Friday, January 29, 2010

Welcome Spring (?)

Anna is an optimist.  She finally erased her "Merry Christmas" sign on her chalk board and drew a new one...

Today it is 19 degrees outside, with wind gusts up to 50 mph.  But it's sunny and flowery inside!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


We had a surprise snowy morning today and spent a lot of time outdoors with the animals, especially sweet Buttercup, our last Runner Duck. 

Her buddy Jemima (a male, named before we knew) passed away over Thanksgiving weekend, and little Buttercup has been lonely, even with her chicken and sheep friends.  So Anna gives her extra love and attention (and corn!).  Today, we thought we might give her a big bucket of water to play in, instead of the usual heated waterer which is only 12 inches square and 2 inches deep -  definitely not enough water for a duck to splash and dunk!

When we filled the bucket, Anna splashed her fingers in it to tempt Buttercup, and something funny happened.  Buttercup had an instant reaction to the sound of water, and even though she was standing 3 feet from the bucket, she started to "dunk" her head, preen her feathers, waggle her tail feathers - just like she does  when she is in the water!

Then she stood up, spread and flapped her wings, and puffed up her feathers to "dry off."
Silly duck!  She never did actually go into the water bucket!  But we put some cracked corn next to the bucket and she happily took the food with her mouth, dropped it in the water, and then dunked her entire head and neck under to scrounge for the corn.  Now that's what ducks love to do!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Tutu and Bodice are Here

This was an exciting weekend for Anna.  We went to the dance store in Newton and picked up her tutu and bodice for the YAGP competition in February.  The bodice is beautiful - a lovely rosy color with beaded trim.

It fit Anna well in the length and waist, but it was clearly made for someone with a bustline.  It actually fit me, although it was a little tight.  No, there will be no photos of Mimi in a tutu!  I've already taken the trim off the front and basted the two sides at the front panel  After I sew those seams, I have two more side seams at the top to take in (currently quickly basted just to get an idea), and then will stitch the trim back on.

The tutu was a perfectly flat pancake.  It has some settling down to do, and I have to add a couple rows of butt ruffles.  I pinned the first row on last night, and Anna helped by stretching the fabric while I pinned.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a ball-tipped sewing machine needle for the job, so I will sew the ruffle on tonight.

I think it will be absolutely beautiful on Anna when it is finished!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Almond Tuesday

What can you do with a cup of almonds?

Last night, Anna and I made some almond milk, which left us with a lot of wet, almond grounds. And because Tuesday is one of my mornings to stay home with Anna, we had some time to put those almond grounds to good use...

We made little almond cakes with some added sugar, flour, butter and egg whites (so tasty with a cup of tea!), and turned the rest of the almond grounds into almond paste, using an equal amount of sugar, a little corn syrup to hold it together, and a teaspoon of almond extract.

I think it came out a little too sweet, so into the freezer it went to wait until we have more almond grounds from the next time we make almond milk.

Yummmmy morning!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Back to CSU

This was Peter's last weekend before heading back to Colorado State. He and Anna had a fun and frolicking last day together playing board games, hanging out (including hiding from me under Anna's bed - not quite sure how Peter managed to fit under there!), and of course, sledding...

This was followed by some homemade pecan cookies and hot chocolate. The perfect end to a perfect last day together!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Our first day with a blog

Hi and welcome to our new blog!

We've been talking about this for a long time and have finally decided to start blogging! There are a lot of things we like to do together and thought they might be interesting to others. We'll be posting about trying to live a simple life on our little farm, our animals, homeschooling and the things we make and bake.
This is our dog, Crash:
We'll also post some of Anna's artwork, as she is quite a little artist, and we will probably post about Anna's "work" from time to time, which is ballet. I won't talk about my "real" job at all, since our time at home together is much more interesting!

We hope you'll come back and read our blog again because we'll be adding more to it as we figure everything out!