Sunday, May 31, 2009
This weekend we planted our sunflower house that I am so bound and determine to have succeed. We started many, many seeds and after the irritating cardinal who knocked itself senseless on our kitchen window got through with them, we had about 100 seedlings. And after much digging, they are all happily planted in the ground.
I'm really hoping that our neighbors tremendous landscaping is more attractive to the deer and rabbits that frequent our neighborhood than my puny, yet oh so tender, plants. Sharon Lovejoy, author of Sunflower Houses and a very nice person I've come to learn via email, suggested to me (on this blog, actually!) to use talcum powder to keep the rabbits at bay. So this evening I packed up the kids and went off to purchase some only to find that our regular store doesn't carry anything called "talcum powder." We settled for baby powder whose main and only ingredient besides fragrance, is talc. Sounded good enough to me.
After a sprinkling of baby freshness, I checked the tiny fence and wished my seedlings goodnight.
Tomorrow, fertilizer. If they survive the critters of the night.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Well, duh. Of course I do!
Last year we found a gobblety goo of eggs in the pond at Getaway Acres and successfully hatched them into tadpoles, but then I think I left them in the wrong place and they all baked in the sun a little too long. So we never saw any frogs.
But this time is different!
We picked up our tadpoles today and currently have them sitting on the kitchen counter, where any tadpole should surely thrive. I am planning on some web and book research tonight, but in the meantime I went ahead and sprinkled a tiny bit of betta fish food in the bowl. They went after it, but I saw one tiny little tadpole with a pellet in his mouth sinking slowly to the bottom... A tap on the side brought him to, but still I wonder if I'm going to wake up to a bowl of dead tadpoles. Thankfully I've got a son who really likes to dig holes and a garden that just might like a little natural fertilizer...
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
My first published article is a How-to on creating twig dolls, a rather simple project that has been called "a little Blair Witch-like" by a friend. But hey, for a couple of twigs and leaves, I think it's pretty cute.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
That familiar feeling was almost like hands-a-vu, and it took me back to one of my most proud moments, (A column might come out of this, wait and see) when I was being fingerprinted for a substitute teaching job about 7 years ago.
Our garden was in full swing and my hands were really taking it hard. Dry, cracked, the works.
While being fingerprinted using the fancy digital machine, the woman could not get a good print. She tried, over and over, and at one point exclaimed, "you've got hands like an old man!" and tossed a bottle of Corn Husker's Lotion at me.
I'm still proud of my "old man hands," because they're hands that actually work and feel the good earth (albeit poor soil.)
Eventually she got the fingerprint and while my substituting career was interrupted by becoming a mother again, I may someday return. And maybe then, when I have those ears for a few hours of one day, I can tell them the value of a good hard work, cracked hands, and of course, Corn Husker's Lotion.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
We've got just shy of one acre, but about half of it is wooded and full of the most exciting things. I have always wanted to do this, and this summer seems the right time; Flower Child can work a digital camera and will probably think it's dorky next year, and I'm afraid the mighty call of the soccer ball might take my son away once he starts school. This is the year.
And so far, so good. We've identified spring beauties, jack in the pulpit, trout lily, wintercress, morels, and it goes without saying that poison ivy has topped the list.
There is an abundance of snakes this year, and while I am usually running away instead of remembering to snap the camera, one of us is bound to get a shot.
The greatest find so far, though, has been a mole. A plump dead Eastern mole. What an attraction for everyone, to be able to get fairly close to this little creature that usually remains so hidden, to see his giant hands and tiny eyes.
And then to poke it with a stick because, well, that's what you do when you're a kid and you find something dead.
The mole miraculously lasted two days/nights before falling victim to a fellow creature, one we have yet to identify and capture on film.
The goal for this project, which I think is really cool, is to record our photos and ID's and then have a photo book printed up via Snapfish or whatever service. An actual hardbound fieldguide to our backyard! It'll look splendid on the shelf, complete with dirty fingerprints.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
After finding the right supports and sawing this giant limb into little pieces by hand (because I'm such a woman), it took somewhere around 52 nails until I finally figured out how to attach them to the stump. (I won't bother explaining, because again, 52 nails...
After some patch-up work on the sides and thankfully not running across anything with too many legs in the woodpile while prospecting bark, we had gotten the little house together. I should note that I tried at first to use the staple gun to attach the bark on the sides, but the staples weren't long enough. Good ol' hammer and itty bitty nails.
We dug up some of the johnny jump ups that had jumped up in the wrong places, dug up some moss for carpet and the fairy house is open for business!
Best of all, my daughter holds up her muddy hands at the end and says, "Look mom, dirty hands. Means I'm a kid. Real kids have dirty hands." She does listen.