Saturday, March 15, 2014

Foo Morning to Us All

This is a typical morning... Mister Foo walks back and forth across the bed, visiting the window, singing to the birds, looking for exposed toes to attack.  All of this goes on well before I have to get up, face the day, and be marvelous. 

If it's a weekday, his antics are a grim reminder that I'm not eager to greet the brand new day, that sleep and leisure are my heart's desire, but by now I've peeked at the clock and it is definitely time to rise and shine, rally the troops, find a hair brush, rustle up some grub, saddle the horses, mix my metaphors... all that morning-school day-business!

And just when I resolve to do what has to be done, Mister Foo does this:  He curls up on my legs, starts his motor, gives me a drowsy, going nowhere expression...

and goes to sleep.  Purring, snugly, warm, soft, heavy sleep. And.  I am trapped!  99% of the pictures I post to social media are of my legs, trapped under the fur powers of Master Foo. He is an irresistible force, with uncanny timing, and hypnotic polka dots.  

But.  Today is Saturday!  And Master Foo's timing is impeccable.  His purring, like a lullaby. The garden is shrouded in a deep, restful fog.  Kamen, our darling transgendered hen is crowing, doves are cooing, here comes the sun!  But no one has to rise, or shine.  

I love Saturdays.   I love Mister Foo.  I love the fog, the trees silhouetted in the dawn's early light.  I love lingering, or rising, whichever feels right. I love that Geoff is home, that the children wander in, and conversations carry on, plans develop. 

Whatever you have planned, or unplanned, Mister Foo and I hope you have reasons to love this Saturday morning, too. Whether yawning, or roaring... Good morning!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pi, Anyone?

Happy Pi Day! March 14... 3/14... 3.14!

Pi Trivia:

In the year 2015, Pi Day will have special significance on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 a.m. and p.m., with the date and time representing the first 10 digits of π.

Pi Approximation Day is observed on July 22 (or 22/7 in the day/month date format), since the fraction 22⁄7 is a common approximation of π.[3]

Thank you, Larry Shaw, San Francisco Exploratorium, Wikipedia, and pie bakers, everywhere!

I wonder who's going to bake a pie today? Max has been regaling us with the details about good stuff he's been cooking... risotto with peas and asparagus, that he mixed with an egg and formed into small balls. He inserted a cube of mozzarella into each risotto ball, rolled those in bread crumbs and pan fried them. Meanwhile, he had a marinara sauce, he prepared, reducing on the stove! Can you believe they haven't brought home samples of their work?? And we're still craving Bambi and Alex's vegetable lasagna. They definitely will have to make twice as much, next time! I've been watering our beet seeds, tending our Swiss chard, for more salads with delicious balsamic dressings. Cannot have too many inspired cooks!

Yesterday, William got his own cooking bug. His research into All Hallow's Eve led him to a traditional Irish treat. When he read the recipe to me, I thought those cookies are going to be hard as hard tack! Then I had a vague recollection about vinegar being a kind of leavening agent. Have you ever baked with apple cider vinegar? That was a new one on me. The dough was very soft, almost spongy, and the cakes baked for twenty minutes! I was surprised they didn't burn, and I suggested to William that he check them frequently, just in case. They came out light, a bit crisp around the edges, and softer in the center... something between a cookie and a dense biscuit, and not too sweet. They're spiced, too. He is as interested, perhaps more interested, in the history and traditions, than the sweets themselves. Soul cakes were the original trick-or-treat goody. Irish peasants would go door-to door on All Hallows Eve begging homeowners for food to celebrate the occasion. Soul cakes were given to them. This ensured the homeowner would be free from a curse or prank; instead, the receivers would offer prayers for them that would help them get into heaven. Well, that's a nice treat!

And speaking of nice treats... Robin H. came by. She's got a gorgeous smile. It just came into my head. Her smile is so glowy and full of life. What a great soul! Seems she found some little birds. Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.

Robin thought they should come home, to our Bird House.

This perfect mug? It's mine. All mine. I am in love.
Sweet friends, hot tea, little birds, and soul cakes.
Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.
I feel blessed.

{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 13, 2014

Bird House & Barn

...Throwback Thursday Edition

Lady Betty Orpington

Site for the open air barn.

Our dear Benjamin Franklin Thunder-cat

The rest of the story was shared last year. It's just amazing to think that, at this time, last March, we didn't have anything as safe and beautiful as our chicken run and goat shelter. I don't take it for granted... it's too wonderful. It used to be a bigger challenge being farmers, when the chickens lived in the rabbit hutch, the rabbits lived in our summer house, and the goats slept in a dog kennel! What a difference a year makes.

I didn't expect this to also be a sad reminder of how much things have changed. We still miss our Benjamin, Betty, Penny, and Shebot. And I can't say whether it's a bummer, or not, but Tasha doesn't get stuck in odd places near as much as she used to. Funny, kooky girl. Yeah, it's probably a good thing she's not in so many tight spots!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Moving Day

Just a little move... South and east, closer to the kitchen window and the back door. Maria has been expressing a wish to have her cottage moved, so while she's in school, Alex,William and I have been busy.  

The entire rose bed is getting a make-over.  Rose beds are beautiful, in the right hands, but I've been eyeing this real estate for vegetables.  The roses are lining our driveway, now, and even after being transplanted, they are thriving!  They'll have more sunlight, and better air circulation.  Now the big bed is free for Swiss chard, artichokes, peas, tomatoes, beets, and a little cottage.  

The section in front of the cottage is claimed by Maria, too.   I recall being about her age when I longed for a garden all my own.  Any little spot, where I was responsible and made my own choices.  That feeling was so strong, and I even remember the summer we were house sitting in Scripps Ranch, and I finally had a wee garden all my own, it was a good feeling watching my work bring up sprouts and flowers. 

Maria is eager, too, just like I was... Only she's even more enterprising and academic in her methods.  She's researched the seeds for planting this time of year and studied which plants will grow well with others.  Last night she drew up her plans with a color key and notes.  We can't wait for her to come home and see that she's a few steps closer to digging in her own garden. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Five Good Things

Poor goats! We have a lot of beets in our garden bed, and sometimes I use the greens in our smoothies, but most days I feed them to the goats. The goats love them, but hey! Now I know better. Maria was in her after-school Foodie club, where she had a wonderful lesson in seasoning fresh school garden veggies with infused olive oils and amazing balsamic vinegars. And now that we've had a taste of what can be simply and deliciously prepared with beet greens, spinach, beets, potatoes, broccoli and even popcorn... our poor goats will have to stand in line for any more beet tops!

I was there, too, taking pictures and taking notes. I wanted every recipe! Cookbooks are good and fine, but watching twenty-four grade school students cleaning their plates and asking for more... that was all the convincing and inspiration I needed. Last night we grilled chicken, baked potatoes, and fixed asparagus, and a salad. The asparagus were tossed with walnut oil, and Violet Balsamic vinegar, then grilled. Our beet tops and spinach were sprinkled with Eureka lemon evoo, and some Raspberry balsamic. Dinner was a big hit all around.

Back at school, watching Maria love the broccoli was pleasant enough, but the most stunning moment came when she decided to try the popcorn. My daughter doesn't like popcorn?? Shocking, I know. Stove-top popped, then tossed with a butter infused evoo, sprinkled with salt... that popcorn disappeared in a snap! Even Maria had a handful.

As for last night's dinner... Bambi and Alex prepared recipes from Culinary Arts. Both, Max and Bambi are in this class, and learning loads of recipes. We enjoyed veggie lasagna, and Key lime cupcakes! Maria and I were happy to whip up another salad to bring to the feast. I hope this will become a regular Sunday tradition!

Good Things...

1. School gardens + local businesses.

2. Many cooks in the kitchen.

3. Geoff's diligence in the fight against computer hackers.

4. FIRST 2102 Team Paradox, and everyone supporting Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math education.

5. Watching goats and chickens and bunnies running around the yard.

Have you been enjoying some good things? I hope you will share with us.