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I woke up with a start at 5am and then realized… something is under the bed. I got up to discover that our dog Krystal was hiding under there. July has been so far, a month of booming sounds, fireworks and lots of thunderstorms. These sounds that didn’t bother her much as a young dog, now at the age of 10 years, turn her into a nervous wreck. Apparently we, weekend warriors that we are, slept right through a bad storm. Krystal is not one to jump onto a bed, so she managed to crawl in between 4 containers full of winter clothing and then found herself trapped in the morning. What a gal.

I have been busy with garden work and natural dyeing using plants from my garden. It generally takes me at least an hour each day to pick the dyestuff from the garden as it is ready and put it to soak, at least another hour to rinse out fiber or yarn from the previous day’s dyepot and to set up a new batch of yarn of fiber, ready for dyeing. I’m mostly solar dyeing and using my crockpot so that I can do other things and not have to watch a pot..

However, I do have to watch little dogs… Krystal’s half sister, Tara is very different from her sister. Sweeter in many ways, but while Krystal does not care if anyone catches her doing something she shouldn’t, Tara is sneaky… See that innocent face in the one photos… another shows a sand/water box. Every chance she gets, she tries to snatch the tray of toys on top of that box. If she gets one, the toy becomes a dog chewy. She also loves yarn, fiber, plants… you name it..

Krystal (Fine Krystal) age 10 is shown in a photo when her coat was longer.
Tara (Diamond Solitaire) age 9 is shown in her puppy trim…..

I’m taking photos of dye projects as I do them.. will have some up in my next post….


More than 25 years ago we bought a house in the country. Having grown up as city kids with limited gardening knowledge, we were dismayed to find that with the house came several hundred raspberry bushes at the back of the property. We’d always eaten strawberries, but not raspberries and at first thought them too tart. We quickly came to love the taste of the red caps and black caps and happily shared them with family, friends and customers for almost 10 years.

When we relocated, a handful of the plants came with us. More than 15 years later we are still enjoying our berries and we look forward to having plenty of them for our own use starting just before the 4th of July and continuing for a month or longer, sometimes with a repeat crop early fall.

Right on time the berries started to ripen earlier this week… today I made a berry fields iced green tea and for lunch fresh lettuce from the garden, sprinkled with berries and cheese crumbles with a drizzle of raspberry vinaigrette. Yum!

Interestingly, after we moved to our current home we discovered that a neighbor’s very large mulberry tree drops mulberries into our yard. For years I’ve just swept up what the birds don’t eat, happy that the mulberries start to ripen at the same time as my berries and thus the birds leave ours alone.. Last year the birds pretty much picked that tree clean and I had little to sweep up… This year what a mess… Hmm… maybe I’ll have to find some way to use the berries, use them instead of tossing them…. so far haven’t found anything made from them that I like…

One of the photos shows the raspberries starting to ripen… Another shows my salad….another shows the mulberry tree to the right of my garden sthop/studio. Another shows the mulberry covered garden path to my potting storage area… not pretty at all. Too bad I can’t get them to fall in containers I put out… Hmmmmm….

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