Sunday, July 26, 2009

Meet Tim and Zack

Yesterday was the big day. The long dreamed of additional "horse power" for our farm pulled into the drive around 10:30 last night. Now we just have to learn how to use it. Tim (l) and Zack (r) are 20 and 18 respectively. At this age they're nearing retirement, but we're hoping they'll teach us a thing or two before they're done. Our Belgians were used to pull wagons in provincial parks for years (yes there was an ulterior motive to last week's trip to Spruce Woods) and came highly recommended from a friend of ours who knows quite a bit more about horses than we could ever claim.

Zack drinking from the river

Heidi, delighted to finally have her horses, pets Tim.

We hope to use them for our vegetable gardens and to pull some sort of a cart (which we have yet to obtain) for the time being. After that, if we decide we like working with horses... we'll see where we end up. Another chapter in our organic farming adventure has begun.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


While on the surface I'm glad to be escaping the Chico heat, there's a deeper part of me that misses it, that wants to experience it, that wants to show my girls what a California summer is like.
  • Swimming nearly every day in Creeks so clear you can see the fish swim beneath you and watch the crawdads scurry into their holes.

  • Peaches and nectarines, straight from tree to mouth. Warm sweetness dribbling down your chin.

  • Heat so intense it nearly knocks you over as you walk out the door, but, oh, the joys of air conditioning as you come in after a long day in the sun.

  • Sunburns through clothes and 50 SPF sunscreen - oh, wait, that happens here too.

  • Meeting friends downtown for Shuberts or Jon-n-Bon's.

  • Mexican food - it doesn't exist here.

  • Building with Daddy. Working fast to get the concrete done before it starts to set.

  • Flowers, huge, intense, abundant, beautiful.

  • Smelling cherry pie as it bakes, and knowing the joy of having picked, pitted and baked those cherries all by yourself.

  • Family and friends, to laugh with, talk with, enjoy. I miss you my dear ones!

Sunflower Festival

The sunflowers aren't blooming yet, but we went to the sunflower festival! The girls had fun wearing my latest creations (finished last night) and watching the parade.

We went to the petting zoo where Heidi had a blast, but I got better pictures of Hannah as she was a bit more sedentary. I think Heidi's goal was to pet every animal there.

Heidi had energy left for the bounce house, where, once again, the activity level left us with blurry pictures.

Heidi really wanted to try cotton candy and I agreed to a little sugar. When she got it, however, she was convinced you were supposed to drink it and was upset that I wasn't showing her how to do so. Daddy saved the day when we got home by putting a bit in water which she could then drink and went down for her nap a happy and very tired Heidi.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm A Mean Mom

I let my daughters have a kitten... and I sent it away again. Things just weren't working out here for Sasha. Ruger was convinced she would make a tasty snack and in an effort to preserve her life she was residing in the dog carrier. Not exactly the happiest place for a kitten, and really not the best way to do her main job here - catch mice. I told Heidi that we might have to give her kitten away and at first she didn't want to hear a thing about it. After a while, she began to realize that having a cat you could only look at because every time you took it out the dog came running, wasn't much fun. Finally she told me we could give it to her friends, Annika and Zachary. I wasn't so sure Annika and Zachary's mommy would think this was a great idea, but she was adamant she needed to "share" her kitty with them. I gave their mom a call, and much to my surprise and gratitude, she agreed to take the kitten! Today we spent some time playing at their house and when it was time to go I told Heidi to say goodbye to her kitty, to which she promptly replied, "It's their kitty, Momma!". Oh yes, when she does something, she does it completely!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sasha the Kitten

...has arrived at our house. She's not exactly the kitten I've been looking for, so I'm a little unsure still as to whether she'll be staying or not, but the girls were instantly smitten.
She is extremely tolerant and patient with the girls which is a huge asset for her, but there was another incident this morning which tipped the scales a bit in disfavor once again. This outdoor mouse trap ended up spending the night indoors in an effort to not have her consumed by Ruger within her first moments here. This morning, though provided with a litter box, the "litter trained" kitten chose to do its business in, of all places, Hannah's car seat. I, predictably, was in another room helping Heidi get dressed when this occurred, so Hannah investigated on her own, and I returned to the living room wondering both what the smell was, and what Hannah had smeared all over herself and was now in the process of consuming. When I realized they were one and the same, the kitten was unceremoniously put outside and I broke my rule about not bathing Hannah in our water, deeming what was smeared all over her to be infinitely worse than any bacteria lurking in the water.
As I said, we're a bit uncertain as to whether she'll be staying or not. However, I'm more certain than ever that cats belong OUTSIDE!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day Trip

Sunday we went to the Spruce Woods Provincial Park with some friends of ours. We took a covered wagon ride to see the Spirit Sands (some sand dunes in the middle of the park) had a picnic and had fun!
Heidi's favorite part, of course, was the playground.

Looking at those big horses that were going to pull our wagon.

Hannah enjoying the ride.

Heidi loved the giant sand box and appreciated the way the sand blew in the wind when she threw it up in the air.

Look, a crab shadow!

Daddy had his work cut out for him carrying both his girls.

The water pump was another fascinating highlight for Heidi.

Hannah taking the opportunity to practice walking.

Daddy and Hannah as captured by Heidi.

Hannah hanging out while we had our picnic.

What a fun day, and so nice to have a whole big uninterrupted block of time with Daddy!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Interactive Calender

Seasons and dates have really captured Heidi's interest over the past few months and I've been wanting to take advantage of that and teach her all about them. Somewhere in March or April I made all the pieces for a calender and had Karl take them to school to get them laminated. Due to my, um... resourcefulness, I didn't want to spend money on a board to mount it all on. After a few months, my patience paid off and Karl brought home a piece of scrap board. I painted it white, did some writing and nailing and we had a calender!
Our favorite part is bunny. Heidi informs me her name is Heidi, and she has clothes we can change according to the weather. She only has a few outfits now, but I'm thinking her wardrobe may expand!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Visiting Aunt Eleana...

is always fun! The girls love to play her piano, bathe in her clear water, and now... swing in her hammock!

A place for pondering

The girls and I go for a long walk most days when Daddy's at work. Yesterday was no exception, and Heidi delighted in riding her tricycle in squiggly lines, dragging it into the weeds on the side of the road and bringing me treasured wildflowers she found there.

At one point, she sat down on the side of the road and told me, "I will just rest here and think a little while.", which she proceeded to do. Apparently, she thought good thoughts, because her next words were, "Momma, I would like to stay here forever."

Green grass, little wildflowers, cool breeze. It does seem to be a nice place to live, doesn't it?

Daddy Daughter Fish Fight

There was some serious giggling going on around here!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Do we canoe overly much?

While on a canoe trip yesterday, Hannah spouted forth a new word, and continued to use it in context. "Paddle" is now an official part of her vocabulary.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pint Sized Sewing Machine

I found a toy sewing machine at the thrift store a couple days ago. It didn't work, but I figured Heidi would just pretend with it anyway. Karl, however, saw an opportunity to teach some mechanical skills and the two of them had a wonderful evening taking it apart and putting it back together again.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Black beans are YUMMY!

I found a great way to get some protein into Hannah - although it is a bit messy. Not really sure that this is an out and about food, but it is a finger food she can eat on her own and that's soft enough for her little gums. Yum yum!