Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The welcome smell of thaw

Well, we've gone from a high of -10 to a high of 45 in the past few days - a HUGE, welcome change for all of us. Seeing as I'm a little backlogged on news and photos, here are some pictures that tell a little about what we've been up to the past month or so, from snow and ice to sunny days.

Chris, Ellis and I took a walk to the ridge on a snowy and hoar-frosty morning in January, escorted by the neighborhood beagle, Lady. It was a beautiful, still day - no wind is rare around here in the winter. We explored an abandoned farm just over the ridge from us - the floor of the house sinking into the basement, taking the decrepit piano with it, back into the earth. Word has it an old woman lived there alone with a hoard of cats. The place seems to have a story to tell. Why are there piles of untouched lumber in the barn? Why is the woman's trunk left in the front porch, along with her desk, old bills (1927), and notes? Why is there an organ in the shed? We wonder what will happen to the property and with the land.

On one of the colder days, we made a family trip to the Leinenkugel's Brewery in Chippewa Falls to beat the cabin fever that was setting in. Ellis LOVED it, to say the least...a giant room full of happy people to flirt with - he wasn't happy to leave. The tour left a bit to be desired, but the free beer was surprisingly tasty!

Ellis has recently become obsessed with any book Chris is currently reading. For a week or so, it was this one pictured. ("Anarchy, State and Utopia" for those of you who can't read upside down tiny print). What are all the Mercer Mayer and Dr. Seuss books for, anyway?!

A couple of weeks ago, Ellis (and the rest of us) was fighting a nasty cold. His Grandma Mary spent the day with a feverish, but happy Ellis, using magic markers (smelly pens!) for the first time. Note the brilliant artwork. Owain got in the laundry basket for some afternoon fun, and Ellis opened the mail. Not sure what that mail-sorting get-up is all about.

Today feels spring-warm and the horses are playing in the pasture, sunning themselves. Mistie is just standing there, facing the sun with her eyes closed. This reminds me of what our friend Chris told us about living in Sweden in the winter - when the sun finally makes an appearance, people stop in the street to feel the warmth on their faces.

I haven't broken out the sandals yet, but I feel the coming spring. You can smell it in the air - warmer weather and mud and wet fields. The hot tub takes less time to heat up and the woodstove in the house gets a little break during the sunniest part of the day. Pretty soon we'll get our hands in that mud. Come on out and feel the earth with us. It's rich and messy and ripe for growth. You can almost taste the tomatoes, can't you?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Watch Owain eat

For over a month now Owain has been insisting that what goes in our mouth should go in his. The result has been spilled cereal, spilled cottage cheese and pear, spilled drinks, hands covered in salad dressing, egg, potatoes, and plenty of long carrot sticks and orange peel in the mouth. We decided it was time. Please check out Owain's first allowed attempt at avacado. We also gave him a pear to gum.

For the record, the Owain with the mechanical teddy bear is NOT our Owain. Neither is the one "playing with wires." Yikes.

Jay and Charis

Friday, February 16, 2007

Holy 6 months!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A new cousin!

We are thrilled to share the happy news that we have a new niece & cousin! Nathan and Barbara welcomed beautiful Sanne Grace (pronounced Sa-na) on Friday morning, February 9. The world is a better place for her safe arrival. More pictures to come after we have the joyful pleasure of meeting Sanne in person. Lostview Farm is celebrating!

Sanne Grace Nordlund

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Tooth is Out There

Nothing like a stupid play on words to let you know that we've finally sighted Owain's evasive first tooth! After a mere 3 1/2 months! Hooray! I'd attach photo evidence, but he'll barely let me see it, let alone take a picture. Someday...

Socks, Corn Nuts, and a Set of Steak Knives

Right now I am wearing the coziest slippers I've ever owned. They're soft and stripey and like the best socks but with soles! My glee about my new slippers is due completely to the generosity of Amy J., Corrie and Ruthie. You see, yesterday we received our annual post-Christmas Christmas package from the ladies. We've come to adore this yearly outpouring of goodies, always including socks from the Fred Meyer sock sale. I'm not kidding you, 90% of the socks in my drawer are from Amy and Corrie. So, today I sit in my cozy slipper socks, enjoying chocolate covered macadamia nuts, lavish lotion, toys for the boys, while I enjoy every page of our newly acquired "Cup of Joy" cookbook. I don't know how they did it, but those ladies snagged us a copy of this old gem. Last night Jay and I leafed through the sections, looking for recipes from our favorite people. Some winners included stuffed grape leaves from Diane Roth, millet waffles from Barb Plies, green mint brownies from Amy J. and frozen fruit salad from Kathie Gray, (sour cream, fruit cocktail, mini marshmallows, and food coloring - it's as easy as that!).

A thousand thanks, ladies. We're planning our menu right now.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

130 Club

I am now a member of the 130 club. Saturday afternoon I stripped down to my garden clogs and ran outside to the hot tub, which was at 104 degrees. Outside the sun was shining bright on the clean snow, but the air temperature was -15 and with the wind chill -30. Yikes. Invigorating. Painful. On my run back to the house my fingers stuck to the doorknob.

We are experiencing the more normal Wisconsin winter. Crazy to think we are on the exact parallel as Portland but no Pacific Ocean to keep the air warmer. We had ice on the inside of our windows this morning. The curtain over our bedroom window was frozen to the plastic we keep over our windows to keep the windows sealed. For all of you northwesterners, the midwest has two weird window features. One is insect screens. All the windows have a fine mesh screen to keep out bugs (mosquitos, ladybugs, junebugs, wasps). Second is plastic wrap for windows. The wrap comes in big sheets that fit over the window and has tape that you put on your trim. The wrap sticks nicely to the tape. The awesome part is that you blow-dry the wrap and it's barely visible to the naked eye! You will notice ours at night as the light reflection in the wrap warps in variation and shape as the wind moves it. Through the window.

I digress. No worries, Owain is staying nice and warm jumping inside. In fact under his johnny jump-up the polyurathane protection is flaking off the floor. I guess the protectant is no match for Owain's sleeper soles!

An exciting update - no school on Monday the weather was too cold. It was a fun day stoking fires, cooking food, playing with Owain and flirting with Charis.