Saturday, March 24, 2012


I was happy to see that the asparagus decided to make it's appearance this week, crunchy, juicy and succulent as always.  It's always best snapped off at the base and eaten raw whilst standing in your garden inspecting the rest of the new growth.  The peas are shooting up and the lettuce appears to be sprouting.  It's always a happy day to see that yes the seeds "work".  It's never less miraculous to watch the birth of new life emerge through the soil.  So simple - buried and watered - and yet so complex.  Deep thoughts happen in the garden; it's where we were meant to be.

We can't get enough of planting things around here and Christian is the most guilty culprit, at least when it comes to trees.  As if we don't have enough trees around here, he is always bringing home saplings that he has dug up in someones woods.  This time it was a couple holly trees that Asher and Naomi helped him plant on the edge of the property.  Thankfully on the edge since they aren't exactly my favorite but they will make a nice spot for the birds to build safe nests or hang out as they fly back and forth from the bird feeder.

Busy days are ahead, weeding, mulching and planting but it's the kind of busy that I like.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hello Spring!

"....Winter's come and gone, a little bird told me so.
Oh little red bird
Come to my window sill....
....Oh little blue bird
Pearly feather breast...."
"......And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."

~William Wordsworth

So it's not technically spring yet but it sure feels and looks like it.  I think because of that it is the first year that we got around to getting our spring garden planted; that and the fact that we got the garden cleaned up and prepped in the fall so there wasn't much to do to get it ready.

Christian moved our asparagus from the out of the way spot they were in to the main garden bed so we can keep a better eye on them.  I am hoping they will still produce this year after being moved.  There is nothing like fresh picked asparagus.  Store bought asparagus doesn't even compare.  Every morning last spring Christian would go outside and pick some for his omelet and leave a few for me to make one with swiss cheese.  O.k. now I'm drooling, I've got to stop or I think I might cry if they don't come up.
I planted the rest of the garden with peas, Swiss chard, bok choy, mesclun, spinach and lettuce.  I can't wait for fresh greens!

Now that the weather is turning pleasant we also started on another outside project.  Christian ripped up the concrete sidewalk in the front of the house and is going to lay a brick walkway to the front door to match the patio and walk to our main door.  We still have tons of leftover bricks that we had gotten for free so there should be plenty to finish this project.

I forgot to get a before picture so here is an "in progress" picture.

And of course we have to get the kids involved!

We just get so much enjoyment out of working in the yard.  The inside of the house may be falling apart but at least the yard and gardens look nice and we get our fair share of vitamin D.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Baby Love

Hey there my brown eyed beauty!

Claire is lying on a quilt hand made by her great grandma.   All of the great grandchildren get a quilt when they are born and each one is treasured.  When you realize that she has made 28 that is pretty impressive. (Hopefully I counted right Grandma!)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fonthill Castle and Moravian Tile Works

Phew, I am getting behind here.  This field trip was from a couple of weeks ago now but better late then never I suppose.

About a month ago we visited the Mercer Museum in Doylestown which housed the extensive collection of Henry Mercer's historical artifacts.  This time we visited his home, Fonthill, and the Moravian Tile Works next door.  No pictures were allowed to be taken inside Fonthill castle which was just a tad disappointing as it is my favorite of the three museums.  The man was eccentric.  I mean anyone who would build himself a castle made entirely of concrete and then "decorate" it the way he did with tiles covering the walls, ceiling and floor depicting biblical and historical scenes isn't exactly normal.  He also owned over 6,000 books and they know that he read every single one of them because there were notes in every book in his handwriting in his library.
This is the only picture I got of the castle since no inside pictures were allowed.  You will have to go see it for yourself.

The kids in our group were able to have a class on Babylonian tablets and cuneiform writing.  I think they have a better appreciation for paper and modern writing now.  Just writing their name in cuneiform was quite the process.

After the class we went next door to the Moravian Tile Works, the factory where all of Mercer's tiles were hand made.  This is a very intriguing building as well, built entirely of concrete in the Spanish mission style.

They still employ 6 full time staff who complete the whole tile making process by hand utilizing the same methods as they did in Henry Mercer's day.

The staff were very friendly and informative and loved answering questions.  This guy even let one of the boys try pressing a tile for himself.  You do not need to be in a group to visit this museum so you can go any time and visit for a small admission fee.

Look at me, I wrote a whole post without posting one single cute baby picture of Claire!  For shame.  Soon, I promise.
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