The sweet smell of lilac in full bloom hit me long before I touched the cold metal of the gate. The morning was chilly despite the sun’s warmth. A breeze lifted my hair and rustled the branches. I released the latch. The garden was still loved, but plainly far too much work for aging hands. The green burst of spring had consumed the bare spaces left by winter die-back. I put down my basket of tools and laid the blanket near the wildest part. Gathering my well-worn skirt to one side, I settled myself, surveying the smaller world.
A new passion was discovered this week: Beading. I’ve always been partial to jewelry and have a good collection of bits and pieces I’ve accumulated over the years including stray beads and broken necklaces. I must have imagined that someday I might learn to string beads.
Dateline 2010 – Jewelry making has been demystified! Better yet Trent is enthralled by the tactile nature of the beads and the colors and choices. Who would have ever guessed I’d be ready to haul out that collection and start stringing it up! We’ve made 4 bracelets, 2 necklaces and 3 pairs of earrings so far this week!
Perhaps the most exciting part is Trent’s enthusiasm for this new medium. He hasn’t lost interest in glass at all, but he loves beading almost as much. He also seeing the parallels and is curious how to make beads. He’s also eyeing the hammers and anvils, so I expect silverworking may be next on our agenda. For the moment I think we’ll take this slowly and evolve with time.
Look for us on Etsy sometime soon.
Felting is the other tactile art we’ve been working with over the last month and again Trent is taken by the color and feel. I couldn’t believe how easy cookie cutter felting was. We’ve invested in some more roving and tools so I expect some cute critters to be born in the coming months.
Meanwhile I’ve almost got the whole summer booked (I know it’s April). The activity and camp choices are diverse and exciting and the best ones fill up quickly. Looks like it will truly be a summer of adventure!
Trent is thrilled to be going to a new location in San Francisco – A Curious Summer – I bet you can’t guess which session he chose!
Baseball season had officially begun. We celebrated by attending our 1st A’s game in Oakland vs the Mariners. Then we drove home for Trent’s 1st game. He played 2nd & 3rd base.
Trip Update: 10 hotels booked in 6 countries. Car booked. 10 restaurants booked. Trip is a go!
We’re scouring websites and I’m noting exciting locales and dining spots along the way.
I have 40 tomato plants begging to be planted… so maybe this week we will manage to get them into the ground. This week we’ll be tasting popcorn & lemonade for a 4-H project; helping to plan a party, talking about Charlie & the Chocolate Factory at Book Club, visiting the dentist and going to see the SF Symphony.
It’s Spring! Well the plants seem to think so. We went out to survey the garden situation (code: disaster) and start clearing a path to spring planting. The asparagus has started to poke up, the rhubarb is leafing out, the fennel is full ferny swing and the plum trees are flowering. These are serious signs of spring here in N. California. We have our first crocus out. The hyancinths are blooming in pots. The peonies are pushing up leaves.
But the most spring like thing to us? Miner’s Lettuce. Young spade shaped leaves not yet flowering. Trent went foraging and picked a handful and then I went out to help turn it into a bowl-full. Funny how many of the leaves end up in your mouth. Trent was positive that dewdrops make Miner’s Lettuce taste better – but he conceded that perhaps it tasted only a little better than Jack’s salad dressing.
Things to remember when foraging:
Make sure you really know what you are eating/picking. Don’t just guess. Otherwise forage with your eyes, not your fingers and mouth.
If you are going to eat and pick try and make sure you eat off the beaten path (we have a lot of deer around here – so we avoid miner’s lettuce near the deer paths)
Better – wash what you pick before you eat it.
Don’t pick all that you see. Leave some for the plant, some for the wild life. Don’t demolish a patch of anything! Pick a little here and there. Take pause and look at what you are picking. Is there enough growing here to take some?
Enjoy being with your kids.
My day started before dawn and then sped up to light speed. Our neighbor was kind enough to share some Sweet Pea plants she had bought at the nursery today and it’s a great reminder of how gorgeous it was outside today and conversely how much dreaded work has to be done in the garden before spring planting could even hope to commence.
Throughout the excitements of the day, we found out that driving a rental car to Czech Republic and Italy is unlikely to be allowed. We calculated that flying in/out of Amsterdam was just too big a loop for this adventure – especially if we want to venture into Austria. So it looks like in/out Frankfurt if we can’t split the ticket between Frankfurt & Munich.
This afternoon was a Construction & Engineering Project Meeting where we made bristlebots – our version which had a customized battery holder which allowed the bot to be turned off by simply removing the battery. I made testing tracks our of foam insulation and weatherstripping (and had the time of my life making them). My dad did the drilling of the battery “cases”. 13 kids, seemingly a million ZOTS and countless bristlebot modifications later I sat down for a whole hour. Then dinner beckoned. Pancake Tuesday resulted in Chocolate Chip, Blueberry, Banana & Plain pancakes, bacon, sausage and accoutrement.
Perhaps I’ll sleep well tonight. I have Coco Before Chanel to watch if I can stay awake.
Things are moving rather slowly now…
The original Evil Mad Scientist Version
Our Version & Our Track: