Thursday, May 27, 2010

White on white

Brett recently repainted our bathroom white and I LOVE it. I never thought I would be so happy about plain white walls, but they make everything in that tiny bathroom look light and airy and big. And CLEAN - maybe because the toothpaste splatters just blend right in. :) I think I might be a white-bathroom-for-life gal now. These pictures are of a few white garden roses I put in the newly white bathroom - don't they look pretty with their white background?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Good heavens, now we have geese

Now, I know you all don't want to hear every minute detail of the last few days I have spent with days-old poultry, so I'm trying to restrain myself. But today my dad's 4 goslings arrived in the mail, and let me just say this: baby geese are absolutely LOVELY. I'm am completely smitten with these guys. It helps that they seem to like me too, and come running over to me every time I visit them in their brooding area, after which they crowd all over each other trying to hop into my hand and up my arm. Very endearing. They have intelligent little faces, distinguishable personalities, and they won't eat each other or get their butts glued shut with their own poo. As soon as the goslings arrived I became very disenchanted with the chicks.

(If you're wondering about the eerie red light in these pictures, it is because the brooding area we set up has a red light bulb to keep the chicks from pecking each other. Gross little non-geese.) We spent HOURS with the geese today. They are so gentle and calm, but get these tiny bursts of energy that cause them to go charging wildly through the brooding area sending chicks flying everywhere. It is hilarious! The chicks think their huge webbed goose feet are some sort of delicious snack and keep pecking them, and try to use them as big fluffy beds any time they lay down. The goslings are pretty tolerant, but I can see that we might have an inter-species problem before long. I kept wanting to kiss their little faces, but learned vicariously from Moses that if you kiss a goose, he will do this to you:

It doesn't really hurt, but I imagine it will in a few weeks when they become big scary real geese. I'm really hoping that these little guys will imprint onto us (or whatever it is that makes geese follow people around) and thus not be mean to us. Oh, and yes, my son is wearing a beanie in this picture, taken less than a week before June. What the heck?!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Lost Day

Imagine for a moment that you receive a box in the mail full of 47 two-day-old babies and your job is to keep them alive. These babies can already walk yet are nowhere near smart enough to walk in the right directions. They have had nothing to eat or drink since birth, and if you do not teach them to drink by shoving each of their cute little faces into a bowl of water, they will die of dehydration. Failure at your new mothering job will result in them eating each other and/or smothering each other to death by piling on top of each other. As disgusting as they sound, they are so darn cute you find yourself talking to them in a silly voice using embarrassing sticky-sweet baby language. And when two of them do not seem to be doing very well, you stick them in the gap between your boobs to warm them up without even thinking twice about it. You then carry them around with you like that singing to them until they perk up enough to be fed water through a medicine dropper.

Of course I'm talking about chickens, here. (What gave it away - the pictures perhaps? Or maybe the fact that even I could not fit two human children between my boobs...?) Anyhow, humor me a bit more and imagine that you are so stressed out about losing one of these babies, especially the two you have nursed back to health, that you check on them every hour. You crouch down in the sawdust, make sure they have been drinking, and unpile them from on top of each other. (There is a lot more embarrassing sticky-sweet baby talk here.) Those who are pecking each other's feet you move towards the food and coax them to peck the food rather than their brothers and sisters. You dry off the ones that have fallen bodily into the water and feel the foot temperature of your two invalids. Satisfied that they will survive for the next hour, you return home, TO YOUR REAL CHILDREN. You clean something, read some books to people, change diapers, vacuum sawdust off the carpet, then realize it is time to check on the chicks again.

Perhaps you are getting the feel of how this day is going for us... oops - time to check the chicks!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How (not) to get your kids to like vegetables:

Me: "Moses, if you keep picking out all the mushrooms and having that bad attitude, you are going to get in trouble."

Moses (after pausing to think this over): "What if I pick out the mushrooms and have a GOOD attitude?

Me (after laughing uproariously): "Ok, you can pick out the big ones. But ONLY if you have a good attitude about it."

I couldn't help myself. It was too good ... and yes, I know mushrooms aren't vegetables.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Plant Jail

Every day as I sit at my computer checking email, blogging, editing pictures, and updating the shop, this is what I see. My precious second batch of seedlings. If you remember last year's soliloquy on why I can not grow a garden on a farm, you will not be surprised to hear that my first batch of seedlings didn't make it. Nor did the first set of seeds I planted directly outdoors. These are my last chance of having an all-heirloom garden of vegetables. I rotate them twice daily, and once a week I water them with seaweed solution I've made by fermenting seaweed (which I gathered myself) in buckets in the backyard. Sounds hard-core, but maybe "desperate" is a better word for it. I want SO BADLY to be more self-reliant, but no matter what I do I can not force my thumbs to be green. These guys are slated to go outside this week - I can hardly bear to put them out there. If anybody has any gardening tips for me, I could sure use them!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

That was nice

We had a wonderful weekend - I hope you did too! On Saturday Brett smoked some trout that his dad caught in Lake Tahoe. It was delicious! We ate it for dinner on crackers with goat cheese and capers. It felt like we were on vacation or at a party or something. Funny how such a simple meal could feel so luxurious.
Moses ate SO much food and it was one of the only meals of his life that I didn't have to remind him to take bites, chew, etc. I even got him to eat the capers by telling him they were "little salt bombs." Dessert was cherries. Oh, and chocolate chip cookies. :) We're not THAT healthy. Happy start-to-a-new week!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Finished!

You'll have to forgive me for posting weird-looking pictures, but I had to photograph this play mat in the morning, and that always results in funny looking blankets. It doesn't look funny in real life - it's actually really cute!

I didn't know how to appliqué until last winter when my Grandma sent me home from Montana with her old 50 pound Bernina sewing machine. Right there in the instruction manual were step-by-step instructions on how to machine appliqué! I always feel like something made up of squares and rectangles could benefit from a few circles, and now I can actually make that happen! I'm working on a few more play mats for the shop - they are one of my favorite things to make AND take pictures of. There is also a baby quilt in the works with a lot of circle appliqués on it. It is in my pile of "things to finish..."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Custom Order

Today I'll be putting the finishing touches on a custom play mat. The last part is my favorite part: appliquéing circles. It is just so fun! Cross your fingers for me that I'm able to get it done! (And don't you just love this color scheme for a baby boy? I sure do.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Anticipation

Things are getting exciting around here; our chickens will be arriving in two weeks! A few months ago we decided that after 10 years of stealing my dad's eggs, it was time we got some hens of our own. So we contacted Murray McMurray and ordered some chickens. Brett has been converting part of my dad's old barn into a chicken coop and I have been worrying that I won't be able to keep 20 one-day-old chicks alive. You might remember that I am deathly afraid of chickens, but I am hoping that raising them from tiny fluff balls will help with this. Fortunately, I grew up on this farm and am completely prepared to exchange about half the chickens we start with for gross stories about their untimely deaths. I'll keep you posted... we are very excited!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Some things never go out of style

Like riding the vacuum cleaner to the moon. We totally used to do the same thing when I was a kid.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Idyllic:

i-dyl'lic adj.: 1.) descriptive of a scene or event of a simple and tranquil nature. 2.) eating animal crackers on the deck overlooking the pond after catching bugs all day with your best friend.