Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sylvia and Water Fall


Sylvia went to the Kaaterskill Falls. The falls' name, like that of the features around it, probably came from a later corruption of "Catskill" by English-speaking colonists who had supplanted the Dutch by the early 18th century. Cat could mean Bobcat or Mountain Lion, while "kill" means stream in Dutch, the original language of the first European colonists in the 17th century.


Sylvia tremendously enjoyed her visit to the falls, even if she ended up wetter and wetter.


She even rescued someone's sandal.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Back from Vacation

Spent a few days in the Catskill Mountains and had a wonderful time. Back now and taking care of this puppy.


This morning I must have tired her out. She played outside and we visited the neighbors. She was scared of the tile floor at the neighbor's house, that is how much of a baby she still is. So cute ! ^^
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Monday, May 21, 2012


A few months ago, Sylvia got her ears pierced! She was so happy and proud of it!


By now it has healed enough that she can wear other ear rings (but not sleep without ear rings yet), and the pictures show the first pair that she was able to put in and take out all by herself!


Big milestone in a little girl's life!

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Flower Garden!

For many years, there has been tons of sumac growing in front of the rocks at the end of our driveway. This year I decided it had to GO. Like NOW!


Which is not totally true, we tried to get rid of most of it last year too, but it comes back as fast as you can pull it out. I wish my strawberries would grow like that!


Erik and a friend already had been working on the sumac, but there still were TONS of roots left. And any piece of root means more sumac and more sumac.


Today we tried to get rid of the roots. And the roots. And then the roots. Guess what was left? Yes, more roots... What was I thinking? OK, I wasn't.


Me being an optimistic person AND the sun going down made me say 'OK, let's just start planting. Who cares about those stupid roots anyway?' Perfection is the enemy of accomplishment, so we started digging and planting and life was good.


We now have the start of a nice looking flower garden, although I have to admit that I am very curious to see what it looks like by daylight. And the weather gods have promised rain for tonight, so they better make good on their promise!!!!


Kate worked a bit more on the garden path today, at the rate she is going we will have the path finished by next year :p


I can't wait for summer and to see how all my gardening projects turn out!


As an interesting aside: today I found a stevia plant at my local Kmart.
A few years ago I tried to grow stevia from seeds, but it never actually WORKED. It is a lot easier to grow stevia if the plant is already looking good. Yes, I know it's cheating. No, I don't care.


Erik has planted some pumpkins so we should be all set for jackolanterns this year. Not in my flower garden though, I figured I wanted some space for actual FLOWERS in there!

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dandelion Girl

Our yard always is filled with dandelions at this time of the year. I like the sunlike colour and of course the kids love the puffheads to blow. A few days ago I had mowed the front lawn, there were no dandelions yet. The next day, which was very sunny, must have woken up the dandelions. They were all over the place. Yellow splotches of colour on the green grassy carpet.


I have read that this is the time to plant potatoes, when the dandelions bloom, but I have to admit that I haven't made it that far yet in my gardening endeavors. I did plant four more tomato plants and a bunch of marigolds today though. And transplanted some forsythia seedlings which were trying to overpower an apple tree.


Kate worked on a nice path in between the two veggie beds, by putting down cardboard and covering it with mulch. It is starting to look really good.

This week's gardening plans include potatoes and basil. And I might have to mow the lawn once or twice or thrice or ...
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Two Vegetable Beds Mostly Ready


On Thursday I finished the second veggie bed and on Friday I got the first veggie plants to start filling it. There still are ornamental grasses in the background, but the garden definitely is taking shape.


I found this really old badminton birdy next to the garden, I wonder how many years it has been there. I don't remember having much if any badminton equipment over the last few years.


The blueberries are doing well, even if they desperately need to be weeded and mulched. I would have gardened today, but we had fun climbing a mountain instead.


Here is one of my helpers. He has been busy taking out sumac and thorny bushes from where they didn't belong.


Maybe tomorrow afternoon I can do more gardening, I have many flowers and veggies to plant. I can't wait!
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Mount Kearsarge

Today we had company and we decided it was the perfect day to hike Mt Kearsarge. Apart from finding out in the morning that the state park with the easiest trail might still be closed, so we might have to take the harder trail. But it was only 1.9 miles anyway, how hard could it be?


The descriptions were hopeful. Easy trail, great view, walk in the park they said. Well, we found out that this was a very optimistic description. A vertical park it was. Easy was not how I would have described it.

Anyway, first thing we forgot was the camera!!! What a shame. Does a hike to the summit really count if you can't document it? I guess it does, but I decided to dig up pictures from eight years ago when we did the same mountain, but going up on the easy trail


Second thing we forgot was bug spray. Or actually, we had it in the car, but no one remembered to bring it till we were up a way and of course no one wanted to volunteer to get back to the car to get it. The bugs were happy about that decision and proceeded to bug us.


Third thing we realized is that Sylvia had chosen the absolute wrong boots for hiking. Luckily my kids are very used to being barefoot, so Sylvia decided to be a barefoot hiker. Immediately copied by Kate who feels that hiking barefoot is more comfortable anyway.


Fourth thing I realized is that this was the first real hike of the season and that my body is not used to it yet. Especially if the trail goes straight up half of the time. Gah.


I brought up the rear and got farther and farther behind, but have to admit that I tremendously enjoyed the solitude. I took time to meditate (good euphemism for resting, no?) and the smells, sounds and sights were just stunning. I heard the birds sing, the crows call, saw the raptors soar, enjoyed the many cairns, and was totally happy in the perfection of this day. Happy enough to wonder whether I even should make it to the top, or whether it was more about the journey than the destination.

For a short time I thought I would be happy not to make it to the top, but then I found myself going on and on and on and on anyway, even if there was a lot of whining and gnashing of teeth. Of course the top was even better than the journey and life was good, butterflies were chasing each other and we could see the many raptors (we suspected turkeyvultures) from above, which is always cool. Maybe next time I'll bring a camera.


During one of my meditation breaks, I heard a breaking noise. I looked and saw an old rotten tree that was still standing up, but decided to fall down just while I was sitting there and observing. I can tell with certainty now that a tree which falls down in the woods will make a sound.


We decided to take the even harder and steeper, but shorter trail back to the car, and again I took a few meditation breaks. The trail was not always clear, but I found that I managed to feel the trail energy and keep myself on the right track, even when the trail markers were not clear or totally missing.

A good workout we had.


We rewarded ourselves with ice cream and then went home to make pizza. Everyone was quite hungry. And I bet everyone will sleep really well tonight!
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