Tuesday, April 29, 2008

our house in the middle of the street

8 years ago on this day, edward and i moved into this house. I never imagined we'd leave the quaintness of downtown and head to the burbs. We were just months away from the most amazing day in our lives and as we busily worked to prepare, the house we were renting was sold and we needed to find a place to live. A place to bring home our first child.
With our savings set aside for our trip to china and baby necessities, a house downtown wasn't in our budget. We set out for Summerville.
There are days when I wish we'd have stayed downtown and bought a tiny fixer-upper - but mostly, I'm glad we're here. We're part of a GREAT school district that does so much for our girls - placing Lucy (who has hearing loss) into mainstream classrooms, equipped with the technology she needs to excel.
The house is in need of some repairs and could use some new windows. We'll get to them soon enough. I have a feeling we'll be here for the long haul. So I'll take joy in gardening around her and making her look good on the outside and efficient on the inside. I'll watch the munchkins grow up in her. She is home - and there's no place like that.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

water monkeys

The pool temp is barely 73 degrees F, but that didn't stop Lucy and Mabel from jumping in! Looking forward to this summer - i think this may be Mabel's year to learn to swim floaty-free.... and Lucy - well she's already a mermaid! a

dirt girl: compost bins

I spent several hours yesterday breaking down the wood from the dead tree, sorting into kindling, small logs, large logs and piling all the big fire logs onto the pallet just outside the gate. will dig up a bin of some sort to put the smaller branches and kindling.
Today, I cleared the way for the recycled composters and started building. The plans came from the book, "Basic Composting." So so so simple. Edward got the pallets from work. Took me less than an hour to get it constructed.

Once built i started layering with twigs, brown garden debris and green debris/kitchen veggie scraps. Will keep adding to it a bit at a time. Hoping to have some potent compost to fertilize and mulch with in a few months!

Time for more advil and a shower...

but first - a pic of how bed #1 is coming along. Pretty good progress in 2 weeks!

i say potato

did you know that commercially distributed potatoes are sprayed to retard sprouting? ew. one of the many little facts i've found while researching potato gardening. I'm too late in the season to plant now, but will definitely start some in late summer for winter eating. i DO have some sweet potato bushes (yah - bushes) on their way.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

pig for earth

the girls and i picked up some groceries today at the Piggly Wiggly. one of the elementary schools colored and decorated their paper bags in celebration of earth day. neat. our stacks of newspapers will look stylish in these.

it's here.

arrived late this morning. i must be the only person in the world who would actually STILL have it in the box. waiting until i finish a few projects this week and the new software arrives. it keeps calling to me...

simply put...

Woodblock print by Anthony Burrill - for sale via the UK's Concrete Hermit.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

dirt girl returns

Lucy and i got bed #2 planted today. more tomatoes, some zucchini and some eggplant... left room for the cucumbers that are germinating.

I woke up to find one of the cats had discovered the newly filled dirt box, so i had to run out and get some fencing stuff asap. Was pretty quick and simple once i found the right materials. several 3' posts and some 24" high plastic mesh. veggies will be safe.

Also planted some more pots (sweet basil, rosemary, tarragon)/

was really pleased to see that the sweet peas finally sprouted this morning and really took off! tried to take a pic of them up close - not the best zoomycam.

original plan for the day (before i was sidetracked by the fencing) was to get the compost bins built. They got a start, but i didn't have time to move the wood pile. Will have to try to finish that up next weekend.

Will post a shot of the whole garden area in the morning - should have better light then. for now it's some advil and a shower.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

forever mabelicious

it's hard to believe it has been 3 years since i first saw your beautiful little face. i know you've been forever in my heart. your name means "happy phoenix" but you are my little lamb. i love you...
xoxo, mommy

the first photo we received of "xifeng" 19 april 2005

Friday, April 18, 2008

milestone: mabel's first bubbles

big day here for little xifeng. she has figured out how to blow bubbles with chewing gum (the orbit sugarless variety). love the way she chews that stuff. little mouse. ;-) congrats, mabel x!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

more adventures of dirt girl: bed 2

dug the rosemary monster out this morning and spent a good part of the day pulling stubborn roots and grasses out of bed #2. Will need to get a bunch of soil over the next week to get it prepped for another weekend of dirt girl fun.
haven't decided what to plant in this bed, yet. cukes? hmmm...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

dirt girl

the first bed is done and i'm beat! what a great morning. turned some old tomato cages into some pea plant supports - will add some string later for the plant to climb. fingers are crossed that we'll get flowers from all those seeds.

more tomorrow! :-) a

Friday, April 11, 2008

one bed prepped. one to go

i really let the garden beds go. haven't really given them any love in a few years. this year, i'm determined to GROW something!

spent spare time pulling grass and cat ick out of one of the beds. tested the soil and luckily it's in pretty good shape. to be safe, though - all the veggies are going in pots. i'll use the bed for flowers.

the next bed is really a mess, too. big lesson learned: keep rosemary in a pot! that bush has got to come out and the bed needs to be prepped and filled. flowers for this one - and some herbs for sure.

really looking forward to gardening this year!

in the plan (already have some of the plants):
  • early girl tomatoes (at least 2 plants)
  • cherry tomatoes (2 plants)
  • sweet bell peppers (2 plants)
  • ichiban japanese eggplant (2 plants)
  • sweet peas (starting from seed in a trellis pot)

  • thai basil
  • sweet basil
  • oregeno
  • thyme
  • rosemary (in a POT)
  • sage
  • tarragon

  • black-eyed susans
  • shasta daisies
  • cosmos
  • alyssum (to cover the beds around pots)
  • zinnia
  • lupine (might be too late?)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

bringin' her "A" game

Lucy's never-ending efforts earned her an all "A" report card this semester. She's such a hard worker -- determined to overcome the hurdles presented. Always proud of you my dearest FanFan. xoxo, mommy

HE did what?!

yah - he laid eggs.

Foster came to the aviary 13 months ago with his mate, Stewart. Stewart laid several clutches and we wondered why Foster wasn't doing his part. None of the eggs ever hatched. Unfortunately, we lost Stewart several months ago - but Foster is carrying on - wow. Debating on whether to bring in a male (a definite male) to join him - er, i mean - her. Would hate for Foster to keep laying and risk getting egg-bound (Stewart's fate). Will have to see.
Thanks for the surprise, Foster!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

lucy's pink desk - "craig"ed it

found this great little desk for lucy on craigslist.com yesterday. now she'll have a place to organize her papers and do her homework. love the matching pink chair!