The garden is growing.


Sweet bunting in The Fibre Co. Acadia


Lobelia in Anzula Cloud

And so is my knititng.





But most of all, this summer my little girl is growing.  She’s made that indescribable crossing from toddler to small child, and there’s every indication she’ll just keep going from here.  She’s a joker, an artist, a storyteller, and a joyful liver of life.

The way she is lives so fully in the present is truly teaching me what it means to live in the moment.  I am reminded to give her my best as often as I can.  The rest of it: the laundry, the crumbs on the counter, even the running of my business, can just wait a minute.  Because who would want to miss that look?  Not me.

In the Garden

I’ve been a major gardening slacker this season.  I would love to have a lush garden bursting with tasty possibilities, but I just haven’t been able to get myself to the place of follow through.  Part of the reason is that we have been house hunting!  And while I tour homes and look at back yards, I couldn’t really invest in planting a bunch of goodies only to have to leave them behind in a move. That said, we do have some flower pots and hanging planters that could come with us.

PB and I did scatter some seeds a few weeks back Jackson Polluck style, which has led to some interesting sprout patterns.  Like one pea plant amidst a sea of red leaf lettuce…

But the artichokes I planted last summer are going gangbusters, and I have already harvested 4 thorny morsels.  Our strawberries are also doing very well, though it’s a trick beating the slugs to the ripe berries.

How does your garden grow?

A November Miracle

Yesterday we all ventured out into the backyard during a now rare dry afternoon. I wanted to check on the orangeness of my sugar pumpkins (not much improvement) and snap some photos of PB in her new beret. Imagine our surprise and delight to discover these jewels:

This is the Petite Beret from Vintage Knits for Modern Babies. I have made a few things from this book, and have enjoyed them all; well worth a flip through if you have a babe in your life. This one just fits, and I am hoping it will last through the winter. Of course, there are a ton more cute kid’s hat patterns out there to try out if it doesn’t.

I knit this out of the rather luxurious Panda Silk DK that I got in a stash swap several months ago. The color reminds me of fall; tart cranberries (or raspberries as the case may be) and deep purple leaves. Turns out I didn’t put this in Ravelry, and it’s been finished for a few weeks, so not sure on the details. It took less than a ball, and I may have added the little icord topper. How’s that for detailed?!

I’ve got that what-to-knit next twitch now, and am flailing around my personal stash looking for ideas and inspiration.  I want to make some toddler vests, a sweater for myself, a hat and mitt set, and perhaps even a new neckwarmer.  How do you harness your creative energy and decide on a project? Do you just cast on with wild abandon? Help!
Hope your week has you discovering some colorful surprises and other good things, too.

Playing Catch Up

It’s PB’s naptime on my day off, and I thought I would play catch up a little bit in this space…

We recently tore out our summer garden and have been enjoying investigating the remaining cold weather plants (and insects) with PB.  Pumpkins, squash, chard, and the nasturtiums are still going strong, and my daughter has a keen eye for spiders, beetles, and caterpillars.

Meanwhile, the sugar pumpkins I planted so many months ago are not turning orange.  One of them has just a tinge of orange, and the rest are still quite green. Sweetie has suggested that maybe they didn’t get enough sun in their place beneath the corn stalks.  Does anyone know if they will turn? Can I bake with a green pumpkin?

PB is growing into the most expressive, adventurous, talkative, curious, and loving little person. I look into those baby blues and my heart fills to capacity thinking of all that she is and will become. Becoming a mother has made me all the more understanding and compassionate for my mother; to think, someone loves me as much as I love PB–how magnificent!

Going to work has meant less face time with my daughter each day, and that has been a little difficult for us both. I’m trying to resist the temptation to “make up for it” by turning our together time into an over-scheduled, let’s fit in all the fun sort of experience. Instead, I am challenging myself to  just let the time pass naturally and trust that fun activities will happen organically. With a few planned activities and outings sprinkled in, of course, but only when they fit in with family time.

Yesterday after nap, PB was very quiet and wanted to stay close to mama. Gone were  my aspirations of a trip to the library and visit with friends. Yes, let’s snuggle and read books instead. These moments pass altogether too quickly, and I am doing my best to soak them in.

Being your own boss has its liberation and burdens. Something I’m trying to work toward is being focused on work at work, and on home at home, letting the worries of one place go for a little while so that I can be present and focused on the task at hand.  I want to be available, say yes, and grow a successful business, but I need to recharge and focus on our family 100% at least one whole day per week. And stay in my sweatpants while doing it. ; )

Tomato Time

The garden has been quite good to us this summer, despite recent neglect.  The current abundance is the cheery cherry tomato.  I only planted two plants, and they just keep producing, taking over a good half of one of my raised beds.  No complaints here, though, and especially not from PB who proclaims “Juicy!” as the ripe tomato bursts in her mouth.  Or “No like” when she picks a green or under-ripe fruit.

I’m hoping to spend some quality time in the garden this weekend, taming the weeds, watering the parched plants, and eating lots of these gems straight from the vine.  How does your garden grow this first weekend of September?









A Moment In the Garden

A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust. ~Gertrude Jekyll

Here’s to a nice weekend in the garden, knitting, catching up with friends, and basking in the calm before another busy week.  I hope you have an enjoyable weekend to, and I’ll see you back here on Monday with some big news!


Growing Up

Despite the return to cool and rainy weather we had for the past week and a half, my garden continues to grow.  I ate my first home-grown blueberry this week, and it was divine.  We have been blessed with a prolific raspberry patch whose output is difficult to keep up with.  And I really like raspberries!  We’ve taken to picking and freezing them immediately, and I see a batch of freezer jam in the near future.  Anyone have a favorite recipe?

As for my plantings, everything seems to be doing very well indeed.  The peas are about finished, and checking for pods has become a daily routine for PB.  Her vocabulary is growing right along with the garden, and this morning she kept saying “Peas? Peas? Peas.” as we walked over.  She knows how to pick and eat them, which I love.

The green beans are reaching for the sky and have started blooming.  The two grape tomato plants both have small green fruit, as does one of my two artichoke plants.  I am pretty excited about that one.  I sowed a third crop of spinach and chard, and the seedlings seem to have loved all the moisture, sprouting in record time.  Now if only we could have a little peek at that summer sun again.  I have a long list of summery activities I’d like to try, but it needs to warm up just a bit.  Wearing my handknits in July is fun and novel, but I’d rather be lounging in the shade on a warm day knitting than wearing a wool shawl and drinking a latte while knitting.  Plenty of time for that later.

And lastly, I have a question for you: what is this and why is it bleeding?  I’m guessing it’s some sort of fungi, but I can’t help thinking it’s rather sinister and creepy.

Around the Farm, Backyard Style

When we were preparing to move cross-country last summer, I was feeling a bit bummed out that it meant I wouldn’t be planting a garden at our house, after all.  I had grand, albeit imaginary, plans of installing raised beds alongside our driveway, the only spot on the property that received a good amount of sun.  Nevermind that we were on a pretty homogenous suburban cul-de-sac where such a thing may have been considered an eyesore.  Instead, I settled for some container plants and annuals in the flower beds, and got to packing up our belongings, looking forward to our new life in Oregon.

We moved to a town I had not been to, into a house I had not seen.  It was quite a leap of faith, and in hindsight I wonder why I wasn’t a little more unhinged about the whole situation.  Sweetie will probably tell you that I was a little crazed, that I dug in my heels a few times and declared that I didn’t want to move at all, what with a new baby and all.

In the end, it has turned out to be the best place for our little family, and my dreams of a raised bed garden were granted!  The best part? I didn’t have to do any of the digging or clearing, as they were already here.  So this spring I excitedly got to planning a garden, my first, and have been enjoying watching things grow and change and enjoying the bounty all around.  For there’s not only the vegetables I planted, but a bounty of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and herbs to enjoy as well.

Without further ado, may I present Sonia’s #1 Garden Adventure, July 2011:

Beets. From seed.  Amazing.

Beans, peas, and corn, trellised with a makeshift arrangement of repurposed bamboo poles and kitchen twine.


Cherry tomatoes.

There’s also a couple of types of cucumbers, chard, lettuce, spinach, a cantaloupe, and a pumpkin, plus some volunteers from the compost bin that are most likely pumpkins.  That’ll be a fun surprise!  It’s amazing how much food can be grown in a relatively small space, particularly in a back yard.  We have gotten so far from the source of our nutrition in a lot of ways; it feels good as one family to be making some of our own food in our own space.  Not only is the end product good to eat, the hours of work and tending to get there are great entertainment for me as a gardener and mama of a curious toddler!

PB has been so funny around the garden.  She loves to pick the peas, berries, and sample the leaves of all the greens.  Digging is fun, especially now that the seedlings are big enough to withstand her tools.  Most recently we taught her how to hold the sprayer so she can help water the garden, which is great, wet fun.

How does your garden grow this July?