Knittin’ and Readin’ and Regerts

Today it is windy as all heck. All my chairs, all the barrels in the horse area, and everything else that isn’t tied down has blown to new and interesting locations. Lee and I had tried to put together a storage shed yesterday, and placed it against a wall, where we thought it would be safe. It took a little jaunt around the corner of the patio.

Nothing here is where it was yesterday except the lovely water trough.

Even worse, the wind blew the satellite dish around so we can’t even watch something on television. But Lee says it’s a good opportunity to get the dish moved and bring in wiring to let me have a television in my office/den for when I want to cocoon. No complaints about that!

This is the LAST day I wanted to be trapped inside. It is my annual Day of Regrets (or “regerts” as the apocryphal tattoo someone got said), where I mourn the loss of my older son on his birthday. He’s 31. Happy birthday to a person I still love.

Distraction from regrets: These barrels blew about 50 feet. They are not light.

Obviously, I need to have stuff to do to keep my mind busy, but I sure as heck am not going out there to mess with horses. I did go out and stand in the shelter with them and provide some love, even to Mabel, who stood with me for five minutes! And, of course, the chickens are taken care of. I just don’t want to linger.

So, this morning I got out my hair toner stuff to make my white ends more silvery. And you know I was bored, because I took pictures of the entire process using Snap Chat filters. The good news is that the bit of longer hair in front that was somewhat discolored now looks beautiful, and the dark part sparkles.

Well, that wasted a whole half hour or so. I needed more distraction. I decided to find something to knit. What I truly want to work on is some unspun beautiful Icelandic yarn my friend Mike brought me from Iceland (duh). It’s all natural sheep colored and everything. But, I do not need a sweater. So, I spent an hour looking through Ravelry for ideas, then gave up. I think I have an idea now, which I can do next. Stay tuned.

I decided to make something with two beautiful yarns that were hiding in my closet, instead. They are a gorgeous wool/silk hand-painted yarn in coral tones and a natural-colored baby llama yarn. Baby llamas! Crias! They are so cute. And their first haircuts lead to dreamy softness.

So, what to make with those? That was easier, because I am making my favorite plain striped shawl that I have made before using Noro Silk Garden (it’s a hand-painted Japanese silk/wool blend all the knitters will know). I got a slightly different version off Ravelry and started going.

So, far, not so great.

It will look better when it’s farther along and the Freia starts changing colors. Who cares what it looks like, anyway, because it feels so good on my hands, which have been hurting lately. I can look forward to finishing this quickly and sitting by the pool wearing it (keeping it away from dogs). Speaking of whom, of course they are always with me when I’m doing my projects.

The rest of the day of super-confinement will be spent reading my wonderful book, listening to music, and making a nice dinner for my sickly family and Lee. (And not rearranging the holiday closet; sorry, that brings up regerts.) Please continue to keep our ranch residents in your thoughts! The COVID is hard on them.

Celebration, a Little

I haven’t been going on about blogging achievements much (mainly because the blog is mostly for me…more on that soon), BUT, I am happy to see that I now have 800 WordPress followers! That combined with the 1500 or so people who get the blog by email, means somebody’s out there! So, thank you for reading, however you receive the blog, and that goes for you Facebook fans of the Hermits’ Rest, too!

I’m aware some followers aren’t actually people. But I appreciate the real people a lot.

I appreciate your comments more than I can express, whether here, on Facebook, or in person. I am always surprised when someone brings up reading this blog as I’m talking to them. I’d love to follow YOU, too! I need stuff to read when the wind is raging and I’m trying to block out my regrets/regerts!

Bye-Bye Bobcat

Dateline: Austin. Today was sorta hard in a few ways. For one, I worked on so many things that my head was spinning, plus I was trying to get packed for my next condo stay. Because of that, today’s brief visit with Anita was my last time in Bobcat when I own it.

We’re looking out at the sunset, as the sun goes down on our time in Austin.

And, whoa, it was windy even for out at the ranch! Gusts were well over 40 miles per hour. It was actually hard to walk, which helped me reach my exercise goal. That’s rare. Things were banging around the chickens and the horses, so I worked on shutting them up.

I need my beauty sleep!

I got everything done in time, including horse and donkey hugs. Apache got his feet trimmed, so there was bonding time for all.

I took a picture to gaze at.

Eventually, the relatives returned from their duties at the Hermits Rest Home, as I secretly dubbed the farm in Yorktown. After watching the dogs frolic in the wind and staring at the pool, Lee and I headed to Austin with my luggage. As Lee shared how thrilled he was to never go over the speed bumps again, I got all sad about selling my house.

Maybe it’s homely outside, but it was a refuge.

Lee reminded me that we plan to come back each month for book club, so it’s not like I’ve left forever. But, I’ll really miss this haven of peace and quiet.

Anita painted the deck!!! What a gal.

I was so sad that I really couldn’t hang around long. I’ll just call Anita Saturday and really talk about her house, her job, and plans. Good thing she’s such a good friend.

My buddy

So, we headed over to the always unique Austin Airport Hilton, the one that used to be an Air Force command center.

View from our room.

They recently redecorated, and it’s really nice now. It was nice of Lee to join me. We’re enjoying some local-ish bourbon and watching some football. I’m glad we get to spend the evening together peacefully.

Quite nice.

I’m looking forward to my trip to Colorado tomorrow. I’ll get to hang out with some old friends, see some snow, and do my annual solo retreat. Of course, I’ll be working, since contractors get no vacation! But I’ll have plenty of afternoon and evening time, thanks to 6 am meetings starting my day off long before sunrise!

It will be fine. I love working in new places. I’m not so worried about getting sick, with all my vaccinations, too. It’s getting better, a bit. Maybe. Knock on wood.

Look What the Wind Blew In

Whew, today was extra windy. During my ENDLESS meetings, I kept being distracted by something that looked like fluffy dandelion seeds very briskly zipping by, completely horizontally. There were an unusually large number of them, way more than the number of dandelions we have going to seed. What had the wind blown in?

First, a brief digression. The wind brought more than fluffy bits! It also brought our long-lost housemates. We have a bunch of happy dogs and people!

Mommy! They locked me in the storage room!

For people who have gone through, shall we say, a lot since they left for a weekend back in February, or was it January, they look good! We are all excited about all the projects we need to get moving on.

I was so grateful that I grew them these flowers. okay, Nature grew them.

In our zeal to plan things, the nephew went out with a spray can of bright orange paint, marking where Apache’s new stable and pens will be, along with cattle pens. And you know, orange paint smells good. If you’re a dog, you’d want to roll in it, especially if it complements your long, white fur.

It looks good on me.

We went over to look at another fencing area, and there, all over the ground, were the answers to my questions about the fluffy things.

A sea of white fluff.

It turns out that in the two days since I’d taken my photos of the small-flowered catchfly, they’d gone to seed, most spectacularly! Everywhere there were little towers covered in fluffy seed pods.

Towers of fluff surrounded by little stars.

Y’all, in person this was breathtaking. The catchfly was all interspersed with starbursts of the annual trampweed. My two new flowers went to seed together and created a Magic Kingdom of weeds, as I said in my awe.

Wine cups and the few paintbrush flowers that made it through the winter added beautiful accents.

All this beauty was after so many of the seeds blew away this morning. Wow. So many seeds. And none of us remember ever seeing the two white fluff-makers before. What a welcome home gift to our family!

Future horse pen also has me happy.

To be honest, my whole day was magical. I achieved all my goals in my pushback campaign, and it’s only Wednesday! I’ll share more about that tomorrow. Right now, I’m pretty dang tired and don’t even know where I’ll sleep tonight (that’s a GOOD thing).

How could you leave me? Kathleen will take pictures, not to worry.

I am, once again, grateful for the support and encouragement of my friends, colleagues, readers and listeners. You’re all incredible in your own unique way.

A Bit of Storm Damage

While I was cleaning the fireplace, a strong storm came through and it rained .7 inches in 15 minutes. And the wind got up to 40 miles per hour.

I looked up when I felt some water. Shoot. It was dripping on me. We have to go way up by the chimney and check what’s caused it. Ugh. At least I was sitting right there when it happened!

Back at the ranch, Lee and Kathleen saw trees laying down and churning water. When we got home, we found the chicken’s windbreak broke. I’m sure it turned into a balloon, since the wind was coming from the south.

The blob is the tarp. Note clouds.

Plus, a piece of the roof over our shipping container blew off. That has been there 7 years!

Damage at top.

Lee and Chris repaired that and took the tarp off the chicken house. I headed over to the horse barn and found a big length of chicken wire that had blown in from somewhere. I rolled it up and stuck it somewhere safe in the barn.

Repair in progress.

More rain is coming, and half of the dogs are not happy. Harvey is all shaky. Carlton is hiding behind us. Happy Sunday.

Not Long Winded

Too bad, but I’m just not up for writing an ode to the wind, as the UU Lent prompt would want me to. And my wind photos right now consist of mostly pictures of pollen and ducks. Here is pollen that needs to get blown around by the wind more:

These folks parked under an oak tree. Oops.

I’m like my mom in that I am not a big fan of the wind. It’s not as bad as my son was when he had his long rock-and-roll hair, but I am not fond of it. That’s one reason I cut my hair, so it wouldn’t get me all wind-miffed.

And happy holiday to you ethnically Irish friends. Note that I need a haircut and that there is a donkey poking out of my head. Oops.

The pollen has been pretty awful, as I’ve mentioned, and everyone in my little pod of containment has to explain to each other that really, really, they just have allergies.

I’m glad we can get outdoors, anyway. The wind blew n some whistling ducks this morning while Chris and I were talking outside, and I got to enjoy the look on his face when one of the ducks landed in a tree. He said, “I didn’t know ducks did that!” I told him just these.

I’m a special duck.

I’ll just share one more picture of a duck and a tree full of pollen, then I hope to have a fun Pope Residence update for you.

Two whistling ducks, one sort of hiding.

And yes, the dogs were glad to see us when we got home!

Blow Me Away

The sun will come out tomorrow! Or later today, here in Belmena (a hamlet apparently nearby).

It’s time for a brief weather report. It’s windy. Very windy. Our windows are rattling and things are banging around outside. The wind chill makes it feel ten degrees colder. I agree with the profane weather app!

Horrible weather calls for horrible language. Note that this app believes I am in Burlington, a slightly larger hamlet than Belmena.

When you live in a big field, you really feel the wind. Plus, anecdotal evidence says it’s windier here than in many places. That’s based on long-term neighbor observations and our own careful study when we were siting our ranch house.

Finally! An app that says I’m in Silver City! That’s right, actually. It’s a nonexistent hamlet that used to be here.

We lived weekends in an RV, and Lee recorded the wind direction. Thus our house doesn’t face the road. It’s a little crooked.

And there is always a patio out of the wind, or in it, if that’s helping when it’s hot.

That’s an important ranch life principle, to get to know your microclimate!

First Freeze of Winter!

Carlton says, what the heck? As that thing that used to go round and round is now a lawn ornament. (Photo by Lee Bruns)

It’s finally not raining! But, wow was it windy for a couple of days. As you can see, it blew off our wind sculpture, which had been there since we built the house. Wow.

We also officially had our first frost of the year this morning. It’s always important to note these things if you’re trying to be a naturalist or gardener. Farewell to those last tomatoes that were trying to appear!

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