Saturday, June 30, 2007

Nicolas on TBS this morning

This may only be showing locally. I'm not sure. There is a show called "Storyline" on TBS at 9am and one of the stories this morning will be an interview with Michael Touhy of Woodfire Grill, a successful Atlanta restaurant. Michael is a big supporter of local organic growers. They taped part of the interview at our farm and interviewed Nicolas as well. The same show has musicians Shawn Mullins and one of the members of REM. Nicolas and I used to wait tables together at a restaurant in Atlanta. He was just starting a farm and I was starting a theater. "Eat Your Vegetables", in Little Five Points, was where we met. That was also where I served a younger Shawn Mullins lunch many days. It's cool that he and Nicolas will be on the same show today.

While he is being shown on TBS, live Nicolas will be selling tomatoes (among many other things, but they are the biggest hit) this morning at the Morningside Farmers Market.

Friday, June 29, 2007

A week of friends (cheesy but with a hint of burning aliens)

This week, Gillen and his cousin Alexander (born ten days apart) went to Charlie Elliott Nature camp. It is such a good camp. There is a bird show, a water survey, tree identification, fishing, hiking, games and lots of other nature loving 9-10 year old boys to meet. The coolest thing this time was that six of the twenty or so boys also happen to be on the same (newly-formed, more serious) soccer team as Gillen! Nature boys who also love soccer. Gillen made new friends, as did Alexander. And of course they got to be with each other all week.

Jesse was in swim class all week with his good friend Logan. He also got to have Logan over alone one day, which was heaven for these two who are often being directed by their loving-to-lead Leo brothers.

I got to reconnect over dinner with a long-time good friend from Boston who was in Atlanta for work. A few hours of conversation that was about the Red Sox, a Red Sox sausage vendor, marriage, photography, squirrels, Las Vegas, music, careers, horse racing... and very little about children. I just don't get to hear about horse racing and the Red Sox in our local play group. And he knew me way back when.

I am in a small group of women who are helping one another stay accountable about our career/artistic goals. It is so good to talk to someone who is in the same place. It is so good that it doesn't have to be Nicolas. He would heartily agree.

We have another family of good friends coming tomorrow, a friend's wedding on Sunday, and my sister (one of my best friends) and her husband are visiting for a week on Monday.

And I won't even get into those here on-line who give me so much when I read their blogs and comments.

My cup runneth over with the warmth of all this ( maybe it's from the sun beating down on me as I watch soccer and swimming practice...) I am grateful to know such cool people. There are so many more...

Here is a picture of Gillen, Jesse, Alexander and another friend playing with a Ben Ten alien laboratory that Jesse got for his birthday. I love their reactions to an intense odor - that wasn't really there. An alien lab must seem like it has to have a really bad odor.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I just got up from the computer, shut off the lights in this room, left the room, turned on lights in the next room, and waited for a few minutes before returning here and slamming the door - all in the pursuit of getting a fly to follow the light to the next room and leave me alone!

I used to turn into "fly lady" with the kids - and I wasn't that benevolent cleaning lady who goes by that name either. I would turn in circles and allow for a few Incredible Hulk transformation twitches before the take-over would be complete. And then "Fly Lady" would wield her fly swatter(s) with a vengeance. She was not patient or compassionate like Mommy. She was homicidal, cranky and loud - in some kind of Spanish accent (so kind of funny). For a while the kids truly believed in this super woman, since she could kill flies a whole lot better than mommy.

I hadn't thought about her in a while.

I just heard the buzzing again while writing this. There. I slapped and successfully killed a mosquito! yes!

I hope to remember fly lady the next time I am bugged by anything. I won't necessarily pick up a fly swatter but maybe I will transform into a super hero who can kill the frustrations with a whacky accent. Or I will start singing songs from old musicals with my own lyrics thrown in, while dancing. I haven't done that in a while either. I know now why my mother used to suddenly talk in tongues. That sounds like "baaa ba baaaaa, be be ba ba " spoken musically, and with the intensity of a torch singer (think Edith Piaf) . I loved it. I think she was just saving herself from the boring, counterproductive glare, lecture or whine. Or, she was just a loon. If so, I have the same gene.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sunflower heads

My sunflowers in the kitchen this weekend, that so brightened my Sunday, are already gone. They were the flowers that had sat out in the heat at the market for hours, the only ones not to be sold, the "seconds". When I bring sunflowers to your home, be assured, they will be picked to last! We do eat a lot of seconds. We're not homesteading; we have to sell the best stuff.

But even with seconds you get gold. Below are the sunflower heads that Gillen brought home from the farm today. He placed some in the fence - like all-seeing eyes on the lookout for squirrels:
He has provided a sunflower seed buffet for the birds and they are coming back for seconds and thirds.
Many came home with these armored bugs (whose name I've forgotten) that try to bring down the sunflowers each year and never come close, so we can admire how cool they look.

And on to another passion - soccer with a home-before-dinner (quite unusual) papa!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Holding on, gently

Yesterday, Nicolas discovered a young Carolina Wren in his van. It couldn't fly well.
Gillen and Aaron fed it a Roly Poly bug - I think it was holding out for a worm or a mosquito, or it's mother. We placed it gently in a nest that we found in our Azalea bush. Gillen found the wren nest from the babies this spring that he had kept in his room and placed it on the porch as an alternate home. We managed to give it some water and hoped that a mama Wren would show up and take over.

Once again, just like during flight school this past March on the side porch, the wren came with a lesson. Gillen's friend Aaron was holding the bird at one point and Jesse warned him not to hold it too tightly, that it could die. "So what." repied Aaron. Gillen said nothing. Jesse was hysterical and Nicolas decided, within the next hour, that it was time to send Aaron home and just be family for the last few hours of our day. This series of events created a long discussion at dinner about family values, personal values and the belief systems of our friends or other people. Aaron has a cynicism and a 'whatever" attitude at times that Gillen is picking up. If Gillen is going to become a hunter, like Aaron, we just don't want him to lose the respect he has always had for any animal life. At least, we don't want him to lose his sensitivity because of imitating the attitudes of a friend.

I don't know if he got it. But later he hugged Nicolas and I really tightly before going to bed. I would like to think that he gets how safe he is here to falter as he tries to fly. Kids can't be vulnerable with other kids in the way they can with adults. I read a book called Hold Onto Your Kids, Why Parents Matter_by Gordon Neufeld last year and it talks about kids attaching to adults instead of other kids and why this is so important. Gillen has a tendency to attach like glue to the kids he is most into at the time. We just want to watch this.

Oh so serious! I came here to post about more sunflowers and look what happened. Back with them later.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

When weak, focus on the sunflowers

These are just the sunflowers I get to look at when I do the dishes. There are also a vase of them on my windowsill and lots more waiting to be harvested at the farm. When I get my better camera this blog may become only about the sunflowers.

Earlier focusing on the long, neck and neck chess game between Nicolas and Jesse (rather than on Nicolas having gotten Jesse's sickness, with me feeling the beginning...) Piles of laundry are finished. I hear laughter from the kids' room. Nicolas moves inside so as to not see the gutters that need cleaning and has dropped onto the couch. Finally, he relaxes! An hour later, Gillen comes in from the yard with good news. Two avacado pits have rooted in the compost pile. I can throw out that fourth unsuccessful attempt to root a pit in a glass of water that is sitting on my window sill. We have discovered the secret and will have more avacado trees after all.

I am not getting much checked off the stuff-to-do list. The vacuum sits waiting upstairs. What are we going to have for dinner? We heard another story this morning about the disappearing bees. Now I know the name. It's called "colony collapse disorder" and 35 states are affected. Without bees we will lose one out of every three fruits and vegetables - cucumbers, cherries, onions, pumpkins, apples...

Time to refocus on the sunflowers. Just for today, just until I have succeeded in not getting sick. Just while they are still so pretty. Back to the bees story (and the vacuuming) when I'm stronger...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Today's projects

Gillen and his friend Aaron's jars of mint tea, steeping for the second day on the side porch. They harvested the mint from our neighbor and labeled the jars with their names. I guess Aaron is bringing the jars he's labeled home to his family. He brings Gillen cat fish he's caught. Gillen makes lots of cuttings of his plants for Aaron, or just digs up whole plants to give to him. They are very generous with each other.

Gillen's garden as seen through the screen of our side porch. I bought him a solar pump for his pond today. It was found and purchased in five minutes. This Ebay shopping could be dangerous.

My ongoing babette blanket squares. I have so much fun arranging and then rearranging them into different color and size combinations.

Jesse decided that Aaron should have a good Pokemon card and decided to bury it in the yard and then make a quick treasure map on parchment paper for Aaron to use to find this rare treasure. It took him half an hour to dig half an inch and place the multi enveloped card inside his small trench. Aaron acted very appreciative.

Another of Jesse's projects, inspired by watching Gillen work in his garden, was to transplant some "tall plants" (actually, some kind of leggy weed) from one part of the garden into another. Unfortunately, he picked a completely shaded spot under the grape arbor as their new location. But after all, they are weeds. They'll probably survive. They're very loved.

This was my favorite project of the day - watching our friends enjoy the pool.

Final project of the day - "flying" gently into the boys' room. Jesse lost yet another of his front teeth this morning. That fairy has to be punctual THIS time.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A date night

Nicolas and I went to dinner and a movie last night. I can't remember the last time we did this, just the two of us. I shouldn't write this publicly as we had gotten a babysitter with other intentions. An Atlanta magazine - Edible Atlanta - that we like a lot had featured our farm this month and we were supposed to go to a party for the magazine. There was a big baseball game last night. The Red Sox were here - oh how I love them (they beat the Braves by a LOT - : ] ) and the traffic would have made us really late to that event. Plus, Nicolas' mom went and represented the farm. OK. Confession over.

We ate Thai, saw "Ocean's 13" and got ink for the computer , not at Target or Walmart, but at Office Depot. There's probably something to say about them but this time, I am not saying it : ] I wish that there were smaller movie theaters around here. Ironically, so many more choices with the big ones means nothing - they are all bad. But looking at George Clooney and Brad Pitt was not a waste of time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Target vs. Wal Mart

An editorial from a Boston Newspaper

The Calvert business rating for Target, which gives a lot of information about their practices - environmentally, in labor, etc.

One man's opinion.

A more in-depth article.

I was able to get all of the above links from other unschooling moms who did this research in Jan., in answer to a question on an unschooling list. So there may be more current information, if you feel up to finding it.

I was glad to have some facts about Target, as well as thought-provoking editorials. I don't agree with the commenter on my "paved paradise" post that the discussion on that unschooling list shows that Target may be worse in some areas than Wal Mart. I guess each of us may be interpreting things to suit our own preferences. I think that the above information show what I had thought - that big business creates big-business shady practices. But if you have to go to one or the other of these two chains, Target is not as big, not as shady, is a bit better environmentally, isn't selling lots of foods that are labeled "organic" when they really aren't, and isn't claiming in its' ads to have supremely good labor practices. One of the biggest points, for me, is that (in our part of GA at least) Target doesn't have even a fraction of the screaming mamas treating their kids horribly. The screaming (and hitting) mamas (and papas and grands...) in our Wal Mart run rampant - or did when I used to go. Actually, friends say they still do. I don't know why there are more there than in other stores but there truly are.

I may go to Target even less than I already did, as a result of thinking about all of this more (thankyou Christy for your comment) but I will go there, for what I can't get at the small stores, thrift stores and yard sales. I won't go to Wal Mart.

new toys

I decided to ditch the word of the day (it annoyed me too often) and add music here instead. There is a box with several selections at the bottom of the page if you don't like what you're hearing. Now I wish I had more exciting pictures and more colors here, to go with the music. It's like having a manicure and then being inspired to also polish up a room in your house by hanging more pictures.... Anyone relate to that? I haven't had many manicures but they have had this effect on me.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

They paved paradise...

I took my father to dinner for father's day tonight and then we went to a movie ("Once" - it's a small, music-filled, lovely Irish film). Between the restaurant and the movie theater is a natural foods grocery store that we have been doing business with since Nicolas started farming. It is called Return to Eden and is owned by a wonderful couple. I went in tonight and talked to the owner before the movie. Josh looks thinner and more intense since the last time I saw him. I soon learned why. While it is a great thing that "organic" and "sustainable" and earth-friendly are concepts that are becoming popular, so much is being lost as the big daddy corporations see the profit to be gained in jumping on board the movement. Smaller stores, like Return to Eden, are not just losing customers to the big chains like Target and Walmart and Whole Foods but some are losing the vendors that they have worked with for years. These health food stores paved the way for the vendors to do well enough to then be able to sell to the big guy. But there are vendors who just save all their stuff for the big show now.

Furthermore, the products are being adapted to the chain-store mentality. For instance, Tom's of Maine is now sold at Target. I had thought that this was a good thing, having had to buy our toothpaste at a store an hour away from us or mail order it before. Well, there are changes in the ingredients in the ones sold there - not as natural as before, or as the ones sold at Return to Eden.

The most outrageous thing I learned from Josh was what he told me about the expectations of many of his customers. He has had numerous phone calls from people who have been to his store and bought a product only to find it later at Whole Foods for .50 or a dollar less, so they want the difference put back on their charge card!! I know for a fact that many items are less expensive at Return to Eden than they are at Whole Foods. Would that same customer call up Whole Foods and demand money back?

I am going to continue my boycott of WalMart as a result of seeing this documentary last year . I do shop at Target and a bit at Whole Foods (we sell to them as well) but I am going to keep supporting the smaller mom and pop's places (no longer so small - Return to Eden is a large grocery store) as much as I can. People like Josh and his wife Jody represent true customer service and honesty. They don't compromise their integrity in order to please the share holders. What's the cost of losing that?
Jesse's party was super. ; ) Here he is in a tree with two of his favorite gifts, a balloon hat that he made with the balloon kit he got, and the unbelievably cool (I am in awe of people who sew well) pokemon bag that was made by Helen.

There were about 40 people there but it didn't feel like it at all - probably because some of those people (some of the sweetest) were under two feet tall. Jesse wanted all of these people there. He hand picked them. But when it comes down to it, he is somewhat of an introvert. He spent a lot of the day in his room with a few fellow Pokemon fans, playing Pokemon. When we all sang to him, I saw him really take in that he was surrounded by lots of smiling faces and he looked so humble and happy. Of course I don't have a picture but I think I'll remember that one.

A few families stayed until 9pm. It was great. All the kids played kick ball with Nicolas, swam, had a water balloon fight - I got soaked - and we picked up pizza (no delivery out here) so I didn't have to cook.

This morning, Gillen made fruit salad and pancakes for Nicolas for Father's Day and Nicolas got his wish of just sitting and reading outside, with Marley playing in the background and his boys calmly reading next to him. Gillen is reading "Farmer Boy" and is truly loving it. There is a book club about this book next month in Decatur. I'm so glad he has discovered the joy of reading

I hope you are having a good weekend too.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Superhero week

Tues. was Jesse's first day of Wildlife Camp. This is a day camp that is held at a nature center down the street. Gillen and his cousins have gone to it the past few years. Jesse was finally old enough this year. Half an hour after dropping him off I got a phone call. Jesse had gotten sick! It turned into a two day fever and now it's a cold. He hadn't been sick for over a year - truly - and then it happens on the week he has camp (which he was so excited to finally go to) and his birthday. But he was heroic about it all - even about the tooth fairy coming on Tues. night for the tooth he lost on Mon. morning. You just can't get good fairies anymore.

Tomorrow is his birthday party. He asked for a super hero theme. I knew how to fulfill his previous requests for dinosaurs, reptiles, rain forest and Yu Gi Oh. This was a challenge. It's not like I have to create any activities. It's the cake I worry about. How to create a cool cake without dye and that fits the theme. hmmm. I am still pondering how to mae an omnitrix (superhero Ben Ten's super watch) on the chocolate cake, out of oreos. Did I mention that our oven broke this week? But my MIL, five min.away, has a new one. I'll be there making three cakes until the party begins.

Making lemonade for the party

Dancing to the superhero hits I put onto a CD for the treat bags. For Harry Potter fans, the Harry and the Potters song "Save Ginny Weasley From Dean Thomas" is truly good. Haven't seen Spiderman 3 but I discovered it has two good songs by the Flaming Lips in its soundtrack, .

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

8 facts about me - my first time being tagged.

Thanks Diana .~~~Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.~~~

1. I legally changed my name at 23 from "Barbara Annette" to "Madeline" with no middle name. I was acting at the time in NY and there was another Barbara Annette Roberts in the screen actor's guild union. All I had to do was change my middle name but I loved having the excuse to change the whole thing. I grew up in Boston and was called "Baabra". I just wasn't a Barbara. Madeline was my mother's middle name.

2. When I was 20 I was trampled in a Diana Ross concert in Central Park. I didn't much like Diana Ross (only went because my roomate asked me to go) and that was the thought going through my head as people ran over me in my white dress - "I am not going to die in a Diana Ross concert!" I heaved myself up, ran after a guy I saw was stealing my purse and grabbed it back (did that a few times in NY - not very smart) and then realized I needed to go the hospital. My leg was bleeding. I got 8 stitches and a fear of big concerts - until a few years ago when I went to a huge arena to see U2. If The Rolling Stones or Simon and Garfunkel or someone else I loved had been playing I might have laid there a bit too long and died from not having enough outrage adrenaline.

3. I smoked Camel Lights (ON and off) until over ten years ago on the day I found out that I was (unexpectedly but oh so joyfully) pregnant.

4. I had to leave NYC and move home for awhile when I was 25, having been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and having no more energy to pursue acting. I went on to college, directed theater and had maybe a more grounded life (definitely a more natural one!) than I would have. I have now beaten it, for the most part, but can still have bad days.

5. I was a dancer for many years. I miss it.

6. Since the days of "St. Elsewhere", I have always had a tv hospital-drama addiction. It was "ER" for years and now it is "Grey's Anatomy".

7. Since meeting my MIL more than 12 years ago, I have not been to a doctor except to have my babies (had midwives but sadly ended up with c-sections) and once to check out a small cyst in a clinic. We didn't have health insurance until this month (the kids did), but the real reason was that my MIL's naturopathic knowledge cured all of us of any illness we had. Starting to eat organically, twelve years ago, changed my health drastically, as did cutting out most processed foods.

8. I have only had one speeding ticket, ever. I got that one on the day of my mother's funeral and the cop felt so badly about it when he realized that he said he wouldn't contest if I showed up on the court day and argued against it. This is not a reflection on how little speeding I do but rather on my magical inner cop radar. I am a good driver and a better back seat one (meaning I don't back seat drive as much as my husband). That's a fact.

1. Stephanie Roberts
2. Stephanie in SLC
3. Sara
4. Danielle
5. Helen
6. Damien
7. Vicki
8. Julie

Monday, June 11, 2007

Farm Update

Here is an example of summer's power to show dramatic results in only a month. The first picture is of the corn we hoed a month ago, on May 9th. The next picture is that same area, with the squash, now ready to harvest, next to the corn, as it looked yesterday.

Tomatoes grown in plastic. This is hand layed so that it can be recycled for another season. If you use a tractor to lay it it can't be recycled (and is much more expensive). This method of mulching with plastic was arrived at after lots of weed and disease issues came up the last few years. He hadn't had issues the first years he was growing them with more natural mulch. Maybe it's a question of how many he's planting now and how long he's used the soil, despite rotating crops and adding nutrients. He did produce a lot of tomatoes, always, but had to put too much labor into them. Lots of our other tomatoes are ready to be harvested this week. I'll take their portrait soon.
Pattypan, Zucchini and Yellow Squash.
We've (ahem, I mean they've - I have not been able to contribute much lately) been harvesting these Filet Beans for a few weeks.
Assorted lettuces for spring mix
The ever popular Arugula


Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Morningside Farmer's Market

This morning, Gillen, Jesse and I got up at 5am to go help Nicolas at our farm stand in Atlanta. This picture doesn't do Nicolas' produce justice. I didn't have much time to sneak away from my post and take the picture and I only caught half of the stand.

If only I were better at going to bed early I could do this all the time, if the kids could hang in there every week. I was sooo spent when we got home. But it did feel good to hand the vegetables over to appreciative customers, some of whom have been coming since the beginning of the market - twelve years ago. And I like the weekly "celebrity" chef's cooking demo (don't get to see it, too busy - but I love that it happens). We get to sample what they have created, using the farmers' vegetables. Today's chef, Dave from 5 Seasons Brewery, brought Nicolas a big bottle of beer brewed in his restaurant. I am drinking my half as I type. Mmmmm. Goot think it's so easy to fix beer inspireed typoos!

One guy, whom I recognized from years ago, heard that Gillen likes to fish. He went to his house and returned with a case filled with lures and hooks and gave it to Gillen. Gillen was thankful but was most excited by this man's lesson on how to skin a catfish. It involves nailing it to a tree. (!) Apparently we would have come upon hunter types even if we lived in the city. You just never know what you're going to learn, nor where.

I was surprised by how well Gillen added up customer's totals and made change.

Nap time...

At the booth next to ours is a wonderful woman from Ecuador named Gloria who brings a table and quality watercolor paper and paint, and for a dollar lets kids paint with her. I think that years ago Gloria may have helped to inspire Gillen's love of art. Aren't you inspired by Jesse's trend-setting black sock fashion statement? He is big into this pulled up sock look lately.

At the end of the market, while Nicolas searched for his keys, the boys decided to try meditating.

Friday, June 08, 2007

A few photos


The squares I have crocheted so far for the funky Babette blanket I am making. Here , again, is the link to the one that inspired Helen (who now has her new blog up) , who then shared it with me.

If I had a better camera, I could show you these two images as they look in real life. Maybe I will go back to using my SLR film camera once in a while, like soulemama, so as to get that satisfaction of taking the picture I want to take. I am just frustrated that I had to use a flash on these cool yarn colors. The firefly moment actually felt a lot like the picture. I am glad to have a digital camera at all. Really.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A beautiful early summer day

These are from yesterday. It was a lazy, still not too hot, don't leave the house (except to visit our elderly neighbor and take a walk), do what ever moved us kind of day.

Jesse sharing his lunch with Rosalinafini (beautiful panda) and "Wild Side" (the scary cowboy lion facing the camera).

GIllen telling me about the many adventures he had with his friend Aaron, camping at his house the night before. Gillen brought home six small fish that he caught that we cooked for dinner last night. Delicious.

First Gardenia bloom. Today there are five!

I am cherishing these early bearable days, just as I am Jesse's last week as a six-year-old. As of Flag Day, next Thurs., he will be seven and the dog days may already have settled in down here in GA. But there are things I will continue to savor, even in the real heat, if I try hard enough...

There was a thunderstorm today. I love the smell before they hit. Tonight, Gillen, Jesse and their friend Aaron caught their first fireflies of the season. It's going to be fine.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Harry and the Potters meet Avatar on the trampoline

Last night, I took Jesse to his first rock concert. It was "Harry and the Potters". They are two brothers from Boston who look like twins and transform themselves into Harrys. One is Harry year 4 and the other is Harry year 6. They were hugely energetic and loud. I feel a little bit guilty for compromising my 6 yo's young ear drums. But he loved it. They came out several times into the audience and sang right to the kids and teens.

So this morning I found Jesse on the trampoline, wearing the Harry Potter pajama bottoms we inherited and singing a Harry and the Potters song - "I am a Wizard" - while he practiced airbending with a large pole. I read about the animated series "Avatar" on Danielle's blog and knew my kids would love it. They do. We've been renting it from Netflix and I got them the computer game at the scholastic book fair. It's giving them another outlook on meditation, martial arts, the elements and Asian culture.

I was thinking this morning about what we watched and listened to as kids as compared to now. I was so into that David Carradine Kung Fu show, but also "The Brady Bunch". I loved musicals like "The Sound of Music" at Jesse's age.

Though I sometimes miss musicals (mine aren't as into them) they have much cooler media than I did, especially since we can cut out all commercials with TiVo and we have things like National Geographic and Animal Planet, instead of just "Wild Kingdom" on Sun nights. AND we have a trampoline on which to perform!

editor's note: Apparently not JUST air bending in these pictures; lots of earth bending going on as well.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Gillen's contributions to our yard

While he often sees our yard as a sanctuary being destroyed by evil squirrels, Gillen does pull himself above this negative view in his better moments and can be really productive there. His bird garden keeps growing. He now has 37 different plants in it. Some were found at the beaver pond at the farm, some were received as gifts from friends' gardens and others he bought. On Sat., he bought two new bird feeders and a (hopefully) squirrel proof pole for them. He also attached orange sections to the fence to attract orioles and he soaked raisins overnight and placed them in his garden on an upside down planter. I'm not sure what those are supposed to attract but I haven't even seen a squirrel go near them today. To the left is our former sand box, now the future home of the pond with waterfall that he will be finishing soon.

The sand is now in another part of our yard, under our badmitton net. Makes us feel like we're playing on the beach!

He moves his desk around the yard in order to draw flowers.

And the rest of the yard is reserved for soccer and baseball and some beautiful plants that were mostly planted by the previous owners. Oh, and then there is the squirrel "stand" (hunter's term for killing platform) that he built with the neighbor. Not that he gets to do any real killing.

There's the edge that keeps it all from being too sweet.
May the coyote urine make such images a thing of the past.