My First Dictionary


Someone is a little drunk on power right now, and getting a lot better at looking things up alphabetically!

Testing Day


We’ve reached lesson 20, the first cumulative test. Since I am teaching her alone, without support from a school, I won’t send her scores anywhere but I am a little anxious to see if she does well, or if the questions don’t make sense to her!

Peach Spinach Carrot Coconut Smoothie


Photos don’t do my smoothies any favors, do they?

2 frozen peaches
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup frozen grated carrots
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup peach syrup, from canned peaches
2 cups water
3 cups ice (??)
2 tablespoons sugar

Sweet, cold, refreshing, and filling! The spinach is mustard spinach from the garden, the peaches were frozen last summer, the peach syrup was canned last summer (my husband eats my peaches by the jarful, and leaves the syrup behind for me), and the carrots were from the produce co-op. Quite the pedigreed smoothie!


Nutrition Facts 

Peach Spinach Carrot Coconut Smoothie 

  3 Servings

Amount Per Serving
  Calories 151.2
  Total Fat 8.2 g
  Saturated Fat 7.1 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.4 g
  Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  Sodium 38.4 mg
  Potassium 364.8 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 20.2 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
  Sugars 9.2 g
  Protein 2.4 g
  Vitamin A 100.4 %
  Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
  Vitamin B-6 4.7 %
  Vitamin C 16.1 %
  Vitamin D 0.0 %
  Vitamin E 2.7 %
  Calcium 6.3 %
  Copper 9.1 %
  Folate 11.2 %
  Iron 10.3 %
  Magnesium 11.5 %
  Manganese 32.2 %
  Niacin 6.0 %
  Pantothenic Acid     2.5 %
  Phosphorus     6.6 %
  Riboflavin 5.4 %
  Selenium 1.2 %
  Thiamin 3.4 %
  Zinc 3.8 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Day’s Pay


One of my piano students keeps chickens and ducks- we’re both happy to do a bit of bartering! The eggs are a bit muddy, they get a good washing before I use them!! The eggs are all different sizes, from the different birds.

Waste Not


Well, this wool sweater USED to fit my husband. Looks like a good sleeping bag for the infant now!

On the upside, I have a few felt projects I’ve been wanting to try out- maybe a new cardigan for Ernie, or a pencil pouch? Some fingerless mittens?

Tonight, I Hunt


There’s a slug in my greenhouse- this basil was in a large tomato pot. Two seedlings were completely missing from their cups, and another two seedlings were mortally wounded. This is why I potted 43 seedlings!

Things To Do This Week

To Do:

  • Transplant tomatoes to gallon pots
  • Transplant gallon tomatoes to larger greenhouse pots- my early girls will live in the green house this year
  • Transplant basil to planter pots
  • Weed west garden strip
  • Spread finished compost by cucumber seedlings
  • Feed and paper the large worm bin
  • Vacuum upstairs
  • Make yogurt
  • Pit and freeze bing cherries
  • Teach 1st grade lessons 10-14, plus review of first section
  • Library
  • Wash darks, whites, kids, and towels
  • Sew baby gifts
  • Order pictures and fill frames for family photo wall
I’m hoping to get all the garden transplanting done tomorrow!  The cherries and library and half the laundry are done already, plus two of the five lessons and the vacuuming.  Not such a bad list, right?
Have I mentioned my girls are fruit fiends?  I started them on the cherries- we pulled all the stems off our 3 pounds of bings, and started pitting them.  Wonder Boy needed his dinner, so I left them on the  kitchen floor with an assortment of bowls.  Pitting cherries is one of Ernie’s favorite kitchen tasks, so this wouldn’t be a problem at all!  Umm…so why were then 40 more pits and pitted cherries when I came back?  I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to fix Mimi’s explosive digestion issues, that’s for sure.

Where the Wild Things Are

Oh, how I wish weeds were tasty.  I’d be in hog heaven, and invite all my friends to come and FEAST.  Because….oh, my backyard is wild.

The playset…you can see where the kids play. Everywhere else is CRAZY.
weeds to pull

See that patch in the back? It’s my raspberries. They’re brambles, really, and don’t mind being crowded it seems- I’ve never seen them set a heavier batch of berries! But really, this is ridiculous. That darn ranunculus (buttercups) loves clay soil, builds a heavy web of roots, and is nearly impossible to hand pull (remember the clay soil??) That patch is the next spot I tackle.  On nights the baby goes to bed before the sun sets, I get my gloves on and pick a spot…and work until the spot is cleared, or the yard waste bin is full.  (I’m too nervous to compost weeds-in-bloom in my compost pile, I’m sure it doesn’t get hot enough to kill the seeds!)

weeds to pull

Ho ho. Hee hee. See that spot next the shed? There are STACKS of pavers and wall blocks in the there. Heck, there’s an entire lilac bush in there! Buttercups are my nemesis. The kids love to pick me handfuls of flowers though, and buttercups so obligingly grow handfuls of flowers…I just wish they’d stay contained to the woods!
weeds to pull

What’s crazy to me is that my weeds are almost exclusively non-native, invasive, the law says you’ve got to pull them up, plants. Himalayan blackberries, ranunculus, sedges, wild garlic mustard…of course, natives get in the act too with the nettles and horse tails. But those invasives…oh my gosh. Each plant literally produces millions of seeds. In just a few weeks, some of them can get taller than me.

What’s Going on the Greenhouse? (Lesson Learned)

I am over the moon excited about this greenhouse in my backyard.  Unfortunately, when the greenhouse was built, I didn’t become instantly endowed with fantastic “greenhouse gardening” knowledge, and I’m learning my lessons this Spring.

For example, if you put seeds in trays of “seed starting mix” and wait for them to sprout, and then wait for their first true leaves, and then wait for those leaves to get a little bigger (or even unfurl) you will wait a long, long time.

These tomatoes have looked like this for roughly two months.  Guess how much of that time I spent waiting for them before I transplanted what I needed into actual dirt?  Yeah, about a month and a half.

tomato sprouts in the greenhouse

Luckily, LOOK at this tomato start!   Already in it’s second pot, just a few weeks after transplanting the sproutlet.

tomato starts in the greenhouse

Let’s get another before and after.

Basil sprouts:

sprouted basil in the green house

Basil transplanted (do you think 43 basil plants is enough?)  You can see which ones got a few weeks head start.  I normally don’t get out for gardening until the baby goes to sleep at night.  If he’s in his crib before the sun goes down, I get to play in the dirt!

basil starts in the greenhouse

The ground cherries are chugging along- I have a twisted history with ground cherries that once found me with 23 tomatillo plants in my yard. A bad case of mistaken identity. This might be the year I find out what they taste like!

ground cherry starts in the greenhouse

Speaking of tomatillos, they’re going crazy- if it stays warm next week, I’m transplanting them before they do themselves harm.

tomatillo starts in the greenhouse

Gardening Season

I am too busy this year.

Do you know how hard that is to admit?  I’d much rather say I’m too lazy, but I have an awfully compelling argument that I simply overscheduled myself.

See him?


He keeps me pretty busy.  (You know, along with homeschooling, parenting, teaching piano, errands, and cleaning up once in a while.)

I realized recently that I can jump up and down and cry because we put all this effort into getting ready for a garden that simply isn’t planted, or I can step back and accept that Spring is a rotten time to grow anything here besides what I already planted (turnips, chard, kale, peas, strawberries, radishes, and lettuce) and simply wait for the non-rainy days and see what goes in next.  I have a great garden planner (look on the “gardening resources” tab at the top of the page) that I can simply open to the current week, and see what still has time for a planting.  I put in bush beans, squashes, and bush cukes last week.  Everything is sprouted, and we’re in business!

(Next year, I’m going to fill every spot NOT taken up by other crops with peas.  We love them, they’re great for the soil, and I won’t feel like a fool with empty garden boxes.  The peas stay in till mid-July around here, and that’s about when we can put in other crops it seems!)

This just has to be a learning year, I’ve never had this much space for gardening, and I’ve never tried to run a house with two kids and a baby.