Monday, May 28, 2007

Wow, that was crazy

May has been pretty wild. It's always a busy time of year, with both of our moms having birthdays (Happy Birthday to you both!), Mother's Day, Chris and Scotty's birthday, spring farm work, and minnow season. But this year there was also a wedding thrown in the mix--Chris' dad and his partner decided to tie the knot--which meant lots of extra tidying up the farm for the festivities. On top of that, I have been having trouble with one of my kidneys--it's dilated which means there is an obstruction somewhere along the way. It's been either achy or excruciating and makes me very tired. I've had several tests and am awaiting the results tomorrow. The odds are hugely in favor of kidney stones, so that's the main assumption as to the cause right now. I must say that we are a little scared that it might be something more ominous, but we're just taking things one day at a time. Two nights ago we had an amazing birthday party for Scotty. I'm still pretty behind on the blog so I don't have photos up yet but you can see some wonderful photos at Sylvia's blog and watch an amazing video that Kevin made here.

Hopefully I'll get some good news tomorrow and be able to put this minor setback behind me and catch up with the blog and the farm. For now, I'd better get some sleep!

Always on the move

Resplendent visitor

A beautiful young peacock appeared on the farm one day early in the month. He seemed to be making the farm his new home, which for a while was fun and without problems. The kids really enjoyed calling to him because he would call right back, and he made great yard art. His earnest displays for the totally uninterested chickens were hilarious. Unfortunately the jilted lover started to get aggressive towards the hens so we had to find him a new home. Chris was able to catch him when he broke into a pen that housed the mama hen and her chicks. The kids were thrilled to get to see him close up.

May Mom's Night Out

We had another fun MNO this month. More fun conversation and great company, with a little bit of shenanigans thrown in. My camera was doing wierd things with the light which makes the whole thing look kind of psychedelic.

The server was so patient--she took this same photo with four different cameras!

Crystal giving me the booty. Maybe that's where Eliza learned it!

Always on our minds even on Mom's night out, the kids each got a cookie when we got home.

Because of Chris' crazy springtime schedule, Gary and Kevin very generously took the kids this time. Back at Beth and Kevin's house, Eliza and Emma were having a great time. Eli actually stayed awake until after midnight!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

She needs me ever so slightly less

For the past 7 1/2 years I have been either pregnant, nursing, or both. There was a 2 month break from nursing between Scotty's weaning and Eliza's birth. Eli is now nearly four and, while still quite earnest about her need to nurse on occasion, is also finding other ways to get herself to sleep lately. A favorite is to have Daddy read books to her at night. (I'm amazed by this because my first born never fell asleep while being read to--something that one would assume all kids do if we were to believe the movies). Anyhow, this evening just a short time ago she happily fell asleep on her own while watching television. I was in the kitchen where she could see me through the pass-through and I watched her get more and more sleepy and not need me to help her do it. Oh, those little steps toward maturity are so bittersweet. It's really all about letting go, isn't it? And the moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Springtime at the farm

These blue and yellow dutch irises were inspired by Hannah Jenner. And I'm so glad that Diana reads my blog now!

We get great light with some of our storms. This one was a few days ago.

Cool season crops are doing well. Tonight we are expecting a frost so I had to bring in all my starts! Good thing I didn't plant them today as I had originally planned.

A dream come true

When I was in college I became a vegetarian. It was because of ethical reasons--I liked meat but I didn't want to support an industry that treated animals so horribly and contributed to terrible environmental insults. At first it was hard but soon I became very used to my vegetarian diet. I told myself at that time (almost 20 years ago) that if I was ever able to raise my own meat humanely and sustainably I would eat meat again. But not eating meat for so many years caused me to develop a strong aversion to it. It wasn't until I was pregnant and nursing at the same time a good 14 years later that I started to crave meat again. And what great timing it was--when Eliza was born we were building our sustainable home on the farm. Now I do eat meat again and we have the incredibly good fortune of being able to raise most of it here. The other day I looked out the window and saw the very image that I had dreamed of all those years ago: Free range animals enjoying green grass and fresh air. I still can't believe it!

Our newest farm family member is here

On May 1 (my mom's birthday) we brought our Mini Jersey bull calf home. You can see earlier photos of him here. He is a real sweetheart and will hopefully get lots of work as a Mini Jersey stud when he reaches breeding age. There are already several "clients" on his waiting list. His official name is Muffin (because he's a stud--get it?) but we call him Fin for short.

Here he is relaxing in his new pasture.

And here he is meeting his new big brother, our troublemaker of a bull calf from last fall who has been the instigator of several farm escapes. Let's hope he doesn't teach Fin any bad habits!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Real time blogging

For once, I am posting something that is actually happening right now, rather than several weeks ago as is usually the case. Chris is out in the field collecting minnow eggs ('tis the season) and Eliza had a three hour nap today.

Inspired by the recent episode of Mythbusters where Adam tries to walk on water, Scotty really wanted to try mixing corn starch with water. So that is what is happening right now as I type. Each kid has a container full of thick paste which is either blue or green and they are now (since the photos were taken) sinking Eliza's collection of plastic animals in them.

And the coolest thing is that we just came up with the best birthday idea for Scotty! We think we might do a Mythbusters birthday and reproduce some of our favorite (safe) small scale myths, like the diet coke and Mentos, the big tub of cornstarch, and the Rube Goldberg contraption. Friends, what do you say? How fun is that? Now, to find some ballistics gel and 100 pound sacks of corn starch.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Kids' photos

Here are some recent photos by one kid or the other.