You'll now find us over at littleelephants.com - come on over!
When the kids got home from school yesterday, Tomas recruited them to help him make an arched trellis for their peas to grow up and over. They wove long bamboo sticks over-under, over-under, measured to make sure they had the correct width to run the whole length of our raised beds, and tied where the sticks crossed to make it extra strong.
By dinner-time, the two walls were built and standing. They have sticks soaking overnight to make them flexible enough to make an arch to connect the two beds, but honestly, I think it looks great already, and can't wait to watch our peas wind their way up.
It's funny to me how slow the process of growing a vegetable garden can be, but it is oh so rewarding to see the new seedlings pop up just when you'd decided the seeds were probably duds (maybe I'm a pessimist that way).
So far, we have the peas, loads of salad greens, spinach, broccoli, corn, cucumber, carrots, peppers and sunflowers all just starting to peek out from the soil.
My tomatoes, lavender and zucchini are still indoors building strength, and I'm thinking next year I might just buy the tomatoes and lavender already started at the garden center, the seedlings just look too fragile to make it. I'll be crossing fingers they do.
My Mom sent me the link for the site where I found this mask. Momes.net is in French so will probably be a bit awkward to navigate if you don't speak the language, but if you'd like to learn some of the songs I sang as a child you'll have to check out this section.
Tor and I colored in the print-out, and then glued it to some sturdier craft paper because I could tell the thing would fall apart in minutes without some reinforcement (you can't tell from this angle, but it is a lovely, contrasting Teal to match the front of the mask). Next, I cut it out & attached a long rubber band to secure it to his head. Voila! We have a very scary little boy fox who did an excellent job of frightening his Dad.
This is a little reminder just for me: sometimes you just need a different perspective to catch the unexpected beauty around you.
A couple days ago I was hanging out in the hammock & looked up to spy these bright red blossoms at the end of this tree's branches. It's like it was decorated for Christmas in May. I couldn't help but smile.
Next? I heard funny little noises above me. One was a striking blue bird calling to announce the bounty available in the feeder. The other? A very young squirrel, poised directly above my head -- I'm not sure which of us was more startled to see the other :-)
For the kids' birthdays last Fall my sister offered them each their very own tree. I can't tell you how disappointed they were when we didn't plant right away, and then had to wait all. winter. long. before heading to the nursery.
A couple weeks ago, when it was finally warm enough that we could dig into the earth, we headed out to pick out their trees. They'd been waiting long enough that the olders knew exactly what trees they wanted, having planned & plotted for many months. Tor on the other hand, found the whole process overwhelming, over stimulating, over everything ... so Momma picked his tree for him.
It is such a pleasure to see the trees as we come up to the house, knowing that they'll be here a long time to come (barring any too-rough hurricanes, or atypical-for-our-area tornadoes like we had last summer).
In case you're wondering, Maggie's is a Weeping Cherry tree, Bjørn's is a Sweet Cherry, and Tor's is a Macoun (pronounced McCowan) Apple tree. We're all very hopeful that we'll have delicious fruit to enjoy over the years from the apple & sweet cherrry trees. If not, I'm thinking we'll have some very happy worms & birds in the area!
I know I've got some orphaned Lotteria cards around here somewhere that will be perfect for a number of her projects. Joy!
All winter long we day-dreamed about the garden. We drew up plans, scoured seed catalogs, browsed a gazillion websites. There are few things I enjoy more than planning day-dreaming - my wish list of things I'd like to do around the house is pretty extensive - we just don't have the funds right now, so I guess it's a good thing I enjoy the planning phase just as much! I'm so glad the weather is warm enough now to get started on the out-doors :-)
Inspired by my colleagues at Super Eco, I asked Tomas if he could build me some raised beds so we could have fresh veggies all summer long. It was a great opportunity to get the kids involved, too, with loads of measuring & fun calculations - for some reason none of us could get our heads around the concept of a cubic square foot - and lovely dirt to dig into.
Next up is a vote on what to plant!