Friday, March 22, 2013

Flours ~Kitty~ Flowers

Always thankful to Alicia Paulson for our favorite bread recipe. Dutch oven bread.

Always thankful for garden blooms, like Lavender, Lemon Geranium, and Rosemary. Lovely spring.

Always thankful for the company of a playful & curious kitty.

Always thankful for friends, like you, to share our blessings with...

{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, March 21, 2013

The Daily Bird House

News of the Day

Local Grade School Runs to Sweden, Spain, Ireland, Switzerland

At Maria's school they have a wellness program that encourages healthy habits, including running, walking, martial arts, and yoga. Voluntarily, students and their families are invited to come before school begins for classes, and support in the fitness program. They earn points for participation and the miles they log are charted on a map. The children chose "destinations," and they have collectively already run half way around the world! There will be class parties celebrating this accomplishment, with every student adopting a specific country and sharing anything they can from their country of choice, including food, artifacts, photographs, maps, flags, music. Maria has been coloring Swiss flags. Tonight we will revisit our own visit to Switzerland, and maybe she will print a picture or two to share with her class.

Welcome Spring!
“Daffodils that come before the swallow dares, and takes the winds of March with beauty.”
~Wm Shakespeare

Maria Insists: "I want to pack my own lunch!"

So long as we have fruit on hand, we can put together an acceptable lunch for Maria. She doesn't go in for the typical fare, like sandwiches. It was fun to see her bring together her meal, and fit it all into her battered princess box. On the menu: an orange, a banana, cherry tomatoes, bean and grain chips, apple sauce, and a slice of ham. I hope she remembered her spoon!

Breakfast Fast!

Max loves the weekend for the slowed down, relaxed breakfast. Today's breakfast was oatmeal and toast. The raisins are sequestered, because Natalie is the only one who will enjoy them. Well, Natalie and the chickens, if there are any leftover.

Dutch Oven Dough

These three bowls of rising dough represent the beginning of Max's favorite slow breakfast... Dutch Toast. The dough has been rising since last night, and will be baked later today. So, this means a loaf for dinner, another for Friday, and saving one for a leisurely Saturday morning breakfast.

Plant Today!

Late, again. It's inevitable. Every year I miss the ideal window of opportunity for planting seeds, like these peas and spinach seeds. They could have been planted in the fall, and they'll be fine planted today. Here, the seasons are so slippery and ill defined that with the exception of fire season, September-November, we may have as much summer in winter as winter in summer. At any rate, I really do intend-want-plan to stick carrot, spinach, pea, and beet seeds into earth, soon... very soon.

New Friends

What could be springier than a bunny? Answer: Two bunnies!

Are they Disapproving Rabbits?

Every time I cored an apple, or sliced carrots, I would feel a miss my bunnies pang, so I knew that someday we would bring bunnies home, again. We considered all the options, including standing in line, the day before Easter, for baby Flemish Giants, but in the end we chose to bring home two buns who have been living in a shelter. "Hershey" and her husband, "Cadbury." I wish you could hear Maria sympathetically explain that they are married, but they cannot have babies. And then she sighs wistfully. The pair are in the barn, and they may not be disapproving, but since we brought them home they are a bit shy. At the shelter, Maria and I had a nice visit with them in the outdoor space where they hopped, nibbled and sat with us. They don't seem too attached to their names, and there is a campaign to denominate them Malcolm Rabbit Reynolds and Inara Rabbit Serra. Malcolm is the Browncoat.

Tech Wheel: Art Project

Max is enjoying his Tech Wheel program at school. It began with drama and theater tech, and now he has completed his introduction to fine art, including ceramics and painting. Ahead, he has a wood working section, photography, and more metals. It's a one semester program for freshmen to introduce just some of the great classes offered at his school. His acrylic painting depicts a lightning storm, over a lighthouse, during a solar eclipse. Just as the eclipse nearly completes, the lighthouse shines its beam into the ocean deep, where a tentacle reaches for a cephalopod. Light and action!

In other news...

Geoff is back to work, and traveling soon. He and William are going together to San Francisco. William is taking a camera and walking shoes... sounds marvelous!

Alex applied his Auto Cad skills to the measurements and descriptions Geoff and I shared, to create an initial blueprint for the upcoming Chicken Run! Now the posts are being dug, and as soon as I finish this newsletter, I am going to mark the places where we will have a spigot and waterers for goats, and chickens. <-- oh that last bit is thrilling to me! I still remember in 2003, when Geoff and I were together in our first chicken run, sweating copper, installing one of those ingenious automatic water fillers.

Happy Spring, Friends!
We wish you healthful days, restful nights, and lives full of activities you love.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Rest of The Story...

This happened over the weekend. Don't worry. There is a happy ending.

Geoff and I were completing some of the staking for the new chicken run.

1. "New?" There isn't an old chicken run. There is a chicken coop. Well, there is a garden bed with a table over it. Actually, first it was a table, then it was a chicken coop, then it was a penthouse rabbit hutch, and now it is a chicken coop. But we have never had a chicken run.

2. "Geoff and I?" Okay. I was eating popcorn, and Geoff was staking out the perimeter of the new chicken run.

Since the chicas are cooped up all day in a garden bed with a table for a roof (see above) I like to let them free range when we are in the yard working, or eating popcorn. They ran straight for the pile of topsoil, dug up from the area where we will build their run. And I believe you understand what I mean by "we" (see above). Actually, if designing, consulting, coordinating, and lending a hand count, then I am a full partner in this venture. Thankyouverymuch. Also, I make really yummy popcorn. And I share.

These are the moments that make a weekend really good... working with my husband, enjoying a tasty snack, watching chickens run, and scratch, and peck, and search, and chase. About the only ones not having a good time were the goats. I was keeping them in their yard so they would not trample Geoff's progress. I do not trample his progress. The chicas do not trample his progress... although, they have been kicking dirt back into the ditch for the water line!

Benjamin does not trample Geoff's progress. Benjamin walks through the job site like a foreman, a critical inspector. He checks the level, looks for any discrepancies. Without his approval, we dare not proceed.

While everyone was enjoying the afternoon, the goats were crying for attention, so I brought them a basketful of Timothy hay. I know better than to leave them alone with smaller containers, containers with handles, knives, explosives, choking hazards, my credit card, but the greedy grabbers took their food, basket and all, so I let them have it.

The goats were happy. Geoff, with the popcorn, was happy. Betty, hoping for popcorn, was happy, too.

Popcorn, with a dash of parsley and nutritional yeast? Yes, please!

All of the chicas enjoyed a small helping.

Even our wild bantam chica, Little Debbie, slowed down long enough to visit the popcorn bowl.

It was about this time that I heard a familiar cry. It was not Ada, who is usually the vocal goat. It was Tasha, and I knew if Tasha had something to say, it meant something was up... like a fluffy bunny was in their yard, or she was into something. Tasha is well known for two things: 1. getting into things 2. getting out of things. But she can never seem to get out of the things she gets into, without a little help.

Oh, dear Tasha.

Thank goodness for good weekends, for chicas, and goats, for tasty treats, for company, for the help of friends, and for happy endings.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Basket Case

Just a typical weekend at home, and Tasha is up to her unusual antics.
This one deserves a good caption. We'll pick our favorite for a prize!