Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gratitude * Sunday

G r a t i t u d e * S u n d a y

{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.}
Today I am joining Taryn Wilson from in a list
of my own gratitudes.

This week I have felt grateful for...

* A flexible work schedule. I am still able to get quality time with my kids and myself while working. It is quite a balance for family and work, but I feel my two jobs support my desire to be here for my family too.

*My parents as grandparents. My kids are so lucky to have such cool grandparents. They go out of their way to make quality time for my children. This is truly a gift for the whole family.

*A husband that is great at making me laugh out loud. I love to laugh! It is so uplifting and Tres can really make me crack up. Thank goodness for a great sense of humor.

*Garden delights! I am planting seeds, preparing beds, weeding, and water starts. Now I am harvesting beets, carrots, parsnips, chard, chives, and celery. I all of this in dinner and lunch today! What a treat to harvest veggies that have wintered over. I also just love making use of the garden in each season.

*Changes in weather. It is just magnificent to feel that sun and warmth. Less clothing, no shoes, eating outside, playing until dark. The changes in the weather really brings some wanted change around here.

*A book that I have come to pick up almost daily now for a source of great information. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. This book is one that I refer to so often, just to know more. It is so great to have a very dependable readable resource.

*Time on my bike. It is not always easy to find the time, but when I do I am so grateful. I love  that time to get my heart beating fast, feel the air, listen and smell my surroundings while riding.

*Friends! oh thank you friend. It feels good to know my friends enjoy and trust me as much as I do them. Woman friends are a powerful source in this life and I am so glad to have them.

*Phone calls from Jake. He is great about calling me. It feels so good just to hear about his day and hear his voice. I miss him a lot of the time, but I am so proud of him and I know he is just where he wants to be.

*Ruben with the chickens. I could just sit and watch him with the chickens. I get to see him be so  nurturing to them and curious about them. He has really created a bond with the little feather girls. He is also having so much fun with them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Glorious Morning

We had a truly beautiful weekend. The weather was down right hot. Ahh it was wonderful. Shoes came off, pants changed for a skirt or shorts, t shirts were off, and the whole days spent outdoors. Breakfast outside came first. It felt great to scrub that layer of dirt and scum off the deck table to prepare for our first meal outside on the deck in quite a while. The table shined after that and we all had a great breakfast together. These simple things make me just smile so big and feel like my cup is full. After this lovely meal of pancakes, strawberries, and eggs. The chickens of course came out, then so did the gardening gloves. I planted carrots, lettuce, and flower seeds of all kinds. I also pulled many weeds that had taken to my garden boxes. All in lovely sun, in fact so much sun, shirts did have to go back on for a bit. Wow, such extremes around here. It was great little tease as what is to come with the changing weather. A very Glorious morning indeed!

A little garden bag

I try to sew when I can, which means, I choose to let other things dishes and a hot meal for a cold one. But the results of choosing to create rather than continue with daily responsibilities gives me the energy to get back to those daily tasks that sometimes feel like no fun. Well here is the latest work I did with burlap, and a few fabric pieces that were passed on from a friend. I call it a garden bag  because I thought it would be perfect to put a water bottle in one of the front pockets, maybe an ipod too, then some seeds packets, gardening gloves, and tools. Throw it over your shoulder and head out to the garden. The burlap would be quite forgiving with dirt. I also like to have a few things close by when I am in the garden, so a garden bag made sense. I was then inspired to give this bag to my Mom for her birthday, it was her 60th. She is quite the gardener too, she also never goes far with out one of her many fashionable bags. Only made sense to make her a fashionable garden bag too. Happy Birthday Mom!

Chicken sitt'n

Ruben has done quite well with chickens perching on his arm.

Spencer with his shorts on had chickens pecking at his freckles.

Here are a few more pictures of the backyard chickens. Ruben has certainly taken the lead role as chicken boy, next to Mom. He has done a fantastic job of teaching Pancho too. In fact the other day I looked outside and Ruben had one chicken on the deck, she was standing alone and Pancho was just a few feet away watching and trembling. Ruben talked both of them through it trying to talk sense into deciding to be friends rather than enemies.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The best entertainment in town

On deck

Great form! Look at that face.
oops that's a strike

Yes! a hit!
Truly a good time in watching T-ball. A very proud moment for the whole family. It has been 12 years since I have been to T-ball, WOW! Jake played on this same field for T-ball, it was just as adorable then as it is now. Time me thinking. Living in the moment, being present for those around you and for yourself, is a gift. No better place to be than right here right now. 

Chickens in the yard

lady birds now spending 30 minutes or so on clear days in their chicken tractor.

Rosie meets the lady birds.

He just can't help himself, he wants to be in the middle of it all.

Some beautiful blooming in the yard.

Chow time

I bet she is curious to see if I brought her a fresh worm from outside or even a rolly polly bug would be great. See the chicken nipple on the bottom of the bucket, working great! 
The chickens are doing great. Almost completely feathered and growing very fast. They love their time outside and have definitely figured out how to scratch and peck the ground. In fact now when they eat the chick feed, they peck and then stop to scratch the wood shavings, very funny and curious that it is so instinctual to do this even in the enclosed housing they have right now. This week we received a set of 5 chicken nipples...HA! sounds funny huh? :) who knew chickens had nipples. Just kidding, but the whole family has got such a long run of jokes and laughs over this simple and very useful nipple for watering the chickens. They had a tray for water, which they messed right away, so we had to clean and check it several times a day. Later I discovered the chicken nipple (amazon :) Which is just like it sounds. This way they peck at it and water comes out. We drilled a whole in the bottom of a gallon  bucket then stuck the nipples in and filled the bucket. This keeps the water clean, more water available and less time from us in providing clean water. The garden is still a mess, but the backyard animals don't mind a bit, Rosie hopped over to take a look at the ladybirds, they just starred back. Ruben wanted so badly to co-mingle the pets, yet I wasn't ready for that. This was only the second day the girls had been out on the ground. Our chicken tractor was made by Tres with materials from the around the yard, just scraps of left over things. I am so pleased with this, keeping it low budget and functional is certainly a goal. I also love re purposing our pile of junk. Good times in the backyard.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cape Blanco Pioneer Cemetery

We stopped here to take a look. The most recent burial was in 1903, all of them were immigrants for Ireland. We talked about how life might be during that time and in a place like Cape Blanco. We decided that the fun they had together was surely not over popcorn and a good movie, but fun they had was fun the made running and leaping into your Dad's arms and getting a "swing around" or a bouquet of wild flowers, a walk in the woods with your sweetie. Although all of our modern conveniences are wonderful and so convenient...what a life it would be in 1903, it is fun to imagine.

Cape Blanco Lighthouse Tour

truly amazing what this lens does.

Long way up!

long way down.
Cape Blanco is the most western point of land in the United States. Just north of Port Orford we drove out to see the light house, take a tour, and enjoy the view. We were all impressed the beauty and history of this light house. Such a treat to see something and to actually walk inside this very old and very important tool of navigation.

A few flowers from the wilderness

Not sure what this has succulent type leaves, they took up a large area at the Battle Rock park. Ther are beautiful!

Trillium on the trail at Nelle's Cove trail

Wild iris, on the trail at Nelle's Cove trail.

The View

This is the view from where we stayed. Locals call it dog beach, we decided to call it "Old Mans".

Ruben going out at Old Mans, in the background, Amber, Melisa, and Cody on longboards.

View of the surf from a top Battle Rock

Spencer and Ruben on the top of Battle Rock

Port Orford Water Festival

Spencer watching Charlie Plybon dissect a shark at the Surfrider booth. Kinda stinky, but fascinating!

Ruben getting ready to watch the octopus dissection.

No better way to learn the bone structure of a whale, than to actually assemble one like a puzzle! awesome learning activity

Spencer really enjoyed this booth on birds identification, matching the real skulls to the picture of the bird. Well done!

After all that hands on learning, a quick game of soccer let the body take over the mind for a little while.
We took a little weekend trip to the town of Port Orford. They were hosting their 5th annual Water Festival and there was potential for surf for the whole family too.  We had success in every avenue we went for. The Water Fest. was a great success with all sorts of interactive hands on learning activities, a hotel with a fabulous view of the ocean, waves for all of us...we all got to surf. Hiking in new locations too. Great time weekending in Port Orford.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Some things different

Planting seeds...a real, live, tangible, way to express new beginings...rebirth.

Some things just won't change.

Some Bunny loves you! Happy Easter. Rosie in the onion patch.

He called him self top chicken...chicken who roosts to highest is top chicken.
I have wanted to change a few family traditions and come away from the commercial celebration of holidays in the culture we live in. It is difficult though, the boys are so young and they already have the ideas of Easter bunnies with plastic eggs and shiny baskets wich are delivered to your house...? Not this house, may be some but this house has a real live bunny who is a part of the family, and real eggs that you could eat after decorating(not this year though), and this family packs up for part of the day to spend valuable family time with friends at the beach. Somethings were different this year but not everything and somethings were new. Regardless of it all, we were all together, Jake was home too :) We were all together, we made memories, had fun and laughed, and spent time in nature. Happy Easter to you all.

Friday, April 6, 2012

From our yard

I am hopeful that the weekend will bring weather that will allow some time in the backyard. I am really ready to put some seeds right in the ground and get others started. There is still so much cleaning up to do from the storms we have had. Walking around the yard and seeing all of the blooms, green shoots, buds, and new life is inspiring to me. I feel so lucky to have a place to put my hands in the earth and to be a part of this process of rebirth, right here in my own backyard. With that in mind, Easter will be here this weekend. I have thought a lot of how I will or if I will celebrate in some way. I won't be going to mass and I will refrain from celebrating with sugar.  I will come to some idea on how I will celebrate the time of rebirth, new beginnings, starting fresh, and finding joy in what is here now. The other part of that is sharing this with the family, as we all have different ideas on what this may mean. I am ready for new traditions for my children & myself. While I spend time in my yard this weekend, I know something will come together in my mind that will allow me to feel this time of year has been celebrated and acknowledged. It will just come to me, I am open and ready for it. I look forward to sharing just what it is, here in this space.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A little song & dance before bed

This picture is a little blurry, but the clearest one I got of boys dancing to Dad's song before bed. Something about Tres playing his guitar and making up songs as he goes that get the boys jumping, running, dancing, and laughing immediately! The guitar in his hands and the words out of his mouth always create a lighter more fun kind of atmosphere as soon as we hear them. I would call it a quality, a gift or a part of parenting that Tres offers our family that no one else does. One of the things I adore about him, how the guitar in his hands just shifts everything. It really is so fun and makes us all feel joy at the same time. You can see here it makes Spencer jump up and click his heals. Some bedtime routine huh?

More than a handful

I could hold two in one hand when we brought them home. Now it takes two hands for one chick. They have lost most of their down and have grown their feathers in. They look kind of awkward and for now not nearly as cute as they once were. Yet they are still adored just as much as they were the first day. Watching them learn to perch, seeing how curious they are about us and what we might be offering them is as engaging as watching them as two day old little puff ball. It is exciting to think of them roaming the backyard, eating scraps, collecting eggs, and getting to know their personalities. The whole family has done a wonderful job so far caring for them, really a group effort. Even Pancho is calmer. He runs to the laundry room(where they are still housed for a few more weeks) when they get really squakie and chirpy. I like to think he is making sure they are OK, but more likely he is wandering if one finally flew the coop. We'll move them to the garage in two weeks, where they will stay for a while before heading outside to their home.