Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Horse...Meet Duvall!

Its a long crazy story, but for now I just want to say we have a new family member! He is a beautiful registered Polish Arabian gelding, named Duvall. We are all in love with him already, and he just got here!

He's settling in great, he really loves Mukluk the mini. They had fun getting to know each other.

Chena and Penelope rode him for the first time today, I got to ride him before we bought him, and Michael can't wait to go out on him.

Friends already!

He had no trouble getting to know Summer, in about ten minutes they were scratching each other's necks in perfect contentment. Silly geldings.

He's quite the guy...he has a fun goofy friendly personality, and he is very curious. Super sweet, and well trained with a willing energetic spirit. We are going to have so much fun with him!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It was a Drive By Shooting

The dogs were starting to drive this little orphan crazy, so as he went running by I started shooting!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Its a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I love fall, the way the colors of autumn flow up a hill, each one just a shade different enough to set off the next beautifully. I am soaking up this scenery into my very pores, to hopefully last me until the long winter is gone and trees will flutter with leaves once again.

Kenai River, near Cooper Landing

Tern Lake, at the Seward "Y"

Friday, October 9, 2009

School pictures...Chena!

Time for Chena's annual "school" pictures as well! Boy, has she GROWN since last fall. Now she is not only wearing my shoes, she has outgrown most of them. :)

Since her buddy, "Buddy" is such a big part of her life, we took him along to include in some of her pictures. She just adores him. ( Buddy is our neighbor's dog, and she walks him two to three times a day)

She loves hats, luckily..since I have been putting them on her since before she had any hair. Everyone used to say to me when she was a toddler "How do you get her to keep those cute hats on?" and I'd tell them "I tell her, leave your hat on!" and she does. (although one time she had the sweetest little hat that looked like a strawberry, and when she was seven months she yanked it off of her head and threw it out of her stroller when I wasn't looking at the Washington State Fair. Never found it)

Anyway, here's Chena Danae, at 12.

Loves- horses...anything to do with horses but especially JUMPING. Also loves training, riding without tack, dressage, trail riding, and especially enjoys hanging out on horseback with her horsie buddies. Also loves reading, (speed reader!) walking Buddy, science, basketball, games, drawing, climbing trees, playing with Mukluk, her pets, her vaulting team, her 776 Gals club, babysitting, mom/daughter lunch and shopping dates, swimming, and loves loves loves baking and cooking.

Hates- thrift store shopping, putting on a coat in cold weather, or rain gear if its raining, avacado dip, most kinds of cheese (except on pizza then its fine and good) being interrupted in the middle of a good book, running out of baking supplies, spelling, super long plane rides, socks, going to bed, making her bed, organizing!

Especially good at- riding and showing, making special dinners for her family, making food "pretty", running fast, writing stories and poems, memorizing scripture, drawing horses and landscapes, logical thinking, helping Dad work on planes, planning events for her friends and making things happen, public speaking/presentations, keeping mom on the schedule, getting up waaaay early!

Friendship skills and qualities- full of compassion, energetic, enthusiastic, fair, funny, quick-witted, peace-keeper, forgiving (to a fault), soft-hearted, sweet, kind, loyal friend to her little sister, always thinking of special things to do for people, especially those going through hard times.

Quirks- likes to dress up in aprons and skirts to go out and play "pioneer girl", pick berries, climb trees, etc. Hates the color pink, loses her stuff everywhere she goes, loves arranging her school desk, different every day, needs to know the daily schedule, especially what time we are leaving the house (drives mom batty), saver and hoarder of money, but will give it away, never ties her shoes, falls off of things, like chairs in the middle of stool, couch, whatever..she can fall off of it.

Favorites: the color orange, Toby Mac music, her best friend Sadie, moose roast and potatoes, Cotton Candy Kidz Cream milkshakes, pizza crusts, babysitting jobs, her Wintec saddle, Buddy, soft pajama pants, Fourth of July, our cabin, Janet, Jillie, and Lilah Bean.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Growing, Growing, Gone!


As crazy at it sounds, we have been growing mushrooms in our upstairs shower. No, not because there is mold there because I need to scrub my shower....I'm talking real, live, mushrooms. :)

Its a science unit we are doing, all about mushrooms. We have been doing spore prints, taking classes and workshops, making charts, going on hunts, scavenger hunts, mushroom "stamping" and more. I did a class and there I built a take-home kit to grow Oyster mushrooms on straw. In a bag. Swinging in my shower. Well several times a day, then we move them right outside the shower. They do best there, because they need humidity, 95% in fact, and we can mist them several times a day.

It took about eight days, and then we saw them start to spring to action. First, the bag turned white, as the innoculated mycelium (on sterilized rye berry) began to spread throughout the straw and ripped up cardboard pieces. Next, the holes in the bag (evenly spaced, that we had poked in the bag) filled, and the mushrooms POKED right on out of the holes!

They doubled in size every day. At times I would stop in my tracks, as I re-entered the room after only a few hours...and they had POPPED out even more. Jaw-dropping! Truly amazing! Wonderful and a bit freaky.

Well today is the day of harvest. We will carefully cut the biggest ones off, and fry them in oil and garlic. Then they will have another "fruiting" and up to three more after that.

Doncha love science?