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20 July 2014

Carus and Scout

A friend has been giving Carus riding lessons and another friend is allowing her to ride her horse, Scout.


Scout is such a sweet horse! We love him.  Carus was exclaiming the other day "my horse!" when I tried to pet him. She halters him and leads him into the arena.  Then she brushes him and cleans his hooves and helps with saddling and putting the bridle on.  


She is doing really well.  This week she was released from the lead and had to do some exercises where she would stop Scout with his front legs as close to the orange cone as she could - and she did really well with it stopping him at just the right moment several times.  


And it hasn't taken Scout long to figure out that time with Carus means cookies. 

I am so thankful for good GREAT friends!

05 July 2014

Independence Day

We hosted a BBQ yesterday - good food and better company - made me happy.  

But I found a lot of contentment later that day, after the BBQ, watching fireworks with Carus.  Adam didn't want to go and Robert stayed home to keep an eye on Leia who does not like the booms at all.  

Near dusk, we went down to the school. It has a very large field; actually it is more like five very large fields together.  The town's firefighters block off half of it and put on a fireworks show for the town for free -- they do accept donations.  I have no idea how much ordinance they have but they do put on a good show for about 30 minutes.

The streets surrounding the school have cars and trucks parked along them, extending blocks and blocks away. Those closest to the field have people arranged in chairs around them or sitting in the truck's beds.  The houses nearby have their families and their friends arranged on blankets and chairs in their yards, porches, and decks, and in driveways.  These are big fireworks that can be seen for miles, and heard even further.  

The fields of the school start getting visitors around mid day with those wanting to stake out their spots early and continue to fill as the sun sets.  They have a sound system set up with music playing -- a mixture of pop, country, and rock -- and surrounding those speakers are dancers, toddlers and young kids in the charge of older siblings with the occasional adult shaking it up with those half their size.  All are dancing in that way where it doesn't even matter if your rhythm matches the music, all the joy is just in the moving.  

Blankets and chairs are spread out in groups, and there is lively conversation and laughter everywhere.  There are also dancers, one or two, spread throughout the groups here and there.  There is a long line for the one port-a-potty. (The other two are blocked off. I don't think it was done on purpose, just sort of happened).  There doesn't seem to be any negative feelings - no complaints about bugs (because mosquitoes had a smorgasbord to choose from), no complaints about the long privy line, and very minimal childish whines of "when will it start?" There was a line for a food cart with firefighters dishing out refreshments.  I didn't go closer so I don't know what exactly what was available.  The line was long enough for it to appear popular though. 

As the sun started to dip behind the mountains, the excitement built.  The buzz of conversation took on an electrical charge, each person feeding off the other's anticipation.

On the portion of the field that was blocked off, firefighters had been hard at work setting up the cakes of display fireworks and arranging their safety equipment -- just in case.  (One year there was an incident where one bundle tipped over and shot the mortar off along the ground. No injuries or fires, but a reminder of how dangerous explosives can be.)  Their hook and ladder fire truck was next to the field with the ladder suspended and a large flag hanging from the bucket. The flag barely waved, there wasn't much wind.  It wasn't a very hot day - warm, with a light breeze that was dying as the sun went to bed and the humidity was rising.  

Finally, the sun went down, shortly after the predicted start time of 9:30 p.m. and as the Star Spangled Banner started to play over the speakers, the fireworks began, both coming to a crescendo together.

The show continued for about 30 minutes with a lot of the usual suspects and a few pyrotechnic displays I haven't seen before, with the lights of each glitter and flare illuminating the smoke trails of the ones before it, which was lovely itself.

At the end of the show, Carus and I packed up the blankets we brought to sit on and cover with (prior years got a lot cooler than this year) and joined the crowd slowly exiting the field to walk the 5 or 6 blocks back to where I parked the car, and headed home.

(The video below is a teeny bit of the fireworks at the beginning of the show. If you can't get it to play, click here to view it on Instagram. )

27 June 2014

Happenings

I'm procrastinating going to bed.  I don't want to. Though I'm tired and I'm sure I'll be out like a light the second I actually lay down and close my eyes.

I'm procrastinating a lot lately.

The going-ons around here:

Garden is doing great. I've harvested more lettuce than we could eat and gave some away.  As well as some carrots, kolhrabi, and chives. The radishes are pretty much gone.  Broccoli florets are starting to show up so I'll soon have those to put up.

Green beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers are in.  As well as some herbs, more strawberries, and pumpkin.


(slideshow of Yard and Garden 2014 Flickr album, click arrows on either side of photo)

The kids have been out of school for the summer and rotting their brains with too much TV, video games, and other fun - like mustache straws.


Carus has been learning to ride thanks to some amazing friends (who loan horses and teaching).


Robert and I spent our 13th anniversary at the beach and it was a GLORIOUS weekend.


And of course, there is work and other boring stuff.


28 May 2014

So you know...

Well apparently because Flickr some changes to how their photo embedding works and now the photos I post here do not show up in emails.

SO!  Until I figure something else out...

If you'd like to see the photos, you will need to click on over to the blog to see the photos in the latest post (this post does not have any pictures).

**Each email will have a statement at the bottom that looks like
--
Posted By Blogger to Just a little . . . R & R at 5/26/2014 09:53:00 PM

and that statement contains a link directly to the current post. 

26 May 2014

Radishes

So far I've only been able to harvest radishes out of the garden.  And I got a kitchen scale to weigh my harvests this year because I'm curious...or weird...or crazy...or all of the above.  I just think it would be fun to see how many pounds of produce I can grow.



This 5 ounces brings my total radish harvest total this year to 13 ounces (harvesting 4 oz twice before).  I don't have much more radishes to harvest and I'm not planting more as I have green bean and tomato seedlings to go there.

Or I will when these pop up.



I plan on planting radishes again in the fall, along with my other cool weather crops, and this time I'll try successive planting.  This amount of radishes is just about right for us for 3-5 days depending on the amount of salads and snacking, so I could plant a couple rows for harvesting about a week apart.  Each square in my bed holds 6 rows of radishes.



We removed the hoops from the bed this past week too as we are staying above freezing at night and are in the 70s and 80s with the occasional 90 during the day (Fahrenheit).

Garden bed 1 was planted without string lines to help me keep things neat and after this weekend of really nice weather it has gone crazy!  I will be putting in lines soon because bed 2 looks so much neater.



The broccoli was supposed to be ready to harvest this week, according to a tracking app based on when I planted the seeds, and it's no where near that.  The broccoli is in several places, but the largest ones are in the back there, taller than the clump of kohlrabi that I never thinned out.  I have problems thinning out seedlings - I don't want to throw away a plant that has potential of growing food. Which probably goes hand in hand with my problems throwing food out of the fridge. I don't like wasting food and will do all I can to prevent, including not thinning seedlings.  It might take longer for those kohlrabi to mature to harvest-able size, but I haven't had problems (yet) with harvesting the bigger ones and letting the littler ones stick around longer to be picked later.  (Speaking from experience growing radishes and carrots for a few years now.)


19 April 2014

Faire In The Grove

This year I'm going to have a little photo booth at the Faire In The Grove in Forest Grove, Oregon Saturday, May 3rd and Sunday May 4th. 

It's an annual event held at McMenamins Grand Lodge.

Here are a few photos from a couple years ago (I didn't take my camera last year) to give you an idea of a fraction of all the fun stuff there.  The kids love the actual fencing lessons with real swords, foils, and rapiers and the sword fighting arena for the kids where they have paddle swords that allow you to smack the crap out of your sibling and not do any damage.  

The merchants have fabric, costumes, jewelry, candles, soaps, weapons, tools, and more.  I got an amazing hair stick there a few years ago, which I've unfortunately lost.  I put it somewhere I wouldn't loose it. There are demonstrations of how to make beads for jewelry, how they did wood working without power tools, and others.  So much to learn and see and do.  

There is also a battle competition that is always amusing to watch.  

I would LOVE to see all my friends and family come out and have some fun (well, at least those local) - and stop by my booth and have a photo taken with your swag. 

16 April 2014

Yard and Garden

Garden view for March 2014


These photos are a few weeks old.  I took them thinking of a blog post and then didn't get around to doing it so now they're old and things have changed a bit. (Flickr has changed some things and the below photo is now slides - just hover over to see the arrows to click through the photos in the Yard and Garden 2014 set on Flickr.)(You might not be able to do that if viewing this post in your email.)



The garden bed furthest from the gate was planted first.  I planted carrots, radishes, kohlrabi, lettuce, and broccoli.  Those have all come up; the lettuce and kohlrabi the first to make an appearance.  I planted the other bed this last last weekend with the same (minus kohlrabi because I was out of those seeds) and to make things a bit more organized (and to help keep track of where I planted) I marked out sections with twine.


Garden view for April 2014


I have the hoop houses open during the day and closed at night (if it's predicted to be below 40F).  It's getting about 30 degrees warmer inside when all closed up which means I could have them up this fall and growing things until November or December.  Then next spring I should be able to start in February or the beginning of March.

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