Oh, little man, it's ok! You can be a single lady!
That's a Flash Gordon reference, for all of you too young to remember the 1980s. Here's Flash, one of the two geldings that my eventer friend is graciously allowing me to ride. In this video, trainer Leslie is aboard. Doesn't Flash have some serious dressage potential?
I'm off to my eventer friend's barn this weekend to get the lay of the land, and I hope to be back in the saddle starting next week. I need to talk to my friend about whether she minds me blogging about her horses. I'm hopeful that she'll be ok with it.
So on the Saturday after her birthday HB loaded three bicycles and one tricycle into the car. I drove down to our local park while HB and Dragon braved the steep hills and rode their mountain bikes.
Once at the park the girls went crazy riding their bikes. Ducky showed us that she had no problems riding her new bike. She was able to steer and brake with great control .... most of the time.But this was the real surprise and the greatest achievement of the day was Mousie's first ride with no training wheels. She is riding what used to be Ducky's bike (which was actually Possum's first two-wheeler which she was given for her 5th birthday) and she balanced with no trouble at all! HB gave her a push-off the first few times, and then I showed her how to get the pedals in the right place so she could start all by herself. She was a bit wobbly at times, but by the time we left the park she had truly mastered the art of riding with no training wheels!Teddy happily took possession of the two-wheeler with training wheels - formerly known as Mousie's bike. She had a good time, except when the training wheels left the back tyre stranded in a hollow, and no matter how hard she pedaled she just could not get going without a push.And here's Kitcat on her trike, inherited from Teddy. It looks like she will be needing some new wheels soon ... this tricycle is a bit small for her already! Oh well, we have quite a few
6th March 2010
The story is of something that happened to me when I was 34, and 6. It still amazes me, the clarity and sharpness of the vision I got that day: reading this post brought it all back.
I hope you like it.
On our day tour of Connemara, we stopped at Kylemore Abbey for lunch. It's the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys. Since 1920 there has been a community of nuns there. The castle itself was completed in 1871.
Even out of season, the abbey's Victorian walled garden is amazing. It covers 8.5 acres.
Here I am by the lake in front of the abbey, wearing my new Irish wool scarf. It was windy and chilly, but not bad.
Also on the grounds of the abbey is a neo-gothic church, completed in 1881.
The nuns run a girls' boarding school, and those girls must have to be pretty darn creative to find any trouble at all. The abbey is halfway between the middle of nowhere and the edge of nowhere.
Teaching babies what the starting gate is all about. These jockeys really earn their money.
Despite the chillier temperatures today, we spent the entire day outside. In the morning, we went to the Arboretum, where we looked for two geocaches (for those of you looking for ways to motivate little people to go hiking, this is definitely a winner!) and marveled at the daffodils and forsythia. I also found these delicate white flowers; I'm not sure what they are, but they were irresistibly fluttering in the breeze. And in the afternoon, we went to our local park. In between, while Ian was napping, I went for a run, and then took a ride to Stockton, feeling like I wanted to take more pictures, and like I wanted to visit the farmers' market.
I love Prallsville Mills. The complex, built in the late 1800s on the same footprint as the early 1700s grist mill, is now a center for arts and community programs, which can be rented out for events. Oddly enough, Steve and I were considering having our wedding reception here, long ago, before we had any idea that we'd ever move to the area. Today, they were having an art show, and there were some forsythia in the window. It seemed so simple and quaint, but so elegant at the same time.
There was a new vendor today, selling nuts and dried fruits. I didn't catch her name, but she had some tasty charoset for sampling. I bought some cashew and cacao nib clusters from her, no sugar added! (Coconut nectar was the sweetener and glue.)
Milk House was selling some beautiful greens and hydroponic organic lettuces. Though I didn't buy any today, I couldn't resist photographing them. They also had some purple potatoes, which the vendor kindly cut open so that everyone could appreciate their stunning color. The vendor kindly cut open so that everyone could appreciate their stunning color. I was also admiring the mushrooms, having eaten an amazing salad while I was in Philadelphia this weekend, of spinach and sauteed mushrooms and goat cheese.
Spring is definitely coming, and with it the promise of regular installments of fresh local produce. I'm so looking forward to it. And in the meantime, dream of fresh chopped salads like this one, that we ate for dinner tonight. The first chopped salad I ever ate was in Los Angeles, oddly enough, at a chain restaurant; I can still remember how fresh it tasted, how the flavors all mingled together, and how it practically leapt into my mouth. The wonderful thing about chopped salads is that you can put pretty much anything in them (even beans or chick peas), and kids tend to like them because everything is bite-sized, and colorful, and fits well into mini whole wheat pita pockets.
Red bell pepper
2 ripe tomatoes
2-3 stalks of celery
head of romaine lettuce
Chop everything into small pieces, and grate the mozzarella. Toss together in a large bowl with oil, vinegar, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper to taste.
The next afternoon, as I waited outside Teddy's classroom for the 3 o'clock bell to ring, I saw Mousie being escorted across the quadrangle by her teacher. He explained that Mousie had fallen again, this time while playing soccer, and was very distressed about the pain in her arm. He suspected a greenstick fracture and suggested I take her to the doctor.
So once again I spent a while watching Mousie go about her usual after school activities, but this time I did notice that she was favouring her right arm at times. She seemed to be able perform fine motor actions, such as buttoning her top or picking up pencils, without any difficulty. It was the weight-bearing movements which were bothering her, like hauling herself up the ladder to her bunk or picking up her school bag with her right hand. There wasn't any swelling and she did not seem to suffer any great discomfort when I handled her arm, but I though it would be better to call the surgery anyway.
And I realised, I actually did Vestuary without meaning to.
I cast on Dad's vest on the 23 of January, actually, but I did finish it in the month of February - on Groundhog Day, to be precise.
I've been promising pictures, but as Dad was at home recovering from surgery, an opportunity didn't really present itself until the other day when he walked over to my house for a piece of cake, and Lo and Behold - he was wearing his vest.
Yes - I am Shan, son of Ham. (Well, okay, 'daughter'.) There was no one on the other end of that phone.
The picture is a bit out of focus - it's because Dad wouldn't stand still but insisted on goofing off...see photo #1, above. (Love you Dad.)
British School Slipover
Pattern: Cheryl Oberle, from Interweave Press' Folk Vests
Yarn: 3.5 skeins Berroco Ultra Alpaca, Peat Mix
Yarn Source: Needle & Arts Centre
Needle: 4.0mm Clover bamboo circular
Tension: 20 sts/4"
Cast on: January 23, 2010
Bound off: February 2, 2010
Size: 45" chest
When the timer buzzed and I opened the oven door, though, my heart sank. Concave tart shells, again.
In these times of troubled environmental issues...many of us are going back to the ways of our grandparents as much as possible. We have grown up in an era where we have believed much of what we are told...Doctors told us we HAD to have anti-biotics for many of our ailments...I was actually 11 years old before recieving my first dose of penicillan for a severe case of tonsilitis..By the time my second son was born..he received his first dose at less than a month old. We are told all of the values of things like "miracle grow" and "round up"..but it is hard to find the down sides..even in the fine print. Ways are being lost...and some things once lost are very difficult to recover again! For instance..I raise chickens..you buy feed at the feed store correct? But it IS possible to grow your own feed..or at least enough to supplament your feed store ration!!
As I have stated before..Many sweeping changes begin with one small change..I am fond of saying that mine started with quilting and going back to using waxed paped to wrap sandwiches instead of plastic baggies. Since I started those two practices..I have made many more changes...This next one is going back to gardening..I used to grow almost all our own veggies and do all my own canning..I am going back to that again..or as much as I can. I was never one to pay attention to whether or not seeds were treated or untreated..whether they were hybrid tomatoe plants I bought or not..Recently I read and article on something called mangle beets..These beets apparently grow very large and woody..and are not very appetizing..so went ( for the most part) the way of the DoDo..HOwever..They make EXCELLENT stock feed!! Back in the day before most animals were fed on grain and corn ( animals like cattle should never be fed corn!!!) Stock was winter fed on a combination of hay and root stock..such as carrots..turnips and beets..these mangle beets have a nick name..
FODDER beets..why? Because they grow large and woody and animals..INCLUDING chickens..LOVE them!!! I decided to grow some this year..to supplement my chickens winter grain feed...But I found a dilema...where to find them????
You see..because they are no longer POPULAR with home canners and stores and market sellers...the seeds are not in demand..I had to send to SASKATCHEWN for my seeds!! So I have decided...I am going to start saving seeds when ever possible..but much to my chagrin..It has eluded me as to HOW to collect and save seeds. So I have found a wonderful website that tells you how!! Until last year I was not aware that saving seeds from a HYBRID plant..( isn't that a NICE name for genetic modification?) may result in a totally different plant!! So If I buy plants from the market that I cannot start on my own..I read the tag to make sure they are NOT hybrids!!
Here is the websit for saving seeds!
I truly hope this blogs helps others back to the path of simplicity!~
Last Spring my husband built me a chicken coop for my laying hens...The construction for laying hens..is somewhat important because they have to live in it all winter..and they also need to be kept safe from predators such as raccoons, skunks and coyotes. This coop is NOT insulated..but that will change before this coming winter...here is a step by step pictorial of how it was built..and other than the 2x4s.. and chicken wire..this coop was biult entirely out of recycled materials!! So although it is going under the "chicken raising Ideas" label..it could also go under waste not want not!!
HB's boss very obligingly gave them the weekend off (for a change!)
The weather was extremely obliging - more like mid summer than autumn.
So we went to the coast for what will probably be our last swim until late September or early October. Dragon enjoyed the water.Even the traffic was obliging. It must have been the best run down the mountain we've ever had - and back up later that afternoon too!
The water was warm, the wind was light and the swell was just the right height to make little waves for the girls to ride with their boogie boards. Dragon would have preferred larger surf but he seemed content with teasing and playing with his sisters.
HB managed to get these action shots of Dragon performing running twist-jumps from the grassy bank to the sandy beach a couple feet below. He certainly managed to 'get some in air' few of them!And here is the now-traditional scrapblog of Dragon's birthday photos. Use the arrows rather than the 'play' button - and click on the word 'scrapblog' if you'd like to view it in a larger format.