Friday, May 31, 2013

Will Work for Food

Today, we worked for food.

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One of the local farms, Groundworks Farm,  offers a wonderful option to their CSA memebers. Volunteer at the farm in exchange for veggies. 

Really? I can volunteer 70 hours over a 4-5 month time period in exchange for between $500 and $600 dollars worth of veggies? I am so ok with that. Not only do we get to actually grow our own food (as well as food for lots of other folks) we get to learn the in's and out's of running a farm. We will learn so much from this exchange of time and energy for fresh, healthy, yummy produce. 

Oh, and it's a heck of a work out!

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Not sure what that is, but I can't wait to eat some of it!

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The hoop house

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Working hard to loosen the soil

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Critter Break!

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Can you see what's behind the pallet?

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A BIG MAMA PIG

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and her cute little piglets. 

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Oh, and there were lots of these as well. 

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Yes, her undies were wet by the time we were done. 

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"Work" got boring, so she decided to play instead. 

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We had to take another piggie break. They are just so cute!
(yes Jared, we now want piggies on our forever farm)

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Emma thought they looked like puppies, especially when they were nursing (cause you couldn't see their snouts).

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Snack break. I think it was kinda bright and I didn't have my shades on, hence the funky face. 
Or it could just always look like that.
Emma, of course, was just being Emma. 

Will Work For Food
After a change of clothes and a team meeting, we headed for home. While she claims that she didn't actually sleep, she didn't say a word to me for the 30 minute drive home. For her, that would be a record had she actually been awake. 

For our first trip out there, we had fun despite the rain and cold. The folks who own the farm are super nice, and they have two interns that are just as nice. Emma and I are looking forward to heading out there every Friday to help with whatever we can do. 

If I hadn't been so TIRED when I got home, I would have taken photos of the 4 heads of lettuce (all different kinds), 3 bunches of baby boc choy and 1 bunch of baby beets, but I didn't. I was so tired I almost forgot to put them away, but just as I was about to fall asleep for my nap, I remembered. 

We have already started in on the bib lettuce, and it's pretty tasty. Here's what it looked like under our ground pork and beef. 

Bibb Lettuce-Yum

Anyway, you can expect that every so often, we will have updates on our farm adventures. We hope you enjoy them as much as we are sure too!


Walking

Just a recap of our last couple walks.

23May13- Thursday- 1 block

Walk- 23May13- In the Rain (3)
It was a rainy day

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Standing under the overflowing gutter

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That's me there in the corner of the photo!

Walk- 23May13- In the Rain
It had stopped raining while we were walking

24May13- Friday- 1 block

Walk 24May13- Cool and breezy (2)
Getting ready to run and jump

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Cantering (also known as loping) 

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Exploring the tree

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Interesting to discover how they grow longer

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Pretty clouds

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Doing dressage (fancy horse walking according to Emma)

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Explaining "Trumpet of the Swan" to me.


26May13- Sunday. Had I known this was going to be our last nice day for a while, we might have walked farther. Although I suppose yucky weather and indoor crafting go well together. 

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Emma and Saige showing off their new elk hide hats. Handmade of course by Emma and Mama. Emma is also sporting her new skirt, a la Mama. 

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My skirt to match. Sort of. 

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I love this photo for so many reasons. The biggest one is you can tell she's twirling her backpack straps :0)

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Running back to me after having run to the corner.

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You can almost see our matching elk hide rings. 

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And our matching tootsies and skirts. 

Wow, that was all we walked this last week. I suppose three days is better than no days. It's been raining and cold for the last 4 days straight, and off and on raining for the last week. I'll blame our lack of walking on the weather. 

Oh, and our sudden need to making stuff, mostly clothes. Hopefully I'll get something posted about that soon, but no promises. I start on-line classes on Monday...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Just Venting

Ok, no one really needs to read this, but I really just need to vent a bit.

I really like our apartment. It's a good size for us (even though I still have more stuff I need to get rid of), it's in a decent location, I get good exercise every time I leave and come home (3rd floor!), I feel safe, there is good air flow and lots of light.

That being said, I want to move. Right now.

I am sick of opening my windows to let in some fresh air only to have to endure the 2nd hand smoke that drifts up from the people who smoke right below our windows. All day long it seems.

Also, it really, really irks (insert stronger word here) me that people will actually walk into the building smoking. Seriously. Can they not read the NO SMOKING sign by the front door.

Speaking of the front door, I HATE HATE HATE when smokers are too lazy to carry their keys with them (the front door is locked) and thus prop the door open with a big rock, knowing full well (because I have mentioned it multiple times) that the wind tunnel that is our walk way blows the smoke right into the building making it smell like a casino.

And really, don't offer me and my child a cigarette when we walk by. Seriously, it isn't funny. At all.

If it weren't for that (despite the fact that I really want to grow some veggies), I would be happy to stay here till it's time to change bases.

But really, I feel like the only option is to move.

Sure, I could mention it to the land lord, but what is he going to be able to do? It's not like the smokers are going to stand out in the street and smoke. And if I do say something and it makes the smokers angry, then what? Live with the worry that someone might do something to one of our cars, or harass us while we are coming or going?

And if the smokers were required to smoke closer to the street, how long would that last? A month, maybe two. Once the weather turned cold, they would be right back, huddled against the side of the building.

Wanna know the worst part? I'm worried it's going to be like that no matter what apartment we live in.

But at least now I know to keep that in mind when hunting for the next place to live.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Horse Lessons 24May13

Oh boy, today was full of frustration out at North Star. Poor kiddo.

The normal round pen where Emma does her ground work with Meggie was really wet and slippery, so we headed out to a spot that was a bit more dry.

Unfortunately, it also happened to be near some tasty grass that Meggie just couldn't resist. Emma did her best to try and get Meggie away from the grass, but I had to step in and help (despite my personal vow to butt out and let her do it).

A minute later, Meggie ripped the lead line out of Emma's hand and headed back to the grass. Emma used her big muscles to drag Meggie away.

A minute later, Meggie was right back at the grass, dragging Emma behind her. Literally. Poor kid. She wasn't hurt, but she was SO frustrated.

E- "I CAN'T DO IT!" accompanied the frustrated tears.

M- "Yes, you can, but you need to stop saying that you can't."

She settled down pretty quick.

Then Meggie did it again. This time Emma was right next to Meggie when Meggie knocked Emma down and almost stepped on her. Emma ended up underneath Meggie for a few seconds, but Jill was over there quick to help her get up.

I really wasn't worried, as Meggie wasn't moving except for her mouth chomping on the grass. But I knew what was coming.

Lots of tears, and even more, "I CAN'T DO IT"'s. I really try not to baby her when she gets like this, but I also try not to be a big jerk. I hugged her for a second, both Jill and I tried to talk to her to calm her down (I let Jill do more talking thinking maybe, maybe, Emma would actually listen). After about 5 minutes of tears and, "I Can't"'s, and Jill and I trying to get her to calm down, I finally just grabbed her hand and walked her to the middle of the arena.

E- "I want to be done. I don't want to do my lesson anymore."

M- "That's not an option. If you had fallen off your pony, you would have gotten right back on. This is no different."

*we talk often about what would happen if Emma fell off the pony. She knows she would be put right back in the saddle and expected to keep riding. It really isn't a matter of if she falls off, but when.*

E- "I just want to be done."

M- "Too bad. We are going  back over to Meggie and your going to continue your lesson even if you cry the entire time."

I think that might have surprised her enough, or she just realized that she might as well make the best of it. Whatever the reason, she was done crying by the time we got back to Jill and Meggie.

For the next 10-15 minutes, Jill talked to Emma about being the boss, and how to let the pony know who's in charge. I think it was a great lesson for Emma to learn. All we did was hang out close enough to the grass that Meggie could reach it, but Emma just gave a yank on the lead line every time Meggie tried for it.

Then Emma worked Meggie, lunging her, making sure to correct Meggie each time she even thought about heading for the grass. Thankfully, Meggie seemed to get the message.

Anyway, the rest of the lesson was, for the most part, uneventful. Here are some pictures.

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Brushing Meggie

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That's a lot of Meggie hair!

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Meggie's first run for the grass

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There she goes again!

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After all the tears and upset. Can you see the dirt on her pants?

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Back to lunging

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Wow this is a great picture! You can see that Emma is giving Meggie a corrective yank.

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Practicing putting the bit in without Mama butting in. 

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Finally riding.

Emma rode for a bit off the lead line as well, but I forgot to take photos. Meggie was being a stinker for a while with Emma riding, but Emma got her under control. 

The rest of the lesson went well, and Emma actually had fun. She also ended up learning a few good lessons. One, you need to make sure the horse knows you are boss. Two, never give up. 


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Walking the Trails

On Tuesday, Emma and I had a lot of running around to do, but I really just wanted to go hiking.

We got things done early enough, that a hiking we a went!

With all the rain that we got over the weekend, I was a little worried about the trails being wet*, so I decided we would just walk along the paved path.

*As a biker, Jared is always reminding us that using wet trails degrades them. So, we stay off wet trails*

Emma wasn't very happy about walking the paved path (she's an off trail kinda girl), "It will be so boring!" I pretty much just ignored her grumps and away we went.

On a side note, I recently read this post about how moms need to be in more of their kids pictures, so we made an effort to capture me as well as Emma.

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Grumpy Emma

I was sneaky about getting her more excited about our walk. I suggested she run up ahead with the camera and set it up so we could use the timer to take photos of us walking. 

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Not the best photo, but it was our first attempt with the timer. 

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Better!

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Um, not so good. 

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Emma's making funny faces

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Here I am!

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Her hat kept blowing off.

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We didn't have any hair elastics

Walking the Trails
Sometimes even my invisible shoes are too much. My toes just want to touch the ground!

Emma took her shoes of for a little while as well, but her feet got to hot. Tender foot. 

Well, that was our walk! It didn't last very long, but we had (well, I had) a good time. 

What have you been doing to get outside?