Monday, June 26, 2017

I Need a Hay Baler...

You know it's been too long since you've mowed when you wonder if you could get a couple bales of hay out of the grass.  :P


Order has been restored, and the lawn looks good now...but I am always sad to mow the flowers down.


Oh well.  Whenever I get my own place, I'll just have to leave one little pasture full of tall, waving grass and wildflowers.  :)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Languishing Tomatoes...

So, yeah.

I might need to work up quite a bit more gumption if I'm going to be a homesteader someday.

I finally got around to planting the rest of my tomatoes outside.  They've been languishing in little pots on the windowsills for quite a few weeks now.


Hmm.  I think I need to find some stakes...

Poor tomatoes.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Eleven Months Old!

Thane turned eleven months old today!  It's so crazy how time flies!!


We celebrated by taking a walk in the woods this morning.  :) 

Surprisingly, at his monthly weigh-in (using the highly-scientific method of me stepping on the scale while holding him, then subtracting my weight, lol), I discovered that he's dropped five pounds since last month!  Thane is now a svelte 52.7 pounds.  I think he looks good - I can feel his ribs, but they're not prominent, and he's got a nice abdominal tuck that's indicative of a lean, healthy dog.  He might fill out a bit more, but I'll probably try to keep his figure about the way it is now - it's so much healthier for a dog to be on the slightly lean side than on the slightly tubby side.  :P 

Happy 11 months, Thane!!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

More Milestones and Some Dampness

Yesterday, Thane and I went on a Grand Adventure.

Well...he probably viewed it as a Grand Adventure, anyway.  For me, it was at least a Moderate Adventure.  :P

We drove twenty minutes to Iona Lake - but wait!  Before that, we had another Milestone.

So I got Thane into his harness, gathered all the stuff I was bringing to the lake, walked with Thane to the truck, and opened the door - and Thane jumped up into the passenger seat all by himself!  That's right - with no prompting, no coaxing for ten minutes with bacon bits, and no dancing away to the end of the leash.

This is Big News, people!!

And, lol, it makes it sound like life with my dog is really hard.  I promise it's not - probably 90-95% of everyday life with Thane goes perfectly smoothly.  He's just got a few quirks that are probably mostly my fault (my to-do list to avoid similar problems with Puppy #2 is growing ever longer - handle her paws regularly, take her driving a lot, brush her often, etc.), and it's exciting to see him starting to get past some of those issues.

Anyway.

We drove to the lake and parked at a friend's camp.  It was a super hot, muggy day, but the breeze coming off the lake is always SO much cooler than the temperatures in town.


Thane followed me willingly down into the shallow water at the edge, but it quickly became clear that he wasn't eager to go deeper, so I went back to the truck for a long line to tie to his six-foot leash.  I went out a little ways - with some gasping as I adjusted to the cool water, lol - and called to Thane.  He played around for a while, coming closer, then dashing back toward shore.




Lol, he also spent a little while trying to catch dragonflies.  It's hard to see, but it's a bit in front of him, about level with his eyes:


Sniffing it...I wonder what a dragonfly smells like?


Snap!  And no, he did not catch it.  :P


But then, all of a sudden, he walked toward me - and he kept walking toward me, and then he was swimming!!  He did one little lap around me, huffing and puffing, with his nose sticking out of the water.


Lol, and then, of course, he dashed up into the brush on shore and got the zoomies, and I had to climb barefoot up onto the bank to untangle his leash and rope.  


I let him offleash after that, and he spent most of the rest of the time dashing through the trees and making occasional forays into the shallows.




So that was Milestone #2 - swimming.  Apparently Collies are generally not all that much into swimming, so I don't know if Thane will come to like it eventually or not...but it was fun to try.  And it tired him out pretty good, lol:


One last milestone for the day - we stopped by a groomer for a nail trim on the way back, and when we went out to the truck to go home, Thane once again jumped up into his seat without hesitation - good boy!!!

So...I was grateful that God gave us a fun morning at the lake yesterday, and that Thane is growing ever more mature!


Friday, June 16, 2017

Rolling Hills

My sisters and I made a flying trip out to visit our grandparents this past week - as in, we left Tuesday and got back Thursday.  Considering we live in NH, that meant spending about 2/3 of our trip in the car.

Dad tagged along...his mother went to be with her Savior this past December, and her cabin has been occupied by squatters for a few years, so a bunch of the family got together to clean it out.  Anyone want to buy a cabin in PA?  It's got 6 acres with a pond...and it's cheap!!  :P

Us girls (grammar??  Lol...) had a good visit with our grandparents on the other side of the family...it had been far too long since we'd seen them.  They spoiled us, and made us feel like kids again.

Wednesday afternoon, my sister Rachel and I took a few minutes to drive around and enjoy the scenery.  

I have to say, I don't know what it is about the rolling hills of New York and Pennsylvania, but for as long as I can remember, there's just been something about them that makes my heart sing...for lack of better words.












I was happy to come home, though.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Flowers and a Milestone

I took Thane to the woods today.  The Lady Slippers were blooming, and even though I already have a million photos of them on my computer, I had to stop and take a couple more:


Look, these ones were white...not sure I've seen that before:


Lol, every time I stopped to take a photo, every kind of biting insect known to man descended upon me (well, not EVERY kind...just mosquitoes and black flies - but that was plenty!!)...but I kept stopping to take photos.  In retrospect, maybe not the best decision, but I'm nothing if not stubborn.  So these next flower photos may not be high quality shots, but just think of the (less than advisable) sacrifice behind each one of them!!

Wild Strawberries:


Violets:


Blackberries:


Little star-shaped things:


Clover:


Cheerful little yellow things:


Vetch:


Tiny daisy-like things:


Buttercup-ish things:


More cheerful yellow things:


And last but not least, pretty purple daisy-ish things:


Lol, I'll have to get out my wildflower book sometime and figure out all the real names of the flowers.  :P

I was impressed at how much is blooming right now!  And I was even more impressed at the voracity of the flying, biting insects that inhabit the woods!!  

Oh! My title mentions a milestone too...that milestone does NOT include flowers or mosquitoes.  It's about Thane.  

Today...Thane came when I called to him - even though he was playing with another dog!

  
Lol, that might not sound like such a big deal to most people, but I've had several instances where Thane followed happily after another dog - totally ignoring me calling to him - as the dog's owner hiked (and in one case jogged) up a long hill....when I wanted to go down the hill.  

But today, instead of "*Puff, puff* Please stop so I can *puff, puff* catch my dog!!", Thane ran after the other dog, played for a minute - and then he actually listened to me...and came tearing back over to me at top speed from a pretty considerable distance.  

That made me very, very happy.

And I'd like to think it made Thane happy too, because he got lots of praise and several bites of cheese.  :)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Done!! (Kind of...)

So after work today, I feverishly skirted fleeces for a couple hours, and I'm happy to report that I'm (kinda sorta, maybe, okay not really) done!

Lol.

By "done" I mean that all but one or two fleeces are now roughly skirted and in bags or bundles in our shed so that they won't get rained on.

Except for one lonely fleece that I forgot in the back of my truck, and didn't notice until after I'd closed the shed and the tied the gate shut.

And except for the giant mound of castoff bits piled under my work table.

And except for the fact that I really had no idea what I was doing, so the fleeces will probably need lots more bits cut off of them, and lots more vegetation pulled out...

...and except for the fact that all 20+ fleeces still need to be washed.  

Well.

I made progress anyway.  :P

I didn't take any photos today, so enjoy this random picture of a squirrel eating bread instead.  Because he certainly appears to be enjoying himself, so why shouldn't you?  (Hm, yeah, that doesn't make any sense, does it?  Oh well.  Squirrel!!)


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Skirting the Fleece

I'm finally getting to the fleece that's been riding around in the back of my truck the past week and a half.  We've had a rainy spring so far, so when I saw that today was supposed to be bright and sunny, I knew that it was the right day to work on the fleeces.  

I've been doing some research, and I learned that I'm supposed to have a skirting table.  Most people's tables have rollers in the open space in the middle - usually PVC pipes over wooden dowels - so that the short, "second" cuts on the bottom of the fleece can fall through.  Being the sort who likes to whip up a project at the last moment with whatever happens to be on hand, though, I came up with this beauty:


Hey, it works!!  :D  

So I spent a good chunk of the day skirting the fleeces.  Lol, I plunked the first one on the table - and then took a step back...it REEKED of ammonia.  It appears that some moisture got under the tonneau cover of my truck, and some of the fleeces are a little wet.

Wet fleeces are Not Fun.  :( 

The first fleece took me the longest, and I was actually rather discouraged - but then the next couple were really easy, so I learned that Not All Fleeces Are Created Equal.  :P

Here's a big fleece spread out on the table; I toss the waste bits underneath:


Here are the "finished" fleeces (although I wouldn't be surprised to discover that there's a lot more work to be done on them):


And here are the wet fleeces, drying in the sun:


I figure I'm about a third of the way done.  

*Sigh*

I know what I'm doing tomorrow night after work....because guess what the weather forecast is for Friday?  :P