Bracken is an 8-year-old border collie who was in the top 50 in sheep dog trials in the US. She is being retired here because she needs a job and I need a dog that knows how to bring in the sheep when needed. I got so much more than I expected. She is incredibly loving and sweet. She stepped into the stall tonight at feeding time, and I saw her do nothing, but the sheep filed out, I filled feeders and then let them back in. That was so much more pleasant than trying to put hay in feeders over the top of the sheep.
Meet Butler:Butler is our new polled ram who will service the daughter of the rams we have been using. He is not only beautiful, he has very soft wool and is halter trained. He will make a great addition to the Shetland flock.
Look at gorgeous red peppers. What a difference a hoop house and a very hot summer make!
Autumn socks are finished because I am dealing with spotty internet. They are made from Lorna Laces sport weight wool on #4 needles. I’m not crazy about how much orange is in the pattern, and can hardly believe I bought this yarn. So I used plain stockinette stitch and they are done and wearable. And when I’m wearing socks, I’m not looking at them, so who knows, the person looking at them may like these colors.
The internet here has been extremely spotty because of modem problems. I have been having horrible withdrawals, however, there is enough to do around here, that I have kept busy. There are now 90# of blueberries in the freezer. The socks are done. The garden is doing well, though, it has to be watered daily. The dogs are digging holes in the dirt to stay cool. It is an unusually hot summer.
20 ton of hay is being delivered in the morning. I believe I have coordinated enough people to get it unloaded and stacked before noon. I have water and Gatorade in the refrigerator for the workers and I really hope they will be done before noon, when the temperature is scheduled to reach 80 degrees. This is too hot to have to be working this hard.
There has been so much to do this summer that it is going fast and before I blink a few more times, I’ll be wondering where it went.
Most things are easier than bathing Lacey, an 85# dog that doesn’t wish to be bathed. And of course there are no photos of all this, because how does one hold a camera while the dog is forced into a large tub, climbs out, slips out of her collar and goes and hides. However, I cornered her and the second time, she and I were together in the master bath – this time with the door closed so she couldn’t get away. And she is spending the night in the house to get nice and dry before she returns to her digging habits.
We are very much enjoying the fresh vegetables from the garden. I made several Zucchini lasagna casseroles since we are busy enough that it is convenient to have something to quickly take from the freezer and have a good meal. Today I picked 2 small zukes for sauteing. There are many green peppers on the plants that I’m hoping will turn red and orange as they are sweeter, but I needed one today, so I did pick one.
In addition to the vegetables we are enjoying packing away blueberries for this winter. I picked another 15 pounds this morning. I’m very happy to not have to pick them everyday. A new friend from Canada has commercial blueberry fields, and was telling me about the machines they use to pick the berries. I will continue to hand pick these – yes more labor intensive, but I don’t have acres and acres of berries, so it’s okay.
Here is our new arrival, still wet, and having her first meal. We thought McKenzie and the other Shetlands were all bred earlier, so were not concerned and put all the ewes together with our Cormo herdsire. Dumb idea which won’t happen again. This was a bit of a surprise as we thought we were done. And again, we think we are done.
These are the blueberry bushes that I am becoming very acquainted with. See on the right how the berries will ripen 2-4 at a time/place. So the same bushes are picked over and over again. It seems slow as I only get about 5# or l gallon an hour. However, I now have 50# in the freezer. We love blueberries in various ways during the winter.
My design wall is not as big as needed for this flimsy. I have finished and the border you see on the bottom is all the way around. Next, I will pick out the backing and get it on the quilting machine where I will look at it for 2 weeks and then decide I need to get it done right away. And the frenzy will begin, but it will get quilted and bound in time for gifting.
And in between the other fun stuff on this farm, with this heat, we are fighting fly strike, which is no fun for humans or animals.
This neglected garden has been on its own this summer. DH goes out faithfully and waters, and I go out and grab something for a meal, but it has not been weeded. Volunteer tomatoes and weeds have been having a heyday. The first beets planted are ready to pick and pickle and preserve. Then I need to get more in the ground.
After two hours of work, it is starting to look like a garden once again. I had not taken the time to tie up plants and they were acting like ground cover. The little plants in the left foreground are winter broccoli. We particularly like the greens in late winter. But they are far to close together at this point.
I am half done. Somewhere I need to find time to do the other half and space these plants. Maybe, tomorrow, I’ll take the time – oh No, how did it get to the end of the week already. That means a run to the grocery and perhaps a bit of floor sweeping and preparing meals for the next day. Maybe the garden will get fit in, but it’s a huge maybe. It is difficult to get everything into the week that wants to get done.
I was given a surprise vacation this week. Wordpress updated automatically and a number of us have not been able to get into our blogs and websites. I have spent hours upon hours this week. I am tiptoeing in here, because things aren’t quite right yet
At any rate, I hope you had a marvelous Independence day, whether Canadian or American. This usually indicated summer as officially here in the Pacific Northwest, although it was early this year.
As you can see from the above photo, I haven’t made much quilting progress. Maybe tomorrow, my machine will be ready to come home. If so, I can pick it up when we get the hearing aids fitted and ordered.
Most of the sheep have fresh coats on now and will move Sunday to a new field of weeds.
We have been picking and eating blueberries and other foods from the garden, and most of all, we have been watering and watering and watering.
So my plan is to be back to blogging again on Sunday to fill you in on life on a mini farm near the city.
I now have 30 out of 150 of these blocks complete. They are not difficult, but it does require I sit at the sewing machine. I would like to get this quilt done by the end of summer, but I’m going to have to spend more time sewing for that.
Today I pulled 2/3 of the garlic. It is early, but we had a good spring and because I didn’t have an outside garden ready, I put them in a corner in the hoop house. They will lie here for a week curing before I braid or otherwise store them.
I picked these zucchini while they are smaller so I can use them raw.
Have you ever eaten the big leaves that grow around the cabbage head. We have found them to be very good – much like collards – only better. DH likes them better than the cabbage head.
After washing and stemming them, I slice them the long way
then crosswise. You could just slice ribbons if you prefer and sometimes I do. I then boil them for a few minutes and we like them with vinegar over them.
We had to try out our new car yesterday, so went to visit my sister who lives about an hour away. The weather obliged and we got to drive through rain and sun, giving me a good feeling of how it handles. .
This dogwood is at the end of her driveway. Her yard is beautifully blooming and she knows the name of each plant – something to which I never pay enough attention.
Since we were going, I went out to the hoop house to see if there was a gift I could take. Look at this beautiful 5 1/2 pound cabbage. I did not weigh the zucchini, but they were nice and long. The garden is doing well, except for the green beans which I will replant tomorrow.