Sunday, May 29, 2011

Please take a walk around my yard with me.

Let me show you what's growing right now.

Starting with the front yard, this is a flower bed alongside the house.

Coral bells Columbine.

A big jumble of mint, chives and a mystery plant that comes up every year.

A baby sassafras tree my in-laws brought us from Pennsylvania.
Sassafras is not supposed to grow around here
but maybe this little guy is willing to make an exception.

My mesh dehydrator, hanging from a tree,
with morel mushrooms and parsley drying in the breeze.

Two little redcurrant bushes that I bought this year...

... and two bigger ones that my in-laws brought
from their land, which are cuttings off a plant
that once grew at Barry's grandmother's house


One of our two ponds. This one is leaking this spring
and so Barry has not been able to let the fish loose in it yet.

The 5-in-1 apple tree that was Barry's Father's Day gift last summer - going strong.
Walking onions from my parents' garden.

No chickens in the chicken pen now - just tomatoes.

Potato barrels.
Sugar snap peas.
Lettuce on the right and center and spinach on the left.
A whole clump of tomato volunteers, probably from one tomato that fell last fall.
And here's our new rain barrel! I found it in a ditch.
This diverter pulls water out of the center of the steam of water 
going down the rain downspout and puts it in the barrel.
The water comes out the bottom of the barrel, goes through the hose...
along the foundation of the house to the laundry room window...
through the wall into the laundry room... 
and finally into the washing machine, if I'm doing a cold water load.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Book recommendation: "This Life Is In Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone," by Melissa Coleman

I picked this up at the library today and am reading it. It's excellent. And scary.

It's a cautionary tale that is worth reading by anyone who is anxious to try living off the land and the sweat of one's brow. A couple of idealistic young people bought 60 rocky acres of farmland in the 1970s and built a small self sufficiency farm there, and had two three little girls. They were making it, sort of, though rather precarious emotionally as well as other ways, when the middle child  wandered off and drowned in the pond on the property, and the whole family just spiraled down. The book is written by the eldest of the girls who was actually abandoned in the care of neighbors when the dust finally settled. Ugh.

I recommend it.

ADDED LATER, AFTER FINISHING THE BOOK: One thing I appreciate about the writing was the respect this woman shows for her parents, as flawed as they were and are. She honors them for doing the best they knew to take care of her and her sisters.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spring Grove Syttende Mai Garage Sales 2011

Barry's parents are visiting this week, and just typing that tells me how I am neglecting this blog, because you should already know that. Anyway, this morning my partner in crime Lisa Fruitful and my mother in law Jane Stahl headed off to Spring Grove to garage sail. We did very well.

Some highlights were the wringer mop bucket I had been saving up for on line - for only two dollars! - and those nifty lime-green sneakers up there, shown on my feet. They are wonderful. I also got a pair of Born clogs. The big HORSES thing is a sign - and there are 3 of them!! A Hoosier bread drawer for 25 cents... A red dial telephone... A Blue Ridge Pottery pitcher... A pair of antique granny boots... An old gas can... Teacups for Lil Miss A... Lots of fun stuff. I'm worn out. :)

Last Day of School 2011

Nine months ago, and this morning:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lil Miss A's Ballet Class

For the last day of Lil Miss A's ballet class, the parents were invited to come watch. It was not really a recital, but we got to see what they have learned in the past 10 weeks. It's amazing. They have learned a LOT.

Her camera was acting up so I only have a tiny clip for you. She is the one wearing a black leotard, with her back to the camera.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Doctor seriously said this:

"The patient is full of feces."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Prairie Home Companion

In 2002, which is when I turned 40, my dear husband surprised me with tickets to A Prairie Home Companion at the Fitzgerald Theater in the Twin Cities. My parents looked after the children while we went to the show. It was a wonderful experience. I will never forget it. Not that I need to worry about that: The whole show is still on the website here.

Near the end is a song sung by Robin and Linda Williams, "If I Should Fall Behind." I believe Bruce Springsteen wrote it, and I've listened to his version and don't like it nearly as well. Every time I hear Robin and Linda sing it, tears come to my eyes, especially at the last verse. I know that someday one of us, Barry or I, will have to be left behind when the other goes to heaven, at least for awhile; I don't like to think about that day. Going together would probably mean a tragic accident which would be awful for our children so I guess one at a time is best. But still, I don't look forward to that time for whichever one has to be left behind.

Here are the words that always get me:

Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true,
But you and I know what this world can do.
So lets make our steps clear, that the other may see 
And I'll wait for you. If I should fall behind, wait for me.

Now there's a beautiful river in the valley ahead
Down by the old oak where we were wed. 
Should we lose each other in the evening shadows of the trees,
I'll wait for you, and if I should fall behind, wait for me.

More lyrics:

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Stuck in an old cookbook:

Queen Bess is my mother's wedding registry silverplate pattern.

Just thought it was fun to find it being used as a bookmark.