Lucy's piano teacher, Rachel Matthews, is fundraising to create a CD with her students about piano study and the place of it in her students lives. The CD will include music and commentary by all of her students choosing to participate. It will be recorded at Jack Straw Productions, so will give the students a great real-world recording experience. Lucy is excited to play a favorite piece of hers on the CD as well as one of her original compositions. You can see a beautiful video describing the project, and a lovely shot of Lucy at the end of it HERE. Rachel is an amazing musician herself, both as a performer and a composer, and a truly gifted teacher - just the right combination of so many elements. We are so lucky to have found such a perfect teacher for Lucy, and our whole family is inspired by Rachel's presence in our lives.
I love these photos Rob took of a crow at Richmond Beach a few weeks ago.
Birds have taken over my life, I'll just admit it. I trudge into the rainy, today snowy, still-dark yard most mornings to go check on the chickens first thing, in my pajamas, maybe my coat and my chicken coop boots. I might do yoga, make coffee and breakfast and then I usually have to bring them an additional treat or rotate the birds around. We've added Little Red and Buttermilk to our existing flock and the addition now requires more effort on my part - making sure the first birds allow the newbies time with the food and water. But these birds are worth it - the news ones are poster birds. I get why the first birds are resentful and a little jealous of the new ones. Anyway, the rest of the day is punctuated by trips to offer snacks, freshen up water, sing to them (this they love), check for eggs, praise the layers, and encourage the non-layers. The rhythms of their days have woven themselves into the rhythms of our days. Before I go to bed, I sneak back down one more time to tuck Buttermilk onto the inside roost: she is usually on the outside roost, freezing because the other birds keep her out of the nesting box. I think the whole family has benefited from me having additional recipients of my tenacious and fairly intrusive love, affections, and recommendations, not to mention serenades.
Here are pictures of the new ones, first, and the old ones, second.
The dark one is Little Red; the lighter one is Buttermilk. They were named by our friends who we inherited them from.
And the original flock from our farmer friends in Central Washington is below. Ruby is the one facing the camera, and that posture definitely reflects her nature. Smoky, the white one and once the newbie herself, has always been the sweetest and mildest of the birds, but now she is the meanest to the new birds. Peep, lurking behind, shares the same black/white coloring as Ruby but not her Type A personality. If Ruby is the alpha dog, Charcoal is her wing man, a firm second-in-command; she's the black one you can see best in the second photo down. You can tell these three photos below were taken by me, not the resident photographer who took the ones above of the crows and the new girls. In the last one you see the chickens are they often are, racing across the yard. They can run very fast - faster than you might think, and sometimes they add some flapping of wings to really propel themselves across the yard, especially if they have an inkling of a tasty treat.
Our New Year involved snow, knitting and moving turkeys. Jasper also had a joyful reunion with the roosters we sent back to the farm in November. Farmers Keith and Megan continue to offer us the sweetest hospitality and we are always impressed and inspired at their ability to do what they do out there on the farm.
We had a very cozy Christmas season, starting quiet celebrations on the first day of winter with our annual candlelight dinner with the Careys, Rob got to hear awesome live music at friends' house, Christmas eve with the Carters, and Christmas afternoon and evening spent with the Harricks. All was calm; all was bright.
Lucy knitted a scarf/shawl for a friend. Jasper is taking credit for it.
Jasper's dream come true - a C3PO lego watch and a green turtleneck. He even slept in the green turtleneck on Christmas night. Thanks, Grandmomma.
Lucy also knit her Dad a hat (her first hat to knit). She was quite proud as you can see.
And overalls from Grandma Gloria, in the nick of time, since we head to the farm later this week.
Into the bright sunshine we will go today - Jasper and friend, Grandma Gloria and me - downtown to see the Nutcracker. The sun will also be shining on Lucy who will spend the day outside at Quiet Heart Wilderness School, "rendezvous day," where they celebrate the last of the fall session. Lucy has grown up these last few months, now getting herself entirely geared up and preparing her own lunch and backpack for the day - scrounging around for long underwear and wool socks herself. Beautiful and sad. This weekend we celebrate Christmas with our parents, with Lucy's girl choir concert at Meany Hall, with friends on a lantern walk around Greenlake, with cozy time at home listening to Christmas music. I myself love nothing more than the rare (here in the pacific northwest) sight of bright sunlight hitting bare branches - even better if you see this while the dance of the Sugarplum Fairies plays and a little boy is shuffling through a box looking for tape.
So I am testing out posting to the blog by emailing the post. I'm hoping to eventually be able to update the blog from my iPad. Anyhow, our lives have been dominated by raising chicks and building a mansion of a coop, the former my job, the latter, Rob's. Jasper is in charge of chasing, er, loving and showering affection on the chicks. Lucy has been occupied being allergic to them... heh, heh. Wouldn't want this to be too easy, would we?? Turns out I love caring for critters, especially ones I know make my little guy happy and will be contributing eggs as well as their beauty to the family. Turns out Rob loves to work his bee-hind off building small outbuildings. Who knew?