Sunday, April 25, 2010

Random Outdoor Fun

Well, today I had the opportunity to play with an photograph what I believe to be a northern cricket frog. They are quite common in our front yard. Yesterday, we had a few storms come through heralding the arrival of blackberry spell, and these are the pictures from today before the clouds rolled in.

Yep, that's my left hand again. Cricket frogs are tiny!

Here's one I shot as he was escaping my grasp.

The irises are beginning to bloom. Thank you to my sister for giving them to me. The grape smell makes my mouth water.

Speaking of mouthwatering, the blackberries in my yard aren't quite in bloom yet, but the ones up by the road are. Today's high is in the low 60's and tomorrow's supposed to be even cooler. A cool spell is worth it to have those delicious blackberries this summer. Mmmmm. I'm so glad spring is finally here, even in Shakerag.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Enjoying Spring

I have been enjoying the spring weather lately. In the last two days, I have, with the help of my Dad, planted 11 or 12 trees on the homestead. And the best part is that the trees were free. There was a giveaway of trees locally on Earth Day. A few of the trees were pecans. I am already looking forward to enjoying my own pecans!

In the last two years we have planted quite a few trees. We now have an orchard. We might even have a few apples this year. There are several varieties of apples (the fruit Batman will eat) and two peach trees. I'd like to add some paw paws and plums in the near future. We already have persimmons, hickory nuts, and black walnuts. Planting trees is great. Planting trees that will provide food is even better.

I have always been fond of frogs and toads. Ask anyone. But I have never gotten any good pictures of the adorable things until yesterday. Admittedly, it's not a great picture, but it's the best toad picture I've taken.

Toads are just easier. From what I can tell, this is a Fowler's toad. We also have American Toads here, but they are less common in my experience. This very toad crossed my path again this morning. Yes, I recognized him. I'm just that kind of girl.

This is more like my typical frog pictures. See? That's where the frog was until I snapped the picture. It's still fun to try though. There are few things I enjoy as much as poking around our creek in search of frogs or whatever else I can find.

Here is something I found last week:
It's a bumblebee moth emerging from its chrysalis. Unfortunately, he didn't make it. I don't know what his problem was, but he never made it all the way out. I suppose that just happens sometimes. He was beautiful and I'm glad I got to see him and show my family.

Hope you all are enjoying the spring weather in your neck of the woods.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I have issues with food.

I know I am not alone in this. I want my family to eat well. I really do. Some days we succeed better than others. My dear and wonderful husband is what I would call "open-minded picky." He's not totally, irrationally, irretrievably picky. He will try new foods. His diet has changed a great deal since we have been married. But he is picky. Really picky. It's no wonder Stinkerbaby is picky, too. It's a constant battle. After reading Sally Fallon's book, Nourishing Traditions, I have tried to feed my family more nutrient dense foods and fewer highly processed ones. Growing up, I fell into the low-fat, vegetarian trap. My body has paid the price for that. I became lactose intolerant, I feel, as a direct result of the damaging low-fat, high-soy diet for so many years. Thankfully, after eight years lactose intolerant, I found a cure that worked wonders for me. I only wish I had found it sooner.

Nourishing my body and the bodies of those I care for has become a high priority. Beyond the difficulties in preparing meals, pickiness is my biggest problem. Whole, locally-grown, organic chicken with gravy made from bone broth- they will gladly eat. Any vegetables besides corn or potatoes- not so great. I have been learning some tricks to deal with my picky eaters.

In the case of the hubby, they are mostly work arounds since I figure he's the head of the household and if he wants something sweet for breakfast that's his right. I just try to make it something healthier sweet. For example, doughnuts are his ultimate breakfast. So sometimes I make homemade doughnuts from home-ground whole wheat flour fried in coconut oil and sometimes I make cinnamon coffee cake with eggs and whole milk and part sucanat and part xylitol.

Stinkerbaby is a different story altogether. What worked last week seldom does this week. She used to love mushrooms and salmon and spaghetti with meat sauce (not all in one meal! Yuk!). Now she won't eat any of these. Sometimes making baby-sized whatever works. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes unusual presentation works (salmon salad in an ice cream cone- I know the cone's not great, but I'm trying here!). Sometimes it doesn't work. The best method consistently for Stinkerbaby is to let her help me prepare foods. This, of course, takes far longer and wastes some food, but it generally works. She won't eat eggs. But green eggs and ham that she gets to mix up- oh, yeah! Does anyone know of a good, natural blue food coloring? It's just a drop or two, but I hate using the petrochemical stuff in her eggs.

At least the baby is easy since he's still exclusively breast fed.

What works for you? Do you have picky eaters? Are you the picky eater in your family?


Well, I suppose I have gotten the cart before the horse, so to speak.

So, let me introduce myself. I'm Susan, a stay-at-home mother of two wonderful, exhausting children, Stinkerbaby and Bonus. I have an awesome husband who is my tech support guy.

My interests are many:
family activities
cooking, especially baking
real food and traditional eating
natural, attachment parenting
cloth diapering
vintage sewing machines
repurposing, primarily clothing
sewing in general
taking pictures of kids and things in the natural world
being outdoors
thrift shopping

That is a partial list, of course. It's difficult to describe myself. If I've missed something, ask. I'll probably even answer!


Back from France

This morning, I went with Stinkerbaby and Bonus to France by train. What an imagination she has! The washing machine agitating in the utility room was the engine noise. It was a short, but pleasant visit. Apparently, the people in France wear funny looking hats and are experts in veterinary back pain. Yesterday, we took our beagle, Hardy, with us to France to make his back better. Hardy had a back injury around Christmas and is mostly better, but still has some rough days.
Are all three year olds this thoughtful?

To Blog or not to blog. . .

I debated whether or not to create a blog for quite a while.
Do I really have that much to say and share?
Does anyone else care?
Do I have time with being a wife and mother of two young children?

Well, it seems to me the best way to find out is to try.

So, here we go on what should be an adventure!

Come along with me!