|Nothing makes Rowdy happier than a nice big stick. He was unable, however to pick up the big one that fell in the yard last night.|
This has been a "jam-packed" week. I did make a second batch of raspberry jam this week. It is so pretty in the jars. I may make a third batch because the berries are plentiful this year. It is always nice to have on hand and so yummy.
Sunday was father's day, so I made Sam a nice big deep dish wild raspberry pie. It was wonderful. Topped it with some Graeter's chocolate chip ice cream and the dark chocolate in that ice cream was absolutely heavenly with the raspberries. If you are not an Ohio person and don't know Graeter's ice cream, you are missing out on a treat. The chocolate chips can be hunks. As kids, mom would get us Graeter's cones at the mall we went to near Cincinnati and we would see who got the biggest piece of chocolate in their cone.
I must have over loaded my pie crust because the edge actually fell off in the oven. I've never had that happen before.
There is some bad news on the farm this week. Both chickens who were attacked by the dog 2 weeks ago have died. I am so surprised because I really thought they were doing well, but the one disappeared on Saturday and the other died during the night on Sunday after I carried her to the coop. She smelled very strongly of infection, so I think that they must both have succumbed to some underlying infection caused by having so many feathers yanked out. Very sad. I am down to 8 chickens from the 18 I started with just a year ago. I suppose when you allow chickens to be cage free that is one of the downsides. So egg production has really gone down.
Other sad news is that our old dog, Ginger, is once again suffering from severe urinary tract problems and this time the vet thinks he can feel thickening in the bladder near where it empties into the urethra, indicating tumors. We went through all the tests 9 months ago with no conclusions and she improved with antibiotics, so we are doing the antibiotics again in hopes of making her more comfortable for a while. I have clipped her rear to keep her cleaner and to be able to see what is going on. She is a very old dog. She has been with us for 4 1/2 years and has been a pleasure to have. She still goes along on our walks if she catches us leaving, though she now lags way behind and is very sore when we get home. We always imagine that she must have been a real fireball when she was a young dog. She was still very active when she came here and has really only slowed down in the last year or so and we do try to sneak off without her when we can since the walks are hard on her physically. She just adores Sam and tolerates me. Smart cookie.
|apiary after weed-eating!|
As you can see, the third box is added, the weeds are gone and I have moved the rug into place in front of the hive to keep weeds from growing up in front of the entrance. I actually got into both hives to see how they were doing and got some photos of busy bees returning to the hive with bright yellow pollen on their legs. Can you see it in the photo below? There is a lot of clover in bloom right now, so the bees seem happy.
Tomorrow our county bee inspector is coming to inspect the hives. This is done on a yearly basis to assess hives for diseases and parasites. Since I am so new at this I am anxious for any input he can give me and hopefully I will be able to get some pictures while he is here. It will depend on what else I might need to be doing with my hands at the time.
It has been very dry and rather hot weather-wise. The alpacas are staying in front of the fans or in the shade for the most part. Yesterday and today and I believe tomorrow, we have temps in the 90's and then I think it will cool down a little for the weekend. We really need some rain. We have been watering the garden on a daily basis, but everything else needs water.
On the fiber front, I finished the knitting on my dog and cat satchel for the fundraiser this weekend, but am still struggling with the lining. A seamstress I am not. I worked on it for quite a while yesterday and then had to take a break from it. The bag looks nice. It has the flap on front with the dog and cat pattern and paw prints on the strap and on a pocket under the flap.
The fabric I got for the lining was not exactly what I wanted, but close. It has multicolored paw prints on it and I was hoping for white with black prints. But, our JoAnn's is pretty small. It will be fine.
I am also working on a shawlette. I knitted this pattern a couple months ago and sent the resulting shawl to my cousin, who is going through a hard time right now. I loved the pattern and it is quick and uses a small skein of yarn and so was perfect for a small skein of my own mill-spun alpaca that I had hand-dyed. It was the end of the run of the yarn, so was a smaller skein than all the rest at only 260 yards. I think this will be so pretty!
This photo does not do it justice. The colors are much prettier.