Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Trip Back In Time

Today I worked a short early shift (6a-10a) so I got home around 11.  After a little lunch Hubby and I decided to go check out the horse drawn plowing competition going on in conjunction with the Small Farmers Journal Horsedrawn Auction & Swap Meet at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Madras, just north of us.

By the time we got there the action was already in progress.  There were several teams working their way back and forth over an area in the back of the fairgrounds.  Two judges were strolling along the edges of the field making notes on their clipboards.

I have no idea what the rules were or what exactly the judging criteria was.  There were several different breeds of draft horses and two types of plows.  One was a walk-behind type of plow and the other was a ride-upon plow.  I can only imagine one expectation is to have straight furrows.

Here is a team of Belgians after having just turned.

Another team of Belgians.  I believe these two teams were from the same farm.

Another team of Belgians, different color/type.  I overheard another driver later talking about the difference between "American" Belgians and old-style Belgians.  This team was driven by the only woman.

I don't know what breed this team was, but they sure have a fancy harness on.

Check these little guys out.  Haflingers!

These little guys were non-stop energy.

You can see this driver is on a ride-upon plow.  This is how I would rather plow.  

There goes the woman driven Belgians and here come what I think are Shires.

I could be wrong about the breed.  They were definitely the tallest horses there.  They were a beautiful team.

This team looked to be possibly a Belgian and a Clydesdale.  I'm not 100% sure though.

At first I thought these Belgians were Suffolk Punches.  They seemed too tall but the color was right.  Later I heard the guy talking about the Belgians.

After the plowing was done there was a demonstration where they hitched some of the teams up to other types of implements. By the way, I have no idea who won the plowing competition.

Then we walked over to take a look at the items that would be auctioned off over the next three days.  I think this will be the new family truckster.

There were rows of horse drawn farm implements waiting for the auction.

A newly arrived piece being put in its place.

I'm curious as to what this doctor's buggy will go for.  Looks like it needs some serious restoration.

Inside there were harnesses galore.

And rows of more wagons.

 Checking out the Chuck Wagon.

In the middle were all the miscellaneous items.

My favorites were the jingle bells (aka: harness bells). 

I would sure love to be there for the auction but it's probably just as well.  Maybe next year.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

More Crochet

It was finally time for me to make a new crocheted afghan for ME.  I was inspired by an afghan I saw on tv.  It was on a sofa in the background of one of, if not the last, episode of 30 Rock.  It was the only 30 Rock show I ever watched, probably because we were no doubt watching something else when it came on.  I did enjoy it so maybe we'll catch it on reruns.  

Anyway, like I said, I saw an afghan on the back of a sofa and as I recall it was pretty colored circles in squares.  I sort of was able to copy it with another pattern I had.   

I found this beautiful variegated yarn at Michaels. It's Red Heart brand Boutique Treasure.  I used both Watercolors and Abstract.  One is more blues and greens, the other is reds, pinks, and oranges.  Click here to see the different colors in this line.

I made a bunch of circles, then edged them with black to make the squares.  Then I figured out a pattern for them and crocheted them together.  I am really happy with how it turned out. 

Then my daughter called and asked if I would crochet a baby blanket for a coworker who is expecting. She's having a girl so I looked around the internet for inspiration and found a nice shell stitch.  I love the Boutique Treasure colors so much I used the "girly" colors of the Abstract.

For the border I did about three rows of single crochet and then finished it all off with the rope edging.

The final size is more like a receiving blanket, approximately 28" x 35". 

As much as I like this yarn it costs about twice what the other yarn I normally use costs ($5.99/3 oz/100 grams at Michaels).  That doesn't mean I won't buy any more, but I will have to slow down just a bit.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Painted Hills

Yesterday we took a little drive to see the Painted Hills.  It was closer than I thought--maybe only about an hour away.  And it was a pretty drive, too. 

It was a bizarre landscape, like an alien planet, with different colored hills ranging from white, lavender gray, gold, red, pink, and greenish.

There are a couple of specific sites of interest with nice trails.  The trails range from 1/4 mile to 1 1/2 miles long and are fairly easy going.

This is Red Hill.

This is the backside of Red Hill, not quite as red on this side.

Scattered here and there were informative plaques. (Click on the photo to enlarge.)

Leaf Hill on the right.

As you can see in most of the photos not much grows in the area.  We did happen to see this dangerous looking cactus though! This is near Leaf Hill.

This was Painted Cove Trail.  If you look in the distance you can see a lake.  That lake is actually on private property.

The boardwalk at Painted Cove Trail.

Here are some views from the Painted Hills Overlook.

On the way home we swung into a Forest Service Road and stopped at a lovely little spot for  our picnic lunch.

I was a beautiful spot and I'm sure we'll be back for another picnic.