Saturday, November 18

Year in pictures!

(click image below to enlarge)
Here is a fun poster with lots of pictures taken from our first year here in Oklahoma. Today is the date that we actually signed papers and became owners of our beloved 'Vita Bella Ranch' as we affectionately call it (a special thanks to the inventer of that title ;-). I thank God every day for all the blessings he has showered upon us since our move to the country ... there are so many! I guess we were just meant to live in the country - we love it! Here's to our first year! Yee Ha!

Wednesday, November 15

What can happen on a rainy day?

Well the answer in this case is a complete blog makeover =) The whole family has been taking the day easy staying dry and warm inside the house ... just the opportunity I was waiting for. I had been hoping to take some time decoding my blog html and playing around with different designs. BTW if you had subscribed to my RSS feed you probably got some funny post with all sorts of different images (dated from '05) ...well just ingnore that. I was just uploading images to use in my template. Anway, I hope that you all enjoy the new design!

Saturday, November 11

Do you have an ear for music?

Though I have a great appreciation for music, I readily admit that music is not one of my strong areas. Music (that is good music) is very important for the development of the brain. I have listened with great interest to Andrew Pudewa's 'The Profound Effects of Music on Life' in which he highlights research regarding the profound neurological benefits of playing a musical instrument at a young age and the advantages of having the right kind of music in the child's environment (I guess it is too late for me ;-). What we listen to also has a big impact on us. My friend has a great post from awhile back which he explores what part music should play in one's life. The main reason that I wanted to create this post is to share a fun music test which I found via The Dawn Patrol. It was apparently developed by Harvard Medical School researchers to test one's ear for music. I am embarrassed to say I only scored 66.7% on the test (it was my little humility pill for the day), but I hope that in the future when life slows down a bit (if it ever does) I can 'up' those scores by picking up an instrument and playing around with my bro David (who I am sure if he took the test would be up somewhere between 90 and 100%).
So without further ado, here is the test : Free online music test

Friday, November 10

Sunrise, Sunset, and what happened in-between

Yesterday Gem and I woke early to finish our routine farm chores so we could head to Tulsa with enough time to accomplish our list of errands. I was walking down the stairs to get breakfast cooking when I looked out the sliding door window and saw the beautiful sunrise coming through the morning fog down in the pecan grove. I just had to take a little extra time to get the camera and take a few pictures.
Once we finally were out the door we headed in the direction of Gilcrease Museum where the homeschoolers of Tulsa were having a mini field trip of the special exhibit of the artist John James Audubon (a naturalist who devoted much of his life to drawing the birds of America). As an artist I did enjoy learning about his life and his art, however his style is very detailed and flat and I love art that almost emerges from the frame because it is so dynamic (detail does not matter so much to me). I knew that some of my favorite artist’s painting were in another part of the museum so as soon as we could, Gem and I split for the back gallery. We spent a few hours walking through the many rooms examining and talking about the different art pieces displayed. Gem is also very artistic and so together we were almost bubbling over (in hushed voices of course) with how funny one piece was, or how amazing another was, etc.
After the museum we spent a few hours at one of our favorite thrift stores looking for white clothing which we needed for our next stop : our bee-teachers bee yard (for another little field trip). For those who are wondering - Gem and I are taking an 8 week bee keeping class in Tulsa (we plan to start our first hive in the spring). Since bees strongly dislike dark colors we were instructed to come wearing white clothing.
Rich (our bee teacher) keeps bees in his backyard in a very simple open shed like structure. He led our small party of 6 students (all equipped with white clothes and the all important "bee hat") to his hives and demonstrated opening and checking the hives. He pulled out many of the frames (which were covered with bees) and allowed us to hold them and examine the tiny cells. I readily admit that I was a little nervous about holding something covered with bees but I had nothing to fear since the bees were very calm. Rich's wife sent us home with candy she had made using the honey from their bee hives. It was delicious .... certainly a nice incentive.
The sun was setting on downtown Tulsa as we drove home. The colors of the sunset reflecting off the buildings brought back the memory of my last day in San Diego: It was less than a year ago (for my birthday) my parents and I watched the sun as it was setting on downtown and the lights of the city began to appear like fire-flies that come out at dusk.

Gem riding out to our barn to feed the goats

Monday, November 6

Hey! More kids have arrived

Though Sunday is normally more of a kick-back and relax day on our ranch, yesterday was spent taking care of the new additions to our goat herd. We now have a total of 9 baby boer goats; we would have had 10 if one had not died.

It was after mass when we came home to see that 2 goats had already had their kids, and 1 was in labor. I would have liked to just stop and watch, but I did not have much time to enjoy the whole process because I was busy moving the other mothers and their babies into the barn because the weather was very drizzly and I did not want the babies getting cold (the baby that did not make it had become too wet). Most of the babies were easily re-located with their mothers and dried off, and the ones that needed a little more attention were brought inside and warmed by our fire. Thanks Lizzy for your help!

The little kids are all doing fine now and are nursing well (some needed a little help finding their food ). It is really fun to walk into the barn and see lots of little kids running around on their wobbly little legs. They are very friendly and inquisitive little creatures.

We are still waiting on a few more mothers who should "kid" any day now - and when the new kids arrive they will have a whole bunch of buddies to play with.

Friday, November 3


FYI : You may have noticed that my profile image has changed a few times today (back and forth). I think I will go with the current one (my parents voted it in) though I was leaning toward the one you may have seen earlier. As much as I liked the orginal image it seemed more appropriate for a blog that consists of almost all pictures that I should have an actual picture for the profile. Regarding privacy : I do try to keep all traffic limited to those referred directly to the site through word of mouth - I have blocked search engine traffic to my site. So anyway, any thoughts?