Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Outdoor and Indoor

 The last five days have been gorgeous. Flowering trees, gathered bouquets, outdoor dining and cooking (both real food and mud pies), with lots of digging, climbing and running. My husband has started clearing away the old retaining wall, preparing to replace it with one that is better in every way.

Inside we've been busy too. With Gianna's birthday quickly approaching we've all been busy; well, Dean isn't doing anything in particular but he makes up for it with lots of enthusiasm! Gianna's current project is making peg dolls as a thank you for all of her party guests. It has been quite an exercise in restraint for me. I really want to grab the paint brush or the marker and show her how to "do it right" but this is her gift and I don't want her to think what she is doing is wrong so I'm working hard to bite my tongue. I do one as an example and then she gleefully does the rest. I'm excited to see how they turn out! The final step is to cut a felt strip to wrap around each one. Vincent is working on making a piñata for her party that she wants to fill with necklaces. She has painted a bunch of wooden beads that she will string on yarn tonight. She originally wanted to fill the piñata with candy, of course, but has happily changed direction.

During nap time and late at night I've been knitting, hoping to get the sweater finished. Now that the sleeves are attached I just need to knit the fair isle yoke and the ribbed edge. I'm so pleased with how it is turning out!

Five years ago today I went into labor with Gianna. Looking back on it, four days of hard labor was a pretty apt initiation into motherhood. It is better and harder than I thought it would be. Every year these four days are a time of reflection for me. I'm so proud of her, both the person she is and who she is becoming.

Today the rain has returned for the foreseeable future. Hopefully the kids will be stomping puddles for the remainder of the afternoon. I have tea in my cup, bread in the oven, and the sound of rain in my ears. Happy Tuesday everyone!

Thursday, March 26, 2015


It's officially spring, has been for almost a week now, and it is glorious. Everything is blooming; daffodils, camellias, azaleas, bluebells, magnolias, apple, cherry and pear trees, even the lilacs are beginning to open. Everyday the kids bring me multiple bouquets gathered from the front and back yards. I'm definitely going to add a flower bed just for cutting when we put the garden in. They've also requested more tulips. I'm really enjoying discovering new plants each week as they begin to flower, but I'm also itching to make my mark on this yard as well. I was happy to learn that the soil samples I sent off came back with minimal levels of lead, so we can use the existing soil for a garden. I think we're going to do some major landscaping before the garden beds will be ready, so I'll be twiddling my thumbs a bit longer while I wait for that to happen. I'm crossing my fingers it will be ready in time to plant tomatoes. My two favorite things to grow are sugar snap peas and tomatoes. There's nothing better than wandering into the garden and snacking on either of those right there, still warm from the sun.

I'm trying to finish Gianna's fair isle sweater for her birthday, although it's so warm now I fear she won't be wearing it much. I'm halfway through the second sleeve. Barring any major confusion, I think I'll be able to finish it in the next week, plus sew a skirt for her, make party favors, a cake, etc. So now I'm off to knit!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Winter (Spring) Walk

It sure feels like spring is here. We had a lovely Valentine's weekend, with lots of backyard play, cupcakes, cards, flowers (handfuls of quince lovingly picked with tiny hands), raspberry lambic, linguine and meatballs, and an impromptu day trip to the beach with perfect weather.

One of my favorite unintentional benefits of blogging is being able to go back and see what I was photographing and/or writing about 1-3 years ago. As I was loading in these photos I found these photos below of Gianna patting the broccoli growing in our front yard, taken three years ago when Gianna was not yet two. How is it that she will be five in about six weeks and will be starting kindergarten next fall?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bright Points

My sweet boy somehow came down with two different viruses simultaneously (which means he has two types of rashes at the same time) plus a runny nose and a fever of 103 which may or may not be related. Sleeping is hard. Frankly, the non-sleeping hours are hard too. It's amazing the things I can accomplish while carrying a 32 lb toddler that is acting like a wet noodle. So as not to dwell on negative things, here's a list of things that are making this week a bit better:

-this morning's sunrise
-the quince (one of my favorites!) blooming in our backyard
-my pressure cooker helping me go from dried chickpeas to hummus in about an hour
-Daniel Tiger
-homemade muffins
-the weather forecast promising temperatures in the low sixties tomorrow
-this peanut sauce recipe, although next time I'm going to try adding some cornstarch to thicken it
-those curls