Sunday, June 30, 2013

Eli at 10 months

Can it be 10 months already?
but it is!
The time has flown and this little guy seems to learn new things daily.  
He is steppin'  --not walking yet, but so, so close.
He is talkin' "mama, da-da, dee-dee (Sadie) ni-ni, ah-da (all done)"  
He is one rough and tumble little bear.
He even had his first mosquito smack-down yesterday.  Finally, the kid gets some revenge!
This month Eli has really started to play.  He is a very compliant companion (to a point) to Sadie's various flights of imagination. Tonight he was undergoing an extensive checkup, including shots and a lot of "this will only hurt a bit" from Dr. DeeDee.
But make no mistakes, when Eli has had enough, he lets everyone know.
Self-advocacy is the gift of the second child :) 

Probably good that his big sis wants to be a doctor, considering that this month Eli managed to chip his front tooth (he's only had the thing for a couple months!) and slice the gums over the neighboring tooth.  I wish I knew how he did it, but being the climbing, body thrashing wild thing that he is, we didn't even notice till probably a couple days later. At least the chip isn't too bad: the only one who really seems to be suffering from it is breastfeeding me.  This kid... he nips, like a puppy, when he gets excited.  I get the most nips, cause I'm the mom, and therefore, the most exciting :)

But I also get so many snuggles.  In the last couple months Eli has really gotten cuddly.  We are loving it.  And we are loving this guy more and more as every month goes by, and with each milestone that passes.  It's hard to imagine life without him.  We are filled with gratitude and wonder each and every day...even when he storms the greenhouse and tries to pull up the plants. 

Garden Journal: June 30

Today's garden journal is brought to you by companion planting.  
This winter, I read Carrots Love Tomatoes and did some rough note taking on what grows with what, and what doesn't. all my beds, both vegetable and flower, look like crazy quilts.
and I love it!
All the plants pictured here (with exception of the largest broccoli & caulis) were grown by me, from seed, in our awesome sun room!
Borage, New Zealand Spinach and Sadie's "Rainbow Treasure" strawberries--the blooms are so pretty!

 Cosmos, Zinnias, Forget-me-Nots
 Calendula, green zinnias, and the nasturtiums I didn't think were going to grow (climbing, and vesuvius)
 Tomatoes, the re-do.  Interplanted with Basil that hasn't sprouted yet, and more carrots.
 pumpkins & nasturtiums
 broccoli, veronica, chamomile, cauliflower, Kale, Fennel, dill, lettuce, cabbage, marigolds, calendula, amaranth!
 Lettuce & spinach rainbow!  Salad days are here! Behind it are peas, sunflowers, rutabagas
 and the opposite end is planted with radishes, beets, three types of carrots (45, 65 & 75 day varieties) green onions, marigolds, bee balm and more chamomile--which is just about ready to harvest!

and this chaos... remember the bed I planted with Ranunculas in May?  Well, it looked like they weren't going to grow, so I planted some other stuff... and apparently Sadie did too (nasturtiums!)  And now everything is growing.  There are echinacea, giant zinnias, rannunculas, sweet alysum, strawberries, something from a wildflower mix that are looking like bachelor's buttons,  cosmos, bells of Ireland, forget-me-not, wild bergamont, pink columbine, nasturtiums, and this thing that was so puny and weak when I transplanted it that I though for sure it would kick it:
This picture doesn't do justice to the giganticness of it!  It is Love-Lies-Bleeding (aka amaranth).

 Also, this pineapple ground cherry was almost withered away when I put it in, and it is happily taking up it's own corner and making flowers that may just turn into fruit. 
I guess this is my fable flower bed. It was my home for last-chancers and things I didn't think would grow--and now I'm so pleasantly surprised!  There is even a big old frog living in there eating up bugs.  Must have thought all those nasturtiums were lily-pads!
And that is where things stand in my garden as we enter this lovely month of July.
What a sunny beautiful month June has been--one of the nicest I can remember here in the old AK!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

visitors in the lilacs

Tonight Loren and I though we'd spotted a hummingbird in our lilacs from out the kitchen window.  It was moving like a hummingbird, and had the same rapid wingbeat while it zipped all I grabbed my camera to snap some pictures of our first hummingbird sighting of the summer.  To my surprise, when we looked up close at the pictures it turned out to be a moth.  A quick google search informs us that this is a sphinx month, and strangely, it seems to most resemble the White-Lined Sphinx Moth Hyles lineata.  If true, than it is a rare sighting indeed--they aren't supposed to be this far north. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

In the Garden: Summer Solstice week!

Inspired by SouleMama to join the weekly celebration of the garden!
This beautiful week of summer solstice we have globe flowers aplenty. 
The chicks are starting to look like chickens, and are in seventh heaven roaming in their wooded little paradise.

 The only things left in the sunroom are my peppers, and round two of tomatoes.  The first rounds finally gave up the ghost.  Not sure these little ones will even make fruit, but the greenhouse will be finished today so why not give them a sporting chance.

 I went a little crazy on the flowers this year.  After all those years of trying to get any flowers to grow in Nome, not to mention the disappointment of having your struggling flower beds ripped up {or stranger even, replanted with tempura vegetables} by random people on Front Street--can you blame a girl? I now have a ton of stuff growing, but not too much in the way of flowers...yet. But I sure have petunias! This was my first go at petunias this year.
petunias I planted from seed

Petunias purchased at the orange box store.
I think mine might be better--certainly unrulier, and more in keeping with the overall style of our landscaping :)

 The carrot, lettuce, peas, radish, beet, rutabega garden is coming along nicely.  I have discovered this week also  that Sadie sunflower-bombed most of my raised beds.  I'm going to keep as many of those as I can.

 Nasturtiums finally sprouted.  It really isn't summer for me without buckets and buckets of nasturtiums growing around.  I planted a couple varieties, and spruced up the chicken coop with its own hanging basket.  Gotta keep things classy for the chicks, right?
Brassicas are growing right along!
hothouse frame and raised beds just waiting for finishing, Raspberries and Rhubarb?  Check and Check.
 And this is the beautiful fern garden growing right off the front porch.  Whoever thought out the landscaping concept for this home did a really nice job.  I appreciate the perennial gardening touches here and there.  I decided to plant a few pink and white astilbe in with the ferns, as well as some candytuft & french named forest strawberries {to compliment the existing volunteers} and some echinacea, which might be getting a little too much shade at the moment.

 and the honeysuckle is blooming and smelling oh so sweet at the front door, while the lilacs are blooming and wafting in my kitchen window, making dishwashing a real Calgon experience;)

 Not pictured are several varieties of pumpkin and squash... they all came up this week, so here's to hoping this land of the midnight sun will work its magic on them. My morning photoshoot was cut short by the severity of the mosquito bites I was getting.  This June has brought flat-out gorgeous weather for us {you almost wouldn't believe me if I told you that just over a month ago we got 6 inches of fresh snow!} But the mosquitoes...oh.  Words do not describe.  And poor little Eli--they like him the best and his little baby skin is all kinds of bit up right now.  I guess you take the good, you take the bad... right? 
Happy almost summer solstice--
may you revel in the sunlight, and may your garden be green and productive!

Friday, June 14, 2013

short & sweet summer smock

I finally got my sewing machine out...since moving from Nome--hello old friend!  The first thing I did was to figure out how to sew a rolled hem on rayon crepe (hemming some pants for an amazing lady who is about to turn 90!) and then, to restore my sanity, I jumped right into this project:

Monday, June 10, 2013

the chicken whisperer

When we decided to get chickens Sadie was excited for weeks in advance.  I kind of wondered if this would be the kind of thing where the chicks would get here and it would be all cute and fluffy wonderfulness for a week and then... old news.