Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

It's almost pumpkin pie time!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Some fall color for you

This colorful Japanese Maple was part of the decorations at our wedding 14 years ago

It is really putting on a show this fall,

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Thank You for a Thank You!

Miss Peach and her Mamma, Karla sent me this beautimus rainbow Thank you card for getting them Coco. That in itself would have been enough, to be sure. The package also included a very nice bookmark and this adorable bracele, hand beaded by Karla - she is so talented. Thank you, Miss Peach and her Mamma for these very lovely gifts. I will treasure them.

This weekend is our Spinner's Guild 2nd Annual Spin-In. Our guest speaker is Celia Quinn, who will be teaching us the intricacies of drop spindles. We (Marietta Shetlands) also have a vendor table, where we will (hopefully) sell some wool and the five Washington Wool dot Net tote bags that I bought for the occasion. Tomorrow I'm taking the afternoon off work to make about 100 scones to have on the coffee table, courtesy of Washington Wool dot Net, of course. Don't worry, I'll take lots of pictures.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Back to normal?

I guess that my tales of our trip to Ocean Shores got waylaid by the Jelly Bean's "boo boo"

It is hard sometimes, when traveling with The Shepherd, to get to stop anyplace besides plant nurseries (he does, though, finally understand, when I say "it's time to find a rest stop" that I'm not kidding). Our hotel was nice enough to provide us with a little "coupon book". Nothing fancy - I think that maybe someone from the Chamber of Commerce put it together on their computer and ran it off. BUT, the cool thing was, it listed all the little stores and restaurants in town - giving me a handy "to do" list -

We had a terrific lunch at a little pub called Galway Bay Irish Pub. Taking advantage of the Irish menu, I had a dish called FORFAR BRIDIE - Actually, as it says on their menu, it is a Scottish dish that was invented by a Forfar baker in the 1850’s. Chopped steak, flavored just right with sautéed onions, carrots, potatoes, garlic & herbs, then baked in a puff pastry & then covered with our famous whiskey cream sauce. It was REALLY GOOD! It was served with colcanon - Potatoes mashed up with leeks and cabbage - actually the best mashed potatoes I've ever had, I think.

Then off on our travels we went to a little store called The Flying Cats Gift Shoppe and I saw this pretty little lady. She looked so much like my friend Miss Peach that I knew I had to get one for Peachey's mamma Karla. Oh, my gosh, you can't see it very well, but she is wearing a little leopard skin coat and hat, and her fur is soft, just like I imagine Miss Peach's short fur is. I sent it off to them as soon as I got home and they loved her as much as I did. Karla and Miss Peach have named her Coco. Isn't that just a perfect name for her?

Wait until you see what Karla and Miss Peach sent me in return.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

That "FO" I mentioned

When we went to Ocean Shores last month, I had just started a star shaped baby blanket made from "baby acrylic" (kind of like baby alpaca, but fake). The pattern also called for it to be made from "bulky" yarn, but I really wanted to do this pretty pastel that I'd found (the picture doesn't do it justice, the colors were much brighter, but the "shade" is right) so even with the double crochet stitch, it was pretty slow going to get it bigger - at about 1/4 inch per row.

And I got it done, just in time for the baby to be born. - However, I forgot to take a picture of it before I sent it off to my sister. So she sent me prints - her camera is digital, but the machine that made the cd's at Walgreen's was broken, so here are pictures of her pictures - not the best, but that way you can see Anthony, our "new baby" (her grandson) too.

He is living with his other grandma - not a good situation with the parents, lets just say they are less than responsible people... but the other grandma is a nice lady and she and my sis are getting along - I also sent Anthony some sleepers and buntings from our local kids consignment store - and a pretty bar of fragrent homemade soap to the grandma - I know she's going to have some "Calgon take me away moments" before this little guy grows up.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What can I say?

It is just that sometimes life interupts blogging...Spinner guild meetings, Sheep moving, shepherds with bad backs, church, church choir, financials at work, payroll at work, spinning on Anna Dee's fleece, debates - see what I mean?

OK, so, forgive me for I have sinned, it's been five days since I blogged. There, are you happy?

Calliope, the Muse of Epic or Heroric Poetry must have visited our friend Kathy at Sheep Thrills Farm before she got to my neck of the woods, because Kathy so eloquently gives her thoughts about "Culling" - as she puts it - "the shepherd's least liked job"

We are not paying $20 a bale for hay up here (yet) but when a farmer has less than 1/2 acre - culling is necessary if you want to keep your flock moving forward. The shepherd has been working towards finer fleece - and when two of your older, foundation ewes are not breedable any more, something's (or somebody's) gotta go.

In this case, it was Regina & Anna Dee. Although they are only 4 and 6 years old, there were subtle problems - Anna Dee's udder health and Regina's broken down feet, that made it necessary to decide that they needed to be moved to a farm where there was no chance that they would get pregnant - ie. a ram breaking out of his pen - it happens - just ask all those shepherds with "surprise lambs" out there...
So, Saturday afternoon, he loaded them up in the trailer and we headed off to their new home - somewhat of a surprise to their "new" shepherd, and he had not been reachable by phone and hadn't been appraised that they were coming - but he was a good sport, and cleaned out a place in his barn. There is still more fencing that he needs to do, but they have beautiful new digs, with loads of green grass.

Our friend Nancy was also there with one of her older ewes - it was quite a "party", so to speak.

The funniest thing that happened was the reaction of the llamas & goats, who, apparently, had never seen sheep before, and acted (and sounded 0ff) like they were the spawn of the devil himself!

If you've never heard a llama on full alert, it is something to behold - someplace between a honk and a snort - they almost sound like they are laughing. They would run (RACE) away, then their curiousity would get the better of them and they would RACE back. More honking - more racing around. We laughed and laughed and laughed.

In the middle of all this, we had another Swaperoo to make. Seems that The Shepherd had made arrangements to take a couple of Nancy's sheep too, and rather than require us to go back to her place, she had loaded them up in the trailer with the sheep she was bringing to this new shepherd.

One of them is this lovely Icelandic lady - we get to name her - she will be called Lila. The shepherd says when she runs it is kind of like watching the Flying Nun - as her wool fluffs out to the sides. It is extremely soft, and I'm anxious for next February shearing time already.

But not as soft as this one - her name is Violet. Isn't she just the cutest little thing you've ever seen? She is only three months old (remember that story of the ram breaking out...)

This is what her wool looks like. We figure she will probably lose the spots, at least the first year, as they are already white underneath. It is soft, soft, soft. Watch out Black Sheep Gathering - Here is next year's blue ribbon winner!

And last, but not least - a "jelly bean" update.

Roger at Auto-B-Craft came through with a bid to fix her at a little under $900. Yay! Double Yay! He will have to fit me into his schedule - he said probably 2 or 3 weeks out - but I sure miss having that hatch back -

I'll have some time this weekend to update you on my most recent "FO" or "Finished Object" the star shaped baby blanket that I started while we were on vacation last month. (and the new baby to go with it!)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Shetland snuggles

Good News! Louie has a new home - Last weekend he went to live with his granddaddy Thorson over at our friend Karen's farm. Yay!

After John left to take Louie to his new home, I decided to stop in and visit the girls for a few minutes. Geeze Louise, Jewell, can you get any closer?

We moved Pearl and Luna in with HB when he got back (hadn't happened yet in this picture - that's Pearl with her new haircut growing out in the background here)

There was loud wailing and gnashing of teeth (mostly from HB) when we put the girls in - things weren't "romantically perfect" to put it mildly - pretty soon HB and Buddy were cowering in the corner of the pasture as Pearl and Luna took over. But as the week has worn on, it has gotten a little more "family frinedly" out there.

But there's lots more news from the pasture - today we played the big "Shetland Switcheroo" - gaining some, moving some and losing some - more in the next edition of "As the Farm Turns".

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Not a bad life - being a seagull on a sunny day.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Just what I was looking for.....

My new book passion is books with crochet patterns. I have subscribed to Interweave Press's magazine "Crochet" and I joined the Crafter's Choice book club, (they have some pretty darn good books - not just craft books - I think they are connected up with Literary Guild, so you can get most any book from them) - I even told them that after I had purchased my required "one more book" that if they didn't let me be a member without getting the "automatic send-outs", that I would quit, and by golly, they were glad to comply with my request. I get their flyers in the mail, but I don't have to worry about some wierd book showing up on my doorstep if I missed checking that card and sending it back.

Two weeks ago (has it really been TWO WEEKS?!?) when we were in Ocean Shores, The Shepherd was nice enough to squire me around to do a little shopping. We went to the Flying Cats Gift Shoppe (which was a VERY fun store), and to the Celtic Store in the Irish Pub we had lunch at (Galoway Bay Pub - TASTY, tasty, tasty food & nice ambience) and of course, now that I am a spinner/crocheter, we had to visit the LYS (that is Local Yarn Store, for those of you uniniatated) called Blue Heron Fabrics, on Point Brown Ave. (just in case you are in the area you should stop by). I had ulterior motives, because I was also wearing my new Washington Wool dot Net T-Shirt and wanted to tell them about us. Then I saw this delectible little box of crochet patterns - and there were about four or five out of the twenty that I had been specifically looking for (you'd think that a book with 100 scarves to Crochet or Knit would have just about every scarf? - Not so.) Anyhow - each pattern is on it's own sheet (about 8 1/2 x 5, heavy shiny card stock) that you could just slip into your crochet bag. I really like that chain one and my have to try it out for myself ...ha, ha, ha.... that would be after I get the 10 hats that I need to crochet for Christmas presents finished (which would come after I finish spinning all the yarn - Yikes, I need to be spinning, not blogging!) Eventually, there will be pictures of all the Finished Objects - but NOT til after Christmas!

P.S. Got a very good (and $500 cheaper, AND he has the part!) estimate in the fax machine yesterday from Roger at Auto-B-Craft on fixing the Jelly Bean's boo boo. Just have to get the official OkeyDokey from my boss and he was out of the office on Friday.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Well, this is kind of how I feel today. A coworker accidently backed into the Jelly Bean this morning (aka, my 1991 Ford Festiva that I've had since I drove it, brand new, off the lot with only 4 miles on it - which was abour 126,000 miles ago) with our BIG Dodge truck. She felt horrible, I felt worse - It smushed in the hatchback -

I talked to my boss, and took it to one close by, local auto body shop guy who said - "If we could find the parts it would cost about $1400 to fix, but oh, it's soooo old they no longer make "new parts", so we'll just total it - you could get a new car."

"And what, pray tell, would I drive then?" I asked him - "would I buy something "new" with the $1500 (maybe) that they'd give me for it's "street value"? The guy was clueless - would I be driving a 1991 Ford Festiva if I could afford a new car???

So I went back to my office, feeling very, very sad - other coworkers were very solicitous as I was practically crying - we googled "ford festiva parts" - one looked on Craigs List - and then I walked by one of the guys I work with - well this guy knows everybody - he's worked for my boss for over 35 years - and, he's a "collector" - so, I said "Dean, MP backed into my car - you have to find me a new hatchback" And Dean says, "Oh, you need to call Roger at Auto-B-Craft - he bought three Festivas a couple of years ago and used the parts to build himself an Electric Festiva. I bet he still has some parts around."

I hotfooted it back to my office and called Roger - sure enough - if he doesn't have the part (his were all 93's) he thinks he knows where he can find one. Could I bring it by this afternoon before 5?

Over the years, The Shepherd has given me a bad time about The Jelly Bean. The back seat is "kind of full of stuff" - old papers that I was reading at noon, this, that and the other thing - you know, "stuff" (like, I'd never be accused of littering type stuff) - well maybe I have a car full of "stuff", but I've always tried to keep the outside looking pretty decent. No dents, etc., which worked in my favor with Roger at Auto-B-Craft. "Not many of these around any more," he said, and kind of astonished, "yours is in pretty good dents...even on the top (we think they used one step up from tin foil for the roofs on these little cars). He took all my info and promised to fax me a bid "soon" - but before I left, he said "do you want to see my Festiva?"

Well sure - and we went thru a door in his shop and there it was - SWEET - a shiny Midnight Blue Festiva - That's not a Festiva color - I queried - No, it was a Volkswagen color that he really liked - obviously, he owns his own body shop, he can paint it any color he wants - and he's converted it to an electric car. The whole hatchback is full of batteries (must weigh a ton!) I didn't think to ask him how far he could get with it, but I think I'll get to talk to him again - (I'll take my camera)

So, hopefully "Roger of the Electric Festiva" will be my hero - I'd hate to lose the Jelly Bean - it still gets 35 mpg and costs practically nothing for maintenance. I'll keep you posted.

(Find more funny cats here )

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Westport, WA is around the south side of Gray's Harbor from Ocean Shores. It is famous for its fishing expeditions, cranberry bogs and from what we could tell by all the billboards along the highway, for the Half Moon Bay Cafe, where I had this yummy looking Seafood Louie salad for lunch. (There is some crab hiding under that chunk of salmon.) It was a very good salad.

Looking out at the harbor during our lunch, I couldn't help but take a picture - how idyllic and picturesque - if you biggify it (just click on the picture) you will see that there are about 1/2 dozen people fishing on the docks. It was a pretty nice day - just sittin' there with their poles, flip the line out, reel it back in, flip the line out, reel it back in

It's also a big surfing area along the Washington coast, although the surfers have to be careful of the groups of pelicans that swoop in and out of the waves in search of a meal. They will ride the winds, then swoop down and ride just above the surface of the water. It was fun to watch. This is a small group - sometimes there would be ten or twenty - but by the time they would come and I'd get my camera turned back on, they'd be gone - I got lots of pictures of empty sky on this one...

While The Shepherd went for a short walk around the harbor, I sat in the glorious sun and worked on the blanket that I am making for my niece. Just acryllic verigated baby yarn - it's going to be very cool looking when I get it finished, if I don't say so myself.