September 21, 2011
It’s been a month and the Jenkins Woodworking website still isn’t near where I want it to be.
Nothing has gone as planned. Nothing concerning getting the website updated has progressed smoothly. Nor has transferring files and setting up email accounts on the computer built for us by a friend Ed hired. All day I chased shadows and hopes. Progress on several fronts has been made but by 7 this evening I ran out of steam. There’s still so much to do. I’m almost at the point of plugging the old beast back in just to update the website a little.
Tomorrow I have to take the car in to be serviced and do a bit of birthday shopping for our son who, along with his wife, will be riding here from the Boise area tomorrow on his motorcycle. One of their longtime friends is getting married Saturday and they decided it was a great excuse for a road trip. Their kids will stay home with friends minding them. His birthday is Friday. Friday afternoon I’ll deliver Standard Turkish spindles and Delights at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival for Morgaine of Carolina Homespun and Jim Pritchard of Herndon Creek Farm. (Ed doesn’t wholesale his other types – simply too much skill and/or time involved in them.)
Gotland sheep and spindles are the featured items for this year’s festival and we were asked to put some of our spindles in the display upstairs in the 4-H building. It’s been fun pulling together a sampling of our spindles and working with Kristi Gustafson who has been a delight. I am looking forward to meeting her in person on Friday. If you make it to OFFF (open on Saturday and Sunday) please check out all the displays upstairs – it’s also where the items that have been entered in the competitions are displayed, it’s always interesting to look at the different items.
Our daughter-in-law’s mother is moving out of state the end of this month. It’s sad to see her leave the area but for years she’s dreamed of living where she’s moving and she realized that she could either dream of it the rest of her life or do something about it. Last night four of us women friends got together for pizza and a puzzle. We had a lovely time celebrating our friendship with good conversation, food and a puzzle. We’ve watched our kids graduate from high school then college, witnessed their marriages and held their babies, and marveled that we could be so old already. We’ve cried, prayed and held two of these dear friends close in our hearts as they battle cancer. It wasn’t goodbye yet as we will all be at the wedding on Saturday that all of our grown children will also be attending. A huge family reunion, tied not by family blood but by the love of Jesus Christ.
As a children who both grew up in families that moved often: changing schools several times, new sets of friends every few years (more often for Ed), new scenery, new churches, it’s a wonder to Ed and I that we’ve been in one place for over 24 years. Roots settling deep. People in the church become our family and as with family members we take the good and bad in each other and try to have a sense of humor about the “trying” personalities.
Not all has been totally unproductive on the home front! Two more items have recently been finished:
This is the last of the rugs from the summer’s warp, shown draped over the loom. It wanted to live with us and now gives our toes a cozy cushion in the bathroom.
These socks make me happy! The superwash wool/nylon yarn which was a gift from a dear customer and his friend, Christiane who dyed the colourway for him, the color, the way they fit, and the fact that though they accidentally ended up in the washing machine they suffered no ill effect! They’ve been worn twice and feel wonderful.
Toe up, short row heel – no pattern except for what was in my head.
Needles: double-point #2 / 2.75mm
Yarn: Drachenwolle 420 meters/100 grams – plenty left over to do a pair of socks for a small child
To avoid 2nd sock syndrome both socks were cast on the same day. The toe of first one sock was worked and then the other toe. From then on I alternately knit an inch or two on one or the other sock. I debated doing 2 socks at once using 2 circular needles but in some ways it’s easier not to have two dangling socks going round and round, sorting out which the pair of needles.
I’m in that limbo between knitting projects! The vest weaving is still on the Julia loom. A hairpin prayer shawl is well underway but neither of those are for traveling. With OFFF coming followed a few days later by another jaunt that should have some good knitting time built in I need to settle down and decide what to cast on next.
September 14, 2011
Picture soft ocean breezes, brilliant blue skies, horses galloping through azure waves, with bareback riders effortlessly floating along…
In reality, except for the soft breeze — which given the normal biting winds of the Oregon coast seemed a miracle — high clouds coated the sky, the horses weren’t keen about the moving water, and we rode on English saddles.
The entire day was fabulous!
Driving under slightly drizzly grey skies along back roads which brought back memories from seventeen years ago when I daily drove the same wandering farm roads 20 miles to a hazelnut farm where I worked with the owner in sorting, roasting and packing hazelnuts, pulling branches during the pruning season and any other odd-end job he needed me to handle. Three miles past his place and I was at the Willamette Ferry just in time to catch it before it headed to the other side. Over the river and along more farm roads past tiny Hopewell and up a long winding road to Boulderneigh.
It didn’t take long to gather and transfer belongings to her truck, load the two horses, say a prayer for a safe day, and we were off down the long hill, up and over the coastal range and down towards the north end of Lincoln City (that town stretches more than 10 miles along the coast but is less than a mile wide in most places, limited in eastward expansion by Devil’s Lake and the Coast Mountain Range. Michelle remembered a side street with room to park her truck & trailer that had a trail leading down to the beach. All of Oregon’s beaches are public access all year long making the coast a wonderful place to walk and run without worrying about trespassing.
We tacked the horses and lead them down the rock-strewn path to the beach.
It didn’t take us long to realize two things:
1) The horses weren’t keen about the incoming tide
2) The almost full tide meant that there was no packed sand for the horses to easily traverse.
Breezy, Michelle’s son’s pony was my horse for the day. This was the first time Michelle had brought her to the ocean and while she didn’t seem freaked by the sight and sound she did not want to be at the tide’s edge. We rode them over to a small pool to let them get used to the water without the moving surf factor.
Breezy never fully accepted walking in the water but the deep soft sand made it difficult going so I encouraged her to stay at the tide line. The hoof prints tell the story of how she scrambled one time as the waves came closer than she wanted.The oddest part of riding at the ocean was the sense of being off balanced and dizzy while walking through the water. I’ve ridden across creeks and even done a bit of swimming with a horse but had never experienced this off balance sensation. The horses also seem to experience it. Michelle said if a horse looks at the moving tide too long it can actually fall over. The other odd thing was as the water came in and receded Breezy would drift with it in the direction the water was moving. There were many times while we were in the surf that we moved at an unnatural angle. I can’t help but suspect that Breezy wasn’t keen about being in the surf because of the way it messed up her senses and instincts.
I hadn’t ridden in a number of years and with the jacket around my waist, crop in gloved hand to encourage Breezy forward as needed, a camera dangling around my neck, managing the reins and trying to keep the horse balanced between seat and legs (failed miserably in that department) I was feeling a bit overwhelmed at times as to what and how needing attending! Hindsight: I should have slipped on Breezy bareback before leaving Boulderneigh so we could get a feel for each other and learn to communicate before adding in all the other elements.
It took only a few minutes before Michelle’s horse, Russell settled down and took it all in stride.
Russell is Michelle’s dressage horse but he chipped a small bone off his flank several months ago and he’s still not allowed to move faster than an occasional easy jog which made for a long, leisurely ride without any mad dashes across the sand.
We rode until we reached “Land’s End”. Though there was only a slight breeze and the clouds were lifting and thinning the air temperature dropped and I was glad for the jacket I’d tied around my waist before setting out.
A few people wanted to come close and pet the horses
One daddy was even willing to take a picture of us together after we’d snapped pictures on his camera so he could show his wife that their 8 month old daughter had seen a horse.
All in all a wonderful day with great companions!
September 12, 2011
Tomorrow a cherished dream will become reality. For almost as far back as memory serves I’ve wished to ride a horse at the beach. Though I grew up with a horse and had a horse for several years when the kids were young we didn’t have a trailer so all riding was done, well, within riding distance. I’ve ridden through vast redrock canyonlands in Northern Arizona, leaving the horses patiently waiting below as my friend and I explored old Anasazi ruins; under majestic soaring fir trees and along needle covered paths winding through areas of the Cascade Mountains; across fields and through creeks; in parades and through thick fog, but never at the ocean.
When I happened to mention this dream to Michelle of Boulderneigh a couple months ago she quickly invited me to go with her sometime, and now is the time! I’ll drive across the Willamette Valley, crossing the Willamette River by ferry which will cut a dozen miles off the route that would lead through Salem (at rush hour), to meet Michelle at her place where she plans to have her horses loaded ready for my arrival.
But first a picture of the Holiday Yarn “Yarn Fairy” colorway Silver Roving that I finished spinning the other day. The camera had a hard time capturing the sparkle of the silver fibers.100+ grams 226 yards of 3-ply
Aurora says I should definitely make something for myself with this yarn.
The moon lured me outside this evening. What do you know: A Rabbit Moon! Do you see the dapper fellow?
I had no idea he was there until I uploaded the pictures onto the computer.
A couple weeks ago I joined my local church group for a weekend campout. Sometime I might post about the dark o’ the morning misadventure but for now, with tomorrow in mind, this will do.
I was shaking the dew off my sleeping bag when I heard a muffled snort, startled I looked around through the light layer of fog. Neighbors out for an early morning ride.
September 10, 2011
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The date and the weather aren’t completely jiving. One would think we’re in the dog days of August. It appears that September is making up for a cold wet spring which lasted through the beginning of summer, staying cool for the better part of July. Lightning strikes triggered several wildfires in various parts of Oregon spreading smokey haze across the skies.
Last Saturday evening on the way home from a wedding in Portland I had to pull over to try to capture the glow and colors of the sky at the Willamette Falls overlook. My Kuchulu was delighted the wedding started half an hour late so was able to see plenty of action. The wedding took place at a very casual venue where guests mingled and drank as we all waited for the bride to appear. After talking with the groom, the handful of his relatives and his parents, whom we’ve known for over 30 years, Ed and I were content to sit on a sofa and enjoy people watching. As the kuchulu happily danced in my hands.
Shortly after seven yesterday evening I caught a glimpse of slanting sunlight on a neighbor’s oak tree and tried to capture the contrast of the fading day and glowing tree.
Twelve hours later I went out to water the garden and was struck at how the rising sun shining on the eastern side of the same tree. The 24 hours are evenly divided between night and day right now, though it won’t be long before the length of darkness surpasses the hours of daylight. Our garden isn’t big but it’s still producing well, tomatoes are just now ripening. I’m still waiting for the Roma tomatoes to turn red so I can begin drying them. With this stretch of 90F days it’s a shame they aren’t ripe enough to take advantage of the solar heat and drying winds that play along this little valley.
A cherry tomato, anyone?The garden is still producing brocolli, sweet (sugar) peas, green beans, beets, carrots and cucumbers.
This is the first year deer decided to cross the neighbor’s fenced yard (seen pictured above) and munch on our produce. For quite a while I was baffled that the sweet peas and carrots weren’t growing, until I spotted the markings of the deer. The next morning I got up early and soft footed it to the kitchen door. Sensing movement a mother and yearling froze before soaring back over the fence and dashing under the oak trees by the creek. (I wonder if deer are bothered by poison oak?)
Today was spent canning green beans with our daughter. Ed worked in the shop all morning cutting rough-cuts for more spindles. As soon as the garden was watered (Why, yes, I water by hand. No sense watering the paths between the rows, plus it’s a wonderful opportunity to savor the quiet of the new day.) I wrote on the spindles he’d made yesterday then readied the work area on the back porch. Aurora arrive shortly after 8, we enjoyed a cup of coffee and some delicious blueberry donuts before heading out to the porch. Ed joined us in the afternoon to lend us a hand. The three of us make a good canning team! Thirty-some pounds, 14 quarts, 9 pints and 1 quart of dilly beans later the gas was turned off to the big camp stove, the area cleaned up, the jars cooling on the shelve admired. A productive day! Between this group and the previous batches processed as the beans have ripened I’ve canned 26 pints and 21 quarts of beans plus 3 quarts of dilly beans (those don’t need to be pressure cooked so I do those when there’s only enough beans ready for a quart jar.
Aurora celebrated another birthday on Sunday. This was my surprise gift for her. (It’s actually a forest green.)A baby sweater! She is expecting her first child in March. We’re all so thrilled.