Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Garden Post

It has been a while since I did a garden post, and while it is most likely not interesting to anyone but me I'm doing one! ha :) I've loved being able to look back and see what was going on in our garden in past posts, so this is more of a sketch of things for me to reference back to than anything else.
What does a California garden look like in December, anyway?

The berry zone. Nanaberry vines are all trimmed up and the new growth pinned up.

The teeny beds of rhubarb, dahlias, Italian sage and onions (yellow and red) in the big bed on the far right. The raised beds
The chicken forage crop

The chickens, all gathered up to see what kind of treat I have for them.
I like to think they refer to me as The Bearer of All Things Delicious

Cabbage (can't wait to make homemade sauerkraut!)

My current favorite bed of beet greans, carrots, hardneck garlic and cauliflower seedlings.

The glorious artichokes, oh how I wish I had planted more than one plant!

Close up of the cover crop. This is where the children's garden was last year.
The chickens are quite fond of the greens.

Same cover crop, planted in fairly fresh soil about a month after the spot above.

The herb bed is getting an overhaul (the entire front yard is really) so I pulled all my herbs out and they are being so patient with me just sitting there with their feet dangling in the air! They look like a big pile of garbage in this pic. They look much happier in person, I swear!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Yesterday morning, after an exceptionally cold storm passed over us, we noticed that a mountain we can see from our house called Fremont Peak was covered in snow! We drove up that afternoon to try out the new snow gear we bought for Colven and let's just say we had a LOT of fun in the snow! Colven just wanted to roll in it, he was so funny! We threw snowballs and ran around and right before we left it started to snow on us. So lovely! I can appreciate snow much more when I don't have to live in it! ha :) After seeing how much fun Colven had in it we have decided we absolutely MUST make it up to Tahoe this winter. I wonder how Colven would do on a pair of Big Feet kid skis?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Digging to China, Death, & Goodbye to Thunder

This morning Cyrus went out to give our dogs some treats and our female dog, Thunder, was dead. Just laying there dead. Thunder was Cyrus' baby of sorts. He got her as a wee little puppy and raised her, eventually we all moved in together and long before Cyrus and I thought about marriage and family Thunder had her own: 12 puppies! TWELVE. In our tiny Carmel house. It was really messy and stinky and lots of hard work to take care of those twelve puppies and .... a load of fun.

We were gone all day yesterday so she and her son, Cruise, spent the day "digging to China" as I call it. Their yard was covered in fresh holes. I pet her yesterday morning and she was just fine. Her usual, happy, spunky self. I'm not sure what could have changed in so little time. I think I may just decide that she dug herself to death, because that way she will have died doing something she loved. Her nose was still powdered with freshly dug dirt.

Those who know a bit of our recent family story know that we have been (albeit not aggressively, nor actively for that matter) trying to re-home them. They are fantastic guard dogs and companion dogs and have a ton of energy... and like to nip and snap and growl at our toddler and kill our chickens. Just unacceptable and scary. Safety outweighed all other things, even our love for them. It was a hard decision to make and Cyrus had found a new home with his best friend, Mark, for Thunder. But we waited until Cruise was gone first because it just wouldn't seem right to have Cruise here and not Thunder. We had been lagging on finding Cruise a new home. They just stayed in their big dog yard away from our son. That was just how it was for the time being.

We buried her this morning, laying sacred sage and toyon berries on her body before the first shovel of dirt covered her. And cried.

The whole process made me think about a child's view of death. We have talked about death so casually around Colven that it is just as much a part of life as life itself is. It just is. Bugs die, pets die, people die. I wonder what his concept of life is, what his concept of death is. I wish he had the words to communicate to me, but at 2.5 it is simple. Life. Death. I guess really, they are that simple. They just are. Natural. While Cyrus and I hugged and cried Colven just went off to find something else to do. Something exciting. I asked him if he understood that Thunder is dead. "Yes, she is up" he said, and opened his arms to the sky and down to the earth. I said yes, she is everywhere again, not held to her body. He said "ya."

Makes me think about how some people shelter their children from death. Imaging they "aren't ready" to learn about death. Who isn't? The child? Colven isn't afraid of it. It is normal, it is natural. It is really quite pure. As pure as birth! Makes me think about how our society can be very fearful of death, and how we tend to revere it. It is complex, it is unknown. Causes me to consider our cultural view of such things
. Interesting to think about.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Carrots as entertainment and other toddler images.

Colven and I were in the garden today pulling weeds and checking on some of our baby seedlings. While I was busy doing something else I hear this big "WOW MOM! OH WOW! LOOK! IT'S HUGE!" I turn around and see he has pulled out the biggest carrot I have ever seen come out of our garden haha! I was glad I had the camera in my pocket because he made some creative use of it before we ate it --

Carrot as a pointing stick (pointing at the moon):

Taking the carrot for a ride:
"Scaring" the carrot (pretending to eat it):
This is from this morning. Colven loved this orange so much he asked me to photograph it in his hands LOL
These last two are photos which Colven captured himself. He was very proud of this one. I asked him if he wanted to title it and he said yes:
Horse Poop

He's quite the gifted self portrait artist already, isn't he!

Monday, December 1, 2008

If you haven't looked up into the night sky for a bit, tonight is a great night to catch up! A little sliver of the moon will be adorned by Venus and Jupiter, two of the brightest planets, in close proximity. Last night was pretty stunning but tonight is supposed to be the best viewing. I was able to see the earthshine last night on the moon too, that is when you can see the the full globe of the moon. I just read how this is also known as "the old moon in the young moon's arms." Pretty sweet!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The amazing thing about California in the fall: One day we're freezing at the beach and just a few later the barometer has risen once again and my boy is naked in the Pacific. Colven's grandma Taia sent this photo she captured with her phone today. My boy loves water, loves to run, and he loves to be naked!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Images from a full moon November evening on Carmel Beach

The full moon made for a fabulous negative tide which allowed us to scour the exposed beach for agates and peek into tidepools, between rocks, and inside crevices.

A hilarious attempt at a family self-portrait.