Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Fine Family Tradition



When looking for a stocking for Evan's first Christmas, I was disappointed in what I found. Nothing was good enough for my little guy. I looked and looked, but to no avail. So, I decided to make one for him. I bought fabric, looked up patterns. I chose red, because that was his favorite color, and a polar bear on the front for his "Bear Bear." Being the true procrastinator I waited till Christmas Eve to make it. (I may have actually cut the boot part out beforehand.) I tried to do a blanket stitch along the outside of the boot, but I had to fake it. Looked good, but took FOREVER! Then, I got the bear on. With a few oaths and a few tears, I was done. And it was already early Christmas morning.

Two years later I was planning on moving Evan up to a new, bigger stocking from Pottery Barn Kids. We looked in the catalog together. I asked him which one he liked, and he said, "The big sock!" pointing to the stocking that was as big as the girl holding it! I secretly planned on getting him the train stocking, though. And I planned on making Duncan's first stocking myself. Of course, we lost Evan shortly after this conversation. A month after Evan's death was Christmas Eve. And that's the day that I went and got fabric for Duncan's first stocking. I decided on green with a Gingerbread Man for a nice traditional feel. And again, I was up till the wee hours sewing, cursing myself for being so lame, but still numb from Evan's loss.

Two years later I had Miranda's stocking all cut out. Her's is also green, but I decided to go with a reindeer theme. We went to the Inlaw's on Christmas Eve, and didn't return until close to midnight. I decided to be Santa's elf instead of make the stocking. I felt like the world's worst mommy. Miranda had no stocking for her first Christmas. I don't think Miranda got much for presents last year, either. This year, however, my little princess would make it known (loudly) if she's getting the shaft. I told Justin, "I can't NOT make Miranda her first stocking. It wouldn't be right." I remembered stories from my brother in law about being the youngest and getting the short end of the stick all the time. I didn't want to do that to Miranda. I already had the stocking pieces I cut out last year. I just have to put it together. Easy peasy. Except, I couldn't find most of the pieces. I found the boot, but not the reindeer. I looked up patterns of cute reindeer and real reindeer on the Internet, and cut out a few designs. One I had thought about using Justin commented looked like something from the show "South Park." I couldn't bear Miranda's reindeer looking like Mr. Hanky, so I just did Rudolph. And, in fine holiday tradition, I stayed up until 2am making it. I didn't really feel like crying until the very end. You see, I figured out how to do that blanket stitch on the very last two stitches. And it was fast and easy. Sigh.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just a Few More Days!

There's a lot of excitement floating around here. Not from me. I've been kinda cranky, but that's another story (or is it?) We have our Christmas tree all lit and somewhat decorated. The lower half was decorated, but it's been stripped down by one grabby little girl. I decided to do a candy cane tree this year, because I figured I wouldn't care if the candy canes were broken (unlike my ornaments.) I also did three long red and green paper chains, with a little assistance from Duncan. There are two in the top area, and the third chain has disappeared. Until about a week ago there weren't any presents under the tree. When Duncan started placing random objects down there (diapers, books, etc.) and calling them presents, I decided I needed to get busy. Now, there are loads of presents under the tree. The kids have sat on, thrown, and stepped on most of them. And we'll see if they're all still wrapped come Christmas! Despite the fact that we don't look too festive, we are feelin' it.

Duncan's Christmas program (consisting of 200 songs! well, alright, 20!) was last week. He refused to wear his handmade (at school) shirt, and then didn't sing. He did alot of nose picking, actually. At home, however, he is singing "Jingle Bells" with gusto. Duncan is a total Christmas junkie. He loves the lights, the music, and of course the pressies! He talks about the Christmas tree. He tells me, "Merry Christmas, Mommy!" And today it was, "Happy Holidays!" He wanted to go visit Santa the other day, and he pointed at the neighborhood clubhouse. I told him Santa was just there for a visit that day, but he really lives at the North Pole with polar bears and elves and stuff. As Grandpa drove Duncan by the clubhouse later that day, Duncan pointed at the clubhouse and said, "There's the North Pole!"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Santa!

Miranda, the girl who cries and reaches for Mommy when Grandma or LaLa want to hold her. The girl who hides behind Mommy's legs when strangers are around.



The girl who liked Santa (and didn't cry!)




Although, I won't say she wasn't suspicious.

(Notice the struggle going on in the background. That's me trying to get Duncan to sit in Santa's lap. Never happened. Looks like coal for one little boy! I kid, I kid!)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thinking about giving up

With all the rain we've had in the past few months, the back 40 is still wet. We still have pools of standing water here and there. When we dig down into the soil, the water wells up in the hole. All the work I wanted to do since the big flood in September has, for the most part, been put on hold. But now I'm starting to wonder if I should alter my plans. I'm sure not all years will be as wet as what we've had lately. Drought is part of our recent past, afterall. But I'm beginning to think I should just embrace the whole idea that the back 40 is a flood plain, and put appropriate plants there. And here's the biggie...move Evan's garden. So really I'm thinking about giving up having Evan's garden in its current location. Not giving up entirely! I've been considering installing some more terraced beds on the slope-y part of the backyard, and maybe use one of those for Evan's garden. It's disappointing and exciting at the same time. I suppose I should wait it out and see how things go. But there are some plants that just can't abide having wet feet. And that area back there has been wet for months. I'm pretty confident I will lose some. Others are tough. It is a wait and see game, I guess. Just trying not to feel too discouraged about the state of my yard in the meantime.

Little Boys are Weird



Evan, as I have said on numerous occasions, was a good talker. He had a pretty decent vocabulary for a little guy. But it was the words that he made up that were fun. I remember introducing the Wallace and Gromit movies to Evan. He loved them, and asked to watch "the guy and the dog" again and again! He watched all the movies and wanted more. The trousers, he argued with me, in the short film "The Wrong Trousers" were not trousers, but leggerthings. The cooker Wallace and Gromit encounter on the moon in "A Grand Day Out" Evan called a chine. Like ma-chine, without the ma. All things mechanical were chines. But there was a mysterious chine that only Evan knew about. He called it the Bomchine (pronounced Bomsheen.) We'd point to something and ask, "Evan, is this a bomchine?" "No," he'd reply. But he never did share that little secret with us.




Duncan is our little inventor. He creates new things out of various toys. He wraps string and cords (I know, I'm a bad mother) and shoves ends together. It's no fun to take apart. Oh, I'm not a malicious un-inventor. There's always something he wants removed, but he's wrapped it round so many times, he can't undo it. He creates his own boats, trucks, vacuums. And lately...chines. That's right, Duncan, without our prompting, has been calling some of his creations chines. Just like his older brother. We've asked him if this or that is a bomchine, and usually we'll get the "that's not a bomchine!"



Duncan has his own word invention. His is the mow wacker. I think he mushed mower and weed wacker together for this creation. When playing, Duncan takes the broom and pretends to be...uh...mow wacking. Various inventions are called mow wackers, so it's still a bit of a mystery what a mow wacker really is. And, like Evan, when we ask questions about his chines, he looks at us like we're the weird ones!

Monday, December 7, 2009

More on the Birthday Hat

Justin felt like I shortchanged Duncan by not showing a picture with him wearing the Birthday Hat. Boys around here are just so fickle about their hats. I whip out the camera, and the hat comes off.


Here's a picture of Duncan running away from me, not very happy to have the Birthday Hat on.




And the hat comes off.




And I just threw this one in 'cause it's cute!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Birthday Hat

On my birthday (that's January, folks) back in 2006, I took Evan to Old Navy for some shopping. I was spending a gift card I'd received for Christmas that day. I felt that it was like giving myself a birthday present. I was a little over halfway through my pregnancy with Duncan, and feeling like a beached whale. During that little trip I developed a bad headache. So, I was pretty much just trying to hurry up and get out of there and get a Coke! Evan spotted a silly hat that he wanted. I put it on him, and had to get it. We left and I got my Coke and eventually felt better. Evan didn't seem as interested in the hat once we got home. But every once in a while he'd pull it out, plop it on his head and say, "My Birthday Hat!" I guess he called it that, because we got it on my birthday. Or maybe just because it looked festive. Toddlers are mysterious that way!




Evan wore other hats from time to time, but mostly for dress up or going outside. He was Bob the Builder in his construction hat. He was a knight in shining armour in a funny little Viking hat at Poppyaya's house.




He was a heroic firefighter for Halloween and a cowboy when visiting friends.



I never did get a picture of Evan in the Birthday Hat. But recently Miranda found it and decided that she likes it and must wear it for hours on end! If it falls off, she comes to me to help her put it back on! I'm thinking of starting a new Birthday Hat tradition. And my birthday is coming up. I think Evan would approve.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

To Grandmother's House We Go

We went to Grandma and Grandpa's house (also known as my parents) for Thanksgiving this year. The kids stayed with them for a couple of nights to have a Granparentacular week. Which, of course, they did.



When we got there Duncan wanted to go outside and play, even though it was a bit chilly. Kids are pretty resilient when it comes to cold. But pretty soon it was time to eat (Thanksgiving dinner at 12:30! Who woulda thunk? It was almost lunch!)



Miranda, my good eater, ate. Her favorite? The chocolate cake with beets in it. Beets! It's one of those things you add for color and moisture, and doesn't impart any flavor to the cake itself. And yeah, it's good. Justin was too much of a chicken to try it.



Duncan, my not so good eater, did not eat. His plate, seen here before the feast, looked about the same after. Except he actually ate the roll. Then he went back outside to play some more. He was outside for a good two hours!



Miranda worked on the crossword.



We tried to get a picture in for a potential Christmas card photo. Besides looking like I'm going to strangle Duncan, and Miranda looking like she's about to escape, I think it turned out pretty....pretty bad. So, we'll have to try again. Oh well.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Remembering Evan

Last week was a busy week. It was an emotional rollercoaster with Evan's death anniversary on Tuesday and Thanksgiving on Thursday. Tears were always threatening, and Evan was (and is) always on my mind. After asking some friends for ideas, I finally made some plans for how I wanted to spend time remembering Evan last Tuesday. Since the backyard was too muddy for planting, we (my parents, my mother in law, Justin, me, and the kids) stayed inside and painted rocks to go in Evan's Garden.



I didn't realize when planning this activity that it was going to be a more than a day long process. So, we basically got started Tuesday, and I've been finishing the rocks up since. This is Evan's favorite bear, "Bear Bear."



And some cute bugs.



I also decided that I liked doing the balloon release so much last year, that I'd like to do it again. Miranda was very pleased with this decision!






We wrote notes to Evan on the balloons and gathered together outside. And let them go.




And then we watched them float and spin on their journey to Heaven.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mud Pies, Anyone?



After my previous post, my mother in law and I talked about Tuesday. She suggested we wait and see about the weather, and then decide. But after a little playtime in the back 40 on Friday, I already knew what the answer would be.



I mean, everybody likes to play in the mud. What's more fun than making mud pies? Ummm...staying inside and being clean? (Notice my facial expression as I watch Miranda get beyond dirty in a couple of mud puddles.)



Cute, but Yuck!



Today it rained alot. And now the weather prognosticators are predicting a chance of rain on Monday and Tuesday. Not more than 30 percent, but it seems like any possibility ends in rain here right now. So, we may just have to celebrate Evan's life indoors this year.




Because even though my heart is heavy with Evan's loss, I am so very grateful for the time I had with that little boy. Just wish it had been longer.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Other Purty Stuff



I took these photos earlier in the month. This hardy geranium that I got in a trade is spreading nicely. It's funny to hear me say this, because I generally have an aversion to plants that spread. Oh sure, some clumping is ok, but really spreading has always kind of freaked me out. I was afraid for a while of suckering shrubs. Of course, there are things that spread too much (Chinese privet, kudzu, English ivy, etc.), and others that are manageable. And those can always be shared with friends, which is part of what makes gardening rewarding and so much fun.



Pam from Digging has suggested that Garden bloggers should consider doing a foliage day the day after Garden Blogger's Bloom Day each month (that's on the 15th.) I immediately thought of the gorgeous fall color on my surviving Oakleaf hydrangea this year! It didn't bloom, but by golly it's making up for it this fall.



My one lowly Camellia. I've had this Camellia for several years. It's been moved about a couple of times, eaten by deer at least once, and never has it bloomed until this year. This year, when it was in the thick of the worst, fastest part of the flooded area. Other plants in the area floated away, got flattened, and some things just didn't make it. But the Camellia came through the flood with flying colors. And now it has blooms! Or, bloom. But isn't it beautiful?! I need to go back out there and see if there are any more. There were buds! I thought it would be fun if I could find an animal named Camellia. No luck so far. Mostly names. If you find one, let me know. I'd like to get more!

Disappointed



I had plans to work in Evan's Garden on Evan's death anniversary this coming Tuesday. I was hoping that the recent rains we've had would mostly dry up by then. Of course, I've been hoping that since late September when the major flooding occurred.




And even though we've had many sunny days with spring like temperatures, the puddles remain. And rain is in the forecast for this weekend. I don't tend to complain about the rain, since we had so many years of drought, but I have to admit, a few weeks of dry weather would be a nice break!




I'm sure my volunteers (my parents and my mother in law) may say they wouldn't mind getting a little muddy in memory of Evan, but I think it's asking a bit much. So, I guess we'll be having a lunch gathering instead. Sigh...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bloom Day



This is that same Rudbeckia "Early Bird Gold" still blooming in November! The regular old Black Eyed Susans quit blooming ages ago (like August.) Early Bird has been going strong for 4-5 months. I am so impressed with this plant!



A non-native Butterfly Weed I picked up at the spring plant trade. It's starting to wane a bit now, but it's been lovely for weeks.



And the oh so lovely Dahlia "Pam Howden." What a beautiful bloom! She just knocks my socks off.



And she's still blooming...in November! Of course, we haven't had our first freeze of the winter, yet. More rain, yes, but nothing lower than about 35 degrees.



And here's all the stuff I still need to plant!

Silliness



I found a car rammed into my van recently. The driver had already left the scene.




But wait...there he is!




"I'm outta here!"



But look who's got the keys now!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More Work and More Rain

I am fortunate enough to live close enough (but not too close!) to both my parents and my inlaws. And even more so, because my mom and my mother in law both enjoy gardening. We talk about plants, we wander around each other's gardens, but best of all we plant shop together. We've picked up some new things for Evan's Garden this fall, and just a few days ago my mom and I put them in the ground. The new area is separated from the rest of Evan's Garden by what used to be the stone path. I removed the stones and threw them (literally) over to a new patio area. That is still in progress. The path will still be a path, but instead of stone, I'll use pea gravel. I dug up the concrete pavers I had around the playground that floated away during the flood and used them to border the path. I still haven't gotten the pea gravel. Justin wants to do a French drain underneath it for better drainage of the area. Anyway...Evan's Garden is on the right edge of the back 40. The path is next, then a new little perennial bed full of more zoo plants! And then the patio. After that will probably be the new playground that Santa told me he'd like to get the kids. So, lots of work done, and lots more to be done. As usual. But it feels great to have a good start. We were able to get the plants installed during a week long sunny spell. It was wonderful to see the sky again! But alas, the tropical storm past through over the last couple of days, dumping 3 or more inches of rain on an already fairly saturated spot. So, I expect to have puddles for a little while again. I'm just hoping that they'll dry up in time for Evan's death anniversary on November 24. I'm hoping to go back there with my mom and mother in law and plant something special in Evan's garden. Fingers crossed for nice weather!

Meh

Kind of feeling meh lately. The weather has been really great up until Ida decided to throw a cold, wet, windy blanket over the southeast. I got most of my new plants in the ground for my extension to Evan's garden (yes, I'm making it bigger!) just in time for some more lovely standing water back there in the back 40. I am feeling a slight undercurrent of pre-Christmas excitement. I have already done a little shopping, which is not unusual for me. This year is looking like a small Christmas (so don't be expectin' no fancy schmancy pressies!) Justin's job situation is uncertain. He may have a contract starting in the new year. He may not. We just don't know yet. Or a regular job would be nice. Something with health insurance, because COBRA is gonna get expensive in a few months. My go-to flute is in the shop (4 weeks now), and I had to scour the dusty nooks and crannies to find the backup flute. Which is also in need of repair. So, I'm pretty much not feelin' the love right now. I'm feelin' the frustration. I'm feelin' the sadness of overcast skies. And most of all I'm feeling the depths of the well of grief as Evan's death anniversary looms. So, I'm thinking I'm due for a good day here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Day the Halloween People Came


I keep trying to get a good pumpkin patch wheelbarrow picture. Sigh...



Miranda and Duncan playing pumpkin drums


We've spent the last few weeks riding the wave of expectation to Halloween. We had two fun filled trips to the pumpkin patch, when we all walked away worn out, but happy. We talked about, wondered, agonized--you name it--over costumes. When Duncan finally made the decision to be a cowboy, we went to the Halloween store (yes, there is a Halloween store open just for the season) only to find out that, no, Duncan would not wear the cowboy hat. So, we walked over to the fabric store, in the rain. I found some great fabric for cowboy and native American princess costumes. Woohoo! Now, I only needed to find the time to make 'em! I patterned Duncan's vest from a shirt, and Miranda's outfit from a dress. The vest fit perfectly over the cowboy shirt. I figured I'd try the dress on Miranda when the big day arrived.


Bunnies!

Then the big day did arrive. A cool, dreary day. And did I mention the rain? Again with the rain! Two feet in the last 6 weeks...but I digress. I tried to get Miranda's costume on her and found it to be too tight, and too short. I re-stitched and ripped the old seam. It fit! I decided to pin the top to a shirt to make up for shortness. It wasn't perfect, but she still looked cute. As the day progressed both kids started to melt down. Duncan flat refused to wear any costume. He didn't want to go trick or treating. Miranda may have been interested, but she decided to go exploring in her costume. She climbed up on the countertop (note to self: Always remove chairs from kitchen!) and spilled vegetable oil all over the countertop, and herself. I found her and yelled, "Oh no you didn't!" Justin came running. He took her upstairs to bathe, while I cleaned up the kitchen. So, one kid who doesn't wear his costume, and one kid who ruined hers. So, we chalked up Halloween as an epic fail, and would have called it a day. But we still had to hand out candy (and pencils and erasers!)


A bunny sneaking up on Miranda


They didn't start arriving until well after 7. I began to think we weren't going to have any. But then the doorbell rang. The kids ran around all excited. "Who could it be?" We opened the door, "Trick or Treat!" they said, I complemented the costumes, gave them their goodies, and they left. And we were pretty busy right up to 9. Miranda's favorite costume was a little boy dressed as Thomas. She called him, "Thotas"--her word for Thomas. Duncan kept excitedly talking about the people. And finally started calling them "Halloween People." We told him that he could be a Halloween person, but he seemed happy to be the observer that night. So, I guess Halloween wasn't exactly an epic fail. We still had a good time, even if we didn't get to go out in the frigid, wet, horrible weather. Am I disappointed? Meh.


My little native American princess

Monday, October 26, 2009

What Are you Going to be For Halloween?

I've been asking Duncan this all month. At first he gave me the "what are you talking about, lady?" sort of look, and went back to whatever he was doing. Finally, lately he's started to seem interested. I've asked him, "Do you want to be a robot for Halloween?" "No" or "uh ah." He seemed pretty certain about this one from the start. Which had me surprised, and more than a little bummed. He's pretended to be a robot off and on for the last year. And finally, I find a cool do it yourself robot costume, and...he's not interested. Typical! He's been interested in firefighters and fire emergencies for a while, and talked a little about being a fireman. This had me worried a little. Evan's last Halloween he dressed as a fire fighter. I was afraid of just completely losing it, I guess. But it seems now that Duncan's settled on being a cowboy. Which is actually going to be kind of easy. he's got the flannel shirt, he's got the blue jeans. I thought I could make a little vest. I still have to find a hat. And, after being pressured by my mother in law, maybe some boots. Of course, she also thinks I should give him guns. I think she may be pressing my buttons. And, like last year, we plan to do a companion costume for Miranda. I'm thinking Indian princess (or Native American princess, if you prefer.) I thought I could make her a little dress and headband. Who knows if she'll leave something on her head. I guess I better get to work!

I Actually Did Some Gardening!

So, mild weather and drier weather has got me back outdoors. It's been cool, but pleasant. The ground is still kind of like a wet sponge, but hopefully that will get better in time. It's probable that it will rain tomorrow, so maybe not for a long time! I did acquire some new planties for Evan's zoo garden recently. I bought some Ligularia, commonly referred to as Leopard Plant. This variety has purply green leaves and yellow chrysanthemum sort of flowers. I don't know which cultivar it is, because the label simply said, "Ligularia." whatever. I like it! I also picked up and planted (thanks to some muddy help with my mom!) part of what I hope to be my living mulch--Mazus. I hope to interplant some daffodils, as they bloom around the same time. I had a couple of Heuchera "Autumn Bride" that I dug up a month ago that looked really nice with the Ligularia. So, Evan's garden is starting to look like a garden again, instead of just a mud pit.

Yesterday I dug up most of the stone from the path and carried over to the new stone patio area. I also carried the stones from my veggie garden path (I'll replace the path with mulch.) So, I got a good workout yesterday! The patio will need more stones, and filling material, but it's already looking good. (no pictures, of course!) I hope to carry on with the zoo garden theme on the other side of the path (this is the path by Evan's garden). so it would be Evan's garden-path-more animal plants-patio-playground. So, hopefully it will turn out great. It will be a lot of work (don't I say that every time?!), but I will be so happy to be in the garden again!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I've Got Nothin'

To say, that is. I've been feeling the emotional upheaval that comes with the anniversary of Evan's death. The anniversary is about a month away, and I'm a mess. I cry at the drop of a hat. I don't want to talk, because I'll break down. So, instead of talking, I'm thinking about the little boy that I lost and the memorial garden I created for him. And where to go from here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sporks and Foons

When Justin and I got married, we left the 100 degree heat of the Southern US and flew to the much more comfortable climate of summertime Canada. We honeymooned in British Columbia. We checked out Vancouver, and we also explored Vancouver Island. I remember one evening we ate at a pub. They served traditional pub food, and I remember thinking it was good at the time. I'm not sure what we ate. I'm not sure what we drank. The one thing I do remember is as we left the cashier, she said to each customer, "Don't forget your tools!" You'd think we were going out to dig a hole in the backyard or something. But she was talking about the eating implements...utensils...you know, spoons and forks. And sure enough, we didn't forget them! This little scene has been on my mind lately, because little Miranda has turned into a Chatty Cathy. She's been saying spoon for awhile. It started off as "Boon!" And for a while she called spoons and forks: Boon! She's started to incorporate an "Sss" sound lately. Now it's: "sss...boon!" But it's the recent introduction of "fork" that has been somewhat scandalous. She excitedly exclaims, "Fork!" but that's not quite the pronunciation. Little kids don't always get the "r" pronunciation. And, at first, it sound like "Fock." But somehow lately our little angel has managed to make dinner a more colorful four letter affair. There we are saying, "Foerrrrrrrrrk" with extra emphasis on the "r," but she smiles back and says...well, you know. So, maybe we should start calling them tools instead!

Just Frustrated

So, it rained the day after I did all that work moving dirt around and digging up stones from the path. Which means, the back 40 is more pond than yard. And the stone path is once more covered in silt. Oh well. I'll just dig it all up again. If it ever dries out! Ugh! I'm tired of the water. I've started looking for plants that don't mind wet feet, while I wait for the water to drain. So, at least I feel like I'm doing something. I'm itching to get out there, especially now that the weather isn't hot and humid. I feel like I've missed the best weather, because it's been too wet. One day...hopefully soon!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Can You Dig It?

Duncan did a little digging in the front yard (he was looking for treasure), while I put down the rest of the pine straw that I'd purchased before the flood washed the rest away. He wandered around to the back 40, and I followed. It's still quite muddy and puddly in places. Duncan wanted to explore the remains of his poor, broken playset. Justin pulled most of it out of the creek yesterday. He needed the chainsaw to break it up. The playground is dump bound, I'm afraid. But it certainly has been a subject of interest for Duncan since we watched it float away the night of the flood. While he explored, I decided to do some digging myself. I started moving silt and filling up the puddles...the low spots created by the raging flood waters. I decided to scrape around and see if the path by Evan's garden was still there. The stone path I built in July. I dug down a good 4-6" and found stone! I scraped until most of the stone was exposed, moving the excess silt/dirt/gravel over to the low spots. So, I'm happy the stones are still there. I'm going to have to dig them out, and build up that area. Maybe do better drainage this time! We're still thinking of putting a patio and some pathways back there. And we're thinking a new playground may be in order.

Of course, this all flies in the face of the decision I made earlier this week. I decided to embrace the fact that the back 40 is, for all intents and purposes, a flood plain. I decided that I would plant things that could handle periodic flooding and standing water. I figured I would leave Evan's garden as is, for the most part. I would plant "living" mulch--a groundcover like mazus, blue star creeper, or something that can deal with shade (or some sun) and moisture. And the grassy/weedy areas I planned to use a dwarf acorus. It's a relative to iris. It likes moisture, even boggy conditions. And in the places that are better drained maybe dwarf mondo grass. Of course, that's a couple of different shades of green for the grass. So, has this all fallen by the wayside? Probably not. I think we'll have plenty of space for the hardscaping and the new planties. And, as I seem to say often, it's going to be a lot of work.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Not So Still Lifes



Duncan asked for the real camera again the other day. And within five minutes he'd already taken 50 pictures! It's not completely random, either. I can tell that he was thinking about his subject. Well, maybe for a few seconds, at least! He took three shots of this bowl of cereal, each one closer than the one before.



Duncan took a few pictures of "Mwanda," as he calls her. This shows just how tough it is to get a moving target! It amuses me how excited they are to see each other sometimes. "Mwanda!" he cries every once in a while. Or, "where's Mwanda?" Or even, "Let's get Mwanda!" With Miranda it's always, "It's Duncan!" No matter that she saw him 30 seconds earlier, because right now, There he is!! Oh my goodness!


My favorite out of the bunch. I watched him look through the view finder, find his little foot, and click!



Duncan is still a little obsessed with the flooding that took place in our backyard in September. He still talks about all the water in the creek and how it went round and round, and "where's my playground?" (sounds more like draygwound) "My playground is broken!" "Turn off the water!" sort of comments. So, here he's captured a photo of the damage, along with a reflection of his efforts.