Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Progressive Nest

I found this nest on the ground in front of my house.  It's made of at least 50 percent plastic. There are a few random blue pieces that look a lot like finishing touches or decoration, but there are a lot more clear pieces interwoven with what looks like hay.  This chicka definitely had style!  I'm not sure why it was let loose and abandoned, but it's clear that the animal kingdom is advancing in ways we never thought possible.  The earth day population I encountered in NYC on my trip last weekend would have fainted upon seeing this unnatural nest. What they don't realize is that I saw a flock of pigeons fighting over a chicken wing left on the sidewalk.  At least we don't raise cannibals here in Utah! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Easter Campout

Attempt at a family photo

I should have posted this two weeks ago, however our impromptu move has put me behind in documenting our latest adventure.  Justin rarely has a weekend free so Easter weekend we decided to go camping in Moab, which was strangely also Jeep Safari Weekend.  We arrived late Saturday night, stayed in a motel that John Wayne stayed in like a hundred years ago that also had reviews like "I think I got bed bugs here" and "this place is the worst place I have ever stayed".  Luckily the Easter bunny found us and we took the kids to church high on sugar.  After church, which was lovely, actually, we were off to soak in the beautiful surroundings.  We witnessed a jeep flip over as it tried to drive up the "potato salad bowl", a famous rock climb for jeeps, talked to a bunch of dads about their struggles in raising their one child, not sure if they'll have another.  I did my best to convince them that two is better than one.  We got back to camp and we made a raging fire, roasted hot dogs for the kids and I put my filet mignon tin foil dinners on to cook.  Delicious!  After dinner the kids went on a hike while I hid Easter eggs for the most amazing hunt ever in the red boulders at the base of our camp.  The kids loved rock climbing to collect their eggs.  The kids did really well sleeping through the night, especially Violette who didn't wake up once.  Me, on the other hand, did not sleep well.  Justin woke me up around 2am scream whispering, "Amelia, what is that light!" Turns out it was just the moon, but being startlingly awakened wondering if either robbers or aliens were at our tent door prevented me from falling back to sleep and then the wind flapping the rain fly that Justin didn't think he needed to secure kept me from falling back to sleep.  Eventually I forced him to go out and put the pole in it and it stopped, but because of that, I still slept in until 9am after going to bed at 9:30pm.  Ugh.  I can never go to sleep early and wake up early successfully. 

Monday was spent searching for cool hikes to arches and playing in the sand. Justin took a nice mountain bike ride and then we drove home at 9pm, arrived home at midnight and then decided to move last minute the next morning.  We're crazy.  I just have to remember, it's fuel for the blog. 

Coolest trees ever

Strongest man in the world!


desert Easter egg hunt

Our camp site

See Justin and Henry way up there?

Dirty and oh so happy

Henry had to rock climb to get these

I call this climb "crack the egg"

Sliding down boulders

Got some sand in my eye mom!

Got a little sun and some rosy cheeks

Got those climbing skills!

Are they all crying? haha.

Couldn't get them to hold still for the photo!!

Happiest girl in the world!

Clemmie likes to copy her daddy

Check out the view!

Justin action shot

Monday, April 16, 2012

Farm Life Begins

Checking out the back yard

We moved into our new house last Tuesday and we're loving the space and the beautiful property! One hard thing is that my treadmill is in pieces in the basement still! Ugh!  I haven't gained back any weight and have held steady at right under 142 so that's good.  One thing about my wellness plan is that the weight loss is sustainable even though I'm not working out and don't really have a strict diet other than not eating sweets. I don't lose weight during down times, but I don't gain any either. Hopefully I can get the treadmill put back together tomorrow so I can resume my work outs!

Here are some pictures of the yard and the house.  The inside is a huge mess so you'll have to wait a while for those photos.  Some of the best things about this house is that we have neighbors that...

1. Have a dog that plays with the kids all the time so we don't have to get one
2. Have an in ground trampoline that the kids are welcome to jump on at any time
3. Have a tennis court that is in kind of bad shape, but the kids can play on anytime, and
4. Other neighbors that have a pool, so maybe we can visit this summer:)
5.  Everyone but us has horses that we may get a chance to ride
6. Is right across the street from awesome hiking/trail running/biking in a state preserve
5. A gated private street that ends close to our house so people go really slow past our driveway. 
It's pretty much a dream location and the house is secondary.  I just want to be outside all day long!

Front of the house. Being 40 years old means too many plants so we're going to cut some trees down eventually.  We do have a lot of really nice Japanese maples and aspens and GIANT pine trees that are way too close and need to be chopped.
Cool pond and waterfall.  I spent the entire day cleaning out all the rotting, stinky leaves and it actually works great!

There are 5 fruit trees on the property.  I can't tell if they're apple or peach yet.  I know one is a cherry.  Yum!

View up our driveway from our mailbox.  There is so much room to ride bikes and play and we're so far from busy streets.  Check out the giant pine tree.  It's also leaning toward the house. Scary!

grassy part of the yard with two bird feeders(one is directly behind the big one) and lots of mature trees

There are a ton of these plants growing all over trellis'.  I hope they're grapes!

You can see how close we are to the mountains.  That grove of scrub oak is where I might put a cool tree house for the kids.

Back of the house.  It has a nice large and low deck, perfect for small children to climb up and down off of.
This is the riding arena.  I think I will put grass in here, line it with wire fencing and put all the animals inside to play with the kids kind of like what the Romans would do to people

This is an interesting tiered feature.  There is a spot to put a little table and there are a couple of benches hiding in there.  It needs a lot of work to make it look manicured but I hope eventually this will be partly an herb garden and partly a peaceful place to eat brunch with a friend. 

Another view.  There are three trees to the left that look like fruit trees.  Let's just hope it's true!

The barn and the awesome view of the mountains. 

Close up view of the barn.  Three stalls, nothing fancy.  Chicken coop is in the middle

This space is where I hope to put 10 or so fruit trees for an orchard.  We want Honey Crisp apples, peaches, apricots, sour and sweet cherries.  Anything else we should consider? As soon as the scrub oak leaves come in it's going to be so lush back here!

This is in the other direction behind the barn.  The animals will be kept here in the middle whereas the garden will be up past those far rocks.  This place even has automatic waterers for the animals! So cool!

Other view of the orchard space

View from the barn toward the house.  The landscaping is out of control, but at least it doesn't cost money for me to take things out or prune

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I am below my pre-pregnancy weight
I fit into my jeans
I am happy
Daruma Doll eyeball, here I come

Monday, April 2, 2012

"lap dog" of the chicken world

White Bantam Silkie Chicken - weighs only one pound
 I just ordered 15 baby chicks of these kinds of chickens and I only want hens, but I have a 50% chance of getting roosters.   My friend Cynthia got 4 baby chicks they named Goldielocks and the Three Bears when we were living in Pittsburgh.   Two of the "bears" turned out to be Roosters so they just dropped them off in some random wooded area and left them to fend for themselves.  Is that what people really do with their roosters? I definitely do not want a million roosters crowing all day and night so, what do I do with the fluffy, darling roosters? Eat them? Sell them? Give them up for free or leave them to be devoured by the many predatory animals we have around our new farm? You know this is the cutest creature you've ever seen, but who wants a rooster?