Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Garden at Capacity

Here is one section of our beautiful garden planted by the previous owners. Now it is up to us to maintain and prune. I think part of their reason for moving was that they were getting older, and things that they had been able to keep in check were getting out of control. Bushes that were probably lovely borders when they were 3-4' high and wide are now making pathways narrow and are getting too high to control. There is a clump of raspberries that are difficult to pick because tall grasses block one side. It is only late May. The garden is lush and lovely. Overgrowth, crowding and mildew are on the way by July. Myrtle, grapes and bee balm are taking over in all directions. Any suggestions before beauty turns beastly.

For now peony and iris are in beautiful bloom.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shore Day

Doug's birthday was spent on the North shore of Boston in Gloucester and Essex. Renee was in the water which was surprisingly warm until the tide came in. Jack enjoyed flying his stunt kite. I loved the beautiful scenery the water, the rocks, the pines, lovely homes and sailboats in going by.
Yummy dinner too at Woodman's. There was fresh lobster, great fried clams, grilled cheese and corn for less adventurous eaters, and some of the best onion rings ever!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Remaking Old Clothes

I am not a seamstress by any means, but I get inspired by all the creativity on the blogs I love. Also many of you are so willing to try new things and encouraging your readers to learn new skills. So I got to work on some long awaited projects.

I had these two linen dresses that I have worn so much over the last few summers that they wore very thin where my seat belt rubbed over my shoulder and chest. That also indicates how much driving I did! Happily I've cut down on that considerably since we have moved to MA and my back is much better for it. So I have turned the dresses into elastic waist skirts, and it was so easy. It took less than an hour. I read a few tutorials then did the easiest thing: cut the dresses high on the waist, folded them inside out and sewed a 5/8" channel with the sewing machine leaving about an 2" open, pulled through a 1/4" elastic I had on hand cut to waist size, tied elastic and cut ends, sewed together opening to close and hold elastic. That's it. The waist is not elegant, but it works for the easygoing way I usually put outfits together.

Then I got to work on a old pink sweater that I should not have worn when we were repainting the porch before we sold the house. There was a paint on the front. Once I tried to get it off with a razor to remove lint. I got off some of the paint but made a hole. Now I've put a cute heart over the hole and paint.

Not very professional but it's a start. I've made some of my worn out or damaged clothes wearable again.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

In Full Swing

Here's a photo of just how high our swing is... about 30 feet. Our house has become playdate central.
And there's another iris variety today: light denim.

It's too beautiful outside to write more now. For a change my mind is cleared of the usual anxiety and fretting about the past or future.

Friday, May 14, 2010


In addition to breaking my computer recently, I also dropped and broke my son's camera. He's letting me use the new one I got him, but I'm having trouble with getting in focus the things I want to focus on. But I want to show the amazing range of flowers in this yard. Sorry about the fuzzy photos.

This week: Irises

yellow and burgundy

I have a lot of garden work to learn about, but I'm a bit nervous to get out there too deeply. My son, my mom and I have all gotten ticks in the yard. Evidently, Lyme disease is common here. Any suggestions on good ways to repel and find them once they get in your hair? I'm quite paranoid about it now.

Something I have been working on is the veggie garden. Beans and radishes on their way.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Computer Woe, Computer Wow

Even after my beloved laptop (5 years old and refurbished when I got it) is gone, we still have 3 computers in the house. My husband's big laptop, an ancient machine in the basement with updated systems and the family games, and a new-to-us Mac from my in-laws. But my kind husband sent me an email yesterday (likely after he saw my last post) asking if I wanted him to order me a new sleek mini laptop with 4 times the power at half the price I had paid for the one 5 years ago.

But my environmental and cheapskate ways led me to answer "no thanks, sweet husband". I am finally figuring out how to use the other ones in the house. I am fretting over how to dispose of the old one in the most environmentally responsible way. And I am patting myself on the back for saying no to the depletion of resources and pollution involved in creating any new machine I would buy.

My son thinks I'm nuts. We were discussing this in the car yesterday. He can't believe I think my not buying a machine will make any difference to the world. (Perhaps it's because he's hoping for one of his own.) He's probably right. We recycle, we get our summer veggies from a CSA, the little beef we eat is from the local farm where cows roam the grassy fields, I try to conserve in big and small ways. But I am one person, we are one family. We are Americans with 2 cars and a 2500 sq foot house. Even at my most efficient I am using more resources than a town of people in the developing world. I see so much waste around me, 6000 sq foot homes, gas guzzling cars, plastic water and soda bottles littering the side of the road. It's hard to know if anything I do makes a difference.

Then last night it all changed. Paging through my New Yorker (yes, The New Yorker) I saw an ad for the SEX AND THE CITY 2 HP Vivienne Tam computer collection. Will Carrie, the Mac girl, be sporting that sexy gold mini computer in the upcoming movie? If I get one will I become a successful bestselling author with the coolest friends, the greatest clothes, the most exciting life? I WANT ONE.

It is challenge to fight against the consumer juggernaut every day. LOL

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Back but Unsteady

It doesn't feel like it's been only 2 weeks since my last post. I have been figuring out my husband's computer and an old Mac from my in-laws we set up. But I am missing the intuitive way I interacted with my laptop. My favorite spot for it was standing at the corner of the kitchen counter (that's probably why I spilled water on it!) Alas, now I'm kneeling by my husband's night table relearning.

I've been busy with Mother's Day. Although I've been a mom for 14 years, Mother's Day doesn't seem to be much about me. I am still the daughter of my Mother and Mother-in-Law. I cooked a lovely brunch for the moms. The menu:
Strawberry bread
Asparagus Fritatta (sp?)
Salad with romaine, cucumber and grapes

We finally hung a swing in the yard. It is a one rope swing hung in the crook of a tree about 30 feet up. A few weeks ago I convinced a cable worker who had been running wires down the road to bring his bucket truck down my driveway and hang a kite string over the branch. My kids thought I was crazy! But he was very kind and not only strung the cord but cut off little branches that would have been in the way below. About a week ago, we tied that kite string to a larger rope and eased it with a few iffy moments over the branch. With the help of a book on knots, the swing was soon ready for action. And has been seeing lots of action since. Here are a couple rather dark pics from the night we hung the swing.

Love those socks.