Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Various "little things" that mean a lot

Last week I got an unexpected package from blog pal Theresa. In it was yarn, lots of lovely yarn, just because. I already have plans for both varieties. I am blessed with lots of caring friends both near and far; I definitely "get by with a little lot of help from my friends." :-D

Yesterday morning, when I opened a new bale of what I thought was third-cutting orchard grass hay for the ewes and lambs, I realized that I had stumbled across one lone left over and long forgotten bale of alfalfa! It felt like a gift from God, confirmation that the boys need it to keep calculi at bay. They are getting a top dressing of alfalfa for breakfast along with their grass hay; I'm going to dole it out slowly.

I subscribe to "A Word A Day," but didn't realize for quite awhile that there was more to it than a chance to expand my vocabulary. The author shares some interesting thoughts apart from the word of the day, and yesterday's post was an good example. I was enjoying the read until I came to a little nugget that really warmed my heart. At a point when he could have made a smart alec comment or zingy joke about attorneys, he said something amazing; I put it in red below.

with Anu Garg

Oxford has made available their dictionary data via an API (i.e. programmatically). Thank you, Oxford! As I was playing with it, I decided to check out their terms and conditions(permalink). This jumped out at me:

Except for death or personal injury caused by our negligence or for fraud, we ... will not be liable to you.

I can’t imagine what a dictionary publisher might do that could cause death or injury, but you never know. The lawyers must have thought of it. Perhaps they fear someone coming back at them with, “You said the word ‘fact’ means ‘A thing that is known or proved to be true’ and I took the facts given by my president as true and that resulted in ...”

Maybe a prosecutor could claim that the dictionary publisher was negligent because they didn’t differentiate between ‘facts’ and ‘alternative facts’.

These times are different -- anything is possible.

I dream of a world in which there are no terms and conditions, no small print, and no legalese. And no need for warnings, as on this pack of walnuts: Contains nuts. (I sure hope it does).

Why can’t we all go by the golden rule? Instead of pages and pages of text filled with dense jargon, imagine just one line:

Either of us wouldn’t do anything we wouldn’t like if we switched places.

That’s it. It works. Corporations, give it a try! I know what some readers are thinking. What about all those lawyers? They will be out of a job. Well, inside each lawyer there’s a poet or an actor or a writer or a painter or a sculptor or a playwright or a singer squirming to come out. Let it.

And until the day comes when we all live by the golden rule, prepare yourself by being aware of this week’s terms from the world of law.

By reading any further you agree that you are bound by the rule and/or rules set forth by the legal department of Wordsmith.org. Our rule(s) thus far: Be kind to everyone.

(I'm getting more exposure to lawyers this year than in all the previous years of my life combined, "thanks" to a family situation we are dealing with. Trust me; there's still plenty of work for attorneys!)

The VW dealership gave me a loaner car while they worked on mine yesterday, so I ran around doing errands all morning. I stopped by Bi-Mart to get Brian a new pair of jeans, and decided to buy a big pot of curly parsley to plant in the garden for tabbouleh (made with quinoa – the best). On my way out there was a rack of various sorry-looking plants with a sign saying they were free. I cast my eye over the lot – and spied a calibrachoa. MINE! They were kind of spendy for a little plant when I bought the one I showed you in my last post; now I have two which will fill up my urn planter ever so nicely.

This morning was cool and cloudy; much appreciated since I needed pick strawberries. I didn't get all that's out there, only as much as my back would tolerate. Still, I was surprised that I got ten pints in the freezer from my two bowls, when the four bowls Rick and Brian picked yielded 12 pints!
I may not be up early enough to catch the sunrise these summer days, but there is still morning beauty to capture:

That's it for today from . . .

Monday, June 26, 2017

Breathing room

This is my current earworm:

There have been a number of excellent songs like this that have been getting me through a most difficult year; I've shared some of them here. I know without a doubt that songs that praise God send the devil packing . . . or at least make him back up a few strides to give me some breathing room.

We're all breathing easier now that a three-day heat wave has been broken by a more normal Pacific NW weather pattern. The stiff coast breeze yesterday evening blew through all the windows and doors we had to keep closed, and we had our usual pleasant sleeping temperatures once again.

He wasn't this pleasant about helping stack all that hay....  ;-)

Yesterday's major task was putting 210 bales of first-cutting grass hay from our favorite supplier into the barn. We still have some of last year's assorted hay to use up (beyond the pole at the far end), but we'll need more – hopefully some green, leafy third-cutting from the same supplier. I'd also like to get some alfalfa for my rams and wethers. After losing another one (Benny) to urinary calculi, I'm looking ways to prevent this painful – and for us, 100% fatal – condition, and Sara at Punkin's Patch sent me a couple articles by Dr. Kennedy at Pipestone Vet saying to feed alfalfa to boys, and NOT give any mineral mix that contains phosphorus. (Nightcap should be in good shape, because I was giving him some soaked alfalfa pellets along with Bramble.) I am also wracking my brain on how to manage my sheep now that the foxtail makes the pastures dangerous for fleece and flock. The ewes and lambs can't stay locked up in the fold; I don't want to risk injury to either ram by putting them together (especially since Nightcap is nine years old); and worry about parasite load is giving me occasional nightmares. Sigh. Unless I can solve some/all of these problems (and I haven't had any real lightbulb moments), it would be irresponsible to breed again.

The intense heat may have fried our remaining strawberry crop, but all the garden starts and row crops loved it (with copious amounts of water, of course). Yesterday we went to the graduation party of a brand new veterinarian, a young man who worked for Rick over a decade ago. He and his wife live on her family's CSA farm, and she gave me a tour. Talk about a GARDEN! Every CSA box includes a bouquet of flowers, a bouquet of fresh herbs, veggies AND fruit (right now, various kinds of blackberries and raspberries; later blueberries, apples, figs, persimmons, pears, Asian pears....) It was impressive and inspiring, as her husband has always been to us as a hard worker full of integrity. Rick would have loved to have Scott work for him upon graduation, but there just isn't enough work in his practice for two vets.

I need to get ready to take my car to the dealer for a major repair, so sayonara for now. I'll leave you with some flower photos taken inside and out.
A leaky hose keeps the New York asters watered along with the garden

A new calibrachoa to enjoy all summer

First anniversary orchid buds are getting bigger

Second anniversary orchid's full and gorgeous spray

My "grandma" daylily, from the Kansas homestead

My large lemon daylily

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sucker punched

Good-bye, sweet Benny; we loved you so. May we meet again in heavenly pastures.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Yesterday we had to put down this girl, the sheep in my header. She had ongoing health issues for years, and this winter/spring she got really thin. But I was supporting her with soaked alfalfa pellets top-dressed with rice bran pellets, and she was strong and interested in life. A totally unexpected crisis occurred, though, and there was no way around the inevitable. RIP, dear Bramble. Your shepherd will miss you.