Thursday, April 20, 2017

Everything is Blooming and We Say Goodbye

Luca and Rowdy 2012
I love this photo of these 2 dogs when they were young and healthy.  Sadly, last week I got an early morning call from my mother and I drove across the state to be with her as she said her last goodbye to Luca, her companion of 13 years.  Luca spent a lot of time here with us on the farm both when my mom was traveling and also when she was here to visit.  He loved swimming in the pond and running in the fields and woods.  He was a year older than Rowdy and he will be missed.  His ashes will be interred here on the farm up by the pond he loved so much.  Rest easy, Luca.

I also said goodbye to our foster dog, Boomer.  My brother's family has moved into an apartment which will allow them to have their dogs while they are having a house built.  I am pretty sure that Grover misses his buddy Boomer.  And while I am happy to have a 2 dog house again, Boomer will always be a welcome visitor.
Since my last post, Grover and I attended an agility trial in Columbus, Ohio for 2 days.  We had some really good runs, though only 2 of the 5 were qualifying runs.  Both were Jumpers with Weaves (JWW), so we got some points toward our goal of a MACH and no double Qs, but we did get our MXJ title, which is a Masters JWW title.  

Tomorrow Grover and I are off bright and early to Zanesville for 3 days of trialing.  This will be our club's last trial until fall, though I have plans for other trials, no worries there.

Everything is greening up outside.  Flowering trees have been in bloom for the last week or so.  Redbuds, apples, peaches, dogwoods, everywhere we look on the farm something is blooming.  I love it.  Sam has been morel hunting for the last couple weeks and has had a great deal of success recently.  This is the batch he picked last evening.  He has already dried 2 quarts in the dehydrator.  We love having them dried in the pantry.  As they age, they get a wonderful earthy smell and I take them from the jar and crumble them up into soups and sauces.  They don't really need to be reconstituted when I use them that way.  Of course, we also use them fresh as I did last night.

I make this pasta dish with chicken breast, fresh basil (or frozen basil cubes this time of year), home dried tomatoes, fresh garlic and artichoke hearts.  I use some chicken broth and white wine and last night I added fresh morels and fresh ramps, which is a plant that grows wild here this time of year.  The root is a bulb that tastes like a cross between onion and garlic and the leaves can be put in salads or cut up and used in a dish like this similar to spinach.  The greens have a spicy flavor and Sam made pesto with them last week which was very good.  I topped this pasta with goat cheese just before serving.  Yum.

Which reminds me that last week after the trial, my sister-in-law and her kids came for a visit.  We had a great time.  Sunday was very warm and sunny and we took a walk to the beaver pond and also up to our pond and then ended the day with a fire and weenie and marshmallow roast.  The next day we went to Ohio University in Athens (from which my son Sam graduated 10 years ago) and took a tour as my niece is thinking of attending there.  It was a gorgeous day and there were students enjoying the weather everywhere we looked.  Jill and the kids headed for home early Tuesday morning.  We really had a nice visit.

 Another sign of spring is a tom turkey, or gobbler, strutting his stuff for the hens.  I got this shot  while he was distracted and before the dogs realized the turkeys were there in the hayfield.  It was about 6:15 in the evening.  I have seen a lot of turkeys this spring.  The 17 year cicadas of last spring are being given credit for an increase in the turkey population.  They emerged around the time the mama turkeys were probably having to find food for their new broods.  And they did not have to look far to find cicadas.

 The flooring is done in my studio and I have painted the window and door trim and I just had to take my rug out and get a photo of it in place.  It seems small, but there is nothing else in the studio at this time, which should change soon.  Sam will be cutting the baseboards and I will need to paint them, but then the interior is pretty much finished and I can start moving things in!  We still have exterior work to do including staining the siding and putting up bat strips, gutters and downspouts, and railing on the deck.  I am looking forward to moving my loom and sewing machine and other fiber-y stuff into my own dedicated space.  Maybe next time I post there will have been progress.

   I still have the napkins on my small loom at home, though I am almost finished with the third of six, so close to halfway done.  At the office, I have some fine cotton in a natural color on the big loom.  I am doing about 5 yards of this lacy pattern which will become new valances for my dining room windows.  This is something else that is new to me.  I will weave the yardage and then cut it into 2 pieces and sew hems and rod pockets.  The weaving will take some time, especially since I am usually in the office only 2 days a week.  If I can weave a yard each day I am at the office, it will be well into May before I am ready to start sewing.  I just hope I did my math well and am weaving enough to account for shrinkage, which there will be with 100% cotton.  I think I did.  We will certainly find out.  

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