Saturday, July 22, 2017


We are now two weeks from the start of school.  We're trying to get Esme up earlier so she gets used to it again... she is not happy with that.  I'm continuing with Welsh and French simultaneously.  Not a lot else going on except that it is super hot outside and we have been shorthanded at work so my schedule has been even stranger than usual...

Off to work now.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Here we go

Finished the rest of Esme's school supply shopping the other day.  I'm halfway through my French learning app and making some headway on Welsh (un dau tri pedwar, pump (I can't spell six but it begins with ch), saith, wyth, naw, deg).. Counting in Welsh has made my brain fold over a little, it makes sense, but it is different (un deg un is eleven, literally one ten and one)....

I'm reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and waiting for In the Country of Last Things (Paul Auster) to come in the mail.  I read that book so long ago and it has been sending back little tendrils that I need to finish it finally.  I might take a stab at my novel again after reading it.. I have six chapters but I felt there was something big changing so I need to sweep through it again when I have actual brain time.

I have a close tonight and an open tomorrow.  That is never good for my brain.  My sense of time is already messed up, and then put me in a short sleep cycle between two workdays and I sometimes have a thought-breakdown about four hours into the second shift.  Protein helps.. but several times I've just had to take my lunch with an ice pack on my forehead and a cup of coffee and see if I can get the reaction to go away before it turns into a migraine.

Not a lot else hapening... School starts on the 1st.  Still no word when we will have a teacher orientation meeting... they always announce those at the very last minute and then I have to rearrange my schedule on the fly.

Thursday, July 13, 2017


We've been out of our air conditioning most of this week.. coping it with many ways, including popsicles and hanging out in the basement.

I did a little work towards the canvas I stretched the other night.  I painted it white (which wasn't all that easy, as the fabric had been a heavy blue cotton), and began to sketch out in green paint this drawing I made the other day.  These are koi fish I found pictures of online.

Monday, July 10, 2017


We've had a very busy day - fixed the water heater again, and took the old one out to the dump...  Then I took a load of things into town to donate that had been waiting for months.  Esme was a big help.  We also got her basic school clothes shopping done, the things I needed her to try on etc...

Our air conditioning has also went out and my main computer has been dying for a week in the heat of its own processor...  so I am trying to adapt to using my tablet, which previously I only listened to audio books on - it was a tablet Esme had years ago that she couldn't run her games on well....  but, it seems to do this and my French lessons and social media OK enough...

I have gotten to halfway point on the French which is awesome... more than a month straight practice.  And yet I have not yet learned the word for forest or tree or stone... l'eau et les chaussures oui... heh

I am reading Patricia McKillip's "Wonders of the Unseen World". Many of the stories are delightful - many of them are complicated and leave rabbitholes of thought to fall down.

Thinking about making banana bread here soon tonight but not wanting to heat up the only cool place myself and three dogs have taken refuge in the cement floored kitchen.

Saturday, July 08, 2017


Sketches of roseate spoonbills, 7/7/2017 Marie Lamb.  Graphite pencil, overlay with Micron pen, colored pencil background.  11x14 inches on canson sketch

Thursday, July 06, 2017

town houses painting

The big thing about this painting is that I didn't outline everything in black.  I usually get to doing that when I add so many details.  I saved the black for the wrought iron and a few small places where it should be.  Apple Barrel acrylics over pencil on standard sketchbook paper.  It's about 14" by 9".

I had a painting from 2002 that I finally put up in my kitchen, of fish swimming in a pond.  It makes me happy to see it there.  It took me a very long time to admit that I saw it in my mind's eye often and wanted it on full display.  Tonight, I finally acted (with some nudge from Mark pointing me towards the frame I had forgotten I had) and hunted down this little cat drawing.  I knew I had seen it recently, and it is another one of those that comes to mind again and again... it is joyful, and the lines are elegant.

So, here it is imperfectly 'matted' with a sheet of wallpaper with a hole cut in it and some artist tape hinges behind it.  It is hanging up in my sewing room where I will see it often.

Monday, July 03, 2017

ma belle fille de minuit

 ma belle fille de minuit
"my beautiful midnight girl"
Our cat Minion laying claim to my lawn chair because it matches her eyes 
and she uses it more than I do.

 And I caught a big lazy bee wandering around my nasturtiums.. well he was flying low and slow, but he was definitely into every flower he could find, so maybe 'lazy' isn't the right word.. he was taking his time but he was on the ball.. heh

I so love the nasturtiums this year.. they haven't grown well in the past, but this year they are making up for it.

I got a cucumber, a tomato, a small green pepper and some beans today - blended them all up with some mayo into a salad to eat with tortillas and cheese today at lunch.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Fish painting (second)

second try at one of my favorite paintings I've ever done, that is hanging in our kitchen.  I had a migraine headache last night and thought I'd try the theme again to see if it relaxed me some.  This painting is smaller, but has even more fish.

Monday, June 26, 2017

end of vacation

I'm back to work today.  I've dreamed of work at lest a third of the nights.. crazy stuff, all the way to walking the aisles with coworkers asking me questions like usual... I close tonight and I've been getting up early almost every day, so that is going to be a tough turnover.

I finished the Christmas yarn Mark and Esme got me and it is a simple but useful shawl.  I have this owl pin on it that Miss Irene (Grandma)  gave to me.  I'm working on a second lace thing that I might make into a sleeved bolero thing.. I'll have to see.  I do like knitting lace and Mark had also found some bamboo knitting needles for me on a clearance shelf, so I found an interesting yarn in my stash and started working on it.

It is 'Unforgettable' self-striping acrylic yarn, in Tealberry
It took two skeins to make it, and it is just a simple seed stitch pattern.
This yarn was lovely to knit with, and it is soft and silky and warm but not hot.
It has t he most beautiful drape, flowing over anything like a stream of silk water.

I've gotten to level 11 on the French learning site I'm using, and 31% fluency (which fluctuates with how many I answer right/wrong).

We watched Arrival.. not the greatest.  I have 'Forever Knight' in the queue to introduce Mark to - something someone posted the other day reminded me again I needed to look for it.  It is about a night-shift vampire detective who is trying to cure himself of his 'disease' with the help of the coroner.  *hilarious* in its way, for that alone.

I'm still sunburnt.  Esme had sunscreen on so only her back between the suit straps got burnt some.. she still says it is uncomfortable.  I might look for some aloe lotion when I get off of work tonight.

I didn't touch my book I am writing all week except to print out the progress.  I did read about six books, though.. maybe seven.  The Orphan Tales series is still swelling up at times and being further digested and rolled around... there is just SO MUCH to it it keeps changing even after I read it. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Garden flower

nasturtium and zinnia

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Out at the Beach

We all went out to the beach, Mark took the photos (and didn't get wet).  Esme and her friend were swimming for hours.  I got definitely sunburned.  I had my hat and shirt but I should have worn them more of the time we were there.  We had a lot of fun sitting on the beach after a bit and watching the girls bounce around. One more day of vacation and then back to work.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

More beading

 This is the necklace that Esme made today, it is an ocean necklace with a real shell.

 trying out some combinations

That 'look' when Mom is taking pics... ha.

I've even gotten a little sewing and knitting done during this vacation.  I finished something today that I'll try to get a picture of tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Birthday and beading

I had my birthday walk this morning, and watched the sun come up.  Then we hung out at the house for a bit.  I accidentally broke my shell bracelet, and rebeaded it with other scraps to make something new, then went right on making a necklace with the rest of them and a huge pretty shell I had never used in my bead collection. 

I finished reading the Catherynne Valente book.. 'In the City of Coin and Spice' (volume 2 orphan tales) and it was so much.. I cried in the middle, and also in the end.  It shocked and intrigued and delighted and filled you to bursting with both tears and wonder... (In the Night Garden, volume 1).   And the stories overlap and intertwine and pluck the same note on different instruments, retell old tales and tell other ones you are sure mean something else... and in the end, I was still surprised as something never said I thought was true was not.. and it changed everything again.  

We went to town for cat food and dental floss, and picked up a few more beads and the Real Ghostbusters cartoon set for my birthday, which I had wanted, but didn't want to spend that much on it... we are watching it now.  Esme made the green bracelet all by herself from the beads she picked, and I made t he other two bracelets with what my kit had and the new box I bought.

green beans and cucumbers from the garden tonight...

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day 2017

Mark got a happy Father's Day card, shockingly chartreuse bath towel (to match his new choice in shorts), some cookies and candy he likes and of course, a holiday potato.  It just isn't a holiday without a potato being exchanged between them.  // ha

Other than that, his wish was to stay home and relax.  The weather was very rainy and stormy, too, so it was a really good idea.

I've read two more books, started on a third.  Listened to my music yesterday and drew this for fun.  Esme sat beside me and drew  something of her own, too.  Then, when I was nearing the end of the drawing, she said the rabbit needed to have a kite. 

Micron Pen. it is sort of an Italian villa... we watched Under the Tuscan Sun the other week, and a I started this drawing the tower and doorway kind of took over...

Saturday, June 17, 2017

first day of vacation

I picked our first bean crop (four), and spent some time in the sun.  I read two books.  I finally folded the laundry.

We bought Esme a new swimsuit yesterday, in case we want to go swimming.
We wrapped up some Father's day gifts and Mark found a few other things he wanted at the store.

He bought me some goat cheese I had looked at before.
Hmm.. what to do with that?  My instinct says eat it plain on crackers.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Lamb family recipe book

A few weeks ago I took down all the paper printouts that were scattered all over the fridge and rewrote them into this tablet.  We couldn't decide on what to put on the cover, so it got a little bit of everything going back and forth between Mark and I.  What's actually in here are all the recipes we've made that were good enough to keep and want to make again.  Some of them are 'family secret' type recipes, like Mark's ginger muffins and the Dragon Pork spice ratios.  My egg noodle and pancake recipes are in here, too (see the pancakes tab for easy access?)

I made the 'yellow cake' recipe out of this (also seen on one of Esme's birthdays) and layered the batter over mandarin oranges and pineapple pieces to make a cake dessert for tomorrow at work. We all just had a piece of one of the two cakes I made and it turned out good!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Flowers and egg noodles

Nasturtiums, zinnias and a marigold in the garden
Making egg noodles

The flower garden I started a few months ago is starting to produce some very pretty blooms worthy of cutting and bringing in to a vase.  The other flowers - dianthus, and verbena, are not cutting flowers but they are pretty, too.  I've reached level 11 in the French program I'm working  in (Duolingo), and a twelve day streak, which is really good.  Mark pointed out some Italian sausage (the kind with the fennel) in the store today, and I bought some and an orange pepper to make a meal for Esme.  I ended up making egg noodles again for the first time since I was Esme's age or younger.. it was pretty much a success.  I'd like to try again tomorrow or at least during my vacation and try to make them much thinner.  They would be even better cut thin.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Nasturtiums and garden

 The little garden is bursting forth with some colorful flowers.  The pink gladiolus is blooming, as are the nasturtiums (above), marigolds, dianthus and verbena.  The zinnias are almost ready to pop open -  I can see the colors of their petals in the edges of the buds.  I planted some more zinnias that Esme had chosen in two places and they are germinating.. which means more color later on.  The morning glories are finally starting to climb their trellis and the moonflowers are still unfolding leaves from their initial breaking through of the soil.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lima beans

Mark yesterday: "I offer you ice cream, and you choose lima beans.  *throws up hands*"
Me: "You already know I'm a very different creature."
Mark : "In some things it is more apparent than others."....

I needed some lima beans for dinner ;) and I'm the only one who eats them.  Apparently there is a vitamin there.. as I always keep a can around for that time I need some.

I'm progressing some more in the French lessons - dug out all my French-language books and put them in one place.  I don't think I've ever gotten as far as to understand what 'leur' and 'eux' really means, or the difference between ce and cet enough to remember them in grammar terms and not just translate as I went along.  So, I'm getting somewhere new.  Some of my 'automatic verbage' that comes out when I'm upset at work has more conscious grammar to it than it used to.. a lot of those words were French and/or Latin with really bad grammar.  I'm pretty sure I muttered something like 'You go way too far, you're not even clear to me anymore...' the other day to a crazy customer who was ranting and raving about a faucet repair.. on my way to the printer of course, where she couldn't hear me even if she understood.

Sunday, May 28, 2017


Apple crisps for Memorial Day at work

We made a cherry pineapple one for home, too... experimental and turned out good.
Esme is off for a sleepover.

Friday, May 26, 2017

bits and a half-done painting

I worked on this a few nights ago but haven't gotten around to finishing it up.  I saw a painting in a store with a bright green tree in a city and this was my 'take' on the idea.  The dog looks like our Lucy.

My niece's baby is still in the NICU... hoping she will get strong enough not to need the ventilator.

Esme has promised to help on Sunday with a dessert for the store dessert competition.. I need to buy some disposable pans for it tonight.  I'm still working on my French language learning... getting a little better than last time.

Planted the ivy and the hosta leaf today.. will see how they take the soil.  Repotted the apple tree into a deeper wider pot.  Have to work tonight and also close tomorrow night... then Sunday off.  Want to get the dahlia bulbs planted in the pots outside but it was so cold this morning I didn't want to go outside until I have to.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Went up to see Grandma's cat Sara's kittens today, they are quite cute.  Checked in on the garden, planted a few of the moonflower seeds and got one of the stacky pots filled with growing medium.. four more to go.  I did sewing yesterday - three pairs of shorts, one for Mark and two for me, and fixed a favorite skirt and Esme's fancy dress she tore at the graduation party.  I have another pair of Mark's shorts to make after I change his pattern shape a little.

I could have done a lot more, but we had a good day.  Mark made an awesome dinner of pork chops and rolls.  I am sitting reading another of the free ebooks, and have been playing my farm game en Fran├žaise most of the day, learning new words as I go.

I am up before dawn tomorrow for another day of work, and six days on.
My cough from the sinus infection is nearly gone.. that's a good thing.

We have summer vacation for Esme, now - what in the world will she do with her time besides Minecraft and Toca games on her tablet?  We'll see.  I suggested maybe fishing...

This was the picture of the last day of third grade with her best friend.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Last day of third grade

It's the last day of school.  This year has been so much better than the last public school year (first grade)... Esme's teacher took the time to understand her and talk through things with her.  I wish I hadn't been so sick this week I would have thought to send a card to thank her.  I can probably send it in the mail.

I am still lingering with the sinus infection from more than a week ago.
Esme is in good spirits, though.
It suddenly began to rain on us at the bus stop this morning and Mark was sweet and came to rescue me with the truck after he realized it was going to keep raining.

I have this weekend off.  Esme would like to go do something.. we'll have to see.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


We've given away all of our kittens, and plan on getting the mother spayed next week - and then we'll be done.  I've transplanted some things out to the garden, but they've not really made it well.  So, I might have to buy a few plants.  I should have hardened them off to the sunlight before hand.  My next projects in the greenhouse will be the hosta and grapefruit seeds... we'll see.

I've caught a cold being out in public at the market yesterday.. or maybe it was sneaking up on me before then.  Two days off now to try to recuperate and get all of our other things done.

Esme won the three legged race with her friend at the school field day.  She said they were continuing activities today.  She was so excited to get a gold medal Mark took her out for a celebratory slushie when he came to pick me up from work.

I finished reading 'Serafina and the Black Cloak', I might have to buy a paper copy for Esme on that one.  I'm listening to the Serafina and the Twisted Staff on audiobook, as it was all that was available at the library.  It was nice to see my tablet can do audiobooks from the library, but I miss the actual 'book' in my hand and turning pages and memorizing where I am in the story by how far I can page forward and back (something the Kindle does, even though it is an ebook.. and satisfies that 'real' bit more than an audiobook can)...  I'm also reading a 99 cent book called 'Designing a Duke' that is kind of sweet, it's on the Kindle.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

tiny bits

We tilled in the garden again and put clover seed out.  We also planted the school cabbage, an overgrown garlic bulb and the hyacinth bean plants out in the garden.  I made some peanut butter coconut flake graham cracker granola ball things.

Crunchy peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
coconut flake (we had in the freezer from the coconut experiment)
crushed graham cracker
quick oats
non fat dry milk powder

All ingredients rolled around together until it is stiff  enough to stick together.
I rolled the balls and put them in the fridge.  Esme ate the small sample size one and said she liked it.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Ivy has rooted and mystery plant

It has been nine days since I split the ivy, including trying to root a piece of it in a jar of water.  It has succeeded, from all I can see.  The two 'extra' ivy pots seem to be doing fairly well and have some new leaves.  The original ivy pot has new leaves as well, even on some bare stick that I cut the sample piece from.  And, the sample piece has roots in the jar!

Also, Mark saw this mystery plant on the road and wondered what it was.  My first guesses were sweet potato or moonflower relative.  I think now that it is something called 'wild yam' or 'air potato' vine - which can be invasive in some areas.  Where it is at it is doing no harm - looks pretty and is climbing where otherwise poison ivy would be.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Antenna Adventures and cats

Mark's latest antenna design to replace the last 'bisquare' that he had up.  He hopes to get more UHF wavelengths on this one.  Esme helped him build it a few days ago and I helped him break out the extension ladder and attach it to the pole.

In other news, both of our teenage cats are at the vet today.  I felt like a mom leaving her kids at preschool... gotta let go and they'll do okay.  Mark will decide if he is going to pick them up when they are done or let them stay there the night.

My hosta seeds came in.  I'm probably going to start them in three or four days, not right now  I am hoping several things that are currently in the greenhouse area can go outside before then.  I also did some mending at my table - Esme is outgrowing so many things I need to take a bag and put it in the clothes donation.  Other things she has ripped holes in and they probably would have fit her but I couldn't get to putting knee patches or cutting off for shorts before now. 

I am thinking about the best way to make a large mostly open wire basket.  I might practice some on the dahlia buckets they need cages around them and I would like to try some overlap techniques to see if they will hold etc.  There is a metal basket at work being sold that I think wouldn't be too hard to make the sides but the bottom is obviously a cast grid.  Mark has talked about us making more crafts with Esme this summer for her to try to sell at the flea market, woodworking projects, maybe these baskets would be a good project, too.  She did so well with helping on the antenna, she is getting more confidence in her skills.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Greenhouse progress

 I have moved a CFL light to the greenhouse area to help some of the plants get more light.    I still have some not shown here that are in another windowsill,  but not germinated yet.  The cabbage and several of the tomatoes (also elsewhere) are really needing to go outside.  The Hosta is even a little bigger and/or spread out than when I bought it - it should go out when the ground is not mud, too.  The Hosta is an Aurea Marginata, and it should have purple flowers eventually.  It will be a nice companion to the Frances Miller hosta that is in the garden now (blooms white, has green leaves tinged with chartreuse).

There are three or four jalapeno peppers that are getting second leaves.  The split ivies are doing 'ok'.. I don't see immediate die off on any of them yet.  I can hope.  That Ivy is called 'Asterisk', Hedera helix.

This is the apple sapling, from Esme's homeschool project after we watched the documentary on how plants reproduce and learned that apples from seed are nothing like their parent plants usually.. and we decided to try saving some seeds anyway.  This is the second one we've tried - as the seeds were still in the fridge from the first one and the first one died unexpectedly one day (just leaves fell off and poof, gone?)...  I thought maybe it didn't get enough light, and that the tiny petunia and forget-me-not seeds might benefit, too from a more direct light instead of reaching for the window all day and stretching their stems.  So I'm trying three to four hours a day of this CFL to see if it perks them up more.

The Frances Williams hosta in the garden is coming up pretty this year.
The hosta seeds have not yet come in the mail, and I haven't gotten my basil planter made yet.

We decided that Callie and Doxie cats are about eighteen months old, probably born in December of 2015.  They are both (hopefully both) getting fixed tomorrow.  Their mother Minion and Pumpkin are next in line, but it might take a while to get them done, as they graced us with more kittens about two months ago.  I'm still a bit embarrassed by Doxie's name now that I remember what it means - but I called her that (and her twin, Dorrie, who died) from the start so it can't be changed now.  Sometimes I call her Dox for short.

 Callie cat, with her one little tiny white spot on her spine

I've set up a hard two days for us.. getting the two youngers in the house tonight and penned up for the night and all the running back and forth to the vet tomorrow.. but hope we can get it done.  Doxie has been spending almost all her time outside so she will be the difficult one.  Callie is curled up in my sewing chair.  The other day I tried to patch a pair of pants for Esme and I had to remove her from said place -- I had to pick up the cushion with the cat (claws dug in) and set it on the floor and wait for a good minute for her to realize I was not moving it back.  Then  she got up and stalked away.  *sheesh*  Calico cats!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Flying chickens and rain everywhere

This is one wily chicken.

We spent five days trying to get her back in the coop fence.  She just kept escaping us!  She even laid an egg right next to the fence on the wrong side.  Finally, her want to be with Wicket, the other chicken, did the trick.  We put Wicket up in the chicken house where she could not get out, and then opened the chicken coop fence wide.  In about three hours she was in the fence and wanted to be in the coop with Wicket.  We've put them both up in the house for the night and plan to clip Gennet's wings tomorrow (Wicket got hers clipped the day Gennet flew the coop).  Honestly, Esme told us a week before the escape that she was getting on top of the chicken house and needed clipping.

We got some laundry and grocery shopping done, today.  Mark got some work done on his second bisquare antenna - and got Esme to help him with the construction of it.

My bellflower seeds are starting to come up, and I have some new pots to grow basil indoors and to split out my new hosta plant.  I replanted the marigold seeds.  The hosta in the garden from years ago is coming up very prettily.  I should start some cucumber seeds as I think Gennet ate half of the ones that came up while she was roaming my garden.  The okra was up and several other things were showing.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hosta and ivy

 This is a new hosta plant meant for the little garden.  I'm thinking to split it out into pieces and see what happens.  It has several nice stems in the dirt already.  It is an Aureus Marginata, and I really liked the streaks on the leaves.

Also, the ivy I rescued a few months ago has been having some issues... the lower leaves keep coming off and I thought I was overwatering it.  However, I got up the courage today to repot it into three smaller pots, breaking the root mass and giving it three chances to live or die.  The soil in the big pot was really dry - not at all what I thought... maybe the terracotta pot has been getting too hot?  Just thought of that - will try to put it in a plastic pot (the two divisions already are).  If the divisions make it - I'll put them in the garden behind the hostas.

I also thought I'd try to root a piece of it and a few pieces that broke off the hosta.  We had some rooting hormone and it is worth a shot.

If they aren't rooted within two weeks of today, they are probably not going to.
Also, my bellflower seed germinated today, but no cleome.  I'll have to replant that.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Nova, bits and garden update

Our dog Nova got hit by our neighbor on Saturday afternoon, while the girls were having their sleepover.  My Mama Bear instinct was running high as Mark told me the neighbor sped by going way too da* fast again (just like when they hit and killed Loula) and both of the young girls were near the road at the time digging in the dirt with Mark and Esme's grandma overseeing the filling up of pots for our dahlias.  Many people at work said I should report them to the sheriff for reckless driving.  *sigh*  There is no posted speed limit up there, but you would think at their age (they are older than us and have out-of-state grandchildren) that they would have some da* responsibility and caution.

Nova was badly banged up, her leg torn open and the side of her face, but no broken bones or internal injuries as far as we can see.  She was not on a leash but was reacting to what she thought was a threat of something going too fast.  She is getting around slowly and reluctantly but she seems to be healing.  Mark and I found some wound salve we have used in the past (and it was hard to find) and that seems to have taken care of the worst of the leg wound.

Esme and her friend went fishing with their family on Sunday, and she caught some fish.  I had to work, so it was a nice trade between us to give the girls a good weekend.

I've been out to the garden and seen the morning glory coming up, as well as radishes and marigolds and perhaps a few other things.  We haven't planted  the cabbage out there yet.

My allergies took me over yesterday (on the first of two days off, typical) and by nightfall I felt I was going to have a sinus infection.  I've stayed in bed most of today trying to fend it off, drinking and sleeping.  But, back to work tomorrow.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Curiosity.. woodland plants, garden

It's finally Blackberry Spring.  Allergies are running for Esme... things are starting to bloom.  I have had some curiosity about some local plants and have been making a photo collection.

 Indian pinks, or fire pinks
 Mullein (mull-in), similar to lamb's ears but different.
A shagbark hickory sapling.  I took the picture because of the bronze like color of the leaves.

 Mark's two antennae - the loop antenna is to the left, and it is the new one.
He got a station that was speaking Mandarin Chinese on that one, as well as the Spanish speaking ones we were getting with the other antenna.

 Garden 'stage 3'.. put up a trellis (hard to see) on the left side for the morning glory seeds.  Planted zinnias, cosmos, okra, cucumber, nasturtium and tithonia (Mexican sunflower).  The marigolds and radishes from the other day are not up yet.  Prepared a place to put Esme's school cabbage.  I put a few bricks in the center and a board behind to have free stepping places to weed later when things are grown.  I also made an 'expectations' chart of germination dates so I will know what I'm looking to come up by when.

Our mailbox project from last week.  We needed to mount the large mailbox but the gravel was too deep and hard close to the road.  We bent the old stake back and put it as a support for the new construction.  Mark put this together in about an hour and I helped him pound the other stakes into the softer ground beyond the gravel.  Esme says it looks like a dog :)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Morning, Spring, Wonder

Esme saw these 'fairy house' spiderwebs covered in dew this morning as we stepped out to walk to the school bus.  She said they looked like moon flowers, and that it was so pretty, like a picture.  I remembered years past when I would examine such things in wonder, too - and wished she didn't have to hurry away before barely getting a good look.  It is rarer now that we stop and really look at what Nature has given us, and watch it as it develops.

Although I am running now most of the time, I do try to stop and dip back into the wonder of it all.  Esme helps - as she is so observant and in her own natural state of Wonder at the world.  Mark helps, too - it is an endearing quality that he sees the same in kittens, plants.. in Esme as she has grown - things to stand back and say 'Catch this moment, before it's gone, because it is one of the Fundamental qualities of the Universe' passing us by.. always on the run.  Birth, Regeneration, Growth, Connection and Reflection, Reawakening from long sleep...

The dew drops on the spiderwebs made them stand out in the last of the moonlight and the beginning of the sunrise.

And I am reminded of the times I spent at NDSU, taking my hours between classes examining and sketching the same campus plants as they came forth to Spring after Winter slumber.  I watched leaves unfurl and flowers open, and in those things, time progress in a way it has again and again, observed or unobserved... and I felt something that still hearkens me back to it after all of these years.

It's one of the reasons I can't entirely give up going out to the garden and trying to make things happen there.. but knowing that I will miss things as life sweeps me up in its schedules also makes me stay away sometimes when I would really like to be out there - I get weary in my soul when the things start to die or the bugs take over...

Maybe I will take my sketchbook out a bit more this year, and capture whatever it is that can be seen - is offered, that day.  Or the camera.  I also wonder sometimes if I had taken more time to slow down, like the plant drawing, in college - if I would have been happier and done better overall... I look back and realize I spent so much time worrying and full of anxiety that I could have thrown that energy into more study and work if I had only found ways to calm down more.  Study and work that I would have enjoyed.. not the things that were making me anxious, eating up not only their own scheduled time but the moments in between.  I wouldn't change anything except my attitude - if I knew then what I know now - because I would not give up Mark or Esme for anything and it all led up to where and who I am now.. but the feeling of 'Gulliver' being tied to a thousand strings was very real then and I would go back and snip a few of them now if I could to alleviate the tension I felt then.

And I also remind myself that right now is Spring, that nothing in the past changes but the present and the future are here and flowing around me like water in a brook.  I feel more 'at home' with myself and my surroundings lately than I have in a very long time.  Moreso when I can take a few minutes to reflect and not just trying to make it to someplace on time to wait the hours to leave on time etc...

Waxing philosophical.. enjoy the pictures.

Mark mounted his loop antenna today, and found this sleeping frog on the post on the porch.  He thought it was a big slug at first!