Saturday, May 30, 2009

my backyard

I know, impossibly tiny panorama photo. You can click on it to make it larger.
I wanted to show what I have been working on in the yard for the last few weeks!

On the left is my potting bench. Not a lot of activity going on there right now. I still have to pull out most of my pots.

On the left side of the patio table is the perennial garden. This is where I have worked  most recently, adding and moving things around. And weeding. I still have to lay down some fresh mulch and add some pots, but it's pretty complete. This side also has the birch tree, and in the distance is the hammock. It moves with the sun.

In the middle is a small brick walkway, mostly covered over with creeping thyme.

To the right of the umbrella is our chiminea, where we make smores. Lots of gooey, yummy smores. The huge spruce is right there, slowly creeping into the garden year by year.

Right next to the spruce is the Magnolia tree, which I love. I'm afraid that it will also be taken over by the spruce. Underneath the magnolia needs a lot of work; the dirt level needs to be brought up and there are some killer weeds in there. It's the spot that gets neglected most often. Stuff is hard to grow there.

Near is the front is the pond. I usually have lots of pots sitting around it as well but haven't gotten around to it yet. To the right of the pond is the walkway to the rest of the yard. There's Bart in the distance, under yet another tree planting stuff.

Still needs some work, but it's looking pretty good right now, and it hasn't been too buggy to sit out there.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

things I did this weekend

shopped for plants
planted plants
eat blue cheese burgers
visited with family
relaxed in the hammock
finished a library book
played frisbee both canine & human
went to the drive in
planted some more stuff
slept in
stayed up late
finished a pair of socks
ate buffalo burgers
enjoyed the sunshine
thought about planting more stuff
removed cactus spikes from the face of someone who wants to remain annonymous
played with the kids
ate hot dogs
started next pair of socks
and relaxed.

it was good.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

guess who's going to have buttloads of tomatos?

We are!
Here we have 15 varities of Heirloom tomato seeds sprouting. Why 15, you may ask? I don't have a good answer. I just wanted to try a bunch of different types.
I started these seeds for my stepmom, the gardening goddess, for Mother's Day. If I'd have had the idea in say, March, we could just about be putting them into the ground right now. I didn't think of it until late April (natch) so we may have a late harvest.

how can you resist names like Delicious,Green Zebra, Cherokee Purple, Brandywine Yellow, German Red Strawberry, Yellow Marble, Hillbilly W Virginia, & Mortgage Lifter?
I am dreaming of all the delicious BLT's and gazpachos that I will make. Mmmmmm...
And look who has taken up residence in the thyme...bookworm gnome!
Have a beautiful Saturday :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Plant or weed?

Hello, and welcome! It's that time of year again...time to play my favorite quiz game...
Plant or weed?

contestant number one-
upon first glance, contestant #1 looks like a weed, all the way. First of all, it was the first thing that bloomed, and it's about 3 feet tall. Nothing I plant ever grows that fast.
but look at the bottom-it looks like something I planted on purpose. Is the weed clever enough to disguise itself and grow directly out of the middle of the on purpose plant?? Plus it's far enough away that I think I planted it.
so is contestant #1 a plant or a weed? I have 3 different opinions so far, and they are split. I just don't want some gardener extraordinaire to come over and go "Hey, why are you letting that huge weed grow?"

Contestant #2
this one is iffy. It's a nice green mound. Could be intentional but for the fact that it's too close to something else.
the leaves look kind of weedy too. Help me out here...weed, or plant?

Not a weed or a plant, it's Buddy enjoying the sunshine...

Contestant #3
compact, bushy. Looks like a plant. This one could go either way. Weed or plant?

And just for fun, look what I bought at the farmer's market today! Isn't it the coolest? The lady there had an old rake & a quilt draped over it. Not gonna happen, but I bet I can find something really cool to put in there! I didn't buy a single plant today. Just pastries and this :)
Thanks for playing this years edition of Plant or Weed! Happy gardening!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

new additions

Played with Kool-Aid dyeing a few days ago and here are my results:

Berry parfait (everybody loves parfait!)

and lime popsicle. yum.

Dyeing fiber with Kool-Aid couldn't be simpler...and cheaper! After I brought the packets home Emma has been on a campaign to make some for drinking. My poor, deprived children. I don't think they've ever had homemade koolaid. I lived on that stuff! The best part- that even after rinsing, the yarn smells a little sweeter than wet sheep!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday musings

-Glad to be home from camping. It was a lot of fun, but on the cool & damp side. Also, extremely muddy. I just finished scrubbing out shoes.
-Emma was a total sugarplum all weekend. It ended promptly after I tried to wake her from a 2 1/2 hour nap yesterday. Sigh.
-She had no fewer than 15 meltdowns last night.
-I came home to a 'honey-do' list that is no fun at all.
-How does camping for 2 days equal 27 loads of laundry???
-we have a heron in the yard. Bart thought he saw one while we were gone. Did a fish count. 
Last night while watching Survivor I saw him fly over the pond and land on the neighbor's roof.
Fish count...2 fish. Unless they are really well hidden, the damn bird got 3 or 4. I netted the pond again, but I am really frustrated.
-I am happy that JT won Survivor!
-need to go to the store for bread, milk, etc. Don't want to :(
-another busy week concert...
-is it ever going to be warm enough to plant?

Friday, May 15, 2009

into the woods

It's time for our annual Girl Scout camping trip. Em & I leave in about 2 hours.
Part of me is exicted, because this is the last year I'll go, and I'll get to see her do some really cool and fun things.
Part of me is less than pleased that our cabin doesn't have a bathroom. Barbaric! Don't they know Moms really need access to toilets at all times? I am praying and crossing my fingers that I don't have a rehash of our trip to Cincinnati, and the period from hell. No one wants that.
Part of me is glad that we have an adopted 'sister' for the trip. This will either keep Emma in a really good mood, or go bad fast. I'm hoping it's the former.
Part of me is scared that I will be forced to do one of the challenges, such as zip lining. I'm not scared of the challenge...I just don't want some 18 year old to ask my weight so they can harness me up. Ugh.
Part of me is annoyed that any of this bothers me, and just wants to go have fun.

Have a great weekend and wish me luck!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

good things

Waking up to sunshine after last night's thunderstorm
this weeks' farmer's market haul:
remember to buy bug spray for my camping trip this weekend
and sunscreen
kettle corn
a 48 year old woman winning 'The Biggest Loser' (She wasn't my pick, but it gives me hope)
knitting baby garments
a day off from soccer yesterday
playing with my new DVR
planting heirloom tomato seeds, 15 varieties.
more naked yarn to dye...I think I am going to try some Kool-Aid this time
one lone frog singing his heart out in the middle of the day

Monday, May 11, 2009

garden ho!

I spent a little time outside today tending to the growing garden (something I should have done 3 weeks ago, but never fit in between the rainstorms) Things are looking nice and green. I am going to have to add some dirt in some places, primarily around the pond. I will also need to remulch...another favorite job! Yippee.
The lilacs are in full bloom, and just about nothing makes me feel better than looking at the long wall of fragrant purple lilacs. I wish they lasted all summer.
small celadine poppies in fuzzy pre-flower form.

Last weeks' perennial purchase-Primula, or Orchid Primrose.Can't wait to see a handful of these spikes poking up in the garden.
A new perennial from last year, the Celadine Poppy is doing beautifully.
My all time favorite farmer's market purchase, my tiny maple, with it's leaves slowly unfurling and growing deeper green every day.
I still have a lot of work to do. My knitter's physique is stiff and sore from bending to pick the never ending weeds. I still have some leaves to suck up. Gotta get that dirt. And Preen. A gardener's best friend.
Off to get ready for our4th soccer game in a row :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I made some pretties!!

I made my first ever skeins of hand dyed sock yarn this week! I am addicted, I must say. The cost for 4 skeins & shipping were less than one pricey yarn. And I can make whatever colors I want! Bonus! The yarn is from Knit Picks.

The pink/blue are a superwash merino/nylon base, while the yellow is a suprewash merino/alpaca/nylon blend. I had never knit (or owned ) this yarn before, and it's working up very nicely. I immediately placed another order.
This one is called 'Blue Margarita with Lime'
"Hubba Bubba"
'Pineapple Orange'

I have so many ideas of colors I want to try!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

return of the farmer's market

farmer's market, originally uploaded by dogglips2.

one of my absolutely favorite things about spring is going to the farmer's market every Thursday. The riot of colors, the smells, the throngs of people looking to beautiful their spaces (ok, maybe the throngs don't thrill me). I love that I can wander the aisles several times and spy something new each time. I look past what's in front and see a cool plant I have never seen before, tucked behind the geraniums and impatiens. I was imagining this first week would be a little spotty, much like the selection at the end of the season, but I was happily wrong! Everything I could ever want or need was available (nevermind that I'm not supposed to plant any of them yet...)
I was scouting for a nice hanging basket for my mom, but that is one of the things I didn't bring home. For the price, I would much rather buy the plants and do it myself. I did buy her some nice fiber optic grasses to put in her sunny spot. I also bought a perennial I hadn't seen before. I'll have to get the tag to remember it's name. But I love it.
I also didn't buy any kettle corn! I bought some yummy pastries instead, to take to my friend Sharyn today. They were better :)
Love the market.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Muffins for Mom

This afternoon was the 'Muffins for Mom' celebration at school. Let me tell you, Evan gets the most thoughtful and caring teachers every year!
We had a little chat time, facing our child at their desk. It was tight. He kept saying, "So, what should we talk about now?" very cute. He made me a lovely placemat, and waited on me hand and foot (I think it was mostly so you wouldn't have 20+ moms wandering around)
After the muffins we were presented with a framed poem that our child had written for us, and then each one shared them with the class. It was so sweet. Here's my poem:
The important thing about my mom is that she loves me. She always makes me feel better. 
Her voice is as smooth as a whistle and her skin as pure as water.
She is kind of short and is cute as a strawberry.
Her whole body smells like fresh raspberries.
She is very warm-hearted and is very encouraging. Mom always makes me life easier.
Mom has a definite daring personality. She is sporty, nice, loving and responsible.
But the important thing about my mom is that she loves me. She always makes me feel better.

How can you not love this kid?
Evan with his teacher, Mrs. Fortner, who is celebrating her first Mother's Day.
Thanks Evan!! I love you !

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

FO-Evergreen Marlene

I finished these socks a few weeks ago (before Cinci) but never took the time to post them.
pattern: Marlene by Cookie A.
yarn: Sundara Evergreen over Lime

the pattern is really beautiful, once I could wrap my mind around it. And the yarn? At first I wasn't really all that impressed, but the longer I knit with it the more I grew to love it. I know these will be one of my favorite pairs in the years to come.

Things are a little more normal on the Emma front. She sort of apologized, by way of saying "I'm sorry but you let me get hooked  blah blah blah..." By the end of the night, she cuddled in my lap for a minute before bed, so I suppose I should stop looking for replacements. :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

I am the least popular person in my house right now

I will survive.
I will survive.
I will survive. (sing it with me)

Emma is furious with me because I won't let her have the next book in a series she started to read. Her Dad bought her the book in Cinci, when I was out shopping with a friend. He asked me for book shopping advice, and my best advice was to randomly flip thru and check the language for swearing and sexy talk. They chose a book, she liked it, wants to read the next book.

I flipped thru the book last night, and on every page I looked at were swear words. I'm not a prude. I do my fair share of swearing. I read books with swearing and sex talk. I watch tv shows with swearing and sex talk. But I don't necessarily think my 11 year old daughter needs to.

And she doesn't like it one bit.

So instead of just accepting it, she won't speak to me. Acts like I'm not around. Which I don't like at all but I'm willing to accept. I don't have to be popular. But she does have to be civil to me, because I am her mother and have her best interests at heart.

Sometimes it sucks to be the mom!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I've been a bad blogger

But I have been busy. No really, I have been!
This past week I spent the majority of my time gathering, pricing, hauling and preparing for a Thursday- Saturday garage sale. One of my least favorite things in the world to do, but it needed to be done. and I'm glad it's over and I have $$$ in hand. More importantly, I got rid of a bunch of stuff!!

I did some yard cleanup, weeding, and pond maintenance as well. The pond was really murky and with all the rain I figured it was a good time to drain 30% out and refill. I bought some new chemicals and 2 plants, and it's looking really good right now. Fish are happy, I am happy. I still have had to chase the ducks away a few times this week...

My Dad & stepmom came home from their lengthy stay in Florida on Monday. It is good to have them home. Got a chance to soak in the hot tub last night. Heaven.

I've had an on/off headache for the last week. It seems to go away and then creeps back in.

So much I need to do this week and the days are filling up fast. May is going to be a blur!