outside with the animals

DSC_0270 DSC_0272 DSC_0278Daily check of the chickens to see if there are eggs.  And yes there were!

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We rode in the back of grandpa’s pickup and visited  his neighbor.  He has lots of cows and new calves.IMG_0401 IMG_0408

We actually got to see one being born.  That is not something we have a chance to see in the city.

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Highland cows with their shaggy hair back at grandpa’s…  DSC_0298 DSC_0019DSC_0288 We got to help feeding them all.

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But mostly we watched them.DSC_0287 DSC_0301 DSC_0302 DSC_0305 DSC_0307 DSC_0310

A little calf born a week ago.DSC_0308 DSC_0309

Lots of hair, free-range eggs (for that delicious angel food cake we tried!) and lots of fun times being outside.

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Visiting

The day we arrived in Idaho, was a beautiful clear, sun shining day.  The drive was gorgeous.  Since we had left so early that day, the sun was still up and a little warm, the air was crisp and clear. DSC_0049

There was still snow patches on the ground at grandpa’s place.

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The mountains were still with snow too.  DSC_0056 DSC_0053

And this hill here in the center, was waiting for them to hike.  A hill Mark and Siena have climbed a few times in the past few years.  The last time being 4 years ago.  This year, Lucas was invited as well.

DSC_0058 There was sitting and relaxing and talking.

DSC_0061 There was reading, and talking and catching up.

IMG_0305 There was cooking and baking of a delicious angel food cake (with farm eggs!)

IMG_0309DSC_0326 DSC_0329 And eating.

IMG_0412 IMG_0418IMG_0242 IMG_0416There was dog playing, and hang out.

IMG_0250 There was watching and hanging out, and resting and photographing.

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Yes. Lots of playing!IMG_0370 DSC_0319 New kites and no worries of getting tangled with trees or cables…

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(…and we noticed that our Portland eyes are not very accustomed to the Idaho sun just yet…)IMG_0336 IMG_0345 IMG_0365IMG_0256IMG_0426

Fun few days visiting grandpa and grammie.

The long way there

We went to visit our family in Idaho this week. We left very early one day and this is what we saw on our way.  This is the (long) pictorial story of our long drive Eastward.  Go get a cup of tea, it gets cold, and it was beautiful.

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I fell asleep as we left (and the kids did too) as Mark drove that early morning.  When I woke up, the sun was coming up and the sight was unbelievable.  It always is.             IMG_0039IMG_0040 Oh the colors…

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The reds, yellow, oranges, purples, blues, all of them, all at once.IMG_0049 IMG_0050 IMG_0052 IMG_0060

A beautiful sight.

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The colors as well as the view outside the window changed as the minutes and hours, passed and we (Mark) kept driving.

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From mostly (dark) greens to browns and some greens spread across. IMG_0070 IMG_0072 IMG_0074 IMG_0077 IMG_0078 IMG_0079 IMG_0084 IMG_0087

As we passed the Blues Mountains, reaching the summit, there was this thin white blanket that made the view outside our windows almost magical. Just a dust of white as a cake is sprinkled with powder sugar for accent and a delicate touch, barely covering the grounds for few miles.  And we could feel the chill in the air.  I love that cold air coming through your face, knowing we were warming up soon.

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We left our house what it felt like the middle of the night.  So the kids were in PJ’s until we stopped on our regular spot for a break.

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Usually is lunch time by the time we get here… almost half way our destination.  But this time it was not even 9am. The park was closed for the season, and it was freezing outside.  A much different sight when we do this in the summer and it’s lunch time.  So this time was a quick breakfast stop and we kept on going in the warmth of our car.

IMG_0117 We saw snow in the distance, almost the rest of the way, as we headed East.

IMG_0120The sky opened, turning to a huge blue and white and gray ocean above and ahead, and all around us.

IMG_0128 IMG_0129IMG_0114 One of the things I look forward to in this drive, is seeing these white giants.

IMG_0125 At 70 mph (in Oregon) this time, made the trip a whole lot faster.

IMG_0119This new road trip-project had a great start.  With a planned 10-hour trip each way, I was excited to get all that time for knitting. As long as Mark was happy driving.  Which he did.

IMG_0123I had some time to play with our new camera too.  A small, lighter one to carry around in the purse or pocket, which I left handy and used for all these photos.  (I am happy how they turned out, but I think I should read the manual to know exactly how it works and not be surprised at what is happening while pressing the button!  Oh… details.)

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Sharing a book on tape I love hearing them laugh at unison, but not being able to hear what the story is all about.  It makes me smile every time.IMG_0155 IMG_0157

The Snake River.  The dessert.  The cement plant. The windmills.  The vast land.  The undulating hills.  The long road.  All are part of what will be our memories of this trip, this time around.  Each time different, at different stages of our lives.  This time, its own chapter, I know.IMG_0158IMG_0164 IMG_0167Lucas’s car game.

IMG_0162My knitting growing with each minute that Mark drove us East.  So thankful for this time.

IMG_0163 Music.  Audiobooks.  Conversations.  News.  Snores.  Silence.  Sleepy eyes. Closed eyes.  Open eyes.  Questions.  Answers.  Jokes.  Memories.  Laughs.  Stories.

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Cities. Towns. Farms. Mills. Sugar factories. Car lots.  New cars. Old cars. Tractors.  Snow.  Sand.  Pebbles.  Shacks.  Homes. Cabins. 18-wheelers. Corvettes.  Trucks.  Mini Coopers.  Trees.  Rivers.  Sage brush.  Plantations.  Bridges.

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Greens. Grays. Blues. Blacks. Grays. Reds. Yellows. Sun. Clouds. Rain. Snow flakes. Clear skies. Wind. Calmness.

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Freeways.  Highways.  Exits. Turns.  Straights.  Rest areas.  Gas stations.  Parks. Restrooms.  Road side stop. Dirt roads.

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Turn after turn.  Hill after hill. Snow.  Vastness. IMG_0213 IMG_0215 IMG_0216 IMG_0221 IMG_0222 IMG_0219 IMG_0225 IMG_0236 IMG_0237

And the snow is sparse but the air is fresh and thin and very large. IMG_0238 IMG_0240

And right up on the edge of these mountains, we arrived to the first stop in our visit.

Last few weeks…

… couldn’t decide which one I like better…

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“If you really want something, you will have to work very hard, take advantage of opportunities and above all, never give up!” – Dr. Goodall‘s mum, Vanne

From somewhere on the internet.
From somewhere on the internet.

About raising powerful girls.  And this neat google doodle video.  Love the images.

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… we are continuing to study Africa, and seems like we could take many more months to learn what we want to learn.  There is no rush and no deadline… there is so much information, so many countries, so much history.  Lots and lots to choose from what to focus our studies.  Still having fun.

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… we started with baseball practices when the weather allows, and are getting used to the new routine, of most of us being out of the house every afternoon.

… I have been trying to plan and figure out how dinner will be done, so we can continue to eat at home and together, every night, as we always do.  Being together is not so much the problem, it’s the how to make the meal while we are all out…

… I like Camilla’s post from Fjord Girl that she posted the other day.

… I realized (once again) that no matter how much I clean up and organize things…. there’s always piles and messes just hours after it’s been cleared.

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… I feel spring in the air.  Slowly, at times.  Yesterday and the day before felt really cold in comparison to the previous days.  I guess that is part of the changing seasons.  The sun shines, it feels warm in my body, but still the chill is in the air.

… Siena and I have been working and making things every day, in preparation for our first spring craft fair this past weekend.  It was a fun weekend.

… my dad and my mother-in-law share the same birthday.  They each celebrated on opposite sides of the world, but we wished them both a Happy Birthday this month!

… Siena has been baking a little more.  She likes it and we all get to enjoy her tryouts.

… I am feeling that push to de-clutter that I get every year around this time.  Maybe it’s all this time we’ve spent inside these past months, that make the rooms feel a little smaller by now.  Not a bad reason to clean up I don’t think.

… we watched and kept track of Astronaut Scott Kelly and his return to earth after spending a year at the International Space Station.

DSC_0075 DSC_0086 DSC_0078 Watching when they left the ISS.

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Waiting to arrive to Earth and wishing for a safe landing. DSC_0083 DSC_0091

We waited and watched and saw all three astronauts come out of the Soyuz and wondered what it must feel like.  We talked, commented, thought, speculated, and have so many questions, of such an amazing flight.  We’ve been reading and keeping up on the studies and tests and results they are doing, even now after the stay in space.  So much information, so much science.  I find it amazing, and I am thinking this will be something we might remember as my kids grow older.   It’s been fun to learn from all of this.

… the kids spent a day with some old friends.  They got picked up early afternoon and dropped off late at night.  Our friends, who can all drive by now (and we saw them be born and grow up to the beautiful and amazing girls they are now) do pretty much anything Lucas and Siena want to do when they go visit.  They play all the games the kids want, watch movies, have treats.  They always go with a basket full of board games, and come back filled with stories and smiles as big as it can be, and their hearts filled with love.  We miss these friends of ours.  They don’t live too far, but we don’t see them often enough.

… I have been knitting a cardigan that is knitted sideways, and I am not sure it will turn out.  I’ve never done a pattern like this, and don’t know even if it’s the right size… it will be a surprise cardigan for sure!

… we had two team parties in the same pizza place, one day apart.  We are taking a break from pizza I think.

… spring is all around us and we are bringing it inside too.

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… we are opening the windows almost every day, to let the fresh, spring air in for a little while.  Until hail starts to come down.  Yes… spring, I love you so!

The spring craft fair

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… Breathe in… breathe out…. Phew!  A fun (and very busy) weekend we had, filled with colors, and beautiful handmade goods, of all sorts.  Ceramics, photography, textiles, paper, leather, jewelry, clothes, and even music and performances by the students of the school the craft fair was (that I wish we could have been closer so we could watch and hear better.)

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It was a busy and tiring two days.  Loooong hours, but we survived and had fun.  Siena did great, and after we get our check, we’ll have a chance to talk and decide what we’d do different and the same, and what we’d like to do for next time.

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We didn’t really have time to shop or look much to all the tables, maybe to and from here and there.  But we got to meet and spend all weekend with our table partner, a mom, jewelry maker filled with beautiful hand-mades.  She was so nice, and her daughter was too, and both really fun to hang out for all those hours.  Interesting for Siena too, get to talk and even get a trade!

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Now, all put away, boxes organized, and thinking what we’ll do next and Siena already making new things.  She’s on top of things!  I think I’m going to finish my Christmas quilt when I get a chance.

Making for the fair

For months, we’ve been making, getting ready for the fair this weekend.

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I can say probably, for years we’ve been making.  Yes, I’ve always been a crafter, growing up with my mom, and my grandmas (both of them), there’s always been sewing projects or canning or knitting or needlework, surrounding my life.

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I’ve always liked to try making new things, new methods, new ways, new products.  You can check with any member of my family, and they’ll tell you I have too many (cool) pens, and too much (fun) yarn and (soft) wool and (bright, soft) fabric, and (cool) paper… I totally agree.  But I have to say, this girl down here, especially, is not much different than me.

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Thank goodness, because I love seeing her creativity.  She sees something in a book or magazine, or online, and takes it her own way.  And many times she thinks about it and makes it and keeps going at it, until she likes what she comes up with.

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The thing my family won’t tell you, though? Is that if their creativity wakes them up in the middle of the night, or before dinner, and we need a special supply right away, they know they can check with me or go to our Art Studio and they can probably find it, and be able to produce their project as dreamt.  Thanks to my assortment of tape or glue and papers or a specific fabric that we have out there.  I think in the end, they are thankful I like those cool pens and fabrics after all!

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And I have to say, that those wool felt pieces, all organized, in rainbow order, were Siena’s Christmas present this past winter, and she’s been using them and loves to have them on the ready for when she needs them.   And can you see my wobbly piles of fabric around it?  I’m glad she’s more organized than me.  She keeps me on task.

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And so this weekend we have our first spring craft fair.  There’s been some shuffling of what we have, some new ideas turned into something, and we really can’t wait to see how it goes.  A new place, a new experience for sure.

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Spring is in the air, and on our tables.

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Things are getting finished and packed and ready to go.

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Some music, old seasons of Car Talk, or a book on tape (OK, audiobook) is usually on the radio to keep us going.

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Even though it doesn’t look like it in this picture… we are ready for this weekend.

If you are in town (Portland, Oregon), come and see us at the Buckman Art Show & Sell this weekend.

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In the kitchen

To go along last month’s kitchen posts, I can see I only take photos of the desserts and treats that are made here at home…DSC_0102 Siena made these cupcakes to take to some friends’ place.  She really like (cup) cake decorating.  I think Mark wouldn’t mind if she practiced more… (ha, ha!)

DSC_0024 2Poppy seed and lemon cookies made by Siena too.

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I made this rice pudding from this book.  In Chile there is a dessert called “Arroz con Leche” (Rice with Milk) but I’ve only made it a couple of times in all these years.  I never think of it, but this time it was perfect with a name like “Leftover – Rice Pudding.”  Perfect!

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And as we ate it at my house growing up, we added apple sauce.  Another way to eat our apple sauce as the excitement of having it is slowing down.

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There were a couple of weeks of menu planned but not every day.  I’m slacking, and it’s getting a little more hectic around meals.  I need to get in the groove again.  But even though not every day was planned, we did eat a meal.

DSC_0106 Pot roast.

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And home made rolls from this recipe.  I tried it last month, and we all liked it, and it’s so quick! Love it.

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I’m continuing to organize all my clipped recipes from years collecting them and it always inspires me to try something new.  So far so good!

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Happy cooking everyone!

last few weeks

… there’s been playing outside when it’s dry, and inside too.  But mostly, Lucas can spend all of his days out there, wet or dry.

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And they are really enjoying Lucas’s new basketball hoop.

… we have noticed all the extra light we are getting, especially those days that are clear.  What a treat it is to notice it.  It is like adding a couple of hours in our days!

… I love the sun shining, just barely warm but so bright it hurts our eyes.  I guess we must have PESS (Portlander’s Eye Sensitivity Syndrome.)

… we’ve been making… lots of it.  The next craft fair is upon us.

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… Lucas had the last of his basketball games, which is OK, because baseball season is upon us.  And we all can’t wait to see what happens this year.

… Lucas and a friend at the Auto Show.  I was sent this picture and love their happy faces.

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… I like this article about our own kids, and them growing up, and us too, as parents.

… I’ve been wondering how in the world there are so many moles in our yard!

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… I really like this cartoon from this site.

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… Siena had State Championship this weekend.  We all had fun, watching her, watching everyone excited of being there, celebrating this huge accomplishment, and all thanks to their own hard work.  It is amazing to me.  We celebrated and loved watching her do what she loves the most to do.

… I am learning to use Facebook a little more.  With our new Etsy shop, we had to have some link to the media to try to help Siena’s store, so I am working on learning.  And I don’t know if I like it that Facebook shows me “things that I could like” in posts… and also on the side bars… is my whole life being tracked by someone and/or something? That is a scary thought!  But I must confess…. these were pretty funny…

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… I am going to miss seeing daily photos of the Earth from Astronaut Scott Kelly and his year in space.  I can only imagine the excitement, the experiences he’s had, the experiences and feelings and re-adjusting to living on Earth he’s going to go through.  Amazing.

… we are finally feeling better from our colds and sinus infections.  We are so ready to start feeling better.  I feel like it’s been so busy, we are kind of living through it, I am looking forward to resting a little during spring break.

… we cleaned the backyard, taking all broken stuff to the dump.  We don’t do this very often, which makes me feel better.  But it was a “date” for Mark and Lucas, and they had lots to talk about while on their field trip and I guess the good thing, it was educational.

Hopefully a conversation we will always continue to have, about the needs of each one and what is enough and what should be enough.  Because if we don’t talk among ourselves, we can stop caring, and I do believe strongly, that we can live simpler.  There’s always room for improvement.  And if we all did a little better, maybe there will be less excessive consumerism.  Less excess. Less stuff and more of what I think can be more important in our lives.  All I can do is improve myself, and help my kids learn and grow up to be conscientious of their ecological footprints.  I am trying.  I really am.

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Looking better, cleaner and safer for our basketball players.

… started thinking what projects I should finish (or start?) with all the pieces I’ve been keeping for a long time, to do these.   Spring cleaning.

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Spring cleaning is happening around here.  Much needed.  Slowly, but it feels good for sure.

… loved this one

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