Monday, March 30, 2009
In years past, I only had a few containers with a couple tomatoes and some basil. This year I am planning an actual vegetable garden and a small herb garden. So far, I have started Purple Opal Basil, Lemon Basil, Genovese Basil, German Chamomile, Greek Oregano, Lavender, Calendula, Mint, Parsley, Echinacea, Red of Florence Onions, Alexandria Alpine Strawberry, Yellow Alpine Strawberry, Fresca Strawberry, Little Gem Lettuce, and Swiss Chard. In the coming weeks I will be starting a few varieties of tomatoes, more lettuce and ornamental flowers. The rest will be sown directly into the garden.
I realize that it would have been easier (and perhaps more logical) to buy some of the more slow growing varieties as already-started plants, but I really have a hard time paying for something that I can do myself. Plus, isn't a big part of gardening about the process? This may be a little difficult for me because I can be a bit impatient and like to see immediate results. However, it is interesting to see all the various sizes and shapes of seeds and seedlings. If I would have gone out and purchased plants I would never have known that some seeds, like oregano are the size of a grain of sand, while others, like calendula, don't look like seeds at all, but petrified spiny worm-like creatures.
Several times a day I venture downstairs and scan the little peat pots, looking for new growth. It makes me practically giddy to see those tiny little sprouts pushing their way up through the dirt. Even if I have to wait a year or two for some of the plants to flower, I think it will be more satisfying in the end. Or maybe more frustrating. I guess I will find out.
P.S. Did I mention that the actual gardens are not even built yet?
Sunday, March 22, 2009
It has been a busy couple of weeks for A-Z Farm, with a total of 167 births as of Sunday morning.
The ewes and lambs were separated into groups based on the lamb's age. Lambs less than a week old were in small private enclosures with their mothers where they nursed and sunbathed in the warm spring sun.
Lambs older than a week were in groups of 2-4 ewes and their lambs. They were fairly independent; prancing around, climbing of bales of hay, and snuggling in groups.
This mama must have been lamb-sitting for another mama. These were definately not all her babies!Noah got to touch a little lamb. I don't know if he realized it was a real live animal. He thought that by squeezing its ear, he could make it bleat.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I soon discovered that this is not the time for projects that require huge amounts of concentration, such as the fancy cabled socks with the complicated chart to follow. It is a good time for polishing some of Noah's wooden toys with beeswax polish. Last week, I finally put the finish on the train that Grandpa Ted made Noah for Christmas. This train (well...the engine at least) has been making many laps around the living room and kitchen lately.
I have also been working on some knitted animals from Toymaking With Children. The patterns are simple enough that I can put down the knitting and pick it up again whenever I need to without worrying about loosing track of where I am. There is also something special about making handmade toys while the receiving child plays nearby.
Over the past several weeks, there have been many additions to the farmyard.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Above his dresser hang three fairytale postcard prints; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Star Money, and Little Red Riding Hood, all in frames made by Grandpa Ted. Below the prints is our nativity stable, now the home of Little Red's Grandmother and several knitted barnyard animals.
Next to Grandmother's house is a framed watercolor I did of the night sky with Noah's bedtime verse written on it. Behind the watercolor is a plant that is taking on the appearance of a small tree. This slow growing plant (I think it is some kind of bonsai) is virtually indestructible. Over the years, it has often been greatly neglected, going weeks without water and living in rooms with no sunlight. Yet it continues to grow. This past summer I re-potted it and covered the soil with green moss. Then, while on a walk, Noah and I found a little stone just the perfect size for this mini-forest landscape. It looked like the perfect spot for a forest gnome to sit and rest. Months went by, and still no gnome. Well, last night I finally got around to making one. He turned out a little bigger than I had imagined, but he seems comfortable on his mini-forest perch.
I have more ideas for fun little projects to add to Noah's forest bedroom, but I think I need a little break after this project.
Friday, March 6, 2009
"Dance?" I asked.
"Da!" was the reply.
He grinned as I swooped him up and then laid his head on my shoulder as I swirled, bounced and danced him around the living room. I think my heart just about melted.
Oh my, our little boy is growing so fast! I forsee a lot of fun times this summer!
Monday, March 2, 2009
I have been busy reading everything I can about starting seeds indoors and planning gardens. I planted the first seeds this past week and am seeing a few little seedlings poking their way up. I have mixed feelings about sharing my seed starting ambitions with the whole world, because I have never done this before and really hope it is not all a big flop. I will share some pictures of my setup soon. Hopefully it will be pictures of happy little seedlings and not just a bunch of scrawny little sprouts. Or worse yet, peat pots with lovely brown dirt and nothing else. We shall see. Planting time still seems a long way off when the temperatures are still in the single digits.
Noah has been a hoot lately. At home, he is always on the move, picking up new gestures and words almost daily. A few weeks ago he started saying "whazat?" or "whozat?" whenever he sees or hears something new. Very cute! Yesterday as we were out running errands, I sat in the back seat with him and we had quite the conversation. I discovered that he knows several words and signs that I did not know about, as he is too busy when we are at home to just 'chat.' I was almost sad when we got back home because our conversation had to end. I will have to spend more time riding in the back seat with him in the future.
Of all the words Noah is picking up, mama has not been one of them. He says daddy, baby, chez (cheese), bobo (the rabbit...don't know why), but not mama. My theory is that since we spend so much time together, he thinks of me as an extension of himself, and therefore does not need a name for me. Maybe its a bunch of hooey, but it makes me feel just a little bit better when even the rabbit has a name.
Those are just a few of the little things going on around here. Just normal, everyday stuff. All lovely in their quiet little way.