Life, Recently

I suppose in the grand scheme of things, little has actually happened. We’ve established a routine over the last few weeks, and it’s been kind of nice having a semblance of predictability. The kids always do better when they know what to expect in a day, and I’m finding I do too.

So, there was this wedding. The bride, my dear sister-in-law, asked to have all the nieces and nephews in the wedding. Very brave of her. All things considered, the kids did smashingly well! Sometimes literally. :-D


I’ll let you try to figure out which four are mine, but in the unlikely event you need some hints, LK is the oldest.


IMG_0899_resize IMG_0949_resize

My parents drove out for the wedding, so we got some good visiting time in with them. They brought some things with them, including a couple new puzzles for the wee folk.


And this is what happens when Pokado builds a “nest”:


We’ve had several strings of thunderstorms over the last couple months, and rainy days often mean tunnels and caves.


Otherwise our weather has been hanging out around 90° F, and in the mornings and evenings the kids get to play on the deck. Well, most of them.


Arc doesn’t always get to go out with them, but he takes it well.

The heat has been wonderful for my new rose, which my MIL gave me for my birthday. I was excited to hear it had purple blossoms, because you know, purple. I’ve gotten three flowers off it so far, and I’m so excited because each shade was DIFFERENT! The first one was almost a pink purple, the second was a true lavender, and the third I actually thought to take a picture of. It’s a bit darker than this, but the lighting was extreme.


I usually only have about an hour of “free” time during any given day, and for the last couple months those hours have all looked like this:


I have a total of 11 of those little notebooks, all full of dreams and story fragments. It’s kind of a mess, actually, but I’m slowly getting the stories more organized. For those of you reading One Rainy Day, the rest of it is all queued up and Pen Wending will release chapters every Sunday. Also, as a point of interest, there are only 7 chapters (well, 6 1/2 really), so I guess technically it’s a short story? My stuff never seem to break 100 pages.

At some point–it’s been long enough now I can’t remember when exactly–Squeaky gave me a little bit of a scare, but what I briefly thought to be a broken arm turned out to be a badly twisted elbow, and for 3 days she looked like this:


She seriously did not move out of the chair (or couch, or wherever we sat her down), and it was super strange to see little miss go-go forever stationery. She became quite possessive about her bag of frozen corn. At the end of the third day she moved the arm without really thinking about it and seemed quite shocked to discover it didn’t hurt anymore. She woke up on day 4, climbed out of her crib herself, and the world returned to normal.

Lastly, music things!

I’ve had opportunity to play around with my new recording microphone, and this was the first result:

I wrote Drop Nocturne when I was 14. It’s kind of choppy in places because I was playing around with the audio software and…well, you can read the video description if you really want to know. :-P

Then I recorded another Harriet Smith Cover:


Harriet’s Original:

I’m alive!

Just a quick note to say I’m alive and have plans for about a dozen blog updates. Sorry I haven’t been around much! I’ve been working on my new short story and music the last month, but the music is just about wrapped up which in theory means I’ll have more time for the regular blog.

We just finished a small adventure here. It’s been a long time since we had a wild thunderstorm, but today we got one! The amount of lightning concerned me, as everything is incredibly dry right now. I got a fluke picture (and lots of video, which might show up here later).


Imagine 1-3 of those every couple seconds. It started a number of lightning fires on our side of the canyon, so for about 10 minutes I prepared for evacuation and the kids freaked out because, you know, BOOM! Another fire!

Then the rain hit and put the fires out, so that was a major relief. Then the 1/2″ hail hit and I had freaked out kids again. But that passed quickly, and now we have blue skies and everything smells fresh and clean.

A search and rescue helicopter just made a pass down our ridge and through the canyon, I assume checking to make the sure all the fires are out.

So, yeah. Adventure!

Real life update coming soon.

Picture Heavy and Full of Fancy

The wedding was smashing! But not literally, thank God. Rain for days before, and rain for days afterwards, but pretty much perfect cloudy weather for the actual event. It took about three days for everyone to normalize from the Big Weekend, and then Squeaky decided to roll on her arm funny and sprain her elbow.

That was three days ago, and she’s now back to normal, but we had a couple of rather miserable nights. Little sleep for Mommy and Daddy and boredom for Squeaky, who refused to move anything on her own until Saturday evening. I’ve never seen her sit still for so long, but I suppose one must do what one must do.

Pictures piled up over the last week and a half, so buckle up!

I needed a pick me up one day, so I decided to weed around the little pond.


It’s mostly dry and full of rocks right now, but the Dearliest has plans to clean it out and install a new pump. It’s just across the driveway from the main porch, so I see it a lot. Feels good to have it a little neater, and LK loves having more than gravel to run his Tonkas in.

The robin’s nest in the woodshed:


The log horse that the Dearliest built to aide in his wood cutting operation.


The cave one of our chickens built to lay her eggs. IMG_0804_resize

Seriously. It’s a bunch of weeds overhanging a large wood round, and she totally hollowed it all out. There’s even a little “hallway” that goes out the back, clever girl.

The garden space, pre-germination.


Master Arc, presiding.


Pokado, doing what she loves best.


Squeaky, showing off the crop of hair she has coming in.


LK, running around with his plastic cup rocket.


And then the wedding weekend hit, which for me started on Wednesday. In preparation of insane busy-ness I made a double batch of bread. As life would have it, I found myself trying to do three things at a crucial moment and ended up with a looming emergency:


I got to it right as it started dripping over, and the emergency turned out quite delicious.


Thursday was the bridal shower.


And cakery practice.


Friday I joined TW and another sister-in-law who I don’t think has an internet name yet. We shall call her Mrs. Fine, because she is one fine lady. Also, it appeals to my sense of humor but you won’t get that part unless you know her. :-P

Where was I…oh yeah. The wedding cake! Friday was assemblage and make it pretty day. But first I had to get there. Fortunately a break in the storm run made the drive relatively easy. It also made for a pretty shot of the blooming canola field.


Here we have cake assemblage with a central dowel sticking out. TW made and frosted all the layers (each tier had 4 layers), then stacked them up. I’m afraid I’ve forgotten what the interior supports for the individual tiers were, which is silly of me because I’m the one who wrapped them in cling wrap. We eventually added three more central dowels, because the cake weighed 50 pounds and it needed the extra support.


Here we have the imprinted cake.


Neither Mrs. Fine nor I had experience with piping scroll work, so the idea of having the pattern laid out for us became the favored plan. We brainstormed with TW, who came up with the idea of using her quilling talents to make the scroll work pieces out of poster board to use as a sort of stamp. It worked fabulously!

Here TW and Mrs. Fine examine the progress. Also, tea.


I spent 6 hours helping before I needed to leave, and I understand it was several more hours after that before TW and Mrs. Fine finished!

I do have more pictures (mostly of the wedding itself), but that will need to wait for another post.

A final note to those of you who follow Pen Wending–I’m writing again! Editing my friend’s book ended up being a great inspiration and motivator to me, and I’ve been writing for the last 4 days. Well, you know, 3 minutes here, 5 minutes there. Anyway, feel free to hop over there for ramblings on the new story. The story itself should start going up within the next week or so. I want to make sure I give myself a good head start before I begin to share it!

Not here today, probably gone tomorrow too.

Busy times, we have. Last week we went into town three times, which made for a very messy house. I ignored it most the time in favor of heading outside to garden, because, you know, gardening.

Week 5 of Wildflowers (this was one of my favorite weeks)


I still need to take pictures of our actual garden. Over two weekends the Dearliest tilled the ground. We made rows and planted a bunch of stuff, and now the stuff is up! Sunflowers, peas, beets, lettuces, peppers, squash, corn…all kinds of yummy goodness.

A while ago I asked my dad to listen to the audio track I put together for the last music video. He gave me some pointers, but this was his ultimate answer:


I have played around with it a little, but alas I haven’t had much time recently to sit down and figure it out. I am, needless to say, thrilled!

The last week has been a string of gorgeous weather, but before that some storms blew through.


Week 7 of Wildflowers (we’re coming to the end of them now)


I love the seedpods those spindly red flowers (see week 4) turned into! So unique.

A jumbo egg from a chicken became the children’s talk of the house for a good 2 days.


That’s my hand. I’m surprised it only had two yolks!

It’ll most likely be a while before another update. Aunt A is getting married this weekend, and there is so much going on! The kids are in the wedding, and I’m helping with the cake piping. Then there’s all the family coming in from out of town, and the rehearsal, and a bridal shower, and other things I know I’m forgetting.

For now, it’s time to go outside and hang laundry and WALK. Oh, and take some pictures too, because what’s a walk without pictures?

See y’all later!



You don’t say.

LK came up to me yesterday, and he was chewing on something. He’s a little old for sticking random things in his mouth, but at the same time lunch had been over for a little while so I became quite suspicious.

“Whatcha got in your mouth?” I inquired.

To which he sidled up to me–looking devilishly mischievous–and said mysteriously, “That’s not something you need to worry about.”

I think my eyebrows hit the ceiling, and he immediately took on an “oh, shoot” sort of look.

“That,” I said rather pointedly (while trying not to laugh…it’s a lot harder than it should be), “is not something you’re allowed to say to your mama.”

He giggled a little before assuring me it was a little salad leftover from lunch.

Well. Alrighty then!

Sunday Morning Tea–Twisted Worlds and Jimbo’s Lullaby

The tea on Sunday took on some unique pitches, and it took me a couple moments to remember they were from Jimbo’s Lullably. It’s the second piece in “Children’s Corner”, a collection of short piano solos by Claude Debussy. He wrote them for his daughter and I think they are all delightful. I learned the first and last ones (Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum and Golliwogg’s Cakewalk) and have the music for the rest with the hopes of learning the others (including Jimbo’s Lullaby) at some point in the future.


To follow up, I gave Squeaky the Tea Time mug, and she commented to the Dearliest that a frog was drinking tea. The Dearliest observed the scene and replied, “Yes! The frog is drinking tea with a pig. What kind of twisted world would have a frog drinking tea with a pig?”

To which Squeaky replied without hesitation, “It’s Mommy’s mug.”


On rewards

I asked LK to empty the silverware from the dishwasher, but when I came back to check on him he’d emptied the whole dishwasher. I indicated it was thoughtful and helpful, and he asked if he could have raisins as a reward. I hadn’t promised a reward of any kind, and I generally don’t issue them out when they’re asked for, so I said no, he couldn’t.

Then I pointed to the sink full of dishes and said he could put them in the dishwasher if he wanted to. He became quite eager. It’s not a common request. He got right to it and asked after a moment, “Is this my reward?”

I kinda looked at him sideways, not sure I wanted him to know what I was thinking, and asked, “Do you want it to be?”


“Well okay then.”

And that is how another chore turned into a reward. Although I should probably go check on the kitchen now because I’m hearing an awful lot of water running.

Also, rainstorms! THUNDER! I barely got the clothes off the outside line before the buckets dumped. It’s a lovely day.