Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Paypal link up over at PianoGirl

It took almost a week, and several tiring phonecalls, and nasty emails from both the Dude and I, but we now have a PayPal button in the sidebar over at the PianoGirl blog. We are now accepting donations! Get your name on our glorious banner. Head on over, make a donation, and become one of Piano Girl's KEY supporters!

Now, about this blog- sorry for another week of now posts. I have been working hard, and really living life fully. When I am truly integrity in all the areas of my life, blogging really slips to the bottom of the list. But I am here, happily plugging away, smiling while I do laundry, taking care of my kids and my mom, supporting the Dude in his new job by hugging him whe he is home, and not grumbling when he is not, trying to get some school in now and then and planning our summer term, teaching Nature Study, helping the Girl with her egg-selling business, and occasionally getting in the studio. I am still very busy, but doing more family related things, which feels good. I am behind in gardening, and school planning, but hope to focus on some of those later this week.

We are also preparing for the Fine Young Man's 15th birthday. His actual birthday is Monday, but both the Dude and I have evening plans we couldn't change, so the Boy lucks out and gets a 3 day celebration this year. I'd tell you our plans, but it wouldn't be a surprise for long, would it?

I'll talk to you soon,

Monday, April 16, 2007

Nature study at the zoo

Here are some fun photos I took while we were at the zoo the other day. What I thought was very cool was that my almost 15 yr old had as much fun as the 5 year old. I wish I had taken a picture of the two of them holding hands, but my camera battery had died by then.

Here the three boys are, playing in the wolf den in the northern trail exhibit.
Here are some superb rolling down the hill photos. I love this one.
And this one. I love that the little one is still figuring out how to roll down. Cracks me up.
And isn't this priceless? I ran to the restroom, and when I came out, this is what I saw. My fine young man, and JP. They are talking to a man underneath the grate who was busy installing a cooling system for the merry-go-round at the zoo. He was great- took the time to explain to the boys just what he was doing. Not exactly nature study, but definately homeschooling.
Here is a group picture of 4/5's of our group that day. KP was busy drawing.
Whenever we go to the zoo, we spend tons of time in the reptile house. The kids love it. Y'all know how much I love turtles, right? These are yellow side neck turtles.
These are Gila monsters. They are fun to watch climp up rock walls. Young Miss reminded me to tell you they are poisonous.
These are baby egyptian tortoises. They are very small.
While we were on the northern trail, we were actually able to see the bear brothers! This is the first time I have seen them outside in many years. The picture isn't the best, but wanted to include it anyway.
Isn't this elk regal looking? I may try to draw this guy from this photo.
That's it for the zoo trip. We were at the beach for low tide today, and I took pictures. I will try to get them in the computer soon. Nature study is fun but exhausting!

LB, ready for bed at 6 pm

Unveiling the fundraiser

Ok, I have an announcement to make.
I have started a blog for the Young Miss, all about her adventures in the music world. Beginning now, until she is physically there, it will focus on getting her to Interlochen. We have come up with a community fundraising idea to earn money for her entrance fee, plane fare, and necessities. I am working on dates and times right now, and will update those as soon as I can. I will also be posting photos of the Piano Girl soon. But head on over and let me know what you think. And by the way, if you live locally, and want to buy some eggs, let me know!
Edited to add that it would probably help if I put in the LINK!!!!
The blog belonging to the best pianist in the world.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Tidbit #10

By the way, I thank those of you who delurked to comment yesterday. Thanks for reading! It made my heart happy and keeps the urge to blog strong.

The Bees Knees

We just got home from spending the evening at the World Rhythm Festival.
I couldn't believe it at first. Papa Dude came with us, stayed with me the whole time I was in the drumming circle, and even danced with me tonight! I certainly do love this transformed man. He calls me up on the spur of the moment and asks me to go out, calls my mom to make childcare arrangements, brought me flowers last week, and then to top it all off, he dances with me. I am swooning. He is just the Bees' knees.

I guess you have to wait till tomorrow for a post with pictures in it! We have frozen pizzas in the oven and I think we will watch a late movie and sleep in tomorrow. Sigh. Life is good.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tidbit #9 Comments and cleaning

I know there are several of you who read my pitiful little blog, but my dears, only about 3 of you comment. Maybe I scared you off with that last picture of myself? Maybe I need to comment more on all y'all's blogs more often in order for you to comment here? Maybe I need to get one of those site meter thingies, so I can keep track a bit more? I guess what I am asking is, "Could ya' comment once in a while?!" Let me know you care. Or that you don't. ;-)

OK, we went to the zoo yesterday for nature study and had a grand time- I will post photos later, but right now, the laundry pile is huge, and the living room looks disgusting, so I am off with wild CD's in hand to rock out and get some cleaning done. Guess I will get out of my jammies, first.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How do I choose?

It's time for the Annual Homeschool Blog Awards.
How do I choose when more than one of my blog homies are nominated for the same award?! For example, Amy and Dy are both nominated for the funniest blog. Sigh. I read both of these ladies' blogs daily. I consider both of them to be dear friends. And I think they are both a hoot. How do I choose?!

Catch-up post

Oh heavens, I have let 3 days slip by without keeping in touch with you!
Monday I left the kids at Gramma's and had a delightful belated birthday lunch with one of my dearest friends. She has so been there for me since I was in high school. During that time, when things were tough between my Mama and myself, she was there for me. When the kids were born, she started giving them books on every holiday, and hasn't stopped yet. Now that they are older, she takes them out for their birthdays,too. We ate a delightful lunch of quiche and salad, walked around the stores at Country Village, and all in all had a great time. There are ducks, chickens, and rabbits that roam around the shopping area, and if a certain child had not confiscated my camera from my coat pocket, I would have taken pictures for you.

But as it is, I will content myself with showing you a picture of the treasure I found while we were there. Yes, I am wearing fuzzy yellow slippers, yes, I am chunky, and yes, it is a silly pose, but it looks better than the one where I am being serious. This is much more "me", and it shows the coat off to the best effect. It has bright blue roses and bright green polka dots, made out of silk brocade, from Istanbul, and was very reasonably priced, and will be a treasure that I can wear for years to come. Finding amazing wardrobe pieces is finally happening for me! Woohoo! Also, if you click on the picture, you can see my short-short hair, and the crabapple and other new blooms in the shade bed here. This is my fave sitting place.

The Papa Dude said I could post a picture of him. Here he is, lounging on the bench he and the kids made for me a few years ago. He is watching the kids look for eggs. I chose this picture even though the Dude is slouching, because you can see our new cherry tree in front. We call this the "Sexy Bark Tree". It has this smooth, shiny, gorgeous bark that just calls out to be touched and rubbed. I love this tree, and the man who bought it and planted it for me.
This is a closeup of one of the two little dogwoods we have in the front cottage garden. Papa has called them "showy" (in the way one would refer to a lady of ill repute), but I think they are pretty.
Here are the kids, looking for eggs. I tell you, the Girl was hot, and the Boy was not. If he found one egg to every 10 she found, he was lucky! If they had been snakes, we would have been in the emergency room, praying hard! We had an abundance of eggs this week, what with our chickens, and the 30 or so we are chicken-sitting, so the kids and Gramma dyed over 4 dozen! There were tons of eggs to hide and find.
Here's one, hidden in plain sight, in the dogwood, that both kids walked by a gazillion times. I kid you not, a gazillion times.
Back to the catch-up. The kids stayed overnight at Gramma's, the Dude and I had a silly 3am argument, and got little sleep. On Tues, we had lunch with the kids's Godfather. He treated us to yummy Indian food. We had a fabulous time. When we got home yesterday evening, the Dude and I made up. (We let the kids watch a stupid movie very early in the evening while we did so. If we had had otter pops, they would have had those too!;-)
There, I posted! Now off to do some Classical Writing, and then go see Gramma.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter!

I'm bushed, too tired to write a whole entry, but thought I'd post some pics for the Easter Holiday tomorrow. Here's one for the littles who may see this tomorrow over their mamas shoulders. It reminds me of Dy's babies.

Here's a fun one for fellow chicken lovers. Do you know that they don't just dye the chicks because people might think it's cute? They do it to tell different batches of babies apart, etc. You can read all about it here.

This one was too cute not too include. Does anyone know how rabbits came to represent Easter?
And it may be a bit irreverent, but I couldn'tr resist these last two. Maybe it's because I am so tired, but they both just cracked me up.

Especially this one:
And last but not least, here is an Easter book recommendation. If you have never read this book, it is worth the two bucks it will cost to buy it at Amazon. The Easter Pig
We found this book when the kids were just little tykes, and it has been a tradition ever since for the Easter Pig to leave something shiny in the bottom of the baskets.

Happy Easter everyone!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Sunshiny Day

It was a beautiful, warm spring day. One of those billboard thermometer thingies said it hit 77 degrees. We made the most of it and spent some time out of doors.

Got up on time, supervised chores, kids did a bit of school, got the Boy to school on time (We forgot to go yesterday, we were having so much fun with Gramma!), paid an insanely high amount of bills, ran the same bills around to be paid, did some Spring clothes shopping at Value Village (I actually found some pretty things in my size that will work for everyday, but look a bit dressier than jeans and a teeshirt.), came home and saw Papa for about 10 minutes before he left for class tonight, then took the kids to our fave fish n chips hangout, and we read and they did more school work while we waited an hour (Friday night and all) for our yummy fish, then we went for a walk (my third walk is as many days, yay for me!), came home, washed and brushed, and they are both tucked up in bed before 9:30. Cool! I am off to the tub for a bath, then off to bed with me, too.

We will not be sleeping in tomorrow, as Papa is due somewhere at 10 am. We want to get some family time in. The kids and I only saw him for about 30 minutes today, so we still haven't really connected since before he left on Tuesday. I think I will fix a nice brekky complete with sausage,eggs, and bacon, and then when Papa leaves, we will head over to Gramma's. She needs a grocery store trip, and then I am hoping we can talk her into coming down here to spend the day with us. We love it when she is here, and she is so happy once she gets down here. It is so much better than her being alone and bored, and not even knowing it was so warm and sunny outside today. She was hinting about weeding again. With her and the kids helping, we may be able to get the potato/tomato bed done. I also need to get the bed for the peas done this weekend- they need to be planted very soon.

I am hoping to spend some time in the studio this weekend as well. Now that it is tidy, I have a bunch of fibers to experiment with, some more painting to do, and some fabric triangles to cut out.

That's it for now. I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The FAT group

The Fiber Art Traders yahoo group I recently joined has a logo. Now if I can figure out how to put it into the sidebar on it's link, I will be so proud of myself!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Long awaited chicken post

OK, the long awaited post on chickens. Probably mostly pics, I will have the Young Miss do an entry on what kind they are, and care, etc. as she is the one who does all that, for they are HER chickens. Here is a view that shows where the chicken yard is in location to my root bed. You can see my clotheslines in the front, too. This pic was taken before we weeded the root bed today. It looks so good! The big tall tree behind the green coop is our apple tree and is as far as the run goes in the back. Now that they are fenced in, we aren't having to interrupt our day every ten minutes to herd chickens back to their area. It is so much nicer this way!
This is a little homemade coop Mr. B. made that started the whole chicken adventure. This is where the "Dots" (Gold and Silver-laced Wyandottes) live. Young Miss has 3 left from the ten she originally started with (the infamous wild dog incident took the other seven.), and this is where they bunk.
These are the new girls, and their hutch. It started as a rabbit hutch and had a few additions. THey have a ladder they climb up to get to the hutch. The day we rescued these girls, we were up till 10 at night, (one of us with a 102 degree fever), buiding this run. We needed to have this separate run so the two groups of chickens wouldn't peck each other to death. They are just now starting to be able to be out together the whole day without pecking each other. I think two weeks is a fairly short time for them to have come that far!
Here are the "Dots", from left to right: ChickieBoo, Goldie, and Lucy. Lucy is the siver-laced, the other two, golden-laced. ChickieBoo is my pal, and lets me hold her, but I don't do it as often as I used to, cuz once she pecked my tooth when I was holding her, and it scared the bejiggers out of me!
The new girls on the block from left to right, fromt row: Ida, AnnaBelle, Virginia, Mavis. Agnes is the one in the back. Ida is bossy, but funny. The others I am still getting to know. I can't remember what breeds they are, but they are close to five years old. They lay huge eggs, and this morning, we had 3 double yolkers in a row! How cool is that? I should get a better pic of them, now that they are all in the big fenced area together. See the squash there in the front of the fence? They hadn't gotten to it yet. What I think I love the most about these chickens today, is that they eat huge piles of weeds in a very short amount of time. Good birds!
We were at the feed store yesterday, and the man working there said they would have baby chicks probably next week. We have a big cardboard box ready to use as a brooder, and the big chickens don't need the lamp anymore, now that it is warmer at night, so we will probably set them up in the garage when we get them.

I am not sure what all else to tell you about the chickens. Do you have any specific questions, that I can have the chicken expert answer for you? She would love that. That's all for now, I gotta get myself off to bed, so I can be at the dentist by 7 am!

The rest of the day

Well, this is a bit backwards, but we will start with the mural I am working on in the studio, cuz that is the way the pics got uploaded. Here is what I have done so far. The leaves on the right are still wet- they will darken up a bit and match the others a bit more when they dry. Mama and I drank some wine, listened to music, and chatted while I worked on this after supper tonight. And supper was great! Roasted beets and carrots (overwintered in the garden, and not tough at all!), bread, sheep cheese, salami, olives, and organic wine (I mixed mine with pomegranite juice.)

Here is a closeup of one of the leaves. I will be decorating all the leaves, this is the only one so far that has any special touches.

Here is another closeup, just for fun.

And now for the earlier part of the day. It was gorgeous, and we ended up outside, weeding. We got the whole root bed done. Here is the Fine Young Man, actually caught in the act of weeding. Most of the time he was chasing bugs or swinging sticks around.
While we were weeding, the Young Miss tended to her chickens. Here you see her putting fresh straw in one of the runs. I think there is a chicken or two on the far left of the pic if you enlarge it. I promise a chicken post next post!
Here is my fave pic of the day. My Mama does not like her pic taken, but actually allowed me to get this one, maybe cuz it just shows her back. Here she is in all her glory, showing that even though she is blind, she still can get all the roots of any ol' weed, any ol' day. Man do I love her. We have had such a good day. She is staying the night again tonight, which I am grateful for, ad Papa Dude is away, and I have a dentist appt. at 7 am tomorrow. She will get the kids breakfast and supervise morning chores, and then when I get back, we are attacking the big potato/tomato bed. This is the biggest bed I have, so it should be interesting to see if we actually can get the whole thing done tomorrow.
OK, that's all for gardening. Now to start working on the chicken post.

Cleaning Day

Papa had a commitment last night, at the same time that I had my Classical Ed. meeting, so I dropped the kids off at Gramma's house, then picked the whole lot of them up at 9:30. Papa was already asleep, so I couldn't show him my new haircut (I took a pleasant hour before my meeting to get my hair cut short-short, and have fish and chips while reading the newest Quilting Arts Mag- a delightful and restorative break!). I tucked Gramma into the Young Miss's bed, which she freshly made yesterday, and tucked the YM up onto the couch. The Fine YOung Man was crabby, but I kissed him anyway, and crawled into bed.

I was awakened at 6 this morning by the Dude kissing me goodbye and rubbing my shorn head with a giggle. He is headed to SPokane on a business trip, so I won't see him for a couple of days (but hopefully he is reading this blog, like he promised!). We got up for real at 8, had sausage, eggs (anyone want to buy some fresh eggs? We are inundated with tons of eggs!), and english muffins, and though it isn't noon yet, we have been folding laundry, doing dishes, making beds, etc. Gramma is as I type this, sitting on the Boy's bed foliding lundry and supervising his room cleanup. Amy- Some of the garbage consisted of : 4 dirty glasses, a bowl that was obviously holding sugar at one point, grape stems, desicated orange peels, and 6 shriveled apple cores.
The Fine Young Miss entertained Gramma with her piano practice, and we are getting ready to have homemade cherry pie for lunch (the kids and I made it on Sunday, and it calls to be finished off!).

Sigh. I will try to upload some pics later tonight. Right now, Mama is calling out for more hangers. Gotta clean while the motivator is here! Guess schoolwork can be home economics today, hmmm?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Update: From the Studio Depths

Well, today was another day where I was in the studio as much as I could be, when not doing laundry or looking over schoolwork with the kids. I was organizing some more- kind of the second layer approach. When I first took over this space, I just shoved everything on a shelf or in a cupboard, but there was no rhyme or reason to it. I could never find what I was looking for, and I don't think I have been spending as much time down here due in some part to this lack of organization. I have been reading the book, Organizing Your Craft Space, by Jo Packham, which I happened upon when the kids and I were in the craft store the other day. I had seen the book before, but it didn't have much impact on me, other than to induce drooling over the amazing studio spaces in the photos! But now that I have my own studio space, I found it extremely inspiring.

In the book, they show studios where the artist primarily works on one art, whether it be mosaics, rubber stamping, collaging, or quilting. I got lots of ideas, but what was missing was a section on organizing a studio where you do many arts! I have a small space down here, but am doing my best to keep it organized. I think that may jumpstart some creativity in its own right.

The studio looks much better now, and I am ready for a day of labeling. When I get that part done, I will take pics. I also will have something fun to show you- I have been painting the cement wall today. Just kinda happened. My mom gave me her acrylic paints and brushes- a big box full. That's what started it. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always, always, always wanted to paint a mural. Guess I can finally have my way with a wall. :-)

While I was getting the link for the book above, I found this one too, by the same outhor. Looks like a good read as well.

I have begun to think about a name for the studio. Something with a turtle in the title, as they are significant to me. I'll let you know when I have a couple for you to help me audition.

Ok, just wanted to let you know I was alive and fairly well. Neck is still constantly achey, but I can now function all day and work through it. Maybe later this week, I can get back into the garden.