Saturday, April 17, 2010

Farmers' Market

I wish we could get to the Farmers' Market before it gets so crowded and before the sun is so high. I just can't seem to get it together enough for us to be there before 9:30 or so. Robert needs to be fed, changed, dressed; the dog walked; the dog, cat, and chickens fed, before leaving the house. Since I am not going to wake the baby up any earlier than when he wakes up on his own, well, I guess we'll be fighting the crowds all summer. Sigh. Today I bought our strawberry plants. We've been outside all week, feels like. Yesterday I mowed 5/8 of our yard, moved the chicken coop and cleaned it out, and pounded the stakes for the inner chicken-fence. I don't think I mentioned this yet-- I'm putting in a little, 24" high chicken-wire fence on the inside of the garden beds to keep the chickens out while they're free-ranging. This after noon I finished the other 3/8 of the mowing (can't get it all done at once because it takes longer than how long Robert will sit happily in his stroller) and worked on the fence a little more. I love this time of year but it is exhausting, too. You ever notice how the old-timers you see working in their gardens are always skinny? I think this is why.

"I DO NOT LIKE THE HAT"... he seems to say.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Garden Tour

What's blooming in my neighborhood:

Bleeding hearts. I love these. If I ever have a shady garden, they're high on my list.

Creeping phlox. It's planted like this all over my neighborhood, since so many houses have steep drops from yard to street. Most of the year it's just a nice, unobjectionable ground cover, but every spring it puts on a huge display.

And my all-time favorite tree, the Eastern Redbud. Also, the lilacs and dogwoods are in bloom. I love this time of year!

Monday, April 12, 2010

What Don did this weekend

In order to finish the Retaining Wall in Ditch project, as well as finish filling the raised beds with topsoil, Don rented a tractor. Lucky I'm not the jealous type, because I think it was love at first sight. (I now pronounce you Man and Kubota?) He spent the weekend moving dirt and building walls, grumbling something about starting projects you can't finish grr grr grr, while Robert and I stayed in our nice, air-conditioned house and took pictures.

In this picture, he has either just conquered the gravel pile or is auditioning for a Captain Morgan commercial, I can't remember. Does he have a little captain in him? Why no, he is filled with Magic Hat!

After his typical, seventy-hour workweek and two days laboring in the backyard, he re-built this raised bed for me. I think he really does love me. You can kind of see the arrangement of the two walls filling the ditch in this picture. We still need more back-fill behind the taller one, and each wall still needs the row of capstones that finishes it, but otherwise, mission accomplished. In between the two walls I'm going to plant strawberries, and the bed that Don is working on is going to be raspberries. I guess it's the fruity end of the yard.

In other news, I cleared out the tiny closet, have the fridge half done, and other small accomplishments crossed off The List. Robert can suddenly hardly get enough to eat; I'm feeding him every few hours around the clock. Big people-food meals during the day, breastfeeding in between times, and he still wants to nurse several times during the night. He even ate the green beans that he refused a few weeks ago. (Not the same ones, of course, but the other half of a two-pack.) I think he's going through a growth spurt. According to our scale, he is now 25.5 pounds. He understands the words for 'dragon' and 'dog', as in 'where's the ___?'; likes to imitate sounds, facial expression, and movements; and has started creeping along the furniture when he pulls himself up to standing. I guess it's a growth AND development spurt, really. At lunchtime I was blowing on each bite for him, and when I offered him a bite, he tried to blow on it too. SO cute.

...because it's not a blog post without the obligatory baby picture!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Finally Something Finished

My marathon cleaning isn't going quite as well as planned. I should be at least one-third done and I am not. Whine whine whine, it's haaaard to get anything done with a baby, bitch bitch bitch. I know. It's lazy. But I got the first item from the kitchen sub-list, "clean and organize hutch" done yesterday. I know it looks over-full, but this hutch serves as most of my pantry and a good bit of my counter space; it's never going to be spare and minimalist the way it would be in a catalogue. Among other things, it holds fourteen one-pound boxes of dried pasta. I'm not a hoarder, honestly! The store was having a buy-two-get-THREE-free sale on the brand I already buy. What would you do? (Correct answer: pay for four boxes, walk out with ten.)
Zoom-in on my 'Never Trust a Skinny Cook' sign, which I love but would love to invalidate by reskinny-fying myself... or at least losing seven pounds or so. Today I will get more things done.

Monday, April 05, 2010

First Time at the Park

I suppose the title says it all. There is a playground near our house, and yesterday we took Robert there for the first time. He is just barely big enough to use the little-kid swings. We actually went twice; just me, the dog and the baby in the morning, then all of us in the evening. This was partly because I knew Don would want to be a part of the Baby's First Swings experience, and partly because I was disappointed with the photos I'd taken in the morning. Time of day makes a huge difference sometimes: the top picture here was taken mid-morning, when the light was really bright and harsh. The others were taken at sunset.

Here, Don is playing I'm Going to Eat your Feet!, swing version. It's one of his favorites. We were kind of hoping that these people would invite us to their barbecue, the aroma of which was permeating the whole park, but no such luck.

Saturday, April 03, 2010


...with the baby on my back. In the background: compost heaps, chicken house and run, straw bales. I think we might be That House in our neighborhood.

Don took several pictures, but apparently it is not possible for both of us to look at the camera simultaneously. Perhaps it violates a law of photographical physics, I don't know.
Working on my marathon-list with varying degrees of success, but it's only the 3rd. We'll get there.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Which came first?

The girls have fun scratching in what will soon be the raspberry bed.

I could also call this, why we grow our own. Grocery store-egg to the left, backyard egg to the right. And these are supposedly the really good store eggs, cage-free and all that. There's just no comparison.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Today I:

Mucked out the chicken house.
Did a sink-load of dishes.
Walked the baby and the dog to our coffee place.
Went to both the grocery store and Bed, Bath & Beyond (with baby, of course).
Folded and put away two loads of laundry (from yesterday).
Organized out-grown baby clothes, stored away.
Re-organized Robert's dresser.
Moved all my seedlings outside to take advantage of this warm sunshine.
Made dinner.

I've been dealing with some fairly bad insomnia lately, and spent more time last night staring into space than actually sleeping. So the above may not sound like much, but considering the three-hours-of-sleep situation (multiplied by days and days now), it's pretty damn good. I'm trying to get outside, get things done, and avoid lounging around the house, in an effort to tire myself out.