Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Full Moon, a Summer's day Nap & Fogwash Soap

Hello my friends - it's Three Beautiful Things Tuesday!

  • Glancing out the kitchen window last night, I saw the full moon coming up over the neighbor's trees. It was as big as a salad plate up in the sky.

  • It was 68 degrees and sunny Monday when I went out for lunch. I found my favorite shady spot, ate my sandwich & took a short nap before I had to go back to work. The breeze that touched my cheek felt as cool and silken as lake water.

  • Our friend Nancy went to the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon last month. She brought me back a little woolly toy sheep and a bar of "Fogwash Soap" - Citrus-Sea scent - a combination of orange, lemon grass and grapefruit - Their soaps are made with olive and cocoanut oils - they last a long time.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Random Thoughts for a Saturday -

It's really been a beautiful week and everything in the garden is growing & growing - the nasturciums are threatening to take over the driveway!

And how can you have a bad day when this (Mt. Baker) is what you see on your way to work (OK, pretend like that railroad crossing thingy is not there) - I've often wondered what the early settlers thought when they would come around a bend and "ta da" there is this huge mountain off in the distance. The natives called it Komo Kulshan .

And out in the pasture - Life imitates art -

One day last week I took my lunch down to the harbor - we live in a beautiful place to play and work.

The Port of Bellingham has done a fantastic job on this planting -it actually goes on for about 1/4 of a mile - It makes me want to throw a shovel in my little car and do a little "shopping" on the way home - I'm sure they wouldn't miss some of that crocosmia...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What a difference a year makes...

Grandnephew Parker & the Shepherd, Uncle John, July 2006 - he's almost one

Here's Parker, with his daddy last weekend at 22 months. He's getting to be a big boy!

By the way, remember these girls from last month - well check out what Leigh made last weekend! Is that not cute, or what! She is so talented, and I have learned a lot from her blog. If you are interested in fiber, check it out.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

On cats ~

Last week when I posted my Three Beautiful Things for the week, my friend Little CatZee protested in her comment: "Hey! What about kitties! Kitties are beeyootiful fings!"

Well, CatZee - I couldn't agree with you more! So I have spent the entire week thinking of "beeyootiful fings" about my fur children - and it was hard to just come up with just three. In fact, I am finding it kind of fun, to spend the day looking for those three things that have made life a little better that day.

So here are my three favorite "beeyootiful fings" about Neelix and Sinda -

  • It's been a long day at work, but when I pull into the driveway, one or both of you are waiting for me either on that rock out front, or come running around the corner of the house with a kind of "It's time you finally got home" look on your face.
  • I sit down to watch the end of the Mariner's game with John, and Sinda curls up at my feet with her head resting on my toes.
  • Neelix's loud PURRRRR as he walks through the house - (king of all he surveys) - he plops down in the middle of things, rolls onto his back and begins to snore. Could you get any more comfortable than that?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Some things never change...

They always seem to be going in the opposite direction than I am...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Smells like a tropical island here

Can you stand one more picture of our lilies?

John planted this stand of "orienpet" lilies a couple of years ago. I park my car only a few feet away from them. Tonight you could smell them all the way out to the gate (30-40 yards?). It was heavenly - & reminded me of being in Hawaii with it's wonderful fragrence of plumeria.
I think this one is called Caravan.

According to The Lily Garden in Vancouver, WA, The “Orienpets” are relatively new to the lily world, produced after years of efforts to combine the sublime beauty of the Oriental lilies with the more garden persistent, heat tolerant and colorful Trumpet and Aurelian hybrids."

I just love the way it smells -

Come just a little bit closer - can you smell it yet?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I'm a WHAT?

I think I'm entering into "Biddy-dom" - As in "You old Biddy" - -

Last week in the grocery store produce department, there was a dad with a passle of pre-teen boys - the dad, of course was shopping - the boys - they were checking out the Roma tomatoes - pick up one, squeeze it a little, pick up another, look seriously at the back of the store, like they wanted to see if they could pitch one back to the seafood department!

And it just popped out of my mouth: "You boys PUT THOSE TOMATOES DOWN! Nobody wants to buy tomatoes after you stand there and squeeze them!"

They looked a little shocked...who was this strange lady admonishing them - then guilty - by this time Dad was headed off to the deli - the offending parties skittered off behind him.

Is it just me? I seem to be less and less willing to stand by in cases of "bad behavior" The weekend before the 4th of July, the new neighbors were having a party. Their college-age son and his friends were lighting off M-80s (illegal fireworks in these parts - bought on our nearby Indian reservation). After our six hour trip home from my brother-in-law's funeral, we were in no mood for the BOOM, BOOOM, BOOM BOOOOM- besides that they were scaring the sheep. But you know what? Come to find out, these guys had been doing this all afternoon - not one neighbor had stepped in to ask them to stop - not the horsey people on the corner - not the llama lady across the street.

Well, we did - we walked over to their house and politely asked them to stop - which they did for a couple of hours, but when they started in again at a quater after ten, I called the sheriff - ordinarily they wouldn't have responded, but when I mentioned the fact that the neighbor had told me that they had bought the fireworks out on the res - that was good enough for the dispatcher and she sent out a deputy. I think they figured out my "no tolerance" policy...

So, where to from here? Is there a chain email that explains "how to be a biddy in ten steps or less" (send this to ten of your friends or biddy-dom will befall you) - Roget's Thesaurus lists the following synonyms for biddy: bag, battle-ax, beldam, crone, fishwife, fury, gorgon, harpy, harridan, Jezebel, Medusa, ogress, shrew, slattern, sorceress, termagant, virago, vixen, witch -those are kind of harsh -

Dictionary.com defines biddy as a fussbudget, esp. a fussy old woman. - not so bad, I think, or as an old friend of mine would say -"I resemble that remark"

"Mom, I don't think you're a fussbudget - in fact that's a funny word isn't it"

Why thank you Neelix - that's very nice of you to come to my defense - you can stop laughing now...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Mighty Good Read - "Dragon's Fire"

The first Anne McCaffrey book I read was "The White Dragon". The story of Jaxom and his telepathic white dragon Ruth held my attention like no other book had since I read the Hobbit series the summer I was 14 (I spent all summer holed up in my basement bedroom to read those books) - I soon fell in love with the Planet Pern and all of it's inhabitants - (especially Masterharper Robinton - but that's a whole 'nother story -) While these books are not of the epic proportions of the Harry Potter novels - the "dragonrider culture" has a huge following.

There are over 2 dozen books in the Pern series - recently Ms. McCaffrey has collaborated with her son Todd, (I think he was the original weyrling), for two novels - the latest is called Dragon's Fire - a story set in the first "interval". The world of Pern is sometimes confusing, as the story lines of the different books flip back and forth through time - but as with any series, you get to know the characters, and they become like old friends. There are also groupings of books within the series that have the same characters in them - and we're talking hundreds of years involved here, so there is a lot of lattitude for plots.

As with any good fantasy, there is good and evil - as I said, this is set early in the "life" of the planet's colonization - there are few "holds" (cities) and few "weyrs" (home of the dragons and their riders) The Craft halls have not all been established - but the story winds around so you know that the dragonriders will flourish and Pern will continue to exist.

Although Anne McCaffrey has written scores of other books - the Doona series, Pegasus, Crystal Singer and Acorna series' to name a few, oddly I have never been able to "get into" any of her other "fantasy lands" as it were. But, as I said, with over two dozen books in the Pern series, many I have read 3 or 4 times (yes, I find them that engaging and I cry and laugh just like the first time) there is plenty of entertainment to go around.

Doing some of the research for this post, I found that I have something to look forward to, Anne and Todd have another book coming out in January 2008 - Dragon Harper - just in time for my Village Books (our local independant bookstore) Book club Birthday reward - your age or -up to 39% off - any book you wish - isn't that a great deal! I can hardly wait.

Neelix says he doesn't know what all the fuss is about - "There are never any cats in any of those books." he says. "Yes, sweetie, but I've often thought that dragons and cats are a lot alike - telepathic - able to teleport between space and time- yup, you're a lot alike."

If you decide t take the plunge into the world of Pern, it is actually suggested that you read the books in the order that they were written - starting with the trillogy - The Dragonriders of Pern

I hope you enjoy it.

Chocolate, Fruit & Flowers -

Happy Three Beautiful Things Tuesday!
  • When a friend fixes you lunch and serves homemade brownie sundaes for desert

  • A handful of ripe blueberries right off the bush, slightly warm from the morning sun

  • The heady fragrance of the lillies that are blooming off the deck - it floats in the kitchen window on the evening breeze -

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Flower Communion (belated)

I meant to share this picture with you earlier this summer, but, life got in the way, so to speak. These are the flowers that were brought by our church members for our Flower Communion.
The Flower Communion Service is a uniquely Unitarian Universalist celebration developed by Norbert and Maja Capek, who founded the Unitarian church in Czechoslovakia. They felt the need for some ceremony which would be non-threatening and would bind the people closer together, and make them feel like a religious community. And so they created the Flower Communion. Our little UU church usually celebrates it the second Sunday of June.

The first Flower Communion Ceremony was celebrated June 4, 1923 in Czechoslovakia. The first such ceremony in the US was held in 1940 in Cambridge, Mass., introduced by Maja Capek as she was in the US to raise funds for the UU churches in Europe.

As people come into the church, they add their flowers to the vase and this beautiful "arrangement" graced the front of the church during the service. At the end of the service everyone gets up and takes a flower to take home with them - the ensuing bouquet is just as lovely, don't you think?

Whenever Dr. Capek conducted his Flower Communion in Prague. he would say this proverb as he "consecrated" the flowers:

Infinite Spirit of Life, we ask thy blessing on these, thy messengers of fellowship and love. May they remind us. amid diversities of knowledge and of gifts, to be one in desire and affection, and devotion to thy holy will. May they also remind us of the value of comradeship, of doing and sharing alike. May we cherish friendship as one of thy most precious gifts. May we not let awareness of another's talents discourage us, or sully our relationship, but may we realize that, whatever we can do, great or small, the efforts of all of us are needed to do thy work in this world.

Dr. Capek was a visionary, amd the Capeks had very intersting lives - Dr. Capek, unfortunately died in a concentration camp during WWII. His memory lives on in the Flower Communion that is celebrated every spring in UU churchs all over the world.

Happy Birthday to Sara!

This is a Happy 10th Birthday message for my Grand Niece, Sara. She lives in E. Washington so we don't get to see her very often (this picture was taken the week after Christmas)

This is the Happiest picture of a flower that I could find - so






Oooh, dead mice -

And nothing says happy like a field full of sunflowers!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Mommy, Wow! We are big boys now

The little boys got moved into their own pasture on Monday when Marsha was here to shear Loreena. John had just enough energy and she helped him move them. Thank heavens for a wonderful shearer! Of course, they missed their sister & their mommies and all that comes with that... Loud wailing and gnashing of teeth - but they have finally calmed & quieted down - Doesn't look like they are going to starve, does it?

Arlo is now officially an "it" - as beautiful as his fleece is, his horns were growing straight back and would have threatened his health soon. So, as a wether, his horns will probably not grow any more, or grow so slowly as to not be a danger to him.
Here is a present for all you purple loving people. Before the heat wave hit, I went out and took a few pictures of some new iris that The Shepherd got last year, and a picture of this years bed - not much more to say - just enjoy.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Too much hot-

I Need Orange reminded me of some pictures that I wanted to put on my blog this week. Just to remind us that it's not always 80 degrees out- sometimes it's a little cooler -

I love this picture - the color has not been changed to black & white - that's just what it looked like that day in March - It was before The Shepherd had his surgery & he was very nervous about me wandering around out in the snow (I tend to slip and slide a lot) but I had his big barn boots on - they were like wearing snow shoes - good grip!
It was quiet and calm that morning - I enjoyed my walk.

This is our Camperdown Elm - If I was a little kid, I'd make the inside a fort to hide in during the summer - it would make a cool green secret place as the big heart shaped leaves go all the way to the ground.

We now return to our regularly scheduled toasty day - hope these brief reminders of winter help to cool you down.

Crazy days, crazy night!

Just a quick post at the end of my lunch - remember in the story of Neelix's big adventure over the 4th of July that I said that the Shepherd had come home from work on the 5th because he just didn't feel well? So things got worse from there - he did go to the dr. on Friday, but they just said it was a virus and to wait it out. Well, 3 days of 102 fevers and then Sunday it seemed to break, but by then, he seemed to be kind of congested - called the Doc on call for our clinic -"Oh, this stuff just takes 3-5 days to go away" she said.

Monday, Marsha came and gave Loreena a haircut -(That's a whole 'nother story to follow later this week) - & with the hot weather we've been having (high 80's - it's 92 degrees right now) he just hasn't been able to pick back up where he left off - and last night he kind of went into a respratory distress - couldn't breathe, etc. - so I called the doc on call again(different guy this time) - he said "load him up and take him to ER - chances are that he'll only get worse over night" OK, fine - at 10:00 pm I loaded him into the Jelly Bean (the affectionate term for my 91 Ford Festiva) and set off for St. Joes. I must say, a middle aged white guy with breathing distress gets pushed thru pretty fast - I think they might have thought he was having a heart attack or something, cause when we left, there were still a lot of people sitting in the same places they were when we went in.

Well, long story short? He's got pneumonia. They started him on antibiotics last night and he's feeling better - he slept on the couch so he could sleep sitting up - every time he lays down he starts to cough. "Dr Mom" says he will not go back to work til next week - that's for sure -

So everybody send us LOTS of healing thoughts OK - and speaking of work, I'd better get to it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blessings, Coming & Going

Happy Three Beautiful Things Tuesday!

  • The blessed silence on the morning of the 5th of July ~
  • Seeing Mt. Baker, brilliant against the blue sky, popping through the trees and above the hillls on my drive to work ~
  • Bright orange and yellow nasturciums peaking out of the green folliage to greet me when I get home from work ~

    Sunday, July 08, 2007

    A "Gift" from the Scottish Shetland Sheep Society

    Actually the pictures were a "gift" from Debi Schaibly, Oak Hammock Farm, in Florida. She is working in Ireland right now (wouldn't that be hard to take?) and made a trip to Scotland to go to the Cockermouth Wool Fest. She saw all kinds of sheep, but of course, found the display of the Shetland Sheep Society from, as John would say "the Motherland". And, I knew that several of you (Leigh & Vicki?) would absolutely love to see this color wheel so I asked her if I could post it on my blog & she was happy to share. Isn't it grand!

    (And as my furriends Rascal & Catzee would say: "If you click on the picture, it will biggify and you can see each individual thread!"}

    And, what would you give to have this knitted sampler - gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

    Debi also met Lenice Bell of Todhill Coloured Shetland Sheep. Lenice was one of the keynote speakers at the 2003 NASSA AGM that was held in Eugene, Oregone the weekend of Blacksheep Festival. She was a delightful speaker and very knowledgable about Shetlands and the different types of wool.

    Debi has been blessed with an invitation to visit Lenice's farm. I can hardly wait to see her photos from that visit - ahh, vicarous living. You never have to pack a bag and you get to sleep in your own bed.

    Saturday, July 07, 2007


    Can't you see we're busy?

    Thursday, July 05, 2007

    Glad THAT'S Over!!

    Whoa baby - yesterday I felt like we were living in a war zone! We are very close to the Lummi reservation and they have a lot of fireworks stands out there. So that's where the neighborhood kids go to get their fireworks. They are, of course, not the wimpy legal kind - we're talkin M80's and bottle rockets, folks.

    I was very surprised, because both Sinda and Mr. Neelix seemed to be taking the day fairly calmly - even tho there were lots of BIG booms, and hisses & shreeks, they didn't seem to be running around nervously or anything. Til just before dark.

    They BOTH disappeared!

    I didn't really notice until after we watched the Seattle fireworks on TV. So, I waited until after all the booming had slowed down (11:30 or so) and called and whistled - they normally will come very well to my whistle - No Neelix - No Sinda. By this time, I'm fit to be tied and ready to write letters to the County Executive and all the County Cuncil members demanding that they ban ALL personal fireworks - there's got to be a better way for people to have fun!

    I go out the back door and call & whistle - I go out the front door I call & whistle - DH has gotten too much sun, (probably heat stroke, judging from how he felt today) and has gone to bed early. No kitties -

    Now, there's one thing I don't know if I've ever mentioned - but Sinda talks alot, and is very loud - you can hear her coming from a ways away. Neelix, on the other hand, had a very bad cold when he was a baby, and he doesn't meow - he kind of trills. Not very helpful when you are calling and calling - listening very carefully for little trills - Pretty soon - out the front door -MEOW! Here comes Sinda - her eyes are about the size of saucers. She runs and has a little chow (some of our cat friends would call it "stinky goodness"), scolds me like crazy - after all, all that booming WAS my fault, you know. She finally calms down, and I decide, that I need to get to bed, as it is almost 12:30 and I have to work in the morning.

    I console myself with the fact that he stays out late quite often. (It's like having a teenaged son, with an attitude...)

    Sinda stuck to me like glue all last night - a 12# deadweight on my hip all night long. At least I knew where she was.

    This a.m. when I got up - still no Neelix. I put out their breakfast, called, whistled, clanged on the cat food can with a spoon - no Neelix. It's getting late, I'm going to be late for work. I get a call from John that he's coming home from work, he still doesn't feel well. It didn't even occur to ask him if he'd seen Mr. N. - I go to work with a heavy heart.

    Tonight when I came home from work, Neelix did not meet me at the front gate like he always does. I came in the house and asked John if he's seen Neelix today - "No," he couldn't say he had. Hmmm - I had a bad feeling about this. I stand on the front porch & call - I stand on the back porch and call. I start dinner. The phone rings and it is Kathy from Sheep Thrills Farm . "I can't find Neelix, he didn't come home last night" I told her. We talk for a few minutes - "You better go & keep looking" she says and rings off. I'm still alternating between front and back yards - suddenly it occurred to me -


    (with appologies to Marsha our shearer, this was the only picture I could find - See the door that is out at the corner of the barn-)

    "John, did you have the shed open yesterday?"

    "Well, yeah, it was open all day - I shut it at about 8:30 or so, why?" I open the cupboard, grab the key and race out the door - it's been really hot today (OK, so, not over 80 degrees, but there is no vertilation in the shed, it's just not a nice place to be when it's hot. )
    I opened the door and Neelix shot out like he was propelled by one of last night's bottle rockets.

    "Hey buddy - how are you doin?" I ask - he doesn't even wait for a head scritch... "Mom, where have you been? I'm Hungry & Thirsty" - he trills as he's headed for the house - dinner and a drink of water.

    Whew - he may not have used up one of his nine lives, but I think he used up one of mine. I'm so glad you're safe, little pal. NOW, STAY OUT OF THAT SHED!

    Wednesday, July 04, 2007

    Happy 4th of July!


    I love the fireworks that look like big yellow flowers!

    And the ones that look like waterfalls -

    And especially the ones that have little stars that sparkle after the big boom is over!.

    Hope you have a safe & sane holiday!