Saturday, July 24, 2010

The colors of July

It's that time again! Sue at Life Looms Large has put out the call for us to contribute the Colors of July from our part of the world.

It is such a fun exercise because people from literally all over the world join in.

There is nothing that says "July" to me like a Margarete Daisy.

One of the bloggers who generally takes part in "The Color of..." is from Australia -

As we sit here and swelter in our 80's and 90 degree weather, it is winter time down under. How soon we forget!

The purple pole beans on the back side of the house are blooming to beat the band.

Soon we'll have big bowls of yummy beans for dinner!

Can you guess what this plant is?

This is my lovely view of Mt. Baker on my way to work in the mornings. It's over 60 miles away, but looks like it's just "right there".

We have just had quintessential summer days the past two weeks. Bright blue & sunny skies and not too very hot in the afternoons.

The barn swallows are peeeeeppppping at their mamma & daddy for their dinner.

A walk through the garden yields all sorts of beauty.

Our nasturtiums self seed every year -

The blossoms and the leaves are variegated - and they seem to be more resistant to the black aphid that often hangs out on this type of plant.

These little yellow tiger lilies peek out from under the Japanese white birches.

I took a few stems of this beautiful, fragrant "Orienpet" lily to work last week. It made the whole office smell lovely. I think this one is called Caravan.

And their are tassels on the ears of corn - you know what that means - Yum for the colors of August!

The Shepherd has corn, sunflowers, three different types of beans, beets, parsnips (ugh), asparagus, broccoli, purple cauliflower. rhubarb and...

and, pumpkins, of course.

Now, go check out Sue's blog for more colors of July!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Roses

These little sweeties are right by the gate where you drive in our drive way - they bid me good morning each day.

There is no rose more "rosey" than Rosa Rugosa -

Unless it is the beautiful lavender "Sterling Silver"

This little rose starts out bright pink and fades to peach colored.

I've spent a couple of days trying to remember the words to the song "Summer Roses" - you know the one that Marie Osmund used to sing? - Then I remembered the song was called "Paper Roses" - not the same things at all - joke's on me - ha ha...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A busy Saturday

This past Saturday we went to Monroe to participate in our friend Gretchen's Fiber Frolic. We had hoped to sell some nice Shetland fleece or roving, but alas, everyone was keeping a tight reign on their purse strings. We did make a lot of contacts and got a lot of "hands on" the fiber - so maybe next time...

When it was over at 4:00 we had to scurry home to get ready to go to our friends Lydia & Kurt's for a Concert at Meadow House -

This special concert, a coming together of three very talented women, was one of the nicest events that I've attended in a long time -

Lydia McCauley is an artist that The Shepherd and I have followed for the past 18 years - To our delight, over the years, we have gotten to know Lydia and her wonderful partner and husband Kurt, and try to not miss any of her concerts.

This evening Lydia joined with Nancy Rumbel and Jami Sieber (both internationally known artists who are from the Seattle area) for a very special concert called "River"

Jami Sieber plays electric & acoustic cello. Amazingly -

We first met her a year ago when she opened for Lydia's last concert. She is an amazing musician and vocalist - It is hard sometimes to distinguish the difference between her voice and the voice of her cello - they are that close.

One of her life's projects is protection of the endangered Asian elephants, which she came to know about after a trip to Thailand in 2001 - You can read more about her work with these beautiful creatures here.

Nancy Rumbel has performed with The Paul Winter Consort and for over 25 years with Eric Tingstad as Tingstad & Rumbel.

To quote the bio on her website: "NANCY RUMBEL is a professional composer, recording artist,performer and teacher. Her primary instruments are oboe, English horn, double wooden ocarinas, clay ocarinas and keyboards."

She even has a CD out of her ocarina music - fancy that!

And speaking of CDs - Look what I won -

My very own copy of Jami's CD "Hidden Sky".

What a great evening it was.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Finding her place in the sun...

These pictures of Sinda were taken a few weeks ago when sunny days were few and far between - so she decided to make the best of it.

Oh that sun feels so good on the tummy.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A visit with the "lamb flock"

Since Wicket and Krissie were pitching such a fit about their mom's being gone, I decided last Saturday, that I would go out and spend a little bit of time in the pasture with them.

They have been in the front pasture since birth, they often come up to the fence when I am leaving in the mornings, so I always give them scritches and pets - they pretty much know who I am - so I figured they would come up to me to visit.

The Shepherd got out my camp chair (sorry, there is no way I could get up and down off the ground - it just doesn't happen any more) and as you can see, I spent a fair amount of time keeping Wicket from "tasting" it - the foam pads on the arms, the nice padded seat, my shoes, my sweat pants - He was a bundle of fun (ie, energy) - especially when he decided that he wanted to do some "lap dancing" - I still have a huge bruise on my arm from that little escapade... sorry fella - you're just tooo big to do that anymore.

I got a kick out of his ears - he has these perfectly matched "moth" spots on his ears.

He was wethered early and you can see from the first picture that his horns, had they been left to grow as a ram would have been a disaster! We still may have to trim them - but they are growing pretty slowly now. We'll see - that is one horrid job.

His fleece is very pretty though - The Shepherd has already decided that he is going to have the whole thing blended together - no way to keep the white and the black separate -

It hangs down in these nice ringlets -

I generally try not to get too attached to the sheep - I see them as pets - The Shepherd sees them as farm animals (and it is his flock) - so several times, I have gotten really close to one of the sheep and for one reason or the other, that sheep doesn't fit in/isn't producing the kind of wool he wants/who know's why - and that sheep is "down the road" - the first time that happened, I really cried - so I decided that it was better not to get too friendly with them after that.

Nice crimp, huh?

I took more pictures of Krissie - but for some reason, I must have had the exposure set wrong because almost all of the pictures that I took of her were "bright" and over exposed.

I'm not much into genetics but I think that she will stay black - her wool will make some hand- spinner very happy!

One of the other reasons that I chose last Saturday to make this little visit to the pasture was that The Shepherd had also weaned Robin and Ruby from their moms that morning

This is Robin - her wool (under her lamb color) is the same color as her light ruff around her neck.

And I have decided that the word is not B-A-A-A, it's M-A-A-A - as in Mamma - where are you -

Poor Robin - Luna took one look at the new pasture that The Shepherd offered to them and never looked back -

M-A-A-A, Where Are You?

Ruby was being a little quieter than her half sister - I just love this picture - you can really see the blaze on her face - Ruby's mom is Pearl -

Pearl of the LONG fleece - it will be interesting to see how this little gal's fleece turns out - it will also be musket.

Oh, and Donna & Vanessa - they thought about coming over to see me, but not quite yet. They were still in the "quarantine pasture" - but he put them all together on Sunday - and although there was a bit of a skirmish to begin with - all is quiet (relatively) now.

P.S I know you are wondering why Robin & Ruby have those "bare patches" on their necks...

Ever heard of the old saying "The Grass is Greener on the other side of the fence"?

These guys subscribe to that notion - not only have they go the bare patches on their necks - they are really starting to push the fence out. Silly sheep...

I hope you enjoyed my little visit with our lambs.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New girls in town -

Since both Jewell and Moni had "birthing" problems, The Shepherd decided that they needed to go to a new home/spinner flock where there would be no chance of them getting bred - Since we had gotten both of them from our friend Donna - she graciously offered to take them back in exchange for two of her lambs from this year. Both of these girls have such beautiful fleeces, I am glad that they are going back to their original home to live out their lives.

In exchange, we got two new lambs - Tinkerbell and Pixie Dust - however, The Shepherd decided that he wanted to re-name them - so we now have DonnasSheep - "Donna" (so named because her wool is almost the same color as Donna's beautiful red hair)

And DonnasSheep Vanessa

We loaded them into dog crates and since it was cool, we all went to a local restaurant for the yummiest brunch.

So, after several years, The Shepherd has his little red sheep back. I think they will both hold their color too - as they haven't done the "lamb color change" yet - here are Wicket & Krissie checking out the new girls in town.

They both have just the sweetest faces and are different enough that even I'll be able to tell them apart.

They had only been weaned for a day or two when we moved them, but they were very good and quite quiet, in contrast to Wicket & Krissie (whose moms went back to Donna's) - they are STILL complaining.

Poor little things.