Saturday, March 29, 2008

It trips off the tongue with the greatest of ease



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Kitchen, being remodeled

Why yes, that kitchen counter is as only as tall as a two year old. What's wrong with that? A whole lotta crap, I'll tell you. Our kitchen is in the process of being remodeled right now [it was initially slated to start in January, but it just started today - no biggie, though]. The entire kitchen is wheelchair accessible, which was probably very nice for the lady in the chair that lived here 15 years ago, but not so nice for us.

The top cupboards have already been raised. See the white in the wall? That is where the cupboards used to be. There is still a whole list of things to do, like raise the window, raise the counter tops and stove top, electrical, plumbing, and finishing work. We're getting a new sink, too! The current one, I kid you not, is 6 inches deep: a total pain in the butt.

We are also getting a new dishwasher, as the old one cooked food onto the plates instead of cleaning it off, and got RID of that dratted microwave. I am SO GLAD to be rid of that thing. We've lived the last 7 years without a dishwasher or a microwave. I'm ready for a dishwasher, but I will N-E-V-E-R own a microwave again. No, never. [Along with being an utter waste of space, it creates health concerns from merely operating it. Magnetic fields? No thanks! Fats damaged on a molecular level? Take a hike and never come back!]

I had an actual physical reaction when I walked into the kitchen this afternoon and saw what they had accomplished thus far. I didn't realize what a cave it had felt like in there, with everything bearing down on you. It feels so freeing! Just in time for spring.


I swear, I can't even tell you how many times I spontaneously look at the clock at 11:11 - never planned, not even knowing it is close. I would say that this happens several times a week.

It is just uncanny.

Seeing it is like locking eyes with someone staring at you from across a room - I'm always surprised and it sends chills down my spine. And then I smile a little smile to myself and think, "Again??"

Oh yes, again. Be amazed.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fragrance explosion!

The year that we became pregnant with Starbeans, Squeeze and I went through a minor Gesneriad Craze (Sinningias and African Violets are a part of this family) and joined the MN Chapter of The [American] Gesneriad Society. We were the youngest members by 20-30 years; we even got the comment of, "It's good to get some fresh blood in here!" at one of the meetings from a grizzled veteran.

While our participation was short-lived, it enabled us to take some amazing tours of established greenhouses, familiarized us with the Gesneriad family, and helped us widen our then-large, now mid-sized, plant collection via trades and purchases.

This little baby, Sinningia 'Peach Bouquet', is one of our resulting additions from the Gesneriad Craze. It may have bloomed before, but I must have been completely oblivious to its charm at the time [baby-brain]. We now have no doubt as to why it was named, 'Peach Bouquet' - and it isn't just its color. The flower's fragrance is staggering: putting your nose into the bloom and inhaling is like a trip to another land, its scent is that wonderful. Peachy-keen, I should say, and cute to boot.

Sinningia 'Peach Bouquet'

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

One, two, three [things]

Hooray! I just finished my order for Pumpkin's Birth Announcement pictures; while I was at it, I ordered a bunch of pictures for both his and Starbeans' baby journals. Yesssssssssssss. I love journals and/or daybooks with the accompaniment of photos: it adds such depth when looking back. I can imagine that when they are older they will read them with even more intrigue because of it.

Secondly, I am so pleased: I actually got a chance to read a few chapters on chicken keeping this afternoon. I have to admit; amidst the excitement, the reality of how much work it is going to be coupled with our lack of experience is a little intimidating. It sounds like a lot of work from this side of the fence. Nonetheless, we will proceed. We can do it, yes we can!

And finally, look at this darling picture. Pumpkin and I were squealing together at our reflection in the mirror the other night. Isn't he just a scream? He was loving it.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Time frittering

My free-time has been so limited of late that when I actually do have an hour or two to myself, I feel like a deer in the headlights. I have no idea what to do.

So, tonight, instead of attempting to peck away at my lengthy To Do list, with the following Top Two nagging on my brain day and night:
  • Ordering pictures for Pumpkin's Birth Announcement [he's 5 months old]
  • Reading 4 different books, two of them VIPs on chicken keeping and herb gardening

I re-organized my Favorites and caught up on the blogs I enjoy. Sheesh.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Circa 1977

We think Pumpkin looks a lot like me. This picture shows it, bigtime: there I am, baby borealis, in my daddy's arms. My grandparents sent me this scan awhile back because they were noticing the similarities as well. [Thus, the watermark; it has been hanging on the front of our refrigerator.]

Now I always baby-talk the Little One and say, "Do you look like me?? Ooooo-gooooo-ooooo-gggggggh!" He likes it.

Hey Dad, you stole my haircut!
Or maybe I stole yours.

More disgusting fly-related surprises

  • It was a beautiful 52 degrees on Monday.
  • I opened the backdoor to hear a loud orchestrated buzzing noise, as if bees were swarming.
  • I thought, "Hmmm...that's strange."
  • Later, I looked out the backdoor and there, in the sun, were hundreds of disgusting flies wiggling and buzzing and hopping around in the warmth of the sun on the grass.
  • It gave me the heebie-jeebies.
  • I've been vacuuming up dozens of flies everyday from the window upstairs that receives a southern exposure. They swarm to it. When it gets cold, they all lay on their backs and wiggle their legs; then, when it warms up, they are back to rubbing their filthy little legs together and buzzing around. Gak!
  • I am swatting 15-20 flies in the main part of the house every day.
  • Starbeans is squishing them with his fingers if they fly low enough. EEEEEEEK!!!
  • I think we need to get a sticky fly trap. I've seen them in rural houses before and always thought they were atrociously grotesque and wondered how people could keep them in their homes. Well...I'm discovering it is much, much better than the alternative: which is flies roaming free indoors.
  • When I look at their furry little bodies, against my will, I often imagine myself crunching down on them between my teeth. I have no idea where that comes from, but it is sick. SICK, I tell you.
  • I find this all very revolting.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oh yes I did, or more aptly titled: Good enough - Oops, I did it again - Crap - I guess I'll wear piggy-tails for awhile - or - Finally!

My former co-workers and friends may remember my history of cutting my own hair for better - or much, much worse. However, I remember one spring when I did such a fantastic job that people I didn't even know stopped by my desk to marvel at it for 2-3 days. Really, it was great: I went home from work one day with loooong hair and came in the next with a kind of short little bob, borealis-style.

[Or...maybe it wasn't so fantastic like I thought, and it was more of a freakish spectacle. Ha! Whatever it was, I thought it was a pretty amazing job at the time.]

The desire hits me every March or April; without a doubt, it coincides with Cabin Fever [which I get every single spring, from one extent to another...hmmm...Vitamin D...?]. I need a change, I'm tired of the same old thing, and, due to my lazy habits, my hair usually needs it badly.

This spring has been particularly bad (hair-wise) because,
  1. I haven't had a hair-cut, not even a trim, in a year and a half (zoinks!),
  2. and as you can imagine, my split ends had split ends,
  3. Baby Pumpkin has reached the age where he grabs whatever his little hands touch with a vice-grip rivaling that of a steel bear trap (yeeeouch!), and
  4. Starbeans' comfort...of all my neck. My hair was so long that he was having trouble getting at it while snuggling before naps and bedtime. The night before last, he said, "Mama, get your hair out of the way!"
[Yes, Starbeans loves my neck. When he gets tired or hurt or just wants to snuggle, he says, "Touch neck, Mama" and will literally sit or stand by me, and simply have his hand resting on my neck. He does this with Squeeze while they are cuddling, too. Before Pumpkin was born, his comfort was always my breasts, but that wasn't going to work with milky boobs - so I slowly weaned him from it and it moved northwards for him very naturally. It is nice, since Squeeze has a neck too.]

I've been scheming on my haircut for weeks now: contemplating asking my MIL to do it; working out a baby-sitter so I could get my hair done at...let's see...Blondie's, in town; and finally, in my desperation, planning to do it myself. The catch is that I needed to do it when the baby was napping, which, while he still takes 4-5 naps a day, they are often 45 minutes or less. That isn't much time to give oneself a haircut, ladies!

So...I did a quick hack-job yesterday morning. And while it may not look good, my goodness, does it feel good! And that was the main goal. It is like a weight off my neck; I can have it in cute little pigtails, Starbeans can get at it easily, it isn't flying up in my face and driving me insane, and best of all, if feels silky again. Yes, girls. It was time.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Optimism makes a comeback, with vegetables and chickens dancing and prancing in my head

After my small freak-out over the weather and feeling all cooped up, I'm back to my usual optimistic self.

First off, I realized today that more snow means more moisture in the ground and more moisture means healthier plants. I definitely like that - I can cope. Additionally, the more I thought about being freezing cold with no snow cover, just the ugly bare ground - the more I remembered that I'd rather have snow. Even if it is March. [Being from the Pacific Northwest makes Midwest winters even more unbearable. Crocuses are already up in Western Washington!! I'm so jealous.]

Secondly, Squeeze and I ordered all of our seeds and starter plants (peppers & tomatoes) from Seed Savers Exchange this afternoon. Eek! I can hardly wait. Just thinking of names like Blacktail Mountain Watermelon, Hidatsa Shield Figure Bean, Grandma Einck's Dill, Five Color Silverbeet Swiss Chard make me smile - not to mention the tomato called Amish Paste, or actually getting to eat all this good stuff! It is so exciting, and has revived my enthusiasm for moving out to what seems like the Middle of Nowhere from our cozy - albeit, comparatively cramped - city life.

Thirdly, double-eek! we have decided on the chickens we want.
  • Buff Orpington
  • Ameraucana
  • Silver Laced Wyandotte
  • Black Australorp
  • White Leghorn
  • Barred Rock

I is so many. I think we're going to buy 25-30 of them in a straight-run [definition: Straight run. Newly hatched chicks that have not been sexed; also called "unsexed" or "as hatched." - we just learned what this meant this weekend] and butcher all the males except the one we like best. That way, we'll have birds for stock in addition to a [hopefully] mid-sized flock of laying hens.

We originally thought that we would get all females, but I've read that the roosters take care of the hens - looking out for predators, keeping everyone safe and together (I actually think I read that in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle). I just ordered 3-4 chicken husbandry books from the library as well - without a doubt, we need to know as much as possible.

The Ameraucanas lay green, blue, or pink eggs. Everyone else lays light-to-dark brown eggs, except for the Leghorn, whose eggs are white. That was was Squeeze's pick. I want 'em as wild as I can get 'em: and for me, that means colorful! The very thought of pretty eggs thrills me.

I'm also extremely smitten by the beauty of the Silver Lace Wyandotte. See?

Silver Laced Wyandotte

Friday, March 07, 2008

Seriously, I love this girl

This girl can move! It's Leslie Hall: THIS IS HOW WE GO OUT is my favorite song - Squeeze likes Gold Pants.

Wicky wicky wicky wack!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Another one from out of nowhere

Starbeans is sick right now. I've been attempting to NOT kiss Pumpkin, in case I have what Starbeans has (I don't want 2 sick babes), but I had no idea how hard it would be. I think I must smooch his little face 30-40 times a day, with how many times I've had to stop myself!

Funny...because I would have never have noticed otherwise.

Out of nowhere

For lunch today, I had tuna and cheese on flatbread with pickled beets and Kettle chips. It was quite, quite satisfying - a nice array of flavors.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Diagnosis: Cabin Fever

I've got some massive Cabin Fever going on here - and to add to the angst, it snowed last night! I suppose it is better to have the beauty of white snow since I'm cooped up anyway, but OH MY GOODNESS, I can't wait to have some warmer weather. I want to go outside!!

Squeeze and I have lost a little of The Vision for moving out here as the winter months wear on, which largely revolves around being outside. We have been taking turns exclaiming to each other, "WHY did we move out here? I can't remember!" Literally. Our vision is blurred and we need some spring-time weather to revive our fervor. We remember with our minds, but that doesn't translate to the way we feel about things.

I have the late-winter blues like I've never had them before, baby. It must be the whole move-thing, coupled with a new baby and missing friends. I'll be alright, though. I just need to get outside.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

An unpleasant surprise

Flies. Disgusting flies.

I thought they were bad last summer, but little did I know - we'd never be rid of them. Fly Season, as they call it, is in the autumn months, when the weather starts getting colder and the flies are looking for warmer living quarters, i.e. - people's homes. We never owned a fly swatter until we moved to the Rolling Prairies. Literally. It wasn't required. Here, is it an important weapon of choice in the war against pests.

Errrrgh!! Flies really gross me out, especially in the house.

Un-un-unfortunately, we have now learned that Fly Season doesn't quite end with the cold winter months. With the warmer weather we have recently had (in the 30's F), flies in great numbers have been resurrected: from where, we do not know. I've been swatting those disgusting things on a daily basis - perhaps 5-10 a day? Where are they coming from??? It is sick - SICK, I tell you. I haven't researched flies online yet, but...I will. [I just shuddered as I typed that.]

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Pink and green [and white]: the perfect color combination

I love how the petals curl back so delicately on these flowers. The plant, a succulent -Haworthia 'Zebra Giant', puts out a long shoot, with 2-3 flowers in prime bloom: the older flowers fade and wilt, with a long line of buds waiting to open. They are small, but sweet.

As noted, I am quite fond of the colors pink and green together. There is something so pleasing about it, especially with the brightness of the white. [I usually think white is b-o-r-i-n-g.]

Haworthia 'Zebra Giant'