Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kitty Love

We have ourselves another new animal in our world. Let me introduce you to Finn, our 4 month old boy kitty. He is very sweet, playful and has green eyes. He came from the Humane Society and when we meet him, it was instant love. All I can say is "he had me at meow". Chloe and I knew right away that he was the one for us, I will always remember the look in her eyes, and the tears I had to fight back.

All we know about his history is that he was found about a month ago in a box, outside with his Mother. Someone was going for a walk and heard meowing and found the box in a bush. We think his Mama was adopted by someone else.

Before we went to the Humane Society, Chloe happened to fall off our hammock and hurt her shoulder. We ruled out a dislocated shoulder and after about 45 minutes she seemed to be okay, so off we went to search for a new kitten. When we got home that night Chloe was still in pain and the next morning we found ourselves at Children's Hospital getting her checked out. Turns out she broke her clavicle (collar) bone. So, she is now wearing a sling and taking it easy. She still has figured out how to hold Finn though, and is doing pretty well. We are always going to remember this day, when we adopted Finn, that Chloe had a broken collar bone and we didn't know it !! I figured if she was okay enough to go to the Humane Society, nothing was broken, how wrong I was on that one, another lesson learned !

Friday, October 22, 2010

New Additions

We are now officially raising 4 baby chick's who will turn into to happy egg laying hens in about 5 months. Yes, we have taken one more step to self sustainability in our urban dwelling. Knowing where are eggs have come from, what our hens are eating, and that they have a happy stress free existence, really matters to us. Plus, they will provide us with a nice amount of manure for the vegetable and herb gardens.

Our chicks are about 5 weeks old now. We first purchased them when they were about 10 days old. We took a trip out to East County to a feed store and picked out 2 Plymouth Barred Rocks (twins, named Daisy & Loretta) a Rhode Island Red (named Blossom) and an Araucana(named Cookie).

We have watched them grow literally over night. They are very cute, and the colors in their feathers are beautiful. Observing their behavior has been a favorite activity around here. We have seen first hand what all those funny chicken sayings mean, and crack up as we use them in our daily language, realizing we have not only heard these sayings, but have used them for years, but now have a new and improved perspective on them ! Here's some....

"ruling the roost", we think Cookie will fill this role.
"flew the coop", Daisy already did this once, luckily she didn't make it very far!
"nest egg", I think that's our 401K.
"chicken neck", I tell Blake to stick out his "chicken neck" while using the neti-pot.
"chicken scratch", turns out they love this scratching thing.
"pecking order", jury is out on the exact order at this point.
"mother hen", that would be me....

I know there are more sayings, so before I google them, leave me a comment with some of yours...

Oh, and I forgot to mention, these chicks are living in a very fabulous and secure two story chicken coop, complete with several roosting area's, 2 luxurious egg laying compartments, a spacious run, and fresh chicken feed & water supplied daily. There is even a storage area to keep all the supplies you need to care for these birds. All this was built by Alan & Blake over several weeks, in August and September. They had a great time working together, and I loved watching them.

Here is a chicken quote I found for Alan, "Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.” - Frank Lloyd Wright

We love our chicks & their cathedral !

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Best Cat in the World!

That's Eddie, who in our eyes, was really the "best cat in the world". After 18 healthy, happy and sleepy years, we had to put her to sleep last week. Her kidney's were failing, something that happens to old cats very often, and up until a month ago she was doing pretty well. In the last few weeks, she became fond of baby food, chicken dinner versions, but we knew she was close to the end when she stopped eating, and became dehydrated, it was obvious her body was shutting down. We had the choice of giving her injections of fluids to keep her alive, but as the vet said, that would have been only for our benefit, not hers, she was ready to go, so I made the decision to euthanize her. I knew this was coming and spent time preparing Chloe & Blake for it, logically knowing it would happen soon, but when it came down to her last day I was not prepared for it. We lost Eddie's sister Wally 5 years ago, to a dog who chased her down and attacked her, and I remember how devastating that was, and assumed since I had been through it once, that this would somehow be easier, well, I was wrong.

I still don't know at this point which part of the loss we were feeling was harder, my grief, or being witness to Chloe's grief. This was her first experience with death & loss. Watching her heartbreak was gut-wrenching. She is a natural with animals, they gravitate towards her, and are always calmed in her arms. She had a relationship with Eddie that I knew was special, but didn't quite realize the depth of it.

We have spent the last week and a half crying, talking, and looking back at pictures of Eddie, & Wally. We have learned that everyone grieves differently, and that we are not the only one's who have gone through the loss of a beloved pet. We talk about how we keep expecting Eddie to walk around the corner and meow at us, but quickly realize she is gone. We also found out how supportive everyone in our network of friends and family are at a time like this. Chloe's teacher sent home a sweet book for us to read, fittingly titled "The Best Cat in the World!"

The most beautiful part of our grieving is the way in which Chloe has processed her heartbreak through an outpouring of drawings, some in the sand at the beach the day Eddie died, and the others on t-shirts that Chloe wore to school during the week, even her Art card's for school and a Birthday Card for her friend reflects our loss. Her drawings have helped us, the love that is reflected is so pure, and I have watched them help heal Chloe's heart.

So here's to Eddie, the sweetest, calmest and most comforting cat I have even know. She was witness to the last 18 years of my life, watching me grow up in a sense, move to California, and start a family, and of course she was part of our family. One of our close friends who has watched over Eddie when we were out of town called her "The Angel Kitty". Such a fitting name, she was an angel, and I am sure she will be someone else's in her next life.

We love you Eddie, and are grateful to have had you in our lives for so many sweet & wonderful years. You will surely be missed !

Monday, September 20, 2010

One Year Later

So, I have abandoned this blog for a whole year now, so sorry to everyone, especially my future self, let's see if I can keep up with posting again. I have thousands of pictures from the past year, along with lots of stories, and I have no idea how I could recapture that here. So maybe I will play some catch up in the coming weeks, and maybe not, no expectations, right ?

What I can say, is we are back to school yet again, Chloe is in 4th grade, and Blake in first. We had an amazing summer, great food, an abundant garden, totally relaxing & fun vacations, a fun birthday celebration for Chloe, a festive labor day party with great friends, and lots of time to chill at the beach, which is what I am missing most at this point. So all I have right now is this picture that I LOVE, it was taken on one of those lazy evenings at Coronado beach while we were packing up and heading home. Sun-kissed and grateful for living just 20 minutes away from the ocean.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Blake's New Hair

Lots of changes in Blake's life. He just started Kindergarten, he has made new friends, he's learned how to swim, he lost his very first tooth,and now he has short hair !!

He's been wanting this for a few months now, but Momma & Daddy had a hard time imagining him without out his long locks. After seeing him with short hair, which really enhances his big boy attitude these days, I think it I was hesitant because the long hair still makes it feel like he is a little, little, boy. Oh be still my beating heart!

He was really into sitting in the chair. Suzi the stylist really knows how to give a good boy's cut !

Look at all that hair ! I bet this makes the Grand Parents happy, it has sure made all of us happy, especially Blake.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Salads

Check out this article in the New York Times. 101 Simple Salad Recipe's for your summer veggies and greens. The possibilities are endless !

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Tee Pee's

Chloe's school has an annual Art Night celebration & auction, it took place in May. Each classroom works to make a auction item and this year the kids were studying the art and life of Georgia O'Keeffe. So, we thought it would be cool to make a tee pee and have the kids paint their version of an O'Keeffe flower. We gave them some different silk flowers as inspiration and laid out the tee pee fabric flat on the floor for the kids to work on. I love their work !

The tee pee construction turned out to be more work than I thought, and with most big projects I take on, there is usually some mistake I make that puts me in a panic, but thankfully, in the end turns out to be much better than I could ever imagine. I used this tutorial. I wanted to save some money on the fabric, so I bought pre-made painters cotton drop cloth from Home Depot. I thought the finished measurements met the required one's that the tutorial called for, but after I cut it, it turned up really short on the bottom and very uneven. So I had to wing it on piecing together extra fabric to add all around the bottom, after it was all painted. With the help of some other Mom's in the class we pulled it off, and it turned out really cute. There is a little girl out there right now who's Mommy purchased the tee pee and I am sure she is having a ball in it.

I had extra fabric left, so I made another one for Miss Olivia, & The Circle of Friends preschool. It was our parting gift to the school, Blake graduated and starts Kindergarten in September. We have been with Olivia for 6 years between Chloe & Blake. On this one, we put the tee pee together and let the kids paint on it standing up, it went much quicker and we let the kids paint whatever their hearts desired. It turned out just as sweet.

Now, if I can just pull another one off, Chloe & Blake could have their own. I will add it to the summer project list !

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Blog Slacker is Back!

Alright, I know I have been neglecting this space for way to long. Instead I have spent quite a bit of time outside in the dirt, cultivating & growing as much food as I possibly can. If I am not in my garden then I have been in someone else's. I have to say, I would rather be away from the computer than on it, dirt or clay under my finger tips is much more satisfying then keyboard induced carpal tunnel.

I have however, been taking lots of photo's so I will attempt to catch up in my next posts. For now, I will share with you some of my favorite images that have come from my newest I-photo application that I am loving these days, thanks to my friend Emil who turned me onto it. Its called Shake It Photo, it simulates the polaroid experience I can't believe how well it takes pictures and how beautiful the colors are. If you have an i-phone its a must have app !

What's been growing at my house...


Green Onions

A salad every night

Green Beans

Our first cucumber

The Beach

The Del Mar Fair

Alan's newest growth... love it

The ultimate kid summer pastime, The Lemonade Stand

Alright then, back outside, hope your summer is great !