Friday, November 11, 2011

A Halloween Circus

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls...Welcome, to the Miller Family Halloween Circus!

Get your Tickets here!

Our ticket taker is rather grim...

Incredible and Delicious Refreshments!

Music and Laughter!

A Daring Sabre Dance!

The Amazing Floating Lady!

The Incredible Talking, Singing Head of the Wizard Schmockoff!

The Horrible Harpy!

The Tall Man!

Every year for the past 5 year our family has thrown a big Halloween party. We actually did a big party the first year we moved here too. It was a harvest themed party and we invited all our new neighbors. We had been told that it had been a tradition in the neighborhood to have a harvest party on Halloween so we thought it would be fun to host it. It was fun, and a great way to gather with new friends. But the following two years, we were so overwhelmed with remodeling our home and then recovering from that, I just couldn't do a big party. Another neighbor did one...but we were busy and didn't attend. Finally, we decided it was time to bring it back. We set a theme - based on the Keats poem "La Belle Dame Sans Merci", made a Haunted Forest amongst our fruit trees, cooked tons of good food, and invited everyone we knew. It was greatly successful and so much fun! We decided that it would become a tradition, and have stuck to it ever since.

Our Halloween party theme this year was inspired by the circus in the movie Mirrormask, with a little bit of Mommy Fortuna's Travelling Carnival from The Last Unicorn thrown in. We began planning it several months ago, and I think it all came together to be our most magical party yet. We scoured vintage clothing stores and thrift stores for the bits and pieces of costumes and decorations, made plaster masks and sewed stripey tablecloths, re-purposed tacky Halloween decorations into awesome sideshow characters, and hung tons of paper lanterns and colored lights. There were only two things we fell short on - although we had our little white pony all brushed out and glittered, she never got her unicorn horn and never made it out to the main circus area, and....the harpy was supposed to have water balloon er...chests...and we just didn't get to it. She was nice and squalky though, and was quite entertaining until she felt she had enough attention and turned and pouted in her corner for the rest of the night.

We had beautiful weather, and it was a truly lovely evening for all of us. It is such a joy to share with our family and friends this way every year.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Patriot Day

In memory of 9/11 and with love in our hearts for all those fighting for freedom, here are some patriotic images from around the house - including our little immigrant from Fröken Skicklig in Germany ;)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy to be 8!

Elsa was absolutely radiant on her 8th birthday! She woke up so excited and happy, immediately put on her new dress, opened her most anticipated present (a little set of handmade fairy dolls), and got ready for her baptism. She was so excited to be baptised on her birthday! Surrounded by family and friends who love her, she was glowing all day long!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Enchanting Day

A chance encounter with Twig, the wandering fairy the moment we stepped inside the gates. Two little princesses listened in awe to her sweet fairy pipes and held out thier hands for a shiny green fairy stone.

Robin flew in the rigging like a first-rate pirate.

A break for lunch - giant roasted turkey legs, broccoli & cheese soup served in a boule, shepherds pie, onion pasty. We picnicked on the grass under the shade of the trees, soft breeze blowing, sounds of pipes and flutes and harp drifting through the air.

Jesse & Lucy relaxing in the dappled light of the warm spring sun.

Jill, with friends Katie and Barry, enjoying the merriment and adding plenty of thier own.
It was a beautiful, warm spring day. The boys left tunics and tabards at home and stayed cool in their billowy linen shirtsleeves, the girls in drifting silk and linen skirts, hair in braids or blowing in the cool breeze. We watched tight-rope walkers, jugglers and acrobats, a phantom playing the clarion bells, blacksmiths and glass blowers and a very convincing hypnotist; shopped for scented bath salts and gypsy scarves, wooden swords and dragon puppets; ate strawberry Italian ice, a huge roasted turkey leg, broccoli and cheese soup served in a bread boule; sipped blood orange Italian soda with cream, and finished the day sitting on the grass under a tree, listening to bagpipes and drums and nibbling on strawberry pastries and cinnamon buns. It was a moment spent back in time in an idealized world of magic and romance, beauty and art. Yes, a very enchanting day indeed!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

No Kiddin'...You're My Valentine!

Happy Valentine's Day!
I hope you all had as warm and lovely a day as we had here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Big Freeze

Walking on the ice in the goat pasture.

Icicles from the garden hose.

Saving the citrus fruit with charcoal burners through the night.

Our frozen yard!

Ice in the pastures, irrigation ditch, and backyard along with some visiting mallards.

We have had some very cold nights this past month. It is unusual for our lows to get much below freezing, especially not for so many nights in a row. But we had 20 degrees farenheit for several nights, and that required extra care for our beautiful citrus trees. We were able to save the fruit, and the trees themselves are hardy, so no worries! We had irrigation the day before the last freeze, and the entire yard was a frozen lake next morning. Of course Robin and Elsa were thrilled, and despite warnings from the doctor to be careful of Elsa's already broken arms, and Robin's sprained foot, they just couldn't stay off the ice! It was a lovely and unexpected visit from King Winter, and thankfully very short. Of course, it is possible we will have more freezing days ahead! If so, we will welcome them with warm hearts and the hope of spring.