Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday = Garden Tour

Here at the ol' suburban homestead, we're seeing tulips
Don't you just love the  fuzzy-headed alpine tulips when they've gone to seed??

and fruit tree blossoms give way to

the first poppies of the season.
This, seriously, has to be my favourite part of the yard right now.

The German chamomile is blossoming...

I can almost taste our first cups of fresh tea from these little guys.

The berries are finally starting to flower in full force. 
Thankfully the razzie's now resemble a beehive

Saw a few bees on the blueberries this weekend

Moose's mouth is watering just counting all these potential strawberries

Dainty little alpine strawberries--you're so sweet.

The spuds are emerging from their fox holes,

Same goes for the weeds in the peas and the onions...grr!

And here's the pictures of the stinky ol' *big idea* of mine that landed Moose with a bum thumb.  (Sorry again, my Moose!!)

Also, there's new developments in the new neighbird's bungalow.  Mommy and Daddy Sparrow are busy caring for a little nest full of birds that i am too afraid to try to get a picture of.  They aren't in the easiest of spots, nor eager for their moment in the spotlight such as Mrs. Oodles adorable nest of birds.  Our WA sparrows must be recluses compared to those sweet little cousins of theirs in back east. :)  Mr. and Mrs. Sparrow have been very tolerant of our comings and goings when needing to tend to the chickens, and i don't want to push our luck.  Like the Grosbeaks have been doing.  Ei yi ei!  Poor little daddy bird has been having to defend his babes from the wild pack of Grosbeaks morning, noon, and noony night it seems.  Which lead to the redeployment of an old feeder out in our paperbark maple.  Which coincidentally the gold finches seem to prefer as well!

It's been great sharing the miracles of Spring with Cookie Monster this year.  She seems to have a little more interest in playing in dirt, watching birds, helping weed the garden, and finding worms--granted, she needs her garden gloves for that last one!  We sat out on the deck numerous times in the last week listening to the cacophony of peeps, screeches, and general chatter of our fine feathered friends.  All the while, Cookie cheers on Daddy and Mommy Sparrow:  "Keep up the good work, Daddy Sparrow."  "Mommy Sparrow, you're such a good mommy.  I bet your babies love you lots."  (and when the birds fly away) "Where you goin'?  Don't leave you're babies too long, Momma."

I will try to get a video, even just for the sound, of the babies. 

As soon as i charge up those pesky camera batteries.  :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Day In Which I Felt Like a Rockstar and Then Unfelt Like One

Sheesh.  Just when you think life is trending upward...

I was feeling like such a rockstar today. 

We walked through the garden center this morning, and i didn't buy one thing (even though the poppies were begging me to take them home before they parished at the hands of the new summer help at the local one stop shop.)

I developed a funky idea for my entry into the stitch-a-long this month.

I think i kicked the sickness that has been threatening to take me down.

I read the entire new Maeve Binchy book in one day.

I experimented cooking a whole chicken on the barbie today, and i think it worked wonderfully.

We knocked out the yard work in one and a half days--a new record, undoubtedly.

And we came up with a new idea for a covered garden bed using materials we had on hand.

That's where it all went wrong.

We had these left over posts from fencing off the garden from the chickens last year.  The were just about the right height to pound in and throw Reemay over.  Pausing for a moment, i was considering just how much i spent for this stuff and thought it might be nice to get a few years out of it.  :)  All the wind battering it against the ragged post edges may mean it wouldn't last a season.  So we thought tennis balls might help cushion the blow.  We were slashing tennis balls with a box cutter and yeeow!  Moose sliced the tip of his thumb open.  It's still bleeding, but we are hoping a trip to the ER isn't needed.  He's keeping it elevated and his nurse-aunt was kind enough to come up to take a look at it--her diagnosis is that she thinks he'll live.

I feel just awful though...

Me and my *big* no good ideas!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

1st Communion :: A Compliation of Talents

Today was the big day!

Cookie Monster received First Communion.

Fr. Uncle P., our little walking tabernacle, and Deacon George
Our bestest friends were there to support us.... 

and so was our family (minus a few in-laws--we missed you!)

Thanks to Achoo for sewing such an adorable dress (and a matching one for the American Girl too!)

Don't worry, Mom, i'll get pictures of them both together later in the week.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday = Garden Tour

It's been continues to be a long winter...
but atleast things are blooming enough to usher in the return of a central part of this blog....

Tuesday Garden Tours!

It's exciting out there this year, however along with the good is a very concerning issue.
We've been so cold, we've seen absolute zippo bees out in the yard.  Well, except for one day a couple weeks ago we saw one.

Last year at this time, the raspberries were a virtual beehive!

On to the good news...
i planted this peony 3 years ago, and it is growing its first flower bud.

The poppies are readying to flower!
 As are the chamomile.  Hi little ladybug!
 Just to the left here are the Cheiftain taters.  Below is the cole family bed.

And more tater trenches.  They bracket the garden.

The spinach is coming along nicely.
 All the blueberry bushes are flowering...however without any bees.  :(

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dear Dad,

Good morning.  I have an unfortunate question to ask regarding Nonnie's "Doo Dads".

While making these, i was inspired to try to get a little of the caramelization that occurs when you bake palmiers.  So i cranked the broil to high and hoped for the best.

Literally, i turned around for a few seconds to clean up the flour mess, and Hark!
I burned the "Doo Dads".

So my question is:  is this what you'd call a "Doo Don't"? :)

Your Daughter Who Obviously Shouldn't Tinker With Nonnie's Recipes

P.S.  Cookie Monster's taken a liking to renaming the "Doo Dads" to "Doo Dahs".

Today We Planted

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are about to set a record or two.  Of course, they aren't distinctions that anyone ever really wants.  Just ask the farmers effected by the *historic* flooding on the Mississippi.  However, compared to that, our problems seem petty and ridiculous.  But problems we do have.  A MASSIVE pocket of cold air is parked below AK, and it is affecting our weather patterns so that, 1. we will set a record for how long it's taken this season to reach high's of 70 degrees, and 2, we received almost all of our May rain totals in just one storm today.  Hooray?!?

So, i'm thinking a wise woman would plant another bed of snap peas and lettuce, and sit back and enjoy the rest of the gardening season, eh?  Alas, i'm a gambling girl, so i purchased 4 tom plants this weekend.  And as a little side note regarding that--for the love of Pete, if you are a Western WA gardener, please be advised you have no business putting those tomato plants out in your garden until mid-June, unless you erect a heated greenhouse over them!!  They simply cannot stand temps below 50 degrees...and if you make them, they throw a fit like a teenager who's just been asked to go with their parents to a drive-in movie.  Seriously, i think if you look close enough, you could see their little tomato eyeballs rolling back inside their heads!!  I've heard some people say that they've planted their 2nd round of tomato plants already this year.  Ei yi ei--what a waste!  They'll be planting a 3rd or 4th by the time our climate can sustain a tom, that's for sure.

Yesterday, Moose and i braved the showers (as his uncle put it, it was raining so hard here today, a person could have drown while walking outside) and planted up some of our beds. 

24 Early Snoball cauliflower

4 Calabrese broccoli (these starts were so leggy, i decided it'd be better to feed the lot of them to the chickens--at least they'll produce eggs.)  :)

2 Red Russian kale

3 lbs Yellow Finn potatoes
2 lbs Red Cheiftain potatoes

& 2 volunteer chive plants.

Left to put in the ground this week are 8 Copenhagen cabbage and 3 Rainier strawberry plants.  And chard, radish, and lettuce seed. 

And we'll be babying our tom plants indoors with some new pots (you can re-pot them now if they are getting to tall--builds extra roots) and we'll be giving them "tanning treatments" with our desktop fluoresent lamp.

How does your garden grow?  Hoping it's sunny somewhere!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Stills :: High and Low

If you look on the ground this time of year in Western WA, you see oodles of
 forget-me-nots and mosses.  The ferns are also unfurling.

The temps have been so unseasonably cool that the fruit trees are flowering later.

And the only day of blue sky we had this week provided a great shot of the spotty clouds below the towering raspberry canes.

Thank Goodness Spring didn't for get us.
Now, let's hope Summer's right behind her.

To see some awesome and creative photography, check out Sunday Stills.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

We have new neighbours in the yard.

They look like they may be newlyweds, however i can't confirm that.
They've been so busy building a nest, they haven't really had time to stop by
for coffee cake and a chat.

Not only do they make a cute couple, but they are a good team too.  They'd race off at the same time and in about 2 minutes time, they'd meet back at their new casita with provisions to swankify their new pad.  Patiently they'd wait for each other to enter and exit.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this little lady is going to enter into the world of motherhood soon.

Hoping mothers reading this today have a joyous day, and not just today!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Droids, Wookies, and At-Ats. Oh My!

We had an exciting day today.  We visited the Star Wars exhibit in Seattle for a field trip.
(Isn't homeschooling great?)

As a bonus, we got to meet Luke's Father.

The Force is strong with these two.
Cookie Monster hasn't seen the movies yet, so this was a perfect event in that nothing was too menacing; just interesting fashions and characters.  Her favourites being Yoda and R2-D2.  Opportunities to learn about maglev capabilities and robots.

It was a surprisingly good time.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Little Redecorating

While we are languishing for the home of our dreams, i've come to discover that i can't stand blank walls anymore! 

So last month, i started tackling projects that i'd like to do...that would also be needed at the next residence. 

One of the more important projects also coincided with something i had been meaning to do for Cookie for homeschooling--develop and frame pictures of her immediate family; Cookie calls it "family tree style".

And we have the perfect place for it in our current hallway between the kitchen and the bedrooms. 

We are in the middle.

Next to Moose are Cookie's grandparents.  The top is his parent's wedding day in 1966 (with his granddad in the background.)  Moose's dad past away about 20 years ago, so we have another picture of Moose's mom and her current hubbie of 14 years.  Every since Cookie was a tot, we've told her she's very lucky to have 5 grandparents--she caught on right away, knowing that Grandpa Moose was up in Heaven looking out for her.

Next to me, is what Cookie and i call the World's Coolest Wedding Picture. :)  This is my parent's wedding picture from 1969. 

                                             Next to Moose's parents are his grandparents. 
                                    On the left are his dad's parents, and the right his mom's.

              Then there's my family.  My mom's parents on top and ....

a picture of 4 generations of my dad's family: my dad as a kid, his poppa and great grandmother and mom.  Cookie enjoyed figuring out that the woman in the middle of the picture was her great-great-great grandma. 

Now, since Cookie is starting her correspondance with her grandparents, to learn all about how they grew up (i am hoping it is a project that not only helps her get to know her grandparents better, but also so she is comfortable enough with them to ask them about their experiences in life or thoughts on subjects that we start learning out in modern history in a couple years.)  Now, too, when some replies with a story about their parents or ... she'll be able to look and see who that person is.

We have a little extra room, so we're thinking we will add on more. 
Especially after we complete this history curricullum, then i think we will move on to genealogy for our "history".  Moose's family is pretty new to America compared to mine, so we'll be learning all different types of history of countries and such in a short amount of time.