Monday, June 30, 2008

Canning success!

My first canning attempt in several years went perfectly!
I was brave and used a pectin that I wasn't familiar with. Pomona's Pectin allows for low and no sugar canning, as well as offering options for alternative sweeteners to sugar such as honey and stevia. It is made from citrus peels.
I am thrilled with the results:
Bright, perfectly gelled boysenberries.
I also made some rhubarb orange preserves. Colven has a new addiction :)

The setting sun is barely visible behind a blanket of smoke from the fires in Big Sur. I took this photo yesterday in Carmel Valley Village, where specks of incinerated life were floating through the air as drifts of ash.
Several of our friends have lost their homes.
The fires continue to burn and devour more every day.

The beautiful inside of an overgrown fig.
We missed this one somehow.
The ants did not!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

We have had a busy week. Colven and I went to the Bean Family Reunion last weekend in Maine. We had SUCH a fabulous time! The night before we left to come home Colven developed a high fever and came down with Hand, Foot, Mouth disease on the plane ride home. Loooooong day of travel for both of us. All of us. My parents sat next to us on the second plane home and Colven cried almost the entire time. Good news is he has healed quickly and is almost completely back to his old spunky self!

We have a new camera to play with (I left my old beloved, trusty camera on the plane on the way to Maine. sigh.) so I will post some new photos later today. It is 5:30am and I have been up since 4.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bountiful harvest

Colven and I are preparing for our departure to go to a family reunion in Maine, so I decided to do a thorough harvest of the nanaberries today so as not to share too many with the birds. The harvest was plentiful! Such gorgeous berries! It was challenging to gain a full colander, between a toddler and his mother -- the amount ebbed and flowed as we picked. I'm excited to know that we will have some preserves to bring to Montana with us to share with Papa and everyone!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


It is 1am.. I am cleaning up a little before I head to bed (later than usual) and as I wash my hands I notice my kitchen sponge, colored from our day of crafting and painting.

I think I'm on the right track :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dad may go...

but he comes back

and plays pretty hard

until Colven passes out with a smile on his face.

No teeth brushing tonight

Nanaberries are GIGANTIC!

Sweet revenge

Otherwise known as WHERE GOPHERS GO TO DIE!
Two of the three traps I set yesterday had gophers in them this morning.

Colven's grandfather took this photo yesterday of us in the pool. Colven asks over and over for MORE UP DOWN. He absolutely loves to be thrown up in the air and land in the water. How he manages to not get water up his nose I do not know!
He did his first underwater swimming yesterday. He has done a few strokes here and there before but nothing we would call swimming...until yesterday! He pushes off of one of us and kicks and uses his arms to get to the other. He started lifting his head yesterday. I think within no time at all he is going to be a very independent fishy in the water.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hello, Beautiful!

Our yard is buzzing with glorious bees right now. Colven and I were watching them pollinate this Australian Melaluca tree today and I counted 5 different types. 2 I know to be natives! This one is not, but it was the easiest to photograph since it was kind of pokey :) I love too see this tree in bloom, the flowers are just so unusual and pretty
When Colven sneaks off, the garden is the first place I look for him. I brought the camera with me today to capture what he might be doing.
I found him watering the pepper seedlings. Funny kid!

Here is an updated pic of the children's garden.
The giant sunflowers lining this path are growing inches per day.
They are amazing to watch.
Cyrus said that he saw a ground squirrel today :( We haven't had them yet and I dread dealing with yet another marauder! Between the gophers, the birds, the dogs, and a toddler, it's amazing there is single seedling growing in our garden!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Colven said "ut oh mama, bye bye!"

Colven's friend Marek came over to play yesterday. We went and picked him up and on the way home stopped in at an organic farm stand and got some strawberries. Luckily I bought two baskets because one of them was gone by the time we got home!
Off to explore

We ate our first Nanaberries of the season today!
Cyrus said they taste like Nana's house

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Baby giant

Here is our baby GIANT pumpkin plant, freshly sprung from it's seed casing! This seed is one that I purchased for Cyrus for his birthday last year but we never got around to planting it. This seed's parents were each over 1,000 pounds! We also have some seeds from our roughly 450 pound pumpkin we grew last year. It will be interesting to compare the different plants and watch these giant vines grow.

Monday, June 2, 2008

This rose was hiding under some leaves,
it took a toddler's curiosity to find it.
I heard Colven say
and he came running over to get me
to bring me to this beautiful flower and demonstrate
how to smell it.

The garden today

The boysenberries that Cyrus' Papa handed down to us are growing like mad! We have decided to call them Nanaberries, in memory of Cyrus' Nana that grew and canned these for years and years and years.
The vines are LOADED!

Beautiful cabbage and carrots:

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Parents as People

We went out to our friend Karina's 30th birthday party and had a BALL! It was so fun to get dressed up and socialize with grown ups :) Colven had a blast with my niece, I don't think he even missed us!