readying the garden

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It has been mostly Siena and Mark who have gotten the garden ready, with help from some of us at times.

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Getting the hose rolled up (should we have done this before winter?), setting up the green house, getting the garden shed cleaned up to find the seed packets spread in different boxes and bags.  They’ve done all of that.

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They have more than 300 little (recycled) pots with seeds.  

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We’ve had this pot maker for many years (8 or more?) and it works great.  It uses newspaper, so we’ve been able to recycle and plant directly into the grounds all those little seeds they carefully grow each spring.

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Some of these are the gourd seeds Tracey from Clover (my swapper partner from last February’s exchange of goodies) sent us to try.  Thank you Tracey!  We are excited to see if the plants do well.

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Siena put carrots and radishes seeds in this root view thingy we’ve had for years.  And we’ve been able to see how long the roots of the radishes are so far.  Carrots have just started to appear, after 2 weeks of planting.  A view of them you don’t get to see often.

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Because Mark and Siena planted all of our raised beds with potatoes this year, the strawberries (that were not doing very well in the current spot anyways) got moved and have a new home in these boxes they made.

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They are in our front porch now, getting lots of sunshine throughout the day, and maybe getting more water than in the side beds where we don’t remember them so much.

I like to garden, but I don’t seem to have much luck with seeds or plants.  I don’t have that green thumb Siena has.  I am not as careful in the details, as these two gardeners we have.  So I’ve left them alone, and just watch how they enjoy being together and working along side each other.  Listening to their plans for building and planting.

They are working hard every free time they have.  Getting beds ready, making pots, planting new seeds, getting compost turned into the garden, making planting boxes.  They are doing a great job.  Thank you you two beautiful people of mine!  We are all going to enjoy your hard work later in the season.

Posted in Food, gardening, outdoors, spring | 4 Comments

the panda hat

Last winter, Siena asked me to knit her a panda hat.  Well, I guess it was two winters ago.  So during a trip to the snow with friends last year, I took my knitting project.  By the time we arrived at the snow I was done with the main part of her hat.  All I had to do was knit the ears that I was going to make separate and sew them on later.   Siena wanted to wear the hat for that skiing adventure so I didn’t even weave in the ends of the yarn.  She just put it on.  I didn’t have time to take a picture of the finished hat.  Well? That hat was lost in that first time being worn.

Siena asked me to make her another panda hat for this (past) winter.  It took me a while to get started and I finished it in January.  She loves it and she’s been wearing a lot.  I made up my own pattern, again this time.  Because I didn’t write any notes (or pattern) from last year, I had to knit and unknit many times (again this time) until I got the right proportions of the little panda’s face, nose and eyes.

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If I would have known I was going to make another one this year, I would have made notes the first time around.  But oh well… it turned out really cute.

After few weeks of wearing her new hat, when the snow storm came in February, Siena was wearing that same coat she wore last year when we went skiing…. and what do you know.  She found her (first) panda hat!  Unfinished and all.  She pulled it out of her hidden panda-keeper pocket.

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Funny how things go.  Now my little girl has two panda hats knitted by her Mamá.  As I look at them side by side, I noticed they are not the same pattern.  Knowing me, why would they be!  But they both fit her well.  I guess I should finish it, just in case one gets lost again.  

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But I guess, one can never have too many panda hats!

Posted in family, Handmade | 4 Comments

total lunar eclipse + the blood moon

I’m up late tonight.  I wanted to stay up to watch the total moon eclipse.  I love watching the moon.  I enjoy knowing its cycle, it amazes me every time how nature does its thing and it has done it for thousands of years, no matter if I look up at the sky or not.  It happens.  So much is known now a days, but how incredible it is.

We were reading earlier today, how the aztec’s had a lunar calendar and how they made sense of it, and how in tuned with nature they were.  It makes sense. Tonight, as the night progressed, the clouds appeared.  Then they disappeared.

My plan of waking everyone up to see the eclipse and the blood moon was turning just into a late bed time for me.  But one more check before going to bed, and the skies were clear. The moon had started to get dark.  I waited a little longer.  The moon was almost half dark.  Then almost all of it.   That’s when I woke Mark up and the kids.

We were all watching from the room upstairs until the moon was completely dark, and it had a reddish halo.  The kids were ready to keep sleeping.  So was Mark.  I am ready to go to bed too.

I didn’t see it this red (as in this photo I found online), but what an amazing event it is.  It is still happening.  A nature’s show.  And you know the most exciting thing to me is? Knowing there are so many people out there watching the same amazing moon right now.

I wonder if my parents or my nieces and nephews are watching this, at this same moment, all the way down in Chile? A gathering of sorts around nature, around the globe.  Beautiful.

One more look before I head to bed, and the clouds now have appeared as a veil over the moon closing the show for the evening.

Posted in global, outdoors, right now, Science, spring | 4 Comments

spring is like summer

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The other day, we had few sunny days, and my kids kept saying “it’s like summer!” as they took their socks off, and took their layers of clothes off, and dug deeper in their drawers for shorts and skirts to wear.  For them this day was summer.

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So I made sun tea.  That’s summer-like, Right?  They had the energy to run around all day, bare feet, with friends coming and going, quickly turning into an evening event too.  A quick visit after breakfast, turned into lunch, and playing catch, and tag, and hide and go seek, and making ice cream (really!), and having a quick dinner so we can then end our summer day with a movie showing outside with more friends.

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The first summer all-day play date of the year with a whole lot of fun.  I know more are coming our way!  It is so much fun.

Posted in friends, spring | 4 Comments

Our Body : Smell

Studying the sense of smell was a fun one, because I can’t smell.  I’ve never had the sense of smell, so it’s always intrigued me how this sense relates to someone.  There is so much to it.  Taste is related to smell, of course, and memories are too.  Maybe that’s why I have terrible memory!  (Great excuse at least! Right?)

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We did quite a few activities, but I didn’t get as many pictures taken.  This is one of them.  I hid a little jar with rubbing alcohol on one side of the room, and with blindfolds, they had to find where it was. It is such a strong smell that they did pretty easily.

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We ended with a good smell.  Making potpourri with the smells, spices and plants, that Siena likes the best.

Here is the books we used specifically for the sense of smell.  Remember to check the rest of the books we’ve been using for the whole Human Body Unit, that I posted few weeks ago.  There are lots of great resources.  Here are some more:

This ends our study of the senses.  As always, I’d love it if you can add any other resources you have used or liked if you have done this unit or have studied the senses.  Thanks!  And have a good day.

Posted in homeschooling, Science | Leave a comment

a little spring inside

Our house is not that big, but even though there’s other places, our dining table seems to always be the center of our lives.  And it always seems to be full.  Full of happenings, full of stories, of laughs and cries, of jokes, full of plans, full of dreams and many conversations.  And also many times, is full of books, and legos, and papers, and pencils and pens, stickers, bills, and sometimes all of these at once.  It is a happening place, and I love that about it.

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My mom always has beautiful tablecloths, and I think I got that from her.  I love tablecloths.  I love dressing our table for special occasions, but also for our day to day.  For breakfast, or a special dinner. It doesn’t matter.  I always like to have something pretty on it.  I change it, depending on the weather, the season, the feelings or what’s happening in our lives.  It’s fun to change.

In this picture, I have the beautiful coasters (that I don’t let anyone put anything on top of them because they are too pretty!) made by Tracey.  I just love having them around, the color, the texture.  They are so pretty aren’t they?  And this hyacinth in the middle, for a little indoor spring, I was given by one of the families from our Science Fair as a thank you for organizing the event. Isn’t it sweet?

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Last year, I decided to finally make myself an apron from one I’ve been wearing for years.  I had gotten it from Mexico one year, and even though I really like the pattern, the fabric was very scratchy and slippery, something I didn’t want for my apron.  So I made myself one with some fabric (linen) I had.

And oh… I love it!  I wear it all the time.  It’s long, it covers me completely in the front, and it has pockets, it’s almost like a dress.  Maybe like a “house dress” that my grandma used to wear all day when she was in her house.

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Few months ago, I decided to make myself another one.  Also linen, a little lighter than the first one I made.  And also purple.  This time, no prints.

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I’ve used it a lot.  It’s had quite a few washes already, and it is so soft.  I love it how it feels.

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While we wait for the longer and warmer days, I’ll bring a little of spring inside, if I can.  It just makes everything brighter! No matter how busy our days or our table gets.

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Posted in Handmade, home, spring | Leave a comment

making : sewing for Siena

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Siena has a favorite shirt that she’s worn for a couple of years now.  It has, of course, changed how it fits her, but she likes it as is right now.  She asked me if I could sew her another one with a panda fabric we found at Joann’s few months ago.  Anything panda, is a great thing here at this house.  But fabric with pandas, is even a better thing!

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So, as any mom would do after a request like that, I dropped everything and went to saw a little.  Never mind that I had other sewing plans.  I do love it when my kids ask me to make them something.

I’m a self-taught sewist (or sewer?)  I’ve never taken a class of any kind to learn to sew.  I always wanted to, but then I never have.  So, when I have a model of what I want to sew in front of me, is a great help.  I’m a visual learner.

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Because I knew Siena wanted a couple of these shirts, I decided to make a pattern, so that I can later not follow.  I don’t know why I do that.  I can never follow a pattern.  Of any kind!  Not in sewing, not in knitting, or any recipe for that matter.  Funny.  I always have to change something, sometimes a small change.  So I made this pattern so I can change it every time I use it.  Fair.

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I made her two shirts, like the one she likes to wear.

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With the little pocket in the front, as she likes it.  And of course, with the fabric I had left, I had to make these fun headbands.

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I used this pattern from Happy Together and changed it a little to be more like this one.  I’m telling you, I can’t really follow one pattern!

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I made two headbands from each fabric combination.  The panda fabric with a purple fabric, because it was for Siena and her swap partner, who likes purple.

I thought it would be cute if I added a little something in the package Siena is getting ready for her swapping, so they can both have the same something to remember their swapping.

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I like how they turned out.  I use this one with the blue flowers and circles.

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Now, she’s matching with both of her new shirts I made, with a headband to wear with it!

DSC_0187-smallI think I’m going to have to make more shirts and headbands, to get better at it.  I like this practice!  And I’m sure Siena would be happy if I keep practicing too!

Posted in Handmade, Sewing, spring | 2 Comments