March 27, 2008

Windmill Woopsie Daisy

Woops, our windmill had a bit of a woopsie daisy. I guess it's been a bit windy.

Pulled the anchors right up out of the ground. We aren't talking tent posts either but parts of old telephone poles.

What a mess.

And for those new to the blog, we live off-the-grid. "We" make our own electricity (that is "we" as in not me but Aragorn with a bit of Sam and anyone else who stumbles on over to help). We are working on getting more solar panels up.

Aragorn cutting off the damaged blades... naturally he had spares lying around so hopefully it isn't too terrible a project to get it put back up again.

Christ is Risen Alleluia

Happy Easter from Middle Earth!
(Does Bilbo not look exactly like Eowyn did when she was a baby?!)

On Easter Sunday we went to Mass at 11am and came home to remember I had forgotten to take our ham out of the freezer! It did eventually thaw out in the oven for a very late lunch! In the meantime the children had their annual egg hunt. They have a maze of eggs that eventually leads them to their Easter Basket of goodies.

We celebrated dinner with Aragorn's family. Check out this gorgeous cake! If you read this blog you already know I haven't a scrap of ability to decorate a cake but I have any number of exceedingly talented sisters-in-laws. I'm still waiting for some of this talent to rub off on me....

This is an edible wreath... yes, made by yet another one of my talented SILS. There were peeps and bunny peeps and all sorts of candies tucked into this flower wreath.

Bilbo... sporting the much needed drool-bib. He's a regular faucet.

This picture cracked me up! Apparently Bilbo doesn't appreciate sharing the cute baby position. I love the look on his cousin's face and the consoling hand on his knee!

Eowyn guessing at Grandma's jellybean count.

A cousin taking his 75th guess! :) Grandma had 2 lovely statues and a jar of 1300+ jelly beans as prizes. Winners were Galadriel, Frodo and this cousin.

Cousins are so much fun.

Another cousin having a tea party and I have to admit it was delicious "tea". She informed me that she was the baby to which the next little girlie cousin piped in: "And I'm the mommy".

Here's the little mommy. Ahhh... to be little girlies again!

Christus Resurrexit, Alleluia, Alleluia!

March Twins

Pippin shares his birthday with Daddy. Mint Brownies were on the menu... unfortunately I forgot to divide the butter and put all 3 sticks of butter in the brownie part.... let's just say everyone gained 5 pounds just thinking about it.

Goat Vote

One evening at dinner I remembered to mention to Daddy that we (that is *I*) had named the Goats Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego to which he replied with a grin "Shagrat?" Suddenly I was completely out-numbered and the goats were re-named: Shagrat, Gorbag and Grishnak. Galadriel added in that afterall they do smell like Orcs.


March 25, 2008

Volunteer Day

We joined in a volunteer day locally.

Pippin was on puddle control.

Then again so was everyone else!


Here's the whole gang who was helping.

Maple Days

Sam took me on a tour of his maple sugarbush (if 3 maple trees can be considered a sugarbush).

There was a stop at the corn field to chop some vittles for the goats. Merry hitched a ride.

No, those aren't maple leaves, they are oak leaves, I just took the picture for no good reason at all.

The snow was way up over my boots.

Just a bit deep. Same standing in the snow.

One of the icier storms made havoc with the evergreens.

Sam used plastic tubing and had the tubes going into those 5 gallon water jugs for camping.

He has 5 of these jugs and just rotates them. To bring back to the house.

This is the 3rd tapped tree. There are a few more trees that should be ready in the next year or two.

Another day we all went along. Though I think mostly the littles wanted to visit the goats. Charlie the big dog is actually pulling Peter on the sled. We are *still* waiting for the real harness we bought on ebay recently to arrive but so far it hasn't. The dog seem to like dragging the sled. By the time we get the harness it should be spring....

Eowyn stops for a break to make a snow angel.

By far the most inefficient way to boil down sap but it works pretty well. We have a new system now with a big flat pan over the boiler, much more efficient. Hopefully next year we'll have something set up to boil down like real people do!

This was later when the snow was melting off. Pipping hitched a ride with the sap jug.
Maple Field Trip

The big boys and 2 of their cousins went on a maple syrup field trip.

Woops, I forgot to rotate a few pictures here.

And a wee cousin went along as well. I love the hat!

Real buckets on these trees. I suppose 5 gallon plastic water jugs wouldn't look so nice as these neat buckets.

Sam and a cousin

I wasn't on this trip so I assume they are boiling down sap here?


Hauling with a yoke.

Sam taking his turn.

Sam returned from the field trip saying he really didn't learn anything new however I know he has never used one of these saws before!


More drilling.
Maple Day for the Littles

Eowyn and Galadriel helped teach a class to the littles. Each child received a bucket filled with little craft goodies. Little maple leaf punches, a wooden maple leaf to paint with water color crayons, maple leaf stencils (from the punches) for making bookmarks, an activity sheet to find hidden maple leaves and maybe more... I forget at this point.

Galadriel read Sugar Snow to the littles.

Eleanor with her cousin playing maple syrup making with the pioneer set.


Merry after he colored and then water colored the wooden leaf.

Grandma and Grandpa got the prize for their addition to the crafts. The neatest big paperdolls with the girls' faces on them!

Here are the girls holding their "twin". They cut out clothing from wallpaper books.

Pipping crawling around making his younger cousin chase him. It was really cute.

What would a gathering be without food? These are grandma's maple leaf summer sausage and cheese on crackers.

One of the aunt's maple muffins and my maple cookies.

Another aunt made fruit trays on maple leaf trays. Yes, we all do get into these theme things!

Each child got to sample fresh sap (Sam had gathered that morning) and some maple syrup.

Sibling cousins.

Another cousin enjoying the pioneer set.

What's better than making a human train and running circles when you are 2, 4 or 5?
We have collected about 30 gallons of sap. We've been enjoying some yummy syrup to help celebrate Easter. (Easter pictures coming eventually.)