Friday, October 10, 2014

{this moment}

A single photo, capturing a moment from the week.
A special moment. A moment I want to 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.

Liz, Delia, Kai, and Beckie~ A random, chance meeting, far from their respective homes~ My aunts, uncle, and mother, and their joyful selfie that makes me smile tearfully... Mono Lake, California~

*In honor of loved ones, our special moments, and memories, I am including this fundraising link for
Walk To End Alzheimer's.
We all want to remember our special moments.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Get Ready For Eclipse Season is helping us prepare for an eclipse season! Today, our post is a visit back to one of the most amazing eclipse experiences we've ever had the pleasure to enjoy, and since it occurred during Maker Faire, it was even more fun... it was a fitting and beautiful finish to a weekend dedicated to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math and sharing! At the end of our second day at Maker Faire, the hot day began to cool suddenly, and shadows shimmered, doubled and turned every edge into crescent shapes. The sun slowly disappeared behind the moon, and everywhere people were pausing to marvel at the occurrence. We got our hands on some safety viewers, and looked up. We shared the viewers with anyone passing by, anyone missing out on the eclipse, and it was like sharing magic. It was like the whole of the rest of the Maker Faire experience, where everyone is sharing and learning, and there is a constant exchange between people who are teaching and learning, giving, and receiving... but in this instance everyone was enjoying the same event, the same science of nature. Somehow, there is a kind of tangible sensation when hundreds of people all direct their attention to a common purpose and all are reveling in the experience, describing, admiring, engaging with each other and with the almost surreal happening. It feels really good, it feels affirming of the positive, thoughtful, inquisitive nature of people. It was inspiring because of the power of nature to unify us in our curiosity and interest, our knowledge, and our eagerness to learn more. The entire weekend holds some of my fondest memories, for the people, the place, the things we saw and learned, and shared, and I hold these moments dear.

We are thrilled to have our photographs featured in Michelle Hlubinka's article, Packing For Eclipse Season. "The lunar eclipse Wednesday morning kicks off a series of blood moons..." and "then… when the moon swings around to the other side of the Earth in a little less than two weeks, most of the United States (and Mexico) get a peek at a partial solar eclipse on Thursday, October 23rd!" Michelle has suggestions and practical tips for enjoying this month's celestial show, so I hope you will follow the links to her article, and look for her kind remarks about our Young Maker's Club, Love & Rockets! We feel honored to be a part of the good things that happen in the Make community!

Alex, Maria, Bambi, Eli, and Max~
San Mateo, California, May 2012

William's shadow, and the tree's, with the crescent edges created by the partial eclipsing of sun, where a small bit of the sun, like a ring of fire, makes these strange, beautiful forms. Michelle writes,
"... you don’t need to use fancy equipment to play with and witness this beautiful moment. All you need is a tiny hole. Take a piece of opaque board or foil to project the image of the obscured sun, pinhole-style, onto a flat, white surface the right distance away. Forget your hole at home? You can even make a tiny aperture with a curled finger or fist (as William, of Maker Club Love & Rockets showed us.)"

Monday, October 06, 2014

Five Good Things

Alex and Sarah made costumes and props for the Viking Festival. It was Alex's first visit to any Viking Festival, and we were so engrossed and busy with helping him prepare, that we hadn't given the idea of joining them enough consideration... I had a duh-lightbulb moment after they left, and Maria looked at me incredulously... "So, are we going tomorrow?" she asked. It was Sunday afternoon, and this was a now, or next year situation, so we scrambled, and found our way to the Sons of Norway Lodge.

What a great decision, what a happy discovery. The Viking Festival, encamped in a mixed terrain nook, adjacent to an old hall building, among olive and pepper trees, was small, but rich in activities and sights. We wound our way through stalls and demonstrations, among Vikings, knights, crafters, and traders. We discovered new crafts, inspiring projects, and tempting trinkets. I bought three yards of embroidered cotton trim. I almost bought a drop spindle, because, you know, someday I might be a shepherdess! I still might order a sheaf of wheat, because, you know, plaiting my own straw hat is probably on my bucket list, too. Maria and I were at the traditional Viking foundry, when Alex and Sarah caught up with us. Sarah had to head out, early, which was a shame. Then Bambi was able to leave work, and she met us, so that was a nice surprise. In no time at all, Alex's questions and interest in the traditions and techniques of Viking foundry work earned him a position as an apprentice, helping to heat the little forge for casting Viking charms. Travelers' souvenirs, made in the old way, of plumber's pewter. The experience was fantastic. We have been collecting tools, parts, and knowledge for our own backyard mini-forge and foundry, and this experience was priceless, and fun. I was trying to memorize all the details... soapstone for molds, coke and charcoal for the fire, double bellows pumped in alternation, lead-free plumber's pewter. I am sure Alex remembers more than I do, and the exciting part is that he and Max are on the right course, and this DIY vision is highly attainable.

We were there for only three, maybe four hours. We took away such good ideas, and compelling plans, it was time well spent, and full, and we wish we'd been both days! We must build a Viking tent, and those awesome chairs, a village! I fell in love with the kitchen, the kettles over the fire, the mud and straw bread ovens, the A-frame shelters, the linen tunics and aprons, the many new-to-me crafts... why-o-why didn't I write down the name of the cord making craft? With a small wooden lyre shaped tool these women were turning yarn or string into a woven cord. It was almost like crochet, but not. Gah! I really want to try this, too! I am sure you can imagine, I am so glad Maria nudged me into going to the Viking Festival. Have you guessed? We all want to go, next year.

Good Things...

1. I am still giddy for our cover-goat! Ada made the cover of a local paper, and I beam every time I see her face.

2. Alex and Bambi baked chocolate cupcakes... a treat in honor of Bambi's birthday. The unexpected surprise were the kiwis they added to the buttercream frosting! What a tasty flavor!

3. I found consumer eye-candy bliss at Ikea, where all of their Christmas merchandise is on display. I was utterly smitten with all the Swedish colors and themes, and cheer!

4. Little Debbie, our little and elderly hen, was looking terribly out of sorts, but has rallied, and is looking spry and plucky, again.

5. Is this "good?" I dunno, but I seem to be acclimating to our awful weather... _oh, gee, it's only eighty degrees? Goodness, it's practically chilly. What lovely fall weather_ No. Nope. I cannot bear this. Maybe it's a good thing, that I am getting used to the heat, which is better than always feeling like it's too miserably hot, but a real good thing would be rain, and fog, and mountain snow, and wind, and clouds, and pie baking weather!

Are you getting pie baking weather? Have you ever been to a Viking Festival? What good things are on your mind?

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Ada Lovelace Cover-Goat

She could not be more surprised, or modest. Ada Lovelace Goat made the cover of the local paper. I brought her a copy, and she glanced at it, but I think her elated expression may have been over her Timothy hay breakfast, and not about being a celebrity. Tasha was only interested in breakfast. Both goats were volunteers at the school district farm, both as greeters and weeders, doing their part to support education and the environment, both worthy of some veneration.

"Veneration? Seriously?" The chickens were even less impressed than Tasha, or Ada. They clucked to remind me of the selfless hours they spent greeting visitors as school farm ambassadors.

The chicas are sweet, though, and they don't harbor any resentments. Mako did demonstrate for me how good a chicken cover shot would have been. Later today, we'll celebrate all the good deeds and hard work of our Bird House farm family. There'll be black licorice for the goats, and chard for the hens!

Maybe the animals are taking this in stride, but I have been giddy over this cover shot. When we rode by the post office, and I saw Ada's darling face, I certainly squealed. Thankfully, I've had the good sense and restraint to resist standing in front of the market, pointing out the paper to the shoppers, smiling wildly, and letting them know, "That's our Ada. That's our cover-goat." That would be silly, right? Yeah, I know. Of course blogging about it, plastering FB, that's totally cool, right?

"Got Your Goat," the caption reads. We think it's all pretty funny.