Sunday, April 20, 2014


Boys in their Easter finery.

With a seasonally-appropriate sheep in the background, though I suppose a lamb would be slightly more proper.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

what do we want?


When do we want it?


Never mind that the arrival of spring is way delayed this year. We had snow on the ground on Wednesday morning, for crying out loud.

The girls don't care. They are most insistent that it is spring, dammit, and there must be grass, and there shall be grass, and MOVE US TO THE FRESH GRASS RIGHT THIS INSTANT!

So starting at 6 am every morning, if they feel that their present location is less than ideal in the grass department, they start up with a chorus of demands that doesn't quit until the portable fence is moved. Even their grain feeding, which normally makes them very happy, doesn't cut it. If any person dares to show their face outdoors, the complaints intensify tenfold.

The fence mover(s) must map out a battle plan in advance, due to the tendency of the ewes to rush to wherever you are moving fence, desperate to be the first lips that touch new ground. Here they were right on my heels, onto the new bit of pasture as soon as I exposed it.

That was part of my plan, though, to distract them while I moved a much larger portion of fence without them trying to rush me, and potentially rush right under the fence. It worked for a bit.

But then, true to form they were right there, waiting and pushing and being general pains in the butt.

This requires the fence mover to yell and shout and flap his/her arms and ask for Dusty's help to get the girls to back the heck up and wait one gosh-darned minute instead of getting hopelessly entangled in the not-yet-placed fence.

The lighter portion at the back is where they were grazing yesterday.

Finally: fence in position, happily munching QUIET sheep. Hopefully it will be enough to hold them so we don't have to move the fence again tomorrow morning, but the grass isn't quite as lush it should be yet. Despite the ewes' most fervent belief that it should be.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

kitten vs ice cube

For all you Valentine fans out there.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

deadline day

Yep, the monster deadline was today, hence the lack of blog (or laundry or food in the house, for that matter).

I have been knitting and typing my fingers to the bone for days now, with midnight bedtimes and 5 am alarms. The projects are all on their way, though one was slightly damp, despite my best efforts with an iron and a hair dryer.

Luckily, I had some help, yo.

His best comment, about three-quarters of the way through: "Hey! These start with k1 then p1!! There's a pattern! Did you notice that?"

He managed to extort five dollars out of me for the discovery of a particularly egregious error. A small price to pay for a (hopefully) correct lace chart.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

a year ago today

I came across this photo from last year recently, taken one year ago today. I'm not sure why I didn't post it then, but it's worth sharing now.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

the great pet food lift

We have had a long-standing "no gifts, please" policy at our kids parties since the day they started inviting their friends over to celebrate. My children are blessed with huge and very generous extended families, on both sides, so they want for nothing.

I am happy to have the party, I am happy to invite friends over to celebrate, I am happy to plan games and activities and food galore, I am happy to help my kid construct the goodie bag of his dreams. I just don't want to be tripping over one more thing that I have to remind my kid to pick up, which will be collecting dust in a corner in no time flat.

This policy is not without controversy, for my kids or for other parents. At Primo's double-digit birthday party, one parent came up to Curt, obviously not knowing who he was, and said, "Do you believe how awful these parents are, asking for no gifts?"

"Hi!" my husband replied, sticking out his hand. "I'm the birthday boy's dad. Nice to meet you."

Regardless of personal feeling, however, the policy has stood. Some years the kids have asked for their guests to bring something for a cause near and dear to their hearts. Secondo asked for food for our local food pantry, for example.

So this year, following his older brother's lead, Terzo decided to ask for cat and dog food for a local shelter.

His birthday was yesterday, but his party was almost two weeks ago due to scheduling difficulties, and I have been driving around 500 pounds (rough estimate) of dog and cat food in my trunk ever since then. I was starting to worry that warmer temperatures are going to heat up the food enough that I will never get the smell of Purina Dog Chow out of the back seats.

The problem was, what to do with the food? I thought I was saving myself a bit of hassle with no gifts but I didn't think it all the way through, that it would require me to do something WITH the food.

Luckily, an answer presented itself via Facebook. A shelter in Port Jervis NY was in desperate need. And a dear friend was willing to meet me halfway for a pet food exchange.

Yay!! All the food in kind Sheila's car AND as a huge bonus we both had enough time for lunch and catching up together. Hopefully my gas mileage will improve as a side benefit, not to mention finally having a place to put my groceries.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

terrific ten

No more single digits in this household. My little guy just hit the big time, double digits.

He is still small enough to be super excited about his birthday, his gifts, playing with his gifts, and getting phone calls from his friends and relations. I know we don't have too much longer, so I am savoring the last little bit of birthday magic.

Speaking of birthday magic... This set of paper toys.

Based on a wildly-popular computer game, but taking it back to paper-doll and origami basics with figures that you cut and fold. A complete reversal of high tech and old school.

Competely entrancing, too, in a way that I wouldn't have thought possible for something that doesn't involve a screen.