Thursday, April 30, 2009

Baby Days

I've been babysitting my new nephew Evan for 3 weeks now. He's such a cute, happy baby. The first week was tough, since he didn't like the idea of drinking his milk from a bottle and Miles was a bit jealous of Mommy spending so much time with "that baby", but everything has settled down and we're into a routine now. Isn't he sweet?

The kids think he's pretty nice too. Kaylee is totally fascinated by babies. Shes a great helper too. It's nice to have someone to run and get diapers, burp cloths, the pacifier, or whatever I need! :-)

Speaking of babies: our cat Summer had kittens yesterday! 4 little gray balls of fur. Kaylee was so excited. She's been down to see them four times already. I bet the poor momma cat would like a bit more peace and quiet, but she seems to like the attention as well. I remember the excitement of kittens when I was a kid. Looks Kaylee's a bit like her momma too!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gardens Coming Alive

I got my garden tilled 2 weeks ago, and promptly started planting things, but I finally got around to getting some pictures off my camera so the update waited until today. Here's the blank slate.....just tilled and waiting for seed and plants!

My seed stash....part of it anyway. I've got so many things to put in that I don't think I"ll have room for them all. I even had the tiller guy till up an extra spot for sweet corn and vines this year, but even with 2 gardens I may not have enough room. Guess things will be crowded again, cuz I'm not leaving anything unplanted!

I got twice the onions I ordered, so I ended up giving over half of them away. I really don't need 300 of just one kind of onions, especially since I've got 3 other kinds coming. Oh well.... :-)

So far I've got snap peas, spinach, mesclun mix, lettuce, carrots, and onions in the ground. The greens are up already! I"m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my seed potatoes, horseradish, garlic, and more onions any day now. Those need planting!

I've got tomatoes, eggplant, sweet and hot peppers, broccoli, some pansies, and various herbs started in the house, but it's really too early to put out much of that. I could put out the broccoli, if it was big enough, but it is doing really poorly. I"m not sure what the deal is with that. Maybe it's not worth raising it from seed. I"ll probably end up buying a few more plants to supplement what I"ve got.

Like I said before, the asparagus is looking tasty, and the raspberry plants look promising. I think we'll have some strawberries too, if it rains enough while they're blooming.

On the flower side, my crocus and tulips finally came up, but I've yet to see more than one daffodil. Hopefully they're just slow starters. The lily-flowered tulips are blooming. Most of my perennials are up and looking good. The daylilies I put in last fall along the shed are up, and it looks like over half of them made it through the winter. I haven't seen my peony bush yet, but I"m still hopeful for that. Tip for future reference: DON"T FALL PLANT PERENNIALS IN IOWA. It doesn't work. It's much better to start in the spring!

Of course, I"m always on the lookout for more flowers, but this year my goal is to wait until the local garden centers have their big sales in late May or June and stock up there. It's much cheaper that way, and I got some great plants last year. Hopefully I can wait that's hard to stay out of garden centers :-) Luckily I'm fairly busy with babysitting, so I don't have as much time to get out and dream as I'd like, at least for a few more weeks. I do want some more coneflowers, an aster or 2, and a bunch of hostas to put along my north house foundation wall. Mom has promised me a division of her black-eyed susans, and maybe some iris if she gets around to thinning them. So more gardens may be in the works!

That's about it on the gardening front. It's enough, I"m thinking. For now at least.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Much Better

The septic tank is in. After 1.5 days of not being able to send anything down a drain, I have great appreciation for modern plumbing conveniences. The kids thought their outdoor "bath" standing in a bucket last night was pretty exciting though. Everything's an adventure when you're a kid. Thank goodness for the warm weather we had yesterday!

So now I've got a load of diapers that badly needed washing in the machine, my birdhouse post moved, and my "new" perennial bed laid out. Unfortunately, it's rocky digging, so replacing the plants will have to wait until tomorrow. My back hurts. But I'm happy.

Oh, and we discovered something wonderful out in the garden today: the asparagus is up! Although I just planted it last year, and we're really not supposed to harvest much of it yet, Kaylee and I couldn't resist breaking off just one spear to eat right there. Yummy. There is absolutely no comparison between that and what you buy in the store. Even Rich agrees. Mmmmmmmm. I think I should have ordered another set of crowns. ;-)

Sorry, no pics....I can't find my camera. I think it's in the car somewhere.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What a Day

It's been interesting around here today. We've had septic problems for some time, and have been living with a sump pump draining the tank every so often to keep it from backing up into the basement while we waited for the ground to thaw. Yesterday the pump quit. Luckily, they're coming tomorrow to install the new septic tank and drain field. While that means several hours without water, and digging up my favorite perennial bed, at least it will fix the problem. Then the pipe leading to the outdoor faucet in the basement sprang a leak, and sprayed water all over the basement when I tried to run the sprinkler in the garden this afternoon. Oh joy, more water in the basement. As if we didn't have enough already.

On the plus side, it was beautiful weather outside today. High 70's, sunny, with only a slight breeze. So of course the kids played outside, and got dirty as could be climbing the pile of rock to be used in the drain field. BUT, since we can't run any amount of water down the drain without it backing up in the basement, it was off to Grandma's for baths before Bible study. In the rush, I forgot to bring in my seedling plants that I'd put outside for a bit of real sunshine. You guessed it, when we got home, the dog had eaten half of the peat pots. I think I salvaged most of the plants, but we'll have to see.

I've got stacks of dishes and laundry that need attention, but I'm tired and I'm going to bed.

Tomorrow has got to be an improvement.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Springing Spring

It finally feels like spring outside today. And the forecast for this week is calling for highs in the 60s every day. Hooray! It feels like this winter has gone on forever. I can't wait to get out and enjoy it. There are tulips up!

I"m fully expecting my blogging to get even more neglected now, as I'm babysitting full time and spending every spare minute outside. So bear with me. I will check in now and then!