Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

Today is Easter Sunday and we spent the morning dyeing Easter eggs! Gretel throughly enjoyed the process, although she is still a little rough with the eggs. We had a few casualties but got a basket full of beauties all the same!

Here's Gretel in the new Easter dress that Grandma Liz made for her.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Changes in the Backyard

Yesterday marked the first warm sunshiny day of the spring, and we took advantage of it by working on our wall in the backyard. The left side is nearly finished and we are very happy with it - hooray!

The spring greens are up in the garden beds and we've got a cold frame full of lettuce to eat. Gretel has been learning to walk on the paths (not the beds) and we've put up a fence to keep Alistair and the chickens out.

Casey finished the stairs on the east side of the yard, across from the chicken coop. A nice big flagstone sits at the top and our new brick pathway will tie into it.

Sunshine, stone, growing food, and growing kids. Absolute bliss!

Gretel enjoys toddling on the new pathways.

The whole path so far (in typical Portland weather).

Friday, April 15, 2011

One for Auntie Sally Lackaff

Just like her Aunt Sally L., Gretel can chew every last ounce of meat off a bone. We were thoroughly impressed with this ability and expect Aunt Sally will be as well!

She is indeed a good little eater.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rehabilitation of the Front Yard

This month we decided to do a complete overhaul of our front yard. Although it is always full of color in the summer, the winter months have shown us how drab it can be when all of our perennials are hunkering down. We've also needed to add organic matter to the soil so we took this opportunity to accomplish both. First we dug out all of our plants, then turned the soil over and fixed the grade in the areas we were unhappy with.

Above, our garlic patch, the only plants we left in the ground, gets pummeled by a hailstorm.

Next we mixed compost in with our soil, delineated our paths, and topdressed with the compost mixture because it is such a deliciously dark soil.

We decided on a curvy stone pathway, with an area of groundcover in the middle to let us have a place to sit in the summer, but still have lots of dry places to place our feet when collecting herbs in the off months.

Finally we re-planted things, with more thought to location, flower and foliage color & texture, and added evergreens to the mix for some winter interest. Now that the backyard is ready to grow the bulk of our veggies, this front yard will house mostly herbs and ornamentals.

As is typical, this project is not finished yet. But we've done the bulk of the work and the plants are firmly in the ground and ready to fill out the space. I've also put in a lot of annual seed around so we hope to have a lush flower garden by the summer months.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


A move from the Wobbler Room to the Toddler 1 Room at Gretel's daycare has meant a lot of changes. New teachers, new kids, new toys and new challenges. But perhaps the favorite change so far is that the kids have ponytails put in their hair nearly every day at school. Gretel thinks this is great fun (although she never wanted them from me) and now talks about "ponies" all the time. Be ready for many, many ponytail pictures as this kid grows.