Taming Things

Small Things-0494Small Things-0512The truth is that I am not very good at taming anything.  Well, I’ve tamed my fair share of feral kittens over the years, but that’s kind of the best I’ve got.  Beatrix will be officially 6 1/2 years old tomorrow (she’s counting), and she colored her entire body green with sidewalk chalk last week.  Wild Child.

(This strawberry ice cream recipe.  The reviews are good, but I didn’t love it.)

(Wooden figures from Sue Dow of In the Loft.  She created one of Larkspur in her FHC dress!)

(Accidental mullet.)

In the garden this week I have done quite a bit of taming, as I planned.  Cover crops were almost all cut down, and some proper vegetable seeds were planted.  Cucumbers, more lettuce (My first didn’t come up.  I’ve never had that happen before with lettuce!), okra, and maybe some other things too that I’m not remembering.  This year I’m not writing things down.  I left my flowers.  I do keep one bed just for herbs and flowers, and the truth is that I’d rather only grow herbs and flowers.  An entire garden of them.  Well, and strawberries.  Herbs, flowers, and strawberries.  I also opened up my beehives all by myself (without Jonny), poked around, and threw on a couple of supers, which is kind of a big step for me.  It has really been a good week.  My favorite kind: full of hope, possibilities, and hard work.

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And just look at what the goats have done!  They are clearing this stretch of easement bit by bit and then Jonny is going behind them with a plow.  There is so much multiflora rose and it’s crazy to me what the goats do to it.  They do leave the spiny stems, but the tractor takes care of those.  I am planning to turn this into a big garden plot for all the peas and sprawling things that I just don’t have room for in my raised bed garden.  I suspect it will be kind of a big mess by the end of the summer, but I plan to start strong.

p.s.  Just in case you are looking to tame your own children or maybe just your chore system, my sister is making some pretty nice wooden chore charts.  She recently set up a little Etsy shop, at the encouragement of friends and family.  You can read all about her system on any of the individual listings.  She’s been using these for over a year with her boys, so clearly it is working for her!

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Springtime Things

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(I haven’t written one of my random, all over the place posts in a long time, so I think that is exactly what I’m going to do today.)

-First, before I forget.  I keep meaning to mention that I am attending the Edel Gathering this year with a friend.  This is sort of an outside my comfort zone thing to do because I’m mostly an introvert and don’t really do parties unless I know everyone there.  Despite my introverted nature, I do have decent social skills (though I have a tendency to laugh a little too loudly sometimes), and I think I can manage to have a good time and not do anything weird like hiding in the corner with my knitting, or dressing in all black and pretending to be the event photographer.  Okay, actually no promises on not having my knitting and my camera, but I probably won’t dress in all black.  Are any of you going?  I’m really looking forward to it!

-Job and that Sharpie mustache!  Evidently he sat very still and cooperated while Keats drew it.  My first reaction was an overly dramatic, “Why!?”  I shared the photos last week on Instagram, but they need a home here as well.  A friend recommended coconut oil for removal of the permanent marker, and that mostly did the trick.

-Did you notice that the snake warning system is in effect at the beginning of this post?  Beatrix and her friend Nora insisted on having their photo taken with a corn snake at our local Earth Day festival last weekend.  I spared you all the one of Bea kissing the snake.

-I’m also sparing you from an entire post devoted to violets.  Our property is covered with them and they are blooming like crazy right now.  I love them.

-Yesterday I put in a long day in the garden.  My garden plans are finally coming together and I am wondering whether or not I might actually stay on top of things this year.  (There’s a first time for everything!)  Jonny built one of the gate arbors that he has been meaning to for a couple years now, and is promising to get the second one built soon.  (His collarbone is much better!)  We’ve already planted kiwi vines next to both.  I hope they survive.

-My kids have been playing an awful lot of Bird Bingo lately.  In fact, they’ve spent a lot of time playing every since they got it for Christmas.  I love games with staying power, an educational aspect, and the ability to be enjoyed by a wide range of ages.  Everyone but Job can play.  I just noticed that there is a Bug Bingo game as well!  Next Christmas…

-Finally, are any of you watching season four of Call the Midwife?  Jonny and I watch it on the PBS website.  We only watch a handful of shows throughout the year, and this really is the best one.  A friend told me once that she couldn’t knit while watching because her stitches would end up being too tight!  I find that for me, watching it while pregnant isn’t a good idea, but when I’m not, it pairs perfectly with knitting.  And salted caramel ice cream (Turkey Hill All Natural, in case you want some).  Though not anymore.  I’m giving it up.  Funny thing, it was my midwife who got me hooked on it to begin with….