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Homestead Report - Winter prep

The picture is deceiving. There has been no snow at the homestead this week. It is crazy to think that there was over 3 feet of snow here this time last year. The chicken coop was threatening to collapse under the weight of the snow, and the housesitter was contemplating how to keep the dogs from running away. On the otherhand, the family and I were sitting on the Thunder Mountain flume ride at Disney World for the billionth time that night!

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Homestead update - winter is upon us

The woodstove has been going almost constantly for two weeks now. R's got the knack of stoking the fire so that there are still embers in the morning and gets a slow fire going that lasts until the boy gets home. Nice thing is that we always have hot water for tea now ;-)

We've put up storm windows in most of the windows downstairs and hung curtains over doors and blocking off areas of the house. It reminds me of one of those sci-fi Dr. Who shows when you're pushing through layers upon layers of plastic. But it keeps the warm where we can use it. I've also gone and blocked the foundation vents, so one more thing to keep the warm in!

Our power bill is $100 lower than it was last year this time, so we're doing something right. We've also moved into the smaller bedrooms. I think that helps too.

On the animal front, the Sheep are back. They were staying with a neighbor, but broke out and showed up on our front driveway. We lost another chicken. She just died. No idea why. So we are down to 4 hens and the rooster, but on the plus side, they are laying again. R spend the day insulating the chicken coop. That should cut the power bill too. Just need to find the stupid thermocube. It's an awesome concept, it's like a timer, but it goes by temperature, below freezing and it turns on. It is perfect for the stock tank heater and the chicken coop heater.

Horses are enjoying their blankets. It hasn't been above freezing up here for a couple of days. We have a temporary boarder. He's a 17+ hand thoroughbred. Wow, now that's a tall horse.

Kittens are cuter than evah. Gwen (the white demon) is currently laying sprawled out like only a kitten can be. Ripley (mamma) and Fay are curled up together somewhere. Fiona has been going out into the yard with me and sticks close. It's been over 4 months and only one escape scare. Turns out she was under the bed. I miss Isabella and Graf, but not the angst.

Work has been difficult, but I am hopefully getting it under control. It's frustrating to work so hard and yet not feel like it makes a difference. On the otherhand, it has inspired me to get back to other writing and my latest script is actually making progress. On another plus side though, R's job has been extended until June and the China trip delayed until March. AND *** drumroll ** some money that was owed us is actually being returned!!! Small windfall will pay for the replacement pressure Tank for the well. Who knows, it may mean we can use the upstairs bathroom for the first time in 2 years.

The kid is AMAZING. Playing his guitar all the time. He is really showing progress. I'm thrilled. He's working on Blackbird for me. He's doing great in school and working on getting money for his trip to China.

Hexmas is upcoming too. I have my sekrit friend and I'm trolling his/her livejournal for ideas. I love sekrit santa hexmas. It is the most silly fun evah.

Kitten update. Is it normal for a kitten to sleep on her back with legs splayed? She looks totally silly!


Hexmas Meme

1. Do you have an amazon.com wishlist or an etsy wishlist?
Yes, to both.
Amazon: Crystal Smithwick: I'm getting back into screenwriting, so a lot of my books are on writing.
Esty: Crystallin : I have just discovered etsy...oh the bootiful things. Currently being suckered by scarfletts/neck warmers and needle felted critters.

2. Do you have any allergies to food or such?
Nope. Pretty much an omnivore. I do not like beef liver or beets.

3. Any strong dislikes?
Chocolate with mint is just wrong.

4. How do you feel about smelly/scented things?
For the most part, I like smelly things.

5. Whats the best present you ever got?
I get rather teary-eyed whenever I get something handmade. I think the best present I ever got was when my son played a song on the guitar just for me.


If You Go Away : English Lyrics
Song info: Lyrics by: Rod McKuen Music by: Jacques Brel Arranger: Don Costa Originally made famous by: Damita Jo

I think that is the version that I remember from my childhood.
And cuz Frankie always puts a good spin on a song.

English Lyrics:Collapse )

Jacques Brel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2wmKcBm4Ik&feature=fvw
Nina Simon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI8F6DbB2cE&feature=related

The FRENCH lyrics:
French LyricsCollapse )


Etsy shops and Etsy shopping

Does anyone in the hive mind have a Esty shop or bought anything from an Etsy shop? I am thinking of starting one for a friend and wanted to see if anyone had any experience with them.

If you haven't, esty.com is a cool place to buy and sell homemade and vintage things. I love to look, but haven't bought yet.



My little demon

My demon
Originally uploaded by Crystallin
This is one of the kittens, now at almost 7 weeks old. We call her after Gwen from torchwood). It seemed only fair. Her mother is named after Ripley from Aliens, and Fiona is named after the Arms dealer/mercenary in Burn Notice. Kid's going to have to hold her own.



So far behind

So many things...

Birthday - Dinner with the boyfriend at Sip. STEAK!! nom nom Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes.
Emprise - awesome...everything looked wonderful. Gets better every year.
Baronial A&S - much fun judging, new friends, great nom noms
work - crazy, countdown to deadline
kittens - too cute! I'm being attacked by a manic marmalade munchkin as we type
Fiona - 2 months and not a single runaway!
Homestead - winterizing, putting up wood, first real wood fire of the season
Horses - enjoying being ignored in the pasture
Stuart - guitar lessons, scouts, possible school trip to China, and High School!
Scouts - Prepping for Court of honor,

This is the first weekend that isn't jampacked. Running errands on Saturday, Scouts Court of Honor in the evening. Sunday is suspiciously free.


Isn't it pretty! Designed and painted by Annisa, with a little help from me.

So, come to the Emprise of the Black Lion on Sept 26th and see who is going to win this pretty plate!

(Barony of Madrone/Shire of Wyewood, An Tir)


Great day to ride -

Went down to Fall City Arena for an impromptu practice. Hauled Mr. Thessil and our two down. Aeshine and Willow joined us. Gigi and I practiced many things, even though we aren't competing in the Emprise because I am the EMIC. But Sunday's tourney is still open to me!

So, we practiced canter departs and even cantered almost all the way around the arena with a sword in hand. No canter depart+buck combo!

We practiced reeds, pigs, and javelins. After her spook at Sept Crown, I wanted to give her more practice with the javelin and target.

Raph and I did some mounted crest combat. Gigi wasn't wild about taking on Bourdain, he's been a butthead to her lately, but with some encouragement, she got the message that we weren't going to back down!

Otherwise, the weekend was blissfully uneventful. Slept a good chunk of Saturday. Thwarted a cold or something. I am going to be doubly sore though due to the trail work I did on Friday for the Microsoft Day of Caring. We built a turnpike on the Little Mt. Si That was a hard day's work.

I've downloaded photos of Sept Crown. I'll journal bout them in a bit. It was a good event. I did 5 hours of volunteer work. 2 hours for the Equestrian List, 2 hours for the Crown List, and an hour for the youth combat list. I even got to ride in the Inspiration tournament and came in 3rd!


Meme - doesn't seem to have a name.

What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
Marchpane Crack...oh yeah.

Have you ever kissed anyone named Matthew?

Where was your profile picture taken?
Sept Crown, North Bend WA

Can you play guitar hero?
Yes. I play Bass.

Name someone that made you laugh today?

How late did you stay up last night and why?
11 p.m. Watching TV I htink

If you could move somewhere else, would you?

Ever been kissed under fireworks?

Which of your friends lives closest to you?

Do you believe ex's can be friends?
I think so.

When was the last time you cried really hard?
When Isabella was killed. I still mourn that stupid dog.

Where are you right now?
Avoiding entering the rest of the equestrian authorizations.

What bed did you sleep in last night?

What was the last thing someone bought for you?
Co-worker bought me coffee.

Who took your profile picture?
I did.

Who was the last person you took a picture of?

Was yesterday better than today?

Are you mad about anything?

Do you think relationships are ever really worth it?
oh yah

Are you a bad influence?
oh yeah...heh heh heh

Night out or night in?
Night out...I really really want to go out, but too much to do.

What items could you not go without during the day?
My computer

What does the last text message in your inbox say?
Bank notice that I had a deposit!

How do you feel about your life right now?

Do you hate anyone?

If we were to look in your facebook inbox, what would we find?
invitation to something or another

Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass?

Has anyone ever called you perfect before.
um. yah, wierd huh.

What song is stuck in your head?
"Do you want to Date my Avatar" Felicia Day

Someone knocks on your window at 2am, who do you want it to be?
Pest, stupid cat's been gone almost a week.

Wanna have grandkids before you’re 50?
Nope. Want my kid to have fun, but not that much fun!