Wednesday, June 30, 2010

magical garden

One day, we're thinking, we'll have more than 900 square feet of yard space and we'll fill it not only with chickens and vegetables but with bees, groves of trees, goats and mysterious and magical nooks and hideaways to explore. Until that day we're collecting the mojo in our little minds. At the Oregon Garden we found some really sweet structures and layouts including a grow box with a plexi-glass window through which one can watch the potatoes grow! What a treat for the children.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

tryon creek state park

We recently revisited Tryon Creek State Park in Portland/Lake Oswego. It was named after Socrates Hotchkiss Tryon who originally established a land claim there in 1850 and who I only mention because of his exceedingly excellent moniker. We've twice taken Naiya to this park and twice returned posthaste to the car after not too successful attempts at pleasant afternoon strolls in the woods. This time though, our rambunctious toddler walked, ran, slid and tumbled over nearly three miles of trails on her own. It's a lush and sometimes quaggy succession of paths, but even after she'd slid down a muddy bank and lost (then recovered) her boot in a boggy stream she (and we) still had a fantastic time.

Monday, June 21, 2010

berry pickin'

On Father's Day Oma and Opa joined us for a beautiful afternoon of berry picking on Sauvie Island. I have to say that one of my favorite joys of summer here in the Pacific Northwest is picking berries. There's just nothing like fresh, warm, dusty food right of the vine or bush. It being early summer (and a rather irregular one), the pickin's were slimmer than usual but we got some delicious strawberries (from which we made jam and two strawberry rhubarb pies) and four pints of raspberries that we gobbled up plain and simple in a day and a half.

summer solstice

The cold has passed; the ground has thawed; leaves have returned, and flowers are in full bloom. Crops have been planted, and the harvest has yet to come. We celebrate this season of growing, the apex of light, the longest day of the year, our first day of Summer! Today is the Solstice. (Sol: sun, Sistere: to cause to stand still)...  The day the sun stands still.
We commemorated this glorious day this year with many friends, delicious food and a blazing bonfire at the home of our gracious friends Chrisi and Bryan. The children delighted in the outdoor play and I was even able to fashion some fairy wings and “sunshine bags” (little throwing beanbags in the shape of the sun with trailing ribbons) to lend a tenor of the season to the chaos of their frolicking.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

pot holders

A friend of mine purchased something like this from a local upscale grocery store. “Seems like these would be really easy to make,” she said, “but who has the time?”
I have the time, I thought. That shouldn’t be too much trouble at all. Twenty minutes maybe. Two and a half hours later I had two lovely felted sweater pot holders. They’re the end of the year gift for our parent-child class teacher.
I would give detailed instructions and/or a pattern for these but they seem pretty straightforward.  The eyes and wings are sewn onto the outside of felted wool sweater pieces while feet, nose, ears, etc. are placed between the identical front/back body pieces before those are sewn together either by machine or hand.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

adelman peony paradise

Adelman Gardens Peony Paradise, just north of Salem, is open May first through June 15th. We went just to wander through the grass walkways in their eight acres of production fields. They also have an indoor sales area or you can order from them online.  I could not believe the size of those blooms! Bigger than Naiya's head.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

fairies in the garden

Some fairies apparently set up residence in our back yard in the last few days of spring. Naiya was so excited to find their house there that for the first few mornings after, she would come in our room first thing and cry, "Let's go see if there's anything new at the fairie house!" Initially there was just the fence and cottage. A garden, scarecrow, clothesline, mushroom ring and flowers eventually appeared as well. It's a magical world in those bushes and sometimes she'll just decorate and play in there on lazy afternoons for long stretches by herself.
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