Lots has happened in the month plus since I blogged last so I will make up for it with lots of pictures, okay?
The first thing to say is that for the last 7 months I have been in considerable pain from some mysterious thing happening to both my wrists and at times my thumbs. No, it is not carpel tunnel. No, I have not gone to a "real" doctor. Some may think this is foolish. I think it is wise at this point in time. I have my beloved Jerra who is way smarter than any "doctor". She is my compounding pharmacist. She has concocted a salve that only partially helps. I have concocted the other stuff that is just now starting to kick in to help a lot. It's herbal. It has an awful name that sounds like I am up to some sort of witchcraft- Cat's Claw or Una de Gato. It works. So for now, I do what I know to do which is herbs plus this, pictured above... and slow down on tennis and things that make my wrist and thumbs hurt.
Notice all the people flat out on their backs? This was a free clinic I went to to get in an extra session. I need to go and get into a routine until the inflammation and pain are completely gone. Needles are not just put into my wrists- they go in the tops of my feet, in the sides of my calves, and in both ears. It actually feels fabulous. No really. Try it sometime.
Okay- moving on.
Earlier this month was the annual "Hoes Down" celebration at Full Belly Farms in Esparto. The Yolo Wool Mill www.yolowoolmill.com had a tent set up for teaching purposes and to show off their beautiful wool products. Here is my daughter on the right teaching an interested young woman how to spin.
At the beginning of the teaching loop, there was a shearing demonstration which I always love watching. The sheep think the shearers are predators so they go totally limp which is a good thing, eh?
Here are the results of about a minute or a minute and a half's shearing.
I had to include a picture of this goat. I kept coming back to it to marvel at how bizarre this is! This is, to me, God's act of hilarity. It is The Triune Goat. Three in One. Holy, holy, holy! Brown, spotted, black. Different sections. Different functions. Different and yet all still goat. Glory to God.
Next, I want to show you the highlight of the magnificent new adventure I am on surrounding the glorious fun involving natural dyes. In our yard, a mysterious plant sprung up two seasons ago. At first we were horrified. It was something we had never seen before but that's not surprising really. It grew and grew and grew and soon made bright red berries that the mockingbirds devoured and then pooped out everywhere. My botanist brother did not know what it was and took a sample back to UC Berkeley where he teaches. I never heard back from him about "the mystery bush" as we named it.
The last step was to fire up the BBQ and to heat the wool to the magical temperature of about 115 F. Lower than the usual simmer. This apparently is critical as the color can be temperamental with heat.
Here are the glorious results. We unfortunately did not have the requisite 25 to 1 ratio of berries to fiber. Next year we will. The color is lovely, don't you agree? There is enough left over for another run or two. Will post more results as they come in.
The last thing I want to show you is my backyard garden. This spring we rototilled up all the Bermuda grass and planted veggies. Huge success. One section pictured above is now being prepared for a Dyer's Garden.
Here is how it looks today with the plots in place waiting for the compost and dirt. Fabulous.