Welcome to Our Blog

Our hope is that this gives you all a chance to see what we're up to these days.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Family menu planning

Every weekend, we sit down as a family and plan the meals for the week. It's a good excuse for us to spend some more quality family time together. Not only is it fun finding delicious recipes to create together throughout the week, but we've found it helps our family budget as we only do one grocery shopping for the week instead of a few times throughout the week (where we find ourselves buying more than we planned on). This week's dinner menu, some recipes of which come from The Joy of Cooking (I have the 1997 version but you can find it on Google Books), include:

M - grilled, spiced pork chops, steamed brown rice, lemon-juice/pepper/olive oil braised brussel sprouts
Tu - Angel hair pesto pasta and broiled broccoli/cauliflower
W - Chili-crusted flank steaks on mango salsa bed, mango/avocado salad (pp. 659, 63, 218)
Th - Leftovers
F - Braised pork roast w/ sauerkraut and salad greens (p. 701)
Sat - Spicy maple roasted chicken and rice pilaf (p. 628)
Sun (potluck w/ family) - brioche/kouglof (p. 760, 764)

I'm especially looking forward to the spicy maple-glazed chicken. Yum!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Mother Nature and Mother Goose

This evening while out at our friend's Funny Farm doing weekly chores we noticed the floodwaters rising with the downpour. To help the local, seasonally resident geese avoid nest predation, our friend Roger built a small dirt berm in the middle of an area where there's typically low-lying flood waters in the winter.  A week or so ago, Roger noticed a goose hanging around the berm. He put on a pair of waders and walked out to see if she might be nesting. Sure enough, she was sitting on several eggs.

Last week we had several inches of snow fall (and stick) on the valley floor and in the last few days, we've had a lot of rain and the floowaters have been rising. Tonight, we sensed concern in Roger's voice about the rising waters and the safety of the nest. While in the barn mucking stalls, I spied him several times looking toward the goose, her nest and the rising waters. I wondered aloud to him if he had an incubator in case he had to rescue the eggs from the waters. He said his daughter did but he thought if the waters kept rising, they'd claim them sometime later this night. Given the waters were already chest deep and we were in the darkness of night, he said, with what seemed like a sense of resignation and a heavy heart, he thought he'd let Mother Nature do her thing and hope for the best. While talking about it on our drive home, we had some interesting conversations about the circle of life and some of the harsh realities and beautiful surprises it holds. What follows is a snippet of that...

Papa: Sort of sad about those goose's eggs.
Mummy: Yeah, I wish there was something we could do.
Papa: I know. Me too.
Finn: I know what we could do. We could get a box, put a light on it to keep 'em warm, and hatch 'em out.
Papa: That's a good idea but I think Roger's right in letting Mother Nature play out, hard as that may be.
Finn: (quiet)
Jeremiah: Hey Mummy! I have goodadeeyuh. I geddem. Puh-dem in da box...and shake 'um!
Mummy: I like your idea, Jeremiah, but you'll hurt them if you shake them. They might die. You can't shake baby thing up. It hurts them.
Jeremiah: (quiet)
Finn: Hey, I have a good idea! We can put them in a box in our bathtub!
Papa: Another good idea but baby geese follow their mummy for months and we don't think like a goose. How would we teach them what they need to know to survive?
Finn: We could take them back out there and their mummy could do that.
Mummy: (shoots Papa a quick look like "could that work?!")
Papa: I wish it was that easy but unfortunately, if we take the eggs from their mummy, she won't recognize them when they come back and will probably shun them. Might even hurt them.
Finn: (quiet)
Jeremiah: Hey Papa! I have gooadeeyuh! I geddum. Puh-dem in da box, puh-dem in da tub, and NOT shake dem!
Papa: Another good idea but we really should probably let them be with their mummy. After all, what if the rains stop and the flood waters stop rising. Maybe they'll be OK.
Finn and Jeremiah: (quiet from the back seat for a moment)
Finn: I have another good idea! I just prayed to Jesus for them that it would stop raining and the water wouldn't come up any more.
Mummy and Papa: (together after a glance and smile at each other): That's a great idea, Finn.
Papa: Just know, Finn - and I only say this so you don't get angry or upset if your prayer isn't answered tonight - that maybe someone else around here is praying for more rain to water their crops with. Jesus, God, they have to find a way to balance those requests. That's hard work.
Mummy: But I'm so glad that you though of praying for them, Finn. You have such a big heart. (to which Finn smiles that wonderful missing top, front tooth smile of hers) 

It's still raining pretty hard so we don't hold out too much hope. But we'll call Roger in the morning to find out how Mother Goose is doing...

3/31 UPDATE: The rains have stopped and the flood waters have slowed. According to Roger, mother goose is still on the nest and above water. And as little Jeremiah said this morning when looking out the window, "Da sunz comin' out! Woohoo!"

4/4 UPDATE: The waters have begun receding and mamma goose is still sitting on her eggs. She's left for a few minutes here and there, presumably for food, but other than that, she appears content with her brood. It'll be interesting to see how many of her seven eggs hatch!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The deer dilemma

Awoke this morning to Finn saying there was a deer caught in the fence. I freed the deer but her hip was displaced and her tendon cut. Tribal Police came and put her down. She'll likely feed some elders, here. Or be used in a ceremony. Still, Finn had a hard time with it, initially, but processed through it and came to a reluctant acceptance of the situation.