Category Archives: Uncategorized

Back in the Blogging Saddle

It’s been nearly two years since I last posted. TWO YEARS! I haven’t forgotten about my little blog. It’s been quietly nagging me in the back of my mind. For two years I’ve been thinking about and meaning to get back to it, but life has been so busy. In those two years I increased the amount of hours I am at work and our two kids are now school age and involved in more activities (soccer, swimming, gymnastics, piano). I value our quiet time and we all enjoy just hanging out at home and playing in the back yard. We aren’t usually involved in that many things at one time. However, in an effort to try different things and see what the kids really enjoy (in addition to wanting the kids to learn how to swim), it feels like we’ve been overdoing it. My son informed me last night that he’s ready to take a break from swimming. Right on. He’s been doing great and has really progressed since he started winter lessons in January, but a break is definitely due.

One of the highlights of the last year is that we now have backyard chickens! I plan to write a whole post on that, but in short: husband built a coop and a run, and in March 2015 we got six Golden Comet chicks (red sexlinks). The kids loved watching them grow from chicks and have continued to love and care for them. They even gave them names. The chickens deserve a blog post of their own, so we’ll cover all that next time around.

In the meantime, it’s April and the weather has been gorgeous (except for the last few days of heavy rain). We’ve gotten our garden started, and since my garden is the topic I blog about most (aside from my kids, maybe), I wanted to share a few pics of what we’ve got going. I’m also home today with a sick kindergartener, so while she’s resting and watching The Land Before Time (a favorite movie series around here), I decided to finally bring back the blog. 🙂

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Our new chicken coop and run along the side of the garden. Also, last year Mr. L. added a fence around the garden to keep the chickens, dogs and deer out. It’s been working great!

 

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This is late afternoon and as you can see, the garden gets a good bit of shade then. I usually try to start planting in the far end and save the sunniest parts of the garden for tomatoes.

 

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The first transplants include cabbage, broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts. I will need to keep an eye on them so I can see when the cabbage worms start to show up, then take action.

 

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Our “walking onions” popping through! My dad gave me a bunch of these a few years ago and I save the bulbs to replant each year. They develop a flower at the top with a bunch of new bulbs that get heavy and plop over, starting a new plant, which is how they “walk”.

 

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These two were really into helping garden this month, so we harnessed that enthusiasm! They helped plant onions, potatoes, and green beans. Miss D. also helped transplant the Brassicas one afternoon when her brother was at soccer practice. We still have lots to do!

At the recommendation of my Uncle Joe, I’m currently reading Growing Great Tomatoes in preparation of planting our own tomatoes in the next week or so. I’m also checking out Straw Bale Gardens and am thinking of giving that technique a try at some point. There’s always so much to learn!

To be continued…

 

 

Gettin’ Dirty

What a gorgeous weekend! The late, heavy snows that we got in March delayed the start of our gardening, so I tried to get caught up this weekend. It was the perfect weather for it; just like those perfect couple of weeks of true spring weather that we get between winter and the hot summer weather that always seems to come too early. I remember a couple of years ago we had what felt like two full months of true spring weather. Hoping for another spring like that this year, now that spring has finally arrived.

We spent most of the weekend in our back yard, transplanting and sowing in the vegetable garden, as well as making a butterfly garden next to the kids’ play house. I’ll follow-up with a post on those, but in the meantime, here’s what we got started in the vegetable garden this weekend:

  • Egyptian (“walking”) onions (actually planted a few weeks ago; my Dad gave me these spring onions a couple of years ago)
  • sweet onions
  • potatoes (Kennebec and red)
  • lettuces (Buttercrunch, Bibb, and mesclun)
  • swiss chard
  • cabbage (early flat Dutch and red)
  • peas (frosty pea, sugar snap and dwarf sugar bush)
  • Tepary beans (heirloom from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company)
  • carrots (short n’ sweet, and rainbow)
  • radishes (easter egg mix)
  • arugula
  • parsley
  • dill

After all of that, I have over half of the garden planted already, which I always find a little depressing. I can never keep up with our garden, once the weeds move in. Then I wish it were smaller. But when I’m planting and sowing, I always wish it were bigger.

We all got very dirty and by Sunday evening, I was tired and sore. But it was a divine weekend. I took this photo of my daughter playing in the less-than-half of the garden that we haven’t planted yet. She had gone inside to fetch her favorite blanket and brought it out to the garden. This photo pretty much sums up how I felt about the weekend. 🙂

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Hoping you also had beautiful weather this past weekend and got outside to enjoy it!

 

Snowmaggedon 2014

Finally! A legit snow day. We’ve had several school closings for ice or slippery roads this year, but today we finally got a real snow day due to several inches of snow on the ground, with more snow expected tonight and more closings tomorrow. Granted, who knows when schools will actually let the kids out for the summer, since they’ve been out so much this winter. But it was fun to get out and play with them in the white stuff today. I’m not complaining! We didn’t make a snowman yet. Maybe we’ll do that tomorrow! In the meantime, here are some photos of our day today.

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He wasn’t interested in wearing his real winter coat or a pair of gloves. I decided to let him be until he decided he was ready for a heavier coat and gloves, but he never complained.

 

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I love how she decided the sample the snow like it was an hors d’oeuvres! She sat there and nibbled on that little snowball until it was all gone.

 

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Maddy had fun, but was ready to go in…

 

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We hope you enjoyed your snow day, if you had one!

 

First Field Trip!

Last month Declan moved up to the next class. He’s now a big boy who not only uses the potty but also gets to go on field trips! Last week he had his first field trip–to Carter Mountain Orchard. Since it was his first trip and we weren’t sure what to expect, both Daddy and I decided to go along. When we tried to explain to him where we were going, he seemed to think we were going to visit someone named Carter. But once we got there and he saw his friends from school, he got excited! ALL of the kids teemed with excitement, actually, and it was funny to watch them feed off of each others excitement. When one of the boys did something, another boy immediately did the same thing, whether it be jumping, yelling, or throwing rocks. They keep you on your toes! There was even a chorus of parents voices that seemed to go in a round: “No, Declan, don’t throw rocks”… “Spencer, don’t throw rocks”… “Owen, no throwing rocks”…”Owen, stay here”… “Declan, stay over here”… “Spencer, stay here, please”.

We were only there for a couple of hours, but we got to do one of Declan’s favorite things: a hay ride.

The hay ride went through the orchard and the kids got a kick out of pointing at all of the apple trees we passed and yelling “more apples!” in Pee-Wee Herman-like voices. After the hay ride they had story time and one of the staff members told the children about the life of an apple tree through the four seasons of the year.

She ended with instructions for how to pick the apples. You “twist and pull”.

We headed down the hill into the orchard to pick apples–Golden Delicious and Jonagold. It was a little bit of a hike, but the weather was beautiful.

Declan was careful to use the “twist and pull” technique he learned earlier.

After filling our bags with apples it was time to hike back up to the barn for lunch. The parents weren’t sure if the kids would make it back up the hill, but I didn’t hear any of them complaining.

And, of course, Mommy had to stop at the top of the hill for a photo op.

It was a beautiful day and a fun and successful first field trip! No one could resist getting a picture peeping through the giant apple… not even Daddy!

When I asked Declan later that day what he learned about apple trees he said “twist and pull!”

Hey, look at me! I’m a blogger!

So, here is my bare-bones blog. I’ll spruce it up as I go along, but I haven’t figured out all of the bells and whistles yet. A friend of mine once told me that my Facebook posts about my kids were like a mini blog. After I found myself adding more and more photos and wanting to tell more of the stories behind the photos, I started to consider this blog thing a little more seriously. Plus, with most of our friends and family being several hours away, it seems like a good way to allow them to get mini glimpses into our life here, aside from my Facebook status updates. I’m a visual person, after all. So I plan to post lots of photos.

I don’t have a grand plan for this blog. Those of you that know me well know my mind can wander in strange directions. But I’m sure that posts related to our adventures in parenting our two young kids will dominate this page. I’ve also got a passion for photography, mostly inspired by my passion for my two young kids. So I’m constantly trying to learn more about that. I’ve dabbled in art (on and off) all my life and hope for it to eventually turn into more of a serious hobby, next to learning about photography and parenting our two young kids. (Not that my kids are a hobby…) I’m trying to get back on the art wagon and will share any progress I make here. And… if you paid any attention to my Facebook posts this summer, you may also have noticed I was a bit obsessed with my garden. So I’ll probably post more about that. I may also blog a bit about cooking, another interest of mine, and will share any great recipes that I come across. Beyond that and whatever new interests I develop between now and then, don’t be surprised if you see some random ramblings along the lines of Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey.

I hope you’ll stay in touch and I’d love to get your feedback on anything you see here. Thanks so much!

First Post!

Welcome to my blog! I’m looking forward to sharing what’s new with our family, as well as my latest creative endeavors in photography, art, gardening, and cooking! Thanks for stopping by!