Thursday, March 25, 2010

Things I'm Enjoying Right This Second

1. Drinking a cup of coffee - I think I've mentioned before that I don't even drink coffee in the morning. An afternoon cup just makes my day!

2. Snuggling under a vintage quilt - my mom passed along a couple of quilts. I don't even know their history, but I love quilts!

3. Thinking of a comment from a lady at the library this morning - she was watching my son and said that "he is just one perpetual smile".

4. Looking at my little splurge from this a.m. - Liberty of London has a line they did for Target. I picked up some stationary and a few giftie bags.

5. Recalling how cute both kids were carrying their little bags of popcorn home from Target - the lady at the counter split a small bag for them. This and a diet Coke for Mama rang up for $1.59 - treats all around!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Waking up

It's a Monday morning, and the rain is falling. Due to the clouds, my kids are still slowly waking. They tend to think it's still nighttime, and I feel they could use the rest. We squeezed in a whole winter of not being sick, but they both came down with sore throats and coughs on the first day of spring! Hopefully, the coughs are short-lived.

We've planted some herbs, and the seeds are waking up! We have baby oregano, cilantro, dill, lavender, and basil. Currently they reside on a tray that can be transported to the deck during the day. We have lots of sprouts waking in our flower beds too! The former house owners told us that there are lots of perennials in the beds, but we did not find out specifically what we have. It's a springtime surprise to identify the plants and flowers that will be developing.

I've set a new goal of an earlier bedtime because I'm having a hard time waking up at 6 a.m. With the time change, it's dark when I'm exercising! I want to stay in bed; hopefully getting some extra rest beforehand will help me re-adjust.

Driving our country roads I've spotted a sure sign of spring. Colt's Foot flowers are on several banks around our area. They look like dandelions only smaller. Have you seen any wildflowers? My mom mentioned she saw snowbells. Soon the kids and I will venture into the woods. Who knows, maybe we'll have some trillium in our own backyard forest? What signs of spring awakening have you seen?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lily of the Valley

Flowers are such a beautiful manifestation of God's creativity, aren't they? I have some favorites: from the humble sunflower to the fragrant rose, from the sweet zinnias to the delicate lily of the valley. Sidenote - I have all of these seeds/plants on order!

The lily of the valley always makes me think of Mina (her real name was Alice, but we called her Mina). She was my mom's mother. Alongside her brick house, she had this flower bed. It only contained two types of plants that I can remember. Lily of the valley and mint were grown there. The mint was dried and used in cups of hot tea; she would give us a supply in glass mason jars. The lily of the valley was just for decoration, and oh how I loved (and still love) to use one finger to gently examine the tiny bells of pure whiteness.

My plants should come in a few weeks. I believe we are in zone 5 for gardens (it might be 6, don't hold me to that). Lily of the valley do well in shade, so they will be perfect in our backyard. I hope to put them around the patio or maybe even at the edge of the woods.

Lily of the valley reminds me of my grandmother. Stepping right out of her kitchen, always bustling with some cooking or canning or socializing I would turn the corner and see her little bed of fragrant and lovely lily of the valley. I can't wait to grow some at our place!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

List of Utterly Random Things

*The kids and I enjoy watching a baby squirrel hang out under our bird feeder.

*A ham bone has been boiled down, fat skimmed, cabbage and onion added, ready to simmer for dinner tonight.

*I'm looking forward to spring, but I know I'll miss a fire in the fireplace soon!

*Both kids are down for a "nap", and both kids are currently singing (so cute).

*The icicles are dripping and melting.

*I think it's hilarious that Big Fish doesn't think we have a big enough crockpot for church dinners. Sitting on our porch right now is a delivery of the biggest cooker I have ever seen. Where in the world do I store this? It's still on the porch....

*Knitting a sock brings me great joy.

*Yesterday, the kids and I "talked" (using skype) to my brother living in Africa! It doesn't feel like he's that far away. Brookie demonstrated her ability to imitate a dead bug to him - we couldn't stop laughing. She lays on the floor and sticks her legs straight up in the air.

*My dog (all of 6 pounds) has claimed the back of the sofa as his bed.

The end.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Meeting a Goal Using Bread

When we first moved in, one of my goals was to meet our neighbors. What better way to do this than to bring along a tin of cookies? Some fun things were discovered those wintry evenings: the neighbors below us were the "originals" (they've been here the longest and even owned the campground on our road at one point); the neighbors two doors down are the "originals'" son and daughter-in-law; and the neighbors above us are new to the neighborhood too. I'm hoping that warmer weather will give us more of an opportunity to see the people around us.

The neighbors right below us (the "originals") are an elderly couple; she is almost blind, and he takes such good care of her and their property. He is ALWAYS out shoveling his driveway before I get to ours! She takes the time to call about once a week - just to check on us. I've taken the kids in to meet them as well. She has lamented the fact that people are just "too busy" anymore to take the time to visit and help each other.

This "too busy" fact has long been something I've thought about. My goal (and I know a lot of you share this goal) is to move past the busy-ness of my life and really spend time meeting and learning more about other people. One book that has really helped me do this is "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day"! It has wonderful recipes, and one of its big concepts is to allow the refigerator to do most of the work. I have just found out this morning that there is a sequel - "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day".

These little loaves of bread are great for meals but also for sending along with friends and.....neighbors! I have a bucket of this dough going almost every week, and it's a continuing goal to bake it for other people. I want to move past the busy, everyday things that get in the way. Today, my house may not be clean (well, okay, maybe I'll do the bathroom); but lunchtime guests are invited!

Here's to good bread!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gardening Update - March is Here!

A few small packages have been arriving at our house containing tiny promises of Spring. My seed packets are here! Sidenote: "Things I Love in February" blog posts are so last month, but I do so enjoy how Brookie refers to our home as "our new house". She'll say things like: "When is Omma coming to our new house?" and "I'll take a nap in our new house!" and "Does God live at our new house or only at church?" Since we moved here in November, I feel we are settling in quite nicely, but I wonder how long she'll keep up her name.

My pots for my herb garden are set out, but I need a little more dirt before I can plant the seeds. During the move, a couple of my pots were broken. I've saved the shards to place in the bottom of my other pots; this really helps with drainage.

I have a few vegetable seeds to use in our small garden this year, and I think I'll purchase tomato plants and pepper plants locally. Big Fish and I are discussing what kinds of fruit bearing bushes we would love - red rasberries are at the top of my list; and he loves blueberries. I have two of those strawberry growing pots (the tall pots with several side pocket holes), so we might be able to have those growing on the deck.

I'll leave you with a tip: recycle your newspapers into plant pots! Start your seeds in little newspaper containers, and you can set them directly in the soil. Here's a mold I found to help make them.

How are your garden preparations coming along? Happy March to you!