Thursday, March 31, 2011

Performance Photos

Anna's YAGP performance photos are finally up on the website.  We bought a few, but this one is my favorite.  She looks a bit sassy, doesn't she?

And here she is in reverse!  :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Poor Peter... all four of his wisdom teeth out yesterday!

He came over very early this morning (7:15!) for a little TLC.  I made green smoothies with an apple, pear, mango, kale, frozen peaches, frozen blueberries and apple cider (a lot of vitamins, no chewing required, and excellent left-overs for the chickens)...

We opened up the futon so he and Anna could completely relax while watching a movie.  Peter and Anna made soft and creamy scrambled eggs together.  And Crash gave Peter lots of puppy love...

Cute photo of the boys, isn't it?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back Home

Most of the snow at Anna's Little Farm is melted.  Anna went around the yard with her camera and found that many of her plants are starting to come alive again.

Strawberry Leaves




Mountain Pinks

We also found catmint and black-eyed susan sprouts and the tiniest little lemon balm leaves under the dead leaves from last year.  We left them covered for protection. Only one lavender didn't survive the winter.  Not too bad.

The highlight of the afternoon was finding an actual daffodil bud, the only bud out of only seven daffodils pushing up so far.  

We are looking forward to a spectacular daffodil display this year.  The bulb planting season was very long since the ground didn't freeze until November, so we waited and we were able to buy half-price daffodil bulbs.  We bought 200!  Most were planted by Anna and Michael.

The disappointment of the afternoon, although not entirely unexpected, is that the bunnies have been enjoying our tulips.  Note the chewed off leaf laying on the ground next to the plant.

We've never actually gotten a flower in the 4 years since we planted our tulip bulbs, only chewed leaves and flower stems.  

And finally, this post wouldn't be complete without a photo of Anna and her sheep. This is Lucy.

Someone is glad to be home!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ballet Class with Jose Manuel Carreno

What could be better than an angel food cupcake with strawberry filling and meyer lemon meringue from the Cake and Shake cart?

A ballet class taught by Jose Manuel Carreno!

A few hours after the class, Anna saw him at the competition venue.  He looked at her and said "I remember you."  (She must have been staring!)  I immediately made good use of my camera.  Definitely the high point of the week.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Fine Day in NYC

We spent as much time outside enjoying this beautiful 70-degree day as we could, between ballet classes and watching the competition.  All snacks were eaten in Washington Square Park...
Anna took her first trip on the subway in NYC to go to Alvin Ailey for a dance class...
Taking the subway is the kind of thing that can be overwhelming to a quiet and shy girl, but she managed it quite well, with the exception of a little problem getting through turnstile.  Here is an excerpt of our conversation...  
Me (having just walked through):  Anna, just slide the card and walk through.
Anna:  (Thud, the gate against her legs, it won't turn.)
Me:  Anna, slide the card and walk.
Anna:  (Thud, same problem.)
Me:  Oh my gosh, Anna, just slide the card and walk.
Anna:  (Thud, tears.)
Me (very slowly):  Anna... slide the card... and then... walk through the gate.
Anna:  Oh. (walks right through) I thought you meant to slide it and walk through at the same time.
After class at Alvin Ailey, we decided to take a taxi back to NYU so we wouldn't miss any of the competition.  Yikes - crazy driver!  My favorite line of the day, delivered while we were heading downtown in the taxi...
Anna:  I think I felt safer taking the subway.
We hung out in Washington Square Park, had a long and pleasant conversation with someone who made Anna start to think that New Yorkers were actually kind of nice (turns out he was from Cambridge, Mass), walked around just to walk, enjoyed watching the dogs run around in the dog park, stopped into a vintage shop (couldn't resist), had a great dinner at an Italian Restaurant, and found little bits of beauty all over the city today.
Looking forward to another wonderful day with my girl tomorrow.

Monday, March 14, 2011


No, not spring. Or daylight savings (although we know that's here because we were an hour late arriving to pick up hay Sunday morning).

Our wool picker arrived today!  We have been wanting one for so long and researching them carefully.  We finally made our decision and ordered a beautiful Fancy Kitty bench picker.  What is a wool picker, you ask?  It is a really dangerous-looking tool that combs fleece.  There are over 350 steel nails divided between the base and a movable sled that you manually slide over the base.  The nail heads overlap a little, grab the wool, and loosen the fiber.  Any vegetation in the wool falls out during the process.  Here is a close-up.  Yikes...
As soon as we got home from ballet and saw the box, we opened it.  After one look at those sharp nails, Anna decided that I should do the wool picking. However, she couldn't resist something having to do with wool and the fiber arts for very long, so she finally tried it and ran some of Miss Fudge's washed fleece through the picker.  

After a little bit of practice, Anna was loving it.  The first pass or two takes some effort to slide the sled over the top, but the nails are angled so that as you keep working it back and forth, the fibers get fluffed and moved to the end of the box. 
Here is Anna weighing the results of her labor.  She is a true business woman.
All that fluff only weighed 1/2 oz!  Back to the picker, Anna!

Mimi's sweat shop is back in business!  We'll be spending a lot of time picking wool with our Fancy Kitty over the next 2 months in preparation for the Web's Fleece Market on May 14.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Goodbye Snow!

Well, not quite yet.  We still can't see any bare ground here at Anna's Little Farm, but we're getting close!  This weekend was warm and rainy, and yesterday's drive into work was a mess - flooding everywhere in Amherst (it's amazing what a difference a few hundred feet in elevation makes)...

This morning, on the south side of the house, we could see some boulders, and it almost looks like we'll see the ground right under the butterfly bushes soon...

In the meantime, we've been putting together our Lee Valley Gardening catalog order and stocking up on gardening magazines.  Please stay tuned for the next post where I say how much I miss the snow because all the mud is so disgusting!