Gardening

The Eternal Optimism of Spring

Azalea-bud-header

Spring! Despite the fact that I live in a climate that really has only two discernible seasons, I love Spring! My love overcomes the adversity of the blizzard of pollen that coats every surface including your teeth if you open your mouth at the wrong time. How can you not love the blooms of spring?

Iris-front-pollen

Spring is that golden time in the garden where nothing has really gone wrong yet. You labor, and your labor is rewarded by restored order and new life.

Flowering-bush-front

I am committed-I repeat-committed (!) that this will not be a repeat of last year (or what I like to call “The Year of the Fungus”).

Kentucky-Pole-Bean

We shall overcome! We shall overcome the beetles, slugs, black spot, powdery mildew, blight, fire ants, birds, squirrels, moles, and dogs! We shall overcome and we won’t spend a thousand dollars doing it. We will be thrifty and the garden will be lush and organic.

potatoes-flower

And after we accomplish these things, we’ll actually go outside and enjoy it …instead of retreating to the realm of air conditioning and tv.

Ahhh, the eternal optimism of Spring… ūüėČ

Chicken Mission · Gardening · General

Stuff and Nonsense…

Jen-and-MinThese two make me want to start singing “Sisters” from White Christmas….I’m going to do it, “Sisters! Sisters! ¬†There were never such devoted sisters….” ¬†Minerva on the left is¬†definitely¬†Rosemary Clooney. ¬†I love the was she’s staring down her schnoz at Vera Allen, I mean Jennie Weasley.

Buff-and-CatThese two just want some more grass clippings. ¬†You’ll note Buffy has saved a tiny piece for later.

Ash-climbing-TreeA tree blew down during a storm last week.  It was dead and we were actually pricing having it taken down when thunder storms eliminated the issue for us.  Blessedly, the storm was traveling in a rare southerly direction, thereby preserving the fence you see behind it.

Kids-on-TreeThat’s not the only miracle either-you’ll note that not one, but two of my children are playing outside. ¬†Playing! Outside!

Ashton-Garterstitch-scarfI tried to coax this one to model my Keyhole scarf-he was not pleased. ¬†Looking back with the clarity of hindsight, I’ve had better ideas.

Flowering-weedYou see that? ¬†That’s a weed. ¬†The picture is pretty, but the weed is not. ¬†It has stickers in addition to the little flowers and it is vining through my dwarf azaleas in a way that is not ok. ¬†Weeds, we have lots of them…

Budding-Live-OakWe also have lots of these. ¬†At the moment this picture was taken, this sweet little Live Oak Seed pod was still attached. ¬†I don’t think any of them are attached anymore and they’re covering every square inch of the place with their polleny presence. ¬†I don’t think “polleny” is a word, but I’m going to pretend it is.

And just when you think you can’t stand the pollen any more-not even one more minute…

Purple-Iris-BudYou remember…that pollen, it has a purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

General

Vacationing

We went on vacation, and we all fell in love. ¬†The plan was to keep close to home, while exploring somewhere we’d never been. ¬†So we headed to Arkansas. ¬†I was hopeful, but I kept my expectations in check. ¬†I hoped we’d have a good time. ¬†I hoped the kids weren’t bored. I hoped it would be nice enough that we’d be comfortable. ¬†I hope to find it “ok”. ¬†Well folks, it was more than “ok”. ¬†It was fantastic!

Petit Jean State Park is a jewel in the Arkansas Park system.  The first state park in Arkansas, many of the buildings at the park are stone structures built by the depression era Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration. This includes Mather Lodge where we stayed.  Entering the breezeway of Mather Lodge is like stepping through a frame into a picture.

The hiking was amazing. ¬†Some hikes were easy. ¬†Some hikes were challenging. ¬†All of them were beautiful. It’s so wonderful to see your kids outdoors! ¬†Scrambling across rocks and running toward their next adventure.

We hiked down to the base of Cedar Falls. Unfortunately, the state is in the middle of a brutal drought, and the water was only a trickle as it reached the edge. If you look very closely, you can see it.

The kids were undaunted and declared the water cold and wonderful. ¬†We’ve vowed to return when we can see the falls in full glory.

We explored and went swimming and feasted on hamburgers with an appalling frequency.

It was exactly what a vacation should be.

We bickered and laughed and argued and teased and told each other “I love you” at least one hundred times each.

Memories are made of this.