Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Time Travel on Horseback

I can't remember when I've had such a cool "historical" experience! Mr. Frye and I spent last weekend in Orting at the local SCA's "Lionheart's Tournament", which had plenty of equestrian stuff to keep us busy. We ran a "challenge course" which was kind of an obstacle/confidence course on horseback with tasks to perform like tilting at the quintain, picking fruit, and spearing a "pig" (made of foam). Everybody should have a cute "lance girl" to hand up weapons (above R). More info on Gordon's blog. Bonus: I finally qualified as an "Advanced" rider in the SCA, which means I can participate at any gait now. Also, somehow we managed to win a costuming contest that we didn't know we'd entered. Huzzah! For a cool little movie of our cavalry charges, go here.
More horsy types, including Queen Angharad of An Tir (back center) and Anne-Marie whom Gordon has chatted with online for ages...and now we've met! (photos by Guillaume)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Diggin in the dirt

So much gardening, so little time. Finallly staked out the north fenceline and am moving plants in to place...after removing the very dense, heavy sod. Ow.

The sod chunks are filling in the various divots in the lawn.

Meanwhile: Aethelred (the Silver Seabright rooster) is learning how to crow. He sounds like a very tiny model-T horn.

The corn was not "knee high by the 4th of July", but then it had a late start. Perhaps it will be knee high by the 4th of August, which doesn't rhyme but who cares.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Rainy Day: yay!

Thankfully, it started raining last night, which kept the local fireworks idiots from keeping us up all night again like they did on the 4th. I'm all for pyrotechnics, but when it interferes with my sleep time I get cranky. I figured things would quiet down after midnight: ha! After 0200 I was thinking about calling the cops.

Funny incident (which was more irritating than funny at the time): The garden was getting kind of dry, so I decided to do some watering on Monday. Well, I watered a bit too long and ran the tank in the well-house down to where the gal who shares our well wasn't getting anything. Instead of coming and knocking on our door, she went to the neighbor, on whose property our well sits (long story). He went over and shut off the pumps. Then she came and knocked on our door to let us know that there was a problem. You see, she has a history of letting a faucet run or leaving a leaky toilet tank unattended all day, so she just figured we were being spacey, too. No, I knew exactly what was wrong: I'd be moving the hose from area to area for the last couple of hours!

The previous owners had assured us that there was always plenty of water, which there is. The helpful neighbor guy (and he really is helpful, this weird day notwithstanding), on the other hand, proceeded to tell us that the previous owners never ran any water for more than ten minutes at a time! Water for ten minutes, shut it off for twenty. You're kidding, right? How in the world are you supposed to get anything done that way? I guess because it's an above ground pump (vs. a submersible) it might get overheated if it runs too long. I totally understand that, but I wish the previous owners had said something to that effect when they were explaining the workings of this place to us. Oh, and Helpful Neighbor Guy also informed me that it was better not to water "in the heat of the day."

Heat? I guess he's never lived anywhere that actually gets hot, because I don't consider seventy-flippin'-four degrees to be exaclty sweltering. Also, I had started my watering debacle at about 0830, which isn't exactly mid-day in my book. When I told my folks and the assorted little old church ladies at our ID4 salmon bake that night they just laughed. They found the "heat of the day" comment hilarious, and were indignant about the "10 minutes on then off for 20" routine. Quoth one octogenarian gardener, "I have better things to do!"

Anyway, we're thinking maybe we need to re-locate the well to our property at some point, and goat lady can have the old one with the cranky delicate pump. It will increase the value of the place when it comes time to sell if the well is actually located ON the property, I think.

And now that it's raining I'm sure the fragile Western Washington water table can recover from my depredations.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Iris is Back in Business!

It appears that Iris has recovered from the trauma of moving across two states and having the rest of her chicken family slaughtered in front of her: she's laying again! Perhaps the addition of three pullets to the barn crowd has helped as well. She's not the only chicken on the block anymore...she has somebody to boss around again! While we were down in Kali, she made a little nest in a corner of Woody's stall and by the time we returned on Wednesday there were four nice green eggs in it! Thursday she layed again. Today I checked but Woody must have kicked the nest because it wasn't all perfect and round, so I imagine Iris will start over somewhere else. In Stockton she made experimental nests in the garage a couple of times; she's very creative.

The hen house needs finishing in the worst way...sigh. The three new barn girls, Josephine, Keridwen, and Lobelia, are doing fine (if a bit flighty). The four little birds, Aethelred & Emma Seabright and "M" & "N" are now in the garden shed (out in the sun during the day) in their dog crate.

The garden is going crazy. We're going to be in potato & tomato world soon (yay: nightshades I can't eat) and beans, peas, corn & various greens are doing great as well. Hopefully we'll get some actual rain tomorrow. If not, it's sprinkler time.