Friday, May 16, 2014
Oh, do I love a spring breeze coming through an open window...
Does anyone else feel like they're coming back to life this time of year? There is something so invigorating and uplifting about spring. And although the entrance of spring translates into a very busy time of the year for our family, it's that very good kind of busyness. The kind that keeps you outside in the warm sun all day and lays you down in bed at night with an exhausted but fulfilled body.
We acquired two angora bunnies a couple of months ago from a friend of mine that was looking to re-home them. I'm afraid that I have a hard time saying no to any kind of animal. And considering that we already own Holland Lops and had the space for the angoras, well it really wasn't a hard decision to make.
Our angora bunnies are exceptional bunnies. They are very friendly and do not mind being hugged and cuddled (which certainly delights Lily who definitely likes to hug and cuddle them.) And if you know anything about angora fiber, well, you would know that it comes from angora bunnies. So not only did we get two new pets, but I also acquired two more fiber animals (a big benefit for me.) We had cleaned them up and pretty much cut their hair down the whole way when we got them back in March, and they are now getting to the point where they will be ready to "pluck" again in a month or so.
Now I know that the word "pluck" probably gives you visions of something like a chicken being plucked of its feathers, but that's not how the bunny plucking looks at all. It's actually quite a relaxing practice. I sit with the bunny on my lap and just gently pull up on the hair. The hairs that are ready to come off (the old fiber) comes right off. The rest stays on the bunny. And they actually enjoy it. Trust me, if they did not, they wouldn't willingly stay on my lap.
Snowball (pictured above) has a pure white fiber. Her sister, Honey, has a champagne colored fiber. My plan is to mix their fiber in with the alpaca fiber and to create some yarn that has an angora/alpaca blend. Wow. Now that will be some fine yarn.
These warmer days have been so wonderful. It's good to feel the hot sun on my shoulders again (although I do have a bit of a sunburn as a souvenir from shearing day when it was sunny and in the 90's.) Unfortunately, it's back down in the 40's this morning and isn't supposed to get out of the 50's today.
That kind of up and down weather is not the greatest for gardening. I planted one of my raised beds with lettuces, spinach, chard, and some other leafy things about a month ago when we were going through a nice warm spell. Unfortunately, the temps decided to plummet again and despite the fact that I had a cold frame built over the raised bed, the extreme cold temperatures must have killed the germinating seeds. That was a super big bummer. So now I need to buy some more seeds and replant that bed. Fortunately, my green onions survived the freeze and they are ready for the eating.
It has felt good to start making and eating lighter meals again. Although I highly enjoy making soups and stews (and we just as equally enjoy eating them), it is so nice to be out using the grill again and enjoying some lighter dishes.
I don't know why I get the bug to cook and bake when the weather warms up. You would think I would enjoy it more in the cold months. I think it might be because I enjoy making the lighter dishes of summer. I bought rhubarb and strawberries to make a gluten free strawberry rhubarb crisp. I think we'll do that later today. I always look forward to rhubarb season. Unfortunately, I haven't been very successful with growing rhubarb which I believe is pretty unusual. So until I can get my own patch growing, I'll have to stick with buying it from the grocery store.
Warmer weather also means it's smoothie season again. My blender stood inactive quite a bit more than I'd like to admit over this past winter. Perhaps it was me not feeling well, but I think it was more the result of the frigid weather we had for five months straight. However, I have been more than making up for that now, enjoying a smoothie pretty much everyday. The kids are very happy.