Friday, October 31, 2008

Bloggy changes

I've been bugging Jeremy to help me change the look of the blog and he's finally getting to it (you know how it is... who wants to design at home when you do it all day long?). I'll be adding and changing things over this weekend as I have time.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This and That...

The boys are playing with dough at the table, making shapes, and I'm enjoying a few moments on the laptop drinking hot tea to soothe a sore throat. The weather the last few days has been beautiful in that perfect Fall-ish sort of way with clear skies, yellow sun, and only the occasional need of a jacket. We've been busy around here but in a good way... lots of little projects with time to rest and play outdoors in between.

I decided this last weekend that it was time to make some more herbal tinctures. I've been making them sporadically for the last couple of years. They are very simple to make but it takes a good 6 weeks before they're finished. I made a small jar of an echinacea tincture for when we feel a cold coming on and then a couple jars mixed with lemon balm, chamomile, passion flower, oatstraw, catnip, and hops. The combination of which helps with a good night's sleep... and it's perfect for little ones. When my tinctures are done, I'll give a full tutorial on how I like to make mine.

And just because I love them so...these are my latest Etsy buys. I've mentioned before how much I love Pyrex and when I saw these I couldn't resist. I have four of these little mugs, milk glass with a red stripe, so sweet.

And these little bowls came just a few days ago. Milk glass with bluish stripes... six total and they are in near perfect condition, same as the mugs. We really needed new bowls and now I'm happy finding excuses to eat out of them.

The other day when the boys were resting, I heard a little tapping on our sliding glass doors. I ignored it at first because it was so faint. But when it happened again I got up and saw Guinevere staring right at me. She loves the porch and even though we've clipped her wings (she's escaped to the neighbors TWICE!) and have a gate up at the bottom of the deck stairs, she still manages to get up here and won't hesitate to come inside if the door is open. We can't fault her for wanting to be with us.. I mean, we are friendly bunch... but I draw the line at full grown chickens no matter how cute she may be.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trick-or-Treat bags

Something about the colder weather and the impending holidays puts me in the homemaking mood. Aside from reading up on how to really, really, care for the laundry like sorting properly (a gentle cycle tag really does mean gentle cycle) and using the proper temperatures (sheets should always be washed in hot don't you know), I have lots of sewing ideas. I stayed up last night to finish little bags for the boys for Halloween. I found the perfect tote pattern in Bend The Rules Sewing. I adjusted the size so they are slightly smaller than the pattern calls for but they'll be perfect for little hands.

One handle is shorter than the other so you can loop the longer one through and make it easier for carrying. Ian grabbed the cowboy one immediately and it is now a holding case for all things Star Wars.

I have several more ideas to work on for Christmas and then I'm going to devote myself to creating with the boys to see what fun things we can come up with. I'm near the point of giddiness thinking about how fun these next couple months are going to be with Ian and Sawyer.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Miss Emmaline

We realized something was very wrong with one of our chickens, Emmaline, last weekend. It was so apparent that I rushed to find a vet here in the city that would let me bring her in. Thankfully there was one that would see chickens on an emergency basis only. She told me that Emmaline had been egg bound and after trying to lay her first egg she ended up with a prolapse (Info... in case you're interested). I will spare the details but I was shocked at the awful condition she was in and felt terrible at the pain she must have been feeling. If caught in time, prolapses can be fixed. Unfortunately hers had happened the day before and was a really bad case. We cleaned her up, gave her pain medicine, and received a week's worth of antibiotics to see if she could recover. Then we came home and set up a space for her in the spare bedroom where she would be warm and away from the pecking of the other chickens. I cleaned her again that evening but noticed that she was getting worse. By the next morning I could tell she was in so much pain that she didn't want to move. I called Jeremy at work and asked if he would come home and take her in to be put down. It was a hard decision but one that we needed to make for her sake.

The boys and I sat in the bedroom with her all morning and read her books and told her thank you for being a good chicken to us over the last 5 months. Jeremy came home and we said goodbye. Ian seemed to take it well although he was very sad and mentions her every day atleast once. She was the first one he took to and the one he called by name the most often.

It's hard for me to believe but the first two baby chicks we got, Clover and now Emmaline, have both died. We knew just simply getting them meant we would have to experience their death at some point, but we certainly didn't think it would be so soon. Poor miss Emmaline. We already miss her!

This was her just a month ago with Sawyer...

And here's a few pics from the first week we had her...


Our other chickens, Ginger, Willow, and Guinevere are doing really well. Both Willow and Guinevere are laying eggs daily and we are patiently waiting on Ginger to join them. We could tell they were a little weirded out this week my Emmaline's absence since she was the queen around the coop, but it seems Willow has stepped up to the plate and is already putting the other two in their place.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gathering Pumpkins

We decided late Friday night to get up early the next morning and officially welcome the autumn days by finding some pumpkins to sit on our front porch. It was a bit chilly but the sun was shining and the air was fresh.. We took a bouncy hayride to the patch of pumpkins and then carefully wandered through the underbrush of pumpkin stalks to find just the right ones for the boys to carry. Where Sawyer was a bit hesitant at first, Ian jumped right in by laying on the ground to examine a rotting pumpkin up close. Soon both boys were happy to be muddy and very happy with their choice of pumpkins.

Happy pumpkin-hunting!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A welcomed season

Our breakfasts are changing now with the cooler weather and our new gluten-free status. We've recently discovered the goodness of warm rice (leftover from the previous night's meal) in hazelnut milk with brown sugar, nuts, and fruit. And this morning was my first attempt at crockpot (gluten-free) oatmeal and I realized I was instantly won over by the ready-made warmness of it all that I didn't mind that it was a little on the gooey side.

It's raining here now and I suddenly realized last night when I was sitting on the couch listening to Jeremy take our garbage outside to be hauled away, that I'm happy it's Fall. That I love the feeling of a bundled up house, of being tucked warm inside it's walls listening to the coldness happen outside. Summer is beautiful and welcoming but each year when Fall comes back around I find I'm ready for it and eager for the season and all it's pumpkiny-ness.

Jeremy's parents were here this last week and we all had a wonderful time. The boys loved being the center of attention for 4 straight days and squeezed every bit of grandchild/grandparent interaction out of it they could. We toured the city, went to the zoo, and took Grandma and Grandpa to their first ever trip to see the ocean. The beach was gorgeous and the weather was perfect. There was a lot of lap-sitting and book reading and more hugging than we could count. We had such an amazing time with them and look forward to doing it all over again next year. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for flying here to see us!

I'll be back around here a little more often now. I have this aversion to being tied to things, like a computer, that every now and then I need to step away and take a break so I can love it again. So I've been quiet on email, blogging, etc... and just enjoying what others are writing about. I love the peacefulness and beauty in blogs like High Desert Home and Living, Learning, and Loving Simply and the craftiness of SouleMama and Homespun Living. There are many more amazing blogs I love to read but most all are about being a mom, doing it well, and loving every moment of it. Something very near and dear to my heart.