Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Letting the rest of the tadpoles go

before vacation.
I can't ask my house-sitter to tend to them, too.
A perfect excuse to set them free.
Good Luck!

My mother wants her sewing machine back!

I was going to borrow it for a week or two but four months later I still have it!
I've spent the last few days staying up until 2am to sew the bunches of therapy and dream pillows I had already pinned. They were waiting for months. I never seemed to get around to sewing.
I might not like sewing.
Finally, with a deadline, I filled them with flax seeds and herbs and sewed the darn things up.
I am very proud.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tucking the chickens in

in the evening.
They are so sweet.
We have grown very attached to them.

Birds of prey

at the Dickinson library with Tom Ricardi.

He is the local man who rehabilitates raptors and owls, using the ones who cannot be released for education.

I've called him in a panic twice when I've come upon injured owls that have been hit by cars; once at 6am and once at 1am. Both times he was calm and polite, actually once it was his wife who answered. The first time was before the girls were born and I went to visit the bird before he set it free. He has huge outdoor pens in his backyard and many wild birds in different stages of rehabilitation.

I am so thankful for the work he does and how loving he is towards the hurt birds as well as the children and adults he educates.

An owl at the library entrance must have made the birds feel welcome.

Here is is with a kestrel and a falcon. He makes their wooden boxes you can see behind him. Each one a bit different with pretty hinges and locks. The girls were both on my lap and we were transfixed as he introduced each bird.
Below is his favorite, the turkey vulture.
After the lecture I asked him why that was his favorite and he replied, "Oh it's just his personality. He's just a really great personality."
What a crazy looking bird, you could easily see right through his huge nostrils.

Above is the Golden Eagle preening him.

And below is Georgia petting the Great Horned Owl. She got too close to it's mouth and it nipped her.

and gave me quite the look.
I was elated after the presentation.
Really, I felt like we'd taken a field trip to Hogworts.
Being in a room with those big wild birds that were so calm in the care of their loving person was truly magical.

Tadpole drama

The big ones are growing legs.
They seem to be thriving on frozen chard and lettuce from the farm.
One bad night after getting home late from work, they seemed to be eating a floating dead compadre. I was really disgusted and felt done with the tadpole experience, but in the morning we cleaned out the jar and gave them some more lettuce.
The next night I came home and was sitting at my computer when I saw a jumping something behind me in the kitchen. It was one of our tiny tadpoles! It was a frog! It still had tail, but it was hopping along!
Here's a photo on our dirty floor.
I captured it and put it in a safe bowl with water and a rock so the girls and I could release it the next day.

Here it is on it's way to freedom.
By morning the tail was mostly gone.

We let it go in a nearby pond where there were HUGE bullfrog tadpoles lurking so hopefully our little friend will climb a tree or hide in the grass. We left him at the edge of the pond and said goodbye.

Calendula Blossoms and Sunflowers

blooming at the hot farm today.

The calendula was so vibrant I picked a skirt-full of blossoms to steep in olive oil.

Here are the flowers in oil after steeping for a week. I have a ton of beeswax and pretty blue jars so I'll make some calendula salve when we get back from vacation.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Jeweled Dance Floor

"If God invited you to a party and said,

'Everyone in the ballroom tonight will be my special guest,'

How would you then treat them when you arrived?

Indeed, indeed!"

... There is no one in this world
Who is not upon
His Jeweled Dance Floor."


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Well! Tire Warehouse!

More drive-by wisdom.
Makes me want to dream BIG!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Papa's pool

is what we call the tub on the back deck. Rob fills it with hose water and then gets in! It's too cold for the rest of us unless the water has steeped in the hot sun for the entire day. Then we'll all take turns getting in to cool off.

I planted a few cuttings of my brewer-friend's hops two years ago and they have taken off like crazy! The lush screen is giving us privacy on the deck and I'll have hundreds of flowers to harvest for my dream pillows soon.

New sign at the creamie

and fresh ripe black raspberries growing in the side yard.

I love summer.

I feel like the hot steamy weather has given us a marvelous head start to summer that I haven't felt we got the last two years.

The town pool,
the local lake,
the cool library,
and the creamie

have all been enjoyed already this summer
and that feels good.


Our patch is full of ripe red berries! The bushes have been neglected and I didn't buy another net to protect the fruit from the hungry birds (after last year when the net we paid $40 for and placed meticulously over all the blueberries and raspberries, was ripped when a huge branch fell on the whole situation a few weeks later, just before the harvest.)

So, somehow, this year we have berries. It is a treacherous but satisfying experience to pick the ripe ones.

Chicken food

The chickens are doing well out in their coop.

They get very clucky and excited when we bring down some nice kitchen scraps for them.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Secret swimming hole

The kids were at the town pool with my sister and her husband so Rob and I went to a swimming hole after grocery shopping.

It is a few deep pools in a cool river under shady hemlocks.

The water is deep and green.

We were cool for most of the ride home.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fourth of July weekend

means it's officially high summer.

We went to a annual party at our friend's parent's cottage where there was swimming by (and complete terror by the 8 year old crowd on the innertube when they floated over a creepy looking stump that had arm-like branches swaying in the water. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH" they screamed until someone pulled them from the two foot deep weedy area.

I bought a hula hoop which I have been coveting for over a year now. A young woman was there with hoops to play with and buy. She showed us moves and said casually, "I lost 50 pounds hooping and it was fun because hooping is like a meditation. I love it!" Well, that sold me. So I bought a rainbow one and am hoping to hoop in the yard when the kids are playing. I got a heavy big one that is filled with water because it helps build core muscles and facilitates meditation.

Some time at our friend's house by the river with snacks, tadpoles and crayfish.

Then the Greenfield fireworks!
We hadn't been to fireworks since the kids were born. The gut-reverberating booms seemed too loud for a small child and then, for a couple years, I was working on fireworks night.
We went this year and it was great fun. The girls loved it. We ended up in the field that was farther away by mistake, but it turned out to be perfect for a first-time experience. I missed the booming feeling in the chest, so next year, we'll move closer.