Thursday, January 29, 2009
I can see the horses waiting at the gate for breakfast, the squirrel who races daily back and forth across the yard, the moose who spent the night at the edge of the lawn, and the new-fallen snow giving everything a clean bright look, as welcomed as a soft blanket thrown over your lap. Its a yard full of blessings to behold.
As I was thinking about all of this, this morning, I remembered another small blessing. My bird-feeder. I love it. I used to positively ignore it, and it was only my soft-hearted husband who cared to nurture and watch our birds. I guess I was too busy to stop and see.
But now I truly love it. The sense of movement, of color, of LIFE...just outside my window. Its amazing and wonderful.
I captured just a bit of it to share with you. These are male Pine Grosbeaks, each trying to establish his own authority on the feeder. Their colors are RED and VIVID, and simply lovely! I wish you could sit here in my dining room with me, have a cup of Chai tea, and enjoy watching them....my snowy morning glories.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
1. Getting it behind me. I was so nervous! I had never shown a dog before, my Dandelion had never been IN a show, and there was so much to do and remember!
2. Being in the ring! I thought it would go slow, but the classes went so quickly. I loved being in there with her, and showing with other Corgi owners.
3. Hanging out with my kennel club. Everyone was so nice and supportive, and taught me so much!
4. Seeing all the other dogs! The girls and I wandered from ring to ring, watching all of our favorite breeds. We especially love Dalmatians, Labs, and Shelties.
5. People watching! Some of the other handlers/owners were SO intense and serious! I wish I had pictures of them using curling irons...YES! Curling irons! On their dogs! And straighteners! Hee hee.
6. Getting my feet wet. Now I feel like I know what to expect, I'm learning about the point system, and I can really improve for the next shows.
7. I didn't think I would like showing, and I found out that I loved it! :)
8. We got a Reserve Champion! Everyone says that is awesome, for a young puppy and a rookie handler. The person who won champion was the breeder of Dandelion's dad, and she has been showing for a very long time. She was SO happy about Dandelion, and took lots of pictures of her.
9. Getting to stay a whole weekend in Anchorage was SO fun, because we usually have to rush in and out of town. We were able to see friends and family, and really spend some time with them. That was WONDERFUL.
10. Getting home! I was so exhausted. LOL.
I only had my camera one day, and my Chena did not get any good pictures of us while we were showing. So here is our ONE picture, taken by Penelope with my Blackberry. Oh well!
Monday, January 26, 2009
I was running out of patience with my over-tired over-road-tripped (?) children, and before we all disolved in tears I raced to find this and we all sat and watched it and laughed together.
I hope you can do the same with your children! And maybe..just maybe..they will see you as more human and realize you ARE sane, other moms DO feel the same way, and other children DO suffer along with them. Ha!
Turn off the player at the bottom of my page, and enjoy this silly song, that I believe we moms can all relate to quite easily.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
This is called The Don't Song.
First, scroll down and turn off my player at the bottom, so that Norah Jones will stop singing for a moment.
Then, go get your husband. Make sure he is really sleepy, well-fed, and happy. Then make him watch this with you. I made mine! Its pretty FUNNY!
Above: Beautiful fireweed near our lake.
My old buddy, Daffodil. I miss that girl.
Four new boy cousins! A huge bundle of sweetness.
Chena and a fuzzy friend....choosing our new bunnies!
Me and the girls with our mini horses, Spring and Autumn.
Katchemak Bay in the Homer Harbor, on the way to go halibut fishing. Yippee! (I seriously love halibut fishing and halibut EATIN!)
Penelope and Spring. We were teaching Spring to "sit" like a dog. Mildly successful...
Monday, January 19, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Which is why we were eager to replace Matilda (our old vacuum) when she broke down, leaving us only The Snake to use. We sure didn't want to see The Snake everyday. Its only a last resort. So we needed a new vacuum and fast. And that is when we got the Dyson. Its the best. And its purty too.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I suppose the reason I am thinking about it so much is that for the past two and a half weeks its been at least ten below zero and has gone as low as 27 below. And the way I have been coping is to find all the simple pleasures I can, while staying warm in my house. I never realized I was so into cozy, but now I can see that its a big deal to me. I find ways to pour coziness into my life a few times daily.
My house is so cozy. I mean it. I really cannot remember being in another house that felt as cozy as mine. Its not real fancy, but boy is it cozy. Everyone who visits remarks about it. The house practically pulls you into a giant hug when you walk in the door. What makes it so? Well, its pretty big, so its not a "small" kind of cozy. Like when you were a child and curled up in a bean bag. When you walk in the living room is large, but rather more like two rooms, divided by couches. So it doesn't feel stark and empty. You feel the warmth of the woodstove and its roaring fire. There is a couch sitting in front of it, the kind of couch that you sink into like a bog. Its piled high with soft fleecy blankets, and a few pillows. Its a magic couch. It can cause a nap to happen in about five seconds flat. When you sit on it, you also might get a soft snuggly cat on your lap in a matter of moments. That makes it super cozy!
The other part of the living room has a large sectional couch, super plush and comfy. Its large enough to hold the whole family at once, where we all might snuggle in and listen to Daddy read a nightly chapter from Roald Dahl's latest. Its where I go to hold a daughter in each arm and listen to the silly chatter and wild dreams and schemes. My daughters are warm and cozy, especially with sleepy mumbles and soft Christmas pajamas.
I love my pink roses, a string of tea lights across my windows. When I want just a hint of light, they provide a cozy glow of twinkle, not enough to read by but enough to think or pray by.
I love a cozy cup of tea. I keep a whole basket of all kinds of exotic teas. Each smell and taste has a different way of taking me away, and freeing me from thoughts of stress or worry. I might go for an orangey blackish tea, or a teasing mint, or exotic melon, or vanilla, or Chai, or Alaskan rosehip, or some fancy thing I cannot pronounce that I have stolen from a hotel room.
Music is cozy too. I like various classical composers, or a Celtic wave of instruments lapping softly at my ears. No lyrics. I make up my own.
I love my favorite robe, zipped to the perfect spot near my chin but not too high. I have fuzzy socks but not slippers. I like how you don't have to curl your toes to keep fuzzy socks on, unlike a pair of too-big slippers. Too-big slippers are not cozy.
Its cozy to talk to my husband, when our day is done and we are sleepily discussing anything and nothing. Sitting in our warm living room, maybe we have just come in from feeding our horses and the chill is gone from our cheeks and we are just enjoying this quiet time. Its so cozy. And I am at peace. Of course, snow falling softly outside adds to the feeling of escaping something, and arriving in a safe place.
I am way into cozy.
What are your ways of finding your cozy place?
Saturday, January 3, 2009
In Febrary we finished up the play, and got to stay home for awhile. We spent lots of time just hanging out with our horses, and playing in the snow.
Chena went to horse camp in May. This year they said she was ready to move up from Junior Camp, and go to Advanced Senior Camp. I was not sure I was ready though! She ended up going, and was the second youngest camper there. All the other girls were older teens. She took our new horse, Whisper, and did just fine. In fact, she started Whisper in jumping, and ended up winning Reserve High Point Champion. She was pretty excited and cannot wait for next year.
Penelope went to horse camp in June. This was her first year to go to horse camp. She did great! She took our horse Summer, and handled him beautifully. It was a big job for her to do all of his care by herself, and she learned a lot. I stayed down in Ninilchik during both girls' camps, so I could be near if anything went wrong with either of our horses.
Penelope entered the horse show at the end of the camp week, and earned blue ribbons in each event she entered. I was so proud of her and Summer for all of their effort and progress!
As soon as we returned from Ninilchik, I received word that our new puppy was ready to be delivered! We bought a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy, and named her Dandelion. Her full name is Mavrik's Dandy Little Lion. We were SO EXCITED to finally get her home with us!
Also in June we had the best Father's Day ever, when we visited the Moose Research Center. It is a facility run by our Alaska Fish and Game, and they raise moose for research, at huge pens in a remote area. This year they had some new orphaned calves to bottle feed and raise, and we were invited out to the pens to help socialize the babies, since Michael is one of their pilots.
It was seriously one of the MOST MEMORABLE experiences we had all year. We got to hug them, kiss them, and play with them! They acted like a soft fuzzy leggy litter of hooved puppies. We had NO idea that they would be so lovable! We will never forget Beverly, Jose, Nugget, Yuri, Volga, and Minnie. Here is Penelope taking a nap in the moss with Nugget (10 days old)
July was fun and busy! We spent many many hours playing in our lake with friends and neighbors, especially on the EXTRA HUGE Slip-N-Slide our neighbor made on his hill.
The girls loved playing American Girl dolls out on the lawn with their fellow AG lovers.
We had our annual family picnic, with over 100 people at our house on the Fourth of July. This was our 11th year! Wow.
We had our sawdust money pit we always have. Its a huge hit with the little guys (and the big guys too!)
Later in July, Penelope took her bunny, Mossy Meadow, to a local day care, and did a presentation, as part of her 4-H project requirements.
We went to Fairbanks in August. Its about a 12 hour drive, but the scenery is so beautiful, I really love it. We took Dandelion with us, and drive with my mom in her car. It was a wonderful trip!
September on our lake. I took all of our girls' "school pictures" near our home
We went to the miniature horse farm in October. Here we are with Mukluk's (Sweet Troubles Roscoe) father.
Penelope started English riding, and Chena continued her jumping at Ridgeway Farm.
In November we added a mini horse named Mukluk to our Litzen Zoo. Here he is on his first day here. He's sooooo cute and sooo much fun!
December was a flurry of activity. We started out way too busy, and learned through trial and error to slow down and enjoy the season. Here's my cutie, Penelope, on Christmas Eve at my Nana and Poppa's house.
And there we are! What a year! Looks like we had a LOT of fun with animals, kids, travel, and friends! How blessed indeed.
And now I'm off and running again, to see our friend's new litter of puppies they just added to their 27 dog mushing team!
Happy New Year!