Thursday, July 30, 2015

Daisy's Chickens, An Update

 Daisy finally got all her ducks in a row, chicken-wise. The coop got built, and the birds got purchased (you may remember that all twenty-four of her chicks were victims of a racoon in the spring).

She's got five Barred Rocks (three are going to the fair), three Cinnamon Queens, and two Aracaunas.

And one rooster.

I can tell this is going to keep being funny. 

Also, Dulcie is thriving on her bottle regimen. She especially enjoyed this week because we house-sat for the neighbors and milked all their goats--and brought the milk home for her. It's so much better than formula.

 It's so good, you want to bathe in it. Shower in it, really.

And Corky continues handsome.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Happy Eighteen for Bella

Eighteen today, wow! 

For the longest time she was my youngest baby. Also, for the longest time she's seemed so grown up. Happy Birthday, dear daughter!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A New Room for Clara

Clara's in the process of moving to a downstairs bedroom. Once upon a time it belonged to Giles, then to Felix. They have both officially Moved Out, and it doesn't make a great guest bedroom, but Clara wanted it.

First she wanted to freshen it up. She ripped out the 1974 gold shag carpet from the closet, painted the closet interior a fresh white, then got her father to lay down a laminated floor (so easy, you just put them down like stickers. This is just the closet, mind you). 

She's painting all her furniture a fresh coat of white, out on various porches, and I've taken on painting the floor of the room. It had a scuff or two. Or forty. You can see it with one coat, and it gets another this weekend. Once all this is put back together, it'll be a lovely place.

And, Daisy's got her heart's desire: Clara's upstairs room for her own.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Squishy Sister

Bottom line: Sister is the best kitten of all time. 
As soft as a chinchilla, squishy, silky, and boneless. And she sits up to drink out of a spoon.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

My Only Earrings

I wear these every single day--and take them out every afternoon to swim with Daisy (4:30, be there or be square).

These were my grandmother's pearls. A month ago I lost one, and coming through the living room I said to Clara, who was sitting on the couch, "I've lost an earring--let me know if you see it."

"Isn't that it?" she asked, pointing to the floor by our feet. Drama over.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Anniversary Roses

Twenty-six years for us this month, happy thought!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Patchwork in Ice Cream Colors

 These will go in my etsy shop soon. It's a patchwork kind of week!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Crepe Myrtles Through Wavy Glass

The crepe myrtles are blooming outside the living room window again.

Monday, July 20, 2015

After Camping

We had our fun, and now it's time to deal with the camping aftermath. You know--the bins of equipment that need sorting out, the tent that must be set up to dry, the sleeping bags that get aired, the laundry and the laundry and the laundry.

But it was so much fun! We did an afternoon float down a lazy little river--after we'd pass through the "rapids" we'd shelve the canoes on the gravel bar and then go down the rapids over and over again in our life jackets.

Felix was able to join us and he slept in his hammock strung between two trees--fortunately. Because he was able to stop the raccoon who was stealing the little ice chest which was stuffed with glow-sticks, and emitting a strange light (ask the eleven-year olds).

Back to normal life now--cutting the okra, helping Bella buy a car (finally!), changing the bird cage, and calling people on the phone.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Simplicity 1080: The Bark Cloth Iteration

I had a lonely bark cloth curtain panel floating around, the only one I'd ever seen at the thrift store. Perfect condition. That fabric is so soft and spongy!

The lower part of the skirt is pale blue linen, and the pockets are cotton print scraps.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Daisy and Dixie and Dulcie

We had a sad weekend around here. Saturday morning Daisy went down to let the goats out of the barn into the big pasture, and her beloved pet (and new mother) Dixie Trixx was dead. She had just developed some symptoms of illness, and had had one dose of penicillin, but it was too late.

Her little kid, Dulcie, was just sixteen days old. Daisy had to start in immediately with bottle feeding. Dulcie spurns the bagged formula but loves the fresh goat's milk we get from the neighbor.

Unfortunately, we can't let her out in the big pasture with the other two goats, because she gets underfoot of the donkeys and the cow, and she will get kicked. We've seen it happen twice and it's horrifying. So for now, she's either penned up in a little pen with the other two goats (so she can remember she's not human) . . .

or she's inside in the air-conditioning, while the other goats get a chance to browse the pasture.

Either way, she seems very happy. We are so sad to lose Dixie, but very grateful for Dulcie.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Walking Towards Sister

It's harder than you'd think to get a picture of the two of them together, because when Frederick heads her way, the kitten scampers off. It's unrequited love.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Daisy's Eleventh

Today we celebrated Daisy's eleventh birthday. 

First, I called the midwife who delivered her to thank her (yet) again. Good job, Maureen!

Then I made miniature strawberry Pavlovas, and a flourless chocolate cake, and a lot of tiny ham sandwiches

Then Daisy had a gaggle of girls over to swim in the pool, and after dinner we had cake and presents. She got two gift cards to use at the feed store, a book about chickens, and a book about Gilbert and Sullivan. And some sealing wax.

And that's how you turn eleven.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Making Yourself at Home

I am very fond of Jane's Seymour's book Making Yourself at Home. It's all about styling your home with what you have, and what you enjoy.  Even though my taste is nothing like hers (except for the lilies!), it's still inspiring to be reminded of various joys of homemaking. Setting a pretty table, arranging the dishes in your cupboards, displaying garden produce, making art with your children, laying out your favorite books, setting up little vignettes, cutting flowers, and looking around your home with fresh eyes..

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Simplicity 1080: A Smock in Linen

I made the Dottie Angel smock up again, this time with a linen top and a cotton print bottom. The pockets are Liberty lawn that I bought in Paris a couple of years ago (see: best trip ever). I used the same fabric for both the pocket and its trim, and set them off with a bit of welting, which is just bias binding folded in half and used like piping.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Kitten Life

She's fallen asleep in my sewing project.

Also, Frederick (the African Gray parrot) has totally developed a crush on her. He calls, "Kitten, kitten," all day in his most seductive tone. When I hold her up next to his cage he hustles over, puts his head down, and croons. And when she puts her little velvet paws between the bars of the cage, he rubs his bill on them.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Rusty Hydrangeas and Their Reflection

Clara, once again.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Fourth of July

Daisy made sure everyone wore the right colors.

Bella supervised the smoke bombs. 

Sister watched from the window.

Then we went to a picnic on a farm.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Storm Blowing In

Thursday, July 02, 2015

In the Pasture

What's going on in the pasture these days? I'm glad you asked, because I want to show you pictures of the world's sweetest baby donkey.

Burley (sigh). 

He loves us and we love him. In fact he's kind of maddeningly affectionate. He likes to give us about .05 inches of space. I've learned to wave my arm behind me when I walk away (like an annoyed donkey) to get him to give me some room.

 He's all about the love.

Next we've got great news from Dixie Trixx--she safely delivered a single baby girl a week ago! Her name is Dulcie and she's just at the stage where she's hopping and springing and boinging around, just like you've seen on the internet.

Though we had watched Dixie carefully for Signs of Labor so we could keep her shut in her pen--we were worried that she was too small to deliver safely--she went out into the sumac one afternoon and came back out with a healthy baby. Daisy cried with joy.

Finally, I've started trying to clicker train Dolly, our full-grown guardian donkey. It's a very slow process. The first several days she ran away when I clicked the clicker. She's a little more cooperative now, but definitely gives the impression she's not interested in cutting any deals with me.

Also, she still loves her ash pile.

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