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Weed!

March 20, 2014
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Poor thing doesn’t know it’s going to go from Cherished Photo Subject to Dead in 3 seconds…

This is a sign that winter has been too long if ever there was one.  I happily spotted the first weed of the year in our raised veggie beds.  If this guy can grow, so can arugula.  Not because I know much about arugula, but because it is delicious and I want it to be true.  After I spotted the weed, I immediately ran outside, took a picture, yanked it, and smooshed some seeds into the mud.  The soil is way too wet – it’s still frozen solid a few inches down, so the water isn’t draining.  But it can’t hurt to try.  Arugula black bean tacos, you will be in my stomach soon.

A robin was spotted in the backyard this week as well, and birds have started flying into our windows again.

Kyle removed the eyeless squirrel carcass that was revealed when the snow melted.  (This is True.  Love.  You think this happens every day?)

There is so much new (old) dog waste as the snow retreats a little more each day.  The mud.  The mud.  The puddles.  The mud.  My children are magnetically attracted to it all.

Spring is gross.  I am so glad it’s here.

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The garden, mid March

March 18, 2014
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I am sooooo ready to try out the new raised beds.  But while the neighborhood has lost a lot of snow, we still have a ways to go.  Maybe I’ll be able to see all the dirt by the end of the week.  Would arugula freeze if I throw some seeds out now?  I’m itching for something, anything to grow…

I have a friend that is a total garden pusher.  Every time I’ve spoken with her since December she tells me her latest purchases for her garden and asks “What have you bought?  Nothing?  Why not?”  She’s incredulous.  I finally caved today when a coupon hit my email – I ordered a variety of currant bushes and asparagus plants.  They were in the garden plan from the start so I don’t feel too guilty.

I should really rescue my little greenhouses, too.  Some didn’t descend from their melting snowdrift very gracefully, but I’m just not in the mood to put my boots on right now.  Again.

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Hurry up, Spring.

Good sportsmanship

March 17, 2014
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Some people say kids have more to teach their parents than the other way around.  Today this is true.  Pea mopped the floor with me in dominoes this morning – 4 games of Mexican Train in a row, and then trounced me at Labyrinth.

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Labyrinth is our current favorite board game, and during this Winter of Supreme Ultimate Cold, we have played a lot of games.  It’s truly fun for both the kids and adults.  Players adjust the path of the maze to navigate to the treasures they need to collect.  It’s simple to learn, but requires strategic, spacial thinking.  The board is always changing so it keeps you on your toes.

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This picture was from the day he tied me at checkers, but it’s a pretty common expression for his reaction to beating me.  To his credit, he always extends a hand and says, “Good game, Mama!” with a smile after he beats me.

He just ran out the door to play with a neighbor friend.  Hooray for neighbors!  Let him beat someone else for a change.

Winter sowing

February 24, 2014
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I don’t start seeds indoors because in years of trying, I don’t think I’ve ever had one seedling result in a happy, robust, outdoor plant .  It’s not a talent of mine and I’ve made peace with that.  I sow directly outdoors when it warms up and fill in with plants from a nursery when I need to.

But Tea’s class did a winter sowing project with their 4th/5th grade buddies a couple of weeks ago.  Pea and I were there to help out, and Pea was disappointed he didn’t get a chance to plant any seeds of his own.

So I hadn’t intended to do anything garden-related for, well, about 3 months (kidding?  I hope?), but I can get behind the idea of starting seeds outdoors. I’m a tough love gardener – give me something I can throw outside and ignore any day.  I had a big bag of soil in the garage, Kyle’s co-workers brought him empty milk cartons, and I have a stash of old seeds.  No big deal if nothing grows.  But who knows?  Maybe it will!

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Pea was a great helper and we made short work of planting 10 different varieties.  Peppers and tomatoes were probably pie-in-the-sky but maybe the squash, beans, or sunflowers will take off.  It was really hard to choose what to plant , so I think we’ll save the next few empty milk jugs and add to our collection.

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I have to admit, it was a little exciting to put the mini greenhouses in the new garden.  Now if we could just get a fence and a lot less snow, we’d be in business.

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Stamp it

February 17, 2014
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A fundraiser for Tea’s school includes a silent auction of themed baskets at the school carnival.  His class’ theme is art supplies, and yesterday, several weeks late, I looked online at the list of things left to sign-up to donate.  Contributions are due soon but I’m all about the last-minute.  I saw “stamps” on the list and it reminded me of my brief but intense foray into stamp carving a few years ago.  I’ve never made anything beyond the 12 animals of the Thai zodiac, but I had some carving medium left.

My previous project had been so complicated, each stamp took about 2 hours to complete.  These were lightening quick by comparison.  In about 7 hours I had a complete set of 10 carved, and that time included researching and sketching ideas, eating dinner, and possibly interacting with my children.  Or not.  I don’t really remember.  I think I went into the Craft Zone.  Sorry, Kyle.

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It was really fun to carve again.  I think I’ll order more carving medium because I ended up liking the set I made so much, I am loathe to part with them even for a good cause.  I took a page from the boys’ playbook and rummaged through the recycling bin for packaging.  This herb container was perfect.  The boys want us to buy the basket that has the stamps, and are a little confused about the concept of a silent auction.  Whoever wins, I hope their new owner has fun stamping away.

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Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2014
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Tea’s school doesn’t exchange valentines, so it was just Pea making them to give to classmates this year.  We reprised the design Tea used in 4k because I’m lazy they were cute, and puns are a big hit around our house as the boys learn more about language.  But we simplified them so Pea only had to cut out half as many hearts, and everyone was happy.  He loved the thumbprints and gluing the googly eyes.  Obviously, we were still stuffing them in envelopes this morning, minutes before the bus arrived, because Procrastination.

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While Tea isn’t taking a big batch to school today, he was secretly working on something that involved hearts and construction paper.  In his excitement and since he can’t keep a secret, he’s tried to give us our valentines for 4 days in a row.  We’re holding him off until after dinner.  I made a couple for the boys, too, although they are just painful reminders that when genetic drawing talent was divided up, my sister got 100%.  Yes, that’s how genetics works – I have a diploma so you can trust me.

Bee-"Mon".  Get it?  Maybe you have to live in our house to understand.

Bee-”Mon”. Get it? Maybe you have to live in our house to understand.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say Kyle will be glad to have the kitchen table back.

Allison, this shot is for you

Allison, this shot is for you

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my friends and family.  May you be surrounded by those you love!

Success

February 13, 2014
by

Only 3 of the 9 cookies remain, but the chickadees love them.

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