Just a Few More Flakes…

I keep thinking that just maybe spring is here to stay. There is more brown now, than white on the ground, and each day the patches of snow get smaller and smaller. But for the past week, we’ve woken up to several days where everything is white again. Just when I think there can’t possibly be another flake of snow in the sky, the world is white in the morning.

It’s as if Mother Nature is in the sky with a gigantic towel, that is being twisted each morning, a little tighter and tighter, forcing out a few more flakes of snow each day. I keep wondering how there can possibly be anymore, but every morning there is a new little dusting, just enough to make everything white again…enough to make me wonder if spring will ever fully settle in. It’s raining today, so perhaps all the snow has finally been squeezed out of the towel!!

Hello Springtime

A blog is a work of art.  And it’s not just about the words.  It’s about the color, the layout, how it makes you feel when you read it.  How easy it is on the eyes to look at.  How interesting the content is…all of those things need to be considered when having a blog.  I enjoy blogs that look nice.  I must be a very visual person because if a blog bothers my eyes, or isn’t laid out in an attractive manner…well, I move onto the next one.  It’s not only the words that need to engage me! 

So that brings me to my blog.  I just changed the color scheme and the background photo.  It’s the only “springish” photo I have right now.  There is NOTHING green around here yet.  We are in that muddy transitional period where everything is still brown and ugly, or snow is melty, slushy, and dingy looking.  There simply isn’t anything beautiful to look at, and while spring has officially arrived, according to the calendar, it will take a few more weeks for us to “see’ it here.

I hope the colors of this new look are ok for now!  I like it, good enough anyway to keep it, for now.  I do envision GREEN in the future.

Here are some pictures of our chickens. 

They have officially been moved to the chicken coop, and boy are they happy there!  I am happy too.  The mess is where it belongs now!

“Puff Head”

This is one of the Araucana chickens.  He (actually, it better be a “she”, but it’s an awfully BIG chicken compared to the other two from the same bin)  is especially unique with his/her white feathers and his/her red breast.  I’m eager to see what he/she will turn out like.  I did buy all pullets, so he better be a she!!
We go out there twice a day to check on them, fill their feed and make sure there’s enough water.  The ducks have grown so much, they’re twice as big as the chickens now.  They are still fluffy, cute, and yellow, but they are starting to get their pin feathers, so I expect they will begin to turn white very soon.
They’re so cute in this little bucket!  Once we can let them outside, there will be a kiddie pool for the ducks!

I thought this web was cool!  It’s all covered with dust, looks abandoned, but I could only wonder if there was a “Charlotte” somewhere in the coop, keeping my little ducks and chickens company!!

Goodbye Winter

It’s official.  The magic date has passed (March 20th), and the first day of Spring has come and gone.  It is still pretty cold at our place.  We are still building daily fires to keep the house warm.  But there are patches of dirt and dead grass showing through now, instead of the beautiful blanket of white that once surrounded our home.  This is the photo that has graced the background of my blog for “winter”. 

We enjoy glorious winters here.  They are cold, white, and not always sunny like this photo.  We anticipate the snow, and look forward to it’s arrival.  We also anticipate when it will finally leave, and stay gone!!  It’s time for spring.  It’s time to change the blog to the new season.  I don’t have that many springtime pictures just yet from around this place, so I’ll use what I have….a picture of the new chickens!  But before I do that, here is a memoir of my blog for Winter, 2011.
Hello Springtime….

Remembering the Details

I opened up Blogger this evening to read my usual blogs and I was stunned with all the new posts I haven’t read yet.  Has it been several days since I’ve been on here?  It’s one of my favorite things to do….come here and read…some blogs by people I know….others I haven’t met yet in real life.  It relaxes me.  It motivates me to add something to my own blog.

I’ve been thinking what I could add…what is going on in my life?  My new iPhone has been tons of fun.  I’m trying to figure it all out, trying to utilize the planning calendar App that I bought for it, and trying to get more organized with meals, chores, and especially the dog business and all the details that surround that.  Using such a tiny keyboard for everything is a challenge, but I’m getting faster using the tiny keys (though I believe an iPad is definitely in my future!!).  The calendar can by synced to a Google calendar, so now I’m learning how to do that. 

I find Facebook to be very useful to get information from my friends on how to do these technical types of things.  I have a wide range of friends, from many walks of life, and I am grateful for how willing they are to help me and answer my questions!  I also utilize Google frequently when I have questions about something, and often am able to find the answer there, tucked away in some obscure blog post, but somehow Google finds it for me!  It makes me happy when I can figure out and solve the “problem”, whatever it may be!

My oldest two children are away this week on Spring Break.  They’re with Pathfinders, on the Teen Mission Adventure, doing a building project at a camp, renovating some cabins.  Darien went last year and really enjoyed it.  He actually enjoyed it so much, that he specifically said it was important to him, to go again this year, so that is in part, how we decided on UCA for his schooling, instead of one in California, near Grandma’s house.  Kaelyn didn’t really want to go on the mission trip, but she called and said she was having fun, so I’m glad for that.  I insisted that she go, even though she wasn’t overly thrilled with the idea at first.

Kendrick is home with me, taking on everyone else’s chores, devising games to play with me (we’re currently playing Monopoly), and enjoying his week off from school.  We went skiing yesterday, and will go again Friday.  Thursday we’re taking some dogs to Pullman to get heart checks, and tomorrow (Wednesday) night is Pathfinders, after a trip to get a Health Certificate at the vet.  The week is very full, yet I feel like not much has been accomplished.  I have to bathe 3 adult dogs tomorrow, trim them, and do their nails, to have them ready for Thursday.  I also need to buy crates, if Walmart has them (they didn’t have the right size the last time I was there), for them to travel in. 

Daryl comes home late tomorrow night, and Thursday he heads to Seattle, to ship a puppy on Friday.  I also have to bathe that puppy, and get the leash/collar, crate, food, Health Certificate, shot record, etc. ready for shipping.  My head is spinning, trying to remember everything, and that is why I’m trying to learn this Google calendar thing that can sync to my iPhone.  A week this full is typical in our lives, and I have to keep track of everything, and not forget any of the details.  My life seems like one long “To-Do” list, but I guess that would be typical for the mom in a family.

I do like it better when Daryl is home…the house is a lot warmer, and it’s just good to know there is a man around the place!  I do like, not having to share the computer, though! 

I took pictures of two different litters of puppies today.  These are the Mal-Shi pups!


I am not a cook, but I know how to cook.  Have I said that before?  I have been on a cooking spree the past few days.  I’ve made Split Pea Soup with Y2K peas, homemade gluten steaks, and Pumpkin Pie!  Before that, I had made Cabbage Pockets, which were all devoured very quickly by everyone here!  I did take a couple pictures of the Cabbage Pockets, and hope to make some more soon. 

These are a lot of fun to make, and not too difficult.  This time I used pizza dough crust instead of the sweeter crust in the recipe.  I want to try some with a tofu & spinach filling next.  The kids really enjoy forming these into little pockets and I can’t blame them.  All of us want to have a part in folding up the little bundles and putting them on the cookie sheet to bake.  They often get very creative with their designs!

Horse and “Sponge Bob”
Here is the pie!
I’m discovering that there is a real art to photographing food.  This will be good practice, trying to make it look yummy to eat in the photos!

My Besties

The older I get, the more I realize that good relationships must be treasured.  And even with those, life has a way of making changes, bringing people in and out, changing the dynamics, the time spent, and the overall flavor of a relationship or friendship. 

When we moved to WA, I didn’t expect to find actual friends here.  We knew it would be beautiful.  We knew it would be different.  We knew we had to take the chance and make the move.  But we didn’t know who we would meet.  And we didn’t know they would be such fantastic people.

These are my friends, my “besties”, and they have made my life better here in WA.  They are true country girls.  I’m the wannabe!  They have helped me shovel snow, invited me and my family over for meals, had picnics at the lake, chatted at the poolside, sat in the jacuzzi, changed a flat tired, given me rides, taught my daughter about horses, gone snow skiing, gone boating and water skiing, gone camping, played games, watched movies, weeded in my garden, shopped with me in town, labored over how to homeschool teen boys, taken care of my dogs, washed my dishes, watched my kids, taught me how to drive in snow, and taught me how to chill and relax.

These women are capable, determined, talented, and hard working.  I am proud to know them, and proud to be their friend!


Jennifer, Kristy (me), Lori

Enjoying a rare moment when we didn’t smell like dogs, didn’t have on blue jeans, and didn’t have our hair in a ponytail!

I never noticed before, but our names are in alphabetical order.  Is that somehow significant?

A Slap in the Face

“…and Mrs. Plata, don’t even get me started on that.” 

Those words have pierced right through my heart, and landed in my mouth where I have been chewing on them all day long since I heard them.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because I was warned.  But I chose to believe.  I chose to invest my time, my friendship, my life experience, hoping it might make a difference.

I feel the fool.  I feel sad.  I feel used.  The old saying goes…”when life hands you lemons, make lemonaid.”  What if I am tired of drinking lemonaid?  I’ve been making an awful lot of lemonaid in the recent past, and right now, I’d like to toss that lemonaid at someone and just say a few words of my own. 

Of course that wouldn’t help.  Of course, I won’t do that.  I’d like to just get away and forget about the stress of life.  I invested my self and got a slap in the face in return.  It just kind of stings.

Saying Goodbye to "Zoe"

There is a wonderful family in Connecticut that owns one of our Cavachon puppies.  We negotiated a deal a couple years ago where I kept the dog until it was spayed, and did some basic training with her, and then finally sent her home.  The people were so pleased that they wanted another dog a year later.  Even though it is a tremendous amount of work to keep a puppy until it’s 6-8 months old, we took the plunge again, and trained Zoe for them. 

She was supposed to go home in January, after the holidays, but I hit a deer and was unable to make the trip to Seattle for several weeks in my damaged car.  Then, the east was hit with blizzards this winter, and the family was unable to get Zoe due to the snow being so high, there wasn’t much fence showing over the top of it, and they were afraid Zoe might get out and run away.  So we had to wait till the snow melted.  In the meantime, they also had a couple trips planned, and wanted to get Zoe once they were back, so after several extra months, the day finally came last Sunday for Zoe to go home.

I usually don’t get attached to the puppies, but once you’ve had a dog for almost 10 months, they are kind of like one of your family, so saying goodbye to Zoe was more difficult than with the younger puppies.  I know she went to a fabulous home, and is already being loved and spoiled there, so that helps a lot!  She was a wonderful dog and we now have a “brother” of hers, Calvin!  He isn’t from her litter, but from the same parents, so even though we don’t have Zoe, we will have a different, just as wonderful pup of our very own!

Here are our last pictures of Zoe!!  Enjoy!

Last Belly Rub!

Last Kisses!

Last Hugs!

In her crate, ready to head to her flight in Seattle!

City Girl

It’s the end of another week and I’m tired.  I have definitely been a city girl this week, having been to town almost every single day.  Sunday was only 6 days ago, but I can’t remember what I spent my day doing.  I think I was home on Monday.  Tuesday, I went skiing.  Wednesday, we all went to town, Daryl to get his teeth worked on, the kids went to Pathfinders, and I bought some groceries.  Thursday, I spent the entire day with Kaelyn in the “big” town, hoping to find a formal dress for her, but we came home empty handed, and finally today, Friday, I found myself back in town to get the forgotten clothing for the boys.  It seems I spent more time in town this week than at home, and that’s not the way I want it to be.

But I did get something exciting in town today!  I finally took the plunge and bought an iPhone!  It’s so pretty, in it’s red case, sleek design, and amazing features!  I even have a flashlight on it, something I know I will use many times, if I remember it’s there.  I can hardly wait to talk to friends and family about which applications are their favorite.  It seems endless, what this phone can do, and I’m really excited to keep learning more and more.

Springtime, Where Art Thou?

I wish I had something compelling and profound to write about.  I wish I had something insightful and amazing to say.  I don’t.  It’s snowing outside.  It’s March 9th, and it looks like January outside.  It’s beautiful.  I always love the trees when they are covered in white and I love seeing fields perfectly blanketed in snow, with no footprints of any kind.  But I like it more in January, not in March.

This is what it looks like outside today.  It’s another one of those two palate colored days.
White and dreary.

Everybody is ready for spring.  Even as we all wait for spring, I know the transition is not that fun either.  Mud, brown sticky gunk will come into my house.  It will be a battle to keep the dirt and rocks out, that stick to the bottom of mud boots.  I know it’s coming, and want it to come, but even the process of spring breaking through the snow is trying and character building. 

The bird feeder.  I’m sure the birds can’t wait for springtime either!

We’ve already been talking about the garden.  It’s nice to think of green things when all we can still see is white!  I’ve been looking into greenhouses, tomato plants that have a very, very short growing cycle, and sweet corn!  We’ve talked about where we’ll plant the beans this year, and what type of supports we’ll have for them.  We’ve talked about a new watering system of drip hose instead of sprinklers, so the pathways won’t be watered, and we’d have less weeds as a result.  We’ve ordered sweet corn seeds, and will take an inventory of the seeds we already have.  We’ve looked at microgreens and have talked about getting some seeds started under grow lights.  And, we’ve talked about leaving the entire garden fallow, but decided that probably wasn’t a good plan. 

We’re doing everything possible to get our minds off the snow that is falling outside.  It’s March and we’re all ready for springtime!!