pea chicks


For the past month, these two birds have had a little project going.



Or should I say five little projects.  The pea hen made a next on top of our compost pile. 


Today was 30 days to the day that she laid the eggs. Tonight when we checked on them, this is what we saw:


There was one more dark chick that we saw for  just a moment before she turned and hid them all away.


I did take out some of the wild game bird food that I bought for when our quail eggs hatch and threw some to them, the chicks went right after it.

We are so excited about our five new friends!

garden update 5/12


Part of the lettuce patch.  We plant lots of lettuce and basically use it as edible ground cover.  We have bermuda grass and if we plant anything else it helps cut down on the bermuda grass in the garden. Once the bermuda grass takes over it's pretty much a lost cause.  The great thing is I no longer have to buy lettuce we eat fresh. We can pick as much or as little as we want and we have all different varieties.


The peas are doing well so far. We planted early enough that they were able to get established before the heat started. They are scattered all through the garden and around the chicken coop, patio, and sunflowers- basically anywhere they would have something to climb, we planted them.  The peas are on right now.  While we are weeding we tend to grab a few to eat.  The kids also snack on them when they are out playing.


We have our first artichokes! This is our first time growing and getting artichokes. We are excited about this plant!


Our mammoth red clover is doing great. We have big patches of it in the vegetable garden. 


Our carpet roses have bloomed.  The hollyhocks are taking over and the milkweed is coming in strong.  I have a love hate relationship with hollyhocks. They are so pretty, until fall and then they are a pain.  They are our neighborhood weeds. Pretty yes, but prolific. They would take over the yard if we let them.


The milkweed is blooming and the bees are loving it.  I love going out in the evening and smelling the sweet scent of milkweed.

And we have lots of seedlings coming up.  Our main job right now seems to be thinning the sunflowers out to give everything else a chance. I pull about 100 or so a day. I figure if I do that now while it is cool, when it gets warm we will be left with the right amount. 




The mulberry tree.

The milkweed has gone crazy this year.  However, we still haven't spotted any monarchs.

We tore out the rock garden out our front windows and made it into a flower garden. Jack loves the fuchsia plants. I call them fairy plants.

The campanula is a new favorite. It is doing really well in my new garden.

Jack's little box garden is doing well. His strawberry plants are going crazy! He has his beloved snapdragons and verbena.

Our vegetable garden is coming along nicely. The lettuce is up and we are harvesting  daily. The Kale and chard are also ready. We have cilantro popping up everywhere and summer squash coming on.  It also looks like our peas might make it! We fight the heat and birds every year. This year our plants are bigger than ever before. Now if we could just get the peas to come on.

scenes from the weekend

A snake at park day.

A worm bin completed.


The mason bee home I made last year is no longer vacant! We have bee larva!!! So excited about this.

The weekly batch of granola.

The latest felt project. Star magnets.

Not pictured: the birthday cake with family, the coffee, the late nights staying up waiting for teens to be home, the back to school shopping,  the chores.


On the list for this week:

  • homeschool planning full force- be ready for some posts on that.
  • our next class for the co-op is going to be a green cleaner day, I know it doesn't have much to do with gardening but there are some that are interested. So I am starting to gather resources for that and create a binder.
  • Another project I am getting ready to start is an herbal medicine kit for the coming winter. Time to  gather resources and organize them. 
  • School shopping as our schedule allows.
  • And that is all. Well you know what I mean, that and the other hundred things.

What is on your list?


the ladies

I've haven't posted any recent pics of our latest flock of chickens.  A few of them started laying this past week and we are patiently waiting for the rest.  Very patiently, ahem.  We are also waiting to thin the flock a bit. Right now we have too many hens and there is a little disagreement over which ones to keep. I say we keep mostly red stars- brown egg layers. Zac says we keep mostly Araucana- green egg layers.  I will say this is the prettiest batch of hens we have had.





I know bad picture, but it does show off our pretty roosters feathers.


Love the white one with hints of red.  We call her Cinnamon.


Another pic of the rooster.  So far he's a keeper, of course he hasn't started to crow yet. 


In other news, the homeschool planning still isn't done, but my paperwork is turned in for the year.  I'm still working on our compost class for the garden co-op this week.  My worms aren't here yet. I hope they come tomorrow.  I made lemon blueberry scones to serve. Yummy. I have been taking advantage of the cooler weather and doing some baking.  I made a promise to myself to stock our freezer with baked goods next May so we can avoid the whole heating up the whole house scenario.

And now I really should go work on that class before bed.






scenes from the weekend


Lots of rain.

Lots of rain means lots of happy plants.

Which also meant lots of projects done inside the house.

It also meant that Lego rock band was brought out once again.



We went to the Renaissance fair on Friday. No pictures- it was raining, but I did pick this wall hanging up at a local store.  We all love it.

One of our new chicks started to lay.  Here's hoping the rest follow suit and I can stop buying eggs once again.

Not pictured: dinner with family, shopping trips, thrifting, projects in progress, the more organized garage, the purge of clutter, the movie watching, the runny and stuffy noses.


On the list this week:

  • more homeschool planning.  A couple of items shoud be here this week. Trying to be patient for the online teachers manuals to go live for this year so that I can get science and history mapped out.
  • Lego robotics.
  • garden co-op- this week we are doing a compost learning day and making a worm composter. Wish me luck.
  • We are on countdown for the older kids school to start. Time to start gathering supplies for the coming year.
  • drop off at thrift store

What's on your list?


scenes from the weekend

It was a big weekend. So big, I needed a day or three to recover.  It was all good though.  The biggest thing was my birthday!  I am one step closer to 40!  The other big thing was a potluck for the garden co-op, on my birthday at our house.  It just seemed to be the best day for it.  And to be honest, it was nice. A couple of years ago,  I decided that one year I wanted to do a kindness day for my birthday. This wasn't exactly what I first planned, but the end result was the same. I spread the kindness, joy, love...whatever you want to call it. It was the perfect way to spend my day--outside of myself.  It was good.

So here are some pics from last Friday on:


Jack won a Lego set.









This week:

  • still trying to find some  rhythm for our days.
  • getting used to a quiet house. With everyone working 5+ days a week the house is abnormally quiet for summer.
  • staying cool- which means break time is in the afternoon. Work time is in the morning and evenings- if we are still awake enough.
  • taking a week off from just about everything
  • getting my supplies together for planning the new school year.
  • working through an illustrator class- fun!!!
  • getting a stack of books together to read- excited about some of these.
  • art-creating lots of projects- going through lots of spray paint.
  • being patient with myself as I do some serious introspection.
  • enjoying the chocolate stash I have from my birthday.
  • making a to-do list in order to get back on track
  • thinking I need to create a workable household routine since everyone is so busy, which brings me to the question of having a household notebook or not. 
  • Thinking I need to get those baby presents mailed once and for all. 
  • Feeling thankful for it all.

What is on your list?

being crafty

I am knee deep in preparations for the big garden potluck at our house this weekend.  Since it's something big of course, my procrastination has shown up in the form of all the projects I must have done before I have people over. Ironically enough, painting the boys room hasn't made the list.  Here are a few projects:


I collected seeds and made these cute little packets for them. 


This is a banner made out of strips of fabric. It looks like a kite tail...I hope.



The last two are jar lanterns that I made. I think we will use them as hanging flower vases.

Tomorrow I start cooking, make a run for paper products, and try to get the house in order. The good news is we have a kitchen faucet again! 

scenes from the weekend.

lego robotics

yo-yo class

the dahlias are blooming like crazy, making this cut flower girl really happy.

Otherwise we spent the weekend: waiting for the plumber(still no kitchen sink, hopefully he'll come today), spending time together as a family, yard work, planning for the garden co-op, a date with my hubby,  and doing more craft projects.


On the list this week:

  • garden potluck- pass out flyers, yard work, seed collecting, cooking, etc.
  • another lego class
  • more time in the boys room getting it ready to paint
  • my birthday!

And that is all, but that first one is taking up most of my time.  It's all good though. 


What is on your list?

scenes from the weekend









park day: new legos: lego class: morning glory: tadpole catching: bookstore: clover patch: a visit to the gardens. Not pictured: Steven and his infected cheek, dinner with family, yard work- weeding, going to the lake for a swim, running errands, buying houseplants, crafting.

On the list for this week:

  • try once again to get used to the new normal with everyone working.
  • get ready to paint the boys room
  • steam all of my clothes- trying this instead of ironing.
  • clean out fridge
  • finish organizing desk
  • practice photoshop
  • neighborhood potluck
  • double header for baseball Thursday night
  • put kitchen back together- my faucet broke this evening. 
  • yo-yo class for the boy
  • working on some stitching this week
  • finishing up a thrift makeover- pictures soon
  • making a sun wreath for the front door- pictures soon
  • finding ways to beat the heat- pool? movie? moving? ;) 
  • start working on my plan for homeschooling next year.
  • menu plan- I am seriously slacking here
  • pick lettuce
  • plan next garden activity
  • escape to the high country- hoping to this coming weekend.

What is on your list?






trying not to make excuses

I've been slacking on the blog. 


I've missed this space.  It seems every day when I sit down to blog I either have no pictures,  or can't find the words to express what I want to share.  Because there is a lot I want  to share here.  The good news is I want to share so much because life has been so full and it takes me a while to process. 


First up, we had our first garden club meeting. It went so well. Like it kind of blew our minds it went so well.  We set out with the intention to create a network of sustainability by sharing and helping each other through kindness.   We are working towards that by sharing knowledge, trading food and services and getting to know each other better.

I honestly thought it would be great if we could get 10 people here. Imagine our delight to have 17+ show up to our first meeting! We had some send their regrets saying they would join us next time, and some who could only stop by for a quick minute to say yes they wanted to participate.  I told them our basic plan and we sat and shared ideas and tips for two hours. 

We have lived here going on five years now and this is the first time some of our neighbors have seen our backyard, or said more than a quick hello to us.  We aren't part of the local religion and it can be very hard to feel like a part of the community when the religion is the main lifeline.  That is what we are trying to do, we are trying to build a community outside of religion.  I was happy that a couple of our other neighbors who also aren't part of the local church also made it to the meeting, but we are hoping for more.  We would really like to see all of our neighbors who don't go to the local church feel welcome and participate. I have the feeling they want to, but they have lived here longer and I have no idea what has happened in the past. All I can say is I hope we can help heal some of it and help people get together. 

My favorite thing was having so many of them tell them they had been praying/hoping/wanting something like this for so long.  All it took was one person going out of their comfort zone for a few minutes, instead of making excuses, to bring it to life.  It's made me start looking around to see what else we can do and see what other excuses I have been making.


Saturday, after our meeting I found these abundance flags at a local store.  They seemed very fitting for what I was feeling.


We are now working on the next step and planning a potluck dinner for everyone. We are encouraging people to bring something they grew, or something homemade and hopefully the recipe to go along with it. We don't want this to lose momentum before it has a chance to get off the ground. 

Since Saturday I have been filled with an abundance of peace and also a sense of restlessness. I suppose I am just trying to explore those and figure out where I am suppose to go from here.


scenes from the weekend.













A big birthday/ a water fight/ foraging for berries/ time in the creek/ petroglyphs/first camp out in the backyard.

A good weekend for welcoming summer.  We have been very busy and I have missed this space.  I mentioned a big garden project in the works and last week it kind of grew wings and started taking flight. Zac and I are starting a co-op for our neighborhood. It started with gardening and kind of grew. We wanted a placed to trade veggies locally and help each other garden.  From there we decided to add in some workshops, classes, service projects and the like. We are trying to bring our immediate community closer together and provide learning and mentoring opportunities.   Word got around that I was planning it and well I couldn't put it off any longer. So this coming Saturday is our first meeting. I have no idea how many people will come and I really have no idea what I am doing.  But this week I will be making sign up sheets, printing calendars, cleaning my backyard, planting some seeds, cleaning my house and baking some goodies. I would appreciate any good thoughts you can send my way. This is a huge step out of my comfort zone.  

Also on the list for the week:

  • learning- still chipping away at the Spanish and math
  • the pool
  • laser tag- Jack has a certificate for a free game for his reading achievements that he would like to use.
  • date with Zac
  • the Avengers
  • learners permit for Alex
  • All the teens are working this week
  • a baseball game
  • organizing my mess of a desk
  • try not to start anymore projects this week
  • harvest some herbs
  • go back to the vegan diet after a decidedly non vegan birthday party
  • ACT test this weekend for Talisa.

What is on your list?


the garden




Today we:

  • had phone call about our online school plans for next year- more about those to come.
  • watered the gardens
  • practiced playing baseball
  • played with a friend
  • tried new foods
  • had dessert
  • bought solar eclipse glasses
  • ran long overdue errands
  • did lots of laundry
  • did a light homeschool day
  • made necklaces
  • went for a walk
  • cooked  a new dinner
  • enjoyed the views.



scenes from the weekend 5/13

Mothers Day brought flowers. 


This weekend was:

  • short
  • the last rugby game. They lost, but did much better than the last time they played this team.
  • lunch  with the grandparents
  • redbox and pizza date night
  • breakfast for mother's day with the smoke alarm only going off 3 times. ;)
  • the hubby running errands with me to keep me company
  • dinner with grandpa
  • a late night walk with the hubby during which we saw the most amazing shooting star
  • time in the hammock relaxing.
  • menu planning
  • planning for the week trying to get all my ducks in a row.
  • laundry


This coming week is:

  • beginning of baseball for Jack which means practice Mon(maybe more), and games Tues and Thurs.
  • dance- two classes, two dress rehearsals and two performances.
  • end of year swim party with our online school.
  • the solar eclipse.
  • the end of year lacrosse party
  • end of year school projects galore.
  • family in town this weekend.
  • planning phone call with online teacher

I am thinking that school will be light this week. I try to keep my schedule so that we aren't that busy or out of the house that much.  It kind of bugs me, but we are going with the flow. We'll do what we can to have enough downtime to make it livable.  I ran all my errands this weekend to try and make it possible.  The laundry is caught up.  The menu is planned. Any paperwork is already filled out and in my planner.  All I need to do is get glasses for the eclipse. Yes I am kicking myself for not buying them last week at the visitor's center when I saw them. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's day. I am so thankful for all the mother figures in my life and all that they have shared with me.



the garden

We've been on some marathon garden kicks here. I think we are finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That is, if I stop finding things we just need to plant. Today I took a moment to enjoy while I did the watering.


The milk weed is starting to bloom. We started with one little seed and now we have quite a patch going. Love this. I hope it attracts some butterflies this year.


The roses are in full bloom right now. I have a love hate relationship with these roses. They are so beautiful when they are in bloom, but it only lasts a week or two. 

Today we made a quick trip to the nursery. I was looking for a valerian plant. I had one last year and think it might have seeded, but if it didn't I wanted another. I couldn't find it but I did pick up a pineapple sage, another comfrey, and some seeds.  The most exciting find was the quinoa seeds. Can you imagine? So excited to see if it will grow here.

I also have another big project involving gardens in the works. It started with a conversation with one of the neighbors at the wild edible class. I'm hoping I can make it come to fruition.



his garden

While we were at Grandpa's house last week, Jack was able to pick out some seeds for his garden.  This past Friday, he planted them. 

First he went through his stash and picked out what seeds he wanted to plant. He brought home a lot of seeds. Way too many for his four foot by four foot garden.


Then he started to read the packages and figure out how deep he needed to plant things and how far apart they needed to be.



Dad and Sweetie came in for a consult.

He was worried that Sweetie was going to use his garden as a litter box.

He was really intent on reading the directions and following them.

He brought out a ruler to help and had a few last minute questions before he got to work.




This year he went with all flowers.  I can't wait to see it!