Sunday, August 30, 2009
After the wind there was an earthquake......
After the earthquake, there was fire...but the Lord was not in the fire...
Be still and know that I am God
Friday, August 28, 2009
I didn't leave the other little black kitty out on purpose... but I think I accidentally erased the photo. It is in the picture with the calico though. Posed pictures are probably gone by the wayside. I think I took fifty pictures just to get a half dozen that weren't blurry! With their bobbly heads and always in motion bodies, it's going to get harder and harder!
What fun though. Hope you enjoy them too.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
After much drama, I finally managed to get most of the zillion seedlings I planted (note to self, plant fewer seeds!) into the ground. Somewhere in all the fuss and muss, I lost track of who was what, and was just grateful they were finally transplanted into the garden. There they sat for a month, looking pained and frail. Then suddenly they took off. Their initial fragile appearance lulled me into not putting up tomato cages. Big mistake.
Needless to say, it's a jungle out there in the 'mater patch! Not only is growth rampant, the bugs have been just, well, beastly this year. From tomato worms, to stripped beetles, red mites, ants, grasshoppers and I swear squash bugs (on the tomatoes!), the fruit has suffered. It's a race to see who can harvest the tomatoes first. Usually 'they' win.
However...I finally got my first Cherokee Purple! Woot! In the first picture it hadn't quite peaked out at ripeness yet. It is also sitting next to my one harvested tomato from the "Russian Dark" plant that I got from the fiber fest. The Purple is on the right, and the Dark on the left. Look shockingly similar don't they? Unfortunately I didn't get to sample the Dark as it went bad before I even realized it. I have saved seeds from both though.
This next photo shows all three varieties that I have so far harvested from the seedlings I planted. (The cherry tomatoes are from a plant I bought). The little green pear shaped one in the middle, is actually a red tomato--I got in a hurry, thinking it might be an odd shaped 'oxheart'. In my mind these look suspiciously like Romas...oh yes they do. And the little just bigger than cherry tomatoes....are those suppose to be Arkansas Travelers...or what?? Very odd. I still have bunches and bunches of big green tomatoes coming on, as well as a ton of these Roma looking things, so maybe the other two varieties will 'show up'? Can they cross pollinate and cause this kind of variance? It's a mystery. I'm very happy though that I've gotten a few of the Purples.
So, (drumroll please) yesterday I decided to taste test my first Cherokee Purple. Oh my. I have never eaten such a juicy, rich tomato. Full of sweet, full bodied flavor, it was amazing. I gave one to my folks and they felt the same way---they said it was 'meaty' and 'tasted like tomatoes used to taste'. Wow...I think these babies are worth all the trouble I went through. I do see why Tomatoes have become these bland, pale creatures though. These wonderful heirlooms would never last as their shelf life is very short. The tomatoes that are shipped must have tough skins and the ability to stay 'crisp' in order to make it to the shelves in the store. I wonder if the hybrid varieties that we grow aren't along the same lines. While they are still miles better than a store bought tomato, the flavor is very mild compared to this heirloom tomato.
I will never look at a tomato the same way again..... ;-)
This picture has nothing to do with Tomatoes. I slipped up on Sage while he was taking one of his five million a day baths, and kept whispering --"don't turn around Sage, don't do it" He couldn't stand it of course......He had to turn around.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Boone--worn to a frazzle, but still keeping his toys close
Basically she is the sweetest thing, and has very good manners (mostly). She already comes when she is called (just need to work on a more prompt response) and how to walk nicely on a lead. She is learning 'farm dog' things, like go in the yard, or lets go for a walk, leave that alone, wait and such things as that. When I have more time this fall, we will work on basic obedience, like reinforcing the come response, sit, stay, down, off etc. She is absolutely crushed when she thinks she is in trouble, or even if Boone is in trouble.
She has enough puppy still in her to keep me and Boone busy. She has decided that it is incredibly fun to dig up and shred the foam in the bottom of the dog house in the breezeway. She has also gutted a few stuffed toys, and pulled some wool out of a bag. All very mild things, but adjustments have to be made--like keeping 'valuables' up off Ashley level. :-)
They play often, and have scary dog chases through the yard. I can't watch. Ashley tries to body slam him, but she just bounces off. First she will chase him, then he chases her and back and forth.... We are working on 'sit' when she gets treats, and Boone very dramatically sighs because he is sitting and everybody should know you have to sit to get treats!
The other night, my Mom, Sister and Niece all came up to visit. Actually they came up to meet Ashley and the kittens.... We were down at my folk's house eating pizza in celebration of their Anniversary. Afterward we all walked up to my house. Boone and Ashley saw us and of course they barked some. Then I'm not sure what happened, but Ashley suddenly exploded into this hyperactive little blur. Boone was doing his slow, dignified high stepping trot back and forth along the fence, politely wagging his tail and wiggling a bit. I think that he pushed Ashley out of the way and she took offense, because then she started chasing him and bouncing off him, and yapping in his ear, like a little bird dive bombing a hawk. Boone tried to ignore her, and keep up his happy little trot. His face got more and more embarrassed looking though, as the little gnat kept after him. It was too funny. In all fairness, this is typical collie behavior---they like to pester each other when they are barking and running--but obviously Boone thought this was just outrageous! Ashley then was all over my guests, having a great old time jumping on them (she hasn't gotten that lesson down pat yet) and lavishing them with collie kisses. My sister was bent over, I think saying something to Ashley and Boone took advantage of the opportunity to give her a big slimy kiss across her head. Who needs hairspray?
after his bath....he had just rolled in the dustiest spot he could find. I lectured him, but he just ignored me.
In her two weeks here, Ashley has been busy running a raccoon out of the hall every night (sometimes multiple times), meeting sheep (they are still skeptical), and chickens and cats. The adult cats adore her, and she does a kitten check for me most nights, and gives them little swipes with her tongue. We've went out thistle digging and fence checking, and on walks down the road. She's met Heidi, and found all kinds of old toys to drag up in the yard. Most of all she has helped brighten the days of two sad souls and keeps us busy keeping up with her.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Now Circus Peanuts? I'm beginning to think that maybe Meshach is like 'Stitch' on Lilo and Stitch...and alien being trapped in a cat suit. I must say though he is far sweeter than Stitch ever dreamed of being!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I was very pleased with Orion, since I hadn't seen him since last fall (except pictures). He was very calm and has turned out quite lovely. His fleece is a lovely shimmery golden silver and he has retained face color. (These pictures were taken with flash and he isn't posed very well...) Once I got home, I was able to unload first Orion and then Pina into their side by side individual cattle panel pens in the garage. Pina was distressed and vocal for awhile, but soon quieted. It was remarkably quiet throughout the night. I was suspicious. My sheep were running about like mad things when they heard the newcomers. I was afraid that I'd never be able to pen up the ones that were leaving Friday morning.
By morning though they had settled down and went right about their routine of going into the catch pen to be fed. Birdie put herself in a stall for me to conveniently pen her into, and I easily caught Rouen's twins. One by one I 'led' them to the garage and put them in with Pina. Around 7 a.m. James, the buyer from Texas pulled in and went about getting his very nice two horse trailer backed up to the garage. After getting everything ready (water, hay bags, hay in the trailer) we loaded up the sheep. Orion traveled in a goat carrier in the bed of truck and the ewes had free run of the horse trailer. Quite nice accommodations, but they were in for a long ride ahead. At least ten hours (but turned out to be more like twelve). An email from James assured me they all made it safely and the sheep were happy to unload and move into horse stalls for the night. By 8:15 a.m. I was showered, dressed and on the way to work. Not to bad...and a huge sigh of relief.
The other three ewe lambs will be leaving, most likely over Labor Day weekend. Shortly after getting assurances and deposits on the sheep, I got another email from a lady that lives near here that wanted to buy sheep! I ended up referring her to Allena and I believe she sold her several, including Just Jack, sire to my lambs this year. It was a crazy, but very fruitful week.
My main (Shetland) flock, once it's all said and done will number thirteen ewes and one ram lamb. I am keeping three ewe lambs from this year, and Jackdaw (ram lamb) at least until after breeding season.
If anyone is interested I do still have one adult Shetland ram available...Omen. He is a nice black smirslet, intermediate fleece, absolutely perfect tiny fluke tail and nice conformation.
In other news the kittens all have their eyes open and their personalities are emerging. I could sit and play with them for hours. I'm going to be working on constructing a kitten 'romper room' out in the garage, to keep them safely contained but give them room to play. It will be out of chicken wire and 2 x 2's...I think.
mown, and new mailbox put up. (I mean old crappy looking mailbox!)
Hmmm...I think maybe what I really need to do is take a vacation....
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Looking at these lovely peaceful pictures, you might think the last week was very peaceful around here. But you would think wrong. It wasn't a bad week, just not....quiet and peaceful. Let's see, the best I can recall, it all did start rather peacefully last Monday, when I took a nice vacation day. It rained quite persistently all day which was rather nice as we needed it. There are always inside projects to do as it were. I even managed to get a couple of scarves put together--not felted yet--but at least they are ready. Another project on my always growing list, was to run ads on the sheep, yet again. My ram/wether lambs all sold pretty fast this year, but it's been quiet on the ewe sales front. Very odd, not even the usual interest, just quiet---I was beginning to worry a bit (yes, Allena, I'm sure I was just beginning to worry! ;-). Every month I continued to list them on the groups.
Tuesday night was also the night the two legged thugs came to town. Around 12:45 a.m. five vehicles came screaming into town. Yelling obscenities, throwing rocks at the old store and acting like total idiots they tore around the vicinity having a great old time. My neighbor who owns (but does not live in) the house across from me, heard them from where he lives about a mile and a half away. He came charging up to see what was going on, forgetting the signal (honking) before he stealthily pulled into his driveway and doused his lights. This resulted in the unfortunate consequence of being spotlighted by the ever vigilant neighbor (that would be me). He was quite flustered, but I found out later he thought my Dad did it.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Orange/White...oh my, the eyes are starting to open.....