Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lucy's President's Award

Lucy got a special award tonight at school: President's Outstanding Academic Achievement. The award is given to the most improved student in the class. She worked hard to earn it and mama's proud. ;-)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

dirt girl: peek-a-boo

wow - the house really does have 2 front windows! Pulled out a bunch of maverick trees and bushes from the bed in front of the house. Including 2 Yucca trees... OUCH! those babies HURT. Still much more to do in that bed. Boxwoods need to come out and the dirt needs to be pulled away from the house. Will try get that done and the Astilbe and Aster in the ground tomorrow.

Tonight is DATE NIGHT :-). Lucy and Mabel are staying with Grandma and Grandpa Reed and Edward and I are heading out to get some Thai food and see the new Indiana Jones movie. Wheeeeeeeeee!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

food not lawns

well - i've decided i'm going to go for it. I'm going to prep the front yard so that next season i can work in as many vegetable plants as i can. We've already stopped wasting water for a lawn's sake. If i'm going to water - it's going to be for food.
Will be able to start some lettuces and cool-weather plants late summer.
The side yard gets enough sun to handle a good-sized patch of sweetcorn. I checked our neighborhood association covenants, and I think i can get away with it. And if I keep it ornamental in look, I'll avoid any issue for sure.

Unfortunately though - there is a covenant clause keeping me from having the chickens I really want. someday...

Friday, May 16, 2008

dirt girl: the front yard (or more properly titled: the neglected front yard)

Most folks in our neighborhood worry most about the way their front yards look than their back ones. Not me. I spend more time in the back, so I've been focusing there.
Time to move up front, though. My order of shade perennials arrived today. Am I ready for them? Of course not. I'm not even sure where they'll be going. Tons to dig up and prep in order to accommodate them. We've already got a full weekend (dear friend's wedding and a birthday party) so will do what i can.

Here's what i ordered:
Aster - Wonder of Staffa, a collection of Astilbe (Heart and Soul, Snow Drift, Purple Lance) and Clematis Naobi

They were out of the Purple Lance (very sad about that) so they sent extra Heart and Soul.

The Clematis will go along the roadside and eventually "(and hopefully) climb up the mailbox post. Still figuring on where to put the rest. I sure hope they end up looking like the photos from the supplier's website!!

dirt girl: what a difference a month makes

Truly hard to believe it's been just a month since i got the garden cleaned up and populated. it's gotten huge! I counted 10 round green tomatoes on the Early Girls this morning. and over a dozen of the same - but smaller - on the Grape Tomato plants.
The zucchini have been flowering for days and there are 2" eggplants emerging from their mamas. The cosmos are a few feet high and the cucumbers are progressing. Still awaiting flowers and pods from the sweet peas, but am happy to wait!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

thrifting: organizer

found this on my way back from a client meeting today. There's this consignment/thrift shop that puts some stuff by the roadside and lawn to entice curious drivers. worked on me! I may give it a wee facelift and maybe even take the hinges off so i can get it off the floor and hang them on the wall - not sure, yet. Will come in handy for yarn, fabric - you name it.

waiting for the bus

only one more week of this. i'll miss it. sitting on the bench under the tree. sometimes mabel sits with me. sometimes she dances in the yard. she steps from stepstone-to-stepstone counting in chinese each hop. she picks up sticks and they become magic wands. "Poof! Mommy's a bird!."
we hear the squeaky sound of the bus coming up the street. it stops here. she waves and hops on. i blow a kiss and off she goes. and i go back to work.

dirt girl: sweet potato grave?

The sweet potato plants I ordered several weeks ago finally arrived Friday. These are called Sweet Potato Vardaman (Ipomoea batatus Vardaman) and grow into more of a bush than a spreading vine. They arrived in "slips" - 25 of them. So... off to the yard i went to plot a spot to build their bed. The hardest part for sure was...

removing the current residents. Luckily these weren't too tough. Even with a knee brace and 1.5 legs I managed.

well - with a little help from miss mabelicious! ;-)

tada! a grave (really does look like one). After piling up a good long hill, i poked 5 deep holes with a wooden chopstick and set the slips. Mabel filled each hole with water and I packed them in. Hopefully we'll be pulling yummy homegrown sweet potatoes from the mound throughout September and October!

Here's a shot of a little friend who came to visit after the fence was up. and a close up of one of the plants.

I only planted 5 of the slips. We've got a few in water-filled bottles for fun. If you're interested - i'm happy to share!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

dirt girl: vegetable love

zucchini flower; japanese eggplant; early girl tomatoes

Sunday, May 11, 2008

dirt girl and water munchkins

I'm not sure what it is about this season - feels better than any other. The herbs and vegetables are doing great and getting lots of use day-to-day. The eggplant and tomatoes have blooms and the start of "fruits" on them.... here are some pics of a few:

bloom on a japanese eggplant - these are great on the grill or in curry

sage and thyme

thai basil - a MUST in coconut curried chicken. yum!

tarragon in a pot that i made nearly 10 years ago from concrete, pearlite, moss and shells.

italian curled parsley

and the yummiest of all: lucy and mabel having fun poolside ;-)

The week (and Mother's Day!)

Well - days don't start off much better than this one! :-) Hubby woke me with a plate of eggs, potatoes and even an english muffin - in bed. nice. The girls made some sweet cards for me, too. The jug there is an Asian cracker snack mix that i got hooked on when we were in Hong Kong. Edward found some at the local Chinese market. Lucy LOVES the seaweed ones.

Lucy headed for the pool and we all hung outside for a while. Cassat (one of our 19-yr-old cats) LOVES the kids and cuddled up to Lucy as soon as she layed out her towel...

Mabel's artwork is really amazing. Yesterday, she presented me with this - it's our "flower family."

The week started off with a twist - literally. My knee "went out" on me on Monday morning, so this has been my view most of the week. It's doing much better today - MRI on Tuesday. Hopefully the prescription will be exercises to strengthen the muscles/tendons - and NO surgery. fingers crossed.

Heading to the garden center now for some more dirt. The Sweet Potato bushes arrived yesterday. Need to get them in place today. Will post garden progress photos later today!

Happy Mother's day!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

dirt girl: bed 2 update

Not bad for 2 weeks time (Roll over the photo to see what the bed looked like then). Unfortunately, only ONE of my cucumbers sprouted in the germinator... you can see it there on the left. Put a few more seeds in. We'll see how they do. The zucchini is taking off (right) and the japanese eggplant has blooms on it already!

Friday, May 2, 2008


Not sure what it is about the first corn of the season - just makes me happy. We roasted our first ears of the year the other night. yum. Am seriously considering a corn patch on one side of the house. Will probably have to hide it partially with a fence of some sort so the neighborhood association doesn't have issue.

Girl's night: tonight begins with dinner at Vickery's on Shem Creek and then Full Monty at The Footlight Players. Looking forward to it -- has been a long time coming!