Friday, April 30, 2010

Patio Progress

Before we begin with the story of the patio this year, let me remind you of last year. If you don't have time, read on. If you have a few minutes please look back at these links to past posts of the Patio Progress:

Another Project in the Yard (June 9, 2009)
Garden & Patio Update (June 15, 2009)
The Harvest is Coming (July 8, 2009)
A Jumble of Stuff (August 2, 2009)

And now onto this year...

(Warning: all pictures are NOT cropped, enhanced, or prettied up in any way for your benefit, sorry.)

So here is the paver patio from Wednesday morning, still in much shadow. It was mostly completed last year. This year I have just put in the back planting bed (not all the way finished as you can see the two end stones yet to be put in the ground).

Here is that back bed, planted with a few basil plants and some perennials. All will be green and purple. This is just planted, it will fill in as it grows. Good news, the little wall has stopped the rain/mud from draining onto the patio when it rains.

Here is the side by the driveway, full of ground covers and my newly planted gladiolas along the fence. I hope that the creeping jenny (the yellow green ground cover) takes over and fills all the way around.

And now we are up to speed on the current project: putting in an arbor between the patio and the lawn. My green beans, lima beans and black eyed peas will grow on it this year, freeing up more garden plot area. Here is the space, dug up and level, ready for the underground contraption to keep the arbor from toppling over on my children.

And Uncle Scott helping Kirk get the whole thing into place. (Notice the other side of the paver area filled with herbs and more ground cover... oregano, thyme, mint and more creeping jenny.)

The whole thing, almost done...

After it was put into place and the stability thing buried I readjusted some of my herbs and rocks since they were so stepped upon....

And here's Cayce! I think she might just be America's Next Top Model - go ahead and apply Cayce, you can use this as your entry photo...

And a kid shot. It was bright so we have no faces but at least they stood together for a second.

And thus completes the Patio Arbor Project. I will keep posting as I plant the ground under and around it (beans and more ground cover). Also I will be planting the rest of the paving stone area, between the stones, this year with more elven thyme. By the time I was ready for it last year they had stopped selling it. But it did good and came back so I will be buying a ton of it this year at the Farmer's Market.

You know, by the time I'm all done with this yard and happy with the way it looks we will probably move... how sad....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Annoying Nature

Are these all over your yard? They are all over mine.

My kids love them, I hate them... but they are pretty.

These too - the helicopter seed. All over my front yard.

Close up it looks very... veiney. (Is vieney a word? My spellcheck thinks not.)

Monday, April 26, 2010

They Grow Up So Fast...

You know your kids are growing up when:
You still buy baby wipes but they are now mainly used at the dinner table, not the changing table.
Your one year old wears a size 5 in diapers.
Your one year old wears a size 3T in clothes.
Your 3 year old wears a size 4-5T.
Your 3 year old stops wearing pull-ups and sleeps in underwear.
Your kids get into their own car seats.
You no longer use high-chairs.
You no longer use bibs.
You no longer use bottles.
You don't care so much when other people talk about their babies rolling or sitting or crawling, cause you're SO DONE WITH ALL THAT!
You get to start throwing away all kinds of toys, justifying this to the kids by saying they are 'baby toys'.
Your 3 year old no longer fits into the front of the grocery cart.
Your one year old barely fits into the front of the grocery cart.
You're told dinner looks, "Diss-guss-ting!"
You hear the phrase, "Whatever!" (from a 3 yr old!)

You know they will always be your babies when:
You start to hear unprompted, "I love you"s.
They wake in the middle of the night, and they still need their Mama.
They still fall asleep on you like infants.
They are sad, and they need their Mama.
They are hurt, and they need their Mama.
Kisses still fix tears.
They are excited, and you're the first one they tell.
They are proud, and they want you to know.
You hold them, and they hold you back, as if their lives depend on that connection.

I love my babies.
(They were good today)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Outdoor Progress

I've been very busy (ok, we've been very busy) in the back yard... Spring has been rather productive. It's amazing how much more you can get done when both your kids can walk by themselves and actually want to go play without you. Granted, a large box full of dirt helps this out quite a bit. Go Dirt Box!

So far this spring I have planted about 50 or so bulbs in the back yard, gladiolas and lilies. The gladiolas, which should get around 4 feet tall are along my chain link fence. They are going to be red/orange/yellow colored, named firecrackers. Hopefully they will make a good screen for the chain link.
I have dug up my remaining three hosta from the front flower bed and replanted them in the back, leaving two as they were and splitting the third into 5 plants. My original five hosta have now become a whopping 15 plants.
We have our landscape wall that was made from my blood, sweat and tears (Kirk calls it the Great Wall of Overland). This year I opened up two spaces in it on either side of the yard to act as entry ways into the back, shady area. I also created a rock bed around all my hosta that line the wall. And Kirk dug out our last remaining stump from the yard. The kids now play in the shady area under the honeysuckle tree. I have moved their little table back there and we hung some garden gnome/elf guys from the branches. Nola calls it their house, or her jungle.
On the paver patio that I made last year I have now put up the back 'wall' from halves of pavers and made a bed behind them. I lined one of the chain link fence sides also with firecracker gladiolas.
We were about to go buy some lattice to make an arbor for my future green beans. My neighbors were outside chatting it up with us and mentioned that they had an old arbor that they were going to throw out - did we want it? Ummmm YES! A real, metal arbor opposed to some crap-job creation I would have made on my own out of lattice? Again, YES! So now we have an arbor, and it looks great. It even had gates on it. We still need to make a platform to secure it into the ground, but I'm working on that.
I guess that's about it. There's more, but I'm coming up blank. I will try and take some pictures in the next few days and post my little projects.
Oh! I almost forgot! The vegetable garden is almost ready to be planted! Ground turned over and new compost put in... just need to level it out and put in the little seedlings.... Summer veggies, here we come!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Photo-Mojo is Back!

I can upload again! Of course every picture I've taken since March is still in my camera - but I will work on that later tonight... For now I have some random things:

Nola helping me plant my seeds for this years vegetable garden

Filling up all the dirt is the BEST job for a three year old

And here is a shot of some of my little seedlings emerging from their dirt

Green Bean seedling with first leaves

And last but certainly not least... anyone remember the little kid from the movie Parenthood?

Yeah for Photo-Mojo!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Photo Upload Blues

I wanted to upload lots of photos for you to see to accompany this post... but my computer is getting on in age and has it's moments these days where it just doesn't want to cooperate with me. There are things that seem to have degenerated over time, one of them being photo uploads. I know I should just put the old dinosaur out of it's misery and replace it with something new and shiny and flat screened... but I'm cheap and it's just not dead enough yet.

But alas, I have figured out a way to show you some of my photos. I can still manage to upload to Facebook (not without difficulty but at least it eventually works unlike here on blogspot). So I will just link you on over to those. If you are my friend on FB you have already seen these, but it's all my ancient computer and I can offer you at this time. If you are not my friend on Facebook and you take the time to read my blog, feel free to become my friend. I already love you!

So anyway.... I took some pictures of the kids in February: February Photo Shoot

And again in March: Spring Photo Shoot 2010
The session from March was more of a deliberate photo shoot. My niece's mother gets professional photos of her ever couple of months and I was jealous. I always said I wouldn't pay someone to take my kids' pictures when I could just do it myself... but I wasn't doing it. So I did it. And I want to establish a tradition of doing a photo shoot for every season of every year. As long as they will cooperate, that is. A Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter photo shoot. I think I can get to that.

I will have to work on this photo issue because I have lots of things to show you...
the planting of new seeds
the growing of seedlings
the start of a new vegetable garden
the floral landscaping of my yard
my kids kids kids

I will keep taking the pictures and hopefully I will resolve the problem with uploads and be able to blog with visual aids in the near future.