Wednesday, April 29, 2009

filling in the gap

So, let's begin where we left off, shall we? I beleive that was the prepping of the barn site. Well, thanks to the magic of pre-fab, the barn went up easy as 1....

Blake didn't waste any time getting inside and building the new coop. Ah, it smelled so wonderful inside when it first went up--no particle board, just wonderful fresh wood! And the loft is such a cool space where I see the kids sneaking away to read books on lazy afternoons....
Soon after the project was finished Chemynne and Michael (and Athena, of course) arrived in Portland with their whole lives crammed into a Budget moving truck. We were there that rainy evening to greet them and feed them burritos. Yes, I finally found them a good place--quiet, centrally located neighborhood, hardwoods on the living-level, with a big loft for the office and a HUGE basement. Even a nice backyard with garden beds. It was a close call but the right place became available just in the nick of time. The kitchen is a bit crammed but, dude, compared to everythign else I'd seen it was a clear winner. And its right between our house and Nomad so we've been able to drop in a lot and help them settle in.
Yay! The brother and sister unit are together in the same city again! (This is taken at the cute park 2 blocks away from their new house)
Then Blake's mom came for a visit from the East Coast. She had oodles of gifts and actitives planned for the kids (of which we only squeezed in half even though she extended her stay) so many a good memory was made, which is a wonderful thing after some years of disconnect.
Her big treat? She wanted to get us a piano, so the girls could take lessons. Piano lessons were a very important part of her childhood and she called this "a gift of the heart" to be able to pass on the tradition. Blake and I can't play but it sure looks beautiful in my living room doesn't it?? Its also very cool to see who comes through our door and can sit down and play something.
How cute is this??
After she headed back home, we had a really nice stretch of good weather. Geo got to feel grass in his toes and work on his walking skills with Papa.
And I spent many days getting the sod up for our new garden patch. I shouldn't say "patch,"
it makes it sound small--its actually 30 by 10 feet. It was hard, dirty work, let me tell you but I finally worked out my system after the first few rows, removing the sod in 1 foot by 3 foot strips. After "cutting" them out with my shovel I'd flip the strip over and remove as much dirt as I could; the kids would come and collect some of the many worms unearthed by the process and feed them to the chickens.

I absolutely cannot wear garden gloves when I work in the yard, I can't feel what I'm doing--and really there is no better tool than your own hand (Korin, I can HEAR you making a dirty joke out of this--lol!) spades and hand rakes, be damned.
We were then ready for some ducklings. We hope to have some for meat and maybe a few for eggs. Unfortunately, three out of the six we bought died (don't ask me why, I am clueless) but the three that survived are already huge. I can't tell if they are boys or girls so I am not sure now what their purpose will be yet. We hope to at least put one in our freezer at some point...
Easter, or something like it, came around. We had coincidently invited over some friends and C and M that Sunday for homemade pizza (Oliver, your dough was so awesome!!), so we decided to make it festive and dye some eggs, going with the old skool Paas kit method. I let the kids decorate most of them and Blake insisted I save one for him. His atheist/Looney Tunes humor: "JC killed the Wabbit."
It was Athena's first egg hunt and C and I got really into--the kids has so much fun albeit it was indoors since it was rainy outside.
Step two for the garden bed. Michael had a really brilliant suggestion on how to amend the garden without tilling so following his instructions we had some mushroom compost and topsoil delivered from Mt. Scott Fuel Company.
(Notice the new ultra-private modern side fencing courtesy of B)
C and I talk/exchange seeds while the men do the really dirty work outside hauling the dirt to the new beds. Chemynne has a rockin' seed collection imported from Bend...
So after a layer of straw, goes the mixture of soil and compost. I will have three long beds that will rotate every year--legumes, brassicas, and potato/root veggies...lots of lettece and onions thrown in wherever.
The men tend the gorgeous mounds of earth. After this we watered it like crazy, and the next day I got the first crops planted. Sooooo exciting!
Hmmm....what else?

Oh, Blake did three consecutive lectures at the Portland Art Museum, basically educating the docents about the new exhibit, so when they give tours they know what to say about the adornment pieces. Mayan accompanied him and was such a young lady, taking notes and chatting with the docents. They are such a good team:)
The difficult part was that because of the size of the room the docents had to come in groups, so he had to give the same lecture three times in a row. He said he was on fire for the first and by the last he was dragging. But most of the docents were very excited and receptive, and the whole experience is another "feather in the cap" as they say. I am so proud of him;)

Okay, readers, you are offically caught up. Any questions??

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Goobie Day

Can someone explain to me how this happens? In the blink of an eye, your sweet, pulsing bundle of love-embodied-in-life goes from this: this?Its almost to much for a mother to bear. Of course, you want to see your children grow and develop and succeed, but can't at least the last child stay a baby forever?

To distract ourselves from the shock and creeping melancholy of the fact that Georgie is ONE today, we took the kids to the zoo to frolick. In some ways Geo is still a baby, like when I see him here, happily hanging in the backpack, taking in the world with his eyes only.

But then when he is set on the ground and his explorer is set free, I am reminded that he is now a little boy. Look out, Goobie takes on the world!!

...or at least a carrot stick;)

Ah, my family. Dark silhouettes again the blue glow of life. Nothing stops. A mother can only desperately try and keep open, be available, be observant...and take lots of pictures.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

last call, folks!

wow. i had no idea how many people were quietly reading Milk and Ink. its been very exciting watching the email come in--many oregon and pacific nw moms, but a handful in the mid-west and even...get ready for from denmark! how cool is that?? ladies, thank you for reading, please don't stop now that i've made you feel like exposed stalkers; hopefully that has not stripped the thrill from it...:-) no, from what i gather its not so much about "peeping" as much as just inspiration in daily life, and maybe a chuckle or two. and that i am happy to provide.

so since i still have at lease one or two people emailing my everyday i am going to give it a bit longer. "we ask that your please bear with us..."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Don't believe for a second that I have abandoned my blog. Or even that it has slipped my mind--as a matter of fact, I think of it often. I have lots of ideas for great posts and OODLES of adorable pictures to show off from the past 6 weeks. But there has been one big looming issue that has stood between you and me and those yet-to-be-written greats and that is: PRIVACY.

This blog has grown and attracted a wider audience than I had imagined. What began as a way to share the growth and antic of our little ones with far-off family and a creative springboard for my thoughts and inspirations, somehow trickled out of the village and into a larger body of water. And that is not necessarily a bad thing; in fact I love the idea of other moms that I have not met, in various locales-not-within-driving-distance reading my blog and smiling over my slices-of-life. Some of my posts are well-suited for sharing with a larger population. But this, as you all know, is the world wide web, and I don't just post about funny stories or my favorite purchases, I post openly about my family and my sweet, dear children. But this all came to light around the time we were building our barn and working harder toward our self-sustaining urban homestead, and for the tenth time, a brand new client walks into Nomad and says to Blake, "I found you online....oh, and I read your wife's blog...your family is SO cute!" I am sure most of these are harmless and fascinating people, but Blake, who is uber-private by nature just cringes at the thought of our lives being out there for all to see and intertwined with his business personna, and rightfully so. A quick google search myself found that to bring up Nomad the business, also brought up lil' ole Mama Nomad and her Milk and Ink.

I really don't have the time and energy to keep two separate blogs, one for close persons, and one for the public, nor do I want to--I like the ecclectic mix of my content and don't want to compromise my candor or the blog's flexibility. So that leaves me with one choice and that is to make it private and limit my readers.

Don't worry if you read my blog and we have never met--again, I am not looking to shut out everyone who is a stranger. I just need to know WHO is reading and be able to officially invite you to my blog. From what I understand this will create and extra step in order to view my blog, some sort of log-in process. Honestly I don't really know how it will work until I "go live" with it. So all you need to do, if you would like to stay with me so far (and I promise once this is settled I'll be back to your regularly-scheduled-blogging-program) please send me an email and I'll add you to my "invite" list which I will activate on about a week (giving everyone out there time to see this "public post.") Please, don't be shy if we have not met or if you read my blog and I have NO IDEA (you, lurker, you!)--just tell me how you found me, where you live, and why you love me so much. Haahaa, just kidding about the last part. Just be sure to email me from the address that you would be using to log-in. Here is where you should contact me (obviously, no spaces and use the "@" and "."symbol instead of the actual word, you get it, right?):

p e r l i n g i e r i

a t

g m a i l

d o t

c o m

Just so you know this message will self-destruct at the end of the week. *Kablooey!*