Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Emu Invasion

We have a pair of Emu chicks.  Actually, Logan has a pair of emu chicks in the house. Well, after that sentence I'm not really sure what else I should write about them.

I guess a bit of an explanation might be in order. The year after we moved here from Guatemala, in September of 2004 we took the boys to the Tennessee Valley Fair for the first time. Logan was seven years old. Of all of the animal exhibits there his very favorite thing was the petting zoo. They had a tame emu. Logan had never seen anything like it before, it was a giant 5 foot tall bird that looked like a dinosaur. He was smitten! All he talked about after that trip to the fair was that someday he wanted an emu. Every year we would go back to the fair and Logan would head straight for the petting zoo, and the emu.

 Any time we talked about getting a farm, or a pet or animals in general over the next 9 years Logan was sure to bring up emus. He wanted one, and he wasn't going to let us forget it! When we sold our house last summer and started looking for a small farm, Logan mentioned that he hoped it would have room for an emu. Rodrigo and I hadn't seen any emu chicks for sale in years so we nodded our heads and said, "Sure son." Haha, little did I know...

On Sunday afternoon Rodrigo and Logan were looking at the farm and garden section of Craigslist trying to find me a livestock guardian dog to take care of my goats and chickens. We've spotted coyotes in the fields across the road (in broad daylight ) and hawks are constantly flying over head scoping out the rabbit arks in the yard, hoping for an escapee. So I really need a good dog to help out around here! Well, they didn't find me a dog, instead they spotted an ad for emu chicks. And that, as they say, was that. The phone number was called and the directions given, and within a couple of hours Logan became the very happy almost 16 year old owner/ caregiver to a pair of adorable emu chicks.

For the moment they are living in a old baby play-yard converted to emu brooder in our dining room. The lady we got them from says that within two weeks they should be over two feet tall, so other arrangements will have to be made as soon as possible.

Honestly, this is just exactly the kind of thing that I would have begged my parents to let me do when I was a kid. They probably wouldn't have let me, they were pretty strict about the no weird livestock or pets. In retrospect they did let me have a pretty wide range of "normal" pets when I was a kid, but you know, I always had aspirations of starting my own zoo. Gerald Durrell was my hero, he traveled the world collecting animals and started a zoo! I read all of his books cover to cover so many times they became quite ragged and tattered after years of being carted around the globe with me. I always thought that when I grew up and had kids of my own and they wanted something that really and truly interested them, and we were in a place where we would be able to provide it with the type of home it needed, and it wasn't going to pose a threat to any little ones, or require a fortune to buy or for it's upkeep that we would let them have it. So here we are now with Logan's emu chicks in the house...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Weekend

We couldn't have asked for nicer days. We had no where we had to be and nothing that we had to do other than enjoy each other! Well, there were lots of homesteading chores that were attended to, but with Rodrigo home from work and everyone pitching in together, we got them done in no time and it barely even felt like "work".

We slept with our windows open on Friday night and awoke early to the sounds of birds and squirrels playing in the woods behind our house. We ate breakfast quickly, eager to get outside and enjoy the sunshine on bare arms and faces! Claire declared that we should have a picnic, so we did. We spent hours eating, talking and laughing on a giant quilt spread out in the sunshine in our front yard. We played with the dogs. The big boys and their Daddy played with boomerangs, and chased each other and acted silly. Emmett discovered pretty flowers. Claire picked wild onions and made mud pies with them. Rodrigo and the boys built me a bigger brooder for my chickens. We planted flowers, and planned where our veggie garden would be going. We had fun.

We came in when it started to get dark and had a late supper of warm, buttery scrambled eggs, toast and homemade re-fried black beans. Everyone was calm, and happy and glowing from a day well spent together, outside playing and working and enjoying each other.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cora goes egg hunting

This is Cora. She is a sweet little Waldorf inspired doll that I have had in my mind to make for more than a year! She turned out even more adorable than I imagined. After I finished her little cape she wanted to go outside to play in the warm spring sunshine. And when I showed her the tiny bunny bonnet that I had made her as well, she insisted that it was time to hunt Easter eggs! 

Cora took me a while to make because the pattern I was designing for her body seemed quite fiddly at first. I just couldn't get everything to come out like I envisioned it. Finally last week, I had one of those wonderful moments of perfect clarity when everything just fell into place, and there she sat on my sewing table being practically perfect as Mary Poppins would say. 

Cora stands just shy of seven inches tall (about 17 cm.). She is entirely handmade by me. Her hair is super soft brushed mohair with two tiny braids. Her body is of 100% cotton calico and her skin is of high quality 100% cotton jersey. Her lovely cape is made of !00% cotton pale pink Dotted Swiss, and her bunny bonnet is made of a high quality wool blend. She is stuffed with clean carded sheep's wool. She comes with her little basket and two tiny wooden eggs, hand painted by yours truly. And of course her cape and bunny bonnet will accompany her to her new home as well!

Now for the exciting, nerve-wracking part...I am listing her for sale in my brand new Etsy shop! Well the shop itself isn't brand new. I created it a couple of years ago, I just never got around to filling it. At the moment Cora is the only listing, but hopefully more will come soon! If you would like to read a bit more about Cora please GO VISIT HER (and me!) on Etsy. I still have to add a banner and do a bit of tweaking in my shop, but I thought if I waited until I got everything was just perfect I might just never list her! And I needed to do that before I got cold feet! 

Linking up with Skip to my Lou.

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