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! :)

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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!

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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.

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Home Again

IMG_0181Hello! I’m back from the wilds of Maine. Oh did we have such a good time there! I’ll be sharing bits of our trip over the next few days. I just wanted to check in and show you all that I haven’t left this space.

I tried to blog this picture some ten times but our internet was so spotty I could hardly check my e-mail, let alone upload a picture. So I leave you with a picture of me, dressed in blue, picking blueberries. I was probably way happier than someone should be for blueberry picking but I’ve finally checked this activities off my bucket list and that filled me with such joy.

Checkback in one Monday for more of our New England adventures!

 

Posted in Life Notes, Photographic Thoughts | 4 Comments

August Sponsors

This month I am so pleased to welcome back my current sponsors. Please checkout their websites, I adore them!

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Sparkle Stories is an online resource for high-quality audio stories for children and families.

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My Bit Of Earth is a fantastic mama blog written by Meryl. She’s a writer, photographer, runner, mama, amazing cook and lover of chickens.

If you are interested in a sponsorship spot here on the blog please contact me for further information. 

 

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In My Garden

This past week we haven’t really been eating from our garden. The temperatures have been in the triple digits without any rain so none of the flowers are blooming. That should change next week though, they predict temperatures in the low 90′s!

IMG_20140726_082543IMG_20140726_084554However we have been doing a lot of yard work and apparently in our backyard, yard work means hard work because underneath all the sand is clay. Hard, compacted, rocky clay. But one weekend project at a time we are beginning to transform the yard.

IMG_20140726_084930This backyard of clay may not be the easiest thing to dig in or to garden in but it really is wonderful for for mud sculptures.

DSC04942DSC04940DSC04939My experimental three sisters garden is doing well! Native corn, beans and squash. Not what my ancestors ate but what the ancient peoples of this desert land would have eaten.

DSC04947 I’m dreaming of an herb and flower garden in this space. What are your favorite herbs to put together?

Also if your kids are taking part in the postcard exchange I am slowly sending out the emails this week so look in your inbox!

Posted in Garden | 5 Comments

A Hidden Oasis

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I recently discovered this really cool place here in town that surprisingly I never knew existed despite the fact that I had been to the same place where it is located many times. Normally we go to the playground at this park when we meet up with our homeschool group. However one day as I drove by the park I noticed on the opposite end of the parking lot that there was a fountain. I made a mental note of it.

A few weeks later I decided on particularly whiny morning that we needed to get out of the house and into nature. So I said to the girls, “We are going on an adventure, put pants on.” Half an hour later we were at the park exploring this new place. There is a duck pond with mallards, turtles, fish and even herons in the right season. Then behind the pond and not too far a walk away is what we call the frog marsh. The park managers have created a small oasis for wildlife with reeds and tall trees and the most precious thing of all: water.

In this marshy mini wetland we saw desert frogs, small fish, hawks, rabbits, squirrels, lizards, tons of dragon flies, hummingbirds, and doves. It was an incredible wildlife experience. We’ve been making weekly visits now because of the heat. Under the cool mesquite and cottonwood trees the temperatures are about 15 degrees cooler, and that makes it all the more lovely.

Note: all the photos were taken with my phone. I wasn’t expecting to find such a cool place!

Posted in Travels | 8 Comments

My Sous Chef

DSC04914 DSC04908 DSC04905 DSC04900The other day after breakfast V says to me, ” Mama when I grow up I want to be a cook like you. I want to be tall and cook things in the oven.” Every single meal since then, I have had an eager little helper. Yes I have taught her knife safety skills and yes the knife is sharp. But I believe that knowledge is power and oh my did making this salad give her power. She felt capable like she does every time she makes a meal with me. And that is worth slowing down to teach and prepare dinner at the same time.

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Posted in Cooking and Food, Life Notes | 6 Comments