Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Its almost New Years, less than four hours to go until 2014.  I for one, am glad.  Usually I get very sentimental and thoughtful when I think about the year gone by, but not this year.  It has been a very good year in some regard, but in others I am saddened by so many angry, hurtful and non-believing people.  This life is hard at times and if you don't have faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you have nothing.  Only faith in yourself and that's a pretty poor comparison.

We've got just about everything we need in this world, He has blessed us so richly.  We are not fancy and we drive older cars with lots of miles on them, but they run well, are pretty good on gas and when we need to we have a wonderful mechanic that is able to fix them without charging an arm and a leg.

Our house is comfortable, our fire is warm, our fields are fenced and our animals are all loveable and fat!  Just like us.  Loveable and fat.  One more little cupcake after dinner tonight and I won't be fitting into my sweat pants any more.

My one resolution for this coming year is to weave more.  I always feel guilty weaving.  I guess because I enjoy it so much.  And the rest of my 'work' is left undone and I don't even care any more.  So weaving it is.  I'm hopeful I can have a few more pictures to post.

Our little puppy is so adorable.  She just found her voice tonight.  So far she hasn't barked at all.  Now all of a sudden she is a big girl like the other dogs (except one of them is a boy!).  She's still tiny compared to them but I know one day she will hold her own in a game of chase or ball or whatever they decide is fun for the moment.

So I say to all of you, Happy New Year friends and family.  May this next year be a blessing to you and your faith in Him becomes stronger.  God bless you all and Welcome 2014.

And guess what?  Its only 359 days until Christmas.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas has again come and gone.  We had a wonderful, quiet Christmas and celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I waited until the day before to do my Christmas shopping.  Things just got away from me this year.  We had a Christmas before my niece left on her trip so spend a lot of time getting ready for that.  I gave her the red scarf I made, which she loved.  It really looked pretty on her.

And ... we have a new addition to our household.  A four-month old American Shepherd puppy that she has named Jet.  This is the most gentle and quiet little pup I've seen in a long time.  She will be able to train for the agility trials they are so famous for.  Much like the Aussie shepherds but she is black and white, and looks more like a border collie without the wide head.  So cute!  Here's a picture of her, jingle bells and all on her feet and neck.  Not sure she likes it as much as we do.

We've had some beautiful sunsets in the past, but this one tonight was just awesome.  Merry Christmas everyone, may the Lord bless you and keep you in the coming year.  God bless you.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I just heard the most beautiful song.  Here is is for you.  Merry Christmas everyone.  May God bless you and may this video be a blessing for us all.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

I finally finished the alpaca yarn for my sister's friend.  It turned out so soft and has a nice hand to it.  It was put in the mail and shipped to her last week or so.  According to her, it did match the original yarn (thank goodness!) so now she can finish her sweater.

She promised to send me a picture of it when its finished.  I bet it will be just beautiful!

No description needed of this picture.  Notice the minus sign in front of the outside temp of -3°.  Boy that hurts.  The wind blew for several days very hard, 25-35 mph and with the temps below 0.  You sure didn't want to spend much time outside.  Even our goats and chickens declined to step foot out of their pens.

It was so cold and windy one night we put on our head lamps, big coats and boots and hiked up to the goat pen to close them in for the night.  Usually their door is open and they can come and go as they please.

We did hang a curtain of large, heavy plastic strips to shield them from the rain and snow when they are inside.  I know you have seen those things in grocery stores and loading areas, where the strips keep the outside cold from the interior of the store.

Farmers and stock men use them to keep their hay dry or keep the animals free from drafts.  They work great!

Bella loves sleeping in the house.  Actually she loves sleeping on MY bed.  Day or night, that's where you can find her if I'm not careful.  I have to sleep with my window open and the ceiling fan going all night because she gets too hot and starts to pant.  When she does that I wake up, she pants so hard.  

But she's a sweetie and I guess she's guarding me.  Every step I take she is right there.  If I go out the door, she's in front of me every step of the way.  Nice, but hard walkin'.

Christmas is only ten days away now and I'm just starting my shopping.  For some reason it just got away from me this year.  I cannot understand how we could have one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

I probably won't be posting until next year (lol) so everyone have a wonderful and Merry Christmas remembering the real reason for the event of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He's coming back very soon now and we will be joined with Him forever.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

 I'm nearly finished blending and spinning more yarn for a friend.  Here are three beautiful, natural colors of alpaca from our herd.  The white is from Diego, the black is from our little Oso and the brown is from a sweet boy named Coop.

After sending the raw fiber to the mill for washing and cleaning, they do another service for me and make it into roving.  Roving is so easy to use for just about anything.  You can see from the brown roving it comes in a long thin strip rolled into the rolls like the white and black are still in.

After deciding on the colors, the roving is placed in the carder.  It goes under the small cylinder on the left and as the handle goes around to make the large cylinder turn, is fed in between the two cylinders.  It stays on the large cylinder due to tiny little 1/4" teeth and can be in any order of colors of you choosing.

Even though these colors seem very different, the carder makes them seamlessly blended into a pleasing  tweed, heather or however you want your yarn to look.  What I am making is called a 'batt'.

Here is the alpaca batt being taken off the carder by pulling it in the opposite direction it went on.  The batt will then be divided by pulling into long strips with lots of variation, spun into singles and in this case spun a second time or plyed together for a stronger 2-ply yarn.  I will post a picture of the finished yarn later when I have it all completed.

It just seems magical (to me) how beautiful it turns out.  I personally love a textured yarn, one that can be woven with the interest in the yarn itself rather than a patterned weave.  The white scarf I showed a couple months ago was a plain weave but the yarn was so interesting it won First Place at our north Idaho Fair. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Here's our little boy Egypt, with GE standing behind him.  They were out in the herb garden eating weeds.  We named him Egypt because he has such an exotic looking face.  He has the most awesome nearly white cashmere fiber.  I can't wait to comb him this spring and harvest some of it.  You can only get about four ounces of fiber from each little goat, no wonder it is so expensive.

They have had the run of the property for several weeks now.  They are loving it and so are we.  They have successfully weeded nearly two acres!  Next summer when they are bigger we will be taking them over to the pasture to do some weeding over there.

Yesterday the wind starting blowing -- hard!  We lit a fire in the wood stove, made our dinner early, got enough water ready for emergency use and were all ready when our power went out about 7pm.  Boy, it is dark!  My daughter got out our Crank-A-Watt hand cranked generator and we had one light plus the ability to charge our cell phones, iPads or whatever else we might want.  Mostly we sat and talked or read.  It so nice, quiet and peaceful.  The house was warm, all the cats and dogs were inside, and chickens were in their new coop and the little goats had been fed and were in their shed for the night.

It was sure cold outside though.  The wind blew so hard it blew the roof off the old chicken coop out in the garden where we had had the chickens all summer.  We had just moved the chickens to the larger coop a couple days ago.  Just in time!

We still have a little work left outside to do, but on a much warmer and less-windy day than today.  So glad we got most of it done last weekend.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

 I love Idaho.  Every morning and afternoon when we take my niece to or from school we pass by this beautiful herd of bison grazing on the left-over grasses from this summer.  They are raised by a large ranch at the bottom of this hill, just on the other side of where they're grazing.

They are so beautiful and majestic looking. Sometimes they are much closer to the unseen fence and we get a closer look at them.  Since this is on Hwy 41 its hard to stop and take a picture, but this is a pretty good one.

We not only see bison (or buffalo) but deer just walking along in the woods next to the hwy, and twice already this fall we've seen bull moose.  The last time he was a large moose, he ran out of the woods to my right and slowly walked to the middle of the hwy.  There he stood for several minutes, looking majestic and very uninterested in moving.  I stopped (of course!) a ways back as did the car coming the other way.  These are so large you can actually see underneath them up the hill.  After a few minutes, he slowly walked to the other side and disappeared into the woods.  Wow.  Beautiful!

Idaho has the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises.  This was taken last week in the late afternoon but through our car window unfortunately.  By the time we are in the midst of winter, we will be dark by 3:45 pm, and it doesn't get daylight until after 7 am.

With all that darkness, our chickens usually stop laying, nothing grows that needs to be tended and our temps stay between 0° and 30°.  But we love it.  A nice warm wood stove fire, homemade soup and bread ... what could be more comfy and homey.

Like I always say, C'mon up for a visit.  Any season is beautiful and unique.  Spring can be a little cold, wet and long, but fresh with rain and smells sooooo good, green from melting snow and in general a very pleasurable experience.

The picture at the top of the blog shows my kitty River in her full grown coat.  She was so miserable no matter how much I brushed her.  Last week we took her to our wonderful vet in Newport WA and had her coat shaved.  They always leave her lower legs, face and tip of her tail in the long fur.  So far she hasn't complained about being cold, but this picture shows her laying on my bed in the sun where she remains for hours and hours.

Usually I feel sorry for her and will cover her with the purple 'woobie' as we call the furry throws we all love.

She does go outside if the afternoon temps are fairly decent.  She stays very close to home, sometimes not even leaving the front porch or the back field if I'm out there working.

The last couple weeks we have been letting our goats out to roam the house property.  They are the most dedicated weed eaters.  They do eat some of my plants but so far haven't done any damage except to our newly stacked wood in the carport.  They love jumping on top and running back and forth on it.

If that's all they do I will be very happy.  About 2pm they decide its time to go home and will stand at the back door and cry.  Then I go out, get their feed bowls and they follow me back up to their little pen.  They eat, get ginger snap or unfrosted animal cookies and are ready for bed.

What a life!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Here we are in the middle of September already.  We've been busy the last couple weeks trying to get things ready for winter.  We got all the hay in last month or so, daughter cleaned up the carport and has been putting summer type things in the sheds for dry safe keeping.  We will not be using them until next summer.

Now that she has most everything put away we will begin bringing in our wood supply.  We've got two cord out in the field next to our house that's been there since early this spring.  It was already dried but this summer was so warm it will be dry and perfect for winter burning.  With our wonderful forced air furnace the house is usually warm enough, unless we have a power outage, or it is windy.  Then that wood stove sure feels good.  Its mostly just a safety measure these days but every once in a while its nice to feel that wood heat on my backside.

Its been so hot the chickens actually stopped laying for a few weeks.  Since the weather has cooled from the 90's down to the 60's and 70's they have started back up again.  Good thing for them!  I was about to start eating them.  We've been oiling their eggs for storage.  The claim is they are storeable for around a year or more.  We shall see.  Haven't tried one yet and its been only around two months.  But since they are 'fresh' eggs (not store bought) and still have the bloom on them they should be pretty good.

I've just started blending some more fiber for my sister's friend.  She gave her friend some alpaca yarn quite a while ago.  But the friend ran out so I'm trying my best to blend and spin this to match the old yarn.  Sure hope it comes out right.  I found a picture of the old blended fiber but not the yarn itself.  Darn.

My fiber area is always pretty messy, but I love it.  There's always something fun and interesting to do or going on.  And I know just where everything is.

Here's Bella trying to help me.  She (and all the animals) love the smell of the fiber.  Its all been washed and cleaned so I don't know what there is that's so interesting.

The baby blanket I had been weaving for my niece was a hit with her.  Here's a picture of it that I didn't want to post until after her baby shower.  It was fun and went fairly fast.  Now I'm ready to start another project as soon as I get this yarn spun up.

Almost forgot, I have been making goat cheese.  Just finished the third batch this week.  The first two were a firmer cheese by letting it hang longer.  This one only hung around four hours and is the consistency of cream cheese, just a tiny bit firmer.  We eat it with crackers, on toast ... any way we can get it.  It is really delicious!

The first one hung for 24 hours, the second one about 20 hours, both by mistake.  I just looked at the clock wrong the first time and forgot about it the second time.  But they all turned out very tasty.

I don't use rennet or any additives except spices.  I did learn not to salt it until I poured off the whey though.  First two times all the salt went out with the whey and the cheese still needed more salt.  The whey is very nutritious, the dogs and chickens love it.  We haven't tried it with the kitties or goats yet.  I have a friend who uses it in baking but I'm going to have to find a good recipe.  It actually tastes pretty good just by itself, surprisingly.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

May G-d bless Israel.  This was too beautiful not to share.


This is the IDF Chief Cantor and IDF soldiers singing the prayer "Unetanneh Tokef".  I don't know exactly what that means in Hebrew but since this is the Yom Kippur weekend I know it is about that.  Enjoy whether you are Jewish or not.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

We found a new friend!  This little frog was hiding in an old tarp we were going to use to cover up the hay in the truck until we could unload the hay.  We have several of these frog or toads around on the farm.  We used to have one that was about as big as your hand, but haven't seen him in quite a while.

Dexter did find one one night while we were parking the car.  He was carrying it around in his mouth.  Ugh!  I'd think they wouldn't taste very good.  He dropped it but I think it may have been hurt, Dexter isn't very careful sometimes.

But we have several little ones up at the pool.  Sometimes in the pool.  Maybe its a 'she'?

This week we made some goat cookies for our new babies.  They are still awfully shy and don't want us to touch them yet.  That will have
to change soon if we are going to be able to comb out the cashmere when they start to shed their fiber in the spring.  They have to be able to stand and let us comb them, sometimes for quite a while. 

The other cashmeres we had were too friendly and would overwhelm me when I went into their pen.  They were very jealous and wanted to be the only one who got any attention.  These guys don't seem quite so needy but they are starting to eat out of our hands, that is if we have the right treats for them.

Animal crackers seem to be the favorite, so far.

Remember that picture I took of them in the pen right after we got them?  All green and tall, lush grass?  Well, check out the pen now.  It sure doesn't take them long to learn to like that grass.

They have eaten this down practically to the dirt in some places.  Fortunately, we are supposed to be getting around 4-5 days of rain this week.  I hope it greens up a little, at least.

These guys are so funny, they love chasing each other around in the pen, jumping up on or over the upside down wash tub I sit on when I'm out there.

And the picture at the very top of the blog was Smoky getting too nosy about my camera when I was feeding him this morning.  Ha!

Monday, August 26, 2013

The picture at the top is our kitty River.  She's crazy.

And what happened to all that green grass?!  Smoky says he has no idea.  He and his two pals have eaten everything green in the pen.  So now as the summer rolls on everything left is brown or dirt.  Such good weed eaters.  If they were just a little bigger I would put them over in the pasture.

But we can't do that yet.  GE is so little and his head and horns are so tiny he continues to stick his head through the wire field fence and get stuck.  He has just about figured out how to get himself loose, but not every time.  So we keep him close where we can hear him when he cries for help.

Otherwise these guys are soooo quiet.  Very unlike the pygoras who cried for us all the time.

We got up at 5am this morning so we could go get hay by 7am.  I always need time for coffee and computer fixes before I go anywhere.

Somehow he got 17 bales on our little short bed Chev Silverado.  Daughter went to pick them up.  We had quite a storm with heavy rain, thunder and lightening last night so until we can get them all unloaded we parked the truck in the carport next to the house.

We will be unloading them into our 'shed'.  It is on blocks so just about the same height as the tailgate and all we have to do is slide them over rather than bucking into the other little metal shed.  We will be putting a few in there but for the most part they will be put in the big shed and the rest into our barn out in the pasture.

That way they will be dry and safe all winter.  Just a few more steps to get them.  Oh well, at least we have them now.  And one or two (?) more trips to get the other half of the 40 I'm thinking will get us through winter.

Friday, August 23, 2013

I couldn't wait!  I just had to post this.  We went to the Fair today and it seems I have won not only a Blue Ribbon but a Special Premium Award.  I entered my white scarf I wove this year thinking I had really blown it on the fringe.  I guess not.

Anyway, I'm very thankful I can still weave.  And there were some really beautiful pieces there.  Lots of gorgeous quilts, yarns, clothing ... just about anything hand made.

My niece and I went and looked at about everything they had.  We saw the draft horses (my my, are they HUGE), goats, bunnies, alpacas, sheep, and food.  :-)

If it wasn't so expensive I would probably go every day, there is so much to see.

Our little goats are getting just a tiny bit more friendly.  The little guy, GE continues to get his head stuck between the wires in the field fencing.  He was so stuck the other day my daughter had to go into the pen, lift him up and turn him so she could free his little horns out the hole.  Easy to get into, but not so easy to get out.

Of course he was screaming and jumping around the entire time.  But she held on after she got him loose and sat down on a wash tub they like to stand on, holding him all the time like you would a baby or child.  I brought out some ginger snaps (they Love those) and he quieted right down.  Nibbled them all and figured out it wasn't that bad after all.

And we got a collar on him finally!  The other two will make a mistake and we will get them one of these days.  Smoky is the friendliest, he will come and take food out of my hand but I haven't tried catching him yet.  They are all much faster than I am.  Egypt continues to be very standoffish.  He is so beautiful!  And they don't yell at us all the time like the pygoras used to.  Ahhh, peace!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

We're home!  These little guys are so adorable.  Very sweet but not too friendly yet.  The first day home was spent by them tearing around their pen running face-first into the fencing.  They were so afraid ... of everything.

We left them alone after getting the pen ready and being unable to not spend at least a little time with them.  They finally figured out they love the sweet grass and weeds, found their water and feed but stayed in the corner all night.

I left our Great Pyrenees, Bella, out in the yard so she'd be near them.  We have lots of coyotes roaming the woods around the house.  Her fur was very damp when she came in the house the next morning which tells me she laid out in the yard near them.

Then last night she was out with them again but barked All night long.  When I got up and looked out the window this morning, I saw two in the pen and one hiding behind the shed.  I believe Bella barked all night to keep predators away from the little guy who got out just in case any were around.

Here's a picture of me watching the babies, I can't stay away from them!  I am in the pen and outside the pen, pulling branches off our little maple tree that gives them shade so they will come over to see me.  I have missed our goats and alpaca so much these last couple years.  I feel like a mom again now.

Since they are cashmeres, we will begin combing them so they get used to it before they get too large.  Their cashmere is already Gorgeous.  The black one, Smoky, will have dark gray fiber.  The littlest one will probably have a light gray fiber and the beautiful beige one will most likely have beige fiber, but very light.

I was going to get all white ones, but when I saw these I couldn't resist.  Their colored fibers will be blended with the white alpaca I have and should make exquisite yarns.

While we were outside this morning, I took this picture of one of the many many chem trails they are spraying all over north Idaho and WA state.  No one will answer what they are for.  Do they know?  Will it hurt us, or our food growing, our animals, the grass they eat?  C'mon.  This is very suspicious, at least to more than a few of us up here.

I think someone should at least address this.  We can't even get our weather people up here to say.  These are not simply airplane exhaust up high in the cold air that we've seen for so many years.  Those actually disappear after a very short distance.  These trails go forever.

You can see in this picture the little puffs of whatever they are spraying.  It sure makes me nervous.  Well, have a good day!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

We had the most incredible rain storm with lightening and a little thunder last night.  Watching our weather news this morning it was said the weather service had tracked 10,335 lightening strikes from 10pm until 2am this morning!  I wish I had thought to take a couple pictures.  It really looked like a war outside.

Our weather had been so incredibly hot (for us) and with the storm very muggy.  The humidity this morning around 7am was still at 71%.  We are usually really dry here.

I couldn't stand it another summer without some animals, so have decided to get three (I think) cashmere wethers.  These little guys are only 2-3 months old so we can train them to come and get their feed, sleep in the little goat shed and all the other things we want them to do.  My first two were females, Hope and Faith.  When I hurt my back I had to sell them to a wonderful new owner, also a spinner, and she has successfully bred them every year.  They are certainly fortunate to have Janice on her beautiful farm.  A lot nicer than when they were here. 

I will try to do things differently this time.  I have always fed our animals way too much.  With those little pygora rascals, it was so obvious!  They were wethers but looked pregnant!  This time I won't over indulge them.  Or spoil them.  Ha!

So here are the three pretty boys I'm thinking of getting.  They are cashmere so won't need shearing.  We usually trim their hoofs ourselves, sometimes need the farm vet to come out to give them vaccinations or check if they seem ill.  Pumpkin (in the can) is something we've used in the past for worm prevention, but our vet thinks its funny.  The goats seem to like it however.

I will be posting more if we bring these little guys home on Tuesday.  :->

On a another note, I love my Kindle Fire.  The other night I picked it up to use and it looked like this.  I thought one of us at home here had dropped it.  After my daughter checked it out with some friends we discovered the battery had exploded.  I'd never heard of that.  But its ok now, they are providing a new one to me.  Yipee.

Monday, August 5, 2013

 We've been digging potatoes for the last couple days.  The chickens had started to scratch around in the garden and had uncovered more than a few.  We finally decided to see just what we had out there.

We'd planted red, white, and had some volunteer purple ones from last summer.  They are all so beautiful!  Some of them have been eaten by a mole or vole.  They have tiny little bite marks in them and are nearly hollowed out with the skin still intact.

But these were perfect.  We have  about three large baskets so far.  We've had them for dinner last night and tonight in two different ways.  Oh my, are they ever good.

We also have onions, radishes and did have beets but something has eaten them.  First the tops went to the chickens along with the kale, then the beets completely disappeared.  No telling what happened to them.  Oh well, always next summer I guess.

Here's a picture of a bunch of potatoes my daughter just picked.  My niece was delighted to get the biggest one of the day!

Oh, almost forgot.  We have eggs!  I've never seen such small eggs though.  They are shorter than my thumb and could almost slip through my thumb and index finger.  So far this week we've gotten about 8.  I dropped one on the kitchen floor.  That one went to the dog.  He LIKED it.  :-)

Also our pasture was mowed by our neighbor!!!  He came by the day I was trying to do it with my riding lawnmower.  Told me it would ruin my mower and he'd be back the next day with his brush hog.  He was and that thing is fast.   He finished it in no time.  Maybe I might just have to get one next summer if I have any money.

I've nearly finished the baby gift I'm making for my niece's baby.  Her baby shower isn't until Sept so I won't be showing it before then.  I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with it but its nice and soft so that part is ok.

My niece is going to camp Sunday.  She will be leaving in the afternoon heading up to an old Forest Service Work Camp in the mountains.  They will have swimming, horseback riding, campfires, cookouts, Bible studies.  Just lots of fun stuff.  This will be her first time at camp and she is very excited.  I remember going to camp as a child.  What a great memory!

And she loves s'mores.  We made them a couple years ago, she never had had them previously.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

 This week we've had the pleasure of picking cherries from our little cherry tree in the orchard!   It has really grown since we moved here and this is the first crop we have had.  Well, last year we had about five cherries and they all got eaten while we were standing there admiring the little tree.   This year we have a bumper crop.  We still have more beauties at the very top but the tree has grown too high, even for our 20' ladder and its not very big around so not too steady when leaning the ladder.  Here's a picture of my daughter near the top and some (yes,some) of the cherries we picked.
Our little chickens are finally getting close to full-size.  They are still a little skittish but will come when we take their feed out to the garden.  I'm still mad at myself for putting them in the garden.  They have eaten the tops off everything we planted (kale, radish, beets.)  The only thing they haven't bothered is two huge sunflowers that grew as volunteers, and the potato plants.   We planted purple potatoes last year and have several of those coming up.  This year we planted red potatoes (my favorite) and have lots of those growing.  Potatoes are so easy.  Thanks to the chicks, they scratched up the rows where we planted so our veggies are spread everywhere.  But no bugs. 

Our blue berries are coming on strong now.  I actually picked two ripe ones this week that were very sweet.  The rest are getting big but are still the pale light blue color.  The apples and pears are still fairly little, their harvest season is in the fall.  Right now they're getting bigger and sweeter. 

Can't wait!

Monday, July 1, 2013

On our way to 100 °

I'm so happy our beautiful blue flowers are once again in full bloom.  Since we've had so much rain this spring they are really in abundance.

I'm still not sure what they are called.  Anyone have an idea? 

They have rather tall stalks with the clusters of purple trumpet flowers at the top.  I found one yesterday that had clusters all the way up a very tall stalk.  They seem to grow wild around here and I've only seen them one other place near us. 

We have a little place not far from us out on the hwy that has plants and veggies.  They set up a small stand with information, some plants and a money tube.  There's lots of plants out in the driveway on benches that they've started.  Boxes to put them in.  Prices are on signs so you know what you owe.  Then you just put your $ in the cash tube slot.  Its all on the honor system.  I love it.  You just don't see that much any more.  Anyway, she had some of these plants in little pots for sale but I never got to ask if they knew the name of them.
 Bella in her favorite cool spot, under our stairs with her food bowl where she can see it.  Dexter on the other hand, is sitting where he knows she can see him and get excited with him close to her dish.  They play a game every day.  She lays down, he sits on the stairs and torments her until she barks and growls and chases him away.

Even Emmy the chihuahua gets in on the act, running back and forth, hiding under the wood stove that's sitting nearby until she is noticed, then barking loudly at both dogs and Runnnnnnning as fast as her little legs will carry her.  Usually into her mom's arms for safety.

Funny thing, if no dogs or cats are around and Bella wants to play the game, she will find one of them and bark a few times, run back under the stairs until they all are playing the game.

Drives me crazy!

Well, here's what is left of my starter plants.  I had them sitting on our stone bench in the yard for more sun and watering.  Dexter must have found them and decided they looked like food.  This is all that's left.

I have found them all over in the yard (the 2-1/2  acre part), under leaves, in the driveway ... well you get the idea.  But never found any plant starts in them, just unrolled tp rolls with possibly some starter soil in them.  He must have had a real good time tossing them up in the air and trying to catch them before he ate them.

This is not a farm.  It really is a zoo!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

 Just because I love looking at the woods so much I take pictures all the time, watching how they change with the months.  This is certainly a spring picture, so nice and green.

We've had so much rain lately that everything is growing in abundance, especially our weeds.  Not so much knapweed.  I think it likes the drier weather, actually hot and dusty.  Right now they are green and tender shoots that you can even pull.

I like this old rotted stump.  Its so serene and peaceful looking.  This is where the deer and moose come down to irritate the dogs I think.  Its just on the other side of our back fence.  We've never fenced it off, really no need to right now.  And we like the wildlife using it and keeping it as natural as possible.  A logger friend really cleaned it up a few years ago, getting rid of all the dead, dying and down trees.  Most of it got used for firewood.

A nice way to clean house!

The woven baby blanket for my niece is getting there, very slowly.  I couldn't figure out what colors to use so decided it will remain white, unless I come up with something in the mean time.  You just never know.  Sometimes I wake up in the night with a really brilliant idea.

Of course its always more meaningful for me at 2am than during the next day.  But ... you never know.

Tomorrow is supposed to be 80 something.  We were enjoying nice weather until last week when it turned very cold (40-50's) and rained.  Did I say rain?  You can bet it didn't stop for several days.

This next week rain will be back, but only for about three more days.  Then summer.  We always have a nice couple months right after the 4th of July.  Let's hope that happens this year too.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

 Our garden is already a non-entity.  The chickens have eaten the seeds we put out, and whatever plants have grown to any size have been nibbled to death.  These on the left are just about the only ones we have left right now.  They are red potatoes planted early this spring.  I guess I got a picture of my daughter's little dog at the front.  She's a pure bred chihuahua, but looks like she's a little chiweenie.  Under five pounds, and a little ball of dynamite.

We also have a bunch of other potato plants that are what we call volunteers.  Ones that we somehow missed last fall when we were digging them, or possibly pieces of potatoes left in the frozen ground until they woke up and decided to sprout.  Those were the purple potatoes we had so many of.

They must be very hardy.  Our winters are usually dark, cold (around 0 degrees) and pretty long.  I have to admit that last winter was a pretty nice one by our standards, but still.  To hang around all that time and still be able to grow six months later is pretty remarkable.

Also still growing is the tiny little whats-left-of our rhubarb plant that has been rototilled nearly to death the last few years.  And it was so pretty.  Finally moved it to a pot and will try to grow it as a potted plant.

The picture on the right is some our blueberry bushes that yield the most glorious berries you've ever seen.  The are as big as your thumb, dark blue black and sooo incredibly sweet.

We had so many a few years ago that I froze them unwashed on cookie sheets, gathered the frozen berries into several very large zip-lock bags and tucked them into our big freezer in the carport.  We have enjoyed them so much.

Just take enough for your meal out of the bag, put into a colander and rinse under cold water to wash and also thaw them.  They are not mushy or too soft and you can sprinkle them right on your cereal in the morning, or eat them right out of your hand if you prefer.  I know you're probably not impressed with the way these bushes look, but every little round spot on them is a cluster of delicious blueberries.

One more note, at the top of the blog is a picture of some awesome dark clouds.  We took this picture this last Thursday as a storm was rolling in from the west.  I'd never seen these types of clouds before, at least not this low or close up.  It looked like you could reach up and touch them.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

 Driving near our house every day there is a beautiful bison ranch just off the highway.  Silly me, I should have lowered the window in the car before taking this picture.

See how green and fresh everything is this time of year.  And these bison are LARGE.  They move them around to different pastures as time goes on.  Unfortunately I waited just a little too long to get the picture as last week they had been up closer to the road.

But you can just barely seen them over near the lake.  What a life!

 Ahhh, sweet little Emmy, my daughter's dog.  She is almost two years old now.  What a doll.  She is good natured, thinks she is a real meanie but she's not and isn't afraid of hardly anything.  When the Great Pyrenees and the border collie start barking at something outside, she is the first one at the door.

And she's the only one who gets to come into the chicken yard garden area.  She runs into their coop to see what morsel she can find.  Fortunately she's not much on the 'organic' kind if you know what I'm talking about ... the kind the chickens leave behind.  But she will find scraps of food and veggies they've missed and carry it around in her mouth.

At under five pounds, she is a little stick dynamite on four legs, very quick, very loud and verrrrry sweet.

Ok, so here's the start of my next weaving project.  I always mount my warping board (the big square with the round pegs) on the back of my Ashford loom.  Its just the right height for me and doesn't make my shoulder hurt going back and forth.

To warp (measure your length) you have to figure out how long your project will be and wrap your warp threads back and forth over the pegs.  You can see the cross at the top I'm doing.  This is all to keep the warp threads from getting tangled when its taken off until its ready to wind on the loom.  I will be taking some short pieces of a different yarn and tying these cross threads.  This will help me keep everything straight and tidy when I'm getting it from the warping board to the actual loom (which in this case is currently connected to the board).

Tune in later for more.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Spring at Woven Dreams Farm is such a beautiful time of year even if it is very busy.  Our lilacs are all in bloom, we have around three or four large trees / bushes that smell so good!

As soon as our weather heats up a little more those pretty flowers will be gone sad to say.

But until then we cut long branches of them to make our house smell so wonderful.

This weekend we got out a bit and went to the local Farmer's Market in town.  Even though its too early in our summer for too many veggies, the flowers and early type vegetables such as lettuce were everywhere.  We didn't buy much but its so nice to see the sunshine.  We've had lots of rain and overcast skies and even several nights lately of frost. Some of our volunteer potatoes from last year got 'bit' by the frost.

Our big orange kitty 'Big Mike' is enjoying laying in one of my upstairs windows.  I wonder what he's so intent on looking at outside.

Hmmm, maybe its our chickens we have in the garden.  He's got the perfect view from my bedroom window.  These chickens are called Mottled Java's.  They start out as white chicks and as they mature they turn black.

These little girls are only about 2 1/2 months old now and still too young to lay eggs.  But I can't wait to try them when they start laying.

I've started a new weaving project, a surprise for my niece Ivy and her husband Sergio's new baby.  I'm making it out of 100% cotton yarn so it will be easy to wash.  Babies can be a little messy if you know what I mean.  The yarn is white and I'm hoping to do some dyeing on it before its finished.  No details right now, its a secret.  I will take pictures along the way and post them after I send it to them.