Saturday, June 29, 2013

Guess What? It's Caturday!

Hello Effury Body & Effurry Kitty!  It's ME, Gracie and -It's Caturday!.

I couldn't do my Caturday report last week because Mummy and The Shepherd LEFT US!

They LEFT US all alone (OK, some nice peoples came in and put food out a couple of times a day, but that's just not the same as being able to snuggle with Mummy on the big bed in the morning and making her late for work) 

And that ebil orang dude still keeps coming into the house through our kitty door!  He eats our foodies and makes it stink in here! 
Anyhow, back to Mummy & The Shepherd's trip.  They said they went to a place called Eugene, Oregon and saw lots of pretty things and lots of old friends  And if you read last week's post, you'll know that they came home with another vishus sheep to add to The Shepherd's collection.

But one thing I was impressed about was that Mummy said she wasn't going to buy any more sheeps furs for her spinny wheel while she was down there - I didn't believe her, quite frankly -

But even in the face of being tempted by pretties like these she kept her pocket book snapped shut. 

And all of this purty stuff - she really stuck to her guns and, by golly, she came home empty handed - well, really not EMPTY handed, because she did buy a couple of pretty things for the raffle basket that she needs to do for her spinner guild - but she didn't add any thing to the room that she will not let me go into - she says it's where she keeps her "stash" and I want to know why I can't see it... 

One of the reasons they went to this Eugene place was because of the sheeps furs that The Shepherd likes to play with.

Well it turns out that this lady likes to play with sheeps furs too - her name is Judith Mackenzie, and she was the judge for the big sheeps furs show.  She is apparently one of Mummy's heroes, so Mummy was glad to sit and listen to her talk all morning. 
 The Shepherd had entered two of his bags of sheeps furs in the judging - there were over 20 bags of furs in the class he was in - both of them got in the top ten but not high enough to get a ribbon.  Darn.  But if you biggify the picture (click on it) you can see all the fleeces on the second table over were all from sheeps like ours.

Judith said it was the biggest bunch of Shetland sheeps furs they'd ever had at this competition! 

Here's their friends Yvonne and Michelle working on prizes for the "Spinner's Lead" contest - it is where people can enter and model a piece of wool clothing, but they have to have spun the wool and it has to have been hand made.

Mummy said It is a fun event to watch.

Back at home, now,  (they were gone for 4 whole dark sleeps) The Shepherd is collecting plants to take out to one of his customers.  Aren't those pink ones pretty?

This weekend and on Monday & Tuesday, it is supposed to get REALLY hot here - like maybe up to 90 degrees!  Mummy is really worried about Miss Bella - she seemed kind of sicky today - didn't hurl or anything like that - just didn't seem to have any energy (and Miss Bella is one of the most energetic kittehs that I know)

Anyhow, ifn she doesn't seem better in the morning, I think I heard Mummy say something about taking her to the V.E.T.  So think & purr healing thoughts cause going to the V.E.T. costs a LOT of green papers, and we want Mummy to buy us a furminator 

Here are some of the plants that The Shepherd has put in the ground.  I think that I heard him say that these are sweet peas.  Mummy said they smell very good and she can't wait for them to bloom.  

This is right by the spot that Mummy parks her car.  The fern is really huge this year, but only one or two of the nastyurchins came back this year and generally there are lots of them in this little flower bed. 

That's it for this week.

Signing off to you from my favorite chair -

I think it looks like a throne, don't you?

XOX  Gracie

Monday, June 24, 2013

Introducing - - - Joshua Farm Elliott

Like many sheep & fiber people, we spent this past weekend in Eugene. Oregon at the 2013 Black Sheep Gathering. (more about that later this week, OK)

Occasionally when you have a flock of sheep, you have a plan.  Sometimes that plan goes awry, and sometimes something happens to get you back on your original track. 

Like color - when The Shepherd realized that our little black Ram (Max) was really not what he wanted for fiber color.

So he put his shopping hat on and we headed off to Eugene.  

We arrived Thursday evening - before the show opened and prime time to do a little browsing. 

We looked at a several other rams and ram lambs - but their fleece was either the wrong color (grey/black) or course or moorit (brown) and not really very inspiring. 

Then we spied this little guy.  How could you not fall in love with this sweet face, and look at the pretty apricot color of his wool.

And his name is Elliott - my mom's maiden name - it was a sign - don'tcha think?  .

Arrangements had already been made to bring him back home after the show, with our friends Doug & Yvonne who had some of their flock of C.V.M./ Romeldale sheep there, so The Shepherd's job complete, he was able to relax and enjoy the rest of the show.

This morning, he loaded Max up and hauled him off to the auction.  (He is a cute little guy with fairly nice black fleece, so, hopefully someone will buy him as a flock sire and not as lamb chops.)

Then he went to our friends to collect his new boy, and brought him home.


"Hey, you! - you!  Get me outta here"

"Hey Bella -what's making all that racket?"  George asked, keeping an eye on the trailer. 

"I think he brought home another one of those vishus sheeps.  I'm outta here." says Bella...

So, out of the trailer, curious as to all get out as to where the heck he was - and what is with this wet stuff falling out of the sky??? 

Elliott was born and raised in Oroville, CA - the dry northern part of California - His fleece is very soft, and a very pretty color. 

The Shepherd is proud and excited - and "counting his chickens" for next spring's lambs. 

Elliott found his interim accommodations quite acceptable - especially the hay! 

"Hey you, in there - what did you do with my friend. Max?"

Poor Frosty - He was pretty Maaaaaaaaad that he was by himself all morning - it seemed like hours and hours, I'm sure  - He has finally quieted down, and Elliott is quiet too - Maybe all is right with the world...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The best thing to do

on the first day of summer. 


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

There are cats and then there was Skeezix...

One of the blogs that I try to keep up with is called The Cat Blogosphere.  It is a great blog that keeps all the cat bloggers in touch with each other.  They celebrate birthdays, Gotcha Days, Meow Like a Pirate day, and all sorts of fun events, but they also support the humans when someone (kitteh or human)  has sickness, or goes to The Rainbow Bridge.  It is not uncommon for the group to hold an on-line auction to help someone pay veterinary bills or arrange transport from a shelter to a new forever home for kittehs.  

Several weeks ago I read on the CB website that Skeezix the Cat had surgery and they discovered that he had cancer.  Every pet parent's worst nightmare - for you know your little friend's time on this earth is soon to come to an end.  

Skeezix was one of  the first cat blogs that I read and soon found that he was one of  those "live life to the fullest" kind of cats - his "flat version" got to travel all around the world - I believe he even went to a royal wedding.  He had an uncanny sense of fashion too - what a trail blazer.  His Mum & Dad (Mr. Tasty Face and the Food Lady) were always willing to help those of us who were not quite techie enough to fix our blogger problems.

So my eyes were leaking tonight when I read that Skeezix has gone to The Rainbow Bridge and my heart aches for his "family".  When another one of our furry friends goes to The Bridge, it reminds all of us of who we have and who we have lost.   I hope there was a huge party to welcome him home.  Shine bright, new star in the heavens.      

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pretty in Pink

 It's a Princess Pink Paradise around the gardens this month. 
Heirloom peony

Silver Cloud Rose (technically lavender, but it smells pink.)

Japanese Maple


Wild Bleeding Heart

Pink Dogwood


Rosa Glauca

Oriental Poppy

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What's on my Wheel?

In my favorite colors, of course...
What's on yours? 

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Home again, home again - and a Geography Lesson

With the family reunion over, it was time to hit the road to home.  We drove East over Steven's Pass on Saturday morning to get there, and according to The Shepherd, there was quite a bit of traffic delay going over (do you hear me snoring??)  So, he wanted to take a different route home, especially to miss the traffic because of the Memorial Day Holiday and the potential  delays back in Mt. Vernon because of the bridge being out.

You may or may not know that Washington State is split vertically by the Cascade Mountain Range - west side weather is cooler and rainier - east side weather is warmer and dryer - There are four main routes over the mountains - Northern most is the North Cascade Highway, then Steven's Pass, then Snoqualamie Pass and southern most over is Whites Pass.  We decided to go over the North Cascade Highway to get home.

Driving north along the Columbia River from Beebee to Pateros
This involves going down to the Columbia River. and following part of the route that my  grandmother would have come by steamer boat when her family first arrived in North Central Washington.  The drive from "The Ranch"/Mansfield  around to Pateros is outlined on  the map in this book on the best bike rides in Washington State by Mike McQuiade .

BTW, you'll have to scroll down a couple of pages in the book to get to the map, but if you look at the elevation levels that Mike shows on the first page of that ride - the highest point in the ride (McNeil Pass or locally called McNeil Canyon summit) belongs to my family (she says proudly) 

Anyway - back to our trip home - - -you turn off to the Northwest at Pateros and follow the Methow river up to Winthrop, Washington a cute little town that has made a name for itself by going "Wild West" - in fact, that's the only time we ran into any traffic on our way home - about a 20 minute back-up of traffic trying to get through this touristy town. 

Once you get through Winthrop, you are headed over the North Cascade Highway - also called Highway 20, or North Cross-state - 

A road of many names, it is a beautiful trip this time of the year.  The pass is closed during the winter months - it is just too expensive and too dangerous to keep it open 

And even at the end of May, there was quite a bit of snow by the side of the roads

 You are actually going over 3 or 4 "passes" or summits over this route. 

Much of the scenery is just breathtaking over the fifty or so miles of the pass.  . 

Extreme avalanche danger is one reason the road is closed over the winter.  

The mileage from Bellingham to Mansfield is roughly the same (235 miles) going over either pass - but North Cascades is a little harder drive - steeper & curvier plus the 40 miles of rural roads from Pateros to Winthrop - just takes a little longer.

The azure blue jewel of Ross Lake on the west end of the pass greets us - "you're almost home" it whispers.

It was good to be home.  As much as I used to travel, I'm really a home-body any more.

And, the looks of recrimination from the kittehs lasted only as long as it took to put out the food dishes - I figure it's a good trial for being gone a few more days at the end of the month when we go to Eugene.

Friday, June 07, 2013

My cousin's quilts!

You find surprising things at a family reunion.

Like incredibly talented people. 

We had not had much contact with the folks from this "branch" of the family tree for many years - but when we started emailing back & forth before the reunion, I had asked Brooke if she or her sisters were still spinning - as I knew they had before her dad had passed away.

"No, we're into quilting now"  she said.

"Well, I'll bring some of my yarn to show you - do you have any pictures of your quilts that you  could bring?"  I asked.   

They did me one better. 

They brought quilts to show

Really beautiful, original quilts.  

Old fashioned quilts

Teaching quilts from classes they have given. 

And adorable designs.  

This one, and the kitty quilt at the top of this post?  My favorites - way too cute.  

This was a quilt that one of them had made to donate to a fund raiser auction.  A family member liked it so much, they bought it back.  

I love the stylish horses and the colors. They had lots more that they showed us.  I wish I had taken more pictures! 

Pretty cool, huh? 

We won't loose track of these gals this time.