right now

right now

May 20, 2011

having a little fun with it...

my facebook update tonight:

"hey remember everyone... tomorrow's the big day! We were even given a time... make something fantastic for dinner at 5 pm, because the Rapture is at 6 pm sharp! Don't forget to put clean underwear on..."

LInk:  May 21, 2011: rapture or party time?
If everything goes as Oakland minister Harold Camping predicts, the Bay Area will suffer a world-ending earthquake around 6 p.m. Saturday, God-fearing Christians will ascend to heaven and everyone else is in big trouble...

who's ready?  Wish I had a big beach house, y'all would be invited to the Rapture party - mimosas for those of us still here on Sunday morning!

getting out...

As of 6:30 am, I was still working on the Loch's shirt, but I did finish!  I'll have a photo once I finish Finn's shirt on Sunday (hopefully).

mastering the buttonhole!

As for the rest of the day, since we only get to have hubby awake and home from about noon Friday until Saturday night,  as soon as the kids came home from school, we headed out to the Wildlife Refuge.  While not my "secret spot" it is my favorite spot, as there is about NOBODY there ever, and the wildlife and unspoiled beaches are amazing.  Here you can walk or ride bike from our side right into NC where the wild horses are.  Nothing but a few birds and a fox spotted today.  The weather was about perfect, a cool 71 degrees with cloudy skies, and the rain held off until just as we were safely back in the car.  I love how close we live to all of this, and that we can be there, hike, see the beach and back home again all between after school & dinner time.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and had to use my iphone camera and it's horrible!  Although I'm proud to say I'm still using a 1st Generation iPhone, LOL!  It's like an antique now, like a favorite old car.

Finn is freaking out over some random mosquito or dragonfly here...if you remember from all our "training sessions" last summer, Finn is not much of an "outdoorsman", that's Loch.  Although he surprised me over Christmas when he snowshoed quite a distance at Mama Pea's house and none of us were holding him at gunpoint to do it.  He actually had a great time and did well, so I had high hopes for him this afternoon, but it was not to be :)

out to the beach...

this is what our area should look like, instead of flat beaches and strips of garish hotels... this is one of only 2 places in the area that are still this way, and that's only because they are protected areas.

I'm just experimenting here, which do you like - the one with sky below or the one without the sky in it just going off to nowhere?  Of course if I had a decent camera...

We had a nice dinner of snow peas, bread sticks (my sourdough loaf didn't rise, so breadsticks they became!), BBQ'd chicken wings, bratwurst and homebrewed Double IPA - for the adults anyway :)  Celebrating what is probably the last "nice" day... temps supposed to be back to the more normal high 80's next week, these cool temps were too good to last, but we sure appreciated them.  That's probably why my peas were so productive this year, usually by the time they flower, the heat is taking them out.

Next up is family reading night tonight, we are on to "Little Town on the Prairie", I love Friday nights!

May 19, 2011

in over my head

More Peas...

More blanching...

Collars, Facings, Buttonholes AND Sleeves????  I'm definitely in over my head.


May 18, 2011

Wacky weather... and a video for meemsnyc!

I know I'm not the only one... what is UP with the rain?  For once I am thankful that our soil here is sand, since it drains right away, but all the tidal waters here (it's ALL tidal here) are rising and I'm sure the people with waterfront property are probably not liking this at all.

The below photo was snagged off Facebook, but it was taken locally this afternoon...

The past 10 days that's what we've had, rain and overcast interrupted by beautiful sun for an hour or two here and there, very strange, it's been going on for so long.

Here's a photo from this morning in my yard, sun is shining, but it's raining!

I took the opportunity to get out and tie up my tomatoes, they are getting big with all this rain.

This is the main tomato garden this year, all the large ones were planted here in beds, boxes, and in ground.  That pile in the middle was everything pruned off the tomatoes today.

Below is another shot after they were all tied up and the lower branches trimmed so they wouldn't touch the soil.  These are Pink Brandywine, Hillbilly and Red Zebra.

In the center garden (the fenced in garden) I have one bed of Amish Paste that also needed trimming and tying.  All the varieties now have little green tomatoes on them except the Yellow Pear in the big tomato garden, but they are blossoming finally.

Another rainstorm arrived just as I finished, so I spent the next few hours organizing my craft and sewing stuff and rearranging furniture LOL.  I got all my thread organized with the labels facing the same direction... just sayin'....   :)

Kids got home from school and I had a Eureka!  moment...  I've finally found something healthy that they love - they immediately asked for pita chips and hummus as an afterschool snack.  I am making big batches of hummus every week now, with hubby working nights he can always grab that and some pitas if there are no leftovers from dinner :)

Stopped raining for a bit so I headed back out and saw this... yikes - my potatoes are flowering already!

...went to go check on my peppers and found a blossom, but they are getting tall trying to search for sunlight in the shade of the peas... I might have taken my intensive planting a bit too far this time.

You can't see them, but they're in there!

I picked peas last NIGHT for goodness' sake!  I was hoping for an "every other day" picking cycle, but apparently the peas have other ideas.  I'm thankful they are so productive, but I'm getting pretty anxious for them to be done, so I can get the sun back on those peppers an plant something else there, too.

No time to pick tonight, thunder and lightning this time...

Sorry, lots of photos here today, but I plan to take the day off blogging tomorrow, it's supposed to rain and I promised Loch and Finn I would make them Hawaiian Shirts for, you guessed it - "Hawaiian Shirt Day" at school.  I have until the evening of the 22nd to finish them, I'm pretty sure they will be horrible since sleeves scare the cr@p outta me.

One more thing, a Hops video for meems @ Gardening in the Boroughs of NYC, she had asked about how we grow our hops:

May 17, 2011

Child Labor Season Begins!

It's like Groundhog Day around here, but in a good way!  With the amount lettuces and peas coming in, I had to break out the big guns...


This kid is a pro at picking peas, he always gets all the "hiders" as he calls them.  Loch isn't much for helping harvest anything, he prefers to be involved in the planting and sprouting of things, packing his magnifying glass and spritzer bottle, and prefers planning the spaces and companion planting to actual transplanting.  Finn on the other hand, loves to harvest things.

Groundhog Day - "Pick Lettuce, Pick Peas, Wash Lettuce, Blanch Peas, Freeze Peas, Bake Bread, repeat"!

My squashes are finally up!  There are little radishes planted around them as per the Carrots Love Tomatoes book to prevent squash bugs - yeah, that made me laugh too!  But at least I could remember where the squash hills were.

One more for Grandma...

May 16, 2011

A photo day...

I got nothing done today except a trip to the vet for the dogs' annual vaccines, so random pictures are the only thing happening!

The Colonnade Apple Trees surprised me!  They are just 5 ft tall and 1 ft wide, amazing fruit set for such tiny trees!

Anyone know what this is?  I didn't plant it, and they are smack dab in the middle of this grassy weedy stuff that pops up under the bird feeder every year.  They almost look like they came from a bulb, although I haven't dug down, but I didn't plant them!

The bottom of the plant looks like this...

Below are some more things I "weeded around" because they looked like "something", but now they are getting huge and I didn't plant them?

Love, love this shot of a bush bean sprouting - there is no better thing to show the kiddos when it comes to botany 101 !

Speaking of things growing... my sourdough starter is now about 3 weeks old, and is really developing some great flavor.  I'm still working on getting the loaf just right, but so far the flavor is there and the crust is a wonderful chewy texture, but my loaves are still a lot heavier than I would like.

The other night hubby brought home a Luna moth that he had found in the aircraft hangar bay, not doing too well apparently... he boxed it up and rode home on his bike with this lovely specimen to show the kids - complete chaos ensued!


  I don't get it - the kids were terrified of this beautiful moth, I guess because it was inside the house?  They love butterflies, beetles, worms, etc but when I opened the box to peek at the moth, it flew out and around the house and they looked like they had seen a ghost.  We removed it to the back deck since apparently it was indeed healthy after buzzing the living room, but that night after they went to bed they laid awake for quite sometime worried that it was inside the house.  Weird kids, they think nothing of keeping lightning bugs in their room though...

The below pic better shows the cool leaf-looking antennae...

A bit of "Miscellany Monday" for you...

What is up with this guy?  That's the Canadian flag flying high while the American flag is down hanging limp on the other side?!  I'm all about the Canucks, I'd probably be one by now if they'd let me in LOL, but come on now, you are in the USA - fly them at the same height or don't fly them at all!

(as an FYI, that is proper etiquette for flag flying - when 2 countries are flown, they should never be flown on the same staff, and never one higher than another.  To have a country, foreign or our own flown lower than the other is a sign of disrespect.  So when flying 2 or more countries, always fly at the same height, different staffs, equal size flags to show respect to all and indicate that we are at peacetime and not war with the other.)

May 15, 2011

Carpe Diem!

Hubby is back to working nights, which means he leaves for work 15 mins before the kids get off the bus and he is asleep when they leave for school in the morning, so they literally don't even get to say one word to him until Friday at 3 pm!  That leaves them with daddy from 3 pm Friday until he leaves for work again Sunday.  Needless to say, weekend chores are becoming a thing of the past, and I am going to have to get used to doing it all during the week for their sakes.

When Loch got home on Friday afternoon, it struck me how much he looks like a miniature college kid and pretty soon we will be wishing we spent more time doing quality things with the kids and less time letting them run wild in the yard while we do chores.

Although we are very antsy to move back north someday, we are trying to remember to find the good things about our area and get out and enjoy, for time passes quickly and we won't miss living by the ocean until we don't anymore.

Yesterday, we made our favorite commute - 

to our "secret spot"!  This is probably my favorite place in all of Virginia Beach, it's one of the last unspoiled places here, devoid of hotels and oceanfront strip tackiness.  I personally would rather stay on this walkway and enjoy the maritime forest, they are becoming rare.

Of course the kids always have a different idea...

I've never been a fan of just "sitting on the beach", my kids are so young still that I can't take my eyes off them for a second so it's not like I can read a book or knit.  We compromise and walk the beach, letting the kids play in the (cold) surf while we people watch and pick up trash :)

This made me look forward to crabbing season... we love our Chesapeake Blue Crab here, and the kids love catching them, take a peek here for a past crabbing trip.

Below, this girl was lucky!  It rained Friday night, poured Saturday until just a couple hours before we got to the beach!  Although the winds were gusting and blowing out their tiki torches and making a mess of all the girls' dresses, at least it was sunny for her ceremony! 

* (a bit of blogger personal info - hubby and I were also married on the beach, although it involved a single flower in my hair, no shoes and just 2 close friends and a cooler of champagne & beer - very low key!)

One thing I am very proud of is that we didn't find much trash until we left our "secret spot" not open to tourists and ventured to the "outside world" part of the beach.  Being able to legally "trespass" is another perk we have :)

Then it was game on...

Just another day at the beach.

The day's haul:  items of note today were a jug of motor oil and a syringe... blech!

We ended the day with a regular old skool meal of bbq steaks, baked potatoes, and of course... salad.  We also have 2 nicely conditioned kegs of homebrew ready for consumption - one hoppy Double IPA and the lighter one is a Blonde Ale.

Lots of chores are getting put on the back burner on the weekends now, but it's pretty much just weeding and maintenance, and that never really ends, does it?  I'm doing my best to shelve my Type A personality for awhile and go with the flow, since to be honest this is not really that busy, only lettuces and peas with minimal processing are coming in.  Plenty of time for my obsessive freak flag to fly when the canning starts later!

Hubby has left for work now, so I actually may get a car washed today if the dark skies keep to the east, that's been on my to do list for quite some time, and the kids like to "help", so I may indeed get some stuff done with the rest of the day!