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  • Writer's picturekaydee777

Sunday funday

Updated: Jan 26

With the final market of 2023 done, there's a "school's out" sense of release, though the first market of 2024 is only three weeks away. The chiengora (dog hair) gloves generated a lot of interest, not all of it positive. In spite of their luxurious feel and incredible warmth, (some sources say chiengora is 80% warmer than sheep's wool), they came back home with me.

The visceral negative responses are interesting and further evidence, to me, of the distorted, irrational and dysfunctional relationship so many people in the USA have with canines. I also came to realize that there's a lot of ignorance of how yarn becomes yarn, whether cotton, wool, mohair, angora or chiengora. It's not as though the dog or sheep or goat (okay the cotton plant is another story) is harmed by fur/wool harvest. A healthy dog will shed hair naturally. It's also only certain breeds of dog, mainly those with soft underfur (think belly not daggy tail feathers) more than an inch and a half long, which are suitable candidates for yarn making purposes.

Maybe I will just keep the dog hair gloves for myself.

Riding on that school's out wave, Janis truck and I spent a few hours this Sunday morning doing one of my favourite things: driving around rural backroads, gathering resources for garden projects. The Garden of Earthly Delights is now richer by a whole truckload of what looks like wood shavings bedding, and small animal (mostly rabbit and poultry but maybe goat and sheep too) manure. The generous owner of the animals (or father of the children who raise most of the animals as 4H projects) even makes things easy with a nifty little earth moving implement.

After loading, I stopped at some bridge repair roadworks at the bottom of the canyon to collect the necessary rocks for improvised Chihauhauan desert bungies to hold the tarpaulin down for the drive home, in accordance with state cover your load laws. I always need rocks for the garden. I omitted to attach bungie cords before the garden gold was dumped into the loadbed, burying the hooks feet deep. Thus my original plan to tie down with bungie cords had to be modified. 'n Boer maak 'n plan.

Those purple smudges on the side of Janis truck are the result of birds feasting on prickly pear tuna, then settling down to rest and digest in the cottonwood above where the truck is normally parked.

After that morning's venturing outside in the bright winter sunshine, the shala was decidedly cold to come home to. I decided lunch would be a Sunday roast feast which would use the oven and thus warm up the house.

I raided my market spice mixes, (after all they only became market spice mixes because I was blending them for my kitchen) plus some other kitchen alchemy projects for these sheet pan roasted vegetables: Ghanaian Five Spice sweet potato, harissa dusted Brussels sprouts, and yellow potato discs flavoured with rosemary oil.

Protein for the lunch is provided by tamari and rosemary oil marinated tempeh baked in my special Dutch ceramic dish.

I even found a few leaves of cilantro to garnish the goats milk yoghurt dressing. Served with injera, green tomato pickles, masala chai and a World Peace cookie (rumored to be so delicious that if everyone had one peace would reign over the whole world) from my master baker neighbour at the market yesterday, I enjoyed this meal in the sunny warmth of the outback winter dining room, under the now bare apricot tree.

The sumptuous lunch and warm sun on my shoulders made me lazy, but I worked it off by mulching the garlic beds with a thick layer of this beautiful stuff.

The front bed is Nootka Rose on left and Inchelium Red garlic on right (divided by the stick) planted first week of November. Hopefully they will recover from having mulch dumped on them making them look a bit scraggly and bruised right now. Behind is a bed planted last week with more Inchelium Red, and the two stalwart collard plants.

By the time I had finished mulching and covered the load on the truck for the night, the sun was setting and the crescent moon was dancing with a star or two. Indian Springs, a few blocks down the road, called my name.

It was only a short wait before the little cedar lined ufuro at this first come first served bathouse became available.

Aaaah.... Not only did the magical geothermally heated mineral water wash away all the compost dust, but it also soothes, albeit temporarily, all the places where arthritic bones really hurt on these cold nights and mornings. $5 for 30 minutes of this hotsprings medicine to round off a thoroughly lovely day is so worth it. Why would I live anywhere else?

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