Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day 27

Lots of things going on today that could have produced the photo for today's entry. A birthday party at the Railroad Park, another birthday party at the Spray Park... But the last one I took outside in the yard before coming in the house was the jackpot winner as soon as I snapped it!

I can't resist showing you the sunset from just 10 minutes earlier than the shot above, though. Gorgeous!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 26

We went back to the Avenue of the Boulders today - a group of 15 of us this time (we had 13 last week). I had hoped to show the pools and waterfalls with the rock waterslide to my brother, SIL, and niece who are visiting from Portland. How sad that just one week after we were there, that part of it was all dried up!

We decided to walk down the other way to where Mill Creek Falls is located. It was so hot and muggy, even being by the creek. We all cheered when we heard thunder rolling and started to see flashes of lightning while we were sitting on the cliff across from the falls. We made it back out to the cars just as it started to rain.

The lightning flashes got bigger and brighter as we drove down the hill toward home - and it rained so hard we couldn't see! It was like driving through a touchless car wash at high speed. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the lightning, but it's kind of hard to do that while it's pouring down rain and we were driving down the road. So this picture of the falls will have to do!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 25

I was out in the yard early today - earlier than I would normally even be out of bed for the day - to talk to a rep from the phone company about the utility pipe in our yard. I had to run back in to grab the camera while she was talking to Charlie - the turkeys were out!

A couple minutes later I saw this young fella wander over. I know I've posted pictures of the deer already, but this one was only about 50 yards away from us, calmly nibbling on the wildflowers.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day 24

Today was our park day with the homeschool group. Sarah didn't want to leave and sat on the curb and cried.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 23

Another day of nothing special going on. Just working, playing with the kids, making sure they're fed and well sunscreened before letting them out in the yard, etc. So I decided to go into the field next door to our house and take a picture of some of the wildflowers / weeds growing there.

This bug looked interesting. A Google search tells me it's a Trichodes ornatus, commonly known as the Ornate Checkered Beetle.

And I liked how this flower looks sort of like a dandelion gone to seed. I haven't had any luck with Google telling me what kind of flower it is yet.

Edit: Thanks to my friend at 365 Days of Me, I've determined that this is the seed stage of the Achyrachaena mollis, known commonly as Blow Wives. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 22

Nothing really exciting going on today. So here's a picture of Sadie for you to enjoy. She's my baby, I guess. She's in my lap within a minute of me sitting down on the couch. And she loves to nuzzle and lick my hair. She gets all snorty and snuffly and rubs all over my head, as if it were made of catnip.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 21

Happy Memorial Day! Today I went over to the Veteran's Cemetery where my Grandpa is buried, to take a picture of all the flags out. They mark all the graves with miniature flags on Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, and I think Fourth of July. Today's picture is of my Grandpa's grave marker, with the flowers that my Mom and Grandma placed there in his memory.

Actually, I'm posting two pictures today. I really liked the way this one turned out. I love how the focus on the flags goes fuzzy as they get further away from the camera. All the people in the background are waiting for the ceremony that is held every Memorial Day. There was a bagpiper playing old military songs, they fire off a military salute, and the F18 jets do a fly-over at one point.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day 20

We live in a really patriotic small town. We have a Veteran's Cemetery here, and lots of historical interest in the area. There's a neat tradition here called "Avenue of the Flags" where the main streets are lined with American Flags leading the way to the cemetery. Each flag is donated by the family of a deceased Veteran - the flags are the ones that were draped across the caskets. One of the sections I like best is the historic covered bridge. Originally built in 1922, it crossed the Antelope Creek, 12 miles up the road. In 1987 it was moved to downtown Eagle Point, and has since served as a safe walkway for children crossing the Little Butte Creek to get to the local elementary school. Both sides of the sidewalk leading to the bridge are lined with the flags, which are put up for all the national holidays that are specified as appropriate to fly the flag.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day 19

Today was another beautiful Sabbath day. We got together with some friends after church and lunch, heading up to Avenue of the Boulders at the base of Mill Creek Falls, outside of Prospect. It was a nice easy hike, especially compared to last week's hike up Table Rock, and it wasn't nearly as hot - 72 degrees instead of 92. Yikes.

Part of the water has carved out some neat little pools and falls among the giant rocks, and one rock in particular was quite smooth. It makes a great little waterslide. The kids, and even a couple of us adults, had some fun sliding down the rock, even though the water was frigid! And it was so smooth and slippery, even on the camera's sports mode, Hannah blurred a little, she was flying so fast!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 18

We continue, slowly, making progress on our front yard. A good section of it has been tilled up and we've figured out roughly how much dirt we need to haul in. Charlie will be borrowing a truck from a friend this weekend - a nice big diesel that can haul 2 yards of dirt at once, and has a dump bed so he can just back up into the yard and dump it where we can just rake it down instead of in the street where it would have to be hauled up into the yard by wheelbarrow.

The bricks you can see stacked up here aren't permanently in place; we'll have to move them to dump the dirt on Sunday. But it gives you an idea of what our wall will look like when it's done!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 17

One of my Facebook friends posted the recipe for these vegan "ribs" made of homemade gluten. Charlie and I recently went to a gluten-making class, so I decided to check out the recipe. It looked easy enough, and it was beautiful weather for grilling, so that's what we did tonight. We do the corn on the grill - in the shucks, soaked in water and wrapped in foil. It's our favorite way, other than in a campfire, of doing corn-on-a-knob (a Sarah-ism that will stick with us for life).

These were so easy to make! Even easier than the gluten we learned about at the class we attended. We will definitely make these again - perhaps with a couple of minor changes. A different BBQ sauce, perhaps. And Charlie thinks some McKay's Beef Seasoning in the flour would be even better.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 16

Today was the last day of Adventurer Club for the year. It's been a lot of fun, but I'm ready for a break for the summer! I didn't bother putting the girls in their uniforms - not even the field t-shirts - and it turned out neither did most of the other moms! My two are in pink, right in the middle, during this singing time.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 15

I work from home as a medical biller for two local clinics owned by one Family Nurse Practitioner. Each clinic creates a "batch" for me to enter each day. A batch consists of all the payments from insurance companies or private patients that arrive in that day's mail, as well as the charge slips for each patient seen that day. I enter the payments and new charges and send out bills to the insurance companies and statements to the patients. You can see the black clips that bundle each batch together.

Recently we had a problem with a doctor not turning in her charge slips at the end of every day and the batches piled up as we waited for her charges. Is it any wonder I'm feeling overwhelmed these days?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 14

My phone rang this morning, and I recognized the ringtone as the one I've assigned to a friend of mine. I answered and on the other end I heard the voice of my friend's 4 year old daughter saying "Hello, this is Michaela. May I talk to the kids?"

Hannah is almost 6, and Sarah is almost 4. I don't remember getting personal phone calls from my peers that young!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 13

Charlie got started on the front yard today, even though it was pretty hot. He did some before it got too hot, and is out there right now since it's cooled off quite a bit. He got a lot of rototilling done this morning and now is starting to lay the bricks in their place, even though just roughly for now.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day 12

A friend asked us to go walk up Upper Table Rock with her this evening. It was hot this afternoon, so we didn't start our walk until 6:30 p.m. It took us about an hour and 20 minutes to hike up the trail to the top - it's 750 feet of elevation in about 1.25 miles. The view was gorgeous, even though it was hot and that meant haze around the valley. This photo was taken about half way up - we weren't even at the top yet. You can see the Rogue River cutting between the trees there in the middle.

It only took us 40 minutes to get back to the bottom. LOL

More pictures from our hike, including lots of wildflowers, can be found at The Little Zoo under the Photos section, May 2009.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Day 11

We went to a potluck with the Homeschool group today. It was the monthly meeting, and since it was the last one of the "school year" we just had some brainstorming for possible summer activities, along with a potluck lunch. Since we're the only vegetarians, I made sure to bring something that we could eat but that I thought everyone else would enjoy as well.

Walnut "meatballs" in Apricot Barbecue Sauce - yum! I even had two of the non-vegetarians ask me for the recipe. ;-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day 10

In gearing up for starting Hannah in Kindergarten this fall with homeschooling, I picked up a laminating machine the other day. I placed an order online for the plastic sheets at less than half the cost of buying them locally, and was excited to see how fast the order arrived! I've got two weeks to get my stuff ready for the next Preschool activities co-op, but I couldn't wait to try out the new laminator.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Day 9

We made a trip to the library today. We don't go very often, usually just every couple of months at best. We tend to read the books we check out over and over, renewing them online every 3 weeks until it won't let us renew it any more before returning them. We're making a couple of lapbooks for our homeschooling right now, so we picked up a book to read about Shapes and another about things in the Ocean. The Shapes lapbook was for Hannah's Eager Beaver Chip "Shapes and Sizes". One of the requirements was to make a scrapbook anyway, so we just went the lapbook route. It's very basic, just a few shapes she colored and cut out, then matched the words with them before glueing them down. The Ocean lapbook was prompted by the girls' questions last week about Starfish - how they eat, how they swim, etc. We'll probably do a book on just Starfish later, but for now we'll just do Ocean.

Wow, I got sidetracked there. This post was about the library! LOL

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day 8

I'm a little bit compulsive about a lot of things. One of which is my laundry. Yeah, I have a hard time folding it and getting it put away, but I always wash all the dirty things every week. One of my compulsions about the laundry includes hanging certain things to dry instead of putting them in the dryer, even if it says on the tag it can be in the dryer. Any of the girls' shirts or dresses that have a picture on them gets hung up. I don't want the dryer cracking the picture! Then of course there are the things that says they need to be hung up to dry anyway. So my husband is a sweetheart and he hung up two retractable clotheslines right there in my laundry room. Maybe someday when we have a backyard that is fenced in, I can get something set up out there for nice sunny spring or summer days for the clothes to hang out in the fresh air, but during the winter, they would just freeze. So until then, it's just in the house.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 7

I've hated the curtains that came with my house ever since we moved in. A couple months ago my mom bought new ones for me, and we finally got them put up a few days ago. The picture doesn't show the color very well, it has a tan/yellowish stripe in between the dark and light blues.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day 6

We've been putting off a landscaping project for several years now, but we finally went down to the store today. We had been given some gift cards for our birthdays, but I can't remember if it was just this last October or if it was in 2007. Either way, between that and some other cash we had been given at another time, we had more than enough to pick up the landscaping bricks we plan to use to create a retaining wall. Our front yard slopes steeply to the road, and the road slopes steeply to the side, so it's a double slope and it's irritated me for almost 8 years.

Here's Charlie loading the bricks into the truck our friend Ken loaned us. One of the guys at the store helped him. It was a lot of work - we bought 66 bricks, at around 30 pounds each. We're thinking that it might be enough, but we may have to go down and pick up 10 to 15 more bricks. I guess we'll find out!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Day 5

It was a beautiful day today. 70 degrees out, not a cloud in the sky. After lunch we went to the park and the girls brought me these little tiny daisies. I took a picture of them with my new cell phone, but they were so tiny they waved in the light breeze and it blurred a little. Oh well, they are so cute, I'm going to post them anyway. I tried to do a mobile blog post from my phone but it doesn't seem to have worked. *shrug*

Friday, May 8, 2009

Day 4

I had arranged for my girls to have a haircut this afternoon. Both of them had bangs hanging in their eyes. On the way there, three-year-old Sarah decided that she wanted her hair cut shorter like Mommy's. I have shoulder-length hair, while both girls had hair to the middle of their backs. This wasn't the first time Sarah had said she wanted her hair cut shorter, but all the times prior to today she changed her mind when we got there.

She stuck to her decision today, though. Here she is, sporting a big smile and her new haircut, about 3 inches shorter than it was.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Day 3

My Mom is awesome. I really REALLY needed to do a crisis cleaning on my house TODAY, and she dropped everything and came over to help me when I called her this morning.

Thanks, Mom. I love you! Even if you do act goofy with my vacuum cleaner when I try to take your picture!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Day 2

This is Slinky. She's about 3 1/2 years old, and we got her when she was about 8 weeks old. Her "sister" Sadie (a tuxedo kitty who will probably be featured later) is actually about a week or two younger, though their two litters were raised together up to that point and we got them at the same time.

We named Slinky after a few days of having her due to her actions, not so much her looks at the time. She was kind of scraggly, not real soft, and her fur wasn't all that full. She was also quite skittish - most of the kittens the woman we got her from were outdoor/barn kitties. Apparently this woman has a reputation for taking in unwanted kitties and she can't keep track of how many pregnant mamas get dumped on her doorstep out in the country. Anyway... Slinky would do her best to skirt around the edges of the room, staying as far away from us as possible. She was so tiny she could even slip between the upright piano and the wall to slink around to the other side of the room. Hence, her name - Slinky.

When Sadie and Slinky were about 6 months old we took them in to be spayed. Neither of them had warmed up enough to be lap-cats, though Sadie tolerated being petted and was wonderful with the kids. Sarah was only 5 months old when we got the kitties, so she's just a couple months older than they are. Hannah was 2 1/2, and she would pick Sadie up and carry her around, while Sarah would lay on top of her on the floor, and she was great. Slinky, on the other hand, still wanted nothing to do with us. I even offered her on Freecycle as a barn cat because she was so skittish, even after 4 months in our home. I'm glad no one wanted her though, because after she was spayed, she started warming up to us. It's been little bits here and there, starting out with stretching her nose out to sniff at our toes or finger tips, eventually moving on to laying on my feet while I'm working at the computer, and in the last year and a half she has made real strides! I wouldn't call her a lap-cat (which Sadie has become - I can't sit on the couch 2 seconds without Sadie hopping into my lap), but Slinky has been known to sneak over onto my lap a few times, and she gets quite insistent about having attention bestowed upon her, even if she isn't crawling into a lap.

Now her name is much more befitting of her looks. Her fur is luxuriously soft and thick and soooo nice to touch.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day 1

I recently heard about Project 365 and have watched the first few days of the photos posted by a group of friends. I even mentioned to them that my life is not at all exciting, and it would just be day after day of pictures of the same little girls with dirty faces. There are sometimes several days in a row where we just don't do anything! Well, this group of friends convinced me to try anyway. Heh.

So here is my first photo. This is often the view from my front yard. There are up to 10 deer generally, and they can often be seen feeding just outside the immediate vicinity of my yard. Last spring, there was one doe that had triplets, and another that had twins. I haven't seen this year's fawns yet, so I don't know if we have any multiples again. I'm seeing the yearlings from last year though, especially the young bucks with the start of their first antlers.

Click here to see a second photo showing just how close this is to my front yard.