Monday, June 20, 2011

June Garden

Thanks to some nice hot days and plenty of rain, our garden is filling in nicely. I decided to plant fewer flowers this year and filled in every last corner with heirloom edibles. We have four different varieties of tomatoes this year, a dozen plants in all, which required the addition of another trellis. We also have four kinds of carrots in red, orange, yellow, and purple, one squash plant that is beginning to resemble something from the jungle, two varieties of bush beans and lettuce, eight basil plants in addition our perennial herbs, some miniature short-season melons, and a wayward Mammoth sunflower that sprouted from one of last year's fallen seeds.The Bright Lights Swiss Chard is living up to its name, looking beautiful, and growing like crazy. Between the chard and our CSA, we are up to our ears in greens right now and will be trying some new recipes from this book. Tonight: Swiss Chard Gratin. Tomorrow: Homemade Braised Chard Pizza.And the lavender is budding. There are few things better than plunging your face into the plant and inhaling deeply. Garden aromatherapy.Thankfully, our not-so-pretty-to-look-at, but pretty-effective fence has been keeping the little critters out of our garden. All except for one that is...
Boy, oh boy, does this baby love dirt! He loves to dig it, squish it, occasionally taste it, and generally get it all over himself and everyone else, all while repeating over and over with much gusto, "Ucko!" Noah, on the other hand, has discovered how to turn on the hose and tries to help wash the dirt off everything and everyone.
Good (and muddy and wet) times in the garden!

Monday, June 13, 2011

In The Summertime

The first days of June brought with it some HOT days (90+ degrees in the shade!) giving the garden a boost and sending us running for our swimming suits and sunscreen. Within the span of a few days, we had filled more days with street parties, wading pools and Popsicles than I could remember having throughout the past two summers combined. Of course, last summer is a blurry, sleep-deprived memory due to the fact that Isaac was barely out of newborn stage, and our outside time was greatly limited to the shade. The summer before that I was pregnant, feeling queasy, and you could not have paid me a thousand bucks to put on a swimming suit. So, armed with a new kiddie pool, complete with a mini slide, and some SPF 60, we are ready to wring every last bit of fun out of this summer.I had been so looking forward to warmer weather and not having to dress two squirming boys in hats, mittens, boots, etc., etc. to go play outside that I quite forgot it takes nearly as long to put sunscreen on two squirming boys. I had also forgotten that sunscreen is messy stuff, as they smear their little SPFed bodies up against windows, appliances, and unfortunately, all over the piano. After finding that the black finish came off with the cleaning cloth when I tried to clean the sunscreen off the bench day after day, I decided that we were in desperate need of a piano bench cover. When an Internet search turned up few options available for purchase, Curtis said, "Why don't you just sew one?" I thought about for a minute before continuing my search even more furiously, because I really didn't feel that I had the time or energy to come up with a pattern. Alas, I could find nothing suitable for our extra long bench. So began a several day project, with me measuring and re-measuring, crawling around on the floor cutting fabric scraps of fabric, and sewing them together while perched on a toddler-sized chair in front of the sewing machine I had placed on an end table in my make-shift sewing area in the foyer. The best (and maybe the only good) feature of the area being that it was located on the other side of the baby gate and out of reach of the kiddos, so they could safely play on the other side while I worked on my project.Several days later, we have a brand new quilted piano bench cover...

I was so happy when I slid the finished cover over the bench and it actually fit that I may have done a little dance. OK...I did do a little dance, and the boys laughed at me. This project just might have given me the confidence to actually finish the quilt that I started over a year ago (the scraps of which were used for this cover). Though I may need to set up a better sewing area in a corner of the basement. That toddler sized chair just isn't cutting it :)