Sunday, August 14, 2016

during the warm weather












It is almost as though the apprehension of the heat has fired up something within me. Dragging my children all over, we won't waste a summer day!  I finally realized two days ago that it was very hot.  I kind of forgot to complain about the heat, but I think there is still time as it's only mid-August.
We went into the city on the train.  It has been a very long time since we walked around nyc.  Our three youngest had never been, I think they were shocked at the amount of people there and truthfully so was I.  So many crowds, so many smells (bad lol) and our youngest came so close to stepping in a giant poo on the sidewalk.  Oye.  I was watching him in slow motion and did a running grab to sweep him off his feet.  Three cheers for mom!  It was all a little overwhelming, I have streamlined my family life so much, it is efficient and organized and chop chop we get where we need to go.  The city was too chaotic, I felt tired of it.  So yes, I guess I will toss my dreams of being a stock broker or a dancer in the NY Ballet. Kind of like the board game Life...I will retire to the country now, plz.
I guess I am trying to procrastinate my children going back to school, the school routines make me a crazy mess. I like having them here {usually}.  It's like we just got a good thing going at home...why do we have to mess it up with school?  Oh, bother.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

ye olde stuff





It is enough for me to collect things and later resell them, just having them pass through my hands for a bit.  Less often lately do I feel the need to own something.  I do enjoy repurposing an item or cleaning it up and making it worthy of ownership again.  It's funny to me as I overhear my kids claiming items as their own, it is so important to them and I know I was the same way growing up in a large family.  I guess we are lucky as rarely do we have to live without, maybe if used books and household items weren't so readily available we would all cling to the stuff we have.   As a hobby business we have several auctions a year, we will occasionally buy out an estate.  I think this is what is helping me realize stuff is just stuff.  One can look at it, buy it, and own it...but it becomes a problem when the stuff owns you.  Use your fine china!  Use your linens! Use your things!  What if you grew blue ribbon vegetables in the garden but didn't eat them because they were too pretty?
Just a few thoughts on Thursday :)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

inside the garden fence



The garden is growing at a steady pace.  Though it has been a dry summer the constant watering (ackkk the watering) and the humidity have created some sizable plants.  We are about to bust open with tomatoes as the plants are heavy with fruit but are taking painstaking time to turn red. It's a slow crawl to harvest then boom it happens and then summer quickly winds down.  I'm trying to be careful what I wish for as I am enjoying these summer days and am in no hurry for a change.



This year we tried potato boxes, as the plants grow in height, wood and soil are added.  Little did I know the plants would grow so fast, I am behind the adding wood and soil part.  After 50-60 days of growth the bottom boards are removed and potatoes are dug out.  As time passes more boards are removed and more potatoes dug out. I'm still not sure about this system but if it is successful I'll probably talk about it again in the future.  We have a short growing season this far north, I imagine this system would be great a couple zones to the south.





The zucchini and summer squash are making up for last year when I got two measly zucchinis.  We eat a lot of these and it was painful last year to have to buy them after I had hauled a zillion gallons of water.  Sweet victory this year in the form of zucchini breads and cakes :)




 Sweet corn is hard to grow here, but oh the rewards of a fresh piece of corn!  Though it is definitely easier to get some from the farm stand there are few more satisfying garden fares than picking your own corn and steaming it for dinner.



To save space  we are using a couple large triangular frames.  The lower one for cucumbers to grow atop while beets and radishes grow beneath.  The taller one is for green beans to climb while kale, spinach and swiss chard grow underneath.


Clover and Mabel grew so fast out of their brooder.  I am hoping they think I am their mother,  they are still so fun to hold and cuddle.  Their quacks are still babyish soft squeaks.  Unlike the loud QUACKS their parents do.  Their dad Frank below is so loud and always following me to see what I am doing then has to announce it to the whole neighborhood.  




Outside the garden fence we are having a banner year for wild raspberries.  Every chore outside calls for a break along the property edges eating berries.  


The youngest is officially too big for me to ride my bike with.  I imagine the trips my husband takes with him are numbered as well.  It is so hard to see your baby grow up!




The flower beds are hanging in there.  The japanese beetles have liked my zinnias this year,  and the delphiniums were short lived.  I am hoping for a speedy recovery as I can't imagine August without cutting zinnias for the house.  Fingers crossed...
Thanks for visiting my garden!

Friday, July 15, 2016

steadfast

Occasionally I stumble upon a vignette and my mind takes a photograph.  I want those photos to stay in my heart forever (and a day).  I love it when my kids are being kids, when nature abounds in all its glory, or even when I see the chippy picket fence down the street.  Usually my camera isn't in hand or I hesitate too long to run and grab it, but as hard as it feels sometimes, I am learning to appreciate the moment.  We snap so many photos within our lives, no more precious film to waste to help us determine if the picture is actually worth it.  Everything is a picture now!  When I upload pictures it is hard to even delete the outtakes, sometimes even years later they are greatly appreciated.


I remember seeing this picture and thinking "Oh Henry..."  (That really is a worn out phrase around here.)  I didn't even doubt  that one is one for the cutting room floor.  Luckily I kept it and can hopefully save it for his wedding :)

I print some pictures, but gone are the days when I carefully wrote the location and date on each one and put it in an album.  Now here I am in 2016 with an occasional printed picture and thousands sitting in hard drives, memory cards, back up websites.  But my favorite will always be the pictures in my heart. Hope you are making summer memories today.

Friday, July 1, 2016

In June

















In June we finished school with a cheer and a smile.  We clipped as many peonies as we could and brought them in the house.  Some of us ran races and played in baseball games, and some of us watched.  We all planted things and pulled weeds and hauled watering cans.  We went to book sales and book stores and the library.  We read quietly and we read out loud.  We stacked books on our nightstands, we read at breakfast and sometimes we even offered to share the hammock to read outside.  This is when I realize the stress of the school year has worn off and my kids become carefree friends again.  One of our older hens once again graciously sat on someone else eggs for 28 days, only this time they were from a duck...she doesn't realize they aren't chicks and the ducklings don't realize she isn't a duck.  Four of us went to swim lessons every morning.  Every. Morning.   We went to see big brother working at the golf course and rode golf carts for a couple hours taking in all the views of the mountain.  We went to Vermont to see the biggest sister's house.  This is where the youngest child asked me who is the mother of the oldest child.  I am you silly goose!  We were entertained by the best magic show yet.  We went to parties and ate yummy foods.  We stayed up late to see the full moon and catch fireflies in our pjs.  We had ice cream two days in a row. We woke early and swam in the sea, sigh.  Each day of June we filled with prayers of hope and gratitude.  We  watched the days unfold and then we watched them fade away into the dark of night.




Sunday, June 5, 2016

green and gray and blue









     I love the ocean during the day but I especially love it during the early morning hours when the sun is barely rising and the air is gray and sleepy.  I selfishly feel like it belongs to me during that short window of time--the quiet right before the lobster boats chug out of the harbor and the sea gulls screech to them. Soon after that the world awakens and the quiet disappears with the morning mist. 
*Happy day wishes to you and yours*


Monday, May 23, 2016

every single time

One would think after four+ decades of life the transition of winter to spring would seem a little ordinary and matter of fact.  But no...oh gosh it's amazing!  Every single year things grow and birds sing and it is all so beautiful.  I would never feel this way if it wasn't for The Long Winter (both the actual physical thing and the book...)  The winter is full of its own chore lists and I get so wound into it-- I kind of try not to think about the beach and mowing and gentle, warm breezes. If my mind is clear and focused and I am feeling grateful watching the spring emerge can make me cry.  I live in a place where there are so many trees and hilly, mountainous roads.  Plants pop up everywhere, everything it seems has a flower- even if it's just for a moment. There is green everywhere. Light green, dark green, pine green, yellow-green, emerald, olive, and 100 more.  People announce their appreciation by putting potted pansies out, often just a small pot on the doorstep,  perhaps doing their part in aiding mother nature. Or maybe it is just scratching that itch of planting and waiting for picnics and just being outdoors.  Either way potted pansies are just the thing.

After driving by Orchard House all winter and seeing it so stark against the hillside I often have the urge to wave like its an old friend.  Now it is beaming with lilacs and lily of the valley and so many pansies smiling up.  I had to stop and breathe it in.  Sawyer knows I love this section of road, he knows I love Orchard House.  But I don't think he quite understands why.  And do I?  Neither of us question it.  So sometimes we stop and I take 40 pictures and we get back in the car and go on our way.