Friday, March 16, 2012

A bath in a bucket

It is no secret that we are experiencing some unseasonable weather this year in northeast Ohio.  It is also no secret that we are loving it and squeezing out every happy moment.

The trampoline is out of winter storage and an almost constant source of physical entertainment for the kids. Our sandbox, which is big enough to be both a play space for the little ones and a soft place for me to spread out a beach towel and enjoy a book, is scattered with toys and shoes.  Even a few of our raised beds have seen some early spring action with the planting of a few cold weather crops.  Can't wait to have an endless supply of yummy greens and be snapping our own peas!  We have been outdoors so often that my fair skinned child has already experienced her first pink shoulders this year.  Can you believe it?  March!

And my favorite spring tradition?  The washing of muddy little feet and hands in my largest pot.

What is it about warmer weather and sunny skies that makes my floors suddenly appear satisfactorily clean and laundry piles only half their actual size?  Well, whatever it is, I hope it's here to stay.  Goodness knows after a couple months of boring indoor bathing, we could all used a sunny day that ends with a bath in a bucket!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekend Highlight: Gardens, Greenhouse, and Cute Toddler

Once again we had AMAZING weather on Sunday. Hard to believe it is only March 12 with such a promise of spring. It frustrates this Momma to not be able to bend over or put on shoes as we still have no baby. I kept looking around the yard and shaking my head at how far we have come and yet how much more there is to go.

One of the most wonderful surprises about yesterday was all the life found yet in the garden. So many plants made it over winter. Including a large row of carrots we planted late and have over wintered. A few more weeks and they will be perfect!

Wade loved running round the garden paths. The paths did a great job holding up to the very wet winter. All we need is a few more loads of wood chips...

He was so precious posing for me everywhere. I can't wait to garden with him this summer. Last summer he was tiny but still loved to crawl to the garden for beans and tomatoes.

Do you remember the green house (Before, UpdateUpdate, Growing stuff, etc.)!?! Well it is looking pretty impressive finally. Of course I am disappointed we didn't grow anything in it over winter but sometimes you just have to let things go. Not everything can get done all at once. It just needs some white trim around the side winder and a gutter for a rain barrel. We spent $25.00 for roller shades in order to get some protection from the sun and right now it hides the little bit of mess that needs to be cleaned out. Looks like it has been there forever.

That is cilantro!!! I was shocked to find tons of it growing. Although it is a cool or early spring weather crop I guess I should be surprised. I can't wait to find a bunch of uses for it this early on. We actually had several herbs make it over winter in the herb bed and a rosemary plant in the green house made it as well.

That is Rainbow Swiss Chard. Looks a little beat up but there are several wonderful bright and fresh new leaves growing. Yum! I need to get some spinach seeds planted!

The winterized beds. We need some dirt!! Time to get things going. We might be able to get a jump on the growing season. Although this year we won't risk it. We will be putting up row covers for early spring to ensure the rain (or hail) doesn't damage the tender new plants. One bed even has onions I thought were lost from our early spring hail storm last year.

Check this out! This is a thermostat installed in the green house. I can set the desired temp and a blower will turn on and keep the temp down to what is set (say 80 degrees!). That should help a lot with growing in the green house this summer.

Here is the blower. I know... not impressive looking but wow does it work! Best part... the blower, thermostat and installation is "free" on a barter for a tattoo! I love my husband's skills to trade. 

What happened around your house or homestead this weekend???

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Waiting on Baby

The weather today in Ohio was amazing. Warm. Soft breeze. All the windows in the house were open airing it out. Making you hope that winter was really over. We are still waiting on baby... I am ready. I am ready to stop waiting. I am ready to stop being so large. I am ready to stop being swollen and sore. I am ready to get back to a more "normal" life. I was hoping a nice long walk with my boys would help bring on labor. I was able to take some really great photos while walking. 

The new baby's name letters are done and just need to be hung up. I am working on designing a birth announcement. We are just trying to keep up with minor chores even though I am itching for spring cleaning. Labor can start any day now... no one is more ready than I am.

Looking forward to the other side!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Welcome our newest addition to Two Blue Houses! (No, it isn't Lauren's baby, but any day...) This arrival came via snail mail.  And I'm happy to report that the kids are loving their new little ones.

Another spring, another order of chicks.  I'm not sure if this says we are bad owners or determined to succeed.  Either or, filling the house with their surprisingly loud "cheeps" sure makes us smile.  Seriously, a sleeping day-old-chick is just about the cutest thing I can imagine.  They fall asleep and kind of just flap down.  You would swear they were injured by looking at they way they are awkwardly sprawled all over. Little overlapping piles of yellow fluff.  Sigh.  Adorable.

Since we are no longer day-old-chick newbies, our brooder has gotten less and less complicated and I think last year we nailed it so here it is again...

Three large cardboard boxes fashioned into one piled with a couple inches of straw.  Totally disposable, compostable, and my favorite, just about free.  Every couple days I gently scoot the chicks to one side and sprinkle some fresh straw.  They may be small, but boy do they "go" a lot!

It is hard to believe they have been here for almost a week.  Only 19 weeks to go until they are laying eggs.  Patience... patience...

Any happy signs of spring at your place?

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