Saturday, April 07, 2012

In Bloom

They are everywhere, Echiu, candicans, Pride of Madeira. Colors from a brilliant strawflower blue, to a dusky lavender. Their spires are tall. The sunlight gives them a luminous halo. The bees love them.

Friday, April 06, 2012

He Flattered Me With His Letters...

"Am Engr B.A. Ware.I hail from West Xylophone,I attended Nigerian university,where i studied Capra aegagrus hircus engineering,Am 47 years old single and work as a marine engineer in the submarine section. Am elegant,vibrant,vigorous and full of life I was opporturned to glance through your page and personnality profle.You seem to be the woman of my choice.You scarlet lips,ebong hair,well biult physique charming face,sedycing eyes are of great intersest to me.In fact,your entirety commands my variety of interest"

I did not alter a single comma or adjective. It's all there, just as he wrote it. Well, okay... I did change his name and location, and the particular field of engineering he studied, but only because I want to shelter and protect him, all for myself.

Don't hate.
Don't be jealous.
Some of us are just born lucky.
I can't help it, if my eyes are
As for my ebong hair, well... yeah, I got that going on, too.

Naturally, I wrote back.
Thanked him.
And with bated breath, I was opportuned to ask him,
'woman of your choice for what?'
I prefer to be direct about these things.

His reply was prompt, albeit curt. Evidently, he prefers to be direct, as well:

"Have studied Capra aegagrus hircus engineering, yet am i employed in submarinal engineering, where my variety of interest is in conflict with my facilities. I have the opportunity of transferring the interests of my holdings, which are valuabled considerable,you seem To Be the woman of whom I am most beholding to entrust with these heretwo assets. Further details of the transfer will be forwarded to you as soon as I receive your return mail as soon as you receive this
1. Your total full name, correkt speling, pleese:
2. Your age and sex:
3. Your private number,the one only your closest friends know:
4. The height and square foodage of your barn:
5. A note from your Docktor:

And he signed it, B.A. Ware, as though I wouldn't know his writing anywhere. He's so elegant,vibrant, full of life.
Naturally, I replied, even more, promptly:

Dear B.A. Ware,
you had me at "heretwo assets." Since you are obviously a man of distinction and duty, I beseech you, please, transfer the interests of your holdings, which are so encumbering to your career and facilities, as you navigate the deep, in your submarine. Enclosed, are all necessary account numbers, references, and a copy of my most recent brain scan (though it is grainy, and the diagnosis was inconclusive.)

I know. This seems sudden, and one cannot be too careful on the World Wide Interwebs, but something about this just feels right. Now the whole family, all of us here at the Bird House, are waiting for the delivery of B.A. Ware's holdings, which are Nigerian in origin, and
particularly suitabled to my "well biult physique and charming face." We feel really lucky!

Updates as soon as plausible!
And I promise, whatever riches await us, it will not change us. We will share. And we will be humble, and modest, and not too

Cluck, Cluck, Cluck, Roof!

Zelda, Silkie Princess, what news?

She replies in a chattering of clucks and whirrs.
Please, allow me to translate. Zelda said,

"There seems to be a great deal of activity, across the yard, next to the old compost pile. We visit frequently, and ponder its meaning and purpose. And then we go back to digging through the straw, and flower beds. The days are longer, warmer, and we love the company we've had this week."

I know. She's, frankly, quite articulate. I 'm sure she is referring to the barn William and Geoff are building. All the chicas have been milling around, and under, and they assume the airs of building inspectors when they walk through and eye-ball the corners and boards.

Betty couldn't be bothered to join the group for a family photo. She was still checking the roof joists, and testing the subflooring.

The rest of the chicas came running to drink. I was indulging them with some over the top hospitality. The shark cage, and other amenities, is at the opposite end of the yard from where they love to hang out, so I served them a cool dish of Dihydrogen monoxide, a chemical concoction they love. I am careful to regulate how much they get, but I've never known them to take more than necessary.

Clucking and whirring, they thanked me for my thoughtfulness.

Oh, hello, Shebot.

Ivey, is she the one? The "weird" looking one? Honestly, you're right. She does have a look uniquely her own.

I cannot always see her peepers, which hide beneath her fluffy up-do.

Her colors are... well, I've never seen another like her. And the weirdness of her, makes her kind of awesome. And her feathers are bunny-soft, Kamen's too.

Enough clucking... let's follow the hens and go to inspect the barn!

Who wants to make a beam me up joke?

I do! I do!

Now that Geoff is back to work, the progress is made on the weekends, and evenings. And they are progressing! First of all: I love, love, love the beam. Both William and I have been awestruck by how legit and swanky classy elegant barn-y it makes the barn look.

Hey, William!

They're almost done with the roof sheathing. Today they are putting in windows, and then siding. I'll bring the chicas more water, and pass three inch deck screws to Geoff and William. Pretty much, I do a lot of the technical support kind of jobs.

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
:: Inspired by Soule Mama ::

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, April 05, 2012


Someone's been busy, making a practical yolk, here at the Bird House. Eye eggsclaimed when I saw them, all staring at me.

I mustard my courage, to show you the inside of the fridge.
What a pickle, or do you think I am milking this, too much?
Maybe I butter clean things out, before these life forms take over.

Don't call me an egghead, just because I am so pun-y.
Has anyone cracked the case, and figured out who done it?
Or shell they remain anonymous?

When The Clouds Parted...

The sun came out, and we opened for business! Maria's Lemonade and Bake Sale, with a mini-demonstration of our Young Makers Club, Love and Rockets, was a delightful success. It was fun for Maria to get this chance to explore her entrepreneurial interests and for all of us to share what we love about Young Makers, and the Maker Faire.

Thank you, generous and curious friends, and family! We had a steady stream of visitors, and it was a lot of fun sharing Lavender, the parade robot, the egg-bot, wool felting, and our hula-hoops! The fun lasted long after dark, when we lit a fire, roasted dinner, and had a live concert from Eli and Paul.

Though I was supervising activities, making shave ice, and simply enjoying everyone's company, I did manage to take a few pictures...

Chango, the cat, with Lavender!
Everyone had a chance to take over the cool controllers that turn Lavender, and open her jaws. She moves with the aid of pistons, which sound soft and hissy when they compress.

Here is the core work force behind the success of the day + Geoff keeping the egg-bot busy and operating smoothly.

Oh, one more thing: besides demonstrating robots, and selling homemade cupcakes, we were also on tooth watch. Maria had been hanging on to this loose front tooth for a really long time, but today may be the day it finally pops!

It's Corina! It's Sophie! It's Caia! And Henry, too!
It was so much fun. Every time familiar faces arrived we had a new thrill!
And I admit: we were heavily marketed. I didn't let this lemonade-stand go on chance alone, which was a good idea, because all those invited friends gave a great party-feel to the day.

Lisa, Michael, Carol, and Leo are getting a good close look at the egg-bot.

And here are Teresa, and her ducky little friend, Christina Canard-Diable.
They're Devil Duckies. It's a FIRST thing.

It's not uncommon for FIRST robotics teams to party together. FIRST 2102 Team Paradox loves getting spirited with Team San Diego, and all of their FIRST friends!

Any Dr Who fans reading this post?
Maybe you recognize that this is a Tardis?

Tooth check... oh, whoa... it's all wibbly-wobbly!

More friends, and some new helpers. Some school friends came to play!

Filippo and Karen came, and brought their children, Luca and Cecilia, and Alex C.
And the beautiful fruit pie Cecilia baked... with preserves from their very own garden! Deliziosissima!

By now, we had our fire ring lit, and the lemonade stand closed, but friends were still dropping by, and we loved the interest in Maker Faire that was building! I think we may even have won over new members!

And. You guessed it: it Popped!
What a full day!

Bambi and Alex, fireside.

We roasted hot dogs, and veggie-dogs, enjoyed salad and crudites. Then Paul arrived and he brought a Mediterranean feast. Just fyi: hot dog wrapped in warm flat bread, with fresh, leafy tabouli, and hummus = a super satisfying dinner.

Eli brought his uke, and the guitar came out, for Paul. The sun went down, we feasted, reflected, laughed at Maria's new grin and lisp, and listened to music and singing...

Max, our CFO, assures us, it was a success. And if "F" stands for Fun, he could not be more correct. The Lemonade and Bake Sale, and Mini-Make Demonstration were a huge success!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Prime Time

The siding is here!
The paint is here!
Geoff is here, for a few more minutes, before he returns the borrowed truck, then heads into the office. But he popped over to the lumber supply, rented a truck, picked paint, and bought siding, and he's unloading it all, now. And I made toast and jelly, and gave the children chai. Also, I sang to Maria. Wow. I've been really busy.

The barn will match the house. Which is blue, but not really, because in some light it looks decidedly gray. What do you think? I love it when it looks blue, but the gray is a bit puny, anemic, ashen. Never mind. Geoff said, "Go, pick any color, and we'll make this first can the primer." And the thought of being alone, in Home Depot, choosing paint color my made me throw-up a little bit, because I don't enjoy picking house paint as much as I imagine I would, if I were good at that sort of thing, which I am afraid I am not. My goodness. That sentence. Sorry. Suddenly, I love the paint he chose.

Oh sweet Muses. Geoff decided we need more paint. Now I have to go, and choose, because Geoff agreed that we should make the color a teensy-weensy bit more bluer than gray, but still not to imply that it doesn't match the house, because we don't want it to not match the house, which would make the property look a bit wibbly-wobbly, and stuff. Sorry, again. My goodness. That sentence. It must be paint-choosing fumes, making me dizzy.

_Oh. Joy. Paint shopping._

Those chickens better be very, extremely thankful.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Open For Business

We were excited to (finally) support Maria's long time dream of hosting her own lemonade stand. We encouraged her to sell for a cause, and so, we decided to share our plans for taking the Young Makers Club, Love and Rockets, to Maker Faire. Through our personal club, and the high school club, Art of Engineering, we are supporting bringing at least four students, in addition to our own children, to the Faire. A little gas money for the long drive will help a lot! Thank you... everyone that came was generous, thirsty, hungry, and curious. We had a really, really, really fun time. Really!

Before we share the sale, the demonstrations, the fun, I'd like to share peeks of some of the preparations...

Obviously, we made lemonade. We made as much as we could from our own tree, and then we supplemented with the tasty frozen concentrate from Trader Joe's. Maria was insistent on making all the lemonade fresh squeezed, which is admirable, but our poor tree had a limited supply of fruit to offer.

I think combining ours and theirs was a tasty compromise, plus we had a delicious, and homemade berry syrup to liven up the flavor and add color to our lemonade.

Max offered to be CFO of the operation, and he took all my receipts, to calculate expenses, and help create pricing guidelines. It's a genuine pleasure to be so closely acquainted with someone willing and able to provide these services!

Alex was appointed technical support, and strongman. He helped set up Lavender, the big robotic arm. He moved tables, chairs, the fire ring. During the sale, he was on hand to wave in customers, and support his sister.

Bambi, the latest and greatest Young Maker, came supplied with mixes for hot apple cider, hot chocolate. Emphasis on the hot, because the day of the sale turned out drizzly, damp, cold, cloudy, windy... and decidedly unfavorable for ice cold lemonade. Bambi also made an excellent greeter and sales associate. And! The sun came out! I think she chased the poor weather away by helping us prepare for a change of plans.

We made three versions of Maria's notice. Every time it drizzled, on the days leading up to the sale, the message would get washed away!

Hmmm... I think this is version II. We wanted the neighborhood anticipating all the goodness to come. Maria was even prepared for dogs!

We baked, too. And we, of course, sampled our wares. You cannot sell unsampled cookies. It's too risky.

Speaking of risky... we made lemon-mint syrup, and berry syrup for shave ice. When the weather started out cold, like it did, we thought shave ice will be a flop. But, like I said, the day changed, and shave ice was a big hit.

Ah... I'm getting ahead of myself. I have some editing to do, but very soon we are going to share a few of the fun moments we enjoyed at Maria's Lemonade Sale and Mini-Maker Demonstration. We hope you'll come by for more!