Monday, July 8, 2013

Food, Not Lawn

We live in a neighborhood full of perfectly manicured, bright green lawns. Ours is not one of them. We choose to use an organic fertilizer that our children and dog can safely play on. And last summer, during a long dry spell, we did not sprinkle gallons and gallons of water on our lawn to keep it green. As a result, we have a spotty, kind-of-green lawn. At the end of last summer, we tore up all the lawn on the south side of our house (what was left of it anyway). We had a stepping stone path and log walk installed, tilled in compost, and let it rest. I am sure our neighbors spent last fall and this spring wondering what on earth we were going to do with that great big expanse of mud. At first, it was going to be a perennial flower bed, but the more I got to thinking about it, the more I wanted that space to be both beautiful and useful. I spent the winter months planning and starting seeds. Finally, after rain, rain, and more rain, we started to shape that big expanse of mud into our new vegetable garden. It was slow going, thanks to me being very pregnant, and then having a newborn to care for, but it is finally filling in!

This first year is one big experiment, discovering what will do well in this area that gets full sun and a lot of wind. From left to right above (all heirloom varieties): bush beans, onions, the boys checking out the tomatoes, pole beans on teepee, sweet corn, acorn squash, pumpkins, and the beginnings of a small cottage garden along the house (sunflowers, hollyhock, bachelor's buttons, zinnias, and poppies). Not pictured, behind me are kale and broccoli (not doing so well), and to the left, more pumpkins.
The boys love to go out and check on their 'Green, Green Garden,' the title of one of their current favorite books. "Every day we weed, water, and wait. We weed, water, and wait some more."
In our raised gardens in the back of the house are our greens, peas, herbs, carrots, cucumbers and more broccoli. That garden has been producing enough greens for my morning smoothie, a giant lunch salad, herbs and greens for dinner, and snacks for pea sneaking boys.

    Dill 'fireworks'

I can't wait to see the growth over the next couple of months, and will be back to share the progress!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Finding My Groove

It has been some time since I shared my latest project. I lost my knitting mojo about two-thirds of the way through my pregnancy when the little lady threatened to come early, causing me all sorts of discomfort that was only relieved by laying on my side. It is hard to do much of anything while laying on your side, much less knit or sew. So I spent a good amount of time resting, focusing on taking care of myself and the growing babe. I guess you could say that she was my 'work in progress.'

And all the rest/work paid off because she hung in there until two weeks before her due date. Here she is, the newest member of our family, making her Quiet Place debut, two month old Arwen Skye. She is a sweet little lady, and we feel blessed to have her in our family.

Over the past couple weeks I have been slowing getting my groove back, balancing taking care of a newborn, the boys and the house. I have even started a new knitting project, inspired by my daily green breakfast smoothie, which allows me to blend together tons of nutritional goodness that I can then sip while nursing Arwen or doing other tasks. Trouble is, grasping a quart-sized mason jar full of ice cold smoothie makes my hands equally cold. Babies don't appreciate cold hands, nor do they appreciate having a cold jar bumped on their little legs while they are trying to have their own breakfast! So, instead of a tea-cozy, I am knitting a mason jar cozy. Very slowly. One round at a time. Sometimes, a whopping two rounds at a time!

However long this project takes, it just feels good to be knitting again.

Monday, June 24, 2013


 Last night after dinner, the boys were requesting dessert. Instead, we offered a trip to a nearby park. They had a blast running and chasing each other on the trails. The light was beautiful; the perfect end to the first official weekend of summer. On the way home, Isaac quietly stated, "That was good dessert." Yes. Yes, it was.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Grandpa's Flannel

My Dad...words cannot describe how I miss him. Like the flannel shirts he often wore, he was strong and dependable, but soft at the same time. It makes my heart ache to think of how our baby girl will never be held in his big gentle hands, or snuggle on his flannel-shirted chest, smelling faintly of sawdust and Irish Spring soap. This project idea came to me belatedly, after all Dad's shirts had found new homes among family and friends. However, my sister graciously gave me some that she had taken when I told her about my wish to wrap this baby up in a little bit of his essence, so that she might know him in that way. Thoughts of my Dad filled my mind with each stitch I made while creating this snuggle sized blanket. I will never look at it without remembering him and feeling that his spirit is here with us still.

Friday, January 18, 2013


One evening last week, Noah commented at the dinner table that he had a wiggly tooth. "No way," I thought. He has to be mistaken. But upon further inspection, it was indeed a bit wiggly. The dinner conversation moved to the Tooth Fairy and what would happen when the tooth fell out, things we had never talked about before, because frankly, I thought we were at least a year away from him losing his first tooth. A few mornings later, at the breakfast table this time, that wiggly tooth was becoming a bother. I offered to pull it out for him and went to get a piece of cloth to grasp it with, but before I could  return he pulled it out, all on his own without a bit of fuss. 

As a planner and crafter, I was also unprepared. Had I seen this coming, I probably would have made a little tooth pillow. Instead, we found a special little seashell container to keep it safe and put under his pillow.

This milestone kind of blindsided me, and in many ways affected me more than his first day of school, or his fifth birthday. The loss of that first tooth is somehow a more concrete sign that he is really growing up, even more so than going to school, or his ever increasing height (how are those pants we got him a couple weeks already too short?!). In Waldorf education, the change of teeth is one sign that the first stages of body building are complete and the energy that was put into growing can now be directed at learning, and specifically, learning to read. This boy is ready. And I am getting there.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Crafting On Firsts

Some exciting news for our growing family, presented by Noah (with captions by me)...

It is a GIRL! Noah calls her "Our Baby", which I love. Not "Mommy's baby" or "Mommy and Daddy's baby" but OUR baby.  And so there is girly crafting going on in this house for the first time, and lots of it. I actually made this little sweater before we found out the gender, but when paired with a simple little dress it instantly became hers.

In addition to the sweater, I have been cranking out wool diaper covers in cream and lilac hues. While I am not a fan of a lot of pink, I do love vintage looking floral prints. Thanks to my Mom (and newly appointed 'sewing assistant' aka seam ripper) visiting this past week, I had time to sew these sweet little peasant blouses and many burp cloths. When she wasn't helping me decipher sewing patterns, she spent countless hours reading with the boys, playing with playdough, and 'shopping' in their store, allowing me to make a small dent in my sewing list. Sewing is not my forte, as evidenced by the fact that I cut the fabric for these blouses the wrong way. You would think I would have noticed all those birds falling off their branches! At least it will look correct to me when I am cradling her in my left arm. Lesson learned...

I am short on words this morning, and currently being beckoned by a certain boy to come inspect his knight's castle. Happy crafting!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Something New Today

Oh, these Photo-A-Day projects! They seem like such a great idea, and really they are. In the past, committing to taking a photo a day has forced me to look for subjects I would not otherwise photograph. I love that. But the fact is that, like many new resolutions, I don't stick with it. Life gets busy and I forget. But what is more important than capturing those day to day moments in the life a child with a photograph? So here we are again at the beginning of the year, and I am going to try this again. I do better with some kind of prompt for inspiration, so I will try (really hard!) to follow the prompts of Fat Mum Slim, unless I am really not feeling it and then I will make up my own :) I am already a day behind, of course, so a few pictures cover both Day 1 and Day 2.

Today, the boys, wearing their new capes and crowns (and elephant pajamas), are knights fighting dragons with wooden spoons and pot lids, having a secret rendezvous in their castle with their doggies.