in my garden : may 28

last time in the garden (may 15):

in my garden : may 15

this time in the garden (may 28):

in my garden : may 28

in my garden : may 28

in my garden : may 28

in my garden : may 28

in my garden : may 28

in my garden : may 28

in my garden : may 28

in my garden : may 28

in my garden : may 28

in my garden : may 28

Do you see all that green? It's amazing the difference two weeks can make. Everything is popping up in the garden, the apple trees & berry bushes are leafing out, and the ferns are blanketing our woods. It looks like they'll bloom soon, I don't know if I've seen ferns bloom before?

Watermelon, muskmelon, spaghetti, buttercup, sugar pumpkin, & delicata squash are all popping up in the big mounds we planted in the back of the yard. We'll see if the vines and fruit hold up to curious critters in the woods.

Speaking of critters. Do you see that sweet little tree frog on the apple tree branch? I counted two garter snakes, two toads, a tree frog and of course…. a very helpful puppy, while I watered the garden yesterday morning. (my brother is going to love her, she is such a cutie!)

I transplanted the bulk of the tomatoes into the garden. (Amish Paste, Zapotec, Red Pear Cherry & Gold Nugget Cherry) The hot peppers will go in this weekend along with the Snow White Cherry tomatoes. What are you favorite heirloom tomato varieties? I always have such a hard time narrowing my decision down to a reasonable amount. Also, on a funny note…. I mixed up a few of my tomatoes… so I'm not sure where the cherry tomatoes will be. It will be fun to see where they end up once the fruit begins to ripen!

The fava beans! I've never planted these before (picture number 8) and they are beautiful! The robust leaves almost look like succulents. I'll be making tee-pees for all the beans and peas next week. I'm hoping to harvest a few snap peas before we head north…..

Lastly, those potatoes. I planted yukon gold, norland red and german butterball. (all from fedco) They look amazing and are filling in the half moon beds quickly. I plan to bury them again in a few days. We'll keep adding straw and soil to the beds as they grow. I've read this has the possibility of yielding a good amount of potatoes in a small space, have any of you tried this?

Tell me, what is growing in your garden?

xo,

s

 

home + busy…..

home + busy.....

home + busy.....

home + busy.....

home + busy.....

home + busy.....

home + busy.....

home + busy.....

home + busy.....

home + busy.....

home + busy.....

home + busy.....

 

We had a nice adventure up north. Played with cousins. Collected stones at the river. Hung out at Grandma & Grandpa's farm with the goats, sheep, geese, guineas, cow, & chicks. My father in law retired a few years ago and his menagerie of animals is ever growing. We have affectionately begun to refer to him as Grandpa Doolittle. You couldn't pay me to pick up a goose and that one in the photo follows him around until he does so…… very funny. Does anyone know what that wooden contraption is in the second photo? My mother in law was told it was some sort of antique beekeeping device…. none of us can figure it out.

We made it home mid week with the puppies. Managed a visit to the vet. (oh my!) I've decided having three puppies is like having three babies. With sharp teeth. And no diapers. Between the puddles & the cuteness….. I can hardly get a thing done around here. My parents are taking them all to Cordova (Alaska) after the graduation. They recently lost their lab of 11 years (you met a a few years ago here). It just so happened that my niece in NY had a litter of labs! So they picked out a little black one & named him Hank Jr. The yellow girl, Lucy, is going to my brother and the other male, Mister, is going to a friend of the family's. Getting three puppies to Alaska might be almost as much fun as chasing them for ten days!

The big kid is officially finished with high school!! His last day was Thursday and I can't tell you how relieved I am. He slid in barely pulling it all off…. which is the usual for him… (hello exercise in patience and letting go for this mama.) The important thing is it's done and we're all heading into the next phase of life. Phew…..

It will be quiet here for the next few days between puppies and getting ready for 18+ overnight guests for the graduation next weekend. Wish me luck!

xo,

s

 

a hive split…… and other bits……

DL Hive Split 5/2/14

DL Hive Split 5/2/14

DL Hive Split 5/2/14

DL Hive Split 5/2/14

DL Hive Split 5/2/14

DL Hive Split 5/2/14

DL Hive Split 5/2/14

DL Hive Split 5/2/14

DL Hive Split 5/2/14

DL Hive Split 5/2/14

DL Hive Split 5/2/14

DL Hive Split 5/2/14

DL Hive Split 5/2/14

The kids & I got to watch a friend split her hive last week. Amazing stuff! For those of you that might not speak bee, a split is when you divide the colony to keep them from swarming. When bees overwinter their colony increases quickly in the spring and they often run out of room. This hive did wonderful over the winter and my friend split it into four hives! There were really that many bees! I took about a zillion pictures for my friend and the kids really loved watching. Their favorite part was when our bee mentor Wayne, who was also helping with the split, told them drones (males) didn't sting. To prove this point he popped one into his mouth and then let it fly out. The kids were awestruck….. and Soph couldn't wait to catch a drone at home and let it buzz around in her hands. (not in her mouth though, that Wayne is a hoot!)

If you really love bee pictures, you can check out my flickr album to see more. I only shared a few favorites in this post, you can see the whole process of the split starting with this photo. (ps ~ the queen can be seen in picture six above… can you spot her? she's got a longer abdomen with no stripes.)

I had a busy week in the shop too. My first wholesale order went out & I finally got pictures taken of the new silks I have dyed up. Plus a few new things… so there will be a shop update next week! I have one summer festival lined up in Rhode Island and put in for one in Portland, ME. I would sell my silks in a parking lot to have an excuse to go to Portland for the weekend. Fingers crossed on that one…. should find out near the end of the month.

I'm heading out of here with the two youngest in a few hours.

We're driving north to visit family and pick up three small furry bundles. The puppies. Soph has been looking forward to this puppy-sitting gig for weeks. I've been looking forward to wine with my sister in law and our annual trip to the river… a girl can never have too many rocks, you know?

So….. we'll be getting in late Tuesday night. I'll be away from this space until then. 

Have a lovely couple of days….

xo,

s

this week in my garden {may 15}

Over these last few months we have carved a little homestead space into our backyard. Joe cut down a few trees and a mountain of brush. We learned how to run an industrial chipper we rented for the afternoon…that was something! It's been an amazingly huge project…. one that we are excited to see the fruits of as the leaves fill in again and the forest wakes up. Everything is just beginning to green up and fill in and we're happy to see that we opened up the canopy enough to to let the shine on our little garden…. but that we still feel like we live in the woods. (plus, knock on wood, we seem to have less ticks this spring!)

in my garden : may 15

*June 2013*

in my garden : may 15

*June 2013*

in my garden : may 15

*June 2013* (last summer's view from the porch…. look at the muscles on that lumberjack, ahem.)

in my garden : may 15

*October 2013*

in my garden : may 15

*May 2013* (the guys are standing right where the garden is in the picture above this one)

in my garden : may 15

in my garden : may 15

in my garden : may 15

This spring we planted 4 blueberry bushes, 6 blackberry bushes, 5 raspberry bushes, 3 grapevines, 1 plum tree, and 6 apple trees. We read about a technique  where you plant three apple trees in a tripod close together, you keep the center well pruned for good ventilation. This is supposed to be ideal for small spaces. We'll see!

I started nasturtium, sweet peas, lettuce, greens, herbs, peas, beans, nettle, lemon balm, flowers, squash, melon, kohlrabi, beets, radish, spinach, cilantro, dill, savory, chives, sage, parsley, cauliflower, and collards over the last 2 weeks. My mint came back from last year and I moved it into the garden. (left in her pot so she doesn't take over the place.)

I used salvaged limbs to make odd shaped beds around the edge of the fencing where I planted nasturtium, sweet peas, and herbs…. my hope is that the nasturtium and sweet peas will climb all over the fence and the herbs will deter hungry critters.

Soon the tomatoes & peppers will be heading out there…… and I can't wait for fresh peas. 

Tell me, what's going on in your garden?

xo,

s

 

a pollinator house for mother’s day…..

a pollinator house for mother's day.....

a pollinator house for mother's day.....

a pollinator house for mother's day.....

a pollinator house for mother's day.....

a pollinator house for mother's day.....

a pollinator house for mother's day.....

We’re pretty no frills around here when it comes to Mother’s Day…. a few handmade goodies from the kiddos and some yummy meals pretty much sums it up. The big girl always gets creative with cards & helping her younger siblings make them. The one from Luke is a moon that says “I love you to the moon and back.” Which is the sweetest because I tell him (and all of them) that when I tuck them in at night. Sophia made me a lovely log book for my bees, and she and Luke (with a little help from Joe) made a pollinator house for the garden.

We recently attended a local event on helping native pollinators and I really wanted to build a bug hotel for the garden. We have lots of bumblebees and I hear there are mason bees in the area too. I was so excited at their creative version…. that little chimney (or chim-en-y if you say it like Luke!) just puts the whole thing over the edge for me. I tucked into my favorite corner in the garden. It will be fun to see who moves in!

Happy Monday……

xo,

s

 

bits from our week & a love list…..

bits from our week & a love list.....

bits from our week & a love list.....

bits from our week & a love list.....

bits from our week & a love list.....

bits from our week & a love list.....

bits from our week & a love list.....

bits from our week & a love list.....

bits from our week & a love list.....

bits from our week & a love list.....

bits from our week & a love list.....

The big girl had rehearsal every evening this week. Opening performance is tonight, followed by two more over the weekend. I know she is looking forward to everything slowing down a bit after this weekend. I think we all are….

Monday Joe took the big boy to register for college. He's attending a local community college. This teenage+highschool+coming+of+age stuff is easy for some kids and harder for others. He falls in the latter category. It's been an act of love and patience to sit back and let him figure things out. He went from not wanting to attend college at all to wanting to attend a very expensive university far away to deciding community college one town over was a good fit. Yes, he is responsible for his own tuition…. we're here to support and feed and cheer him on, but that's it. He came home from registration and told me had decided on an engineering transfer program. I told him that was so wonderful, that I was glad he was focused on something. He asked me why I let him think general studies was a good idea beforehand. I told him I never thought it was a good idea, but sometimes someone else needed to tell him that…. you know, someone other than your mama. That got a laugh. It's baby steps I tell you…. one little thing at a time.

Other than that. I have a gardening post in the works to share with you. I've been working out there a little most every day and if a few seeds would sprout up I would sure feel a lot more successful. Ahem. Patience… yes, I know.

 

Here's a list of random lovely things::

 

This is what my garden looks like in my head. I'll get there…..

We made lentil tacos this week & they were amazing. (didn't even use the peppers & onions, just the seasoning and lentils. easy + so good.)

Chickpeas and mustard greens. Yes please. (make a double batch of chickpeas & add them to salads!)

One of my favorite egg meals. So good……

How cute is this?

Looking at dehydrators. Thinking of this one. (hello sticker shock, right?) Does anyone have a favorite one they love? I'm all ears.

 

Happy weekending folks. And happy mama's day to all of you women who have nurtured another soul. Human one, furry one, feathered one…. It's hard work for sure.

xo,

s

  

mind.body.love

mind.body.love

mind.body.love

mind.body.love

mind.body.love

I had the honor of collaborating with a few wonderful women on this project : Mind Body Love. The above photos are a peek of the three simple projects I contributed for the book :: Silk & lavender eye pillow, oatmeal tub sachets, & aromatherapy bath salts. Together they make a luxurious gift basket for a mama friend (or yourself!)

 

In the words of our editors:

Mind Body Love is an e-book for mothers by mothers. This book was created to inspire you the mama, to take care of yourself. Not your kids, not your family, YOU. It is filled to with recipes, crafty projects, exercise advice and lots of inspirational words to lift you up when days are tough. It is a collaborative effort of mindful mama bloggers who inspire us daily with their craftiness, yummy recipes, words of wisdom and wit.

Our contributors are:

Stephinie Miner
Lisa Coffee
Renee Last
Kim Corrigan-Oliver
Kathy Stowell
Lisa Hassan Scott
Meryl Carver-Allmond
KC Pagano

mind.body.love

This book was the born one day in the middle of winter when KC happened to be reading Meryl’s blog. That particular post inspired her, up lifted her and suddenly the idea for the book popped into her head. A book that would inspire mothers to take time for themselves. She then contacted Meryl to see if she would join forces with her in creating an inspiring resource for mothers.

All the proceeds for this book will go to the charity Rescue Gifts an organization who donates supplies to laboring mothers in third world countries.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

There is a lot of good among these pages, and your purchase will help mamas in need, so it's a pretty sweet deal all around. I hope you enjoy it!

xo,

s

 

bits from our week & some friday link love……..

bits from our week & some friday link love........

bits from our week & some friday link love........

bits from our week & some friday link love........

bits from our week & some friday link love........

bits from our week & some friday link love........

bits from our week & some friday link love........

bits from our week & some friday link love........

bits from our week & some friday link love........

bits from our week & some friday link love........

I'm at the end of the week that got away. Somewhere between music lessons and theatre practice (and a lot of rain!) it was suddenly Friday. I'm not really sure how that happened.

At one point the kitchen was full of pottery makings, cookie makings, and breakfast makings. In that order. There was work for me. First grilled pizza of the season. And the best part of the week was our first spring csa pickup from the farm. (greens!!)

Joe invited his entire office over for a bbq on Saturday. I think we have about 30 people coming. His email invitation said something like "we have a treehouse, dogs, bees, chickens, a zipline, and a lot of mud. bring your family, let your kids get dirty and we'll all have a good time." Many moons ago when our family was little we got together often with coworkers. Military life differs from the civilian world, we become each other's family. It shifts as you get older, and life gets busier. But in those early days this camaraderie was the glue that held life together.

In other news…. I bought graduation(!!!) invitations for a little shin-dig coming up in four weeks. Someone should pinch me because I can't really believe my first baby is graduating from high school. This will be another big party. We're lucky to be close enough for all of Joe's family to drive down for the ceremony, my parents are flying in from Alaska for a few days. As a funny side note, and to confirm your thoughts of my craziness, we will be puppy sitting at the end of the month too. Three lab puppies. My niece's dog had a litter a few weeks back and THREE of them are heading home to Alaska with my parents after the graduation. One for my parents, one for my brother, and one for a good friend of ours. So uhm, yeah…. a graduation celebration to plan, 20+ house guests and three nine week old puppies. I like my plate FULL. (hehehe)

I have a few link love bits for you::

DIY potted plant hangers.

This yoga class looks amazing. (and might be just the thing to keep me sane during this month!)

How to transplant those tomato seedlings.

On my pin board :: this quilt, these cookies, this space…..

Dreaming up summer ideas for the youngest kiddos.

 

Wishing you a lovely bit of weekending…..

xo,

s