Friday, October 24, 2008

Grand Tour

Dorine's wedding cake. The fall leaves and branch are made from pulled sugar, a confection involving pulling sugar at the "hard crack" stage until it forms a satiny consistency and can then be worked like glass. Al and I worked on this project together. He was very impressed at how similar the medium is to working in wax. hmmmmm

After a very cold night of camping we took a walk on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The dogs resented the leashes and all the "no dog's" signs posted. Elmo did a lot of watering, Emma just sighed.

Who would think it had been 20 degrees and windy just hours ago?
We drove out to Davis CA last week to attend my niece's wedding. A quick stop at a very cold Grand Canyon was called for. A good time was had by all. Dorine enjoyed the cake. I learned about "pulled sugar," Al got to spit in the big ditch, Emma learned she is not impervious to cold, and Elmo smugly snuggled.

Huge thank yous to Barbara and her family without whom no cake would have been made!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dorine's cake

Well, haven't posted in a while. Life got very busy. Al was working on his show at deMare. We also were getting a rental ready for a new tenant. Dr. Who and Torchwood have been calling me. But, I did manage to make a cake.

this baby took three dozen of our girl's finest. YEs! the chickens are laying!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

18 weeks: chick meets dog!

Well, its eighteen weeks since the girls (and at least one boy) hatched out. Time for bird to meet dog!

We unveiled the front of the chicken run so everyone could see and be seen. Pretty anticlimactic if ya ask me.

The birds were very interested in the view, and the additional feeding possibilities.

Elmo sniffed and was sniffed in turn.

Emma wanted the birds to run around, but no one paid her any mind.

The silkie in front with the fancy neck feathers has begun to crow! So, we have at least one roo. Not sure what we'll do with him. He's very pretty and the silkies are so fun, but we are kinda on the down low and can't afford any neighborhood complaints. Fortunately its summer and we have a little time.

Here's a picture of the July garden. We've been eating the harvest since I got back mid June. We thinned the beets and had a great beet green stir fry. The potatoes are growing lavishly. The beans are being a little pokey. The peas were lovely and sweet, but not enough of them.
Anyway, learning what grows...

House finches visiting the feeder - our most common visitor.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mystery Map

This is a rather poor photo of my Pal's most recent work. It is titled "Mystery Map" and is about 3' x 4' total on four 3' x 1' panels. The painting medium is Encaustic, which is a bee's wax and resin emulsion with pigments suspended in it. He also uses strange things like: coffee grounds, chili powder, marble dust, mica dust, aluminum, carbon and other things.

I'm posting this as a preview of his upcoming show at DeMar Gallery here in Las Vegas, New Mexico. His show opens on September 13th. Be there or be square!

Check out his blog "Al made this." The link is listed to the left of this post.

Friday, May 9, 2008

eight weeks chickens

The chicks are growing like weeds. And so purty! They've graduated to "Pullet grower feed." Hope you enjoy their portraits. Click on them, usually it will be worth it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

why I'm so sore and tired

I think these pictures document around six weeks of back breaking work. At least next spring should be easier.

First we cleared the land of debris and cord wood.
Then dog fencing, gates, and building the new beds. The beds are made out of stone from the land that the previous owner had brought in. Much of it is the same rock as the houses are built from. Raised beds are important since we have the thirsty elms to contend with. At least 70% of the materials we used for all this work was recycled from what we found already here. We were fortunate in that the soil here is pretty good. So, we'd dismantle a nasty little bed the previous owner had built (and in the process saving the houses from further degradation), augment the lovely topsoil with Chaffhay and manure, and mix it all up in the new beds. Lots of tooing and froing with the wheelbarrow, and lifting and heaving of rocks and boulders - Phew!

We had to interrupt the garden development and hurry to get the Chicken coop done since the girls were growing so quickly. We laid the foundation a couple weeks ago inside the only covered exterior space the houses have to offer. The gate to the hen yard was built by friends in Santa Fe for their old garden and recycled for our girls.

This is a picture of everything pretty much done. The hen yard has a screen around it for now until the dogs and hens get used to each other. We hung bird netting to keep the girls in and hawks and cats out. The yellow is the color we started painting the old screens for the windows. Yellow screens for summer, and blue storm windows for winter. I think we provide endless amusement for the neighbors: Gay TV. Someday I'll have my wall.....
Al built the hens their condo nesting boxes. They will be mounted higher on the wall once the girls start laying eggs. Walmart sells a dozen organic eggs for 3.77 right now......

Seven week old Ameraucana (we are beginning to suspect rooster...):

Seven Weeks Old:
interior shot of the girls new digs:
Yikes! what a lot of work!
well deserved nap.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

6 weeks old and moving into the big house

The new hen house is finally done (or at least mostly). The girls had definitely outgrown their brood box. This is a picture of the back side of the hen house leading out into their yard. This is their first foray out doors. The silkies led the way. Brave birds. Al insisted they needed steps on their ramp for their little feet. It is hard to imagine their full grown size at this point, but, except for the Bantams, they will eventually reach 8 to 10 pounds of fluffy hen.

I'll post more tomorrow. Tonight I am tired out. This has been quite a job getting the coop done before the birds started stressing too much in their former digs. Watching Chick TV is definitely the best show in town these days!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

five weeks old and xtras

The Barred Rock is getting her speckles.

Feeding time is all the time!

Emma and Elmo doing their taxes.

this strange fowl, was a birthday gift years ago from my friend Donna. I am so pleased to finally have a garden for it to live in. While it was in the 70's yesterday, today, it snowed.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

cold spring day - nap time!

Alex and the dogs enjoying the new wood stove:

Monday, April 7, 2008

4 weeks old

three new chicks! couldn't resist these little silkies. The bigger bantam was in their brood box and they think she must be mom!
little miss poopy butt is looking very alert. Al's favorite - hoping shes a hen.
lots of feathering out on the buff orpingtons.
Barred rock going round and round.
Everyone needs a mom.

working hard getting the coop built. I'm very tired and sore....

Monday, March 31, 2008

chicken head

We have started some chicks for our organic gardening enterprise. Some would say we are kinda nutty. But, how could you resist such chickness? We are learning loads. My favorite thing.
The chicks are about three weeks old in these pictures.
Featherless Biped meets feathered biped:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Butterfly Birthday

Yet another birthday cake. This was requested petite. Many thanks to MC for the way to make butterflies.