Monday, May 30, 2011

where to spend a hot day a cave, of course! We took a road trip out to Luray Caverns, in VA, today. Gorgeous drive over the blue-ridge mountains. Neither kid remembered seeing mountains before, so even though these are little ones, they thought it was great. And it was so refreshing to go from the 100 degree parking lot down into the 60-something cave. Not to mention the amazing beauty...To think God created such wonders under the ground, knowing that we humans would one day discover them. I marvel to imagine how those first explorers in the 1800's must have felt, with their lanterns as their only light, and no paved walkways to guide them! I took well over 100 photos (God bless digital photography!); here are some of my favorites:

The under-ground lake reflects the ceiling

Ripples in the rock created by water depositing minerals

 And then to finish the day with that iconic summer treat: an orange push-up pop! I felt like I was 12 again as I enjoyed mine along with the kids:

A great start to the Summer!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The creative juices are flowing, however sometimes life intervenes in the creative process.  This week I felt compelled to work on cleaning up my crafting area which had gotten cluttered enough to not have any actual "workspace" available on my table, and then to work through the mending pile (one dress, a shirt, shorts, and my waterskiing gloves). I've also started sorting through my (mostly neglected) scrapbooking supplies, to try to thin that area out a bit.  That done, I am now ready to resume some creative work.

The first project is going to be a picnic blanket for our many trips to the park this summer. Now that the kids are 3 and almost 6, I don't have to follow their every step any longer, and can sit and watch (perhaps knitting?). It's in the planning stages, but I'm feeling inspired!

In the meantime, here's some photos of the kids enjoying this hot weather!

garden journal 5.25.11

Just some updates to the garden. Everything is growing! After a few weeks of cool, rainy weather, we have switched to full-on feels like August today, over 90 and humid. The tomatoes (and all the plants, really) love it.

And here are a couple photos of my beautiful roses, just because:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

create:: farmer's market bag

Here's the market bag I've been mentioning, finished at long last. The pattern is called "Mineco" and I've added my Ravelry notes.  It is a bit longer and narrower that expected but quite functional and stretchy.  I took it out for a couple hours of yard sales and the farmer's market yesterday.

My loot:  8 books, including The Daring book for Girls (we have the boy's one already), a hardback Pollyanna, 3 Magic Tree House books, a Ramona book, a book on Trains, and one of my favorite childhood books, Mrs. Pigglewiggle by Betty MacDonald.  Also, a puzzle for the girlie, a monster-truck Matchbox-style car for the boy, and a pair of shorts. Total: $6.

From the market, a quart of sweet strawberries and a bunch of pea pods, to be shelled and cooked with tonight's dinner. Total: also $6.

I'll take the kiddo's to the market next time; this week was just for me (taking them to yard sales ends up with a lot more "stuff" being bought!). A mommy's morning out...good and cheap entertainment.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

in the past week...

...our computer seems to be dying a slow and painful death, limiting the time I am on it! Fear for a new one is on the schedule! At any rate, I'm still here, all is well, and here is a glimpse of what I/We've been up to:

::a trip to the local park which has a working farm, to see all the baby animals, commune with the chickens, and enjoy a picnic at the playground

 ::planting all my annual flowers with the help of my girl (in her fashion forward stripes and plaid)
 ::making two new dinner recipes which were both a success! This vegetable fried rice (below) and a chicken and wild rice casserole with craisins and mushrooms. The kids both loved the fried rice, and the little guy loved the rice casserole too.
::learning to crochet enough to work on the strap for my knit market bag I'm almost finished making.
As well as watching the vegetable plants growing, and all the normal chores and fun of daily life around here. Hope you're having a good week too!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

garden journal 5.11.11

Everything's growing! Just some update photos. I've decided to do some Miracle Gro 10-10-10 Plant food, since some things (carrots and lettuce especially) seems very slow growing. Since this is the first year of the garden, I have no idea what my nutrient levels in the soil are, so a little help seemed in order. Now, how to keep the squirrel from munching on my strawberries???

Monday, May 9, 2011

back in the swing of things

The past two weeks have been a crazy blur of extra days at work followed by 4 days away at a conference, returning just in time for Mother's day with my kids.  I got some knitting done at the conference ( a cute yellow market bag, pics coming soon) but I also had to rip out about 5 or 6 hours of work on the button bands on the sweater I've been making for me.  The sweater is already over a year in the making (cast on April 2010) so I guess a week or two more won't make a difference in the long run--except that I will be happier if the button bands don't flare out due to too many stitches picked up! 

I spent Mother's Day in the bliss of family love and one giant chocolate chip cookie iced with " I (heart) U Mommy!"  I got to put my feet up and read, and watch the kids run around and play in the yard.  And to eat Chinese food for dinner and not count how many fried cheese wontons I ate (yum).

So now it's back to "real life"...normal routines, back to the gym, time to play with the kiddos and catch up around the house.  Time to make creating a part of the daily routine again. Time to finally try some of the new recipes I've been collecting and can't wait to make. 

Everyday life really is quite wonderful, you know.  I'm glad to be back.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

garden journal 5.1.11

First harvests! Here are my "micro greens" from a few days ago--I felt very chic serving them up like a fancy restaurant might, however the reality is they are the fruit of my thinning out the rows of lettuce.  Ha! Yummy and fresh tasting though, with just a little balsalmic vinegar on them (the kids just ate them plain).

And we have started to have a few ripe strawberries. It's so hard to pinch off those unripened buds like I know I really should with new plants, so I pinch some, and let some mature, so we can enjoy the sweet results. Oh! How sweet these berries are. I am spoiled for life, I am afraid. Grocery store berries will never be the same to me. Yum.
Today we planted the rest of the garden.  The girlie helped with digging and with poking seeds into little holes. Fun! As before, the seeds are all from Botanical Interests, and the plants are Chef Jeff's, from my local garden center.

5.1.11 Third planting
Tomato seedlings-  3 'Roma Plum', and 2 'Super Sweet 100' (cherry tomato) plants.
Basil- Italian Large Leaf, one 3' row.
Squash, Summer- Black Beauty Zucchini, 6 seeds in one hill.
Beans- Pole, Blue Lake, two 2' rows.

Now we just need some sunshine, some rain, and time! I'll try to get a photo of the whole garden soon. Today was too drizzly and grey to have photos do the garden any justice.