Tuesday, July 30, 2013

garden notes

I have the garden that never really got started, so I move forward and keep planting. It has been so wet that the tomatoes are splitting and rotting, but we have lots of cherry tomatoes. Ruby rearranged all the labels on my little plants in the spring, so I have to guess at what is what. I do love Garden Peach, and the little tart stripey green ones. I'm going to save the seeds for the first time this year.

My spring kale is going on and on. I'm still cutting it to make that incredible salad---kale, one avocado, juice of one lime, and sea salt. Put it all in a bowl and squeeze until the avocado coats all the leaves. Throw anything that thrills you on top. Sliced tomatoes, toasted pumpkin seeds, or some chilled sesame broccoli. Put some brown rice under it and that is dinner.

We have little watermelons growing, and the moonflower vines have reached the top of the fence. I have a few kinds of hot peppers, and a bumper crop of sunflowers.

summer {fleeting}

We've entered a countdown of sorts. Three weeks until school starts. Yesterday burst out clear and blue, and I took the two littlest to the lake for the day. The big girl is in her one camp of the summer. She is so thrilled because she got assigned an ipad for the week. It is a "maker" camp at the university center for creative technology, so she will be designing and building a musical instrument.

Today I need to wrap up the fall co-op schedule for my children's school and schedule the training sessions. While I don't want summer to go, I'm pretty excited about days in which all three of my kids go to school for the whole day. No, it isn't bittersweet for Ruby to go to Kindergarten. It is perfect. In fact, I'm chomping at the bit a little.

We need to fit in some camping between rainstorms in the next few weeks, have another swimming day and finish our math packets. We are thinking about camping at Natural Tunnel State Park.  With these delicious nights in the fifties I've been thinking about fall. I slept in a flannel shirt last night and opened the windows wide. Even on the cusp of August I see the fall.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


The children and I went home for the funeral of an old family friend. The littles are very lucky in that this was the first funeral the older two had ever been to. Ruby proudly explained that she had been to Nancy Hadden's mother's "singing funeral". The older two knew that Nena was in the little box up front, but Ruby had no idea. I asked her if she knew what dying was. At first she said yes and then no, and then we compared it to butterflies and got lost in metamorphosis and egg laying and wanted to know where Nena left her eggs. Then we ate devilled eggs and played handbells.

Ella and I ran to Ellwood Thompson in Richmond looking for the elusive Kim Kim Sauce, a locally made Korean hot sauce. Back when I lived in the neighborhood the store was small and a little musty. Now, it is bright and big smells like incense and fruit and vegan chicken. There is a beautiful cafĂ© in the back with a Whole Foods style salad bar, hot food bar, and even a living raw food bar. They have Kombucha and Cider in kegs with big displays of mason jars for taking it home. Apparently that day they had more than 700 local items for sale. Then we ran in to Penzeys for Za'atar and Vietnamese Cinnamon and headed back to my mother's house.

We got married right there in front of that bench in the picture. Life in fast forward.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

sorting the world

Ruby and John went to math camp last week. It might not sound too exciting, but it was. John was a little disappointed that there weren't any math worksheets, but he  doesn't even realize how much he learned. He especially loved spending the week with two good friends. Ruby, on the other hand, is very excited about numbers and has  learned to write the numbers from one to ten. She is pretty adept at adding and subtracting onions and apples.. On the first night of camp she was counting all the tiles on the bathroom floor exclaiming, "Math is everywhere. Look at it". Tonight she was telling me all about money and how it is either "minted" or "printed".

She did lots of math games and did a sorting chart with tally marks. She recreated the project on the porch at home with mason jars of flowers, a pile of rocks, and some other things she found around the yard. I asked her what she was doing, and she said, "I am sorting the world into what it is".

I think we should all spend a little more time sorting the world into what it is. And then realize that all our piles are different. Do what you can with your piles, and don't criticize other people's piles. Walk a mile in someone else's piles.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

at home

Have you heard that weeding is the new yoga?

 The Parisian Cucumbers are about to climb their willow trellis, and I think we are about to have our first tomatoes. I have seen a jalapeno, and the children have been loving fresh dill on potatoes.

The moonflowers and hyacinth beans are about to climb the fence, and I'm planting more sunflowers and zinnias. The arugula is coming out and more lettuce is being planted.

John, Michael, and Milko cut up most of the dead tree , and last years woodpile has been neatly stacked and added to. Blackberries are almost ready to be picked, and we'll fit in a trip to the berry farm this week for blueberries.

I think the littles will love these homemade hot dog buns.

Pretty soon I'm going to have to drive to Richmond for some KimKim Sauce.

Monday, July 01, 2013


We are turning our focus west of the back door these days.