Tuesday, May 10, 2011

spring break!

I'm going on spring break from this space.

There's lots to do in the next few weeks like, wrapping up homeschool co-op, planting my garden, spring cleaning and purging, thinking and planning for summer, road tripping to San Francisco to pick up Amelia and giving myself a break from the computer.  Besides, I feel like I'm boring you all lately.  I have to admit, I am feeling bored lately.  I need to find my spark and I know it's not going to come from the computer or anything outside myself.  It's got to come from me.

I'll see you on the 1st of June! 


Monday, May 9, 2011

all the boys


Last week Amelia took her first plane ride by herself to visit my dad in Florida.  She's there right now having the time of her life.  I've been asked so many times whether I miss her.  And the answer is YES, of course.  But, I know I can't keep her to myself forever.  There's going to come a time when she moves out of the house and goes to college and it's going to be hard for me to let her go.  Opportunities like this are so valuable in order to take baby steps towards the future.  I have to tell you though, when I saw that plane taxi off to the runway, it felt like a great big giant step.  And what I've learned is that time is not slipping by too quickly.  Amelia has taught me that.  She gives me the courage to know that she is completely capable of grown up things.  Thank goodness for that.  We are exactly where we need to by right now.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, life goes on as usual.  This time though, it's just me and the boys.  Without the hens,  the gender scale at my house would weighs heavily on the boy side.  But, even though I'm surrounded by boys, on mother's day mama rules.  And what could be better than a day in the outdoors with my boys and some friends of ours that love hiking just as much as we do. 

Of course, the boys and I wanted to go to the same place we went last time.  This time with friends, we went a little further than before.  We discovered some wildflowers that must have just started blooming and a creek to explore.   

I hope you were made special on mother's day in just the right way.  Whether it was a hug and a kiss or a special homemade gift.  Whatever it was for you, I hope it was a good day.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

happy mother's day ♥

I love any day where I get breakfast made for me, cards and art presented to me and maybe a nap in the afternoon.  happy mother's day to you!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

may day hike

{Edit to add:  I don't know what's going on with intensedebate but comments are just disappearing.  I'm leaving it on so they can figure out the problem.  Arggg.}

One of our teachers at the homeschool co-op mentioned this place in passing and I was intrigued.  Possibly seeing bald eagles and geese nesting on spires?  What would be cooler than that?  We just had to find this place. {for the locals ~ She said it was in Washoe Valley, on a dirt road right after the guardrail ends on the down side of Washoe Hill going southbound.  So, any chance I had to drive that way I would look for the turn off.}  On Sunday, we headed out on our adventure.

My husband, the obsessive hiker, knows where all the great places are even though he's only lived here since 2003 and I've practically lived here my whole life.  I was jacked up knowing that I  (little 'ol me) could surprise him.  As we were driving down the hill, he was getting confused about where I was taking him.  "Don't worry Honey,  I know what I'm doing," I said to him.

Well, it's now my newest favorite place of all time.  At least for a nice Spring hike.  We have to head up to the mountains when it gets really hot in the valley.

What did we smell:  Sagebrush!  Lots of Sagebrush.
What did we hear: Quail, Geese, Red-Winged Blackbirds and other various small birds
We Felt:  Cool at first but we warmed up.  There was a nice breeze.

What did we see:

great climbing rocks

kids having fun

desert peach

brothers helping each other

old V & T railroad bridge and stone work.

geese nesting

old pelt from a coyote maybe?  poked it with a stick.

maybe a muskrat lodge?

teeth marks

lots of lizards

old animals bones, maybe cow?

caves, smiling husbands

owl pellets

lots of bones from owl pellets

bird nests
We never saw our eagle but we'll come back again to try.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

bits and pieces

{I'm sorry to anyone who got their comments deleted on the last post.  I added an Intense Debate widget and after a day, it disappeared along with the comments.  I'm going to try it again and if it doesn't work then, I'll just take it out.}

Today the sun's out and everyone's in the backyard because I kicked 'em all out of the house. Thank goodness for Sundays and Jonathan.  He's out there with them giving me a break.

It's been a good week.  It's been full and I don't really know if I have much to say so I'll just jump in.  I'm pretty tired because I've been going all week without so much as ten minutes for myself.  You know what I'm talking about?   Yes?  So, I'll just tell you what I've been working on.  Yes, I've been working on cheese.  My milk kefir produces about 2 cups of kefir a day and I've been backed up with about a zillion quart jars of it.  Making this soft cheese is pretty easy actually.  It's the first time I've made it.

After it was finished, I added some fresh tarragon and other spices.  It's so creamy and rich, perfect to crumble on the top of a salad.  Which is just what I did next.

It was yummy.  But, the bad news is that I really don't handle lactose very well.  Getting started on this milk kefir journey has been an experiment to see how much lactose is really in kefir after a day of fermentation.  I guess there must be just enough to make me miserable.  I could ferment it another day but I knew my water kefir grains were coming in the mail.  I've been enjoying and experimenting with them this week.
I've been doing some primary and secondary fermentation with coconut water and then adding lemons, a little concord grape juice and frozen raspberries.  I've also been experimenting with just filtered water, maple syrup and pears which works very well.  I must be doing something right because my grains have multiplied like crazy and I have four quarts fermenting right now.  Isn't it pretty?  It's a little freaky how this works and the kefir feels rubbery but it's good stuff.

We broke out the watercolors again.  

These little chicks were my hand sewing project I put together for my class this week.  I like this tie dyed looking felt.  This class has been really fun for me.  It's a lot different than doing the pre-school class I did in the past.  A lot less stressful.  Out of 14 students, I think we have 4 girls.  It's fun to watch and listen to the boys sewing while talking about boy things.  

Most of my week looked something like this though.  And don't be fooled by the blue skies.  It was f r e e z i n g out there!

Are you having a nice weekend?