Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Well, it's New Year's Eve - The Shepherd is watching a wonderful Garrison Keeler show from the Grand Ole Opry stage and I am sitting here procrastinating putting together my church newsletter. It has to be done by tomorrow night to go to the printers on Friday. But hey, I haven't missed a deadline yet...

When I was blog "hopping" (no pun intended) last week I found a link to another LOL website - this one is called LOL Bunnies. Check out this video from her web site: Funny Bunny concert (make sure your sound is on). It is very silly, and I thought it was very funny.

And by the way, Happy New Year from all of us here on the farm.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bored, oh, I'm bored!

We went to town today! First time I've been out of the house since Tuesday (seriously) Friday was so awful The Shepherd didn't even leave the house except to feed the critters.

We've had Chinook Winds since Friday afternoon tho, and the snow is GOING AWAY!!!

The British Columbian First Nations People have a legend that tells of a girl named Chinook-Wind, who married Glacier, and moved to his country in the far north. She pined for her warm sea-home in the southwest, and sent a message to her people. They came to her in a vision in the form of snowflakes, and told her they were coming to get her. They came in great number and quarreled with Glacier over her, but they overwhelmed him and she went home with them in the end (Leaving him to melt away in his tears, I guess - Wikipedia didn't tell any more of the story)

The Chinook (pronounced shinook - Chinook is a Pacific Northwest Indian word meaning 'snow-eater') winds can be explained with lot of meteorological mumbo jumbo - but basically they are warm winds that come out of the south (they have been known to raise the temperature from minus 54 degrees F. to plus 49 degrees F. in less than 24 hours (Loma Montana in 1972) - That's 103 degrees, folks - Chinook winds are not to be sneezed at (although they are tied to migraine headaches) - We can hear them coming - they literally roar across Bellingham Bay and for 12 hours yesterday it sounded like a jet plane was sitting on our roof, with the throttle open!. These warm winds can literally melt/evaporate a foot of snow overnight - which causes all kinds of havoc - urban flooding. roofs collapsing, etc.

So, all this free time has given me a chance to catch up on things like memes... here is the Eight Things meme that has been going around. So you can see a little into what makes my world go round...

My 8 favorite foods (not necessarily in order):
1 Mashed Potatoes
2 “Quality” Chocolate (dark is best)
3 Pop Corn (caramel or kettle corn best)
4 Tomato Basil Soup
5 Caesar salad
6 New York Steak
7 Arby’s Cherry Turnovers
8 French Onion Soup

8 Things I Did Today:
1 Slept ‘til 10:00 (hey, the sheep belong to The Shepherd, not me)
2 Took a shower
3 Checked my blog
4 Checked my email
5 Checked Miss Peach’s Blog
6 Went to town with The Shepherd, had lunch & got groceries
7 Watched NCIS marathon on TV
8 Washed the yarn for my last two Christmas hats (can anyone spell procrastinate?)

8 Favorite Stores:
1 Walgreens
2 PetCo
3 Haggen Foods
4 NW Handspun Yarns
5 Joanne Fabrics or Michaels Craft Stores
6 Village Books
7 Cresswell Boggs (a local gift store that is stupendous)
8 The Garden Spot

8 Favorite Restaurants:
1 Lorenzo’s (Mexican)
2 McDonalds
3 Café Akroteri (Greek)
4 Cliff House (local steak house)
5 The Hilltop (local family restaurant)
6 Panda Palace (Chinese, of course)
7 Hana Teriyaki
8 Applebee’s

8 Things I Look Forward To:
1 Days off from work
2 Weekends
3 Talking to my sisters on phone
4 Spring
5 Emails from friends
6 Comments on my blog
7 Black Sheep Gathering in June
8 Spinner Guild meetings

8 Things I Like To Do With Family:
1 Friday night dates with The Shepherd
2 Talk on the phone with my sisters
3 Talk on the phone with my nieces – “the Jennifers”
4 Parker’s Birthday party in September
5 Going to church with The Shepherd
6 Shopping with my sisters
7 Get togethers at holidays to visit
8 Go to “The Ranch”

8 Things on My Wish List:
1 Win Publisher’s Clearing House (no purchase necessary)
2 Retire in comfort
3 Get my left knee replaced
4 The book “Wrapped in Crochet” (actually that’s almost off the wish list since I ordered it yesterday from my book club)
5 A Maid
6 A new camera (but the old one still works great, so I can’t justify it)
7 A new car (as much as I love the Jelly Bean, it is 18 years old)
8 Win the Lottery so I could buy out the neighbors and give The Shepherd more pasture.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sorry H.B.

Well, sorry H.B., Santy Claws couldn't grant your request to take away the snow, in fact, old Mother Nature brought us 6 or 7 inches more last night. The Shepherd spent all Christmas morning shoveling out the driveway AGAIN.

The girls are a little perplexed - they have been locked up in the barn most of the past week, so what is all this white stuff all over the ground?

This little one has been supervising The Shepherd and keeping the seeds cleaned up in the greenhouse and around the hay storage.

Do, de, doot do. So, Danny, what kind of trouble shall we get into today?

Let's go check out the Deodara Cedar. It's branches are mighty tasty...

(click to biggify this picture to see the thought process going on here)

Wait, I'm just trying to shake the snow off the branches....

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Dear Santa -

Please Mr. Santa, could you make all this snow go away?

Thank you.

Your friend, H.B.

P.S. I really like those blackberry flavored treats that The Shepherd gives us sometimes - could you bring me a package? I promise I'll share.....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

funny pictures of cats with captions

Thank you to LOL Cats for this Christmas message.

Monday, December 22, 2008

How do people think these things up, anyhow?

Every once in a while you see one of these "Blogthing" quizes on somebody's blog. When you click on the link to take the test yourself, there are all kinds of other "tests" - like this one - What color of Green are you? - Now how in the heck do they come up with these things, especially when the color I came up as is actually my favorite color, and it says some pretty telling things about me...

You Are Teal Green

You are a one of a kind, original person. There's no one even close to being like you.

Expressive and creative, you have a knack for making the impossible possible.

While you are a bit offbeat, you don't scare people away with your quirks.

Your warm personality nicely counteracts any strange habits you may have.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy First day of Winter

Ok, so I'm a few hours early, but we have gotten more than our share of an early share of winter here in the Pacific NW - the temps have not been above 30 degrees for the past 10 days - mostly hovering around 20 degrees. I am not too fleet of foot anyhow, and snow adds so much excitement to walking. Plus, Crocs do not lend themselves to walking in the snow very well, and when I tried on my old snow boots - too small - so I'm stuck with the Crocs!

Nonetheless to say, I have been sticking pretty close to home, but here are some pictures that The Shepherd has taken around our place in the past couple of days.

I have the best husband in the world. He keeps the porch and steps cleaned of snow and the paths cleaned off.

H.B. & Buddy aren't too sure about all this white stuff - and what happened to our water bucket???

Sinda says - "Wake me when it's over. It's too cold to go outside and the valet is not too good about cleaning out my litter girls box!

Speaking of water buckets -see that little red spot in the middle of this seemingly black & white landscape? If you click on this picture to biggify it, you will find that it is Danny and Taylor's water bucket - they will not leave them alone, and seem to think that they are soccer balls - at one time they had two buckets and a feed bowl out in their yard.

The Shepherd didn't even have to shovel out this walkway in the front of the house - the wind did it for him.

The art forms that Mother Nature comes up with are really fun and beautiful.

There are severe weather warnings posted right now for the whole Pacific Northwest - they are expecting anywhere from 2 - 12 inches of snow between here and the southern part of the state, plus winds up to 70 miles per hour in some areas.

The Shepherd, who is also The Minster of Music (really) for our church has been on the phone with the president of the congregation and the minister - We will probably have to postpone our Christmas service that was planned for tomorrow night. We have a lot of older members, and if the "younger" members (that would be us) don't want to be out on the snow and ice in this kind of weather - we certainly don't want these older folks out on the roads. The message will be just as pertinent next Sunday.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The right place at the right time...

We've had a lot of snow in these here parts. I have some pictures from around our place, but I think The Shepherd took the camera to town with him so those will have to wait.

I have something even better - My co-worker's friend Jeff lives in a cabin on the side of Alger Mountain about 30 miles south of Bellingham - he looked out his front window yesterday and this was what he saw -

Terry asked him if he had a carrot dangling in his window - Nope, they just were standing there looking in - (we figure they were wondering how they could get in by that nice warm fire -)

Thanks, Jeff, for letting me share your beautiful pictures.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A peek at Christmas...

Here are balls of yarn that I have been spinning that are being made into crocheted hats for this Chistmas for relatives and friends.

I got most of the fiber at the Black Sheep Gathering last summer. Now that it's all spun up, I have lots of Shetland to spin.

Pictures of the actual finished objects will be shown AFTER Christmas.

I hope everyone likes their new hats.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A bounty

We met Gretchen from Gretchen's Wool Mill" the Saturday aftern Thanksgiving to pick up more of last year's fleeces that she had processed.

There were five of them - Moni is the brown one. Arlo and Gwen, straight Shetland and we had our September Shearing from Pearl and Luna that we had her mix with 20% alpaca.

That little bit of alpaca adds an incredible softness. It is like sticking your hand in a cloud!

I couldn't wait and had to spin up a little - I crocheted this little swatch.

I was reminded of the old saying - "an embarassment of riches".

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Looking Back Sunday

Taking a look back at pictures taken around the 14th of the months in 2007 -

The 14th of January found us in a snowy winter scene - the red rose hips are so cheery -

It doesn't look too much different from today - not so much snow though - we tied a record cold of 19 degrees last night (it is only 23 degrees right now) but with the wind chill (wind at 40 mph all night) it is down in the teens and single digits.

The boys are snug in their little barns - The Shepherd locked the girls in last night -more in an effort to not have the barn fill up with the icy bits of snow that were blowing around - they are not happy about it, but, oh, well - when you're a sheep, The Shepherd makes the rules.

This cheery bunch of tulips bloom in April - this bed is right by where I park my car, so I get to see their virtual bouquet every day for a couple of weeks.

Miss Sinda is missing having another kitty around, I think. She is pretty good for a 19 year old cat, but lately, she has taken to sleeping in the linen closet in the bathroom - it makes a pretty snug nest.

The middle of summer always finds all kind of greenery on our deck. The Shepherd finds interesting flowers to add, like these little mini yellow and orange trailing petunias -

We got last year's fleeces back from Gretchen's Wool Mill last week (pictures coming up) - The Shepherd wants a couple of sweater vests - I have a lot of spinning to do!

Hope you enjoyed this look back at 2007. If we don't blow away in all this cold wind, I'll be back in a couple of days.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Good Read -

My friend Tammy from Fairlight Farms in Missouri recently wrote about the dangers of visiting a used book sale. Suddenly she not only had a "To Be Read" pile, but an "Auxiliary To Be Read" pile.

Well, I won't embarrass myself and show you a picture of our library (mostly my books since The Shepherd re-did "his room" into his office and put up 4 shelves for his books), but my newest book passion is books of crochet patterns. A friend asked me why I would BUY books of patterns when there are so many free patterns on the internet - I could not explain - there's just no comparison to having the book in hand, with the colored pictures and the glossary of stitches. You know what I mean?

So two weeks ago, when I was looking on, which is, by the way one of THE MOST amazing bookstores on Earth as far as I'm concerned - (to quote their web site: "Powell's Books, in Portland, Oregon, is the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world. We carry an extensive collection of out of print rare, and technical titles...etc. etc.) - for a book that The Shepherd was wanting, I thought, hmm, why waste that shipping on just one book - I'll check the crochet books - and several books in the shopping cart later, I added this little gem - "Hooked on Murder" by Betty Hechtman - "A Crochet Mystery" - purported to be the "first" in a series.

Well, I'll be looking for the next book - this is a really fun read. Like Sue Grafton's Alphabet Mysteries and Diane Mott Davidson's Goldy Culinary Mysteries - the main character is a single lady who, like "Murder She Wrote's" Jessica Fletcher, is suddenly thrust head first into the middle of the murder of the leader of the town's crochet group "The Tarzana Hookers" - and to save her own skin, she needs to solve the case.

The characters are likeable, especially our heroine, Molly Pink. The boyfriend is appropriately hunky, and there is no gratuitous sex (hey, sometimes it works - but it's not needed to keep this book afloat)

As I said, I'm looking forward to the next in the series, and by the way, the author not only includes a free crochet pattern in the book, there is also a nifty recipe to boot.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Looking back -

The meme that I did two posts ago got me to thinking about all the wonderful (at least I think they are wonderful) and fun photographs that I've taken over the past 4 1/2 years that I've had my digital camera. So I thought I'd start a Sunday Theme of "Looking Back" - and share some of my favorites with you, and tell you the stories around them.

This picture was taken summer of 2004. We had these great neighbors - a retired couple - we would always chat "over the fence" - I'd give her flowers - she'd share something she'd made in her kitchen, and she loved to feed the humming birds. They would go through sacks and sacks of sugar every summer.

I decided that I would feed them too. You had to be very careful when you walked in our back yard that summer because you might have been walking in the "humming bird flight path" - they would zoom from our feeder to her feeder and back again. I loved watching them and as they became familiar with me, I was able to stand closer and closer to the feeder. I caught this little one in a rare moment of stillness.

Our neighbor passed away a couple of years ago -she had lung cancer, ironically she had never smoked. Her husband didn't want to stay here by himself and moved to the midwest to be with his son. I miss her. It may sound harsh, but I don't like the people who moved in when he left. And life goes on.

Have a good week.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Speaking of Miss Peach -

This award is from my friend Miss Peach. She is a truly inspirational blogger. She and her Mamma Karla blog EVERY DAY!

Blogging cats (and dogs and bunnies and hedgehogs and chickens etc, etc., too, I'm sure) are kind of like the Easter Bunny or Leprechauns - ideologically you know that the human is behind the keyboard, but you have a tendency to forget - the blogging entity has such a strong character/persona - Miss Peach is like that - (so is my friend Rascal. I'm always forgetting that it is really Leigh behind the scenes on his blog.)

Anyhow, Miss Peach (and her mamma) are truly kindhearted in spirit and deed. She has her paw on the pulse of the cat blogosphere and is so good at letting us all know if somecat is in distress. She sounds an "alarm" and the cats come running, or blogging as the case may be. Last week she became aware of a very sweet cat named Micky in Germany who had gone missing. When his people found him, he was near death from a gunshot wound, and ultimately could not be saved. (oh, don't get me started on that one) Anyhow, after Miss Peach suggested that her friends stop by Micky's blog and leave messages of comfort for the family - over 60 messages were left - letting them know they were not alone. They were totally blown away that people from all across the world had stopped during their day to leave a message of comfort for someone who they didn't even know.

This wonderful blanket of compassion comforted us last summer when we lost Neelix. I have been meaning to write a story about him, but even after four months, the pain is still somewhat raw and it is still hard to realize that he is gone - in fact last week when The Shepherd had some pumpkins stacked on the porch, I had to do a double take as one of them was so close to Neelix's color - well, you know.

We've all been there - the overwhelming sadness that comes from the loss of a family member (human or otherwise) or a friend. As Miss Peach says, sharing grief with a friend does help to dilute it. I hope Micky's family has happy memories of him in earlier times that will help them pass through these terrible days and that our messages of comfort continue to help them along. Thank you, Miss Peach, for helping us to be caring and compassionate bloggers.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Meme from Miss Peach

My friend Miss Peach has a very fun Meme on her blog today - Here is how to play:

Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures. Go to the 6th Folder and then pick the 6th Picture. Post it on your blog and tell the story that goes with the picture.

Here's my picture - from January 2008. My pictures arrange numerically (I guess) - so all the January (01/dd/yy) pictures are first, followed by the 02/dd/yy, etc.

After my dismal "scratchy scarf" failure with my older sister, my younger sister said she would really like a granny square scarf, but it COULDN'T BE SCRATCHY! - and by the way, could it include black, purple and red - so I went to the local craft store & put together these wonderful bright neon colors in a nice soft cotton yarn (this is actually one of the pictures that I took where the colors are all close to original - that dark spot in the back is the black) and crocheted and crocheted and crocheted on Granny Squares - & made a very nice colorful scarf for her.

I actually asked her last Sunday if she had worn it yet and she informed me that it had only been cold enough one day - she had worn it, but that it was a "little long". Well, I had made it judging by my height, which is 5'9" or so and NNT is only about 5'3" - so, mayyybbbeee, it might have been a little long?

She did, however, allow as how she could probably wrap it around her neck a couple of times and it would then be "not so long" it sounds like it was, after all, acceptable.

Better be - tieing off all the ends of those Granny Squares is an extreme pain in the backside - now I know why I don't make more things with Granny Squares. In fact, I really like a nice verigated yarn - the colors change - you don't have to do a darn thing, and you don't have hundreds of little ends to tie in.

Miss Peach invited all of her readers to play along and so do I. Tell us the story of your "sixth in the sixth" !!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

The girls are all safe and sound, together, (for better or worse) in the barn. Glad to be rid of those stinky boys. (H.B. says, "I am NOT a stinky boy!)

The boys (particular the wethers) on the other hand, are bereft, "Why have you taken our friends from us?" they cry. Now they have no buffer between them and those gnarly rams. Oh, well, the balance of breeding season is often precarious -

We sang this hymn last week at church - I thought you'd like to see it "illustrated".

Autumn Hymn, by W.R. Jones

When summer green is fading and winds blow brisk & free
A wealth of autumn glories, recall us God to thee.

From flaming bush and headland, the woodland’s gold array
The captured light of summer shines back thru skies grown gray

Ahead the cold and darkness, the winter snow and storm
But autumn radiance tokens thine inward fire to warm;

No matter how we tremble, amid the darkness then
When love shines in the shadow, light shall break forth again.

Thou singer in the rhythms that echo in our hearts
We glimpse thee in the beauty the changing year imparts

Let loveliness in autumn, to us assurance be
That Joy knows many seasons in hearts attuned to thee