Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An Unexpected Spring Storm...

is attempting to strip away the blossoms from my fruit trees, grrrr. To try and counter this I did my annual honeybee replacement self-pollinating using a child's dry paintbrush. I think the fruit trees and I are engaged now though...

The kid did not advance another belt in karate this time due to missing too many classes this month--at the beginning of the month some kids in the yellow belt class had come in and been little Typhoid Marys, spreading a particularly nasty virus around which we of course caught--we were all sick for about three weeks.

Still have to alter the kids' Faire costume, she was asking about going last night and it's coming up soon...

And one of the baby chicks has broken or dislocated her left leg at the hock and is gimping around. The homemade splint we put on last night was an unqualified failure, so I took it off again. Now she's gimping around the brooder box, but surprisingly doesn't look too bad, I think if she takes it easy she may heal OK.

It's like a drama stew around here this week!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Pulled heavy duty mom detail all weekend and today, helping the kid finish her 5th grade Science Fair project (predicting the colors of baby chicks prior to hatch based on the color of the parents and the theory of Color Dominance, she and her partner got 90% of them correct!) AND the litte shoebox 'float' for her 5th grade 'State' project--she got Iowa.

While I found plenty of funny stuff online dissing Iowa ('Hey, at least we aren't Idaho!') there really isn't too terribly much that goes on there...other than cows, pigs & corn, that is.

But now I've got Iowa trivial stuck in my head, and it won't get OUT.

On the plus side, Spring Break for her starts FRIDAY.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Something Archaic This Way Comes...

The Ren Faire starts in a few weeks! It's been a while since we went, so I think this year we'll have to make a point of going. I was digging the costumes out of the closet, and realized that the kid had, like all her other things, outgrown hers. This'll mean some serious reworking of it on my part, again. I think I've reworked her original costume from when she was a baby maybe 3-4 times so far. She's 10 now, and I'd still like to incorporate bits of the original baby costume where I can. I have a lot of fun making costumes when I can, although I'm strictly an amatuer.

I don't have pictures handy of the original, but it was a light brown dress with a muslin shift underneath. The bodice and the bottom 1/3 of the dress were quilted in a diamond pattern I'd applied brass studs and ribbon to the quilted dress bodice, bottom 1/3 and sleeves, and fixed up a lace cap for her. It worked up pretty well, all things considered.

Well she got older and started walking, and while the dress still fit her body, it was laughably short. When she reached age 2, I cut the bottom 1/3 of the dress off and spliced in a dark green skirt, adding the quilted 1/3 back onto the hem.

Here is her costume when she was age 3. She got a blue underskirt and inherited my first muslin blouse. The original dress/skirt was tucked up, and I made her a new muffin cap. The sides of the bodice and top of the shoulders of the dress were slashed, I placed grommets there and threaded ribbon through the grommets, joining the pieces that way so they could be adjusted.

With her older cousin.

And with her dad and I. I also made my costume but not his, except for his boot covers and hat.

When she was 5 it got a major revamping, I switched to a purple corduroy bodice/overskirt but I attached the original baby costume's beaded sleeves. She also got another skirt, a light purple one. Everything else stayed pretty much the same.

Here she's on stage with The Merry Wives of Windsor.

 And playing with bubbles...

And a dove!

In 2006 she wore it again as it was. The following year was a furnace, so we went in street clothes and survived the day. The last two years we've missed going entirely, what with one thing and another.

So now...I don't know. Luckily she tends to grow up and not out, she's of normal height/weight. After school today I'll get her to try on the parts she can, and hopefully it won't take the jaws of life to get them back off her again.

Mother Nature...

...does love to have her own brand of fun. This morning at 4AM, it was a 4.4 earthquake, shallow, basically epicentered right under us. I happened to be awake with a screaming head cold, and was closing the bathroom window when it hit. For a second, the way the house moved, I thought the window had fallen out of it's frame. I had an instant to think, Ah, swell. A broken window at 4 o'clock in the morning... THEN, I got bounced straight UP and straight DOWN again, with the floor basically slapping me on the soles of both feet. Odd sensation, and damn did it sting!

By then I knew what it was, and moved to the bathroom door, waiting for it to either 1. Get worse, or, 2. Go away. Today it chose #1. As the noise increased, I saw my husband stir and start to get up, so I called to him and my daughter, 'Earthquake, get up, get in the doorway!' which is our family earthquake response. Even small quakes are great for practice for this.

When you grow up in earthquake country you learn to quickly gauge their potential. Since this one was continuing to bounce the house and making LOTS of loud, I'm-not-kidding-around snapping/cracking sounds, I went to my daughter's room, flipped on the light and helped her out of bed, bringing her to the Designated Doorway in our house, my husband joining us. Meanwhile the birds were flipping out, but all we could do was call to them that it was alright. It was over pretty quick after that, not much rolling afterwards.

We stayed up a bit after, but nothing else happened, so back to bed we went. After the sun came up, I did the usual house inspection inside & out, but found nothing more than an extension of an already existing earthquake wall crack in the front room.

I found that my kitchen wall clock had turned completely upside down, and a few other things had been knocked over.

It also woke Geraldine, the tortoise, up from hibernation in my pantry, so she came forth today.

I can only assume she'd left a wake up call with Mother Nature, and this was it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Last Year...

As long as Chickam is going on, thought I'd share some pics of last year's hatch. Moet, our Buff Frizzle Bantam Cochin hen, was mama for that batch of chicks. One evening we were letting her and the chicks run around in the living room, and at bedtime, Moet decided that the couch looked like a much grander place to sleep than the brooder box, so up she hopped and called the kids to her.

The chicks were getting bigger by this age, and she couldn't possibly cover them all with her wings, but darn it, she did her best!

Gettin' sleepy...

Sleep time!

Who were we to argue? She was right. We didn't have the heart to move them after they were sleeping there so soundly, so we left them in chicken-y, ultra-decadent comfort until morning.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I've Got A New Car! I've Got A New Car!


Well...OK, not really. But hey, when the odometer zeros out on a 41 year old Plymouth and it's still a faithful daily driver, you should celebrate somehow.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's Here!

The flowers, trees and other plants in my yard have decided that Spring is here. They have not consulted with Geraldine the tortoise, who still dreams on in my pantry. I think they're early and being most rash.

The chickens are of the same opinion, and are right properly twitterpated, chasing and cackling and having mad, drama-laden Spring romances. Also the local sparrows have started making what we call Sparrow Balls--a chittering, flying, ANGRY clump of feathers comprised of one female and at least two to four would-be suitors. They have absolutely no regard for humans and will happily fly up your nose or whack you upside the head. A Sparrow Ball can be entertaining though, as the female does her level best to KILL the uppity fellows chasing her.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Indecision, Or Hide & Seek?

Hey--! Wait a second, just hold ON there, missy. It's too late to change your mind now!

We see you, Yoya. Come on out!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Origami Update

Been folding more lately, I've got a couple of new patterns I want to try, plus several others I've done some test folding on, but they need more practice and tweaking a bit to look presentable. The last few days I've folded some doves.

Hey you guys, straighten it up, there!

That's better.