Monday, May 27, 2013


I have to say, our little "garden" - containers of vegetables and flowers tucked here and there around the house - is doing quite well this year. It has not been too hot yet, and the bugs haven't been too bad.  A couple of tomatoes have started trickling in, more lettuce than we can eat (just from one window box), several dinners' worth of green beans, and even a few strawberries have been harvested.  

The kids and I stepped outside after dinner tonight.  It is so light now, it's hard to make bedtime feel like bedtime.  I needed to water a bit, so while they ran out some evening energy I just poked around to see how things were growing.

Last year Amy saw grapevines at Lowe's and desperately wanted to plant one.  I doubted that it would ever yield, but grapevines have a special place in my heart, when I think of the one at the back of the garden at home, mercilessly whacked back every year to keep it from shading the vegetables.  I'm quite sure it was transplanted once or twice.  It is as least as old as I am, and no matter what is done to it, it always comes back - mightily.  So I indulged Amy and we bought a grapevine of our own.

Last season it did reasonably well in the ground - gangly, a bit insect-ridden by end of summer, but a respectable plant.  However, I grew a little tired of its viney-ness which seemed out of place near our front door, in an otherwise landscaped front garden. At some point during the winter I cut it back, dug it out in a fury, severing countless thick roots, and plunked it in a large planter without too much concern as to whether it would like it or not.


Well apparently it likes it just fine, because it is absolutely thriving this year.  Doesn't seem to dry out too quickly and its growth is more even and vigorous than last year.  And tonight I could hardly believe my eyes when I discovered: 


One little cluster of about 5 or so tiny green grapes.  Never ever have I known a home-grown grapevine to actually bear fruit!  I am so excited.  We're going to be away for a short bit; I really hope we don't miss them when they are ready to pick.  I hope this grapevine lasts long enough to get planted in our forever home someday, and that it doesn't mind too much being a nomad in the meantime. I'd say it is happy so far.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I owe my best little boy a birthday post - on Wednesday he turned the big THREE.

We had a very nice day here - the three of us - poor Daddy missed out.  But it was a good day all the same.  I took a ton of pictures and planned a lot of things to write about, but then...

The picture of strawberry picking was going to get captioned with my thoughts on farming and waste and food supply management.

The picture of our petting zoo friends at Magnolia Plantation was going to make me wax on about flowers, gardens, and my desire for my own chickens and goats.

The picture of the cake would have started a discussion about box cake mix, and buttercream frosting.

Pictures of gifts would have me patting myself on the back for not spending too much money.

And none of that was going to be about William.

So instead I'll save the pictures for another (wordless) post, and to honor my three year old boy I'll just write about the 20 minutes or so I spent with him yesterday afternoon, one-on-one.  While the kids were riding bikes in the driveway, I took the opportunity to spread around some fresh mulch in the garden.  William stopped riding, asked to help, ran to get his Mickey Mouse gardening gloves, miraculously got each of his fingers in the proper place, and proceeded to Help Me Garden.  He grabbed handful after handful of mulch and carefully patted it around the plants, just the way I wanted it.  And all he said the whole time, over and over and over was, "Mommy, I weally wuv helping you gah-den." So earnest, so sweet, so much of a boy in his sneakers and shorts and cement mixer shirt, so focused and diligent.

Just the moment I always want to think of when I think of him at three years old.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

In No Particular Order...

Oh my, I finally uploaded pictures (just the ones on my phone) and realized I have plenty of blog-worthy material to catch up on.  I've been very delinquent. So before I get further behind, here is tonight's stream-of-consciousness-supplemented-with-available-photos, in no particular order.


This was my Mother's Day "moment."  I don't need much, honestly, and I would much rather have an ordinary day enjoying the pleasure of routine than anything fancy or special. Really.  But it was an awfully nice day, and about mid-afternoon, rather than just shaving off a sliver of the chocolate cake as I passed through the kitchen, I cut myself an honest-to-goodness piece, fixed a cup of tea, and sat down with the pretty flowers Don got me and enjoyed it all.  It was very nice.  And I don't usually do a lot of recipe stuff here, but someday I need to share that chocolate cake recipe, because it is the only one you'll ever need, ever. 


I don't even remember taking the above sequence of pictures, but seeing them made me smile. I don't often get both cats in the same picture.  Ollie is on my List this week because he bit into the top of my toothpaste tube and now it makes a "pffff" every time I squeeze it.  Humphrey and I shared the pleasure of me administering oral antibiotics to him... twice daily for nearly three weeks - ug! Still not sure it was totally necessary, but he seems fine/better, and I'm glad that's behind us. 


Both kids got haircuts (and lollipops) yesterday.  William was very proud of himself for not crying.  I was awfully relieved, too.  He had made me promise that she wouldn't use the Buzzer, which apparently has been the source of his terror.  That seemed to make the ordeal bearable. We had some time to kill between haircuts and dance class so we goofed around in the car taking pictures: 


This pretty girl is looking (and acting) soooo grown up lately.  Crazy stuff.  And in minor-milestone news, she finally outgrew the harness portion of her car seat, so we took the straps out and it is now just a booster.  She's still not a full 40 pounds, but at five and a half she's certainly old enough and tall enough for more big-girl travel accomodations.


This boy is going to be THREE years old in a matter of days and is trying his hardest to be a big kid, too.  He's my baby one minute, and Mr. Independent the next.  And while he won't touch vegetables on his plate, he's taken to eating the lettuce we're growing in the garden like a rabbit and even eats whole leaves of basil, also plucked straight from the garden.  Go figure. 

These several weeks have been particularly busy and tiring because we are in "wrap-up" mode - Amy has only one day of preschool left and today was her dance recital.  She did well enough with it last year, but this year she was beyond excited and had the most awesome smile on her face through the whole performance.  At the end, the teachers call each girl up to get a medal and take a bow, and I am forever grateful that I caught this picture: 


There are some other cute ones of her dancing with her class, but I don't feel it's right to share photos of other people's kids, so I'll just leave it at that.  

I'll check back in soon, probably with an equally random assortment of moments from our little world here.  See you then! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Pool Day


Today marked the opening of the 2013 backyard pool season at our house.  Nearly TWO MONTHS later than last year's opening.  New England friends may not believe me, but it's been rather cold here, and only in the last few days has it started to feel at all summery.  Last year the summery days started popping up as early as mid-March.  I'm actually a bit glad for the later start to the splash-pool season in hopes that the novelty won't wear off mid-summer as it did last year.  

Occasionally I'll write a morning message on our easel and today's featured the plan of the day - shopping, dance class, and then the much-anticipated Pool Day.  Amy then erased almost all of it, and just wrote "Happy" above my line about pool day.  

I've been terrible about pictures lately so by the time I thought to document the first lovely, two-pooled swim of the season it was 90 minutes later and the water was grassy and the kids were pretty much done.  
But it was an awfully nice afternoon. 

Happy Pool Day!

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Hello! Still here! Hate it when more than a week (almost two?) go by without a post... The lettuce from our garden continues to be very good but I'm tired of seeing that picture every time I open my blog.

I'm going to need to hit up my mom for some pictures, as she's been here this week (yippee!) and has been the only one with a camera out.

Not a whole lot else going on beyond all the usual stuff.  Amy's closing in on her last few weeks of preschool.  We've been enjoying having company.  Several evenings have come and gone and I haven't even turned on the computer.  That's always kind of a nice break, too.

I've got House Hunter on in the background right now, getting my vicarious home-buying fix...

Finished reading a completely enjoyable book... did I mention it already?  It is this one. Sharp writing, incredibly funny, useful cookbook, all in one.

The weather has left something to be desired lately.  Namely, SUN.  Not that I'm dying for it to be all hot and unbearable or anything, but the last few days have felt more like March than May.  However, the frogs are singing like crazy.

Okay, more soon, just wanted to check in real quick!