Friday, September 30, 2011

It's A Hay Day - Yea!

Today the hay for my sheep was delivered.  One more thing off of my "To Do" List for getting ready for winter.  I am really lucky as I have a great hay farmer that I buy from.  It's getting harder and harder to find quality square bales as so many of the hay farmers are going over to the round bales which just aren't practical for someone with just a few sheep.

Larry tossing down the bales to Ryan  

As soon as the truck pulled in, the sheep fled out into the field.  I had tried to corral the little buggers
this morning but they were having none of it.  Larry brought Ryan with him to stack the hay in the barn.  Ryan is a bull rider who is getting quite the reputation for his skill.  He's super at stacking those hay bales too and had the job finished in record time. Ah - to be 20 again!

Dust thick in the air as he stacks the hay thrown from the truck.

As they worked, the sheep got braver and wandered back in from the field to see what was going on.  By the time they were finished, they were anxiously awaiting cleaning up what had been swept out of the truck.

Thanks guys!  See you next year.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Life Is Like A Dye Pot - Isn't It?

Roddy (l) and Barrick (r) kicking it in the shade
It's the last hurrah of summer this weekend so I have been dying the last of the wool for the season.  As all folks who play with dyes know, what you get in the end, isn't always what you set out to create.  That is the beauty of playing with color - some happy accidents and some not so happy but all an adventure just the same.  I had one such adventure with a dye labeled "Herb Green".   No matter what I do, no matter what color the fleece, it insists that it is purple.  It looks green in the cup but this is what I have ended up with each time I try it.  I've tried it three times with varying purplish results.  Why do I keep trying it? - Well, I thought it might be the color of the fleece. Nope.  I thought it might be the pan (sm. chip, you never know...), Nope. Minerals in the well water (tried distilled) Nope.  I guess in the end, one always hopes the third time is the charm.  Nope.

Herb Green ?????  Oh Please...
In which Roddy meets Wedgewood
It's reminds me of the famous line from Forrest Gump only for fiber artists. "Life is like a dye pot - no matter how well you plan, how carefully you measure, it doesn't always turn out the way you thought it would".  How true that is with most things.  We all make our plans, dream our dreams and then some unforeseen event catapults us in a whole new direction and although it wasn't what we originally had in mind, sometimes the outcome is better than we thought it could be.
Persimmon & Violet Handpaint Roving
Persimmon on Barrick

So, here is to interesting and lovely outcomes - even if they aren't Herb Green....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Joy of Wearin' Overalls

Aydon in his Farmer Oly's

Today grandson Aydon came to visit with his Mommy, Kim and his grandmother, Maria to pick the last of the green beans to freeze.  It's always fun to visit with the wee ones.  He sat in his stroller amongst the bean rows telling us his tales as we worked our way down the rows.  His mommy sure had him dressed for the occasion - his first wearing of the overalls.  My old friend, Joe always called them his "Farmer Oly's" as a nod to our Scandinavian heritage. 

I love wearing overalls.  It was my first attempt at getting around the rules back when schools had dress codes and girls weren't allowed to wear jeans.  I bought myself this huge pair of striped overalls (you could put 2 of me in them) and wore them to school the next day.  Of course they called me into the office and began to get a wee bit testy about my flagrant violation of the dress code.  In my coolest voice, I asked them to show me where in the dress code it said that I couldn't wear striped overalls to school.  Well of course they could find no reference to overalls at all in a 1971, So. Lake Tahoe school dress code.  I got to wear my overalls to school despite the no jeans on girls rule.  Overalls and civil disobedience ...who knew?  So overalls to me mean taking a stand for individuality even though it may be out of the norm.

So my question for the day to you is - How do you think outside the box and still play by the rules?  What stand did you take when you were stretching your adolescent wings to claim your own individuality?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Green Bean Adventures and Tomato Dreams

An abundance of pole beans for a very late harvest this year.  Usually I am finished with canning beans by the middle of August.  With a heatwave over most of the country this year, the Pacific Northwest had an almost "no summer summer" in which crops are a month late and not nearly as abundant as usual.  I am grateful that we missed the scorching heat but it would have been nice to get into the upper 80's before the last two weeks of August!  So as a result, I am just now finishing up canning the green beans and anxiously awaiting my tomato harvest.

We put up the hoop greenhouse plastic in anticipation of the first frost only to have the weather warm up again and I am out there spraying down the inside with cold well water trying to keep the temps from barbequing my tomatoes!  I have started to harvest a few but my Roma's for canning still have awhile until harvest.  I am anxious to get back to the dye pots and get some more wool dyed before this warm weather quits for good, but as all gardeners know, Produce Waits for No One.....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

High Tea to Celebrate

Brambleberry Cottage, Spokane, WA

My daughter Charissa from the bustling metropolis of NYC was in town to visit and she persuaded me it was time to make the foray into the world of blogging.  So after helping me to set up the page layout and create my wonderful banner, she whisked me off to Spokane, WA to a wonderful little tea house called, Brambleberry Cottage. What a wonderful break from all the hot summer work in the gardens and dying wool for spinning.  We got all dressed up in our most feminine finery and enjoyed two hours of pampered luxury.  So many wonderful treats to tempt our pallets on a very hot summer afternoon.

After much deliberation, we both selected our chosen flavor of tea and spent a lovely two hours savoring all the wonderful savories and sweets.

Alas!  We never spied an elusive rabbit with a weskit and top hat but it was surely a tea party to remember....good times whiling away a summer afternoon knowing that soon the days will shorten and and the air take on that unmistakable chill that fall is in the air.