Archive for springtime

i’ll fly away

I am the first person to admit that our sunporch can get a bit messy from time to time.  Post-birthday party, it was especially in a state of, uh, disorder as chairs had been moved to the side and unclaimed drink coolers abounded. Because of a recent crafting night, our Christmas branch had finally been moved out to the sunporch with its attendant red bird decoration perched delicately on an upper branch.

Puttering around in the kitchen, a fleeting movement through the window in the sunporch caught my eye.  I peeked through the window and was just in time to see a tiny little bird hopping through a one inch opening in the storm door to the back deck. We have a tenant!

A couple of hours later I heard a startlingly loud and bright chirping concert taking place in our sunporch. Apparently someone is wooing Redbird!  I scared off one of the birds but managed to spy on the bolder friend as he took over the penthouse apartment on the top of the kids’ easel.

I particularly like in this picture how the branches create a bird shape right next to Redbird–no wonder why the new tenant felt like he could make himself at home here!  Sorry, friend, but the janitor of this building said that birds as tenants were not allowed due to insufficient cleaning funds.  Perhaps we’ll erect some new housing for you outside soon??


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the bean trees

This spring, little w and e have been busily playing in the backyard in their little house that a friend graciously unloaded on us.

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In a move to emulate the mountain climbers that his daddy loves to read about, little w. has been desperately trying to scale the house and perch himself on the precariously placed roof.  When he is not being deviant, he and his sister especially like to “cook” in the house and bring you plates and cups of mud tea, dirt pasta, and grass salad.   They also like to take beans from their bean box and mix them into the concoctions that they create in their playhouse—which leads us to what I spotted inside the house this morning:

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Yup, those are bean plants that you see there.  These hardy volunteers sprung up from the unlikeliest conditions–no tender placement in well fertilized soil, no direct sunshine, no direct rain for that matter.  Everything that my second grade teacher said a plant need to thrive was denied from these plants, yet they still managed to sprout and grow.

My father-in-law suggested that we lift up the playhouse and move it 18 inches to the left so that the beans could be outside the playhouse and create a “volunteer garden” for the kids to tend.  I like the idea of this, but I wonder if this loving attention would be the death knell for these plants.  These tenacious little guys seemed to take it upon themselves to sprout despite being neglectfully scattered on top of some clay.  A little loving attention could create wild, out of control monster plants that take over the backyard and threaten to invade our charming English ivy bed. Or, the exposure to the elements could cause them to wither away.  I see a preschool science fair project in the making…

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bocce in the backyard

Today little w. and I decided to enjoy the late afternoon sun and play a little bocce. He surprisingly surrended the little yellow pallino (with yellow being his favorite color, I didn’t think he was going to toss the ball), and we were off.

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A couple of the rules bear remedial attention–he tried to roll my balls out of his way, and he tried to wildly heave his ball up into the air (poor form, I’d say).  We’ll have to work on those parts.

Playing bocce with little w. reminded me of the North Park Blocks in Portland, a quiet, leafy stretch of street near Powell’s Books.  B.K. (Before Kids), we played bocce there with some friends in this serene, slightly melancholic setting. What a decadent activity, I think now–standing around, chatting, idly playing a game all on a Sunday afternoon.

Another reason why I have such fond memories of these bocce courts is that they were directly across from one of our favorite restaurants in Portland, Park Kitchen. On a warm summer day when the doors of the restaurant were wide open, you couldn’t beat the view of people strolling along the edge of this lush green setting, the clink of bocce balls, and the cries of kids on the playground.

Apparently, bocce in Portland is alive and well with the Portland Bocce League springing back into action after a winter hiatus.  If anyone in Portland has the interest, a spare $150, and desire to squat like the man on their website, the league is taking applications.

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springtime, don’t desert us now!

80 degree days have us all dreaming of true springtime.  Celebrating this, we made our first pilgrimage of the year to Maple View Farms because nothing screams warm weather like ice cream.

w. ignored his tutti frutti ice cream and chose to play on the dwindling haystack.


Everyone else lounged on the picnic tables and enjoyed the pastoral view.


Ah, Maple View, the place where I can enjoy my ice cream cone and then take home a final souvenir of ground beef to keep my enjoyment of the farm going in a slightly different manner.

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