Saturday, September 28, 2013

Two, Two Season's in One!

September can be a hot month in Southern Oregon, and most of the years it is, but not this year. Crater Lake received over 8 inches of snow last Tuesday into Wednesday. We had some big wet snow flakes fall from the sky over the week too. Add some hail and sunshine, periods of rain, soft or driving and temps dipping into freeze territory and I'm thinking more winter than fall. The last time I saw deer, they were bunched in a group of about 7 on a difficult and rocky (rock face one side-vertical drop off the other), stretch of Highway 66. I guess my posters advertising the beautiful green buffets available in the valley worked! ;) The signs of deer season opener this weekend are everywhere. The noise from 4 wheelers, camo painted trucks hauling some pretty flashy campers, slowly up the road, beer cans and lots of loose trash, and people with rifles walking up the driveway. "Ah yes sir, trash barrels usually mean someone does live here and no, no hunting on this property (even if the sign looks a little old), or the ones next to us either side and behind. That goes for Tub Springs too. And we all appreciate you getting up from your recliner in the back of your truck and actually HIKING out to shoot those deer instead of doing it from the road. Oh, and those are goats and horses..NOT DEER!" You can bet even if the weather cooperates, I won't be riding this weekend.

So let's move on, lets go to the sewing room why don't we, where the only dead fur you'll see is some old acrylic stuffed animal skin left by one of the gang of 8. New fabric has popped its way onto the shelves, a little here, a little there and I have neglected to take pictures of it. Much of it hit the cutting table yesterday. Two long sleeve woven Scout T's were cut in cotton and two Lela tunics (in assorted cottons, linen and hemp), and a cute Simplicity apron with scads of self binding. The apron will take 10 minutes to assemble and sew, the binding a couple of hours. There is a pair of magenta denim jeans waiting to be sewn too.

Another pattern from Sewn Square One has been tested too. This one is the Swing Shift top or jacket.

 I opted to make it as a shirt. I used my favorite mushroom print cotton ( I finished off the bolt last January during the annual sale at Fabric of Vision),

 and had some nice oxford scraps for collar and pocket details.

 Pocket bags were from some left over dark brown voile which is tightly woven and added next to nothing for bulk.

I think it came out pretty good for a first run through and can see myself making this again, with a little tweaking of course!

A Lela in linen has also been finished.

I modified the back to have soft gathers and like it much better.

 For me at home, tunics over a turtleneck are just right for our cool house, and of course, they offer endless opportunities for pockets.

The garden fountain has been brought in for the winter, the mulch finally here in a few piles for spreading. The barn has had some nice grading work done around it and I worked on adding some additional 3/4 minus to bring up the floor height yesterday. Dragging the mats in and out was the WORST! Goats Ben and Jerry have been moved down to their winter digs in the center stall. I put an old Igloo dog house in there, and some bedding, they have hay, water and will be nice and snug come winter if the two fools use their igloo. The Pygora girls loved it and it's just right for two to build up some warmth on a cold night. Gene has been working on the front porch which has been a bear of a problem. When he's done, I'll show you how beautiful it looks. In any event, I really need to get out and take some outdoor pics.

I don't usually go a whole week without posting, but blogger has been a bugger. The editor isn't working for me in Firefox and for a few days it wouldn't work in Safari either.
This is the first chance I've had to get a new posting up. Hopefully they will get the glitches out soon.

Parting shot: A touch of grey. When did that happen?

Friday, September 20, 2013

We Almost Got Away Scot Free

Fire season is on its way out and I was hoping that it would have ended with a little less fanfare. Tuesday in the wee hours a thunderstorms rolled through and was room shaking, window rattlingly, overhead close. The first boomer woke me and everything else up at 3:00 a.m., not an unusual time for me. I had been dozing since two, listening to rain hit the skylight but this was a heck of a wake up call and not to be ignored. The round lasted about 40 minutes and then moved on, the second wave came in for morning feeding time. Oh joy, lots of noise but less rain, so think antsy dry horses instead of wet ones! The first fire call came in at 7:00 a.m. and after that I'm told was followed by 3 more smoke sightings in different areas. The fire and rescue crews split between 2 fires, one on Copco Road and one up on Chinquapin Mountain off of Coral Creek Road. Both roads are typical rural roads up here, which means dirt, often times private and with gates and always mean terrain that is hard on everything. It took ODF over an hour to get to the locations from town, so our volunteer fire department had located and started marking and moving equipment and fighters in but with fire fighting, the more the merrier and Oregon Department of Fire has the resources, the volunteer force usually hands it over and plays an assist role and that is all good. The morning was cloudy and dry and hampered getting spotters into the air, but in the afternoon a steady moderate rain started and didn't end until after dark.

Two of the smokes were never located and it would appear the rain took care of them. The larger fires were contained with the help of the rain that day and put out. Whew....with luck, more rain this weekend and an official end to fire season 2013. You can see a picture here.

That same Tuesday I had decided to do some changes to my sewing space. I wish Gene had been around to help me muscle some of the stuff around, but I am impatient and left to my own devices, managed to get everything but the old style big TV into the places I wanted. In fact I dropped said TV and I'll be honest. I had hoped it broke, but it is built like a dang tank and worked just fine afterwards.  Guess I'll have to wait a little longer for a new flat screen....

I added in another table for workspace, some old cabinet boxes for storage and did a general reorganization.

It looks tighter but really, that was unused floor space taken up by a dog blanket. The blanket is still there, migrated of course from its neatly folded position to half in, half out of the bottom cubby.

A sure sign Robin has been here and left a toy too!

On the sewing front, slow progress has been made on a second Sewn Square One Upline Coat. I loved the barn coat so much I decided to do a version in nicer non-barn wear fabric.

This is a Marc Jacobs creation that I got for a steel of a price at Fabric of Vision. The weave is very much like a monks belt and is smooth and tight and mostly cotton. These pictures were taken right after I got the collar and facings sewn in, my way.  Much easier too! It's at the hemming and closure stage now and I'm hoping to get final photos today. Wait to you see the lining!

In critter news, Ben is doing well. The puncture seems to be healing, he has not needed any additional pain medication and he's been a real trooper about the getting shots day and night. He must be sore though, there are only so many places on a goat for intramuscular shots. They are pretty bony little creatures even in good flesh like our two.

Miss Bea and Peter have good days and bad. They both go on and off their food at times and both have rallied and recovered. Peter is now 19, Bea 17. These are old, old dogs and every single day is a gift. The rest of the rabble is just fine. The horses getting fuzzy and fat, the barn cats keeping the early fall influx of rodents in check. We had a lot of grading done around the run-in barn this week. Joe and his equipment have made a number of visits this summer. Let's hope this is the last one for the season! Oh and my foxes still visit nightly. :-)

Parting shot: Time to rise and shine!

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Week that Was

Heavens, a week zipped by and where in heck was I? The summer heat decided to give us a parting blast with temps climbing into the high 80's up here in the woods. I dragged my butt on finishing up the trim downstairs and cut some fabric upstairs instead. And of course, a small shopping adventure with friend Mary in Ashland. Good company, fabric, new shoes and a fun lunch. It was the highlight of the week. :)

I did snap a few pictures of the garden.

 The salvia is very happy, as is the one remaining bee balm.

 Many things would look better had they not been deer nipped.  But since fall is just a few blinks away and I'll be cutting a fair amount of things down anyway, I am not getting too upset over a little late season browsing.

What was upsetting this week was the attack on one of our goats by the neighbors dogs Saturday late afternoon. We had the discussion with them the last time when they ran those poor goats around their enclosure to exhaustion. This time Ben was caught between barn and horse paddock. I don't know why he didn't run, maybe he is just use to our dogs not being terribly threatening. Anyway, one had his neck, the other the flank area. Gene (who was working on the front porch), and I from the house came running at the start. The dogs let go, the owners where hitting the driveway head. Gene flew down there in pursuit of the dogs and had a word with them.  I've NEVER heard Gene so mad. I think everyone within five miles of us heard Gene blow a gasket.  Anyway, I let Ben calm down, went and cleaned the wounds I could find, called the vet and called it a day. Yesterday in prep for the vet visit, I leashed Ben and looked him over again. The neck really isn't an issue, scraps and surface stuff, but there it was, a deep puncture to the soft underbelly. The vet confirmed it had penetrated the stomach wall and his temp was over 103. So, I'm told goats do well walling these types of injuries up, a shot of banamine and a 7 day course of penicillin injections hopefully will put things to right. If not the decision will be obvious. As to the dogs. Well, it really isn't their fault. The fault lies with the stupid owners, who BTW are paying all vet bills.

Parting shot: My Robin, what big teeth you have!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Annual Big Stage Event

Last Saturday was the annual fun fund raiser for the Greensprings Fire & Rescue and hopefully marked a permanent change in venue. This year the lovely and historic Pinehurst Inn hosted the event on their grounds. All summer work parties had spent many a week night in preparation. Brush clearing, getting paths and the stage area ready and logistics in general. It was all so worth it! The location couldn't have been better. The owners of this historic inn, Donnie and Denise Rowlett, a winning team,

 bringing good humor and a calm, laid back can do attitude to this busy event. Oh and the pulled pork sandwiches or baby back rib dinners...AWESOME!

The day couldn't have been better, blue skies, warm temps and a soft afternoon breeze.
Bike riding, walking the local portion of the Applegate Trail (and here), kayak demos, wine tasting

 by Jenny Creek and lots of good music.

 Information on the monument,

 vendors selling everything from beaded turtles shell pouches

 to buckskin

and beer.

 I came early and stayed just a short time but did have a chance to nosh on ribs and corn on the cob.

In other news, the hay will be arriving this weekend. Since we went from 3 horses down to 2 of the hay burners last September, I had a glut of hay in the barn when spring rolled around. My hay guy Colby held my 8 ton order so I could feed last years hay down as much as possible. This weekend, I'll fork over a big check and he'll stack up an equally big load of fresh hay. We'll both be happy and so will a couple of horses and goats. ;)

Over the weekend, instead of finishing up trim, I reorganized my kitchen. These jobs are best done when DH is not home so I took advantage of his weekend spent at the festival site. He walked out the door at 7:25 a.m. Saturday morning and I was starting on the kitchen as I heard the truck go down the driveway. And speaking of Gene, he managed to get our old washing machine working again. The spin cycle had gone south. I could get it sort of working by starting it spinning by hand, but it didn't have the oomph to really do a good job. A new clutch was in order, or a new machine. I chose the former since finding a good heavy duty simple washing machine is near impossible these days. And this machine handles even my big king sized quilts well, plus it has one feature I love. The lid opens to the left side instead of too the back which covers the controls. Yesterday, he replaced a bad control switch on one of our cooktop burners. It was ten times harder than the washing machine. There was cursing involved. Much of it quite creative I might add... I took a long time feeding the was like a miracle. I left, it was in pieces. I came back, it was back in the counter and worked. I love miracles!

Parting shot: Hey Charlotte, I can see Russia from here....

Thursday, September 5, 2013

On the Wing

Fall is indeed on its way. This week the plethora of beautiful, unusual and sometimes unidentified songbirds quit this cheap (or is it cheep?), seed stand and moved on. In fact, it happened over night, literally. Nothing left but our year round resident chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, turkeys, ravens, juncos and jays. As of yesterday only two hummers were buzzing around and at that, I only saw them in the morning. They have all started their journey to warmer climates in what is a great migration for many. I also thought my foxes had dispersed. No egg offering had been taken for two days but this morning, I see the single offering has disappeared. It is likely the family has broken up. The pups are plenty old enough to strike out on their own, the vixen abandons the den area for good and all will lead a solitary life until mating season in February or March. Gray fox territories range from 1 to 4 miles. I am guessing that with little human activity up here in the monument our foxes are able to stake out the more ample ranges on that scale. The youngsters will travel quite a distance before finding their own territories. With 60,000 acres give or take, there is plenty to pick from. Gray foxes are not a plentiful species in this area. The deer are still around. The fawns now sporting their new standard issue tan grey winter coats.

I'm on the home stretch with the painting.

 Every time I open a can of paint I thank Dean Cohen for a better way to manage the job. Dean and his company did all the original plastering and painting.  No flimsy trays here, a 5 gallon bucket and hanging paint screen makes the job easier and safer.

 I am less likely to tip a big bucket over than a tray that's for sure. And no stupid critter (or human!), is going to step in it.  The set up is more stable on the ladder and I can wrap a plastic bags over the bucket, the roller and a baggie on the brush and take break or even overnight them. The last bits to be done are refreshing the trim and painting the new hallway chair rail.

I did allow myself some time at the beginning of the week to obsess over a new and simple tunic pattern. Green Bee is a small indie pattern company and this is their Lela pattern. It could go into scrub territory with the wrong fabric choices, but it is a fun, easy and comfortable everyday kind of tunic. My wearable muslin is all scraps out of stash.

The second rendition out of a light Japanese canvas I've had waiting for the right pattern. This was it.

 I could let the interesting fabric just be itself.

Barn cleaning and some cutting back and weeding in the garden rounded out the week.
Soon we'll bring in our hay, mulch out the beds and walkways, get the wood split and stacked and in general start buttoning up for winter. The warm sun never seems so sweet as right now. Summer days, fall's crisp nights.

Parting shot: The Old Man