Saturday, July 30, 2016

Goats Chickens Fish Cats Tomatoes :: Two Hundred Twelve

Weekend round-up! Today's picture is of Tasha Tudor Goat. And in all fairness, I should say that she's a lady, and it's not considerate of me to photograph her while she's eating. I can't help myself... I knew we'd see that cute tongue pop out sooner or later. It's a cheap trick, but an irresistible result... effectively creating the perfect emoji for dramatic expression!

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

And besides having fun with Tasha's sweet face, I took a few more pictures of some of the critters around our Bird House and Barn...

Ada Lovelace Goat and Tasha Tudor Goat have been busy with their usual routines, like eating, and talking, like systematically deconstructing their cottage home, and helping us produce the best compost in the world. Ada has added deep tissue leg massage to her repertoire. Very deep. She thinks anyone staying still wants to have her vigorously rub her head into them, possibly with the intent of eventually walking through the hapless victim client.

Ah, ma goats. They make me smile, every time I see them.

And this little darling? She's an Ameraucana. She has a sister who looks a lot like her, but she's the one you'll see pacing, keeping watch from a high spot, so she can make sure everyone knows that she's contender for top of the pecking order. That steely gaze is no fluke... she's on patrol, and if she sees anything alarming or out of order, we are going to hear about it.

These volunteers came up in the toss barrel. The toss barrel is where I throw kitchen scraps... the kind that are ok for the hens to discover, like tomato seeds, apple cores, lettuce bits. I make sure no onions, garlic, or raw potatoes get into their foraging spots. Now, we have the most vigorous and promising looking tomatoes growing there. We are looking forward to harvesting these beauties!

Fish! They don't get much coverage on the blog, but our aquarium gets daily attention and regular appreciation, especially from me. I love my One-eyed Molly, and was sad to say farewell to one of the two platys. It's a consolation to me that he lived for almost two years. The other consolation is that we discovered two wee fry in the tank! I practically hold my breath every time I peer into the water, searching the plants until I spy them... one, and two! It's a happy relief.

Another happy relief? The makeshift screen door Alex helped me rig. I bought a few yards of cheap tulle, and he and I clamped it to the door frame. (Never mind how it looks!) Cairo is sitting in my beach chair in the entry, where the best breezes blow through, making this first heatwave of summer more bearable. Goodness, that face! He's totally keeping my chair...

Wherever Cairo goes, you will almost always see Foo follow. He takes his parenting duties seriously. So, when Cairo wandered into the dishwasher, Foo went, too. I'm pretty sure the spot-free rinse is not going to work on our Foo!

All the hens are well, and laying. Chango is still like a Grandpa... older, slower, with lots to say. Summer is fine, here, and we are enjoying it. Happy weekending, friends!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Story Time :: Two Hundred Eleven

The third book in the series, a story so compelling even Mister Foo is riveted.

Summer's heat has moved in.

We clamped tulle to the front door, now a breeze of relief makes the entry the most comfortable spot in the house.

While listening to the story, Maria's loose tooth came out, her third this summer.

Max took a math placement test, now he's registered for all of his classes.

We were at the beach, again, Tuesday night.

Our dinner plates have been slowly ridding themselves... breaks, chips, etc. We've had them since 1999, and recently I resolved to find their replacements. Usually these things can take me a while. Like a year, or four. But Maria and I fell in gaga (a silly and happy state of affection for pretty things) with some that have sprays of blue flowers and lime green vines and tendrils. The whole plate acquiring process became a consumer saga, complete with multiple store and location visits, some creative mixing and matching, and eventual absolute gaga-ness. As happens, this also inspired cabinet dusting, dish purging, reorganizing, and glancing at other parts of the kitchen with critical eyes. Never underestimate the lure and temptations of embracing new colors to prompt further improvements, and updates.

Alex and Maria were watching cob-oven making tutorials, then they played in the side yard, experimenting with our soil and clay.

If we don't make a cob-oven, we will more than likely build a forge. Geoff and Alex's blacksmithing classes have confirmed their gaga-ness for striking hot metal.

This post might not be so long, nor so random, expect that there is a fan in the office, and I am loathe to get up, fold laundry, sort mail.

Also, today is Thursday, and I am writing all of this for tomorrow. If any bloggers have read this far, they will appreciate how nice it is to be able to compose posts for later publication.

I found our fig tree, Fiona, full of ripe fruit. Maria and I ate quite few.

Happy Friday, friends. I hope you have a comfortable spot, where you are reading or enjoying fresh fruit, where you have welcome company, inspired thoughts, and something to feel gaga for.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Le Voyage a la Supermarché :: Two Hundred Eight

Ça va? Maria and I slipped away for a special breakfast... and found ourselves enjoying some local French culture. Of course, the net effect is that I want to say everything in French, now. By the way... we highly recommend the tarte aux framboises!

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Parlez-vous le français?

Baies rouge avec de la créme.

Bien chien, dans le café.

Un café crème, s'il vous plaît.

Jolie tartes et des bonbons.

Eau avec du citron. Rafraîchissant!

Bonne journée, mes amies~

{Je vous remercie, Google Translate}

Monday, July 25, 2016

I Would Like To Print and Frame This Thread

Beautiful, the Carol King Musical is coming to town, and I got this impulse to see if maybe some friends could join me to see it. If I could sell enough eggs, I would buy tickets for all of my friends, fly my mom down. But even if we can't get to the show, I will always treasure this interaction with my friend, Carol. The best of social media... when you put something out there, and someone reaches out, and connects with you.

Natalie Van Hola... I've been daydreaming about seeing "Beautiful... the Carol King Musical."
Have you? Should we go together...
Sunday, August 7? Not sure if there are (affordable) tickets left, but should we look?

Carol $71

Natalie Van I should sell chicken eggs!

Natalie Van Okay... if we can't pull this off,
we should run all the fans in the house and play her albums on full volume...
dance party!

Carol I love you.

Natalie Van I love you, too. Thank you, friend.

Carol Carole King is one of my favorites too! Michael ran into her at UCSC. I mean he actually ran into her.

Natalie Van There's a story there!

Natalie Van For sale: Fresh Organic Free Range Chicken Eggs! Only 71$/dozen... A steal!

Natalie Van I'd like to sell two dozen... my friend, Carol and I have some place to go.

Birthday Badminton Clinic :: Two Hundred Seven

Instructors Geoff, Aunt Holly, and Tutu Ruth with Maria... Uncle Rich and Izzy gave pointers, too. This was just the sort of sports clinic we've been meaning to share with Maria. She has enough interest and enthusiasm for playing things like four-square, kick-ball, and badminton, but needs to develop her skills, and with that, her confidence.

Besides improving Maria's game, we were at Holly and Rich's to celebrate Ruth's birthday. Happy Birthday, Ruth! It was a beautiful day, and we had all afternoon and into the evening to enjoy Apples to Apples, some video games, catching up over our visits to Wisconsin, even making plans for next weekend.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Summer warm, summer casual, and all quite enjoyable.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

To The Beach :: Two Hundred Six

Bambi and Alex invited us to meet them at the beach. They walked, then Geoff, Max, Maria and I caught up with them. Was anyone else visiting a So Cal beach yesterday? It was weird... the ocean was choppy, there was a lot of wind, and the riptide was wild. We watched waves coming in and moving out. Backwards waves! Waves perpendicular to the coast. As crazy as it was, we had a blast getting tossed around in the surf. The water action made the ocean floor as irregular as the waves. It was deeper near the shore than further out, and overall the whole beach was very shallow. While we bobbed and paddled, Max described the physics and properties of the wave actions. Then we took turns pulling each other on boogie boards.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

All the rest of our beach visits this summer have been at dusk, or even after sunset, which has it's own flavor and advantages, but this time was great for spending hours in the water. Geoff and Maria went on a Pokémon search... they usually have a game or puzzle they enjoy working on together. We also packed some of our apples, and the last of the Hook's Dill Jack cheese.

The beaches are busy during this first heatwave of summer, but we found a sweet spot.

A double boogie train! With the weird tidal action, it was usually easier to move parallel with the shore. It didn't seem to be a good day for surfing, or traditional boogie boarding. But it was perfect for playing and cooling off!

The cheese. We carried it from Mineral Point, up to the NorthWoods, into Chicago, and at the airport it gave me special trouble with the TSA, but it was worth it. Thank you, Paul, for the recommendation. We are so glad we could extend our happy memories of being in Wisconsin!

And... one more bit of wild fun before the day is through. Standing in line for Handel's Ice Cream may seem crazy, (I have never seen longer lines for ice cream) but trust us... totes worth the trip!

Good day.