Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dirty Garden Pictures!

Oh gosh... the garden is so ugly right now. There are piles of dirt and old rotten ivy everywhere. The boards that keep the dirt in place are filthy and the dirt is filled with manure. As awesome as this is for plants, it looks AWFUL! lol!

When we raked the area so that we could fit the beds there, we discovered EVEN more plastic. It has now broken down. So between the raking and the clearing and then the deluge of rain for days on end... well, it looks like it rained little pieces of plastic. They cover the entire ground, with huge pieces mixed in that are in piles throughout the garden (now all safely in one wheel barrow thanks to my children's gathering skills).

Dirty.

The solution? Get as many green things in as possible. So Operation Green starts this weekend. I hope everyone is ready.

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When it rains...

Ever wondered "Hey, what does 10 cubic yards of soil look like?"

Well, for us, it got delivered in two piles by a giant dump truck. This one is 4 ft tall, by about 7 ft across:

And this one is 4 ft tall by about 11 ft across:

Yesterday, while waiting for the dirt delivery, we put the wheel barrow together. And then it started pouring. We didn't get to move an ounce of this soil before the rain overtook and we couldn't even be outside. It was 40*, pouring down rain, and then started that freezing sleety stuff. YUCK!

I wanted to be shoveling manure... but instead I had to go grocery shopping.

*Sigh*

So this morning, instead of my morning run, I decided I would go fill my first two beds.

Wet dirt is way heavier than dry dirt.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Under Construction

Spring is here my friends. This is my apple tree this morning. So crazy excited to have blooms already! It looks like we will have fruit this year! (Although I will not hold my breath.)

It has been raining, (raining is a light word; pouring) for the last three days. I built the first two garden beds on Friday. That process took all day because we ran out of deck screws, had to go get more, and then we had to make the ground level to put the beds on... which took a pick ax, a shovel, and two of the neighborhood kids on top of my crew of 3. And that was for two beds. I have 9 more to do. We got no more done for the last three days. Which sucks. But this is our weekend (t/w/th) and so we are out there...


Today I am getting a dump truck load of dirt. 10 yards. That isn't a little dump truck load. That is a HUGE dump truck load. Over 12 tons of soil. We are filling all 11 beds with it, and then spreading it everywhere. On the grass, in the beds along the back of the yard, etc.

The main reason we are doing this is because we don't really have soil in our yard. And when you are trying to homestead without soil, then it will be 100 times more work. So we are bringing in the soil. Honestly, most of the rest will come by itself (You know, after we shovel and move 12 TONS of soil to where it belongs in the yard.) My new motto is: if your soil is happy, then every body's happy.

These are two more beds leaning on the fence, ready to be made... just needing the screws. And for the rain to stop.

In other news, I am training my son to be a woodworker. I think that working with wood is such an incredible skill to have! When I was little, my dad used to make a lot of our toys. A rocking horse, small trucks to ride on, etc. Many of those have lasted until I have had #3 and they are just starting to need repair now. It is an invaluable skill and I am excited to have started Alex out on that road. Right now it is pre-made kits and helping me make the garden beds and such... but soon he is going to build a vegetable stand for the front of our house this summer (he has his own bed, and only wants things he can sell growing in it)... and then a play house!

Yesterday one of his assignments for school was to build this birdhouse:

Didn't that turn out great?

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

And the winners are...

Colorslut;

I read your blog with excited eyes each time you post. You are a wonderfully creative person who inspires me!

And GardenThyme;

Love the bowl covers! I actually love following your blog...so many times I have said, "I wish I knew you!" because I know we would be friends:) I just follow you through blogspot

I'll be looking over your requests and seeing what I can dream up for you. Please email me your address ASAP so I can get your special something in the mail!

Thanks to everyone else for entering the Giveaway! I loved having it and I am super excited to make something special for each of my winners.

Have a fantastic Sunday!

~~~

(PS: I bought a wheel barrow today. Can you believe I haven't had one?)

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Last giveaway day!!

While I am off gardening my little heart out (pictures to come... *glee*), I would like to express my amazement at how wonderful my followers are! So wonderful in fact, that I will be making up TWO surprise packages for the giveaway.

Last day people! Happy Commenting!!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spontaneous Gratitude for the week of the potty

This week, everything has been put on hold for potty training. Logan has never had any interest in it before... but when we went to Ikea, to get the stuff for the homeschool room, Logan watched his sister get to go into the play area... and he could not. Because he was not potty trained. He decided right then and there that was what he had to do. Three days later, we went to get him underpants for the first time.

I have to say, I am BEYOND impressed by this little man. He is 3 years, 2 months... and has pretty much potty trained in 3 days. (I would like to thank Transformer underroos and Trader Joe's organic sucker candies for this wonderful change of events.) We have had three accidents total. Including nights. It is amazing!

So today, I am grateful for:

Full potty charts.

Sales on Legos so he has something fun to turn the chart in for.

Wonderful friends who have been through potty training recently enough where they are ok hanging at my house all day.

A beautiful day, with flowering things everywhere, in which to enjoy these wonderful friends.

The history of Spontaneous Gratitude.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

The real reason I don't get anything done....

Papers spread out all over, curriculum set up so I can look through where I am and where I am going... and cats. Lots of cats. All over my work. lol! I was sitting here when the three babies decided to join me. Bo pushing her way under my chin and sitting right on the garden booklet I am putting together for Alex and Cyan's school garden beds. Taio sitting under my chair, rubbing up against my legs, demanding to be petted. And Samson, stalking Bo from under the table, occasionally jumping in my lap for a better vantage point.

Of course, there are other things going on that you can't see in these pictures. The kids are roller blading around the patio calling "Mama! Watch me! Watch me!" and Logan is riding his bike in his new Converse that have fire on them, making gun noises and consistently tripping the ones on roller blades by diving in front of them with his trike at the last minute.

The sun is beautiful though. Spring is really here! We have had stunningly gorgeous days for this whole weekend. High 60's and sunny, with a slight breeze coming from the ocean side. Just beautiful!

It is amazing how little I can accomplish when I try to set time aside for myself to plan school, or to garden... or heck... anything these days. I wonder why I never get anything done?

So when I noticed in this moment, exactly how much was going on that I was trying to 'work' through (failing miserably, of course) I thought I would document the moment. Yet another moment when I got 'nothing' done... except of course, pet all my beautiful cats, praise my children's new skills on wheels, and get some much needed vitamin D. But really, those papers have not done anything but been allocated to new 'to do' piles...

At least I got to laundry today.

How do you other mamas get work done with your critters and kiddos about?

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

GIVEAWAY TIME!

200 followers... wow. I am so honored! Thank you!

I think I need to have another giveaway. What shall it be, what shall it be?

Bowl covers? Hats? Perhaps a pillow case top to go with the sunny weather? Or something new? Who knows, but it will be a wonderful goody bag for the winner!

Comment and give your vote for what you would like and you just may get your wish! (Feel free to peruse the crafts tab to find something I didn't mention.)

Followers will get two entries, (if you follow on RSS feed just let me know in the comments) and (a little shameless blog PR here. ) if you post about the contest on Facebook or Twitter, then let me know and you'll get ANOTHER entry.

Comments close on March 27th and I will choose the winner at random.

Thank you for your love and support and happy commenting!!

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Robert Frost was on to something

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

~ Robert Frost

This year I have noticed what Robert Frost was talking about so beautifully in this poem. But wow... it's everywhere. I think that for the last few years I have been rushing through this time of year... starting, digging, turning, and planting. This year, I have taken a bit more time off to just be. There really is no rush here. You can plant right up until June and still get a harvest. And with all of the things that have been going on, I feel like putting things off a bit.

My gardening is starting very soon... but not today. Today I have seen natures first green. And indeed... it is golden yellow.

Just like us, the trees impatiently wait for their moment in the sun.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kitchen Fun with kids

Sometimes thrifting can bring you to things that you wouldn't have even known to look for. Things you fall in love with.

This book is one of those things:

It is set up in a super-easy-to-read format (even for new readers), and starts out with a whole page on 'how to get ready to cook in the kitchen' that includes 'washing your hands', 'putting on an apron', and even 'sweeping the floor' when you are finished.

My favorite part about the book is the recipes. They are short and easy to follow, and are mostly whole foods. No Bisquick mix or tins of refrigerated rolls in sight! That is rare for a children's cookbook now-a-days. One recipe even includes molasses. That is a first for me, and I have looked at a lot of children's cookbooks. Maybe I have just been looking for them in the wrong places.

Cyan (8 yrs) made this cake tonight (with evaporated cane juice and WW flour) and it turned out great! So I thought I would include that recipe.

Start to finish, she could do it herself. She was OH so proud!


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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St Patrick's Day!

St Patrick's Day was always very big at my house growing up. It was nearly as big as Thanksgiving dinner. I always loved that we made such a big deal out of it.

Today we have had to put off the traditional corned beef and cabbage for Saturday when The Man is home and my family can come over, but we still wanted to celebrate... so I surprised the kids with a 'green' meal. I tried to include as little food coloring as I could, but in the end I couldn't resist painting a sweet little shamrock in their cocoa. :)

Spinach and chive linguine from Trader Joe's with broccoli and cheddar cheese tossed with a little bit of Italian dressing (I know, I know, but I didn't have any 'Irish dressing'... what would that be anyhow?) Green grapes with gold coins tucked in, and some nice hot cocoa with a shamrock drawn in the milk.

The week is getting really long. I miss my husband dearly... but he will be home late tomorrow night... so I really only have to get through a day and a half. Today I have a nasty headache. So we are skipping school work and I am taking a nap with Logan while the olders play with Legos in the homeschool room. I might even sneak a bath.

Awaiting some space....

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Evening

Days are long this week. The Man is training and I am on my own with the kiddos. I have planned something almost every day to do so that we don't get completely sick of each other, and today I had planned a picnic dinner in the park. The day was beautiful and perfect for it. So nice in fact, that at the last minute I called friends to come with us. It was a great evening.

I packed chicken Fresh Rolls with my ginger plum sauce for dinner.

Then we played the Nature Scavenger hunt game with the kids in teams of two. The kids ran about the forest looking for items like "a piece of blue" or "proof of hair set free" or "a new budding leaf".

One of our sweet little friends got in a fight with a wintering blackberry bush... and unfortunately,the bush won. We had to dig three big thorns out of his scalp. He was done looking through the underbrush for treasure after that (and I don't blame him!) and so he became the 'caller', and seemed to have a good time calling out what the other kids needed to find next.

(Logan finding a required item.)

(sweet hands)

We stayed until it got dark. The kids had a blast and the mamas got to sit and talk and relieve some long-day mama blues. It was a perfect evening. :)

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