Saturday, June 25, 2011

"I'm not sleeping...I'm just taking a little break."

Today was an absolutely GORGEOUS day in Oregon. The kind that make people from all over the world fall in love with our beautiful state. I spent the day nesting around the house...airing out bedrooms, striping beds, doing laundry, running errands. All very relaxed and randomly while enjoying the summer breeze gently move through our home...listening to the birds sings and call back-n-forth...our children play and laugh.

On one of my many trips outside to the garbage can and our outside recycling center, I stopped and pulled a few weeds, filled bird feeders and basically milled through my gardens. As I was walking past some volunteer foxgloves, I noticed there was a little someone in one of the flowers.

My winged little Rip Van Winkle
Now these volunteer foxgloves stand over six feet tall (YES, seriously, they're over 6 FEET tall), so I didn't have any trouble finding this little pint-sized Rip Van Winkle. I thought it was quite a good spot he selected...if fact if I was tiny like he, I would probably hide away myself of sunny lazy afternoons and catch a few winks too! I don't blame him (her?) wanting to take a siesta...I have a lot of flowers in my yard and there's a lot of nectar and pollen to be gathered, carried and dusted along the way.

All 3 different kinds each have a wonderful fragrance!
Another fabulous reason I love my gardens are the different rose bushes I've added over the years. These are various rose bushes that I've purchased, not because I was looking for any particular type, but just because they spoke to me. I am thoroughly enjoying the heady sent of these beauties!

I have a lovely bouquet sitting on our dinner table, and have taken a couple into work for my desk. While I love their fragrance, for tonight's dinner, I will move them from the table as I suspect their perfume won't go well with pasta a fagioli!

Monday, June 13, 2011

They're Here...They're Here...They're Finally Here!

I've been waiting with great enthusiasm for my package to arrive. Everyday I've been checking the front porch and the mailbox... waiting... waiting... waiting! (Who would have thought 7-10 working days would take so FLIPPIN' Long!?) And today was FINALLY the day! I was so excited when I walked in the door and Husband asked, "who got all this bulk mail?"

I love opening up packages, don't you? Especially when you know that something you've ordered is IN THE PACKAGE! I found myself so anticipating opening up the packages, that when My #3 asked if she could open one, I automatically said "no, these are mine" without even thinking. Does this make me a "less-than-ideal" mommy? Well if it does, I guess I'll have to learn to live with the guilt.

My newest additions to my gardening library.
I just LOVE used books!
So I opened them up and laid all my new treasures out on the table...

Oh, there is nothing like the smell of a book... the potential of what is to be discovered... the anticipation of what knowledge is just laying in wait, waiting to be claimed, learned and shared.
I'm so excited about the new information I'm going to learn. =0)

Gotta go now... dinner's done, dishes can wait until tomorrow morning (I promise I'll get up early and do them before heading out for school drop-off and work). Besides, there's a cup of tea calling my name!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I See the Light at the End of the Tunnel!

Today, just like last weekend, I worked outside attempting to reclaim our yard from the overgrowth of weeds and other invasive growing things (read "nasty blackberry vines!"). Last year was such a wet and cool summer that I completely ignored our side yard. We were so busy with sports and work, that I pretty much ignored the rest of our yard too. Had it not been for Hubby mowing the lawns, and the children pulling just-enough-weeds, I think the weeds would have swallowed the house!

Oh where, oh where are
my raised flower beds?
The last part that I needed to reclaim was our side garden area. Our children have always referred to this area as the "Secret Garden" and has been home to some wonderful, imagine-filled times outside as they played together. So I pulled all my garden tools and gloves and got to work. Some of these weeds were over 5' tall...must be all that Oregon rain!

When I finally got out to this side of the yard, it was already 76 degrees outside - which is sweltering when you consider we haven't yet hit over 70 degrees and it's already June!

But it was beautiful...the sky was a gorgeous blue, there was a nice breeze and I had my hands in the dirt. One benefit I did find in ignoring your side garden for two years is that all the extra plant material and potting soil I'd thrown (read "added") to the raised beds, composted really nicely. 

Nature's health meter!
I was completely tickled every time I pulled up some weeds to find these beautiful wigglers everywhere. And some of them were quite large!

It confirmed that my adamant stance on NOT using herbicides (or pesticides against the spiders) has paid off. The quality of the soil in my beds is far better than anything I could purchase. 

It also explains why this seems to be a banner year for nests. All of a sudden our yard is "the" place to raise a family. It's quite entertaining to see how the different finch, hummingbirds, robins and the other birds carve out which tree is theirs and where they go digging for bugs and worms.

Who says you need a
trampoline to have fun?
So after working for 5 hours, I realized I'd filled not just our yard debris but our neighbors too (thank you Yia-Yia!)! But alas, I found a tool to get the last of our weeds into the bins. This is what I call the "#3-blond-smasher!"

With 60 lbs of jumping energy, my #3 managed to compact the debris enough for me to get the remaining piles in - YEAH! 

So now my yards back under control, and I can begin to focus on building raised beds, getting my greenhouse and organizing my vegetable garden. If I persevere I may still make this growing season (read "if my back and legs hold out").

Volunteer Lavender - the visiting
bees LOVE it!
I do have to admit, there is something about physically working hard, feeling tired at the end of the day, and stepping back and seeing what you've accom-plished. Here's hoping my back holds out!