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Tulips come early this year.

23 Mar

The tulips have come early this year (thanks to the warmer than normal weather) and the Velush family took full advantage Sunday morning.

Sisters ham it up for the camera.

Sisters ham it up for the camera.

Love the range of color.

Love the range of color.

Lots of pink tulips.

Lots of pink tulips.

Tansy's hair is in free fall.

Tansy’s hair is in free fall.

Tansy explains things to Lola

Talking shop out of hearing of mom and dad. What are they talking about?

Isn't this lovely?

Isn’t this lovely?

The orange tulips (is that their color) are among my favorites.

Natalie gets a close up with her phone.

Natalie and Lukas as photographed by Lola.

Natalie and Lukas as photographed by Lola.

Lola brings the tulips to life.

Lola brings the tulips to life with her amazing beauty.

Lola jumps for joy on the tractor-tulip pull.

Lola jumps for joy on the tractor-tulip pull.

Family on the wagon to see the tulips.

Family on the wagon to see the tulips.

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Tulips tell the story of spring

24 Feb

Each year my tulips tell me when spring is here.

Hopefully they’re not wrong this year – because my first tulip has bloomed and, despite all of the sunny weather, the calendar still says February. (Last year the first tulip bloomed on March 18.)

Like the tulips, I’m feeling optimistic. I planted a bunch of spinach, sweet peas, and carrots in hopes of getting early crops.

Here’s to early spring, let’s hope that we don’t get a sneak attack.

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Throwback Thursday (Is that Really Me?)

19 Feb

0dI dug through some old photos and found this photo of when I was a kid – lots to love at this age. My clothes were a little big, but I didn’t let that bother me. OK, just kidding, this is a picture of Lola trying on my clothes when she was 5 or 6… It’s amazing to look back and see what she and Tansy looked like only a few short years ago. Happy half birthday to Lola – she’s 9 1/2 today

Time to seed my blog

18 Mar

The peas are poking through the ground, the spinach has squeezed out, and the overwintering broccoli that huddled there all winter has taken off since I transplanted it. The over Swiss chard is sprouting new leaves, and the kale is looking robust. Tiny carrots that I left in the ground are starting to grow. The tulips are about to flower. The plum tree (what limbs I didn’t prune off) are about to flower, and the raspberries are leafing out. Worms are looking for new places to  live (and getting stepped on). I even saw ants swarming in the middle of the sidewalk. Yes, spring is here, and what better time to bring my blog back to life.

Bring back that orange fiery ball

9 Mar

On my bike ride home I stopped to take pictures of this orange fiery ball that appeared in the sky. It was rather warm and bright and I felt tingly all over. Please bring it back!!!

Biking in the snow in March?

6 Mar

Snowy bike ride to work today. Beautiful views and not too bad on the road. Thankfully the snow wasn’t sticking and I didn’t find any patches of threatened black ice. Still, snow in March? Please send sunshine for the afternoon ride home.

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My daughter takes a ride on the underground railroad, meets Harriet Tubman

27 Feb

It was a privilege  to re-learn about Harriet Tubman as my first-grader pulled together a report on Harriet Tubman’s amazing escape from slavery and then to help free more than 300 people herself. What an inspirational woman! Here is the map my daughter put together for her presentation. We helped her print out the states and then she traced them onto a poster board. She presented her report today, and apparently “it went well.” That’s all we ever get out of her.

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Freak Hailstorm Creates Picture Perfect Opportunity

25 Feb

Earlier today I talked my younger daughter into going with me to walk the dogs – all it took was to point out to her that the sun had come out. As we walked out the sun was dazzlingly bright and there was a soft, drizzly rain. It was beautiful. Not one to miss an opportunity, she quickly asked if we would see a rainbow. Good question I said – maybe we would.

We went out around the corner and the light was really wonderful – the late afternoon sun was lighting up the  light rain. Then the rain got thicker and heavier – wetter, really. Then my daughter noticed it was hail. Suddenly the hail came streaming down in wet streaks. Very wet – we were getting soaked. I took my phone out, turned around and took a bunch of photos as she walked toward me trying to catch the hail. The sun was behind her and made for a perfect photo opp. I’m just glad my phone’s camera was up to the task. Here are two of the best photos. I love that you can actually see the hail being lit up by the sunlight.

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Our Urban Chickens: Should We Love Them or Eat Them?

23 Feb

chickenThankfully our seven lady friends started laying eggs again after a too long winter break. We were all getting worried that they had stopped laying eggs all together. OK, I knew the laying would come back, but how soon and at what level of production – that I didn’t know.

The eggs are coming again, and I’m thankful for them, but they are not coming at the same rate as they did when the ladies were 1 and 2. At their peak, they were laying two eggs every three days. Now I estimate they’re laying one every three days. Quite a difference. And it’s not their fault, production slows when they get older. And by older, I mean 3 years old.

So, I ask, should we eat our chickens or keep them as our pets? From where I’m sitting, we should eat them. We feed them scraps from our table, we give them leftovers from the garden, we enjoy their eggs, we use their poop for fertilizer. Together all of these steps are part of the natural cycle of life that we’re trying to re-create as much as we can on urban farms like ours. Well, to complete the cycle, we should eat the chickens that we have so carefully fed and that have so wonderfully fed us back with their delicious eggs. Eating them would complete the circle and, in my view, give them ultimate respect. What shows respect more than eating something and having it become part of you?

But wait, I’m only one person. Not all the members of our family agree that eating our chickens is a good idea, namely my daughters, ages 6 and 4. And also, our neighbor who we share the chickens with also doesn’t think this is a good idea. Probably the writing was on the wall when the girls and our neighbor named the ladies.

So, for now, they live on, and for now they are continuing to give us eggs. So we’re all happy with the status quo. For now.

Crazy Dog Digs Up Carrots

21 Feb

We have a dog that likes to dig. He digs, sticks his nose in the dirt, digs some more, spraying dirt all around while he does it, on you, on the sidewalk – it doesn’t matter as long as he gets to dig.

On this day, we let Latke into the garden so he could help us dig up most of the last of our carrots. By us, I mean me and my two daughters. Together we pulled in quite a haul of carrots, and it wasn’t the first time. We’ve been eating carrots from the garden all fall and through the winter so far. It’s been awesome because carrots are my daughters most favorite vegetable – having a continuous supply has allowed them to actually pack a vegetable in their lunches that they actually eat.

Latke kind of jumped around when it came to helping us out with his digging, so I think there are still some more carrots out there. I’ll probably try to dig up the rest without him. But in the meantime, we will enjoy the fruit of his labors – at least the fruit that he didn’t eat. He actually ate at least one carrot that I know of, maybe more.

Enjoy this slideshow of Latke at work with help from the girls.

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