Tomatoes and Berries galore!!

Kaia and I went Blackberry picking yesterday and got gallons of blackberries, and even a few raspberries. The vines were dripping with berries as big and juicy as I’ve ever seen. The raspberries weren’t ready just yet, but the farm owners had picked some of a different variety a few weeks ago and frozen them. So, I got a few gallons of raspberries too. So, we should have lots of yummy jam soon!!

Look at how huge these things are!

We’ve also been canning up some tomatoes. A local organic farm had some problems with their packing boxes and ended up with some bruised tomatoes that their buyers wouldn’t accept. So, they were trying to get rid of them and selling 20# boxes for $12!!! We got two boxes and I can’t find a bruise on them! They are perfect!!

So, tonight we canned some salsa, and on Sunday we are going to can some Pelati and some Roasted Tomato Garlic Soup. MMmmmmm…..

All is well on the baby front. I was showing so early and measuring ahead of dates, that we though we might have twins. So, we decided to go for an ultrasound just to be sure all was ok. Turns out there is one happy baby in there and one freakin huge placenta! From what I understand the main reasons for big placentas are moms with Syphilis (which I don’t have), diabetes (which I don’t have), Rh incompatibility (which we don’t have), and just because. I guess it’s just because. Big placentas often grow big babies… :-O

Isabella and Daisy went in to get spayed last week. Daisy came back her usual self and just bounced all over the place. We tried to keep her calm so that she wouldn’t break her sutures. She did fine, but for some reason Isabella’s wound opened a tiny bit, about the size of a pencil eraser, and she was having some swelling under one of her nipples. So, we took her back in and they put an adhesive on the skin to get the wound to close. But they also had to give her a cone to keep her from licking it.

She was not happy about it, walked around the house backwards, and somehow still got around it to lick the wound. Within a day it was opened up again, so I decided to do it my way. I cleaned the wound and put a sterile dressing with honey on it, then wrapped her belly in an ace bandage. So far so good. She’s able to move around and hasn’t tried to take it off. She’s eating well and I’m giving her some herbs in her food to keep down infection and to decrease the swelling (which is gone now).

Crazy cats!

The cats are having a grand ol’ time together and have really adjusted well in the last 10 days. Daisy is still a bit skittish, but calming down each day.
Here’s a nice picture where you can really see Isabella’s wavy coat. It’s extremely soft! You can also see her white ‘racing stripes’ on her legs. The white stripe goes down each leg and meets in the back, and leads to her white underside. She really has a cool pattern on her.

We got a new rug today and every one has really enjoyed it! Kaia used it as a dancing spot for a while. Then the girls (kitties) decided to fight it out to see who could be proclaimed “queen of the rug”.

Max decided to join the ruckus.

But quickly moved off to allow the girls to finish their Battle for the Rug!

Isabella has also decided that she likes to view her kingdom from above (way above!). That way she can be sure that all of her slaves are properly performing their duties.

And I don’t know if I have mentioned it, but within every 257th litter of kittens born in the world, one is born who possesses the magic of Merlin’s cat (remember how he had that cat who was really special to him, so he gave him the ability to do magic? Sure you do!) Supposedly, since cats can’t hold magic wands, they do their magic with a twitch of their ear. We’ll this magical gene is so rare, I never thought I’d have a magical cat of my own. But, today, Isabella showed her true colors. The sparkle of Merlin’s magic appeared over her ear as she wished up more wet food in her bowl! Guess I’d better keep a sharp eye on that kitty!

All is well

Sorry for the slack in posting. All is well here.. just busy. We are settling into the house and really enjoying the space and amenities! Kaia and I are especially having fun cooking together (something that was really hard to do in the little cabin). We ate so poorly the past two years. I had no desire to cook and PB&J was often a main meal. So now, I’m trying to get back on track with healthy, whole foods and lots of local fresh fruits and veggies. I’ve singed up for a weekly recipe mailer through Cooking Traditional Foods. Every week she sends 6 recipes and a dessert, shopping list for those recipes, and when to prepare stuff in advanced. Her site also has recipe and discussion forums, and the recipes are loosely based on Weston Price’s ideas. It’s been really helpful in getting back on track with cooking. I figure I’ll do this for a while until I get into a good rhythm. My only objection is that 5 of the 6 recipes include meat. That’s a lot of meat for me (and gets expensive), so we may use bean and other substitutes.

The animals are doing pretty well. Ralph has decided she has had enough of being a mom and got off the nest. So, no chicks from those eggs. (We can’t invest in an incubator right now.) The cats are all adjusting really well. They have already started snuggling up together, which is really cute. Suki went to the groomers last week and when I picked her up they said a lot of her hair was falling out and she had redness and bruising on her skin. She looked almost bald in patches. I took her to the vet the next day and the blood work showed that her clotting time was a little slow. They think that she either had a really bad allergic reaction to something or that she may have gotten into some rat poison. So, she is on some Vitamin K to get her to stop bruising and increase her clotting time (this is the antidote for Rat poison, too). Her skin is looking mostly better already.

Business is going well for me. I’ve got as many clients as I can handle right now, which is nice. I’m excited to have my office space set up in the cabin. It will be so nice to be able to hear the frogs and the birds during my consultations and not the 18 wheelers rolling by. I’ve had to cancel a few appointments this past week, cause my forearms and hands are covered in poison ivy. Because of the pattern on my arms, I think I might have gotten it off of Suki. I don’t think I’ve ever had it this bad (I usually only get a blister or two). Both arms look all bumpy and scaly. I’ve been using high dose licorice powder (as a paste on my arms, and as a tea) to decrease the swelling. It works well.

I’m giving an herb walk this weekend at the LEAF festival. I got a free ticket the the festival in exchange for the class. So, Kaia and I are going to spend the weekend playing, dancing, swimming, hooping, and having fun!!!

Meet Isabella and Daisy

We finally got our kitties! We’d been putting it off until we were in the house. There is still a ton of unpacked stuff and clutter that they can get into, but we were ready to have them come home. They are roaming around the house right now, figuring out where everything is. They chortle at each other to keep tabs on where the other cat is. Isabella is a 3 year old black and white devon rex and she is really beautiful. Her coat is so shiny and soft. She has really cool racing strips on her hind legs! She’s a total love, too! She runs at you, head butts you, and rubs against you as hard as she can. And if you put your hand above her, she will grab it with both front paws and rub it with her head. She wasn’t being very photogenic though, so I’ll post more pics later.

Her daughter is about 3 1/2 months old and a little wild child. She’s a tortoiseshell in color and very pretty also! She found a toy that we attached to the door and played with it for ~1 hour tonight. Kaia has decided to call her Crazy McDaisy… Daisy for short. So now we have another Daisy the curly haired cat :-)


Max is not the happiest of cats. He has been cranky and hiding most of the day. When the cats get close to him he growls and hisses. Hopefully they will learn to be friends! He could use a good snuggle friend!

Discovering the roof

Max has been staying with us in the upstairs bedroom, and seems to like it there.  Today, while I was doing some more cordwood, I left the door to the bedroom open so Max could explore the rest of the house.  He seemed to get a kick out of running up and down the stairs.  The temp. got to 70 today, so I opened all the windows and doors, and Max decided to explore the roof.

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I think he likes it out there!

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Toby took the pics with his phone camera, so the quality isn’t too great, but can you see the smile?

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We had a busy weekend doing things other than working on the house.  But, 5 of the cordwood walls are now done inside and out, (WOOHOOO!) and I will hopefully finish them off early this week.  A lot of the ‘big’ stuff that needs to be done so we can move in are things that we are waiting for others to do… like plumbing, electric, and gas finals, finishing the stairs, painting the house, and dirt on the roof.  Oh, speaking of dirt on the roof… I may have found a way to get it up there that doesn’t involve us and a bunch of 5 gallon buckets full of dirt!  I’m going to try to hire a mulch blower truck.  They work well with dry, light dirt also and can blow it up on the roof!  There is a long hose and someone stand at the end and directs the dirt exactly where we want it.  Wouldn’t that be great!!!???

Rosie has passed

I’m sorry to say that little Rosie died yesterday morning.  We really thought she was going to make it.  After 5 days of eating well we’re not sure what happened.  She may have gotten cold at night, but she was kind of sluggish the day before yesterday, so I don’t know.  We had a little burial for her and Kaia let Rosie have her toy mousie and a little cloth to be buried with.  We’ll miss her… we’d gotten quickly attached to having her little (6 gram) body nuzzled up in our hand to eat and sleep.

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Here’s Rosie sleeping in Kaia’s hand after a big meal.

Of eggtrees and mouseees

Well, it looks like we have another family member.  I’d like to introduce you to Rosie, our baby mouse.  We were getting out some bee stuff from storage and found that all of the bagged up hive bodies had mice in them.  In the first bag, three grown mice ran out.  In the second bag, a momma mouse and 4 babies were in there!  The momma ran into a wood pile, so we put the nest with the babies by the pile and she came to get them.  But then we found one near our step, all by itself.  It wasn’t making any noise and looked like it had an injured arm.  So, we took it inside to warm it up.  I gave it some rice milk but didn’t think it would make it through the night.  It looks to be 1-2 weeks old.  It has fur and it’s ears are detached from it’s body, but it’s eyes are still closed and it is still wobbly when it walks.  But, when I woke up this morning, it was raring to go.  I soaked some bread in rice milk and it ate a little.  Looks like it’s arm is moving better, too.  Still, it isn’t eating much.  I don’t think it has had anything but mousey milk.  Tomorrow we will head to the pet store to get better baby mouse food and a little cage.
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How can you not love that face??

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And for easter, Kaia and her gradma made an egg tree :-)

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Please vote

So, I’ve entered Max and Suki in a beauty contest :-) Please go and vote!! Bissell Vacuum Cleaners will have 15 weeks of voting. Each week 5 pets will win (based on appearance, coat, and expression). From the final 75, they will chose one to be their spokes pet (they will get their photo on their new Pet Hair Eraser vacuum). But the really big thing is that the winner also gets $10,000 donated to the pet cause of their choice!! That’s huge! This week, I’ve entered Suki (only I misspelled her name.  There are tons of pictures, so do a search for “sukki” and then click on her picture.  You can only vote once, so don’t click any other pet… just Sukki!!  :-) ). So go and vote for her, and then let me know who you think I should donate the winning $ too!!!

The babies

They are a month old now.  Cutie pies, eh?  We are getting the black one with the strip on her head.  The little calico reminds me of johnny depp in pirates of the carribean, with the black eye make up :-)

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May I have your paw in marriage

We are proud to announce the marriage of Kaia and Max! The blushing bride wore a white, sparkley princess gown with pink slippers, and the groom… well the groom was none to happy about his white veil. Seems his bride made a last minute change from his elegant black tux with tails to a shiny polyester veil with cheap elastic.
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The Bride kept a smile on through the whole ceremony, but as you can see, the groom is not the happiest about the clothing mishap, though he still looks quite stunning.
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After the ceremony, the groom spent the rest of the evening sitting on another woman’s lap, sulking while his bride danced the night away.

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Ring for Sale

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In order to help finance the adoption of my kitties, I’m selling a ring of mine. I thought I’d check to see if any of you want it before I put it on Ebay. It’s a really beautiful ring made of 14K yellow gold, and is in great shape. The design is called “Josephine’s Knot” and you can see another picture of the ring Here. It is a size 6, but can be resized by the designer, Walker Metalsmiths I’d love to get $225 for it, but I’ll entertain offers.
The Emperor Napoleon Bonapart employed many Irish soldiers known as The Wild Geese. He is known to have also patronized Irish culture by employing a court harpist and may have commissioned Irish craftsmen also. The empress Josephine was a favorite of seaman and the name of this knot comes from a nautical tradition, although the knot was used a thousand years earlier. The Josephine’s knot is a lover’s knot as it intertwines separate links to make the whole pattern.”

Isabella’s kittens

Isabella had her kittens last week (on the 17th).  This morning they opened their eyes, so the breeder took some pictures for me.  There are two female kittens.  We are getting the black and caramel one along with Isabella, probably in the end of March!  Wohoo

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On the other cat front, we got Max back today.  We asked the family that was caring for him while we build to watch him until Dec. or Jan. when we hoped to have the house done.  But, now it is more likely march, so we didn’t want to ask them to keep on caring for him, especially since she was having allergies.  So, we’re off to pick him up this afternoon!  I’ll post pictures when he’s settled in.

Daily Happenings

Hello! I am Sir Maximus Butthead. But, you can call me Max the family cat! I thought it was about time I introduced myself!

Ok, Maria here…
This is too funny not to post! K has decided to start practicing yoga while she nurses! We like to call this one “down dog eating”.