Monday, August 26, 2013

Where Does The Time Go?

This simple little refrain, "where does the time go?" has been oft repeated in my mind lately...

Our summer has come and is in the process of going much too quickly.  I guess that's what happens when real estate has a boom, and you're making as much hay as possible while the sun is shining.  We did manage to enjoy ourselves with some baseball, swimming, music, camping, and a lot of back porch time.  I can't complain.  I managed to get zinnia to grow in the garden this summer, I guess the trick is using a row cover while they are in the infancy stage.  It keeps the bugs from mowing them down!  We have been rewarded with outstanding color:

We've had a great harvest of cucumber, beans, and chard.

I managed to ruin 2 batches of half sour pickles.  They say it's all in the brine, I guess I haven't discovered the perfect solution yet, so no recipe to share :(

The hens were their fickle selves, sometimes gracing me with eggs, other times not.  Perhaps our visiting snake had something to do with this situation?  Even so, I am still delighted every time I gather in their offerings!

My other chickies are still growing by leaps and bounds.  Two high schoolers this year!  It's been six years since they attended the same school, and already they are sharing the drive in the morning, football games, and stories of infamous teachers.  Their lockers are even 10 spaces apart.

It's always hardest on those left behind.  The pups always grow so attached to the kids, they can't seem to understand where they go.

They grew especially attached to Max since he took on the job of feeding them their lunch!

Max really came into his own this summer and we're so proud of the great work he did on the trails around Boulder with the Youth Corps.  Rachel had another successful summer guarding at the Elks Swim Club.

We are so very grateful!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hello and Goodbye

I must be getting older because its getting harder and harder to discern between the ending and beginning of things. Where does one row end and another begin? Or is it just a "seem-less" shifting of color and light?

My husband's assistant of 14 years is pursuing a new career path, and while this left him feeling overwhelmed, I was tickled with the idea of helping to fill the gap in his real estate practice. The last few weeks of training have taught me this is no small task! And yet, it feels totally natural at the same time. Just another way to use our team working skills that we've honed over the last twenty plus years. Beginnings are like that: exciting, full of lots of growth, and overwhelming at times.

It's the endings that are so hard. Who likes to say goodbye? Not me! I've been fortunate enough to have spent the last 7 years working at a lovely local church full of caring souls. Together I've supported them through several pastor changes and they've supported me while my kids went through the elementary, middle and high school years.

Cleaning my desk today was evidence of time well spent: greeting cards full of encouragement and appreciation; drawings from my kids (one of our 8 year old dog, "Lucy," as a puppy!); post-it notes with "I love you Mon" (I think the author intended "Mom" not "Man") written by a patiently waiting child; a doily created in a knitting class; a teapot to warm chilly Lent Days; and, the list goes on . . .

I found this church at a particularly poignant time, a friend was losing her battle with cancer. Over these past seven years I've learned to accept ALL that life presents, the "good" and the "bad," because that's where grace dwells.

Perhaps this place found me after all?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Let Me Introduce You

The babies are no longer little balls of fluff. In fact at only one month old they are getting too big for their habitat in the garage.

It's time to introduce them to the big girls. But these introductions need to be handled delicately. A good option is to wire a run within a run so the girls (both little and BIG) can get used to each other without access to pecking each other.

Eventually, when the littles grow some more, they can mix it up.

It's kind of like hardening off seedlings!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Easter Grass Recycled

"Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" is a phrase often heard here in the Boulder Valley, and that's exactly what I did with the Easter Grass.

The ladies were wary at first (as hens will be)

but their curiosity took over at last.

Bon Appetit girls!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

These Ain't No Marshmallow Peeps!

Nothing says spring like barn yard animals on the kitchen counter.

What's that? You say you need a closer look at their cute fluff ball-ness? Here you go!

I just cannot be stopped, or helped for that matter. Try as I might, I am not able to resist those baby chicks.  I am venturing forward with the building up the flock s l o w l y.  Only two babies came home with me from the feed store (and sadly a day later one is acting suspiciously like a rooster - sigh).

I also hope it's not to late to wish you all a very Happy (albeit belated) Easter!  I enjoyed a beautiful Easter Mass with a friend before sharing brunch with my guys (my gal is in Costa Rica on an exchange program but is coming home tonight).

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Why does a chicken do anything, really?  One can drive oneself mad asking those kind of questions.  Which has me thinking (oh no, not that again), why not stop asking some many damn questions?  So ultimately, that is what I gave up for Lent, the thought of "why?".  It's been rather liberating I must say.  In fact, I've been learning to let go, or at least I'm trying now more than ever, in 2013. Sadly, Mommy Chicken has been paying the price a bit, but she's patient.  She knows her time to shine will come again.

So what have I been up to?  Quite simply, I've been MOVING, not my house, but my body.  I've been enjoying the community of swimming in a group, the Boulder Aquatic Masters, and the fitness of body, not to mention mind, it has brought me.  It seems this physical outlet is taking over the creative outlet at the moment, but that's OK.  Good things come from a little time off.  There are ideas percolating, but rather than write about them, I'm going to sit on them some more and see what hatches.

In addition to getting more physical, we've have been making physical changes to our home.  The most important being the purchase and installation of a wood burning stove.

There may have been a better installation configuration, but Brad and I were not up to demolition of the hearth and masonry work.  Sometimes it's better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.  Here she is prettified with BEESwax candles.  I sure do love beeswax candles, the glow and scent is incomparable.  Wouldn't it be neat to keep bees, harvest honey, make candles and other products with their wax, and especially learn about how they live in their amazing community?

In addition to tending the fires at home, I get to tend the plants (indoors) and pups:

Pepper - the "prince" or "stinker" depending on the time of the day

Lucy - I need say no more but to know her is to love her

not to mention tending the family and work . . . all good things making for a very full and happy life.  I have managed to sneak in a little creativity.  Here's a peak at a little project for you gardeners who are eager to get outside, but find it a bit too cold yet:

You can buy, soak, and sow wheat grass seeds indoors in any pretty container or planter of your choosing.  Soon, you'll have a lovely grassy display for your spring pleasure :)

"I believe a leaf of grass is no less than a jouney-work of the stars" ~ Walt Whitman

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Changing Things Up

Good lordy, where have I been and why haven't I posted?  I guess it's never to late to change things up a bit.  I have been enjoying switching things up, and I guess one change has been to hold onto these said changes before blogging about them.  Let them take root so to speak.

One of the most notable changes for me is the happiness I'm finding from MOVING, and I do mean moving in every sense of the word BUT leaving our little haven in Brigadoon.  Rather than renewing myself through my creative endeavors, I find myself pursuing more active undertakings.  It all started this past summer when I discovered a 50 meter length OUTDOOR pool in Boulder.  It was such a nice escape from chores and such, and whenever I got out of the pool I felt like a new person.  Really and truly.

This new routine continued into the school year when we were chased back inside by the cooler temps.  Now five months later I find that I have joined a swim team.  What?!  It is such a great group of people.  Which highlights another change for me.  JOINing a group of people.  I've been such a lone wolf for so long, always so independent and resourceful.  But being a lone wolf gets lonely, and it's nice to be in a pack.

It feels good to be moving forward and implementing changes in my life, as opposed to holding on fiercely to what I think my life "should be."  I guess I have my teenagers to thank for this momentum.  Given the choice I would want them to always need "Mommy Chicken" and I could go on mothering in the way I've been used to ad infinitum.  But as they grow, I'll try and grow along side them.

It's exciting to be into a New Year with new habits and prospects on the horizon.  Yes, my little trio of hens still need me, along with my family and pups, but it's nice to know there is room for more.  So much so that we had an exchange student from Costa Rica visit with us for the past couple of weeks.  What a joy!

I hope you all have the strength to keep moving forward with your lives this year.  I think it's going to be a good one!

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