Thursday, March 22, 2012

Welcome Spring...cold outside but hot in here!

Hello Spring chicks! Well spring is here, but I feel that we are still in the middle of winter. It has been, grey, wet, cold, snowy, and windy. Yet in the laundry room there is a little brood of chicks staying warm under the light....90 degrees warm! Growing each day, sprouting feathers and loosing the fluff. They perched last night on a stick for the first time. Two of them stayed sprawled out on the floor and they other three hopped on the stick and closed their eyes.

We have wanted a back yard flock for years(Ruben & I have). When I found a farmer near us that raises chickens and had chicks for sale we went for it. It felt good to know where theses chicks came from. We got them one day after they hatched and tomorrow they will be two weeks old. They sure get a lot of attention around here. Yet there is enough attention to go around for all of the animals we have in this, rabbit, hamster, 2 tanks of fish, and now 5 golden sex links hens. The boys have gladly given their permission to turn the playhouse into a hen house. We have another month to get it very secure for our little ladies.  This is how I will welcome spring...with chicks under the light. Since the outdoors has not yet invited me to put my gloves, pull out the garden tools and start digging.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Snow on the Coast... a lot of snow!

A new sight to us! I have never seen this much snow in Florence.

Tres and I took a walk late at night just a few hours after the snow started to fall.

In and out, and in and out. the kids had so much fun playing in the snow that day.
It had been raining hard and then it got very quiet and cold. The snow started and fell hard for several hours. So hard that it took trees down, branches broke all around our house and neighborhood. Four days with now power. We made it through the storm with little damage to our place. Yet we had some close calls. We spent our time in the snow and then huddled around the wood stove. I fall in love with that old stove again and again. The family just hung out around the hearth. Staying warm, talking, warming food, spending time gathered around the hearth. It was kinda nice...quiet, peaceful and slow.

Snow play in the neigborhood

I never thought Ruben's first time on a snowboard would be in our neighborhood!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Silver the mountains

I discovered riding in the snow is like riding in the sand. I had to push my bike a little, but now I know : )
I have looked at this Silver Falls State Park online and on the map several times and been very curious. When I knew I would be spending five days in Keizer, I decided one day after training I would go take a look and a ride. It was a gorgeous drive and higher elevation than I anticipated. I was so glad I did it though. The park is massive, I only explored just the tip. There are 10 waterfalls in the park, I only went to one. Bikes are not allowed on the falls trails, to steep and narrow. I can't even tell you how great I felt to be there. I had been sitting inside a conference room for three days and staying in Keizer...a sprawl of Salem. Not a place I would ever choose to go to. I was anxious and knew I needed to get out in nature. What a beautiful place to get a breath of fresh air and to ride. Yeah I felt a little silly bringing my bike into the hotel with me, but these days I make riding a priority. I rode all over Keizer the day before. I have said many times the I love parks, well there is certainly no exception here. The waterfall was breath taking and though I only saw just a small piece of this park, I will return with family in tow to explore this beautiful place Oregon State Parks has to offer. I laughed out loud to myself trying to ride on a snowy path! Not possible! Good times.

A visit with Alex

A new job brought me to Keizer to a training for four days. Alex is just 45 minutes away so she came to stay with me for a night. We were so close to wine country we decided to take a little trip out to McMinville to visit the R.Stuart & Co.Winerey where she works, on the weekends. It was a beautiful drive and I had no idea how many vineyards and wineries are out in the rural area. McMinvilles's little town is just adorable too. We did some tasting at R.S and then had a delicous dinner at a little Italian place just down the street. It was so nice to spend time with Alex. I love laughing with my sisters, and I feel so lucky to have sisters. I can always say I have a friend in my sisters. What a treat to just be with her.

Cute little bar, what a fun place to work!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Daddy Fever...

So stoked to surf with Dad!

Hop on Pop!
I call it Daddy Fever when the boys just can't get enough of their Dad. I think it must be a developmental stage. I remember Ruben doing this same thing, just all up in Tres' space all the time. Wanting to do everything he does. Well Spencer is certainly in the midst of this stage. He wants Dad all the time, and lucky for him, he gets Dad all the time. Tres is a loving and devoted father that is happy to be the center of their attention. It is very pleasing to me to watch them bond over and over again. What a way to grow up, knowing you can count on your parents. Lucky little boys.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Gratitude Sunday

Another week has passed, so quickly. I am thinking again of this beautiful life and what I have to be grateful for...

~My sister Alex in Portland, she has Jake to her house a few weekends a month. It is such a tremendous gift to have a place for him to go to for the weekend. Getting off campus for him is very important. I am so grateful for her support with him. Thank you Alex! xo

~The time I had on my bike this week. I really felt myself getting stronger with each ride. I rode in Florence this week, all over town. It was really fun to explore the town on my bike.

~A bag of fabric scraps from Abby. The colors, textures, and different fabrics just keep me going on my sewing. It is a fun challenge to keep learning how to sew and make functional beautiful things. I have a long way to go, but I am sure having fun.

~Precious snuggle time with Spencer in the morning. I love waking up next to him and hearing his first thoughts of the day. One morning he talked about how much he loved his new book he got from the book fair(lego figurine book), another day he asked if Dad left yet for school...he wanted to sit with him for coffee, and one morning he asked if we could ride bikes together before school.

~Using my gift certificate from my parents for a European Facial....ah it was very relaxing and such clean products. A real treat!

~A walk at the park with a friend.

~ Time  to volunteer in Spencer's classroom. Seeing him and his classmates. They were all so excited to see me! It made me feel good to be there.

~Tres playing his guitar for us & making up songs about Pancho that make us all laugh.

~Backyard fire under a clear night with bright stars to view. Sipping a tasty margarita with my sweetie.
Dr. Sues Birthday Celebration

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Full circle

Almost a year ago I planted these squash, butternut and delicata. My two favorites. I had enough to store for the winter and take a few as needed from a basket in the garage. A couple of weeks ago I used the last of the squash from last year's garden. I decided to clean the seeds, dry them a bit, and then wrap them in a coffee filter until time to plant again. I have never done this before, but it just made sense to save the seeds. I wasn't even sure if I needed to dry them. So this is kind of an experiment. I loved that these squash were mini, not that they were suppose to be, but that is just how they grew under my thumb. Perfect for one person and great in a lunch box! I am thinking this is like full circle or almost full circle. When I harvest next fall it may be full circle then. Right now I am excited to think of seeds, dirt, fertilizers, time in the garden, watering, weeding and harvesting. 
Oh the good things in life that excite me...The garden and the full circle that it creates.