Sunday, October 27, 2013

Way Behind the Curve

I'm so behind updating this blog, I'm embarrassed!

The days, which have been down right spectacular here in Southern Oregon. have slipped away easily like the sun beyond the ridge in front of our house. The end of it bringing a fine glow as the deep blue of night grows darker. The visit so far with my folks, lots of fun, lots of wine and food and
sunny warm days to enjoy a quiet read on the deck. Priceless.

I promised you a sewing update. Right now I am working on the western style Frock Coat for my Dad, and while much of it is going together well, the sleeves are giving me a bit of a time. One is in, the other sits waiting for more pins and patience.

 I have had this Vogue pattern in my stash for quite some time and when I got it out and looked at it, I was overwhelmed with new and different construction techniques.

 Not necessarily what I wanted while I was working with parts of my brain clicking off the lists of things that needed to get done elsewhere. And then of course, the lovely light wool suiting with just enough stretch in it to make it a pain in the butt to work with. I'm not a fan of stretch in general. I then thought about the elements I liked about the pattern, the heavy gathering,

 the jewel neck

 and the pockets and went to work on making the Green Bee Lela top into something with those elements. This is what I ended up with. I love it and you can be sure it will be a winter basic in my closet this year.

 The Hollandia loom has found a new home and will be waving good-bye to me Tuesday. The Murphy loom will have his original spot back after all these years.

And yes, I did finish up the trim painting, just in time.

 The hallway is hard to photograph but you get the idea!

Outside, the horses are on one feeding, or should I say bag stuffing. We are all loving the ease of the NAG bags. The weather has been so nice they are delivered up to the paddock where the boys can roll them around as they graze on them. Since my horses don't wear shoes or halters, this is safe for them and for the bags.

For my dog loving visitors, I must recommend a book I picked up last week browsing the bookstore with my Mom. "Dog Songs" by Mary Oliver is a wonderful book of poems about and in celebration of dogs. Readable, joyful and fun. All things I wish more poetry was and the lovely simple illustrations are soft and dreamy and just add to the beauty of the book. Truly splurge worthy!

Parting shot: Miss Charlotte, caught in a rare nap moment.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ladders Make My Feet Hurt

And that is the truth! I can still climb up and down them like an over sized monkey, but the standing on those thin metal treads kills my feet.( Sitting in the garden would be much nicer!).


 And I've done a lot of standing and reaching and climbing this past week. That is the vacuum hanging on the ladder. I only mildly wished it would drop and break.... ;) The house is looking great though and the worst of it is done. One more room, the living room and I'm saving that for tomorrow and giving my flat feet a rest. If I ever see a ladder with big wide treads, I'm buying it! For those that are thinking about building houses, high ceilings look great, and I think give smaller rooms and houses a sense of space and light, but they can be  time consuming to clean and maintain.

 I will never again opt for an open soaring ceilings like we have in the living room.  It does go up 3 levels and will take a professional to clean and paint or at least someone that isn't me!

The hay is in the barn and looking beautiful.

 Colby outdid himself with this years first cutting. There will be some good eating for the hoovers this winter. And the NAG bags I ordered for the them arrived too.

 Like all things new, we all need to get use to them. I have to develop an easy routine for refilling them and the horses need to learn to graze from them.

 The company recommends that loose hay is offered for the first few days as they get use to them.  I am probably going to cut that out Monday morning and load a days worth ( 2 feedings/24 hours) of hay in and see how it all goes. I went out and checked on the boys around 7:30 last night after they had had their hay for 3 hours. The bags were still pretty much full and both happily grazing on them. YEAH! Oh and this is Buzz, throwing himself into my way as I walk out to feed.

 He doesn't want to be forgotten on food railway. Doesn't look like that ever happens does it!  Who else has fat barn cats? The goats have a small one to themselves and they were both eating from it until I came to snap a pic of them doing so.

 Then of course they had to come see me instead....I don't know if it is the difference between breeds, sexes or just upbringing but these two wethers are both sweet and not terribly adventurous, which makes life quite easy for me. They don't go raiding my barn or jumping on my car or wander into the garden. And Ben likes big bear hugs. What's not to love?

My much prized Paper Bark Maple is doing it's very best to brighten up our fall garden.

The color is subtle this year, but my bet is it will be a show stopper once it has grown into the site.  In a world of evergreens this is a stand out. The dogwoods have changed color,


 although this one finally gave up the ghost I think.

 These wild dogwoods are beautiful but not particularly long lived.  The big Incense Cedar by the deck is putting out quite a few cones this year and adding softness and fall color to my mulched pathways.

 We opted for bagged big bark for the main one.

 The smaller path and the garden itself has chippings from work at the fire station done this year. Not the prettiest of mulches but useful and free.

 Can't beat that!

Once I  finished the studio I brought in the Murphy Loom from the cold 3 season room. I'll spend 2 weeks there with a heater while my folks visit but it is not an option for keeping a loom warm through the winter. In my best Tim Gunn voice, looking at three big looms stuffed into my studio, I told myself to "Make it work!". And I did.

The Murphy and the Hollandia are facing each other. They will share a bench. The Louet Delta still sits in its designated area.

If anyone is interested, the Louet Hollandia is for sale. Contact me privately if you would like more information.

There has been a little sewing, and I'll share that next post. This one is packed enough I think.

Parting shot:
It's always the season for snuggling.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sing a Song of Seasons

Autumn Fires

In the other gardens and all up the vale,
From Autumn bonfires see the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over and all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes, the grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons! Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer, fires in the fall.  -Robert Louis Stevenson

Summer is gone and the garden needs tucking in.

 All that beautiful Black and Blue Salvia has been cut back, along with the hot pink variety, the bee balm, and a few other plants and heavily mulched. In fact I have spent the better part of mid morning hours this week giving the whole garden a light mulch.

 The garden tools have been stowed away in the basement, the hose rolled up, paths mulched and the wire cages removed from the little Arctic Willows. Rest well little garden and hopefully we'll see most of you in the spring.

What an odd fall this is. The trees all seem to be caught unaware here and in town. At this time of year the dogwoods are usually rosy and ready to drop their leaves. The aspens at the foot of the mountain are blazing yellow gold even through foggy mornings, the oaks going brown as the maples start putting on their 50 shades of red show. None of this so far, just a hint of change here and there.

The run in shed doesn't look pretty, but

 the new grading is working well to keep water away from the stall heads.

I can now get Bob all the way around the shed if I needed to and that big old dead tree leaning over the far side of the shed is now fuel for the winter.

The bonus is the horses hate to go through mud so once they go out, they pretty much stay out and hang around their favorite trees on high ground instead of in front of the run in shed. A pet peeve of mine and one likely to cause me to chase them into their open paddock and gate off the shed for the day anyway. They are good boys though and clean and take the time to poop and pee well outside their stalls. The goats are nice and snug if they choose to be and with 3 little doorway tapes have free access in and out. It also keeps one sneaky red horse from creeping in and stealing their hay. The gate proper swings all the way and lies flat against the plywood half wall.

 I have special small mesh hay nets coming for them all and am hopeful it will slow the munching down so it lasts for the majority of the day. All the animals are making the most of sunny times in late morning and early afternoons. Cooper has moved his favorite nap spot down close to the gate and feeders!

 Dandy still takes his siesta a little higher up and further back in the paddock. The goats have really been accepted as herd mates.

 Some nights I lock them in, others not. If it is clear and not too windy, I let them do what they wish, which appears to be roaming with the horses.

Cold, wet windy nights, they get locked in. They are growing nice thick winter coats and still enjoying some good browse. I have not seen a deer in two weeks so what there is they have all to themselves.

Parting shot: Ben, wearing his best "flying nun" ears.