Saturday, April 27, 2019

No words

I don't really need words here, do I? The beauty speaks for itself, doesn't it?

But since I'm not one to swallow my words, here are some:

We've been soooo enjoying spring, with all the blossoming things around us, and the garden thriving, and walking barefoot.

I don't like wearing gloves or shoes when I dig in the soil to plant or weed. I love the feeling of dirt, although I have to admit that stepping on a slimy slug is not so great.

Anyway. At the end of the day, this is what my feet look like.  Also, my face looks tired, because it is. Working in the garden all day isn't as easy as it used to be 25 years ago...

These spring days are so full, so physical, and so welcome after a long, cold winter.  We love sitting at the end of the day, watching the kids frolic outside, helping with chores in the garden, or raking grass, or jumping on the trampoline.

Our friends gave us this trampoline a long time ago when their kids flew the nest.  We we put it over a big hole so it would be on the ground lest someone broke their neck falling off it.  We've gotten a lot of mileage out of that old thing.  The kids love it, and I like it mostly for stretching out on my back and staring up at the sky.

Talking of relaxing: Another favorite thing at the end of the day is sitting on the porch with a glass of our homemade Oregon Grape wine.

Two years ago, we picked 20 pounds of these wild berries in our wild forests and made them into wine, and oh my goodness, I need to tell you: this is the best wine I've ever tasted. Better than the store bought stuff, honestly.

Also, it has a bunch of medicinal properties, so I feel good about drinking it. Ahem.

If you want to try it, come to our Homesteading/Wilderness retreat in August, and you get some.

 Another fun thing this week: driving over the the Methow Valley, just over the North Cascade Mountain Pass on the East.  The road over the pass closes every winter and doesn't open again for six months, and this year it opened super early.

So off we went, because the mountain biking is good in the Methow, and one of our kids is mountain bike obsessed. Since he's homeschooled, we get to do these adventures in the middle of the week when the crowds are almost non-existent this time of year.

Heaven, I tell you. Heaven.

This guy didn't get to go. He was sick. Excuse me for publishing this photo of you with a fever. You're a good sport.

This guy did get to go. Lucky dude.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Typically temperamental - but the garden is going in!

In typical April fashion, she is being temperamental. One day, she's shining the sun down on us and makes the plants shoot up in front of our eyes, and another day, she's dumping rain and makes us light the wood stove.

But while she's having a hard time making up her mind, I'm single-minded and focused: get the garden in.

So whenever the sun comes out, I shovel compost, broadfork garden beds, and plant things.  Peas, radishes, garlic, carrots and beets are already up.  And all our 40 pounds of potatoes are planted!  We've expanded our garden into the South-East corner of our property, since the potatoes get to grow there with a pretty view of some mountains.  Great logic, huh?

Of course I enlist the help of youngsters whenever I can.  Since I plant potatoes in furrows, there's quite a big of digging involved, and by the time rows are dug for that many plants, my back is grateful for the help and company of cheerful kids.

I have a blog post about planting potatoes if you want to learn how to do this.  >> Click here to read it <<

In case you are wondering why I have bird netting over my garden beds, it's so that the pesky birds can't pull up the emerging, succulent green sprouts.  So there, birds!

Springtime is such a lovely time of the year, even though she can't make up her mind about the weather.

Cherry and plum trees are blooming in full force.

Foraging for wild food is abundant.  I have already gathered and dried a bunch of nettles, and I often snack on Miner's Lettuce and Dandelion leaves when I go for walks.

And volunteer kale is sprouting up in a corner of our property where I dumped some garden clippings the year before.  What a treat!

Plus: tulips and trilliums and baby goats! What's not to love!

Spring time also signals bicycling time - one of my great loves.  So whenever weather and time permit, I grab one of my kids and drag them out on an excursion.

Or kayaking and canoeing: We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and by golly, we will be out in it, even if it rains!  We took the boys and their friends out to Lake Shannon for an impromptu rowing trip in the rain.

Hint: when you take four teenagers out rowing while it's drizzling, bring lots and lots and lots of food.  Treats are a great motivator.

I will leave you with images of more spring:

Naturally dyed easter eggs - dyed with cabbage.  I have a tutorial on how to do this on my blog.  >> Click here to read it <<

I finished knitting my skirt (called "Bee You Skirt", found here on Ravelry):

Our pot hole filling neighborhood party was a great success! Our one-mile-long unmaintained forest service road had gotten impossible to drive without throwing our backs or necks out, so now it's easy going again!

What's blooming in your part of the world?

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