Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2012

This Christmas season was nice, low key, quiet.  I never even got all my decorations put up but that was ok, we didn't seem to miss them.

We started the season out with the Warrenton Christmas parade. It was the first time I had ever been to a parade that was after dark but it was fun!  Cold, but not miserable and my children seemed to enjoy it.

We had fun times decorating cookies with friends, we decorated cookies on several occasions and also decorated gingerbread sleighs, the children were loving the sugar overload!

We picked a lovely day to go cut our tree. In the interest of keeping our money local we picked a tree farm a few miles from our house.  Actually our interest was more in convenience but hey, we are also glad to keep our money local.

After days of decorating the tree, only to have little hands move all the ornaments around and clump them together, I finally gave up on having a "balanced" tree.  The good news is we only shattered a few ornaments this year and none that were significant.  Truth be told, we packed away a few very fragile, of huge sentimental value ornaments.

new ornaments in rememberance of the 2012 pigs

"hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" monkeys 

We were lucky to have the weather cooperated this year!  It snowed on Christmas Eve, then again the day after Christmas!

Christmas morning had been anticipated as only a four year old and three year old can!  Wythe had been concerned that our tree didn't have a star on top. It had a bow that I happen to really like but he was adamant that we needed a star.  He kept asking if Notch (our Elf) could tell Santa to bring a star and if he could write another letter to Santa to ask him to bring a star. So, after the kids went to bed I removed my ribbon (sniff, sniff) and replaced it with a star. Sigh.

It was worth it in the morning as that was the first thing he noticed!  In typical Wythe fashion the presents, stocking and general excitement was a little too much for him. After beginning to unload his stocking he melted and removed  himself from the festivities for awhile. We took a little break to fix coffee and breakfast and enjoyed a leisurely morning of opening presents.

checking out her loot from her stocking

enjoying her new table and Pete the Cat

enjoying some Christmas presents

You may think these were for the kids....

...but you would be wrong. It was a gift to me from my husband. He knows me so well.

'til next time...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Enjoying a nice autumn day...

Because these are too cute to resist sharing...

'til next time...

pigs and kids

Just a few pictures of my children with the pigs, or rather hogs, as they should be called now.

'til next time...

Friday, November 16, 2012

An autumn meal...

As the farmer's market comes to an end for the season I had to indulge in lamb chops one more time.  Paired with roasted beets and kale it made a wonderful autumn meal.

'til next time...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

House Centipede

Lately we have found several of these strange creatures in our house. At first I thought it might be a centipede but decided it couldn't be because centipedes have 100 legs.


Turns out I failed science class.
"Centipedes (sometimes called hundred-leggers) are elongated, flattened animals bearing one pair of legs per body segment. The actual total number of legs in most species is closer to 30 than to 100."
(quoted from UC IMP Online)
 I find this confusing and do not look forward to explaining it to my children. "yes, I know honey, we call it a 'centipede' and I agree that the 'centi' part of the 'pede' would lead one to believe that it does indeed have 100 legs. However......"  
And will I be able to admit that for 30 some odd years I would have sworn it wasn't a centipede if it didn't have one hundred legs?
I am pretty sure this is an argument I would have had with my husband. "well, how do you know it is a centipede, did you count the legs?  Oh, you only counted 98 legs?  Then it must be some other type of creature."

Don't even get me started on millipedes. Hint: they don't have a thousand legs.

But back to these creatures in our house...
The fancy name is Scutigera coleoptrata but since that is difficult to pronounce and spell check keeps protesting I will refer to it by the commonly known name of 'house centipede'.

Iowa State University says that "House centipedes feed on small insects, insect larvae, and on spiders. Thus they are beneficial, thought most homeowners take a different point-of-view and consider them a nuisance."
Wait, they eat spiders??

According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln    "The safest and most environmentally sound way to control millipedes and centipedes already in the house is to step on them and vacuum or sweep them up."

While that sounds like reasonable advice they did not take into account the following information.
According to the trustworthy site of Wikipedia "S. coleoptrata is 25mm (1 in) to 50mm (2 in) in length and has up to 15 pairs of remarkable long legs. These delicate legs are attached to a rigid body. This enables it to reach surprising speeds of up to 0.4 meters per second (1.3 ft/s)"
I actually believe Wikipedia this time as I have engaged in some rather extraordinary leg work in attempting to step on one of these critters. I call it the "centipede dance", I predict it will be the next Macarena.

These articles also state that centipedes require damp conditions. This year while most of the country has been in a record drought we have been living in our own little micro climate.  We had mud most of the summer, the pigs loved it. It rained frequently and when it did we got buckets of rain.  This was a common sight this summer.

While a moat does have a certain appeal it really doesn't go with the style of our house so we are actually trying to not have a moat. One of the reasons we are building the Great Wall of Rightmyer, remember that?  Anyway....all that is to say, dampness is an issue. Based on the amount of water we have had this year my guess is there are millions of centipedes living under our house. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.....Eat.More.Spiders.

'til next time...

This is the reason I am always late...

This picture is from this summer but it is still accurate portrayal of something that has happened one too many times.

Here is the scenario,  we are all cleaned and dressed, ready to leave for town. I tell the kids to go get in the van and buckle up while I load up our stuff. Somehow between walking from the kitchen through the garage to the van my daughter finds something to distract her. The results look something like this.

Sometimes I wish we lived in a high-rise condo.

'til next time...

My children at the zoo

Yesterday we went to the zoo and I posted lots of pictures of the animals.  I also took some pictures of my children because this autumn foliage was too pretty to resist.

'til next time...