Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Birthday to the Three of Us!

My Kelly (Jellybean) was nearly a birthday present 39 years ago. I went into labor on my 24th birthday and recall vividly the day fraught with excitement that this gift, already 3 weeks late, was finally willing to 'arrive'! I am happily the grandmother of Kelly's 6 children and Kimber's 1 (below) I celebrate today with panache as my husband takes me for lunch at my favorite new place called the Creme. His daughter will fix me dinner of sushi and liliquoy (a Hawaiian fruit) cheesecake out at the ranch.

Actually, today Kelly graduates in the state of Virginia at the head of his class of Chinook Helicopter Mechanics. He's been gone since early July and is suppose to come home tomorrow (his birthday). Circumstances beyond his control today will keep him there, and I lift up prayers for his heath and complete recovery from surgery! I wish I were there to see him graduate like I was in the picture below when he got his GED not too long ago.

And then, Darlin' Alana!
She's a Leap Year Baby, so it's one, two three for us (Feb. 27, 28, 29).
I praise God for her delightful presence in our family!

As this day unfolds, there is snow on the ground, the sun is shining brilliantly, and there are harbingers (I LOVE that word!) of spring everywhere. February ends well and we march forward with joy on our hearts.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Garden Bed Instructions, Part 2, especially for Margaret!

Here it is, Margaret!
The promised instructions are below. I used five 2" x 8" x 12' redwood or cedar for each box. One of the 12' boards was cut into four pieces for the two ends. I used 4" x 4" treated posts to tie the corners and support the middles. After building each one it was lifted and carried to a leveled spot, filled with compost and planted. In the bottom picture you can see some of my 5th-grade students who had put the last one together. They are very easy to make, obviously!

Evan, James and Cody relax after after the thrill of a"Mission Accomplished".
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Garden Bed Building Instructions Part One

This is my one of my favorite methods of gardening. We build the "uncontained" beds right on top of our back yard lawn, which used to be a parking lot. We knew we'd have to build on top of the ground. We brought in truckloads of topsoil to be shoveled into 'assigned' beds that were 40" wide. Then we brought in truckloads of sawdust from a defunct mill to put in the pathways to walk on. This was in a state we fondly call Misery. Most folks there call it Missouri.

You can see the crops and how well they did. One neighbor secretly watched us do all this, and then he proceeded to buy us out quickly when we wanted to sell to come back to God's country, the Pacific Northwest. Part Two will follow tomorrow. And, for Margaret, Part
Three will follow the next day. This is merely one easy way to do garden beds, the French Intensive, Biodynamic Method.
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bleeding Hearts

I have been looking in my west garden bed for a hint of these darlings, and there is not one tiny anything starting, however, the ground IS still frozen. I just can't stand it! My friend Connie's garden has 'showings' of several kinds of flowers starting, including these Bleeding Hearts. I want so much for these to come back again, as they are a gift from another sweet friend (Rachel) with whom I do garden tours.

They remind me of the 'flip' hairdo I had back in the 60's, piled high by 'teasing'. These pictures were part of my picture-taking frenzy last year.

It is 40 degrees this morning but the ground is frozen. I'm so ready for some more signs of spring!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Another Expedition

My DH has the habit of taking me (and now 'Us') hiking on Saturday or Sunday afternoons.
The little pixie below is the sister to Evan from Heaven.
I call her Alina, the Queena the Ranch.
And she calls me 'Auntie Grandma'.

Below, taken from inside the car and out the back window, was one of the sites we beheld as we drove the narrow winding road to the creek where Even fished.

The rock formations project suddenly and surprisingly in the middle of serious cattle ranches along the river.

And, finally, the still, smooth and reflective creek inspired me to take picture after picture, none of which turned out really well from the car!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

One Lovely Day!

The heart-shaped melting of snow on the neighborhod roof was our

early Valentine gift on Tuesday.

Happy Valentine's Day!

On another note, some sure signs of spring are the rich and vivid green of this moss growing down by the creek we visited last Sunday.

Little 'Evan from Heaven'

has a wonderfully positive attitude about it being time to fish.

It was about 35 degrees, but he was one happy grandbaby!

On the cold and sunny days of winter we get anxious for spring to begin.

And, as George Macdonald says, "The holy spirit of the Spring is working silently."

We truly hope that is true because if the growning of trees and buds pushing to open were actually heard we would cover our ears in pain!

Friday, February 6, 2009

January Excursion, Part 2

I be likin' lichen; I teasel you not!
This field of teasel greeted us upon our arrival;
and I cannot stop snapping pictures of lichen.
I just love all the colors and patterns of lichen.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

End of January Excursion, Part 1

On Saturday (January 31st) my DH took me on a walk down to the Whitebird Battlefield area. This is a favorite excursion we do several times a year in order to measure what's going on. There exists an old homestead with sweet things left behind. The whole area was strewn with 'scat' which I posted for the homeschool boys in my previous post. Elk and coyote had bedded down, drunk from this tiny creek and eaten what was left of the wild cherries and rose hips.

I'm not certain if this is water cress, but some very green plant growing well in spots along the creek where robins were thick and vying for bathing space.

I'm fond of wook cookstoves, having cooked on one back in the '70's. It is a sad reminder of the life left behind, in my opinion. There are various pieces of equipment here and there along with broken down fence rails you can observe in the next picture.

This small ridge hides the low valley between where we stand and the ridges in the distance. The low valley is the Whitebird Battlefield where the Nez Perce rousted out the army in the first battle in a war the Nez Perce eventually lost. Our day was crisply cold, but sunny, so we planted our fannies in some thick dry grass in order to lie down for a small bit. I guess you could say that we planted a fanny garden. There is always a way to fit in gardening!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Scat! ...for Josh and Marcus


Elk, with a quater on top to show size.

More Coyote!