Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bring on the Sun!

We have made some good progress in the garden this past month. Curtis and Noah built the trellis for our peas, cucumbers, winter squash and tomatoes over Memorial Day weekend. We also made a tepee trellis for the pole beans.

I think everything but the winter squash is now officially planted. The tomato seedlings that I started look very pitiful. I planted them anyway and we will see what happens. They are in the background here, next to the small you probably cannot see them.

The lettuce is doing very well. I will be sad when the weather gets too hot to grow more.

I enjoyed the freshest salad of mesclun greens last night. Straight from the garden to the table. I have been eating a few of the radishes as well, though I think our soil is a little too heavy for them. They are an heirloom variety called White Hailstone, and are not growing as nice and round as they are supposed to. They still taste good though!

Now we just need some nice warm, sunny days to get everything going!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Paint Colors

I have come to the conclusion that we are very bad at picking paint colors. I mean, we know what we are looking for and can picture it in our heads, but when it comes to picking the correct color from millions of little swatches, we are very, very bad. As I type this I am doing what I have dubbed the '5-minute test.' You paint a bit of the wall your chosen color and then walk away for 5 minutes. Then you go back and see what your reaction is to the color. I have finally learned this after painting three other rooms in our house the wrong shade of our intended color. If you just stay in the room and keep painting, you loose your vision of what you want and get caught up in painting. That is how we ended up with a bathroom a color we affectionately refer to as Home Depot Orange.

The day after we painted the whole room (two coats!) Home Depot Orange we went back to Home Depot to get the lighter shade we intended for the room to be in the first place. The same thing happened with the pale blue in Noah's room, and the blue-gray of our bathroom. We painted the entire stinkin' room before figuring out it was the wrong color. We did manage to get our bedroom right on the first try. It is hard to mess up beige. Now I am going to head back into the kitchen and hope that the tiny bit of wall I painted in the color we chose is the lovely pale, sunshiny shade of yellow that I am picturing in my head.

Update: Didn't like it. Way too bright. Sigh.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A horse, of course.

(Translated by: Dad)

What can you find at your local grocers? The essentials--bread, milk, eggs? On a beautiful holiday weekend like this, some will find burgers, brats, and their favorite chips. Today, we found Mick, the Budweiser Clydesdale! As Mom got ready for work, me and Dad took a trip to visit him.

Mick arrived in a specialized semi all to himself, as his buddies rested elsewhere. He had two designated drivers who did their best to maneuver the semi through the already over crowded parking lot. Mick is in the area to trot in a Memorial Day parade tomorrow. He came all the way from St. Louis, Missouri just to say 'hello.' He's 8 years old and quite the handsome fella.

Dad and I waited patiently as he stepped out of the truck and clip-clopped his way over to the grocery store's entrance to be a greeter. He drew a lot of attention and his coat was extra shiny in the sunlight. He was very friendly and let all of the children who came to see him, pet him.

Mick let us take our picture with him. Dad let me pet his nose. I said 'hello' to him using my horsey words. He's much taller and cleaner than Winston, but just as nice.

It was a fun surprise after Mom, Dad, and I worked all morning in the garden. It's not every day you see a horse at the place your Mom and Dad buy shaush (applesauce).

Thanks for the visit, Mick! Have fun in the parade tomorrow. Bye bye.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In Bloom

I absolutely love this time of year! Everything is coming alive and is so full of color. I often wish it would stay like this all year round. But then I suppose it would loose its magical charm and be taken for granted. Here are some of the bursts of color that are currently gracing our yard.

I love the color of these tulips. They remind me of a tropical sunset.
The crabapple tree is in full bloom and smells lovely.
A bright and beautiful Asiatic Lily.

Go outside! Photograph your favorite blooms. Find a lilac bush and inhale deeply. Close your eyes and listen to the chirping of the birds while the sun warms your face. Enjoy spring!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Day to Day

Sometimes when our quiet life is just rolling along, it seems as though there is nothing really to write about here. We have been keeping busy though, trust me! Noah is learning new words or signs almost every day. Walks around the block now take a good half an hour because he feels the need to stop every time we see a dog or car to repeat its name over and over and over again.
The seedlings continue to grow and many are in the process of transitioning to life outside. I managed to plant the morning glory and moonflower seedlings under the pergola today while Noah entertained himself with a small stone, alternately 'hiding' it in the grass and then finding it again. "Where dit go?...there id issss!" He also likes to help me weed (i.e. dig in) the beds that are yet to be planted. That may become a problem later on when there are actually plants in them.

My biweekly bread baking is seeing some improvement. In the beginning I was having problems getting my dough to rise. Using the recipe in The Tassajara Bread Book seems to have solved that problem. In fact, last week it rose up out of the bowl and all over the oven. Too warm perhaps? Or maybe I just need a bigger bowl. This week I caught it before it did that again.

I had to bake a few days early this week because we already ran out of bread. I think that is because the last batch was the first that Curtis actually liked and he ate a lot of it. Today I added some millet for something new and different (I don't like knitting the same thing twice, and apparently I don't like baking the same thing twice either). I have a feeling this bread will last a full two weeks as Curtis doesn't like anything crunchy in his bread. I didn't plan it that way on purpose...really, I didn't. I have been having good luck keeping it fresh by slicing it all after is has had a chance to cool and then storing it in the freezer. I just stick some parchment paper between every 6 slices so it is easy to take out a couple days worth at a time. It stays moist and mold-free for several days on the counter in one of these bread bags. Here are today's loaves, ready to be sliced...missing the requisite test slice that I must taste fresh out of the oven with melted butter.

There has also been some sewing and knitting going on, neither of which have produced anything worth photographing at the moment (except maybe the crazy plaid pants in the previous Birthday post). Now I must excuse myself to wash the dirt and flour from my hands and hair before the little munchkin wakes from his nap.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Lacy Snood

We live on a very breezy hill. It seems like every time I step out the door my hair whips in my face and I can't see where I am going. I often resorted to tying a hankerchief around my head to contain my hair while I was gardening or playing with Noah. While the hankerchief did serve its purpose, it was not very pretty to look at. So this past week, I came up with a knitting pattern for a lacy snood. Yep, that's right. A snood. A snood (rhymes with rude) is a netlike hat or fabric that holds or covers the back of a woman's hair. My new snood works quite well, though I would have probably made it a bit longer had I not been running out of yarn.

When it was finished, the lace pattern decreases formed what looks like a starfish. It was unplanned, but looks kind of neat and summery.

Just in case you know of anyone who might want a snood of their very own...

Lacy Starfish Snood Pattern

Yarn: Dale of Norway Lerke (52 % Merino Wool/48% Cotton) dk weight
Size 6 circular - 12 inch or long enough to Magic Loop
Size 8 circular - 12 inch or long enough to Magic Loop
Size 8 DPNs for finishing if not using Magic Loop Method

This is the first pattern that I have ever written, so please let me know if you find any errors. I do tend to be a tight knitter, so you may have to size your needles down to get a gauge that fits your own head. An advantage to using the Magic Loop method was that I was able to try it on after the first inch or two to check the fit. You want the ribbing to be pretty snug so it will stay in place, otherwise a couple bobbypins may be needed to keep it from slipping back.

Using Size 6 needles, cast on 90 st, join for knitting in the round.
K1P1 around for approx. 1 inch. Knit one round.
Switch to Size 8 needle for lace pattern:
Round 1: *[k2tog] 3 times, [yo, k1] 6 times, [k2tog] 3 times, place marker. Repeat from * to end of round (a total of 5 times). Use different colored marker to indicate beginning of round.
Round 2: Purl
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: Knit

Repeat these 4 rounds until desired length is reached (about 7-9 inches).

Begin decreases.
Round 1: *[k3tog] 2 times, [yo, k1] 6 times, [k3tog] 2 times. Repeat from* to end of round.
Round 2: Purl
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: *[k3tog] 2 times, [yo, k1] 4 times, [k3tog] 2 times. Repeat from* to end of round.
Round 5: Purl
Round 6: Knit
Round 7: *k3tog, k2tog, [yo, k1] 2 times, k2tog, k3tog. Repeat from* to end of round.
Round 8: Purl
Round 9: Knit
Round 10: *[k2tog] 4 times. Repeat from* to end of round.
Round 11: Purl
Round 12: Knit
Round 13: *[k2tog] 2 times. Repeat from* to end of round.
Break yarn and thread through remaining stitches. Weave in ends.