this and that

a few random bits i’m grateful for…

it doesn’t look like much, but it’s a tangible link back to my roots. my great grandfather made amazing maple syrup that i was lucky enough to enjoy as a child before he passed away. on the off chance any of his sugaring gear was still in the family, i asked my dad recently, and he sent me this spile (the thing you tap the maple tree with to collect the sap). i look forward to one day using it and trying my hand at sugaring, and also passing this family artifact along to quinn.

speaking of grandparents, i have been loving all of the posts about stinging nettles on many of the blogs i follow, and especially the ones who refer to nettle as “grandmother”. i decided to ask permission to touch this one, and what do you know? grandmother said it was ok. i had been soaking this cutting for over a week, hoping for roots to sprout, and they did! she didn’t sting me, and let me plant her, bare handed, in some soil. i guess you just have to ask nicely… this technique has worked for me for growing my herbal garden, and i got several mints and some basil to grow from cut herbs i obtained at the farmer’s market. i’m happy about not having to uproot any of my wild nettle patch in order to be able to grow new patches…

introducing our new clothesline, made entirely from beach finds (two pieces of driftwood and a long piece of rope). now that i no longer have diapers to wash i haven’t even had a chance to try it out yet- we can go a bit longer in between loads! (deep sigh of relief…)

i love this kid. i love when he makes dinner requests. like pancakes. mmmm blackberry pancakes with molasses…. (it’s what we had on hand, although of course i would love to have had some maple syrup! but only the real (expensive) stuff will do! and we’re out, alas.)

gardening is therapy. so are all the green smoothies i’ve been making from our overwintered chard! those little plants may look small,  but i’ve been having a smoothie just about daily from the leaves i’ve been harvesting.

we spent saturday at the farmers market hosted by the oregon coast aquarium selling my earth huggy wares. i had several inspiring conversations with some of my fellow vendors (who all happened to be farmers. which i’m thinking is what i want to be when i grow up…. more on that in future posts i’m sure.) can you find waldo (quinn) in this picture?

my first ever win on a giveaway! here is quinn using his new green bag lady easter bag to collect the easter eggs he was hunting. the easter bunny wimped out on the outdoor version due to a minor drizzle.

adorableness. he enjoyed his wool eggs (from this great shop) and the triceratops mama sculpted from felted wool scraps that hatched out of one of them (he thinks it’s a mouse though). we’re looking forward to kool-aid dying a few play silks that were in the basket.

we did brave the on-and-off drizzle to do some quality tidepooling around the mid day low tide at boiler bay. we talked about limpets and seaweed, both of which are staple food items in nim’s island by wendy orr, one of quinn’s favorite books. i tried not to think about radiation traveling across the ocean and accumulating on our coast as we pondered eating the natural bounty in our tidepools.

some of our (tomato, leek, cilantro and parsley) babies had their first taste of outdoor life in the afternoon.

we made a valiant attempt at using natural dyes (beet juice, onion skins, curry powder) for our easter eggs, and ended up with various beautiful earth tones. ahem. we did employ some standard food coloring for the green, which we allowed ourselves since we had the added handicap of our eggs starting out brown. we both love the process of dying eggs, regardless of our results. and we also both love to eat them! having portable protein-rich snacks on hand at all times comes in handy when your entire life is like one big continuous growth spurt.

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