Sunday, July 31, 2016

Out like a light

Cat Woman, aka Daphne, literally knocked Lightning out with her magic touch. 
He was purring his lovely kitten purr when Daphne started to massage the pads on his front feet.
That was all he needed to fall into a deep sleep.
He stayed that way for about a 20 minute cat nap and
 then he was ready to pounce and tumble with his sister.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Logan River Trail

Kaleb and I got the brillant idea the other day while he was fishing at 
Spring Hollow to ride our bikes from Stokes Nature Center to Guinevah and back. 
It would be a 10 mile ride
 on our bikes but we thought it was totally do-able. 
Most of the trail to us looked fairly flat. 
What were we thinking!
It nearly killed Victoria and I. It was up hill and
 I had forgotten about this one section that was literally straight up with switch backs.
Needless to say we did make it at least to Spring Hollow
 which is 8, almost 9 miles round trip.
On the way up Victoria kept saying that she didn't think she was going to make it. 
And then flying down the trail going down hill she kept yelling that it 
was so Awesome! On the way up she kept saying that when she got home she
 was going to lay on the couch, read her book 
and not get off only to eat or go to the bathroom.
It makes me laugh because she hasn't done any of that.
She survived, I survived and Kaleb got a good workout 
while conditioning for an 80 mile backpacking trip that he is preparing for.
Hmmm....I wonder what our next adventure will be.

Cat Woman

Daphne is in her glory with two kittens to climb all over her.
We have always had indoor kitties. I had always said that our
 next round of cats were going to not be indoor.
 I can't stand the thought of having another cat box.
These little barn kitties have more guts in their little toes than
 all of our indoor kitties put together. They are the sweetest little squirts,
 extremely active and very social.
They love to be loved on.
Lightening loves to be held on his back while Thunder is the talker.
These little ones are the sweetest things.

Charcoal Sea Otters

My art classes are going really well. I just came across all of these adorable sea otters that the kids in one of my classes did for a project. They turned out adorable.
Each of the kids have their own style and technique that they are developing.
While one likes to blend smoothly, another will like to leave theirs more rough.
They are all awesome kids and create beautiful pictures.
All I need to do is offer them a skill, an idea, and encouragement.
Oh, and a hefty dose of praise because they deserve it.

Morning Walk

I love mornings best.....before everyone is up.
I sneak out the front door so the dogs won't follow me,
 wondering where I am escaping to on my own.
Sometimes I feel guilty that I sneak out without them....
but then I know how desperately I need my solitude.

The Acrobat

 Cornelius can be very entertaining. I have no idea how sometimes he gets himself into the positions that he does. It always ends well so I guess that is all that matters.

Friday, July 1, 2016

A beautiful day in paradise

Sometimes I look around and I can't believe what I'm seeing. Huge trees, green grass, weeds.....big weeds..... and these precious little kids who are three weeks old now!
God has been so good to us.
 Jared let Lizzy and the babies out so that he could build them a new gate that will be easier getting in and out of with an actual latch. Jacks, in true goat form, is an escape artist. So these gates will be so much better at keeping them in when they are supposed to be in.
Lizzy gave a quick word after getting her hooves trimmed by Kaleb and the little kids were nursing in an instant. They can be a little brutal when they feed. They use their poor mom as a punching bag, but Lizzy takes it in stride and lets them do it.
 Thunder is very social and will come running when you call her name. One of her favorite things to do is play with the rope swing.. 
 We have never had outside cats before. I pray for them all the time that God's band of angels will take care of them and keep them out of harms way. In the mean time, I really enjoy having them outside. Thunder loves to hang out with me while I work in the garden. I lose track of time playing with the animals. I thought this was cute how she was playing with a branch from the pine tree.
 In the mean time, her laid back brother, Lightning loves to be held, turned up side down and rubbed. 
They are growing so fast I wish they would just slow down....just a bit.
 Ella wondering where her mama went.
 I love that we can spend so much time outside. I have a secret spot in the yard where it is quiet and hidden. It took the kids quite some time to find out where it was. They would call me on my phone to find out where I am. 
 Victoria's reading buddy.
 When you have goats, nothing is sacred. They taste everything and might possibly eat it too. The kids were most curious about Jared's tool belt lying on the ground with all kinds of neat tools to pick up and drop. We pulled out kayaks out for tomorrow and of course PJ had to see what it would be like to stand on them.
 Kaleb decided to move the kittens outside while they took down the canoe in the shop. 
 Aren't they sweet?
I find myself finding a reason to go out to the barn just so I can play with them.
 Lovin on each other.
Jared is awesome!
One gate down, one to go.
Jacks is looking forward to his day out.
He was pretty jealous of Lizzy and was giving me the most pathetic bleating I have ever heard. He sounded like he was whining, he probably was....
I think I see a kitten in with the goats.

Our Garden

I love spending time tending to our garden. I noticed that Kirk really does too. He seems to be in charge of making sure it gets watered. And now that he has the irrigation water piped in from the canal makes it tons easier...and cheaper.
 I was stringing up our tomatoes while 5-7 swallowtails fluttered in and out to drink from the mud. I hadn't seen them at first and then was just amazed when I spotted them right behind me.
They stayed there for almost an hour. 
 Our corn looks beautiful at knee high. Look at the upper portion of the photo and you will see a butterfly flying toward you. I can lose myself when I am in the middle of a butterfly swarm. 
I love it.
 We are already harvesting broccoli, but haven't seen the actual cauliflower or the brussel sprout yet. The squashes are coming along. We planted zucchini (of course), summer squash, pumpkin, pie pumpkin, butternut squash, and jack be littles. We have tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, peas, green beans, pickling cucumbers and oriental cucumbers. Lots of lettuce staggered so we will have it all summer. The spinach and kale is struggling because someone who has now been forbidden to touch a hoe dug it up twice. Third times a charm. Oh, and we have onion, garlic, cabbage, carrots, watermelon, dill, cilantro and oregano.

Backpacking Right Hand Fork

 We headed up Right Hand Fork to backpack overnight. We were on limited time so it was just an overnighter unfortunately. We are all in better shape than we have in the past. The girls packs were 25 pounds. I think they did quite well considering that half the hike in was up hill.
I love being a family together, spending time out in the wild.
Victoria planted herself hiking between the boys who were in the lead.
 There is just something about rushing water. I love the sound of water. It reminds me of the ocean that we miss deeply. Being near running water and beautiful green foilage in the forest is awesome too. 
 Kirk says this is proof that I was there. I am always the one taking the pictures so you rarely see me.
 There were butterflies everywhere. They fluttered down the gullies and followed the creeks. This pretty blue one is a Silvery Blue. There were tons of Swallowtails.
It was very magical.
 This is Willow Creek.
 This has to be the largest beaver lodge I have ever seen. Off to the right I even saw a beaver.
Cha-ching. I can mark that one off my bucket list. I've now seen a beaver in the wild. We usually only see their tracks or where they dragged trees leaving their footprints behind.

 Break time in the shade.

 Something that I love about our family is that we didn't hear a single complaint out on the trail. Okay, well maybe Victoria asked how much longer when we were hiking up hill for over an hour.
To me that doesn't really count. I was getting tired too but loving the fresh air and the assortment of flowers all along the way.
 The guys cooking!
I have trained them well!
 Sammy staring at the food drooling!
It's all that basset hound in him. Look at all that extra skin in his!
 Our little campsite.
The girls had the tents up before the boys even started.
My motivation was to remove my shoes! I hate shoes.
 And to take a nap...Kaleb already started.
 It was fun to just lay around and talk. It is always a perfect time to catch up and find out what is really going on in our family.
 My cute son, the carpenter!
 Nothing like reading The BFG (for the 4th time now) in the forest with a 35 pound lap dog halfway curled up in my lap. Sammy is my baby.

 This little creek looked like fairies lived here.

 One pooped out pooch. 
About the only time that Henry is under control is when he's tired.
 It is quite an event to wear this guy out. Hiking will usually do it.