Friday, May 30, 2014

Another WIP Bites the Dust!

Somehow, that sounds bad, when it's actually a good thing.  I am taking myself to task and trying to finish some of the (hundreds) of unfinished projects piled on surfaces, here and there throughout the house.  At least they are all behind closed doors, thanks to the busy paws of the Boyz.  This is, of course, both a good thing and a bad thing.  Out of sight, out of mind...

This morning, I finished sewing together my potholder rug - and I love it!  As a matter of fact, I almost hate to put it on the floor and step on it....but I will.  These large potholder squares are great winter projects - they are part of a kit sold by Crazy as a Loom.  She is a wonderful weaver and teacher, and going to one of her weaving workshops is at the top of my wish list.

The rug measures just under
3' x 5'
There is so much left on the WIP list that I am rendered semi-conscious just trying to think about it.  I am going to put the knitty kind of things on the back (waaaay back) burner and concentrate on the sewing things.  My carpal tunnels need the break.  Certain deadlines have moved some projects to the top of the list - like sewing up quilted towel mats for Lovey and Scrappy - but there are some fun things in there, too.  I keep scolding myself for starting so many different projects, but that is just the Me.  It is who I am and I am owning it.  However, I am putting my sisters on notice - you had better ramp up your crafting skills.  I am leaving it all to you, darlings.  Finished or not.  Love, Sweezie.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Peaceable Kingdom. Not.

Borrowing my title from Mama Pea's comment, I live in a not-so-peaceable kingdom.  I am held captive by the goats - any movement from the house, ANY movement, causes bleating from the goats.  This gets the sheep going.  I find myself creeping on tiptoe out of the back door and sidling along the house, hugging the outer walls and woodpile, in order to reach the chickens unseen by sheep or goat.

On the poultry side of the farm, Penelope (Penny the turkey) is chirping forlornly and loudly since she seems to have just noticed that she is a turkey and NOT a chicken and calls for a tom to come save her from this lonesome existence almost incessantly.  This has caused Dotty (Specked Sussex) to get her undies in a twist.  Loudly.  The two Ameracaunas are never silent - they are either carrying on because someone is in "their" nesting box, or The Monster (moi) has entered the coop, or the crows have entered the yard, or a foreign bit of vegetation has blown into the yard.

Bleu has overcome his shyness and crows ever three minutes.  Luckily, he is still not aggressive with the hens.  Unluckily, he still has his cap set for Penny.

There are new neighbors on the road with dogs.  Lots of dogs.  They march their dogs up and down the road in front of the house, which has Scrappy in a frenzy of barking and shoving as many of his toys in his mouth as possible - just in case the interlopers may try to storm the house and take them.  At least they muffle the sound.  As soon as Scrappy barks, Lovey, the back-up band, starts her usual chirping and shrieking (she does not bark like a normal dog - she's 'special'). 

All we need is a full orchestra and a steel drum band.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Little Experiment in Co-Mingling.

I have been letting the sheep out into the center paddock so that they can graze on something green.  It has nothing to do with my desire to quash Norman's incessant bleating. 

**Short aside:  A friend stopped by to buy eggs and here comes Norman - on a full gallop.  "OMG!" she says.  "When did you get the calf?"  He is quite a bit taller than the Icelandics...he gallops and they boing.**

This always starts shrieking from the goats - "How come the SHEEPS get out on grasses?  How come the goaties DO NOT??"  I finally gave in and let the six of them out at the same time.  Then I held my breath.  Nothing happened.

All is peace and quiet...

at a safe distance...

This has started a line of thought that is leading me to sell Sage and Willow and keep Apple.  If they can all live together in relative harmony, it may be possible. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It's for my own good.

I had taken Friday off, so I got a nice, long weekend.  Four whole days.  F.O.U.R.  When left to my own devices, I can become shockingly feral in four days.  This is why I almost always plan some social 'do' at the Little Lucky on the last day.  I am forced to stop.  I am forced to clean the house.  I am forced to plan a menu.  I am forced to clean up my act.  Little do my workmates realize how lucky they are that I am forced to clean up my act.  Although, I did notice that I was not able to get all the grime out from under my fingernails...

In amongst the digging, shoveling, planting, raking, schlepping, trimming, and rassling, were some fun things.  (Honestly?  It's all fun to me...) 

Friday was Honey Extracting Day.  I rendezvous-ed with DS Melanie and Marianne for a session of honey extracting up at the farm mid-morning.  It was fun.  And sticky.  And we only just got halfway through.  I then motored home and took the dogs for a walk.  Then I started on the garden - and introduced the New Roo - "Bleu", brother of Roquefort, to the girls.  I put him in the holding coop and let everyone sort of get used to each other.  Frankly, he was more interested in the pile of scratch feed than he was in the voluptuous hens sashaying around the coop, trying to catch his eye.  Once everyone had retired for the evening, I tucked him between two hens on the roost and closed the door.  The following morning...silence.  It was odd.  When I peeked in, he seemed to be trying to keep the lowest profile he could muster - I think he was holding his breath.  Once they came out, however, he realized he was the King of All He Saw and started the Elvis.  Unfortunately for him, the first female he cast his beady eyes on was Penelope, the hen turkey.  She was not amused.  In fact, she was highly offended.  After a futile ten minutes of chasing and being chased, he then focused on one of the crazy Welsummer hens.  She beat him up.  Bleu was off to a rocky start.  Things have since calmed down and he seems to be a nice fellow.  And, thank goodness, his crow is not like his brother's.  The music is back.

Saturday was the weekly Parental Visit and a rather rainy, cool day.  Once I got home, it was back into the garden, rain or no rain.  I worked until the light started fading, then straggled inside.  Sunday morning I was up early and met my friend, Maggie, for coffee at a neat little cafe about twenty minutes from me.  It has gotten very popular and I noticed the prices have risen substantially.  It is right on a main route for City folks who swarm north to the Country.  I assume the prices reflect the clientele.  But the coffee is excellent and it's provided by a local roaster, Fred Cashmere (he of the luxuriant mustache) and Liquid Assets.  Then we went our separate ways and I was back to work. 

My goal was to get the garden fully planted by Monday early afternoon.  DS Melanie and I met early Monday morning for an hour of greenhouse work - weeding, watering and planting melons.  Then back to the LLF for the final onslaught.  And to plant my Arborvitae to (hopefully) make up for the slash and burn by our great electric provider.  The last squash seedling went in the ground at 1:30.  I made it with minutes to spare.  But with leftover seed potatoes, darn it.  Not surprisingly, I ran out of room.  Those pesky potatoes are, apparently, not "friends" with much else in my garden.  I spent quite a bit of time trying to find a place for them that would not cause strife with the other vegetables.  Darn potato trouble-makers.  I will take better photos of the solution to my yearly dilemma when I am less exhausted and it's not raining.  Here is the general look of things:

Everything in!

Last year's strawberry bed going
gangbusters.  Tomatoes and peppers
(and fennel and marigolds) to the left.

More lettuce!

Center aisle with potatoes, onions, horseradish,
chives, mint, comfrey and pansies.

I had my neighbors (Parents #2) and the Lawn Guy over for dinner - it's a good combination, as they can compare surgeries, etc. and generally keep each other occupied while I finish dinner and get it on the table.  I had invited the Lawn Guy over earlier, as we were both in need of adult beverages by that point and Parents #2 do not drink.  We swilled down a G&T apiece before they arrived.  The only concession I made to my imminent exhaustion, was to downgrade the dessert from a scintillating (sounding) Rhubarb Coconut Custard Tart, to black cherry ice cream with some amazing No-Bake Cookies I made for the barn crew - a confection of cocoa, butter, sugar, coconut, peanut butter, oats and vanilla that is fantastic.  No one minded.  Then I loaded the dishwasher, made a cup of tea and sat down.

Then it was today.  Lots more from the dreamy-long weekend, but enough for now!  I am now going to catch-up on all your goings-on...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

History repeats itself.

After I lost my roo, Roquefort, I wasn't too worried about the hens' safety because I had a back-up - Little Bit.  Also known as Short Pants.  He was my "Free Exotic Chick" from Murray McMurray (I have now gotten smarter and turned down the free chick offer - it's always a cockerel and I'm not impressed with male exotic-ness.  In chickens, that is...).  After lurking in the shadows of the large-but-marshmallowy Roquefort, Short Pants came into his new, elevated position with a vengeance.  The hens were not impressed.  Nor was I.  He did have a nicer, more classic crow than Roqie - who had sort of a tin-can-against-metal-grating crow.  But there lurked something dark and insidious under Shorty's feathery countenance.

He was Ivan the Terror reincarnated.  Ivan the Terror was the meanest rooster this side of the Mississippi and he made my previous life a living hell.  While I try not to paint roosters (or people) with the same paintbrush, there are similarities that cannot be ignored.  Shorty looks to be a Dominique rooster.  Ivan was a Dominique rooster.  I raised Shorty from a chick and lavished attention on him.  Ditto Ivan.  All was peachy until the hormones kicked in.  Ditto all over again.

Luckily, the brother of Roquefort has been residing at DS Melanie's.  He will soon be taking up residence at the Little Lucky.  Shorty?  I have plans for him and they don't include retirement.  His reign will be brief.

It's been a tough year for the poultry on the homestead.  Since last fall, I have lost over six hens and my rooster.  Some loss could be traced to old age - I have some geriatric birds - some to possible heart attack (Betty & Roqie), some to hawk attack (Peanut & Nutty Ameracauna 3), and some are just unknown (Violet).  It's always a tricky business keeping the flock at a number that a) won't eat you out of house and home; and b) will be young enough to lay enough eggs to at least pay for their feed.  I am now faced with the majority being 'up there' in age.  Do I let them dwindle to a smaller, cheaper flock, or do I boost the laying power so that I don't lose the egg customers I've built up.  Dunno.  I do know that I am not going to order a bunch of fancy-pants chicks - the hens that seem to thrive are the homebirds - the mutts.  So, with that in mind, I have been putting aside a few eggs for DS Melanie to incubate.  Who knows?  I may just hatch a Son of Roquefort!  Wouldn't that be nice.

Under the category of making lemonade out of lemons, yesterday morning the tree crew arrived on my road to rape, pillage and plunder clear the trees under and around the power lines.  Apparently, they no longer trim branches.  They cut everything down to the ground.  I was very unhappy to hear this, as they will be clear-cutting 90 percent of the trees along the road that offer some protection from the noise, dust and dirt from the gravel trucks.  Apparently, I have no rights.  What a surprise.  Not.  As I sauntered over, I could see them start the nervous shuffle and start bunching together.  Since there was no reason to give them a piece of my mind, I, instead, asked for all the chipped material and some maple branches for the goats and sheep.  They were so relieved that I was not going to yell at them, that they gave me TWO truck loads of chips and a huge, nicely stacked pile of leafy branches.  Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow.  Next farm, I will be someplace where I either have more rights or am far enough off the beaten track that I can feel justified putting machine guns in turrets and shooting their tires out.  Kidding.  Sort of.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Zap! Crackle! Fizz....

After the monsoon Friday night, the weekend morphed into a rather nice one.  Saturday was spent in VT - work done on the car, visit with my parents, sister and BIL, weeding, watering and cleaning up in the greenhouse, then home.  I had hoped to get some things done in the garden, but I had a friend coming over for dinner, so those hopes were jettisoned out the door. 

That led to a very busy day on Sunday.  Besides the usual Sunday activities (dog walking, barn/cow visiting, baking), my neighbor showed up to mow my grass and zap my weeds.  What a difference!  However, I realized that, as time double-times along, I will soon be mowing my own grass and zapping my own weeds - my neighbor is closing in on 80 and has slowed down noticeably this year.  Even though he insists on helping me, I can read the writing on the wall.  I am researching cordless weed trimmers - I really can't take all that noise, especially on top of my neighbor's endless chainsawing and his grandson's little, very annoying motor scooter.  That he drives up and down and up and down and up and down their driveway.  It seems they save their hearing-challenging activities for Sunday. 

Laundry got washed and hung on the line.  It was a perfect laundry day - not too hot but sunny and breezy.  Three loads were washed and dried in no time.  Then there was weeding, shoveling, hauling, weeding, shoveling, hauling, raking, etc.  I got all but one of the raised beds ready for planting.  I had already planted three kinds of beets, three kinds of kale, collard greens (new this year), mustard greens (ditto) and chard.  The garlic is growing well, the onions are coming along, and I think I am finally seeing the evergreen bunching onions coming up (new).  I have about three wheelbarrow-fuls of dirt from the pile that has been 'aging' on my driveway for two years.  Once that's gone, I can call in my shifty neighbor with the gravel business who offered to deliver free stone 'just because he's a good neighbor'.  I'll believe that when I see it in my driveway.

All that's needed in the garden is to finish topping off one bed and to plant everything.  Each early spring, I tell myself it's time to cut back, as I am only planting for one person.  Every late spring, I have run out of room.  It looks as if I will have to get inventive when it comes to my summer squash.  But all of this is moot.  Nothing else is getting planted because we had two morning of frost.  Which zapped my strawberry flowers.  Looks like the harvest will be delayed.  I did remember to swaddle my lemon tree - which is fruiting up very nicely...

Inside, things are fermenting -- a batch of kombucha and milk kefir, to be exact.  I am slowly bringing my kefir back to life and this is my first time with kombucha.  I have been smart enough this time to put the jars way separate - no co-mingling of those little bacteria - and, at the same time, somewhere where I won't forget them (who, me?)  Fun!  I was looking forward to adding fresh strawberries into my daily kefir, but will have to - sigh - settle for my frozen blueberries.  Poor me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Well, thanks to a nasty little virus hidden in one of the comments I published, my email account was hacked. those of you on my email list, please disregard any group email that you may have received.  I NEVER send group emails.  Nor do I believe that green coffee beans are the cure-all for weight problems.


I am back to verification.  Just a word of caution to those who moderate their comments - did NOT see this coming, as nothing seemed different about this comment (which was from a regular commenter/or).  There are times when I do dislike technology soooo much.  Then I realize I would be cut off from the ones I've grown to love...

So.  My laptop has been cleansed.  I hope.  But I am still struggling with the new operating system which, quite frankly, stinks.  I am taking the computer back to the TechDoc for more cleaning, de-bugging, scrubbing and whatever.

Technology is a lot like potato chips.  Can't live with it.  Can't live without it.

Monday, May 12, 2014

It had Sorrow! It had Betrayal! It had Ups! It had Downs! It had Blood-letting!

Now that I have your attention ... my weekend recap. 

Sorrow - my beloved Roquefort died sometime Thursday night.  I had raised him from a day old chick and he had everything I wanted in a rooster - beauty, gentleness with the hens, and he gave me a wide berth.  Wednesday he was his fine self.  Thursday, he was not.  I've been trying to figure out what happened - poison?  heart attack? - but I will never know.  Little Bit has thrown himself into Lead Roosterdom with a vigor that I do not appreciate (nor do the girls).  I am saving some eggs with the hope that I can beg cajole my DS Melanie into incubating them and hatching a hopeful Son of Roquefort. 

Betrayal - Lovey let me down.  Actually, I set myself up for it.  Friday, I had to run over to a neighbor's to drop off a form and had a little chat.  I was gone, maybe, 30 minutes.  When I came home, it looked like someone had broken in and tossed the place.  Shredded paper, packing envelopes, magazine, knitting needles (my only pair of 7s), mostly punctured favorite hand lotion bottle.  It was a mess.  It appears that Lovey suffers from separation anxiety - she is fine when I am outside working; apparently she can keep her eye on me.  But, once Kyle leaves the driveway, it's the End of the World.

Ups - the weather (Sunday) was perfect.  Breezy, warm, sunny.  I worked my elbow off and crammed in as much as possible, as I had to bisect my day by driving up to VT, picking up my mom and dad, and driving to their fav restaurant for dinner.  I guess that's an Up and Down.  I got some plants in, did a lot of weeding and cleaning up, and moved a lot of dirt.  I also vaccinated the goats for CDT, a job that I know too well should NOT be put off.  The sheep got a little grass time - actually, more than I had planned, as the dreaded duo of Linden and Juno managed to push their chubby bodies through the gate and got in a lot more grass time.  No bloat, as I have been slowing working them into grass.  Blessing there.  Even Norman is putting on weight!  He needs to be coated and I KNOW I ordered two coats for him.  I even remember running across the coat recently.  Do you think I could recollect where I saw it?  Nope.  Nada.  No way, Jose.

Downs - the weather on Saturday.  Sun.  Pouring rain.  Sun.  Pouring rain.  Unfortunately, the sun did not hold out for very long in between the downpours.  I didn't get much done - but I did get to visit with Marianne!

Blood-letting - I have discovered a tick on my person every day for the last three days.  Luckily, they have been (mostly) located where I could actually get at them.  This is one of the drawbacks of living with only dogs.  They have no opposable thumbs and cannot work a pair of tweezers.  Since I have been feeling sort of achy and fatigued of late, a dim light bulb went off and I am wondering if I am suffering from Lyme's Disease.  I am loathe to go to the doctor, especially when this is one of those elusive diseases that can throw both false positives and false negatives.  But I am tired of being tired, redundant or not.  So tomorrow morning, bright and early, I am seeing the PA.  I realized that I spend way more time checking the dogs for ticks than myself.  Time for a full length mirror or a breathable Hazmat suit...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Small World and Foiled Again.

Being now in business together, my DS Melanie and I have been splitting rhubarb plants and potting them up for sale.  (Let me say right here that, should I ever be stranded on an island - I would insist being stranded with DS Melanie.  She is amazing.)  I let them sit for a week, taking full advantage of a sprinkling of llama beans (the plants tripled in size in a week), and then took their picture and put them on Craigslist.

The Power of Beans!
Either everyone has Spring fever, there is a mad craving for rhubarb, or I happened to post them at the exact same time a bunch of gardeners were perusing the list - I had eight requests in less than an hour.   As is usually the case with these things, the first person lived over an hour and a half away and, although they wanted them, it made no sense.  (This is a real needle in my side - you must put down where you are located and yet, most people make no effort to check first.)  Gardener #2 wanted me to deliver them.  Gardener #3 lived close by and could pick them up that night.  Sold to Gardener #3!  I got a time range of between 6:30-7:30 and went about my nightly chores, waiting for their arrival.  7:30 came and went and no Gardener #3.  Another problem with these things - no-shows.  I was just about to curse them mightily, when there was a knock on the door.  We all jumped - the dogs now furiously barking, trying to make up for the fact that they let someone slip by...

I opened the door - to find my hay guy!  You know how there is someone you know from one place and when you see them somewhere else, it throws you?  It also throws me because I have a major mojo crush on him.  Unfortunately, he is in a happy relationship.  Unfortunately for me, that is. I managed to stutter hello and he carted the plants to his van.  He came back up and handed me two packages of frozen venison.  "I thought it might be you," he boomed in his velvety deep voice.  Sigh.  I gave him a quick tour to introduce the recipients of his great hay.  Then I blathered some more, then off he went.  Sigh.

Then I eyeballed the venison.  I have been wrestling with changing my diet to vegetarian.  (A Lacto/Ovo/Vego, if you're into labels... *:-} ).  I have been trying to winnow out all meat products from the freezer and have seesawed on raising meat chickens this year.  Unfortunately, I have two friends who pleaded with me to raise some for them and I said yes.  I don't want to go back on my word.  Plus, I know how important it is to know where, how and why my food was grown/raised, and I have pontificated on this ad nauseum.  I also do not want to put myself in a position that I find personally loathsome - that of being a hypocritical farmer.  A vegetarian who raises animals for food.  That puts a twist in my knickers like nobody's business.

The plan now (this would be, let's see, Plan X) is to eat mostly Lacto/Ovo/Vego until every speck of meat is gone and then make the change with a clear conscience.  It will also give me time to arm my recipe box with lots of good, nourishing, healthy LOV recipes.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Weekend Recap. The Good, The Bad, the Butt-Ugly.

On Thursday, after dithering around about how I was going to get everything accomplished in the one non-rainy day (or so they said) this weekend, I ended up taking Friday off to gain another dry day (or so they said).  A genuine Mental Health Day.  I had an appointment to get my hair cut early in the morning, then came home, put on my Hazmat suit and tackled the chicken coop.  Every second wheelbarrow-full, the skies opened up and it poured.  It took me six loads.  And then there was the scraping.  I did not, however, give it the white glove treatment (hahahaha), so there are still a few things that need doing - sweeping down the ceiling and walls, cleaning the windows, repairing a window, replacing their door.  But it is cleaned out, the nesting boxes are all filled with clean, fluffy shavings, and I needed a break.

So I had a glass of iced tea and tackled the goat barn.  I took out their feeder and dragged a cattle panel through two paddocks and three gates (that was SO much fun, I just can't wait to reverse the process), and fashioned a fence that bisected their run.  It just fit, so I was greatly relieved.  I managed to lure the goaties to the other side (non-barn) of their area, then tied about fifteen pieces of baling twine on both ends to secure it.  Then there was the issue of luring in the sheep and llama to a much smaller and alien space.  I did what I always do - I started with Norman.  If there is food involved, Norman is first.  If Norman goes first, the other two can't stand it and are close behind.  That just leaves helping Apria and her challenged sight find her way through a strange gate.  But it worked. 

Just as I was settling my stinky, sweaty self into a chair with a glass of wine and a two-dog blanket, a series of events had me doing a fast and furious clean-up and then I went out for a pulled pork dinner with one of my favorite neighbors.  His wife wasn't up to it, so there I was.  Since this is a small town, we were teased unmercifully and I am sure the rumor-mill was churning away.  Let them talk - I had her permission. 

Saturday dawned overcast and murky.  My shearer was supposed to arrive around 8:30A, so I did a little fancy footwork and got the llama and sheep separated and sheep closed in the goat barn.  The goats, meantime, managed to survive their new surroundings barnless (they did have a nice, roomy Dogloo) and spent the morning screaming at me.  I was inches from hanging a "Free to ANY home" sign around Sage's neck and putting her out at the curb.  My shearer did not show up until a quarter past ten.  So much for the rest of my plans.  The wait did afford me the chance to actually get organized and ready for him, however, so I am not complaining.  I had my CDT vaccine portioned into syringes, the wormer drench and drencher, and the hoof trimmers.  He brings his own, but I prefer using mine on my sheep - because I KNOW that I disinfect them.  Joe always brings his sidekick - his son, Carter.  Carter's been coming with him since he was a toddler (he's now about six) and it's rather nice to have him old enough that I don't have to run around fearing for his life.  He settled under the pines on an upturned bucket and played some video game, bursting into gales of laughter every now and then (Joe says he's a ham) and mimicking Sage to the point where she gave up.  I may have to hire him.

It didn't take long to get everyone finished and I was shocked when Norman stood naked-ish.  He is very thin.  I realized that I had been treating him like an Icelandic - and not feeding him grain.  Norman NEEDS grain, poor boy.  The other piece of business was to deal with Linden's hoof rot.  Gak.  Thankfully, Joe did what needed to be done, as I don't have the heart to trim down that hard.  It always leads to bleeding - but it is necessary to start the real healing process.  So there I was, hoping that no one from PETA would come by.  I had one slightly malnourished sheep and another with a great bloody foot.  My nice routine is now on its ear*, as I have to find a way to feed grain to Norman twice a day - without the rest of them (except Apria) - and I have to start the Kopertox again on Linden's hoof.  I was happy to see that the bleeding stopped fairly quickly, but it is still sore and he barely walks on it.  And, just to make everything all tidy and finished in a pretty bow, the temperatures dipped, the rains haven't stopped, and my sheep are naked.  At least they have their nice dry run-in shed.

By the time I got everything cleaned up and put away, it was too late to go to the presentation at the library.  I was disappointed, but what can you do?  And, since my coffee date had bailed on me, too,  I put on my gloves, grabbed some seed packets and my stirrup hoe and headed out to the garden.  I did a lot of weeding and planted bunching onions, collards, chard, and kale.  This way, I am guaranteed we will get a frost.  Just to make sure that I squeezed in enough to take advantage of the dryish day, I also repaired and reinforced the bottom of the POS chicken coop I had gotten from a friend.  I managed to get it done before the rain started, thanks to all the supervisors there to 'help' me.  My Speckled Sussex, Dotty, is extremely insistent on helping.

Part of working so hard was my desire to block out the news I received on Friday.  One of my favorite new friends - the young farmer I had visited in January who was building up a farm on which to raise his young family - had been killed in an ATV accident earlier in the week.  He leaves behind his lovely, young family - wife, toddler daughter and a baby on the way.  It shook my foundations.  It made me indescribably sad.

On the Lovey front, she has managed to charm everyone she has met.  I took both granddogs up to VT on Sunday to do errands, and for Lovey to meet her grandparents.  She sashayed up to my mother and gave her the adorable look - it was over in seconds.  She is such a good dog; smart, joyful, funny.  I had left her in the house twice with no supervision and the only casualty was a corner of a piece of newspaper.  Last night, as I was getting ready to move her to her crate for the night, she placed upon me such a mournful gaze that I caved in and let her sleep on the sofa next to Scrappy all night.  I am very pleased that she is making such good progress.  She even mastered "sit" in three tries.  Of course, it MUST involve a treat to work.  More work needs to be done.

Then there is the sharing issue....

This morning's routine was still off - as it was the first time I had to paint Kopertox on Linden's hoof and he was his usual self - eely.  I managed to paint his hoof, his leg and my sleeve.  Things are fragrant again.  Norman got his dish of grain, but I am struggling with a way to feed him without having to give the Icelandics anything - not even an oat.  This is not easy. 

On the WIP front, I am down to sewing on the last strip of my potholder rug!  With any luck, it will be finished by Wednesday.  I am happy about the way it turned out and am thinking about working something up that is similar, but makes use of the 420 fleeces I have managed to accumulate.  Make that 423.  Pictures to come.

In the kitchen - I made a batch of GF blueberry muffins from a new cookbook and they were good!  Still not like the regular, but tasty.  I used up the last of my wild blueberries - I still have a gallon freezer bag left.  The muffins were a hit in the barn Sunday morning, but I think those guys would eat just about anything.  I also roasted a chicken, made some awesome GF crackers and my favorite Carrot Rice.  Being rather desperate for anything green, I harvested a big mess 'o dandelion greens and cooked them up with some bacon and balsamic vinegar.  Ah....

*This makes me think of a new 'old' saying that my dairy farmer neighbor told me Sunday morning - "When the oak tree leaf is the size of a chipmunk's ear, plant corn."  Hoot!