Thursday, June 21, 2012

Touring the estate

When we stroll around our garden, we like to call it "touring the estate." Aren't we fancy? Sometimes we wear hats and sip fancy drinks, too. I'd like to take you on a short virtual tour today. Last year N ripped out the strange half-wall on the side of our old wooden front stairs. We immediately received a code violation notice from the village. So he applied for a permit and that shut them up. Here it is, over a year later, and he just finished the last finishing touch, which is the lattice under the stairs. (The permit was closed last year.) 

Also of interest in the photo is the giant coffee cup planter on the platform. I love it an unreasonable amount. 

I'm going to pretend this is a magazine article, and include notes on where to purchase the items shown.

Deck and railing: Azek
Hostas and front planter: trashpicked

See those porch windows above? They are the windows shown below. This is most of our collection of birdhouses. 

Birdhouses and rocking chair: Nearly all of them from garage sales
Bench: trashpicked

Last year we added another small raised bed. At left rhubarb, moved from a too-shady spot. Front is onions and peppers. In the cold frame, two tomatoes (one Brandywine, one sweet 100 cherry). Between them is a potato that just showed up. That's known as a "volunteer."

Rhubarb: Chivilo Family
Onion sets and tomato plants: Sneed's
Pepper plants: Long Family
Big Honkin' tomato cages: Menard's

And my old bean area (see the last photo) was becoming shadier year by year, plus I was really sick of climbing a ladder every day to harvest them. So N had to build another bed. Hmm. Seems like we're averaging one new bed a year. Interesting. 

The beans are blooming, so we should be eating them soon.

Trellis and magnolia tree: Schwarz Nursery
Bean seeds: Duffin Family

Monday, June 4, 2012

Just another crazy summer

Today is our first day of summer. School ended on Friday, but the weekend obviously doesn’t count.

I’m just documenting our summer so that in a few years, I can look back on this and laugh.
  • Camp Invention for the fourth year running. Science camp, 5 full days, at a grade school a mile away. Full of kids we know!
  • Farmhands camp. 3 full days, run by the forest preserve. Signed up the same week as 3 other families! Bonus: Hot lunch included that the kids cook/bake themselves.
  • Blues Busters Camp. Run by the park district next to ours, 3 full days. Way too much paperwork for such a short session. Last year we did 2 weeks here, but it’s twice the price of our local park district, plus we … are a little busy.
  • Intensive Dance Camp, 5 half days. Run by our park district.
  • Band camp for Boo, 5 short sessions. She is taking up the clarinet!
  • Extended School Year for Linnea, mornings in July. Her fifth summer attending. Seven miles away this year. Bus provided.
  • Hannah, from down the street. 3 weeks of 3 days each. So nice to have a local young babysitter. She brings crafts and fun ideas, and the girls love her.
  • Oma, sporadic days throughout the summer. German immersion! When she’s not busy with Knitting Camp! (She’s been going for at least 11 years.)
  • And, not completely settled, but very probably, three 90-minute sessions weekly (for 7 weeks) of Language to Literacy, run by a local speech center, but not our usual private SLP. 3 blocks away! Covered by insurance!!
  • Plus our regular tutoring and speech therapy.
  • Plus workbooks, reading at home, general educational stuff.
  • There's been talk regarding scheduling swim lessons, but I refuse to even look at the schedule until, I dunno, later. When I feel less overwhelmed. At some point. In the future.

I need to go get a cold compress. Oh, my head. Oh, the paperwork and logistics. 

For comparison, last summer was also insane.