Sunday, May 14, 2017

She's got Hops

So...today is Mother's Day.  Happy Mother's Day!  But I want to talk about yesterday.

Yesterday was the end of a very interesting season for us.  It is called track season.  The thing that made it interesting was this kid.  (Abigail)
Abigail tried junior high track this year.  She did long jump and high jump.  Turns out she's got quite a knack for it!  Especially high jump.
She competed yesterday in the Valley Championship.  The competition was for the top girls from six counties.  She didn't place this time, but did match her personal record.  That is a win!
This is what she jumped in.  She would not be persuaded to give up her comfy old shoes for some fancy-dancy track shoes.  Or even a NEW pair of $20 Payless Champion sneakers.  No Sir!  Now that the season is over, I sincerely hope she will release these for a proper burial.

So here we are, all the people who make me a mother, saying goodbye to track season.  
And hopefully goodbye to a very tired pair of shoes.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Nugget and Thunder

Several years ago, I was sure I needed goats. 
"They have such personality!" I said.
"I love to watch their antics!".  I may have said that too.

Then a friend invited me over to meet her goats.  I believe they were eating the wiring on her vehicle when I arrived.  So then I decided not to get goats.

Fast forward a couple years....
I do have some issues with memory.  And can be totally swayed by cuteness.
Nah, just kidding.  It was a totally rational, objective decision that goats could be an efficient way to keep our weeds down.  Hence...Nugget and Thunder.
Here they are, adjusting to their new home.
What, you've never seen a goat on a leash before?
This is a good way to let them out and about, without having to chase them.  And as long as you just follow, versus try to lead, it works just dandy so far! 

I'll let you know how our vehicles fare.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Easter 2017

Springtime.  Easter.  Renewal.  Rebirth.

Maybe now is a good time to rekindle my blog.

I have missed it.  And even more, Mark seems to miss it.  Even though he is RIGHT HERE, living all this stuff with me.  So I'm going to see how I do, renewing my habit of telling our story in something longer than a Facebook post.

I'll start with Easter.

I don't want to blow the ending, but this was pretty much the perfect Easter.  The hills are so green and lush.  Everything is fresh and new.

Prior to Easter, of course we had the dyeing of eggs.  This was something of a challenge, since we used a lot of my home-grown eggs, which are brown, light green, and light blue.
But my people rose to the challenge, going deeper blue, green, and purple!

Next, of course, was the actual hunt. 
Here are the hunters, psyching themselves up for the "kill".  Hey...there is a $20 egg out there somewhere!
My sister Karen explains the rules.  No one listens.
Finally!  The talking is over!
We had over 200 eggs hidden in the field. 
Karen and Gail rest...after a tough morning of egg hiding.
Ah...time to take inventory!
Guess who won?  The 6'2" guy.  Plus he's crafty.
Back inside, there is some serious cooking going on.
Followed by a seriously beautiful feast!

 And then...the games.  Our buddy from Ireland, Chris, was visiting.  He taught us the game of "Lives" several years ago, and it is one of our mainstays. 
 He let Mark win a couple times
 All in all, a beautiful day of family and fun. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Man Like Big Fire


At long last, the day has come.  Burn Day. 

FINALLY, we can get rid of old dead trees and branches that have been laying around our property.
Mark is so excited, he is practically vibrating.
 He has built his little starter pile in a good spot on a rock.  Now, he just has to wait for the clock to strike 10 a.m., which is when permitted debris burning may commence.
 Oh!  It's 10:00:01!  Light the match!
 That fire started suspiciously quickly.  I think Mark may have been prepping it.
 Oh, he is SO prepared:  shovel, chain saw, lawn chairs...
 ...newly purchased bow saw, hatchet.  And of course, the hose.

 This is Mark's kind of day.  He really wants me to participate too.
 OK, Mark.  I will place a stick, too. (please ignore large black spot on face). 
Then, I'll go make a sandwich for my great fire-builder.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Strange Toys

Sometimes I worry about our family.

We seem to have a propensity toward...striking out.

For example, here is Mae.
 For Christmas, she requested a punching bag.
 She seems to relish the opportunity to lay into this bag.
 Um.  Merry Christmas, Mae.

However, the nut does not fall far from the tree.
Here is Mark with his Christmas shotgun.
Because nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a brand new shotgun.

Except, perhaps, a new phone.
A bananaphone.
A smart bananaphone.

So yes, we have some strange toys up here in Tollhouse.

And of course, we must look to the live entertainment as well.

 Poor grey chicken, with her sole tail feather.
 Molting is tough duty.

But spring, and feathers, are on their way!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

El Nino, Me Gustas

Weeks before D.C. was buried in blizzards, we Californians were cavorting in the cold stuff.  We've been skiing at China Peak this year (awesome!) and on this particular Sunday, we got a slow start, so just headed to the snow park at Tamarack.  

Lots of snow, and people, and sleds, and trees.
 Daredevil Mae.
Abigail...just...about...to...eat it.
 And of course, the Scottster.
I can only imagine what happened here!
Mark always becomes the self-appointed track groomer and safety look-out
 And then, of course, he tries to bury his own child in the snow.
I'm sure she liked it, though.
I sneaked away for a quiet walk in the woods, wishing to heck I had cross-country skis.  Or snowshoes.
You know, it only takes a few hours of sledding to feel like it has been a day well spent!  A round of cocoa for all my friends!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

What is underfoot?

Mark has a new project.  Because he is resting after knee surgery.
See him resting?
It's a good thing he has some time to heal from his surgery.
Because this is quite a project!  After five years of inertia, we are finally getting around to finishing the stairs.  We will have stained oak treads, painted risers and trim, and a carpet runner.  In a true spirit of economy, Mark stained and finished only what he ABSOLUTELY HAD TO.  And no more.

So the next big step is to pick the runner.  We've been through several iterations so far.  I thought it might be fun to share, and even get some thoughts and opinions.  Recognizing that this is the decorating equivalent of sharing your list of baby names--we may choose Agatha when everyone else likes Allison!  
 So the first three are varied in texture, with only subtle variations in color.  This is Sierra Wind.
 Baywood.
 And Holland.
 Now for the patterns.  This is Stencil.  Looking at the top two center column.
 Topkaki.  Top Left.  Looks dark in this pic, not as dark in life.
 And Alexander.  These last two are wool, so $$$$ and very plush.  These fancy ones would look kind of like this example from Stairrunnerstore.com: 

In my mind, this picture below (from Zoroury on Houzz.com) is kind of what our house style looks like.  Except with a coating of dust and hair balls.  Especially since our white fluffy dog sleeps right at the bottom of the stairs.  This runner is kinda busy for me.  Our selections are more muted and golden, but you get a feel for pattern on the stairs. 


I need something that is forgiving.  Something that will happily conceal dirt and hair until I get around to vacuuming it every month or so, and will last for years and years without showing the single little track that people walk down when they use the stairs.  Is that too much to ask???

I'll show you the "after" shot when we get to that point.  ;-)