July 11, 2014 by meg | 0 comments

busy experimentingwaitingi’ve been trying to add in some new activities for zelda to try after she comes home from school in the afternoons.  we’ve done two “experiments.”  we call them experiments because something unexpected should happen.  the first one we tried was dyeing daisies in colored water. this was the perfect starter experiment for us since we were able to go and cut wild daisies and had everything already on hand.carefully pouringcolor codedcutting the flowersgently into the vasekind of dyeda tiny bit of blue this experiment was a great success even though the results were so so.  when she told her daddy about it that night she was so excited and said “i did it all by myself.”"i'm thinking, i'm thinking."painting with rubbing alcoholbleeding colorsthe second experiment was using sharpie markers to dye fabric. again another successful experiment in that it held zelda’s attention and she enjoyed the process and was proud of the final product, even though the colors didn’t bleed as much as i thought they might. i think i’ll sew her piece of dyed fabric into a scarf for her to wear.hanging it up to drychecking her workproud artistdaddy’s got a good one ready to go for tomorrow morning while i’m tethered to the computer for class. check back next week to see how that experiment went.

how our garden grows

July 10, 2014 by meg | 2 Comments

lots of greens and herbsthe peas are climbing onnew plantings of radishesred veined sorrelwintered over arugulai snapped some new pictures of the garden today. we are at about 6 weeks in from when it was planted.  things are growing well despite the rogue chicken that got in a couple of weeks ago and had a feast and the rather steady rain.  we’re on our second planting of radishes and just started some more scallions. otherwise things are chugging along.  this year we are growing: arugula (wintered over from last year), sorrel, zucs and squash (for the blossoms only), herbs, scallions, radishes, three kinds of beans, peas, leeks, yellow and red onions, a couple of varieties of spinach and chard, fennel, garlic, cabbage and broccoli (which is probably not going to produce thanks to the chicken).
Untitledmaking ricottalooks like there will be some menu planning around spinach this week, perhaps with the ricotta i made yesterday.
cabbages feeling like its fallmailbox scarlet runner beanswe planted some veggies in containers in the front. some are doing better than others.  our cabbages think its fall and just really aren’t growing.  i think i’ll cover their box with plastic to see if i can’t jump start them a bit.  the scarlet runner beans are running and flowering, good signs that we may get some beans.  my nasturtiums are exploding.  i did some research and learned that all but the stem of the plant is edible.  we’ve made pesto, and vinegar so far with plans to make infused vodka for bloodymarys and preserves.  nasturtium flowers taste peppery which will work well in the vodka and preserves.  the leaves taste more like radishes, which work well in pesto.  we may even try nasturtium capers.
pano of the front yardthe front yard got a little clean up today too even in the rain. i pulled some canadian thistle and inserted some hostas in their stead.  from where we started at the end of april, things are looking good all around.  we’re hoping for the rest of july to give us some warmer temps and sun to really let us get the most from our garden this year.  i’m also hoping to stick in one or two small raised beds in the back still – one dedicated to garlic and perhaps a second to start a later season crop of greens so we can enjoy our garden veggies into october or possibly even later.

our fifth fourth of July

July 8, 2014 by meg | 0 comments

image-14.jpegwe spent last weekend in homer, alaska. not only was it the 4th of july, but also our fifth wedding anniversary. above is our group shot. zach and i’ve have had our picture taken each year on our anniversary. so far so good, but one year it was a poorly lit selfie of us already in bed under the covers.



a wonderful lunch of po'boys and sausages

]zelda captures susan at the brewery zelda captures susan at the brewery

zelda captures daddy at the brewery

zelda captures daddy at the brewery

a wonderful lunch of po’boys and sausages[/caption]we had the good fortune to once again spend time with our friends gary and susan. they have a lovely little cottage in homer. it’s so nice to visit places they live as gary and susan are wonderful at really taking advantage of everything a town has to offer. although we have visited homer before it’s nice to get a new perspective and a local one to boot.image-14.jpegIMGP5106.jpgIMGP4953.jpgIMGP5024.jpgIMGP4971.jpgIMG_7832.jpgIMGP4967.jpgimage-17.jpegIMGP5112.jpgIMGP4974.jpgIMG_7830.jpgIMG_7825.jpgwhile in homer we camped. it was our first camping experience as a family since zelda has outgrown the pack ‘n play. let’s just say she’s a bed hog, but also a great space heater. all in all a pretty successful camping adventure.IMGP5018.jpgIMGP5020.jpgIMGP5015.jpgIMGP5010.jpgIMGP5054.jpgIMGP5087.jpgIMGP5049.jpgimage-16.jpegIMG_7856.jpg the 4th was full of fun activities. we visited the carnival and zelda got her face painted, played games and had pie. then it was off to the beach for some tide pooling. and finally off to the parade where there was CANDY! probably the highlight of zelda’s day. she got to eat two pieces at the parade and by the time we stopped for dinner she was fast asleep.image-13.jpegimage-15.jpegwhat a great weekend and i’m sure we’ll return to homer. zelda loved the beach, the boats and well, pretty much everything.