what i'm planning.......

we are home this weekend because my husband has a grueling work schedule at the hospital.  i don't mind though - i have a lot planned for this weekend.

~weeding and planting my garden.  i wasn't planning on doing it this year - but then i bought a tomato plant from my son's environmental club at school....and got some squash plants from freecycle...and my mil informed me she has some veggie plants for me.......so really how can i not start my garden this year

~organizing and decluttering.  my house is a mess...and some rooms much more than the others. i'm not going nuts - but i will...no wait i WILL get them done this weekend.  i am picking up a dresser from freecycle (freecycle has been my friend this week) and using it as a school/art supply center in my dining room.  its badly painted in two shades of pink but who cares...its sturdy and should right in with a house full of boys.....

~pond clean up.  i have a tiny whiskey barrel pond that was beautiful the first year...non-existant the second year (i let it run empty during the winter and it lost its water-tightness) but is full of nasty water now and just needs to be cleaned and filled again.

~laundry on the line.  i am actually looking forward to doing laundry and hanging it on the line! i have one of those circular ones and first thing this morning i got it out and set up. 

~hot yoga and spinning.  a yoga/spin studio opened up near me.  while i'm not a stranger to yoga - i have yet to try hot yoga...same with spinning.  so since i'm home - i figure why not! i'm really looking forward to both!

~breaking out the ice cream machine! i am having a picnic on monday and figured homemade ice cream would hit the spot nicely.  trying to choose which flavor to make is the challenge!

what are you planning this weekend?


just some random thoughts

how cute are those two turtles

 recently i discovered candles.  its not like i had never burned a candle before - it appears that i've been burning the wrong KIND of candles....super smelly ones that irritate more than calm me.  beeswax ones are wonderful and got me back on the candle burning bandwagon.  a few weeks ago i bought a candle called beach fire.  it smells exactly like its name. it has become my new favorite.  all i want to do is sit around fires all summer.  i will literally stand over the candle and inhale the smell for what seems like minutes but i am sure are only seconds.

now you see me, now you don't

we have a little creek that runs through our property.  during the really dry periods of the summer it doesnt have a lot of water but there is a pool of water in the middle of it that always holds water.  you would think that this pool of water would attract frogs.  actually - it did...once.  i only remember one time in the 10 years we've lived here that i heard spring peepers.  ONE TIME! i go down often to see signs of frog life...none.  you know where we do find frogs? in our bushes - on our back patio.  last night i spotted 2 of them.  where they go - i don't know because our house isn't that close to the creek.

it ain't easy being green

i'm finding that is hard being environmental when you are really busy.  over the past 18 years we've made some pretty big changes in how we do things - focusing on trying to be more aware of our impact on our earth.  i am really glad we started 18 years ago because many of the things we do are so ingrained in us that we dont have to think twice about doing it  like bags - i have been using my own bags for so long that i just don't forget to bring them into the grocery story or drug store or mall.  i just instinctively grab them when i leave the car. recycling too - i don't even have to think about it - jars get rinsed, boxes broken down, cartons smashed...all without thinking about it.  but lately i find myself - when i am really overwhelmed or busy or in a major rush and i have a nasty jar that needs to be rinsed and recycled - tossing a jar into the trash.  guilt takes over and i end up taking it back out and recycling it - but the fact that i threw it out at all bothers me!  there are quite a few more examples i have.  now, don't get me wrong - i haven't gone back to my old ways - but its just interesting that i found it easier to be green when i was a stay at home mom.  

they call it mellow yellow

i'm really grateful for the relationship i have with my boys.  they don't say they hate me when they are angry at me.  they don't call me names when they get in trouble for something.  now i know that isn't supposed to be the norm - but unfortunately it is very common.  they are  not disrespectful to adults.  they are kind and caring to others.  tonight we decided to get ice cream in lieu of having a proper dinner.  as we sat around the tables at the farm we were laughing and teasing each other. we would sit and soak in the breeze and the smell of cow manure (which i love by the way) and a fire burning somewhere.  it was such a nice time. i told my boys how thankful i am that they never said they hated me or called me names.


just because

it seems i rarely post pics of my oldest son.  its not because i don't want to take pictures of him.  its mostly because he isn't around much when i have my camera in hand.  so one morning i remembered to grab my camera as we were walking to the bus stop...and i managed to take a picture of him.  honestly its rare to catch him standing so still...and so quiet.  he is usually jumping around, shrieking, talking non-stop - extremely hyper.  so it was nice to capture this moment of him being still.


geese........and a bear!

 i recently went on a field trip with my son's class to a local nature center.  the kids participated in a study of a pond and of marshland.  they really enjoyed themselves and i did too! it made me long for the days i taught nature programs at our local watershed conservancy. 

anyway - at the end of the trip the weather turned hot and humid. the kids were complaining of the heat (but honestly i think they were just DONE with the day) and we were trying to get get them through one last activity before we called it a day.  while they tried hard to concentrate on their leader - off to our left we heard quite a commotion in the creek.  these two geese were really enjoying themselves in the water and we couldn't help but watch them a bit.  they reminded us that soon we too would be cooling off in the water.

as for the bear?  no - there the kids did not see a bear at the nature center.  this bear appeared days later.  there he is - our cub scout graduated from the wolves to the bears.


happy birthday to my young knight!

my son wanted a medieval theme. i was happy to oblige. i made tunics out of old sofa and loveseat slip covers.  the shields were cut out of plywood with a wooden knob on the back.  the sword was made of moulding.  each boy got all three items and they loved them!  i whipped up a bunch of medieval banners from scrap fabric i had.  the one above was my favorite.

it was a beautiful morning and all the boys had a blast!! i was incredibly rushed this year and was afraid i wouldn't get everything completed in time - but i did and it was perfect!!


i don't really like it - but it is what it is

i have to admit - i'm still not liking the whole "working full time" thing.  i knew i wasn't going to love it - i mean i was a SAHM for 11+ years - and i knew the time would eventually come when i would go back to work full time - and i was fine with that too.  i mean honestly - with both my kids in school all day - i felt kinda silly being at home.  don't get me wrong - i was working 2 days a week and i volunteered at school a lot the other days...but i did have plenty of time to do things at home - time that i took for granted...and time that i wish i had now.   

most of the time i don't even think about it.  but every once in a while i remember.  when i walk outside and see the weeds growing between the patio pavers - i remember how i could spend a whole day or two - alone - in the sun - pulling them...then stepping back and admiring my hard work.  when i drive by yards full of blooming daffodils and tulips - i remember that i had really wanted to plant bulbs last fall but i didn't plan my time well enough to fit it in to my days.  and today...when i am certain that it will be consistently warm enough to hang out in our sunroom...and move my laptop into that room...and into my corner...and look out my window - i remember that when i have done this every past springtime i am able to glance out the window and right down into my little newly planted garden.  but not this spring.  my table is in the same corner.  my little lit beeswax candle is on the window to my left.  my pretty little ikea hanging light is over the laptop.......but my garden hasn't even been started.

but as with everything else i've learned since last october - i've learned to accept it...it is what it is.  i'm sure there are people out there like me - the ones who don't always know a good thing until its gone...and now that a lot of my free time is gone it helps me appreciate the time i do make for myself all the more.  i'm gonna be honest - my garden was nothing to crow about.  i'd start off strong and by the end of the summer it was a disaster! but still - i loved getting the soil ready - planting the plants - and watching things START to grow.  the upkeep was a major fail for me.  but now- now i want to try again.  i want to make the time because i know how precious the free time i have is and what better way to spend it then alone - and quiet - and working.

so yes - while i don't really like what i've had to give up to date - i do really like why i've had to give up so much of my time.  i enjoy the work i do and the business we've started.  i like noticing the free time i have and deciding what i want to do with it and OWNING the decision i've made. 

i was in the life is good store this morning buying a present for my son's birthday...and as i read all the shirts  i felt very grateful for that time i had taken.  while its true you don't know what you've got until it's gone....it's never too late to find it again.


even though i can't speak bird - i understand what their saying!

"honey, we're having a baby!"

i can't tell one bird song from the next - but over the years i have learned to identify what i call
the house wren's "i'm building my nest" rap

they try every year to build a nest up by our house.  problem is - they pick the worst place possible.  we have a covered side porch where i usually stick a birdhouse for decoration.  because its covered - those are the first windows we tend to open in spring.  a few years ago i started to notice this very distinctive song.  when i'd go to the window to check it out i would notice a wren come flying out of whatever hole it was in.  eventually - like pavlov - i made the connection.

first nest they built was in a wreath hanging on my door.  they mananged to finish the nest - but i assume the daily opening and shutting of the door proved to be not a great place to lay eggs.  so i bought one of those birdhouses you stick to the window with the clear back b/c i wanted to share this process with the boys...who by the way are not as enthusiastic as i am about the nest building.  anyway - i hung it up under our porch and as soon as i'd hear the song - i'd run to the window to watch......and promptly scare the hecck out of the birds and they'd fly off.  eventually they got sick of that constant disturbance and abandoned ship. next time (i did mention its been years of observation on my part...right?) i tried to be smart and i lowered our inside blinds to right below the birdhouse and opened them just enough where i could watch them from afar without actually having to be right up to the glass.  that was working - until the suction cup corners kept losing their suction and it would fall!!! so after a few times of falling - the wrens hit the road......again

sadly this year i have yet to hear them in my front porch.

but - where i have heard them this year is out back...

the second birdhouse in the post is the one pictured above.  i used to make the mistake of keeping the birdfeeder filled during the nest building process but - well you can guess - its hard to build a nest when there are birds and squirrels bothering you!! so this year i've left it alone...and so far so good.

maybe this year will be the year that i can peer into the hole and actually see some baby birds.  i'm not sure who will be more excited - me or them!

 i'm going to try and make a safe place for another pair under the front porch since its not too late in the season.  i think i may have this finally figured out. i never really considered myself birdbrained - but these wrens are sure trying hard to prove me wrong.