Thursday, June 16, 2011

Who Let the Cows Out?

Ian and I were out doing yard work this morning when our neighbor Nancy drove her quad down onto our property. She's on the Greenbelt committee and was trying to find the cows that had just been unloaded there last Sunday to graze. (The Association benefits from this money for snow removal in the winter.) Ian and she walked down to our pinnacle which overlooks the greenbelt and she found her cows. Ian told her there had to be a hole in the fence, but to leave them alone and they'd go back to water. Who knew the hole in the fence was on our property?! It's the original Dickinson Ranch fence, which we don't keep up - no one does. I think they need a Plan B.
Ian came back this morning from Mary's with some more of the downed wood. I'm sure we have over a cord here, and that's after sharing it with Harry. There are some huge rounds that he is going to split with Joe Winter's splitter, which Joe has for his wood-fire kiln, and then he'll leave half.

Ian told me yesterday morning that some of this hardwood is absolutely gorgeous, to contact our Dale Pappas, who is not only a potter but a woodworker. He met Ian at Mary's this morning and was so happy with the pieces that he 's going to turn bowls for both Mary and us!
As for knitting, this is the state of my little summer sweater. I made the pattern up on Sweater Wizard, but their idea of a sleeve width is much different than mine. I ended up with something I couldn't reconcile and thus I am back to step one. I'm working with what I know: Circular Design From the Top Down, pp 192-193 of Vogue Knitting and glad to be back in familiar territory, even if I only have six rows done at this point.
We had two days cross the 80 mark and now we're back in the mid-60's. I think I'm going to be relying on the farmers markets for tomatoes again this year. We have one hopeful tomato but we're taking no chances - they're still in walls-of-water jail.

I never tire of our beautiful skies and clouds. Today was cool but we're going to stay in the 40s overnight which means we won't have to use any of our new lovely wood in the mornings - just put on a sweater or two.

Soap of the Day: Nevada Bar. I covered it up to keep it hot and then took this picture after about six hours. When I poured it, it looked like butterscotch. It changes so much as it cures. I think you'd be surprised at how much heat the curing soap emanates in the first 24 hours. Soap is created through a process called saponification and I think the best explanation if you're interested is here.

And if you're interested, this is the most popular of my soaps and I'm always a little apologetic because it's noticeably smaller than the other bars. I asked MJ at Soap Saloon, my long-time supplier, why that could be. She explained that the oatmeal I use in this recipe actually cooks up and reduces the moisture, reduces the size of the bar and makes it harder than my other soaps. So now I know.


Theresa said...

Cows always have a way of escaping I've noticed and pop up in the strangest places. No one expects those pesky cows! ;)
Wonderful days here too, cool nights, warm days, perfect riding. If it would stay like this all summer it would be so nice.

LA said...

Cows are curious creatures, and like to check things out. Isn't it wonderful that your friend can use some of that wood for turning!

Valerie said...

Wow...that is a lot of wood! Glad some of it can be turned rather than burned.

So is there a resolution to the hole in fence problem, or will someone serve as cow herd the rest of the season?

Ah the sweater...the yarn is lovely. But it does seem we rip more than we knit sometimes.

Benita said...

Wow! Heating wood for two families, wood for a kiln and more wood for bowls. You guys have a nice system worked out where lots of people around you benefit. That's a great barter system you have going on there.

Cindie Kitchin eweniquely ewe said...

So what is the scent of this soap? I love oatmeal soaps.

Evelyn said...

Great that you are getting a wood supply in so early. It is almost summer and except for cucumbers and basil in the greenhouse the garden is pretty slow here also. I did pick strawberries, but they are missing the warmth.

Nina said...

Cows will find an opening in a fence or gate if there is one to find! Good thing they didn't go too far. That wood will have time to dry hopefully before you need it. I hadn't realized that about the oatmeal in soap. That is so interesting!