Friday, April 30, 2010

A Little Rambling

It's been a while I think, since I rambled on here, that is. I've been drawing a lot of blanks lately when I try to write. You should see my "April" folder in my journal, it's conspicuously empty. I haven't been rambling anywhere...

Except in pictures.

I got a new mountain bike this week and have been enjoying it Immensely! My old comfort street bike now looks like a tank. With the lighter weight and, of course, being a mountain bike (you know, how the handlebars relate to the seat is different) I've been cruising up hills with, um, relative ease. Nate took me out on one of his trails through the woods today. It was a little scary dodging trees and riding over roots and around tight corners and down steep hills, but fun too. I was excited to have done something a little challenging and to have stretched beyond my comfort zone (as far as "safety" I'm a little afraid of crashing into a tree or going over my handlebars) It felt good. And riding with Nate I worked a lot harder than I would have on my own. By yourself the climbs just become work and it's harder to go as far as you know you can, at least for me. My whole body was tired when we were done, but I was happy to think I am getting stronger all the time this way.

I will be so glad when we are done hatching eggs for the year. I knew I went a little overboard with all the eggs I got, it was exciting at first though. The main problem has been that our hatches aren't going so well this year. We've had lots of eggs that didn't hatch and some chicks that died soon after. One of our chicks I peeled out of the egg because he had dried out and the shell and membrane were stuck to his body. There was no way he was getting out on his own. I'm not quick to help them out, the saying is if they're not strong enough to make it out of the shell they're not strong enough to survive and you don't want to mess with weak birds which is perfectly true in nature but in an artificial environment where the fault could be mine (i.e. incorrect humidity in the incubator) it's impossible for me not to help. It's also stressful wondering if they're going to make it out of the shell or not, and do I help or not etc... But, just today we had two chickens and a turkey bust out of their eggs no problem, so I'm feeling quite relieved tonight. I have ducks and turkeys due in a week and more ducks two weeks after that. Then No More This Year. Nate is trying to talk me into guineas. I keep telling him I'm not hatching any more this year, I'll hatch you some next year. And he's started making noise about peacocks. Just how many birds do you want to feed??? :)

I know this is not news if you know me, but it's come to me again lately that I feel more alive when I write. Even a little journal entry is enough to keep the blood flowing, so to speak. And I feel alive when taking pictures. I need to remind myself once in a while to make sure to keep these two simple things in my life on a regular basis. It's amazing to me how easy it is to let even something you love and know you need go neglected because you're tired. Or overwhelmed by life in general. It's hard to be creative when your brain is going numb from the demands of the day.

We are planning to make a dash to the beach tomorrow, in spite of the cold. It has just been too long since I've been there. I need to see the ocean!! I'm hoping to get the boys to cooperate for a little photo shoot while we're there, it's high time for some portraits. Although, I'll probably end up using my favorites, candid 'portraits', for what I have in mind anyway :) We'll see how it goes...

When next we meet it should be over some great beach photos. See you then ;)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Birthday Paintball

If you've seen these on facebook already you may want to scroll down anyway :) There are a few more pictures here, namely of the two cutest boys there! :D Joshua and Brannon had a great time playing paintball with the big boys.

Happy Birthday Zach :) Nate had a great time helping get everything set up. And providing the woods to play in. And running in to shoot people a few times ;)

Ok, everybody, put on a serious/mean face...

Aaron took a few of these, as I was less than willing to dash around with an orange vest and a mask on taking blind pictures (it's impossible to look through the camera with a paintball mask on, so it's point in the right direction press the button and hope. Still he got a few good ones :)

Bear (Nate said to him, you shouldn't wear that hat it's way too visible and Bear said, I like it that way, lol)
Xeno and Cameron
So cute :)

Aaron divvying out paint as they get ready for another round

Nate likes this picture because "It's a cool picture, but mostly it's my guns"
They played a game with four or five teams of two, all against each other at once. They had Zach choose his teammate first, which he was reluctant to do. I don't think that two of his friends saying "Zach, pick him" about each other was helping him at all.
He ended up picking his dad for his teammate
My boys :D
Cameron and McKenzie
Nate helping Brannon
Back from a round (he's running to give his mama a hug, I will MISS these days!!!)
Enjoying each other between battles...
Brannon's all tuckered out. When he had to sit out a round due to a gun shortage he decided he'd hitch a ride home with Grandfather who happened by in his truck.
Nate (here they finally battled close to the road where I was waiting so I got to take some pictures of the fray :)
There's that high visibility hat

When I grinned and pointed to Joshua's pose in the picture Nate said, "What? Do I do that or something?" :)
Joshua and Xeno (when Joshua and I first arrived, I think between the second and third round, Xeno was the first off the mountain and Joshua cried "Xeno!" and ran to him and gave him a giant, long hug. The joy of a six-yr-old's love. It may be somewhat lost on a teenager, but Mama sure appreciates watching it)

This was an interesting one, they battled near the road again and we watched Owen carefully sneaking up on Nate while Nate's attention was elsewhere...
Here's Joshua, entrenched behind his tree. Nate is a bit in front of him and to the left behind a log. Don't know how I didn't get that picture on here, but I've been working on downloading these all afternoon and I'm done, you'll have to imagine it...
A close-up of super cuteness!! ;)
Bored waiting for a round that was taking too long (teenagers running to the top of the mountain instead of "stay close to the road to make it a quick round") Nate and Aaron decide to run up the hill and shoot whoever they see. And to make it more fun "let's wear the orange vests so they see us coming" The funny thing was they got away with flanking someone who thought they were taking pictures (because of earlier forays with the camera and an orange vest)
Done playing, they're using up the last of their paint on some trees...
And a fun time was had by all...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sunday in the Park

And a picture of our one surviving duckling from Mocha's brood (some predator got in the pen last friday night :( she is fine, but all but one of the ducklings are gone) We are glad to have this one. She (I say with faith:) is taming down nicely and after a couple days to make sure she had no hidden injuries we put her in with Ducky. I'm happy to say they get along very nicely (Ducky is four times her size and we were afraid he'd bully her) and spend most of their time cuddling on top of the stuffed cow, lol...