Mountains and Mushrooms

DSC05461 DSC05455 DSC05451 DSC05446 DSC05445 DSC05444 DSC05442 DSC05434 DSC05433 DSC05426Last week the mountain called to us to come and play. It looms over Tucson like a guardian, reminding you that the wilderness is just up the road. We live much closer to the road that takes you up the mountain now, so we can be up to alpine forests within 45 minutes. From desert to forest in 45 minutes, not too bad!

We were pleasantly surprised to see the forest in a wonderful green and healthy condition: all the monsoon rains have really livened things up. We of course headed to our favorite spot at the very top and end of the road. We walk, we listen, we observe.

Oh yes and there were more mushrooms there then I have ever seen before. If only I knew anything about them.

Fall is certainly on it’s way. The air up there was chilly and the leaves were getting ready to change. The light as well has taken on the warmer, softer color of fall. Welcome September!

 

Posted in Travels | 12 Comments

Happy Mail Day

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You all know how much I love mail. Well what’s better than getting a bunch of lovely handmade gifts in the mail? When Amanda opened up her Summer Swap I had to jump in line. I sent off a lovely package, which of course I forgot to take a picture of.  In return I received these sweet things from a fellow blogger. Thank you so much Jen!

Today we are off to the mountains to collect nature toys for our first season of organized homeschooling coming up next week. I can’t say that we are really actually starting homeschooling because when you homeschool you never really stop learning new things… I love life learning!

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Today I am Grateful

DSC05420Today I am grateful for lots of little things and some not so little things.

  • for this garden which gives me such joy every time I see it.
  • for the girl who will be 5 soon and who is 100% her own person
  • for really really good eggs with orange yolks
  • for time in the evening to do nothing
  • for the new Weck jars coming my way in time for apple season
  • for apple season
  • for longer nights and later rising times
  • good hard work that gets your hands dirty and your brow sweaty
  • for a husband who can do math in his head and is willing to do all the math for all my crazy ideas
  • for the joys of homeschooling and all the little surprises and new knowledge it brings
  • for dear friends who send letters and postcards in an age of quick communication

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

In My Garden

DSC05412DSC05418 DSC05417 DSC05416 DSC05415 DSC05414 DSC05413Before we left on vacation I installed a timed drip system for my small garden in the hopes that it wouldn’t die. When I came back I was greatly surprised to find it had grown 4 times as big!

There are little pumpkins forming on the pumpkin plants, zucchini is growing, just waiting for their day to flower and grow. The corn is growing so tall and there are already green beans. We’ll be eating from the garden so soon and I couldn’t be happier.

Despite the 4 monsoon storms in one week that flooded our backyard these plants are still doing well. I guess this is what I get for using desert adapted seeds and a drip system. :)

In September we plan to put in the real garden. The the 200 square foot garden. Eeek! :)

Posted in Garden | 6 Comments

Love and Lakes

0223Now we come to the defining moment and the reason we went to Maine. My best friend’s wedding. Ten years ago she was my maid of honor. We were so little then!

IMG_0186Now we’ve switched places and I was her maid of honor. I have to be honest and say I am a crier and I cried softly though the entire ceremony. It was so beautiful and I was so happy for her that I couldn’t keep the tears back.

During the ceremony I got to watch the groom look into his future wife’s eyes and the entire time he had smile and his eyes were glassy with tears. Seeing right in front of you the love that your best friend will have for the rest of her life, how could you not cry?

Of course I also had to make a speech and I told everyone that I might start crying and so I would keep things very short. I wanted to say things like: You don’t need any advice because you’ve already been through all the hard stuff long distance relationship, sickness and the death of a loved one and made it out on the other side as an even stronger and well connected couple. The only advice I wanted to give to them was that the key to a successful marriage is laughter, communication, and compromise. But those things too they are experts at.

DSC05216It was expected that I would say lots of sweet things which would make people cry. I didn’t really want to make anyone cry especially myself because who really wants to listen to the maid of honor cry through her speech? So I told the story about the first time I ever spent time with my dear friends together and how much the groom made me laugh with his hours of story telling. At which point I was going to interject with my sweet mushy stuff I mentioned above and that’s when I choked and started crying. So I said I wish you two a thousand more stories together and I called it a night.

I said, “Okay people I’m going to cry so I’m cutting this short.” My speech lasted two minutes. Everyone cheered and raised their glass and commended me for my speech. That was followed by three very funny speeches. Yay for stories and laughter.

The wedding was beautiful, filled with lots of fun people and so many beautiful flowers. Sunflowers, zinnias and cone flowers. There was a lake and a beautiful sunset and so much mud. Oh the mud! I’m so glad I managed to haul my whole family 2,000 miles into the wilds of Maine to see these two kids get hitched!

Posted in Life Notes | 5 Comments

Backroads of Maine

DSC05224 DSC05114 DSC05112 DSC05108 DSC05105 DSC05100 DSC05099 DSC05092 DSC05048We are a nature loving family who happens to live in the city, in the desert. Now I’m not knocking the desert it certainly has its perks and pretty moments. But it does lack one key thing, green, vibrant stunning green. But Maine makes up for that. While we were in Maine we decided to stay off the big roads and travel on the smaller country roads and it was totally worth it.

Four days in Maine was not nearly enough. I want to go back and wander the rocky shores, drive those back roads in the fall when the maples are turning red and see some moose. I know they are out there!

Travelers note: The lighthouse was just outside of Portland.  The lake you see V and I standing near is Wilson Lake near Wilton and that back road covered in trees, well that’s what I remember of Maine.

Lastly, I will never forget the first time I heard the rain falling out of the trees after the first rain storm in Maine. I was completely confused because it had stopped raining but continued to sound like it was raining. It took me several minutes to figure out it was the water droplets falling off the leaves of the trees. It was magical.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Posted in Life Notes, Photographic Thoughts | 11 Comments

Blueberries for Me

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** Warning: if you live in blueberry country, bear with me while I go on and on about blueberry picking.***

For the past three years we’ve been reading Blueberries for Sal on a weekly basis. Our book has been read and taped up so many times that I think the cover could be entirely made of tape. Basically we’ve had blueberries on the brain for years. While we were in the wilds of Maine the only goal we had, other than attending my oldest and best friend’s wedding, was to pick blueberries.

We drove from Portland ME straight to the blueberry farm. The moment we parked the car in the grassy parking lot the skies opened up and the rain began to pour down. We didn’t even get a chance to get out of the car, we just watched all the other patrons scramble to their cars. Needless to say we were sad but not deterred. We promised the girls to return as soon as the rain stopped. In Tucson we could have waited ten minutes and it would have been over.  Not knowing how long Maine rain storms last, we headed to the nearby Inn we were staying at. Within an hour the rain stopped and we got right back into the car and went back to the blueberry farm.

We happily tromped out into the wet muddy fields to pick a gallon of blueberries. V ate more than she put in the bucket of course, S was about even and D and I picked more than we ate. We tried our best to be bear pickers and pick the whole bush clean.  It was fun picking the berries after the rain because the water drops on the leaves kept us nice a cool whenever the sun peeked out for a moment. Just as we picked the last few berries the skies opened up again and we ran for the big barn, getting only slightly soaked.

On the way back to the Inn we ate berries by the handful! Yay for blueberries by the handful. And being the ever watchful forager I found a blackberry patch on the dirt road out of the farm and so I stopped to collect two handfuls in the pouring rain.

Having only been in Maine for one day I fell in love right away. Well I lie, because I’ve had a crush on Maine for years, just waiting and hoping to go there one day.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments