Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 Oregon Flock and Fibre Festival

One other reason Shelly was here, besides the wine, was for the Oregon Flock and Fibre Festival, a yearly event held in Canby, Oregon (near Portland).  She had driven up with her siblings to hang with her brother who lives in Idaho, and came thru on her way home for a week of wine and wool.
 
We had a great time there, in spite of the fact it was 80 degrees out, waaaaay above normal for this time of year.  However, last year it poured and stormed, so maybe the heat wasn't so bad after all.  We saw lots of stuff, made some new contacts in the sheep and wool world, got to meet up with Michelle from Boulderneigh Shetlands and see her prized young ewe lamb and pretty much closed the joint down
 
 
 The place was packed, even late in the day on the last day of the festival


 Michelle adores her little ewe!

The 2014 Wine Tour

Last week, Jim and Pam from Massachusetts, and Shelly from Encinitas (near San Diego) came out to do a bit of wine tasting.  We started out on Wednesday at Silvan Ridge and Sweet Cheeks, just south of Eugene, and worked our way back to the ranch by way of LaVelle, Pfieffer, Brigadoon and Benton-Lane.  I assure you, by the time we finished up at the tick of 5 at Benton-Lane, we were more than ready to be finished!  A bit overambitious to say the least, but much good wine was tasted and it seemed at every venue, we met up with folks from either or both parts of the country our guests were from at some point.  Lesson learned, on Thursday we headed north to Newburg (near Portland) to Bergstrom, where of all things, the gal behind the counter was a school counselor for Shelly's boys at their school in San Diego way back when!  We left Bergstrom and headed to Witness Tree and Bethel Heights and then home.
 
Friday was a light day on purpose, with only Cardwell Hill, just north of Philomath, and Spindrift, in Philomath, on the list.  It was Jim and Pam's last day before heading back to the other coast the next day, and it was also Pam's birthday (no, I didn't ask which one, I figured she could beat me up).  We surprised her with a fab cake from the Corvallis Market of Choice bakers, and a hearty Cowboy Coffee beef stew using our own ranch raised beef of course.  It was a huge hit, so much so that every bit of it disappeared that same night.
 
Jim and Pam managed to somehow fit 10 bottles of wine in their checked bags as well as shipping a case of Cardwell Hill Rose back home.  All the checked wine made it home safe and sound and one bottle was tackled that same night.
 
It was a great time, having good friends and good wine along with fab scenery and  plenty of tales to tell around the firepit table while the rain pattered down around us.  We always enjoy time with our long distance friends and try to show them the best time possible while they are here
 
 Cardwell Hill Pinot Noir grapes, a few days from harvest
 Bergstrom, Newburg.  Original tasting room

 Bergstrom, new tasting room.  Jim, Dale and Pam headed for the door
 Chardonnay grapes at Witness Tree, near Salem.  Super sweet and ready to harvest!

 Witness Tree, Dale, Jim, a slice of Shelly and Pam (orange shirt).  The actual Witness Tree is the lone oak directly above Jim's head with the straw coloured patch of ground behind it
 The view from Bethel Heights Vineyard, near Salem
 Bethel Heights

Sunset Spectacular

Hard to beat 'em around here this time of year.
 
Click on the pix and see on a big screen for best viewing


Ugly Goes Pretty

What on earth to do with that hideously ugly light fixture from the upstairs guest bath?  What else - make it pretty!
 
 



A Light Change

It was beyond time.  Since day one, 8 years ago, I have said that the ugly, 70's light fixture in the upstairs guest bath had to go.  It shed light not on the sink area, but just around the door.  And did I mention it was ugly?  My chance came with Jason, from 360 Electric out of Harrisburg, our go-to electrical guy.  He was coming out anyway to finish up the rest of the barn lighting project, so I zipped over and got 2 gorgeous new light fixtures to replace the ugly one (I did mention it was ugly, didn't I?) and finally get some light over the sink area.  At the same time, we decided to put an LED can in the shower as well, as the light in the shower part of the bathroom could use some help.  Timing is everything; Dale was on a business trip to San Diego and we had guests arriving the following week, so it was go-time.
 
The results were dramatic, and quite well received by all, especially our guests who DEFINATELY appreciated not having to brush their teeth by Braille at night anymore
 



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Basket Case Border Collie

But then again, those of you who already know Gem well, know that she's a true basket case
 




Please Make It Stop

There appears to be a problem with the pumpkins and melons recognizing that the season is OVER already, QUIT putting out new ones!
 
For size reference, my infamous 'dumbphone'.  No, the Gorilla Tape isn't on it to protect its identity.  It's there to prevent the loss of any of my limbs from the shattered front glass.  Now you all know why I do not text very well
 
 'Kakai' pumpkin.  Most of them are already ripe and/or picked and on display
 'Li'l Sweet' cantaloupes.  Already got a half dozen in the fridge.  We're done, thank you.  You can stop any time now
 'Kakai' pumpkin, ready to be picked, once I can wade thru the melons and stuff to get to it

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Annie the Long Yearling Heifer

The girls from Bend (Three Sisters Ranch) sent along this nice, post-state fair shot of Morgan Rivers Annika 'Annie', long yearling, JB Roar X 09 Vanlda (Misty)
 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Trail Camera Candids

It's amazing.  Our big barn is apparently Party Central at night.  Every night I get a dozen or so shots of the barn cats rummaging around, but every so often, something a bit more sinister pops in for a check to see if KFC is open for business
 


 It takes something to wake the hens up at night.  Like, say, a fox in the henhouse

And sometimes, it's just too funny

More Flora

I can't help myself, they are just too good to not shoot
 
 
 A fab new begonia this year for me
 Pretty sure this isn't the everlasting pea it was supposed to be according to the seed packet.  But still pretty cool
 Sapiglossis, aka Stained Glass Flower.  Supposed to be near impossible from seed.  Two of the half dozen or so that I have flowering right now from seed

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to Hang a Simple Valance

How to Hang a Simple, One Rod Curtain Valance
 
1.  Measure window
2.  Note spiderwebs, dried bugs and small deceased animals on windowsill.  Clean window and sills
3.  Order valances
4.  Buy rod
5.  Return rod and exchange for right one
6.  Assemble needed tools
7.  Assemble yet more needed tools
8.  Remove furniture, pictures and lamps in the way of hanging the simple, one rod valance
9.  Dust furniture, toss all magazines dating to before the Nixon administration
10.  Vacuum carpets.  Note stains
11.  Pretreat stains.  Shampoo carpets
12.  Vacuum carpets again
13.  Assemble more tools
14.  Install rod holders
15.  Insert rod thru valances
16.  Order 2 more matching valances because you can't actually measure a window correctly
17.  Reassemble room.  Vacuum carpets yet again
18.  Prepare to repeat in library room when those curtains arrive