Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Mini-bouquets everywhere! I really wish I had more places in the house to put vases of flowers and greenery but my 16month old monkey seems to be limiting my options to the kitchen counters and the fireplace least until she finds footholds there as well.
A beautiful new cookbook by a Greek mom
from my own Greek mom.

Really, you must try Apples for Jam...the photography in this book makes it worthwhile even if you never try the recipes. Although, I'd definitely recommend those too! Tiny Tartlets with Crema and Berries were heavenly last week -I made the easy crust and YiaYia made the less-easy crema. I've decided I like the word crema. And my house still smells fresh baked after today's Olive Oil Focaccia (with fresh from the porch Rosemary...I love it when I actually remember to use the herbs I grow!) Bread tastes much better when shared so we made a couple of neighborhood deliveries and had friends over for dinner.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

kalmia latifolia

Try saying that ten times fast!
I actually received a reply from the Native Plant Society about my mysterious pink flowering shrub...

"Kalmia Latifolia or Mountain Laurel. Notice how the stamens are pulled back against the cup of the flower. When and insect comes and "tickles" the center of the cup the stamen will snap in, depositing its pollen on the insect."

A quick Google of Mountain Laurel tells me it is the state flower of Connecticut and Pennsylvania and all parts of the plant are poisonous -Yikes! Well, it's still beautiful and I will still enjoy the blooms in the house...we just won't be eating them!

grandad & yiayia

We miss you already.

Some things we enjoyed this week:
  • the zoo, beach, park and backyard
  • laughing at Kenna and her obsession with hats, shoes and coats
  • strawberry picking...and eating
  • watching our resident pair of Cardinals at the bird feeder
  • LOST and CNN (because we don't get Fox...sorry Grandad)
  • getting to pick you back up from the airport when your first flight home was cancelled!
  • letting YiaYia change the diapers and make the coffee and cook the dinner...
  • sleeping in
  • hearing Tristan's giggles as Grandad checked his ticklish spots for ants
  • watching sicky bug Kenna reach for YiaYia when she needed comforting

The only thing we did not enjoy this week:
  • Saying goodbye.

Monday, April 28, 2008

a game III

Well, the game continues to evolve. Today we have a round of "Name that Plant!"
Here it is people...

It is popping up in the Wild Wood behind the house (we are reading a lot of Wind in the Willows right now...before that it was our own Hundred Acre Wood). I don't know what it is, but I am fascinated with these tiny pink pinwheels and am enjoying them in vases on every out-of-Kenna's-reach surface in my house (too bad there's not many of those)...

I've emailed the photos to someone at the Native Plant Society and think it would be very cool of them to help me out. Or maybe one of the five people that read this can beat them to it?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

sorbet peony

About a month ago it looked like THIS as it was just emerging from the ground on Easter Sunday. And now...
...I have nursed this little plant for three years. Last year would have seen it's first blooms but the bugs got to it before they could open. Will this be the summer I finally get to enjoy my own Peonies? The suspense is killing me!

the zoo

Yes, we have a zoo! It's an unexpected little place, run by the nicest zoo keeper you'll ever meet. He rescues animals and gives them a home hidden away in the woods...
Not a bad way to spend a cool spring morning with kids and grandparents!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

another day at the beach

A good day for shell collecting...

Grandad found the key to getting Tristan to play in the water.
Build him a "waterslide"...

After a nap in Grandad's arms, Kenna was ready to play in her teeny tiny bathing suit...

Someone is tired of my camera being in her face. Too bad, Yiayia! You know I won't stop...

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Under the bridge
And over the dam
Looking for berries
Berries for jam

Strawberry ponies
Strawberry lambs
Dancing in meadows
Of strawberry jam!

Mountains and fountains
Rain down on me

Buried in berries

What a jam jamboree!

(from Jamberry, by Bruce Degen)

As you can see, Grandad and Yiayia made it to NC just in time to save one sick mama and to enjoy the fresh strawberries! Jam and tarts have already been enjoyed, I am recovering thanks to the extra sleep and helping hands, my fence is mended, my cabinet door is fixed...and we still have 4 days!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

memory verse

You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen. Deut 10:20-21

Monday, April 21, 2008

when mom is sick

She lets everyone stay in pj's all day long.
She curls up in the big corner chair with a box of Kleenex and a stack of books where she can supervise the chaos without actually moving.
She has no problem leaving the Disney channel on for 5 hours straight.
She just laughs as Kenna dances on the coffee table (part of the supervised chaos).
And she allows bath time to last well beyond the "wrinkly raisin" stage...

And she thanks the Lord for His perfect timing -Grandad and YiaYia arrive tomorrow!

kenna's bunny blanket

I have searched for a "back-up" for those dreadful days when bunny must be washed. What a tragedy it would be if bunny ever went missing for good! Alas, this particular bunny now goes for no less than $50 online. I have seen it for as much as $125! These cruel people are preying on desperate parents everywhere.
I remember well my own childhood yellow gingham, K-shaped pillow with the white eyelet trim and that one perfectly soft spot I would rub against my cheek. I’m still waiting for the day my parents admit to “losing” it on purpose in order to get me to stop sucking my thumb.
One day, that binkie in Kenna’s mouth may be “lost”, but oh, how I pray that we never lose the bunny!

Woolly Blanket

I have a woolly blanket.
It's cuddly and it's pink.
And it is very dear to me,
More so than you would think.
Whenever I go traveling,
The blanket travels, too.
And if I should forget it,
why I don't know what I'd do.
It always goes to bed with me,
I like to feel it near,
Because it is so cuddly
and So very, very dear.

-Kate Cox Goddard

Saturday, April 19, 2008

topsail day

We spent a little time with friends today on Topsail Island. When you step through the dunes and find yourself looking at this, you know you're in for a pleasant day at the beach...

We did a little shell collecting...

A little kite flying...

A little puddle splashing...

And Kenna may have eaten a little bit of sand.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

frost bitten

As I surveyed the yard today I have to admit, I felt a little defeated.
We had frost the last two nights that claimed six Hydrangeas, all the plants around the garden fort, one Hosta, possibly some Lilies and the leaves of a few Crepe Myrtle trees as well as bits and pieces of many other plants. The wildflower patches are thick with sprouts (both flowers and weeds) so I don’t know what the impact was there. However, with the exception of the garden fort, which will have to be re-planted completely, everything will come back. The fort vines were small and with the weather getting warmer we should see new seeds catching up fast.
But still, it hurts.
Then, to add insult to injury, a few sections of my fence keep falling down, my dog has moved on from digging up flowerbeds to eating plants right out of pots, the ants have invaded and I somehow managed to kill an entire tray of Zinnia seedlings simply by moving them from one sunny spot to another.
I couldn’t even bring myself to take pictures, and you know I take pictures of EVERYTHING. Tomorrow I will photograph all the plants that are still thriving, and then maybe I won’t feel so bad.
Besides, how much fun would a garden really be without a reason to work in it?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

with sprinkles on top

Sometimes life gives you ice cream cone cupcakes. Other times you get melted ice cream cone cupcakes...

Either way, life is pretty sweet.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

today I am old

and here is my proof...

I know it's hard to see in the picture, but it's there. Gray. IT'S THERE.

Monday, April 14, 2008

for the birds

I hung a new bird feeder outside in February and as of this month it was still full. Where are all the birds? Last week I looked at the feeder and realized it had been sitting there for so long, the untouched seeds had begun to sprout and there was a moldy, sprouty, mess jammed in the feeder holes. As I was trying to empty and clean it, I broke it.
Rather than go out and buy another feeder for the birds to ignore, we made our own...

We hung them in the backyard and what do you know -the very next morning a bright red Cardinal was out there enjoying our treat! We do have birds!
Then I saw a little black bird in the grass and thought to myself, "oh a cute little black bird! he's eating the seeds that fell on the ground."
Later, I noticed the little black bird was still there. "Hmm, that's strange." I took a closer look...

Nope -not a bird. That would be dog poop.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

another sick day

The sicky bugs have struck again.
Tristan was happy to pass the time hanging out with the Little Einsteins this morning, and reading Pooh to Tonto, his stuffed Raccoon, before a good nap this afternoon...

A little fever and runny nose doesn't slow Kenna down. As long as she can do "big brother things" like drawing on the easel, and is allowed to pick out her own shoes...

Friday, April 11, 2008

a few more April blooms

They are unremarkable most of the year, hiding out among the Longleaf Pines and thickets that line our roadways; but then comes April...

Each Dogwood flower looks like a hand-carved work of art. They open towards the sky like they have something to say, or sing, back to their Creator...

Have I mentioned how much I love April? Maybe it's the Dogwoods...and Redbuds and Wisteria and Cherries and Viburnums and Azaleas...I could go on. Maybe it's because I was born in April. Maybe it's the pink cheeks on my kids faces as they play that tell me it's finally warm -even in the shade. Maybe this year it's because this is the the last month before May. Whatever the reason, today I am just glad it's April, and I know the One who made it so beautiful.

"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days."
Psalm 90:14

Thursday, April 10, 2008

a game II

Ready for round two of "Name that Disease/Bug"? (I can change the name of the game -it's my game!)
OK, name this bug... Bonus points if you can tell me whether he is friend or pest!
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