Saturday, November 29, 2008

turkey tale

It all started with a balloon.... a big balloon. Nice Dad made the paper mache, and the journey began.

Layer upon layer, the bird began to grow...

More balloons, paper tubes, and the appendages took form. Layer and smooth, layer and smooth.

Next came tissue paper layers, and miles of crepe paper fringe. Hot glue held it all together.

A cardboard tail, googly eyes, and pipe cleaner feet completed the look.

Doesn't he look like something from the Macy's Day Parade?

What else do you have when your sixth birthday falls on Thanksgiving? A turkey pinata, of course.

She was so proud. Seems like a shame to go on to the next chapter... yeah, you know what's coming.

The first round was enthusiastic...

... a little TOO enthusiastic.

With a mighty whack, three weeks of creativity were reduced to shreds...

... and the scramble ensued. Notice even Grandma gets in on the action here.

Because after all, that's what it was for.

We will remember him fondly. Hope you all had a fun Thanksgiving too.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

around the farm

I used to go to garage sales a lot. Then I realized how I would always seem to find something every time... and I never really needed it. I've been on hiatus from garage saling, but last weekend I hit upon one while waiting around for soccer to begin and I thought oh, what the heck.

Score: the wizard hat, a dinosaur grabber on a stick, a handful of old books, and a CD rack for Nice Dad that I don't think he really wants. Oh well.

Dear Whoopie guards the steps. He has responded well to the medicine he takes for Lyme disease, but he remains half the dog he used to be. He needs lots of rest but still can be counted on to accompany me on my hikes.

I hiked yesterday and today, including a little two mile run up and back each way to the hiking trail. I was definitely feeling the burn today, but I'm determined to lose eight or maybe ten pounds, so I plan on fitting in exercise every single day, somehow.

The weather has been positively balmy of late. I had to empty out the fire pit from the last rain we had, over two weeks ago now. I love the evening light on the deck.

Little P. and I popped in some bulbs recently, and after I pulled out the dead tomato plants we sprinkled spinach seeds into the pots. Unfortunately it's been too hot and dry for them to sprout.

And this is why my house, most days, less than ideally clean. Trying to keep ahead of a five-almost-six-year-old, two teenagers, two dogs and a husband who spends most of his time in the dirt is an exercise in futility. But the horses must be fed, mud or no mud... around here it's either mud season or dust season. No in between.

Maybe in my next life I'll have a lawn.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


As autumn unfolds I have been doing some thinking. Thinking about Thanksgiving, and how it will all play out (will we have enough room for everyone? Will there be enough food? Will there be political arguments? etc.) I have a grand plan for cleaning the house: pack up everything on every surface, and shove it away. I want clean, serene, and empty space, to fill with people and love and room to breathe.

I'm thinking about next year, and all the changes it will bring. Less driving, for one. Little P. will attend my school, and University will be over. I will make more money. I will plant a garden again. My little deck pots were satisfying, but all I got were tomatoes mostly. One little squash, and no eggplants. I'm looking forward to a big space with raised beds and room for everything we love to eat. These last jewels of the season were chopped and fried with eggs last night.

I'm thinking about my diet, and my (lack of) exercise recently. Seems the seven pounds I gained in the summer have not gone away. I don't like how my pants are fitting. So back to the no white food, high raw regime. Here is Nice Dad's plate from last weekend. I call this the Vegetarian Cowboy breakfast. How can a cowboy be a vegetarian? Well, he chases cows, but then he's nice to them. That would be Nice Dad.

Morningstar Farms "fakin' bacon", ranch fresh eggs (thanks hens!), raisin walnut country bread.

I'm going off to exercise now. My goal is a little something every day. I've already missed a day. *sigh* Got to think of a way to fit it in. What are YOU thinking about?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Horsey Girls holds up her History notes. We snuggled in together last weekend and shared the upstairs table to hit the books. Because, people, I have a 15 to 20 page term paper due and I am determined to finish it before Thanksgiving. Did I mention that sixteen people from both sides of our family are coming that day? And that it's also Little P.'s Birthday? Oh, don't panic. You don't have to until I do.

Here we are on page seven. Homework is always tastier with snacks, cups (or pots!) of tea, friendly companionship, a little light music, and the incentive of casting on for a knitting project when I'm done, with some yummy yarn and needles I bought recently...

...after all, this IS a knitting blog, right?

Back to the books.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Summit Riders Horsemen's Association Horse Show and Play Day

All the local horse owners trailered there horses up to Road Apple Ranch and participated in the annual neighborhood horse show. There was a pretty good turnout.

After a bit of a struggle involving smacking, swear words and a broken lunge rope, we got these beasts into the trailer and on down the road. The mighty mounts stand ready here for their big day.

The costume class is always a big hit. Here we have a nervous bride, reluctant to enter the arena and join her groom (also dressed up with black hat and tails - hilarious!)

Little Princess entered the lead line equitation class and learned to keep her chin up, heels down, and teeth showing. She answered the judges' questions like a champ: "My horse's name is Fanny. She is forty years old. I have been riding for three years."

We had a nice day. I won first in Open Equitation, second in Open Pleasure, fourth in Horsemanship (don't ask!), first in poles (48 seconds!!!) and first in the stake race too. I missed a barrel (ironically the only speed event I actually practiced) so didn't place....then Nice Dad swooped in for a second place red ribbon. Even better than winning was the barbecued hamburgers and just hanging out with friends and talking horses.

Big fat clean fun.

We love our horses!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

red riding

About seven years ago, Horsey Girl donned this hood and headed off into the forest on a distant Halloween. When I ran acrost it while cleaning out last month I actually squealed. Now its time had come again!

Littlest Princess made a quintessential Red Riding. Cut off at the bottom: a little basket of (plastic) goodies for Grandma. Nice Dad took these pictures at her annual parade. They all had a picnic afterwards.

It was a rainy day but it looks like they had fun anyway. My she looks tall in this picture. My little jumper.

I pledge to always recycle costumes to the best of my ability. Viva a no-spend Halloween.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

tidying upstairs

As much as I wanted to buy new duvets for the beds and have a total makeover moment, practicality stepped in and I did a "use what you have" makeover moment instead.

There is a lot to be said for just clearing out. Getting rid of stuff is the best first step. Boxing it up and putting it away is the second best. And just putting things back is a valuable tool towards achieving simplicity and comfort.

I created this simple corner of comfort to be a place to sit and do homework. I have massive amounts of research and reading to do in the next four weeks. I hauled this chair upstairs and covered it with an old sheet and my coveted sheepskin. Extra books, papers, yarn and unused craft supplies got stashed in baskets. One ugly cardboard box got covered with one of Princess 1's sunset painting. Important books are lined up behind, ready for use.

Like a magnet, this area was swooped upon and settled in by Horsey Girl, seen here reading her favorite book for about the fiftieth time. I should have known.

I still wish I could afford new duvets. I'd like to do a soft beige flannel and work the room in neutrals. Until then, I'll make do with what I've got. Please disregard the laundry in this pic.

At least it's in a basket.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

hist whist

How quickly Samhain came and went. We spent it under misty redwoods by a roaring bonfire, amongst friends and children in a fantastic majickal grove. Kids piled up to watch old movies inside whilst the parents partied on with red wine and old song.

The pumpkin patch is just a dusty memory now, and all the great pictures I took have been narrowed down to this sweet handful. Click the Flickr button for the whole set.

My big Horsey Girl was mesmerized by gourd, and would have slept with it but time was running out. She carved it right away and we enjoyed its maniacal gaze for several nights. (Those pictures are still on the camera...*sigh* and I didn't even get one of Little P. in her red hood.)

The pumpkin King is dead.
Long live the king!
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