Thursday, July 30, 2009

rainbows and dirt

So, I'm wondering if this could count as a contribution to rainbow week? And will you all forgive me if I confess that my house is not full of rainbows?

Our summer nature table is very, very simple at the moment. Wildflowers, some bright colors, and seashells from my beloved Carmel beach. Will be adding more nature treasures and handmade goodness when autumn comes though!

And this was the view from the upstairs windows today! Jason went chasing down dirt trucks again, letting them know that they were welcome to dump their dirt here. And so they did!

Do you think there is any chance of the clothes coming clean? Or their bodies for that matter?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

late night with the girls

Today was our go to town day for the week. But since the yarn shop was having a sale starting at 5 this evening, we didn't go as early as we usually would. Yes, being in town at 5 in the evening is a late night for us! So I'm guessing that the girls are now looking something like this. Older picture, but it's how they often sleep!

We also went to the library. Lots of books to return! Yes, we have a house/building obsession. No, we don't want to live in a yurt. And we don't plan on building a log cabin. The cabin book sure was neat though. And I love that Tassajara Cookbook. Not just because it is full of pictures of beautiful Carmel Valley! Great recipes too. Sadly though they did not have On the Banks of Plum Creek. I guess our Little House journey will have to be postponed.

Can you believe I actually have a bag that holds 21 library books?!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

wild berries and wonderful books

These were sitting on the kitchen counter when I came upstairs this morning. Wild raspberries that Jason harvested at work the day before. There will be more to come! And wild strawberries too. Hooray! We had raspberry pancakes for lunch!

The girls and I had a nice quiet day. Read the last three chapters of Little House on the Prairie. I find it very hard to pace ourselves with those books. Maybe because I feel like I have been waiting my whole life to read them with my daughters! The girls also did a lot of drawing today. These are their pictures inspired by Little House in the Big Woods.

It rained all last night and much of today too. I won't mind if it continues all week!

Friday, July 24, 2009

second grade fables

I am really looking forward to sharing some of our school work here. We are going to be starting our 3rd year of Waldorf homeschooling in the autumn. (Fourth year if you count kindergarten, but I guess I'm not, as it was so informal.) This past year we did second grade with Chloe, while she was 8. We started off with a week of form drawing with Native American stories, and then did a language arts block of fables. I highly recommend the book Teaching with the Fables by Sieglinde de Francesca. It was my favorite resource for this block, so beautifully written and illustrated. (Her Coloring with Block Crayons book is wonderful too.) So here are some of Chloe's lesson book pages from that block.

I will be back soon to show some of what we did for our blocks on Stories of the Saints. I was one of our favorite parts of the year!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Camping Girl

Chloe returned home exhausted and emotional. She said she didn't have any fun at all. And then spent the rest of the afternoon chattering about all the fun and exciting things they did. But sometimes I do wonder if 9 years old is still too young for sleepovers.

No pictures since we weren't with her :( but here are some from her first camping trip alone with her daddy two summers ago.

Hopefully we will get to go on another family camping trip soon!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Little sister in the garden...

A campfire gathering...

Tired big sister…


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Across the water

Yesterday Jason decided that we needed to go play at the lake. A few years ago he traded some work on some guys land for a kayak, and Chessa and I had never been out in it, (just him and Chloe), so we decided we would paddle across the lake and have a picnic dinner. It was a great afternoon, except for one thing... apparently I get very sick when out in a boat on the water! Oh so awful feeling! Barely made it to the other side.

Fortunately I felt better after sitting in the grass a while. The girls had a wonderful time playing in the sand and water, and just running around and exploring.

There were also many families of ducks to watch, but if I tried to get too close for pictures they quickly disappeared into the grasses. If you look real closely here you can kind of see them.

No pictures of the girls in the kayak because our camera battery didn't last long enough. I was going to take pictures of them heading back, since I decided to walk most of the way back around the lake. Just had to get in for a few minutes to get past the mouth of the river. We will go back soon, but I think I will have to stay on the shore!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Sewing

Since my sewing has been looking much more colorful than the garden I thought I would share a few pictures. Towards the end of winter I started getting obsessed (again) with the 30's reproduction prints, pastels and brights, anything that reminded that spring was coming! I cut so many squares, with no real plan on how I would use them. This was how the girls were greeted above the table on the first day of spring.

I think these fabrics will keep me busy for a while. (But I can't help but look forward to some autumn sewing!)

And here is my summer girl! Red is not my favorite color, but Chloe loves it, and I think that because of her it is growing on me. I gave her some of this fabric for her birthday last year. Then we needed to get some more to make her a top and matching skirt.

But I think that this simple dress is my favorite thing I have made lately. Chessa calls it her lemon dress. Ha ha, no it's not yellow, obviously there are no lemons on it, it's linen. I am working on a pattern in Chloe's size next. I have lots of ideas for variations on this dress. I think it will be nice for autumn too with a long sleeve underneath.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Only kind of a gardening post

Well, I was wanting to do some kind of nice gardening post, but not feeling like I have any great pictures to go along with it. Two of our beds have been recently cleared, ready for the next crop of warmer weather veggies, so there really isn't that much to show at the moment. So how about a picture of the girls sitting on the garden fence instead, even though it's from last year, and you can't see the garden at all...

Today the girls and I harvested all of our fava beans. They were huge! It was fun. Shelling the beans, then blanching them, then popping them out of their skins. But we had half of one bed planted with the beans, and from that got enough for one dinner. I don't think we can afford to give that much space to a crop that provides us with just one meal. It was really good though. I just sauteed them with some onion, garlic, and ginger. Everyone liked it a lot.

Here is part of our new flower bed that Jason is making bordering our backyard fence. Early in the spring a friend dug up some of her perennials for us, including hollyhocks. I have wanted to grow hollyhocks for the past 15 years, but have never planted seeds because they don't even flower the first year and we have never lived anywhere long enough to wait for them to bloom. But now, soon! I will definitely be posting pictures of those! I filled in the space around them with cosmos and calendula. Chloe took over the space in front of the bed for her fairy house. Looks like the fairy house people have some weeding to do! (By the way, fairy house people are not real fairies, they are regular people like us, just little. According to the girls. There are a lot of fairy house people, and they all have names, and they all have their own voices. They get quite loud out there sometimes!)

And here are our tomatoes. Growing tomatoes here can be tricky. They say you shouldn't set the plants out until night temps reach 50 degrees. But we would be waiting almost forever. Even this week with the hottest weather ever, which for us here in the mountains means 90, it can still get down into the 40's at night. Last year we didn't transplant our tomatoes until the beginning of August, even though we knew it was probably pointless. (Totally pointless. Beautiful plants that froze just after the first flowers came.) This year we got them out at the beginning of July, and we already have our first tomatoes on the way. They may be pretty small still, but we are impressed. We'll see how it goes. I scattered some basil seed in front of the tomatoes. We also have three tomatoes in pots up on the deck. Although to be honest, we nearly let the plants die, and then transplanted them into the pots yesterday. But at least these ones can get pulled inside at night once it starts getting cold.

And on a totally unrelated topic, our cat Shiloh just fell off the windowsill. He was sound asleep. He of course woke up, but pretended nothing had happened, cause he tries to be cool like that.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer Greetings

Summer seems to be so full, much busier than those cold winter days when we would make it to town only once or twice a month! There is the garden, picnics by the river, visits to our friends farm, camping, birthdays... This all really started in spring of course. Aprils farm visit was prompted by newborn baby goats, just five days old. It sure is hard to get good pictures of baby goats!

Also hard to get good pictures of your children playing and dancing about at a May Faire. This is at the small, not so local (about an hour away) Waldorf school. The girls had such a wonderful time! Jason and I were so surprised that our quiet little Chessa joined in with all the activities.

Birthdays kept us very busy as well, or me at least, giving myself barely enough time to make the girls gifts, which was a new doll for each of them. I have made several Waldorf style dolls over the years, and I think these are the best so far. The hardest part about making Chessa's was knowing that I couldn't take much of a break before getting to work on Chloe's . Here are a few birthday pics and one of the dolls too.

And in between birthdays there was a nice summer solstice camping trip. (And more handwork time for me, knitting new hats for the girls to keep their heads warm, since even in the summer up higher in the mountains here it can get down into the 30's at night.) We couldn't go where we originally planned, as a tragic skateboarding accident left Jason with a very hurt ankle, and hiking all day to a campsite was not an option. So we decided to drive up to a place we call "bluebell fields." It is about 8 miles up a dirt road that is so rocky and bumpy that it takes more than 2 hours to get up there! But rather than a field full of bluebells, we found a field full of cows!

So we headed up just a bit further and found ourselves a very nice spot.

We could hear those cows mooing all night long! We kind of wondered if we would wake up to find ourselves surrounded by them! But no. And on the way back down, as we passed our bluebell field, there was not a cow in sight. So we stopped and took a walk out to one of the girls special rocks.

Here is a cute picture we took of them in the same spot a couple years ago.

And here is a picture Chloe took of Jason and I as we were leaving. (I can't believe I am writing in such a public way. So unlike me. And pictures too? What am I thinking!)

Happy Summertime!!