Sunday, April 29, 2007

wooly hops!

every winter hubby and i say we are going to redo the hop trellis-when the ground is wet and soft and every year winter passes and the trellis is untouched. now the ground is already hard and the hops are growing again. this morning i was inspired to do something-to make it a wee bit better-till next winter when we can do it "right."-ha! so here was my creation-with stuff we already had lying around-bamboo, string(found at the river-hubby is real thrifty) and duct tape!-looks like something from gilligan's island! we'll see if we get more production this year.

right now i'm waiting for some shade to hit my garden so i can continue to dig up another raised bed, so i can lay the gopher wire down. i did manage to take some pics of my current spinning.
here's a few from our guild dye day:

i ordered some undyed falkland island wool roving from rock star pippi- i dyed it bright green for some fun socks-the colors are kind of a mix of these 2 pics-still struggling with photographing.

this morning when i was working on the hop trellis-we had a visit from the neighbors peacock and i found the most adorable baby snake-too cute!

i've been trying to walk everyday to get ready for our yosemite trip. yesterday we came upon a patch of wild iris and we always have a snack of fresh fir needles for a vitamin c boost! we eat the light green tips-yum!

Friday, April 27, 2007

ass blaster and chevrolets

well, i finally finished the book-"Push not the River" by james martin. not because it was not good but because i'm a very slow reader and have little time to read-even though i love to read. one of my favorite genres is historical fiction. i got this book from my mom for xmas-so it only took me 4 effin months to finish this one!this book takes place in poland during the catherine the great invasion of poland in the late 1700's. man, what a soap opera! if you think you've had a bad day-check out anna maria's life-puts it all into perspective. i know it is fiction-but the cornerstone of this novel is from an old unpublished diary of countess anna maria berezowska.

on the fibery side o my life-i've been spinning and dying lots-i hope to get some pics posted this weekend. we had knitting nite at my neighbor/friend rhodie's last nite. wow-what fun we had! gee i got home at midnite-this is very late for me- we go to bed early at my house. no wonder i'm so tired.

on another note-chickens. for us country folks-netflix is a blessing. tonight we watched the funniest documentary(?) on chickens called "the natural history of the chicken." oh my god! it is hysterical-all you chicken lovers out there have to see this film-you will pee your pants! thanks for the recommendation mimi!- i cried too!

today-was cleaning ruth's butt day! now that spring is in full swing here-the green stuff is growing and the bugs are flowin-the hens are happy as can be-my gurls are free range-so they have been in hog heaven. well, ruth got diarrhea from something-i don't think she's sick-as she is full of energy and there is no change in her egg laying. i think it's something she ate. the problem was-her vent(aka-butt) was getting a big build up of poop-even though the diarrhea seems to be gone-everytime she poops-it keeps sticking to the old and hardened runny stuff-sorry, is this too much information for ya? hope you are not eating while reading this.-anyway, me and the boys decided to give ruth a butt bath- and guess what? i finally know how to do "youtube"- we got it on film for your viewing pleasure-(those of you who are lucky enough to have high speed internet-i'm so jealous!)-enjoy! next day: geez-i guess i don't know how to upload a video-after hours of fiddleing with it last nite-it would not work. so if anyone wants to see ruth get a bath go to youtube and do a search for woolydaisy. i only have 2 videos-ruth's bath and my easter sunday polar bear plunge into the yuba river(before chelsie's accident)-the water was soooooo cold-we are talking snow melt!

we started the day off today-(saturday) by sleeping in-i got up at 7:58-shoot! i hate wasting the day. anyway little son and i had to go to a planning meeting for our home school group trip to yosemite. we are very exciting indeed-we are going with ralph-and he knows yosemite! we will be camping for 3 nites and 4 days. he teaches the homeschoolers digital photography-it's a photography fieldtrip. here's ralph enjoying a burrito from the super stop! we love you ralphie pooh!!!!!

after the meeting we headed for town-the annual "roamin angels" classic car show! now i've been going to this show for ages and i have yet to see a dodge dart-is this some kind of prejudice or what? anyway-little son took tons of pictures. here's a few.

this was little son's favorite-a 1931 dodge pickup. we like rustic!
i'm a wagon gurl-these were my two favorite wagons-56 belair and a chevy nova -son thinks it was a 69. here's son's second favorite- a 1930 ford tow truck:muscle cars always have a place in my heart-hey-it was my era. this chevy nova brought a smile to my face. my high school boyfriend's best friend had one of these-and man-oh-shevitz did we have fun in this machine-too much fun-he he! his was dark green. but i have to say my favorite car was a 63(my year!) chevy nova call "georgia peaches"-check this beauty out-i want ! i need! i have to have!

what a peach-eh? but what you can't see are the flames-they are an irredecent peachy silver which you can't see unless you are standing right there and the sun hits it just so-SWEET! yes that deserved capital letters.

by the way-little son named this blog title for me!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

trixie for president!

last week i found out that christina ricci is going to play "trixie" in the new speed racer movie. hey, i know she is one hot babe but can she really fill trixie's shoes? i was thinking maybe winona ryder(maybe she's too old). speed racer was my all time favorite after school cartoon-all us kids would race home to see it. and i always got to play trixie when we played speed racer-mainly because i was the only girl in the neighborhood.(maybe that's why i'm a gurl!) anyway-i'm not too sure how i feel about this movie-classics like speed racer should just be left alone-hollywood does tend to ruin many a good thing!

well, ive been busy dyeing and spinning for my 2 upcoming local spring sales. here's some skeins drying in the bathroom-i need to get this done before my bathroom becomes the baby chick brooder. i just sold this hat(thanks for modeling shell!) to someone in ireland. this is so exciting for me to think someone in ireland is wearing one of my hats-a place i so terribly want to visit. i want to travel in one of those gypsy wagons and leave this fast pace life behind.
everyday when i take a peek at the news headlines(i don't know why i bother sometimes) i'm just so discusted with the state of affairs-the war, the campus shooting, and the effin genocide in africa-which is NOT in the headlines-gee-why isn't bush trying to help these folks if he thinks he so high and mighty for helping folks. maybe if they discovered oil in africa he would sing a different tune. well, the anger builds in me and i just don't know know what to do with all this energy-i've lived long enough to see the big boys have all the power and all the peaceful demonstrations in the world aint gonna change a damn thing-yes i vote- but does it do any good? cheating still prevails-call me cynic or pessimist-but i just can't help it. so i told hubby i needed to find a way to vent this rage-i decided on roller derby- yes- i know i'm older than the chicks that are skating today-but i have more years of rage built up then they do and i lived on roller skates as a kid-remember i was trixie.-WHEELS. well, last night hubby woke me to show me on the sacramento news there is now roller derby in sac town and they are always looking for new skaters-yeeha!!! i said-but he said look at them honey-they are all missing teeth- i responded-i will wear teeth guards like the kings do-my blood was flowing i was ready to go kick some ass-he told me-let's go watch first-then you can decide. hmmm-this could be fun!!!! wow, where did this spew come from- on a more peaceful note i will leave you with one of little son's photos.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

nature's weavers

we had an awesome wind storm today-and unfortunately a newly made nest was blown from a tree. this thing was too cool. it is one of those hanging nests-anyone know what kind of bird made it? nature's ultimate weaver. i found yarn, horse hair, leaves, dry grass, dental floss and tons of that gross fake snow crap-looks like wool but is not-that poly fiber fill-my kids used it for some winter display(sent by grammi years ago)-all woven into a cozy home.

what a bummer to have to rebuild. poor little birdies. life has been busy-getting back into the swing of things. i went to an awesome workshop yesterday for homeschool parents on watercolor painting-making your own paints with stuff around the house. i.e.-cola, coffee, tea, cabernet, grass clippings, mustard, ashes, blueberries, dirt and vanilla. the technique i likes best was the old tempera-with the egg yolk-mixed with food coloring-done in layers of cross hatching.(that's what the old masters did.) see the pear-that's the egg tempera.
yes, i did finish my fireside booties. and of course i was not happy- i screwed up the heels-way to short and one booties was bigger than the other-i panicked a bit in the felting process as i forgot to put them in a pillow case and these puppies grew-not shrank-but grew to about 15 inches-sasquatch booties i tell you-even after 5 wash cycles. so i popped them into a pillow a case and they indeed felted-but were still way to big for me-meanwhile, as they were drying, neighbor and friend rhodie stops by-falls in love with them and she is now the proud owner of some fireside booties. i ran up to her house this morning and got a quick shot.
spring has definitely sprung here-our first wild california poppy bloomed and check out how lush my poison oak is. gee if i can only a figure out a way to market this stuff!

spring is not not complete around here without the immence blooming of mary's(may she rest in peace) dogwood. when they were putting in our driveway years back she threatened to shoot the guy if he came near or injured that wild dogwood tree. thanks mary!!!!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

"que sera sera"

first, i want to thank you all for your kind words and thoughts during this heavy time. thanks a bunch!

well, i'm starting to come out of my hole of depression and guilt over the death of our dog. just when i start feeling better i get a sympathy card from the vet. making sure i know that my decision to put her to sleep was humane and loving. hmmm. the flood gates open again and i still feel uncertain about my decision. heavy sigh. so little son and i decide to get away for the day and cruise up into the sierras in my sweet '89 jimmy4x4.

destination-downieville. the cool thing about this town is it's not that far away-but when you are there you feel like you are somewhere else-like you really got away. very nice when gas was 3.39/gallon. gulp! the day was gorgeous-still lite dusting of snow from the night before-yet it was sunny and warm. we found a garden of "ducks"(not sure of spelling) at the river and built one for chelsie.
we went to check out pauly creek falls-thanks for directions birdsong-we found it! i had a tasty beer at the falls while little son did what he loves-scavenging. we returned home with a small booty. then we explored dirt roads and found numerous trails for future hiking!

fiberstuff-well, last week i finished a cotton toddler dress for my etsy store. it could also be a shirt for an older child. very soft-it was made from manos cotton.
in the midst of my sadness i attempted to start a pair of pippi's felted fireside booties. wow-i don't know if it's been my roller coaster emotions or what but i'm in total tard city. the first bootie i started knitting inside out-the 2nd one is turning out smaller than the first and i messed up one toe-but i figure-hey they are felted-it will all come out in the wash-i refuse-absolutely refuse to start these things over-"que sera sera!" how's that for letting go? i used noro kureyon-color 185. they are coming out way different from each other-i like this-i'm not a matching kinda gal. when i finish i will post the final out come-we will see if i'm still singing "que sera sera!"

happy friday the 13th!

Monday, April 9, 2007

in loving memory

in loving memory of our dear sweet dog "CHELSIE GURL" who was struck by a car on easter sunday.
we love you and miss you and we are very very sad.

Friday, April 6, 2007


-this post is dedicated to chickens. i have a quick story to tell of Lucie- our black australorp hen. she was busy in the nesting box; when she came out to join her buddies hazel and ruth she could not find them anywhere. This really stresses her out. so, she came to our front door screeching and squawking up a big storm. i opened the door and she beckoned me to follow her and help her find her friends. we searched everywhere-with no luck. now i was worried. i listened closely and their scratching led us deep in the woods-we found those gurls-having a ball-where they shouldn't be-off in the woods about to become somebodies lunch! lucie gave them a scolding and marched them back to safer territory. i love my lucie gurl-she rocks! here's a few pics of the beauty.

i thought i'd include my current "chicken chronicles" article. i write a monthly chicken article in our small home town paper-that also comes out once a month:

Well, it seems like spring is more than just "upon" us. My winter lettuce bed has already bolted! Now that we are having warm sunny days- (I know, I know we always get some wild weather in April.)But it is time for YOU KNOW WHAT. What? You don’t know? Well, I’m here to tell you-Spring Cleaning! It’s time for that major once a year deep clean of your chicken coop-house and yard.
Normally you should be cleaning your hen house once a week, but this is different. It’s time to empty the house completely and wash it down with a 10% bleach solution. If your house is unpainted inside it’s a good idea to either paint it with enamel glossy kitchen paint or linseed oil it. This helps prevent fleas and mites from laying eggs in the wood. It’s a good idea to maintain this every spring. Do this early in the morning so the coop has time to air out and dry thoroughly. Now, I installed a linoleum floor when I built the coop so I could easily mop it with the 10% bleach solution every spring.
If you think you have a bug infestation- one can put food grade diatomaceous
earth(NOT the kind for swimming pools) in your coop-be sure to dust the roosts and nesting boxes too. Carefully dusting your birds with it will help too. Be sure to get under the wings and the vent area. You can buy this from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply in Grass Valley. You can also put in on your cats and dogs for fleas. Dust your yard for fleas too! -Although I believe once it’s wet it is not effective anymore. Be careful not to breathe it in. You can also get products from the feed store made from pyrethrum flowers to spray your coop and birds.
Don’t forget to rake out the old poop from the chicken yard and do any repairs that need to be tended to. If you have an area where you can grow some poultry pasture –also available at peaceful valley farm supply. It is a wonderful way to add omega 3s to your chicken’s diet. Which in turn produce eggs with a higher omega 3 content. The chickens love it. You need to keep the chickens away from it for a couple weeks so it can grow.
It’s going to be baby chick season soon. Learn from my mistakes- have your coop ready BEFORE you get them. Read up on chicken care. Here’s a few books I like- some are even at the Nevada City Public Library.
Keep Chickens! By Barbara Kilarski
Chickens In Your Backyard-a beginner’s Guide by Rick and Gail Luttman
The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow
I could go on forever-so many good chicken books so little time-but this is a good place to start. If you have never had chickens before and feel a bit nervous about the whole thing or if you have chickens already and just want more information Lisa Mathews lives on an off-grid farm near Edwards Crossing and offers awesome chicken care classes beginning in April. She is the chicken lady extrordinaire! In fact she formulated the poultry pasture mix from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply. Her classes are very informative and she is full of knowledge she is willing to share with you. Lisa’s number is 530-470-0744.

the gurls are very curious about the house-if the door is open, they love investigating. but chicken poop in the house is not a pleasant thing. so i have to shoo them constantly-i know, i could just keep my door closed-but i'm an open door kinda gal. i went to the feed store today to special order some baby chicks. gulp! i've been debating. we get 2-3 eggs a day and it would be nice to have extra for barter and gifts. i am experiencing chicken harmony right now-do i want to upset this balance? plus, i will need to do a coop addition and have the babies living in my bathroom for a month or two till they are fully feathered. am i ready? will hubby be ready to deal with this when i'm on our homeschool trip to yosemite? but i went ahead and did it-6 chicks due to come april 25th. look at these beauties! hazel lays the lite one, ruth lays the brown rounder eggs and lucie-our daily layer, lays the brown longer eggs. thanks for the eggs ladies!!!!!
oh yea-i forgot to mention-lucie loves neil young-she dances to "harvest moon"-i kid you not!

Monday, April 2, 2007


i want to start this post with this photo of a meadow lark little son took today. what a blessing-it is the first one i've seen on our property! hubby's favorite bird too!

take 2-i hate, absolutely hate having to redo things-especially typing into the computer. i always forget to "save" as i go along-what a pain. i get involved in writing and it just slips my mind. lately my less than good computer had taken to just shutting off all by itself.-whenever it pleases. this does cause me problems-"saving is my friend, saving is my friend, saving is my friend" is my new mantra-quick-save it! do i need to do it after every effin sentence-argh! what a waste of my precious time-i know, i know-so is redoing the whole damn thing too! so i will attempt to rewrite my blog entry and try not to be to pissy about it.

as per request, in previous blog sharon wanted to know which roving my son called "swamp" and how i achieved it. i attempted to take notes but didn't do a good job till i got to my last two rovings-the plum one and the dusty raspberry. so, the one my son called "swamp" is the middle roving hanging in the photo of the last post.-i tried taking new photos but they came out even worse. the colors i dyed came out swampier with the gold /navy mixture-more so then the scarlet,yellow and turq. mixture. sorry if this is greek to some of you.
i made a full spectrum of gold/navy dilutions:
100% gold
100% navy

i realized this was a waste of dye so sara told me to pick 3 or 4 colors from the spectrum i wanted. so, i tried this approach. i found a colorway in her sample notebooks that i liked-then i picked a color near the top,middle and bottom. when i painted my roving i left some white paces in between colors so they would bleed together and produce the colors i left out.-i don't want to bore you with all my formulas-i will email them to any one who wants them. but here are 2 photos of a paper towel color sample and the formula. for the last 2 rovings-the dirty plum and dusty raspberry rovings-see past post.

if anyone wants me to decipher this-just let me know. anyway-i've been dying some more wild and fun colors for the upcoming local plant and seed sale may 5th-i'm gonna have a booth selling handspun yarn and dyed rovings. check out the color explosion: i would like to leave you with one more mantra: pre-drafting is my friend, pre-drafting is my friend, pre-drafting is my friend

my spinning has greatly improved since i've followed this one. my friend sue was always telling me to take the time(oh geeze-here comes that patience thing again) to pre-draft, so was beryl at "spinning saturday" and now i read it at pippi's site-on one of her tutorials.-okay okay okay-i get it! gee, the older i get the more i learn-it's about time!