Wednesday, June 30, 2010

and half the year is gone...

just like that!

Yesterday was my birthday.  In a nutshell, it was freaking awesome.  Rob gave me my present before he left for word--a record player and some old albums.  We've been wanting a portable record player for awhile.  These albums (plus one he got new--White Stripes) are now in a stack with old albums we'd also collected. 

So we had a low key day.  Eric had been sick but was thankfully feeling much better, so we went out and I got some paint for the Dining Room and furniture, plus I made a shelf for the bathroom.

Then we came home and the kids played on the porch.
Grace made 'four fruit sherbet'. Thank you, Martha.

Eric played with his 'new' ski boots (from Goodwill).

Dinner on the porch...then Mmmm-here's the sherbet--easy to serve from an ice cube tray.  It was soooo good, I thought I didn't like sherbet.  As it turns out, I don't like store bought sherbet, this was so easy and delicious.

My simple and delicious cake, made by Grace and Rob.

I forgot to take pictures of the bonfire in the backyard.  I hooped and we listened to the record player Rob set up in the breakfast nook.  It was perfect and lovely.  Oh, and I also 'got' a tattoo--well, not yet, but just as soon as I get down there.

Oh, and while I'm on the subject of presents, Rob got me a hand carved wooden spoon (to replace the one I loved and lost at a picnic), some milk glass bowls, and a vintage cooler for our anniversary.  Plus, ferns and lavendar and native plants from my favorite garden place.  I love that guy.  And I always feel kinda lame, because he comes up with the BEST surprises, and I'm never so well prepared!

So, as a friend told me yesterday, another year older and another year better!

Monday, June 28, 2010

rhubarb soda & pop can tab belt

Last week we made a special summer treat--rhubarb soda.  I really want our own rhubarb plant!

And over vacation I made my pop can tab belt--wow, I sure love it!  I need more tabs to make more--Grace and Mamie each want one.  It would be fun to do this with elastic for bracelets, too.  Tutorial here.  I had a lot of trouble finding a tutorial--many had wordy directions and fuzzy pictures...this one was about the best I found.  Once I got the hang of it, it was pretty easy.  Using a crochet hook helped immensely.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


We have spent many, many hours 'in the garden', aka the backyard, making it into what I think of as an oasis.  I love our backyard now...pretty much.
These are the 'befores'--of the back door and adjacent patio.  I had always despised these great big jagged hunks of concrete randomly placed all around.  The patio pavers were 'ok' but didn't go with the house.  I wanted brick.  Old brick.  Old brick that was affordable.  A tall order!
This concrete is all gone now!  Well, it's still in the driveway.  These are now flowerbeds.

And here's the new back stoop, looking like it's been there forever.  The brick cost me $25 (very, very lucky.  I salvaged it from a woman about to throw it away).  The biggest cost was the sand.  Later I found out our neighbor has sand, so that could have been free.  We used their sand for the patio though.
Now here's Rob knocking out the patio.  Woo hoo!  These bricks AND the sand was free, so all it cost us was time.
We took up the brick pavers shown at the top of this post and put in thin brick paver walkways here between the raised beds (got them free, too).
A friend gave us several limestone pieces, which I used along with various other leftover whole and broken bricks.
I worked on this brick patchwork when pregnant with Calvin.  Now it's looking sufficiently aged!
Rob brought me some ferns for our anniversary this year and I planted them by the lilac on the side of the house.
It's like a secret garden, shady and full of wonderful things.
When we moved here, there were flowerbeds with potential along the privacy fence side, above. They were so overgrown with weeds that we didn't know until we started working in them that they were lined with field stones. Lots of field stones--117 to be exact. I have moved almost every one of them, expanding the gardens and moving the path.  This picture above is the 'before'.  I haven't gotten an 'after' yet...because the grill and patio stuff is in the way, since we're still working on the patio.

Friday, June 18, 2010

more fun in the garden

IMG_1064, originally uploaded by roswellsgirl.
I saw these colored stakes on roswellsgirl's flickr and mmmm, I'm in love! I hope to find these and the colored tomato cages locally (fingers crossed).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Greenpiece Indy

Greenpiece Indy is a local (to me) blog newsletter offering eco-conscious tips to other crunchies, or greenies, or whatever you call yourself.  Help spread the word!  By signing up for their email newsletter to get green tips twice a week, you'll be entered in a drawing to win some green prizes. 

As they say, piece out!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Loving these moments, and growing sprouts

I took this picture yesterday, a beautiful sunny morning.  As I pegged each diaper on the line (oh, I love my clothesline), and looked at the ragged edges (how many times have they been washed?  200?  300?  More?)  I thought how fleeting this time is.  Calvin will be out of diapers soon, and then this baby time is gone forever.  We're on the cusp of having a teenager in the house too, and a fiesty kindergartner and a second grader.  Yeah, time could slow down just a wee bit.

And recently I found my beautiful little 25 cent copy of Wild Oats stores bulk foods guide.  In it is a page on how to sprout nuts and seeds.  I remember my Grandma had a little clipping of how to sprout mung beans inside her cupboard, but I never saw her or anyone do it.  I forayed into it way back then, years ago, and then somehow got out of the groove (how and why?!)  So I started again, right now we're sprouting lentils and plan to do many more. Black beans and kidney beans next maybe? I told Grace 'We're sprout farmers!'.  It's ridiculously easy and fun.  I joked with Rob that I could turn our counters into a sprout farm.  He said that would change my farm classification (because for SOME reason I'm listed in farm directories as owning a farm.  For real.  My main crop?  Agave.)  We could make a million dollars.

And I miss my Wild Oats store (yes, i know Whole Foods bought W.O.  i liked W.O. better...).  We used to live within walking distance of a Wild Oats for a short time.  But even better would be a locally owned bulk and local foods store right on the courthouse square.  Yes indeed.  If only I had that million dollars...

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I'm back.  We took a trip out to New England, specifically Vermont and Maine.  It was lovely and everyone traveled well, considering.  We (mostly Rob) took scores of pictures.  Rather than try to decide what to upload here, I put a set up on flickr here.  I still need to add descriptions.  Rob also took a set of me hooping on the Maine seacoast, which are here.

So we're almost fully back into the swing of things here.  Friends are coming over this afternoon and we're making a rhubarb crisp.  Weeding is well underway (only gone a little over a week and it is nuts), yesterday Grace baked strawberry bread with a friend. 

June/July's goal is to do my brick patio which I'm looking forward to.  The 'stoop' part is done and looks AWESOME.  Need to get it done in time for our summer soiree which we're resuming (we took a 5-6 year hiatus from it due to summer babies and selling and moving). 

Also, I got exciting news Tuesday that an article I submitted for Mothering magazine is being retained for possible publication.  I would be so happy to be published in a magazine I love so much.

Welcome, Summer!