Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Woven Scandinavian Christmas Ornaments

The plan was that we would make these next week for our co-op Christmas party.  I ran into a little snag when the craft store only had five hoops and I need 15.  Good thing I didn't wait until the last minute to get the supplies because I needed to come up with another craft.

Since we had already picked out all the ribbon, and I love how these look, I got two hoops so that Spark and Dancer could each make one for our tree.  Spark's is on the left, Dancer's on the right.

To make these, take the hoop apart.  On the outside of the inside hoop put double stick tape, this makes it easier to weave the ribbon and keep it in place.  Weave different colored ribbons, as loose or full as you like, over the inside hoop catching the ribbons on the tape.  When done with the weaving put the hoop back together and tighten.  Dancer had a label that didn't want to come off neatly on the side of hers so she put the double stick tape around the outside and decorated with a piece of ribbon. 

Watering Wednesday

It became apparent today that we have all become a little obsessed with the little African Violet that sits on our counter.  It is a violet that Dancer started from just one leaf last spring, more about it here.

Every week, either Spark or myself, will ask Dancer if she has watered her violet on Wednesday.  Some weeks I will sing a little song to ask her and one week we even made up a "It's time to water the violet?" dance. 

This morning even Dad asked Dancer if she had watered her violet, he has gotten violet fever too. 

We not only wonder about if she watered it or not, we also spend a lot (well a lot for a plant) time talking about the violet and counting how many leaves it has.  When it gets a new leaf it is time for celebration!  Yes, we live a simple life.

The Cleaning Crew

Our homeschool co-op  meets at a church that doesn't charge us for meeting there.  One of the ways they decided to not charge us was by us taking a turn cleaning the church one time.  Here is our crazy group posing after our cleaning session.  This photo goes to show that our group has good time together no matter what we are doing, playing or working. 

In reality there really wasn't much to do.  For one thing there were 14 of us to do an job that usually one or two people can handle easily and we cleaned on a Tuesday so it had only been used one day since the last cleaning.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Beaded Glass Christmas Ornament

First new ornament on the tree, actually the only ornament on the tree because the tree is up but we haven't pulled out the ornaments out of storage yet. 

Super simple, rub glue all over a glass ornament and sprinkle on seed beads for spectacular results.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Giving Thanks For Friends

Especially ones who invite us over for a big Thanksgiving dinner, play games all night and send us home with cookie dough. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hand Print Turkey Year Six

It was done a day late but done none the less, the annual hand print turkey.

Now it will go up on the wall in the hallway and join the other turkeys from the last five years.  The kids were kindergarten and third grade when we started this and I cherish them all, only wish we would have done it from when they were babies.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A New Fridge, or The Ice World Hoth

Today we went to get a new refrigerator as ours inconveniently quit working
Wednesday afternoon.  Especially unfortunate as we just bought new tires on Monday.

After the new appliance arrived I started putting in food, which had been stored in coolers on the front porch.  There wasn't much to go into the freezer, most of that stuff was transferred to the big freezer, eaten or thrown out.  When I opened the  freezer door to toss in a bag of corn I was surprised by the following sight: 

An odd Star Wars diorama had already claimed the space. As told by Spark--The evil Emperor Lorg stole the robotic data pig and is holding him in a cage in this ice cave.  Jonathon came to fight the evil emperor and rescue the data pig.

The cook.  Suspicious that a chef would come along to a pig rescue.  Is that a treasure chest or a portable oven?

Jonathon fighting Emperor Lorg.

The poor imprisoned data pig.

How Late Can You Drink Coffee?

It's 4:15 and Dad made a pot of coffee.  "What are you doing?" a shocked Dancer asks. 

"Making coffee" a confused at her reaction dad responds.

"But I can't have any!"

"Why not, are you not having caffeine any more?"

"It will keep me awake and I won't be able to go to bed," the still shocked Dancer replies.

"What, you will be up until 4:00 a.m. instead of 2:00 a.m." Dad states the obvious.

He had her there, she is an extreme night owl.  Point taken, she is going to enjoy a cup of coffee. Well, sort of, coffee to the kids means more of a cup of cream and coffee flavoring or Da Vinci syrup with a little coffee thrown in for good measure.  A lot closer to the Starbucks definition of coffee than 'I just take mine black, thanks.'

Thursday, November 24, 2011

We Feasted

 On prime rib, Dad makes the best ever. 

All the side dishes - broccoli salad, seven layer salad, carrot casserole, brussel sprouts (Grandma Pat brought these because they are her favorite but we all found out Grandpa Bob loves them too), olives and buns.

We finished off the meal with pumpkin pie made by Dancer.  Her first ever and it was so yummy I think that will be her job from now on.

Then we sent lots of left overs home with everyone because our refrigerator decided that yesterday, after we had shopped, would be a good time to die.  The repair man said it would be about $700 to maybe, a big maybe, fix it so tomorrow we are going shopping.  I had so hoped to avoid town on Black Friday but that out of the question now.  It was better than losing the stove and there was plenty of snow to pack coolers with.  However, we are having way above average temps (it got in to the high 50's today and is suppose to be that way until the weekend) and the snow is all melting.  It looks more like spring outside than fall.  We are keeping the coolers outside because at least it is colder than the house, especially in the shade, and taking advantage of the garage being a little colder for the things we can't get in the coolers.  Such is life.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks For Our Roof

Our roofs are finally done after a week.  Yahoo!!!  It was really stressful having them here for some reason, the dog is still barking at every little noise.  I think it was having people right outside our windows and on the deck, it felt a bit intrusive and we also felt locked in with their trailer and the dumpster in the driveway blocking the garage.   We put 50 year shingles on so I hope they last 50 years.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Can We Get This?

Going up and down the grocery store aisles Dancer spies this on the shelf, a tube of polenta.  "Can we get this" she asks.  I look it over and say sure why not. 

Now we live in the middle of Scandinavian country here, all Norwegians and Swedes with a few Germans thrown in for good measure.  If you want to talk lutefisk, herring, lefsa, or krumkake I am your girl, but I am sorely lacking in Italian food knowledge. 

Not knowing to do with this stuff, we took it home and googled what to do with it.  We found out it is an extremely versital food.  Dad chose to fry some in a pan with garlic. 

It turned out beautifully and everyone wanted a second piece.  

The next night I made creamy polenta.  We all tried some and then Dancer absconded the bowl and dibbed the leftovers.  This might be the best kept Italian secret ever.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving Thanks For New Tires For The Van

On Saturday, when we were out driving in our sudden snow storm, it seemed as though we were slipping and having a harder time getting going at the stop lights than other people were.  Even people who were driving little bitty cars.  In the paper it said that there were 200 accidents reported in three hours so I am also thankful that we were not one of them.  When I asked Dad why he thought we were spinning so much he said, so matter a fact like I should have known, that we have bad tires who's tread had almost all worn off.  Imagine walking on ice in leather soled shoes and that is what we were driving on. 

Today, my knight of a husband, promptly took the van in and got new tires put on so the kids and I would be much safer driving.  The plan was to only get two but when the guy looked at them he suggested we get a back tire as well.  Last year we had an unfixable flat and so there was one new tire in the back already and he said it wasn't very safe to drive around with three good tires and one bad.  There was a $50 rebate if you bought four tires and the man was nice enough, since he remembered we had bought the other tire there (one of the benefits of doing business in a small town), he gave us a slip for the rebate.

Alice In Wonderland Halloween Costume

Yes, Halloween costume in November.  Dancer didn't get hers done in time for Halloween, but she is really early for next year.   She made it from Simplicity pattern 2325.   She didn't get to wear it this year but will put it in the fair for her 4-H sewing project.  This dress has an insane amount of fabric in it which makes it quite heavy and the gathering was intense.  It took well over an hour just to pin the ruffle on the bottom of the skirt.

Last year the 4-H judge said she should try something harder and this was something harder.  I told Dancer this is a more complex pattern than my wedding dress was.  She did a great job and the pattern went together really nicely, she can be proud of herself!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

No One Wants To Be A Viking

Spark is watching Dad's fantasy football board to see how he is doing, the points change all day every time one team gets a point.  He is looking it over all serious and says "Dad it is like you are the other team and the person you are playing is the Vikings." 

Curse You Carbs

Your stomach shouldn't be a waste basket.  - my new mantra

The last couple of months Dad and I have been having "carb slide."  Not a lot of carbs, just a bite here and a nibble there.  We have good excuses every time - it's Spark's birthday, he only has one a year - there wasn't hardly any low carb foods at the pot luck - I was super hungry and there were only carb options available - I exercised a lot today so I can have a few more carbs - it's sprouted grains so that shouldn't count because they are so called healthy - Dad ate some so I should be able to have some - yadda, yadda, yadda.  

We still "sorta" felt good.  The weight we had lost was creeping back on ever so slowly so we wouldn't really notice until we hit the spot of "oh, I have to tug on my pants just a little tiny bit to get them to button."   Yeah, I don't have as much energy but it gets dark out so early, that must be why.  My skin doesn't feel very nice but it must be weather changes and so on. 

Friday though was the tipping point.  After dropping Dancer off at the birthday party we heard that they were having pizza.  Yum, pizza.  Well Spark, Dad and I felt we deserved a treat too and we headed to Pizza Ranch.  Dad and I dove into the carbs that flow like water there - waffle fries, pizza crust, desert pizza and ice cream.  Ugh, I probably ate more carbs in one sitting that I do in two weeks when I eat right.  And the worse part, it didn't taste very good.  We had to stop for gas and while Dad was pumping the gas I pulled out the bag of Snickers we had left over from Halloween.  I thought, well I already blew it today why not enjoy a Snickers, it has been almost a year since I had gone down the really slippery slope of candy.  The Snickers really didn't taste good.  It tasted chemically, not even like food.  I asked Spark if his tasted good (he still eats carbs) and he said "yep, best Snickers I ever had!"  Probably because he was so shocked that he got a candy out of the blue on a Friday night.

I got up Saturday morning and had gained four pounds.  All those carbs had me retaining water and yuck I could feel it.  Bloat, bloat, bloat.  "I feel fat."  I told Dad.  "You look fine."  He says.  One, because that is what husbands are suppose to say and two, I don't think he wants the carb train to pull into the station.  So for dinner I make chicken and rice and eat the rice.  And then have seconds of rice. 

Fast forward to this morning and I feel like puke.  I was as tired when I got up as when I went to bed, my face is puffy, every joint is protesting that they don't want to move and I am ultra thirsty.  Dad admits that he feels crappy too.

We make a pact that we need to get back on the low carb bandwagon again.  Even Dancer, who follows a low carb diet pretty well, said she didn't really enjoy her pizza Friday night and wasn't feeling her usual chipper self.  Thanksgiving is this week, we aren't having turkey so there will be no stuffing, cranberries etc., so we need to pull it together so as not to make it easy to slide right through Christmas and New Years and end up gaining back all we had lost and not feeling well.  There are parties and a cookie exchange coming up, add to that what the kids eat around here.  Plus my morning blood sugars are creeping up so I am sure it won't be long before they all do.  So, I rebuke you demon carbs!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nine Inches

This morning the guys were back working on our shed roof.  They said they wouldn't be here if it snowed so I was glad when I woke up and could hear them pounding out there.  Dancer was at a sleep over birthday party last night and we left to get her a little before ten o'clock.  One of the guys came over to us as we were getting in the car and said that they were going to quit because a few flakes were falling and they wanted to get everything put away if snowed any harder and didn't want anyone to slip on the roof.  The roads were fine to get Dancer, we drove the regular speed.  It took us about 15 minutes to pick her up because they were playing Just Dance II on the Wii and were just finishing up.  After we left we headed into town to go to the big library downtown, not the branch one that is closer.  When we came out of the library it had snowed a wee bit more but nothing much.  Spark wanted to go to the Goodwill, Spark always wants to go to the Goodwill, which is on our way out of town.  By the time we got over there we decided that we were going to abort that plan and just head for home.  By the time we made it out of town we could only drive 35 miles an hour, could hardly see and the snow was flying behind us like were in a motor boat.  When we pulled in the driveway I breathed a huge sigh of relief thinking the worst was over but Dad slid back down the driveway while trying to get the car in the garage.  The dumpster for the old shingles is sitting kinda crooked in the drive and we all thought we were going to hit it but we didn't thankfully.  We piled out and shoveled to get the car in and by the time we got done we had to shovel again.  The second time we shoveled as quick as we possibly could and then Dad zoomed the car in still slipping and sliding while we were cheering him on and he made it in the garage.  The snow kept coming down and by 3:00 this afternoon we had nine inches of perfect snowman making snow.  It is going to be a long winter if this sticks around until spring. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Roof Over Our Heads

In July we had a horrible storm that damaged all our shingles.  The problem is it damaged everybody else's roof too.  Almost every driveway we pass by has a sign from a roofing company at the end of it.  We got a contract with a company back in August and they said just tell us when you want it done and we will be there.  October we said, before the snow flys and we have to file for an extension on our insurance.  No problem we were assured.  Well there must have been a problem because October came and went with no new roof.  November started and we called them.  For sure they would be here the next Friday.  Nope.  Finally, finally they called this week and said they would be here on Thursday.  While we were hopeful I wasn't convinced that they would really show.  But I was awoken this morning by the sound of someone walking on the roof. 

I got up and this was in our driveway.

Pretty soon this was laying all over in front of the house. 

By time they left for lunch the back of the house looked like this.  Dancer is out here taking Nikki for a potty break while they were gone because they had her in a tizzy all day.

The front of the house was completely bare of shingles.

They are supposed to be done tomorrow but by noon they had only taken the shingles off half of the house roof and they still have this garage to do.

And this garage and another shed. 

And piles of shingles like this are all around our house.  By the time they left they had taken all the shingles off the house and had the tar paper down and a few shingles.  Once they are off the house I don't care how long it takes them but it is stressful to have them working above us all day.  The dog barked most of the day with the hair standing up on her back, Bert coward in back of his cage with his feathers fluffed, the cats hid out in the hay under the tarp, the goats stayed close to the barn cautiously watching and every time we need to go outside someone would yell "homeowner coming out" and everyone would stop working and watch us walk away from the house.   The oddest part was, even though they were scrapping, pounding, making the house shake, banging, talking loudly and had a radio blaring, Dad was able to sleep through it.  I guess that show how tired he is after his first night of work, they actually got some of the shingles on over the bedroom. 

Candy Birthday Card

Dancer was invited to birthday party this weekend and, wanting to do something a little different, we made her a candy card.  We originally saw it as a Father's Day card but changed it around a bit to make it for a birthday. 

The hardest part about this was finding the candy.  Some of these, like the Now and Later, I hadn't heard of or they were hard to find.  The PayDay and the Whatchamacallit were looking like they weren't even going to be on the card.   We went to four different store to find it all and the Now and Later we found in a bulk candy bin.  I wished we known we would be making a card and had saved some of the Halloween candy as it would have made the card a lot more affordable.  Since we never buy candy at the check out I don't pay any attention to its price.  Just let me say that candy is expensive, very expensive, although now we have another reason to never be tempted by it when we are waiting to check out.  One of the bars we did end up buying a bag of fun sized because the cost was about half of what a single bar was per ounce (ha, we got a little consumer education lesson in there). When I was a little girl, every Sunday after church my brother and I would each get a dime to go into the grocery store and buy a candy bar.  Candy bars were a lot bigger then too.  I would always pick the Marathon bar, carmel covered with chocolate, which they must not make any more, because it was the longest candy bar.

Hope Dancer's friend likes it, I know I would!

Monday, November 14, 2011

White Chili Recipe

This is chili Dad entered in the 4-H chili contest.  I wasn't able to go to the meeting but they came home with an empty 6 quart crock pot so it was a favorite.  Spark said one boy had three bowls.  The recipe is as follows, it is part a recipe Dad found and part his own adaptation.

White Chili

3 cans 15 1/2 oz. white kidney beans (Cannellini beans) rinsed and drained
3 cups grilled chicken cubed
1 jar 15 oz. Alfredo sauce
2 cups chicken broth
1 can 4 oz. chopped green chilies
1 1/2 cup gold and white corn - canned
1 cup sour cream
1 small sweet pepper, chopped
1 small onion chopped and sauteed until translucent
3 garlic cloves minced
1 T. ground cumin
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Combine all together and simmer about 2 1/2 hours stirring frequently.

Giving Thanks For A Husband Who Shops

Dad will always stop on his way home from work to pick items up from a store.  Even though he has worked a 12+ hour shift all night he will stop on his way home to get what we need so that I don't have to.  He even says to call him in the morning if I need him to get anything.  And the best part, he has never once complained about doing it. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Recycled Blue Jean Storage Pots

Easy peasy and if you have an old pair of jeans and some scrap material they are free!  The instructions called for quilt batting (expensive) but I used polar fleece for the lining so that was free too.  It didn't take more that 45 minutes to make and that included rounding up all the materials and figuring out the size of the bottom circle using pi. 

I found the directions at this web site.  Funny thing about that was it was by the same person, Betz White, who wrote the "Sewing Green" book that I made the sweater puppy and the placemat tote bag out of.  I should google her and see what other projects she has.

Grandpa Jerry's Chili Recipe

Spark loves Grandpa Jerry's chili and has declared it the best in the world.  We have never made it though because when Grandpa makes some, which he does quite often, he gives us a couple containers of it.  Tomorrow night our 4-H club is having a chili contest and Spark wanted to make Grandpa Jerry chili so we needed to get the recipe and make a batch.  After our meeting tomorrow we will see if it is indeed the best chili in the world (or at least our club).

Grandpa Jerry Chili

3 pounds hamburger - this freezes great so go ahead a make a big batch
3 onions chopped
2 T. garlic minced
salt and pepper - can't have one without the other
6 16 oz. cans of kidney beans
3 30 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 T. basil
1 T. oregano
1 T. chili powder
1 T. cummin
10-20 drops Tabasco Sauce - we used 14 drops

Brown hambuger, onions, garlic and salt/pepper.  Drain fat.  Add rest of ingredients (don't drain the beans or the tomatoes).  Bring to a simmer for 1 - 1 1/2 hours - until it gets thick.  Cool in refrigerator for a day.  Reheat.    

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Stupid Sock Creatures

Using this book....

a couple of years ago I made Spark this Stupid Sock Creature.  He is pretty cute but mostly he lives under Spark's bed.  I had Spark drag him out for this post.  Now that he has surfaced he has become one of the favorites again.  If he is lucky he won't fall behind Spark's bed for a while and will enjoy a little sunshine.

Here is his close up. 

The whole reason this fellow came to be was because Dancer was cleaning her room.  He was started way back when I made Spark's creature.  This one has been living who knows where in her room in several pieces.  She brought him out and we finished him up since we have the sewing machine out.  These creatures aren't hard to make they are just tedious. 

There are a few things you can learn from this one.  First watch the pattern on the ears so that the design on each one is sewn on in the same direction.  I sewed the ears on all the way and then looked at them.  At that point I thought they looked great because I hate to rip out seams.  Second thing, I realized this when I went to sew the mouth, choose socks with a colored heel.  This one has the same mouth as the one on top even though it really isn't visible.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Aggravating Placemat Tote Bag

This is another project from the "Sewing Green" book.  It is suppose to be a simple, simple project.  It was anything but.  It is made out of four placemats, two for the sides, half of one for the bottom and two 1/3 pieces for the sides. 

This project turned into a disaster for me.  The problem was that the placemats I had were way to thick to sew with any kind of ease, especially the bottom corners.   The reason I chose them, besides I loved the color,  was because they were heavier and therefore would make a more sturdy bag.  During the course of sewing it I broke three, count them three, needles.  I can go months without breaking a needle and in one night broke three. 

Now that it is done I am going to make sure we use that bag until it wears out.

Giving Thanks For Eggs

We are thankful that we are still getting a few eggs a day from our outside chickens that are still in the coop.  Chickens normally need 14 hours of light a day to lay eggs consistently.  There is now daylight for about 10 1/2 hours a day, which makes the nights seem so long.  Furthermore, we are loosing three minutes of precious light every day so we will see how long they can hold out and still lay eggs.  We need to get some things changed around the barn so we can get them moved in there where we can leave a little light on for them all winter.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Recycled Sweater Puppy

I saw this little guy in a library book "Sewing Green" by Betz White and just had to give him a try.  He is suppose to be a baby toy but, since our baby is 11 years old, it will just be a decoration at our house either on the couch or someones bed.  Now that I look at him again he would be nice on a bed with some lavender in his stuffing.  He is made from the sleeves of a really nice cotton sweater.  His tail and the tops of his ears are from a pair of Dancer's pajama pants that the elastic had gone bad in.  His back spot, nose and eyes are felt scraps and the stitching around his spot and eye are yarn.  You really wouldn't need the pattern for him.  Just draw his shape, tail and ears out in a size you like.  The nose and eye can be cut free hand.  He is sewn together in standard stuffed animal style with the tail and ears tucked in before sewing around the body.  I left the part under his spot open for turning and stuffing but with the sweater I used you really couldn't tell it had been hand stitched closed so anywhere on his body would have been fine. 

A close up mugshot to show off his floppy ears.

See, We Can Be Friends

These two, Vidallia and Kacheekers, seem to have a love hate relationship.  Most days the fur is standing up on their backs, they are growling and we will hear them fighting in a tumbling ball fur and tails in the pine trees that line two sides of our yard.  Other times Kacheekers, who is younger, will catch a vole, or other such vermin, and drop it at Vidallia front paws as if to say "I am in a good mood and feeling generous today, take advantage of it while it lasts." 

Cold nights changes all that though, they become quite humble with each other.  Dad left his old barn coat outside the front door and often we will see them curled up on top of it taking advantage of the body heat of each other.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Evaporation and Condensation Experiment

We were reviewing the water cycle in earth science and talking about evaporation and condensation.  This experiment is to see how dirty undrinkable water becomes something people can use.

Our supplies are a large bowl, small bowl, cling wrap, water, dirt and food coloring.  First add a couple of inches of water to the large bowl.
Then, add dirt...

some red food coloring...

and some blue food coloring.  That is to make purple because Dancer always like purple in her experiments whenever possible. 

 Place the small bowl in the center of the big bowl dirt water pond.

Cover the large bowl with the plastic wrap.  Add a weight on top of the center of the plastic so that condensation will run "downhill" to the middle and collect in the small bowl.  Put the bowl out in the sun so you get a lot of evaporation.  The water that we collected was crystal clear.

  Water that comes to us as rain, snow, fog or dew is clear and pure.  Most of the water which we receive as condensation is evaporated from the oceans.  Thankfully our rain isn't salty.  Evaporation and condensation is how water from a stinky old swamp or polluted ditch gets recycled so people, animals and plants can use it.

Bonus lame joke:

Q:  What did the scientist ride to the beach?

A:   The water cycle, of course

Homemade Apple Juice

I don't usually buy juice but I do pick it up, if and only if there is a really good store coupon, to have on hand if we have to bring the beverage to a meeting or potluck.   The bottle was sitting on the counter to be put away as Dad was making apple juice from all the apples my parents have blessed us with this fall.  We were amazed at the color difference between homemade and store bought.  You could read through the bottle of store apple juice so I really wonder what the definition of 100% is since it is made from concentrate but water is the first ingredient (ingredients on food labels are list by weight in descending order).  Ours is thick and has a nice foam on the top, like a glass of beer.  Not sure why it foams but that settles down when it sits in the fridge.  Looking at the two of them side by side, I will take mine homemade thank you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Say What???

Is this an oxymoron?  Is it frosty or is it boiling?  Is someone making snowcrab legs?  Is boiling frost so remarkable we have road signs to alert motorists to investigate the amazing phenomenon?

For our followers, who don't live in the great white north, a frost boil happens in the spring when mud that has been under pressure, underground breaks through the frost in the soil (The earth here freezes solid to a depth of several feet in the winter) and pushes out in mini volcanoes.  O.K., mini-volcanoes may be a tad dramatic--they are more like a pimple or boil on a person's skin.  They are really common on gravel roads but also often break through asphalt.  The road is closed until it's base can be reinforced and repairs undertaken.  Until then gravel is just poured on the ever widening mudpits.  

Even after the frost has left the ground the forces for equilibrium continue to create these prolems.  An additional note for our viewers "down south", in the ditch you can see how long our grass is (and fields still unplanted) on May 19th! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

What is it?

Can you identify the mystery picture?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Giving Thanks For Food In Our Cupboards

While Spark was mowing the lawn, Dancer and I walked along the edge of the field and picked up a few corn cobs left behind after the field had been combined.  We picked the kernels off and gave them as treat to the goats.  I told Dancer that I was thankful that we were not Ruth and Naomi, having to the walk the edges of the field to find food that the harvesters had missed.  Imagine if we had to take this hard, dried, mud covered corn back to the house and try and make it into something for dinner so that we wouldn't starve.  We also had the choice to stop looking because it was cold and the wind had quite a bite to it making our fingers numb.  If this was our only hope for a meal we would have been out there no matter how cold we got.   When I came in to make lunch I thought of how very thankful I am for the food in our cupboards.

Spark Mows!!!

Spark has been waiting it seems his whole life to get to mow lawn.  Finally, today, Dad thought Spark has shown himself responsible lately and let him mow the back of the yard behind the fir trees.  He was so happy, he sang at the top of his lungs the whole time, and did a great job.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Goat Love

Calliope and Klaus are expecting babies!  Well at least we are pretty certain they are.  It has been about three weeks since they were together and when we put them together today Klaus took one sniff at her and ate some hay.  In the fall, boys goats are only interested in two things, hugging and eating and in that order.  Today Klaus was eating.  I don't know how they know if the doe is pregnant but they do.  By the way, hugging is what we call mating.  The barn yard is rather X-rated so when the kids were little we just said that the animals and chickens were hugging and the term stuck.  Hard to explain much else to a four year old.

I caught him giving her a little kiss, isn't that sweet?

She stuck her tongue out at him so I don't think she found it too sweet.

Turn about is fair play, he stuck his out right back at her.  Does this mean they aren't in love anymore?