some pesky weeds the latest spell of warmer weather produced. And after that more weeding in the front and when I finally got back here?

 Well I remembered I needed to get some registration papers ready to ship off to the ADGA (american dairy goat assoc) in Spindale NC for a buyer. Then there were those greeting cards , hand written mind you. That had to be done to be mailed tomorrow when I was down in the valley at the post office.

So you say and now? Well now I need to go fetch the clean laundry off the line and take photos of the berry sprucing up results . And then I need to milk a goat and feed a few. And well I know you understand and I WILL do that post next. On Tuesday when I have another day at home. So be sure to visit me on Tuesday to see about the give away and a fine fibery lady.

Unless life gets in your way!

Hand woven saddle blanket in progress on the loom of my cowgirl neighbor. Ain't it amazing???

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Post Prep

I believe that the most time consuming part of blogging is the prep. Sort of like cooking a meal you know. It isn't tying it all together as much as it is planning, finding and joining together all the parts of the whole. 

So today I have spent some time going through photos on my new PC after loading them from my iPhone . Then cropping, making them look their best (such as the one above Mt. Shasta from a bend in the road on the way home) then putting them in the blog. So while I continue with this arduous task I thought I would share a few of the newer items in the photo inventory. 

Directly across Ash Creek road from Shasta was a small herd of Mule deer grazing on the wonderful native grasses that also support the free range cattle raised in the area and not to be forgotten my small herd of LaManchas that munches away creating a dent in the monthly feed bill.

 The small bumps with ears in the grass are this years calves taking a rest while Mama munches to create more milk. Takes a lot of calories to produce enough milk to help get a 50 pound plus calf from hitting the ground to the 300 pound plus market weight. 

Lori wearing a big smile and who could blame her as she shows off her handwoven lap blanket she wove for her hubby on her two shaft floor loom. 

Well enough playing around as I need to get back to prepping for the next blog post which will include a long over due shout out for a fiber friend and a give away !

Monday, February 5, 2018

Back In The Saddle Again

Love this signage in a favorite restaurant window. It is a shame it is more rooted in reality more than in humor.

Enjoying the view from my desk as I dance across the keyboard of my new laptop clicking on photos from the last several months. Will enjoy just adding a few in this post but will get a serious post completed after this practice run.  The photo transferring is a bit different than my old PC as it came with Windows 10 and I understand why it was not the busiest girl at the dance now.

 Another worrisome sign of our times at Starbucks restroom. Not only do they need to be reminded but the humor to me in this is they need to post a step by step diagram?

It has been a bit premature in a Spring like weather pattern so the honey bees have been very busy the last few days. That is to change a bit as we are going back to winter in the next few days. Today it is windy and clouds are gathering. 

Helen - need I say any more? 

A view of the cattle ranch across the street with Mt. Lassen on the left and Broke Off mountain to the right. Still covered with snow from the last storm a few weeks back. The rock walls very reminiscent of Ireland were in a number of places built in the mid 1800's by Chinese workers who came to Northern California during the infamous California gold rush days.  Sure makes a pretty view for us on the opposite side of the road not quite a mile away. The cattle are Black Angus. 

Off to do afternoon chores but I will return with ease now. Happy to be back!