4.19.2016

spring things


First, flowers.  We came home from Texas to lots and lots of flowers blooming.  Tulips, daffodils, wisteria, and primrose have largely passed the torch to foamflower, azaleas, phlox, solomon's seal, yellow dead nettle, and others.  The comfrey and false indigo are getting ready to bloom, and I've seeded multiple wildflower beds.  I'm working at the farm again this year, so we decided to scale back a bit on certain vegetables that take up lots of space and that I can get at the farm (tomatoes, mostly- though we'll still plant at least 8 or so here at home), and so I'm adding lots of extra flowers and herbs.  We'll be picking up new bees soon (we took the year off last year after keeping bees for 4 years and then losing them the winter before last), so no doubt they'll appreciate the extra flowers as well~








Another spring thing:  eggs.  Eggs, eggs, eggs.  And fresh chives snipped onto plates of eggs by my favorite herb garden fairy.



Homemade Ingalls family paper dolls seem to be a thing these days, too~


Goats and wee baby goats, and loads of other animals at the Mother Earth News Fair.  I got to catch up with a few friends there, and meet the ever-inspiring Amanda Blake Soule at the Taproot booth.  How fun to shake her hand and say hello in person after reading her blog and books (and magazine) for several years.  It was cold and windy and we didn't stay long, but it was a sweet little stop and I look forward to checking out more of the classes and demos next year.


Papa's birthday.  Yellow cake with chocolate icing, if you please.  He turned 36, which means I've known and loved him for half of his life (and half of mine).  That feels...... pretty big.  And  pretty great.




The party was a joint birthday party with a friend of his, out at the property where he and his family are building a house.  There was lots of dirt, some heavy machinery, a house-in-progress tour, shenanigans, eats and drinks, a bit of (safe and sound and responsibly far away from the kiddos) target practice, and loads of sunshine and smiles.




Here's to these lovely spring days, and lots of sunshine on your shoulders.

4.08.2016

texas, texas

stretching their legs roadside in Dallas, after a quick pit stop and our first up close view of bluebonnets
We drove to Texas and back last week.  It was spring break and we were off and it happened to be my dear grandfather's 85th birthday and my mom was planning to go out to Memphis for that anyway and hey what do you know, Memphis is about halfway to my good friend Nichole's place and I've long been saying some day we'll make it out there, so..........  we did it.  We three and my mom packed in the car for a trip out to my grandpa's place near Memphis.  We visited, stayed the night, and had a quick egg hunt Easter morning before the three of us set off again, Texas bound.  We spent the entire day in the car and then 4 nights in Texas visiting Nichole and her family before making our way back to Memphis via Louisiana and then back home, and I feel like we squeezed a lot of goodness and a lot of exploring into those days.  We learned not to assume there'd be gas stations around when driving Texas back roads, we ate lots of tacos and some yummy bbq, we learned that the thing to do in Texas in the springtime is to plop your kid in a patch of roadside bluebonnets and take pictures, we saw longhorns and tons of wildflowers, riverbed fossils and loose livestock.  We visited a living history farm that I've long admired from Nichole's photos, drove an incredible (the wildflowers! the rock formations! the cows in the road!) 13 mile loop in Willow City, shared more than one chocolate malt, spent a night camping at a beautiful state park (the raccoons stole our breakfast and our camping neighbors were obnoxiously and inconsiderately loud, but the sweeping limestone formations across that river made up for it), explored Austin, and got to connect with a far-away friend and kindred spirit who I so often wish was my neighbor. 

oh my goodness her yard is so beautiful~ it is filled with flowers and color and garden beds and fun. I felt right at home.



right there under that awning was where we rested our heads for a few nights - so lovely to wake up with a view of the wildflower beds right outside the windows



bluebonnets with Nichole and the girls, and sweet Molly dog in the background



exploring


they're so pretty! I hadn't realized before that they are essentially small lupines~

Pedernales Falls State Park



paintbrush


I knew I'd love Sauer-Beckmann Farm long before I ever stepped foot on the property.  I've been telling Nichole for a long time that when and if I make it down to Texas for a visit I've just got to go to that farm- the one with the cows and chickens and the beautiful old kitchen and the old stone buildings and, and, and...... sigh.  It's lovely.











'loose' livestock right off the road in the Willow City Loop

wildflowers, wildflowers, wildflowers!



we all worked together to pick snails off of the greens in the garden~ this is something we don't have at home, and gosh they are so pretty.  don't get me wrong, we have lots of slugs, just not their prettily-shelled (and equally as annoying to the gardener, I know) cousins

hole-in-the-wall (and delicious) taco place recommended to us by Nichole and Byron- we stopped for breakfast on the way in to Austin, and later on we got a 2.5# stack of fresh corn tortillas to take home

giant 'light-brite' pad at Thinkery, an awesome children's museum in Austin

I dug the street art along South Congress in Austin...





very pretty and delicious-smelling huisache tree

Austin malt and chocolate treats



I have so long wanted to sit at this table........

Many, many, many thanks to Nichole and her family for opening their home to us for a few days and making us feel welcome and at ease while there~