Thursday, July 02, 2015

Oh, for Pete's sake

It seems that there is an outbreak of salmonella in Washington state that has been traced to backyard chickens. 

It appears that several of the cases were transmitted because people were "cuddling and kissing" their chickens.  I've heard of "kissin' cousins" - but kissing chickens?? What the heck??

For Pete's sake people, these are barnyard animals.  You do NOT kiss and cuddle with barnyard animals!  Any farm kid knows that!

And to top it off, some of the cases were caused because people let chickens run free in their houses.  I'm sorry, but ICK!  From someone who has spent many hours cleaning out the chicken house (when we had chickens - this picture was taken in 2007 and the last two of these birds just "flew over the rainbow bridge" this past winter) -  just ICK! 

Honestly, sometimes one wonders what people are thinking!  The next thing you know the CDC will come down against small chicken flocks just 'cause some "city folk" don't know any better than not to kiss their chickens! 

OK, end of rant...


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Yes, LOOT!

 (Thanks Michelle for reminding me that I hadn't put a title on this post!!) 

Well, as you surmised from the last post, last week was the Black Sheep Gathering down in Eugene.  Our annual vacation.

Some changes this year - all the vendors were in the concert pavilion - Air conditioned comfort
and lots of room - but more on that soon -

The thing is, to get to Eugene, first you have to go through Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Chehalis/Centralia - and then there is Portland.
 The land of bridges & tail lights -

Portland is called "The Rose City" and they have bush roses planted all along the freeways there.

It is so dry this year, they look kind of stressed already and all the brown grass in the medians - somebody throws out a cigarette and everything is going to burn to the ground!

But we MADE IT through Portland, with only a few delays - Generally Thursday early afternoons are not too bad (and actually coming home on Sunday morning we breezed right through!) 

 The Lane County Fairgrounds is comprised of this big pavilion, then barns that the animals are in - because they had moved the MarketPlace into the pavilion, they also included alpacas this year. 

 As you can see, lots of wide aisles
and lots and lots of vendors!

 With room left over for three spinning circles!  (no, my wheel stays home - I bring my crochet projects on the road)

 This was one of my favorite booths - she has such pretty colors! 

 How could you pass this up?????

 So, while The Shepherd shopped for sheep,

I shopped for spinning goods

One lady said she figured that her stash had now exceeded her life expectancy.....  

Gracie says: "I think mom has EASILY exceeded that mark - she brought home TWO BIG BAGS of spinning stuff!"


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

We wish they all could be California Girls -

Well, not really - we really like our Washington Girls - but adding some new blood once in a while -

This is "Joshua's Farms Garnet" - she has come to be company / BFF for Lilah, our one ewe lamb from the babies we had this spring. 

She is very well behaved and leads like a dream.  She came from the same breeder where we got Elliott a couple of years ago.

In fact her bloodline goes back to my old friend Nancy Krohn's boys Skittles & Apocalypse.  (her Great Grandfather and Grandfather respectively)  Even though Nancy is no longer in the sheep business, I know she would love to know that her sheep continue to make a difference. 

The Shepherd and his new sheeplet.

Isn't her wool just the prettiest color? 

It will be November of 2016 before he breeds her with Django - (we don't breed ewe lambs)

It will be a long wait to see what happens, but that's the sheep business. 

Gracie want's to know what the heck all the ruckus is about........

Garnet and her new friends were less than thrilled to be put into a pasture by themselves...


Monday, June 22, 2015

What the?????

Um - who are you and where are you taking me?????


Sunday, June 14, 2015


    "The Flower Communion is an annual ritual in many Unitarian Universalist churches that celebrates beauty, human uniqueness, diversity, and community.
     Originally created in 1923 by Unitarian minister Norbert Capek of Prague, Czechoslovakia, the Flower Ceremony was introduced to the United States by Rev. Maya Capek, Norbert's widow.
     In this ceremony, everyone in the congregation brings a flower. Each person places a flower on the altar or in a shared vase. The congregation and minister bless the flowers, and they're redistributed. Each person brings home a different flower than the one they brought." (From the website

Each flower unique.

Each person is unique.

By themselves, they may look rather plain -

Our Flower Communion at church was last weekend.  It also coincided with our "Good Bye" service for our minister, Rev. Marcia Stanard who is leaving us after three years to become the new minister for Atkinson Memorial Church in Oregon City.  We will miss her alot, but she has proved to us and to the world, that even a church as small as ours deserves and can sustain a great minister.

You take that one plain flower and add another and another, and soon you have a display of great beauty.

I think people are like that, too.  Don't you?

PS - and if you get to Oregon City on a Sunday morning (starting late August)  stop by Atkinson Memorial for a great church service.  Tell them "A friend of your minister" sent you!   


Thursday, June 04, 2015

A Good Read - "The Beekeepers Ball"

After having spent the last few months on a marathon of old Nora Roberts romance novels, the books that my sister included in the "Christmas" package that I received last month promised to be exciting reads.  I decided to start on the Susan Wiggs novel, "The Beekeepers Ball" Bella Vista Chronicles, Book 2 .  

This is just a great book.  OK, I thought it was going to be a little slow at first - you get used to Nora hopping her characters into bed at the first possible chance - that didn't happen here - although the "dance" was there - a slow romantic waltz, that morphs into a delicious tango as the book goes along. 

The side story of Tess & Isabel's grandfather's life in Nazi occupied Denmark is believable and interesting.  Wiggs' engaging characters leave you wanting more and hoping there will be another book in the "Bella Vista" Chronicles.   I definitely have to find "The Apple Orchard" (Book 1, of course)

Hope you're having a great week! 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

"Memories, light the corners of my mind" ???

I got an email from an old friend the other day.  We went through all 12 years of grade school and high school together -

"You know what tomorrow is?" she asked.

May 28th, I thought.

"May 28, 1970 - our high school graduation day" she continued.

As if I could ever forget.

 How does it seem that some dates are inexplicably etched in your memory?

(If it were not for the copy of our wedding invitation, sealed in stained glass, that hangs on our bathroom wall (ok, I know that sounds like a funny place for it to be, but it works) I would never be able to remember our anniversary.  It gets mixed in with Earth Day and an old friend's birthday - I just always have to go look at it and check.)

Sorry, I digress -

And peonies - They always remind me of graduation too.  We lived in a small town in North Central Washington - there were no florists - but you always knew who had the best gardens and that is who did the flowers for the important community events.  Big baskets of peonies and branches of bridal veil spirea decorated the gym that day.

I think I was co-valedictorian (ok, it's been 45 years - the mind is not the steel trap it used to be, ha ha)  That meant I had to give a speech!

Me, "Miss last minute/procrastination is my middle name", knew weeks before the ceremony that I was going to have to give that speech.  Mr. Godden, our principal, had to approve it before hand and kept bugging me.  "I'll get it done!" I said - probably somewhat testily because in those days there was no Wikipedia, no computers to help you hastily write up something "meaningful"  - no, it had to be HAND WRITTEN on to those 3x5 cards, with all of your "main points" written in capitals, so you wouldn't forget them.

Here I am in my 18 year old splendor

Well, I finally got my speech written, I do remember that it was something inspiring about where we were all going from here.  And I can still remember that main point:  "AND WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE" -  (flip to next card) - Oh, crap - even though I had just written this dribble, I knew for sure, that the next sentence, which instructed us all on where to go from here - was missing.  I hadn't had time to proof read my cards.  Damn...  and in the way that memories hide in the corners of your mind, to tell you the truth, I really don't remember how I recovered from that boo-boo.

Somehow I finished up the speech, got my diploma and was off to the many "graduation parties" that were happening that night - well not really "many" - there were only 12 of us - and nine of us had gone through all 12 years together - "One big happy family" - yeah, right...

But I still remember that date - May 28, 1970.