Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Spring! Sun! Flowers!!

Oh, what a very nice spring it has been in these parts!  There's been plenty of rain, to be sure, but there have also been some very presentable patches of sun and warmth interspersed.  There have been no killing frosts (yet, crossing fingers) and the plants are happy -- with some exceptions.  Something is terribly wrong with my Oridono Nishiki japanese maple, and barring a miracle I think it is doomed.  Every leaf on it abruptly started withering about a week ago, for no reason.  I'm crushed; this tree was beloved to me and it had been growing so well, for three years!  *sob*

The good thing about gardening, though, is that one can always plant again.  I'm already starting to consider what ornamental tree we ought to put in its place, because we won't be using a maple this time.  And there are plenty of other flowering plants in my gardens right now to make me smile.  Behold:

 This is the first year the large columbines I planted have properly flowered.  Hot diggity.

 Classic coral bells & assorted foliage

                                         Large columbine #2, hot diggity dog.

 This right here is why I love pansies:  all these are spontaneous cross-bred plants self-sown from a handful of pansies I planted years ago.  New colors crop up every year.  Alas, they are under the sick tree, so my pansy patch may be uprooted along with the tree.  *double sob* 

 Moving on!  This crazy cool flower is some species of columbine that volunteered in one of my flowerbeds.  I've never seen anything like it.  Mom?  Anyone?

 Pansies rock my world.  Look at their dear little faces.

 This gorgeous azalea may not be with us much longer either:  it has been smitten with Azalea Lace Bugs, a pest that was unknown in our area until pretty much last year. Aaaargh. 

Now there's something that cheers me up every time.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring in the garden

We did a bit of bulb-planting last fall, and here are the results:

 Wee little daffodils by "The Dostal River", aka, our drainage ditch.

 Forget raindrops on roses, I like raindrops on daffodils.

 Phase 1 of the Mary Garden.

Of snow, siblings and Solomon

At this rate, I'll be doing quarterly picture dumps... As always, I've had several blog posts in mind, but my usual inability to sit down at the desktop has hindered my post production.  I can't work with pictures from the camera or type meaningfully while on the iPad or my iPhone.  This post is brought to you by Daddy convincing Samuel to take a nap with him, thereby leaving me with only one child to wrangle for an hour or so.

 Astro boy?

 Whoa! What's up with the freaky white stuff?!?

 When people see Samuel and Solomon together, they remark on the family resemblance.

 But I say these two are the ones who look most alike.

 Apparently we broke the mold after Eve.

 Eve's 8th birthday decorations.

 Isaiah, opening his St. Michael the Archangel action figure from Uncle Daniel.

This warning was on the back of the St. Michael toy packaging.  If nothing strikes you as odd, read it again, slowly.  I swear, I don't go looking for typos, they find ME. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Christmas 2013

These kinds of posts are largely for my own archival purposes, but bear with me and I'll reward you with something special at the end. 

An Advent train wreck on my counter: cookie plates, cranberry-and-candle centerpiece, kids' advent manger/sacrifice counter, and the 3-D stained glass window Advent calendar. And a bunch of random art stuff in the background.

 We did a Jesse Tree for the first time this year!  I participated in a Jesse Tree ornament exchange, which resulted in a wide variety of ornament styles.  I love variety, so it works for me.

 A little under-lit and blurry, but this was the best Christmas Eve photo we got.

 Isaiah, barely restraining himself.

 ... what is this, some kind of Bumbo Christmas jig? 

 My gang

 Demolition time for the gingerbread house.

 I wanted a picture of our house at night, and this was the best I could get (the flash lit up the fog).

And now for the reward:

I give you: a young Hercule Poirot! 
 ...Or just Solomon, sporting the Mustachifier his wiseacre uncle gave him.

The Fall that was Winter

We had some unusually wintry weather in November this year -- for about a week the lows were in the teens and the highs in the mid-twenties.  I'm sure this is boring for anyone who lives in a place that gets real winter weather, but here in the maritime Pacific Northwest such temperatures are not the norm, and certainly not in November.  I got all excited and took pictures to document the cold.

 Hm.  I guess we should have winterized the fountain in the pond before now.

 Heavy frost on an ornamental cabbage.

Aaaaand what the heck, here's a cute Solomon picture.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cider pressing and Halloween, 2013

A few miles to the north and down an incredibly scenic drive lies a water-wheel driven grist mill which has been lovingly maintained by a team of local volunteers.  Every year on the last Saturday in October they hold a cider pressing.  The kids and I think that real, fresh, unpasteurized apple cider is pretty much the nectar of the gods, so we queued up and got our allotted two half-gallons.

Then it was time for Halloween.

 Left to right:  Isaiah (cheetah); Eve (peacock); Samuel (tiger)

 I "made" Eve's costume this year, which is to say, I bought clothes in  the right colors and went a little nuts with feathers and a hot glue gun.

 That is one hot little pepper!

Fall photo round-up

Whee, it's another picture dump!  No unifying theme here, just some pictures of our life.

 Eve and Solomon

 Solomon (to differentiate him from the incredibly similar baby pictures I have of his older brothers)

 Samuel, needing a little help from Daddy to go to sleep.

 No comment.

 Adventures in self-photography


Samuel with a coonskin cap.  And blue eyes.