Friday, April 30, 2010

April Animals on the Ranch!

Look at all these cute critters! As cute as they are, however, I was annoyed. They also decided to nibble on my golden willow tree sticks that survived from our move from Tillamook! We had stuck them in a bucket with water and finally gotten around to planting them up on the ranch this spring. Unfortunately, the deer REALLY liked the coastal treats. This last weekend the guys went up and put some wire around a few. Hopefully, those ones will survive. Jon took scads of deer pictures (as usual) and we especially liked this one of the deer jumping the fence.

The mountain creeks were running nicely this April and tree frogs were everywhere! They found this adorable green one as well as a darker brown one.

More deer! It is too early to tell if any of the ones they saw were bucks, but I am pretty sure that come October the ranch will be devoid of white and black tails! That is the way deer season works!

Next up, pictures of the ranch at the END of April and flowers in the year. Jon got some of the cutest chipmunk photos, but you will have to wait for those!

Friday, April 09, 2010


Spring means snow, right? Well, we got a skiff here in April and it was NOT fair! The daffodils wouldn't lift their heads and even Moses was not impressed. He was seriously looking for that door into summer and this one was NOT it! (actually, I think the daffs are ones that keep their heads down as they still have not lifted them!)

For the WMHS band auction I had Jon make another flower. I really wish I could keep this one, but we needed to give it to the band fund. I added one of my cement leaves and we call it Garden Stuff. This one has petals made of kitchen knives and leaves made of a spatula and a spoon. It is VERY clever. I hope people like it. I think we'll make more and see if they sell during Caledonian yard sale day! That is the problem with creating things, you just want to KEEP them!
Maxwell, today, found that door into summer. It was not very warm out in the yard, but on the top of the lawn mower in a sun puddle he was very content! Jon said he couldn't mow the lawn since Max was sleeping. I told him to move Max and mow anyway. The front eventually got cut.
Am reading Alcott, Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Rainbows and Chocolate

Sometimes you have to really look for the rainbows, but when you find them they are amazing! I always wonder about what might be at the end of the rainbow and I have never found a 'pot of gold'. but it doesn't matter. The promise of a rainbow is much more awesome than gold!

It is even better than chocolate, which is a debatable point, I am sure! We had our annual Princess Party at church and I was asked to bring in my chocolate fountain. It is such a fun party tool and I made certain to let parents know if their little girls in their pretty frilly and lacy dresses ended up with a coating of chocolate, to use a product designed to remove oil. Fountain chocolate has a LOT of oil in it! We also learned how much fun this type of chocolate is as a lip gloss. Many young girls really like chocolate. (can you say, understatement??)

I also did something different this year when it came to tidying up. This year I brought the fountain home in order to dismantle and clean it, rather than doing it at the church. It was MUCH easier, but I did think the cleaning tips in the directions left out some very important hints. (If you are a fan of Willy Wonka, you will also realise that they leave out scenes of cleaning in the chocolate factory. This, I feel is not fair!!!) So, if you have a fountain of your own or are thinking of getting one, please refer to these extra notes when the party is over. (I have used my fountain several times and felt it was time to write this information down for sharing.)

1. You need at least 2 empty sinks and a LOT of hot water. 2. You need two people to take apart the fountain when it is all messy with the melted chocolate. One person must hold the bowl of the fountain in place as the second person untwists things. (This is a VERY messy job.) 3. All the fountain bits for my fountain (except the electric base) are dishwasher safe, but to make sure it is all very clean I suggest running the bits through the dishwasher twice after rinsing them off completely. (I realise this is not an energy efficient idea, however it eliminates the grossness of wiping chocolate residue off your stuff after it is clean when you are ready to use it again) 4. When you remove the first layer of leftover chocolate, do not use a sink of soapy warm water as you actually end up with a larger mess than you started with. Also, do NOT use the little sprayer thingy that is often attached to a sink. Warm water and chocolate and oil can go a very long way when sprayed. Trust me! 5. When scraping together the chocolate to toss, I use an old plastic container with a lid. The chocolate does not compost well and attracts many critters who are better off not knowing how yummy chocolate is, just throw it away. (NOTE-fountain chocolate is not reusable. However, with our 'kid' parties, we serve them the warm chocolate in little cups, thus keeping our chocolate very clean and crumb and germ free. This allows me to actually retain the chocolate for another use, but it is not a practice that is naturally much as it kills you to toss the used chocolate, you must do it!!!!!)

If you follow these tips, you will have a much more enjoyable time using your fountain and you will refrain from adding to Craig's List after it's first use.