at home

Posted on April 17th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  3 Comments »

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David is home, and now we’re getting our spring snow. This weekend we got about three feet in one big blizzard.

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Here is the painting I made for his birthday while he was at Masters. I worked it and reworked it, and for such a simple painting, the amount of time I spent on it is kind of hilarious. I stopped work on it simply because he came home and it was time for it to be finished. I can never seem to be perfectly happy with a painting, but he loves it, and that satisfies me.  It’s called Mountain Lullaby.

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That’s my reference photo–one I took while hiking last summer while David’s parents watched the kids. Our house, I think, was just out of the photo to the right.

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This is our back porch, LOL. The snow made it right up to the top of the rail, and gave our planter box a nice top hat.

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Here is the other gift I made for David’s birthday–a small clay lion sculpture. I made him a tiny clay lion (more like a cartoon) when we first became friends, and this is a more realistic throwback to that.

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Our playhouse is almost buried!  This is more snow than we’ve had at one time since we moved here two and a half years ago.

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Isn’t that snow on the rail hilarious?

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Just before he came home, I managed to start not feeling well. It was partly from my experiment with hydrogen peroxide inhalation, which I now think is a really bad idea, especially if it contains chemical additives.  Partly, it was probably due to trying to be Super Wife while he was gone, racing around all day every day trying to transform the house, truck, and goat shed before he got back. Super Wife has now become Snuggled Up In Bed All Week Wife.

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(It looks like my kids are doing all the work, but that’s just not true.)

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Hope you’re having a nice green spring!

happy birthday from here to GA!

Posted on April 7th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  3 Comments »

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Happy birthday to my favorite 42-year-old man.  I miss you so much and hope you take a little breather from your long workday in the middle of your long workweek to read this post and see a few pics of our days without you. You’re starting work at 4 am this morning, and you’ve probably forgotten it’s your birthday.

We’re counting down the days till you fly home–filling them up with school projects, guitar projects, organizing and cleaning, hours of painting, driving from snowy mountains to bask in sunny valleys, then back to snow again. That giant canvas is becoming a little sump’in for you, the kids are making their own birthday surprises, and we are especially wishing we could spend this day with you. But you’ll be home before you know it, and we’ll be here waiting for you.

Love you huge and happy, happy birthday!

bye, bye, dadda

Posted on March 28th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  6 Comments »

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David is at the Masters Golf Tournament for his fourth year in a row. He’s setting up the network, supporting the press and media, and getting ready for 16-hour workdays, awesome man.

His birthday is always during Masters, so we had a little celebration the day before he left with a lemon meringue pie (“lemon remain pie,” as Cash calls it) and a homemade goodbye card from the kids. He’ll be 42 when he comes home. :)

He’s faking smoking that cigar in the house, BTW–he wouldn’t dare.

Here at home, the adventure has begun. Today the kids had their first day of school after spring break, and Zia had set her alarm to a fire truck blare which went off precisely at 6:30 am. Soon after, I came down to light the wood stove, and got a nice roaring fire which set off the smoke alarm, LOL. It wasn’t even smoky, but the flames licked out and managed to set off the upstairs alarm, which woke up Cash and got our day off to a nice bang.

Besides that, things are going fine. We got more snow, and our deer decoy from the last post is now completely submerged. But it’s not too cold and we have lots of wood–and a good snowplow, unlike our first winter (here and here). And for some reason, umbrellas have been the fad here lately for playing out in the snow.

Caleb worked through all of spring break, which is why there are no pictures of him gallivanting with us. He will be 16 in May, and he’s a big help around the house with hauling wood, washing dishes, taking care of the goats, etc.  This summer he will be in New Mexico, Kentucky, and Germany. I think his time in Germany will be especially awesome, and I’m at least a tiny bit jealous.

Cash recently went through a funny “blueberries and vinegar” stage. I am kind of embarrassed of it, because what mother gives her kid blueberries with vinegar? The (true) story goes that I had a little apple cider vinegar left in my salad bowl one night and threw in some frozen blueberries for dessert, not bothering to dump out the rest of the vinegar. I put some flax meal on top and started eating them, which is when I realized just how much blueberries don’t go with vinegar. Just then Cash came over and asked for a taste. He was absolutely delighted and asked what it was. For the next several days he wanted bowls of blueberries sprinkled with vinegar and flax meal. Thankfully, he has kind of forgotten about it now, ha. Isn’t he hilarious, eating with those gloves? (He just saw that picture and asked for blueberries with vinegar.)

Right now Cash is going through Dadda Withdrawal Syndrome, although he refuses to admit it. Zia used to get it, too, and it’s very sad. He throws a tantrum and won’t stop crying, then regains composure and says, “That baby-cry Dadda–I’m glad he’s not here. He always wants me to rub his back, and says, ‘Cashy, you know what?’ and I say ‘What?’ And he says ‘You my favorite (red-headed boy).’ He always says that. I’m so glad he’s not here.”

And then he hugs the phone and kisses the silly selfies David sends. Hang in there, little boy–life will be back to normal soon.

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hair escapades, fruit fly war, gluten free cake, and more

Posted on March 17th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  8 Comments »

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I’ve practically stopped blogging, I know.  No reason, just life.  I’ll try to make this a catch-up post, and jot down a bunch of things that have been going on around here. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, BTW!

First, my hair. (This could be lengthy, so kindly skip if not interested, lol.)

I’ve made a foray back into the world of shampoo! I’ve realized conditioner-washing hasn’t been a good long-term cleansing method for my hair. It became weighed down and lost its bounce after several months of co-washing with a thick, shea butter restorative conditioner, which I think was just too heavy for my hair. I went back to my homemade coconut-clay shampoo, and it was amazing how it helped clarify and revive it.

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I found a natural hair care company, Morrocco Method, and ordered a healthy hair starter pack with five shampoos and several conditioners. It’s not exactly regular shampoo–it’s all natural, raw, and wild crafted–and so far, I love it. The consensus among users seems to be that it works great as long as they have already gone no poo for a while, but if you are going straight from regular shampoo to Morrocco Method, your hair will go through a period of being oily, sticky and gross–much like mine did when I stopped using shampoos. Once your hair has detoxed from the chemicals in regular shampoos, Morrocco Method can work beautifully to keep your hair and scalp balanced and healthy.

I also brushed my hair for the first time in…I don’t know–fifteen or twenty years, haha. As a curly girl, you know NEVER to brush your hair (you’ll ruin the curls!) Use a wide toothed comb, a pick, or, best of all, your fingers. But I decided to try a boar bristle brush as it distributes the oils from your scalp through your hair better than other brushes. It felt so energizing to brush my scalp that I hardly slept the first night, lol.

My next earth-shattering news is–ta-da–I’ve decided to ditch henna. I’ve loved it for the eight years I’ve used it–ever since my hair started fading and people would ask me who Zia got her red hair from! It has been great to continue being a “natural” redhead, haha. Henna is affordable, conditioning, natural, and easy to do yourself. But I guess I’m just tired of it, and at this point I would really like a nice highlighted look, which henna just won’t deliver.

So, I’ve been growing out my henna for the past eight weeks, and about twice a week doing an overnight oil treatment to try to fade the color as much as possible–in hopes that I can highlight over it without a strange reaction between the salon color and the leftover henna. It has lifted the color, a little at a time, and right now I have lovely ashy brown roots with platinum highlights–which sounds infinitely better than mousey brown interspersed with gray. I counted down the days for a month until my salon appointment for yesterday, which they suddenly cancelled, and I now have another month of hat hair.  You know, as in I should wear a hat when I go out–which I usually don’t.

I’ll have a strand test done, and if the remaining henna doesn’t cause my hair to turn green or crumble into dust, I’ll get highlights and lowlights–yay!  If it does, I’ll need a color correction first, which will strip off all the henna.  I am also badly in need of a trim, since I have been coaxing my hair to grow in every way possible and I couldn’t stand the thought of scissors.  I still really want it long, and hopefully cutting off almost a year of split ends won’t shorten it too drastically. I am so looking forward to my hair appointment and now I’m just waiting in quiet resignation. Patience, dear girl.

On to other things!

My tribe of sweet houseplants became infested with fruit flies, to the point that they were taking over the house. I was about to bid my plants farewell and set them out on the porch to freeze and starve in the dark when I suddenly thought of Google. I found a neem oil remedy for fruit flies, and over the past couple of months I have effectively vanquished them. The solution I make is about a half of a teaspoon of neem oil, a little squirt of dish detergent, and 16 oz. of warm water. Shake it up good and immediately douse your plants–leaf, stem, soil, inside and outside of pot. You need to use the solution up all at once since it loses its potency after just an hour or two, I think.  The trick is to keep doing it every 4-7 days, since the neem oil simply keeps the flies from eating or breeding, and anything in egg form will soon emerge quite healthily. I think I must have waited too long between squirts and missed a cycle of eggs now and then, which is probably why it took me two months to conquer them.

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We’re not going anywhere in particular overseas (except for Caleb–more on that to come!), but we decided to get passports for the kids. Caleb already had his renewed, but yesterday we took Cash and Zia to have their pictures taken and turn in the forms for their very first passports. There was a giant American flag on the wall, so old and beautiful, with a plaque near it telling how it has 38 stars, since Colorado was the 38th state.

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Zia has a birthday celebration at school today (which is hilarious because her birthday is still four months away) and she asked me to make a Shopkins cake with her favorite Shopkins on it. I made this gluten free white cake–which came out really nice and high with a few altitude adjustments. Hopefully it tastes as good as it looks!

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I had a custom order in my shop for a shabby chic/French vintage style cord burning box, which is a very different style for me to create. Here are my rough design proposal sketches:

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And here is one side of the finished box:

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Have you heard of Hydrogen Peroxide Inhalation therapy? It is safe, cheap, you can do it yourself, and it is reportedly very effective. People have used it to cure everything from muscle aches to cancer, and a myriad of lung and breathing issues. The premise is that when your body is oxygenated, sickness can’t survive. I’m into my second week of trying it out for a respiratory difficulty I’ve had for several years. We”ll see how it works!

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We had a beautiful February and first half of March, with many days reaching between 30 and 40 degrees. We went to the creek many times and just let the shopping wait, which was so the right thing to do.

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And now, it’s winter in the mountains. Yahoo. Monday was another sunny, spring-like day and I went for a walk around our two-mile circle. Halfway around, I felt snow on my face, and it turned into a full fledged blizzard by evening. We’ve had a few more inches since, and the mornings have been around 10 degrees.  Our snow never completely melted, though. Our poor little deer (below) has already been up to his neck in snow most of the year.

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And here’s a little flash from the past–Zia and Cash, three years ago today.

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Cash has since acquired more toe control. ;)

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And here they are now, practically all grown up.  Have an awesome weekend–I’ll be back soooooon!

broncos parade and other random things

Posted on February 24th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  7 Comments »

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Waaal hullo there. It seems like our days have been a mish-mash of one thing after another, and I obviously haven’t posted in quite a while. I thought I would just put up some random things here from the past few weeks.

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Tuesday after the Super Bowl (this is ancient news, I know) we kept the kids out of school and headed down to Denver for the Broncos Super Bowl celebration parade. There were about a million people there–a fifth of Colorado’s population and nearly twice the population of Denver–and it was a madhouse. We didn’t think there would be many other kids there, but–surprise! It was packed with kids and teens. Over 24,000 kids turned up absent from Denver public schools on Tuesday, and I’m pretty sure I know where most of them were, LOL.

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We did a little quickie football art before heading to the parade.

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Parking was almost impossible, but we finally found a spot (for $30) and threaded our way through the crowd to watch the parade.

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That’s Peyton Manning in the vest in fire truck #18–fittingly, haha. Von Miller is the figurehead at the front brandishing the trophy.

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Peyton Manning seemed fairly modest about the whole thing, but most of the guys didn’t. You could tell they loved all the glory, and were really eating up the praise. It was pretty funny.

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I noticed some construction workers watching from the top of this building. See them in yellow?

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And there was a lone person at the top of this building. I’m not exactly sure, but I don’t think I would like that view.

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Crowd events are not my thing, but it ended up being a really fun day to spend together, and it was nice for the kids to have a break from school (along with 24,000 other kids!)

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Just a few more things: I’ve been stocking my shop with some new boxes, including redwood ones, which I love.

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I sold five boxes this month, which is actually more than I’ve ever sold in one month, and more than one of them was bought by a midwife. Cord-burning seems to be catching on!

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This is an awful-quality pic because of the fluorescent lights in T.J. Maxx’s dressing-room, but it’s kind of a funny one of Cash. I took it to show David a sweater I liked (and bought)–the sweater was $12 and I got the distressed boyfriend jeans on a previous visit for $16. Gotta love T.J.

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Finally, we woke up to snow yesterday. We’ve had an amazing February with some warm days and lots of sunshine. Lately I’ve been snowshoeing on more dirt than snow, LOL, but now I’m wallowing blissfully, sliding, and falling on my face every so often.

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I’m kind of hoping March comes in like a lion, since for several reasons I would really like it to go out like a lamb. Right now, though, things are looking pretty soft and woolly. :)