November 1, 2010
I’ve started to make a bit of a tradition out of Halloween pumpkin carving w/ kiddo. A review of last year’s Halloween post showed we had more pumpkins, and I took a more of a leading role in the carving. This year, kiddo did them all….I just cleaned out the insides and roasted the seeds.
We only had three carved ones this year. Kiddo did one “freestyle”, the others following a pattern. Must say he’s getting the hang of things. Only one type of pumpkins seeds this year – the more savory with a touch of garlic olive oil, garlic salt, hint of pepper. These came out quite well. My kitchen tho, did not fare as well. Apparently, I attacked the scraping out the insides with a fury. Bits of pumpkin flew everywhere. Must have needed to work out some aggression or something…dunno.
My kinda town…………
October 17, 2010
I started the summer with the intention to once again chronicle Chicago’s street planting. Knew I’d be in the city at least once a month. The plan started strong the first week of June, when I spent an enjoyable hour or two with MrBrownThumb wandering the Lurie Garden and the other public spaces between Michigan Avenue and Columbus drive. The salvia at the Lurie Garden was stunning, the annual/tropical beds along Michigan Avenue were recently planted as was the Art on the Farm potager garden.
I was back the first week of July. Took tons of pictures, but never got around to downloading the pictures from camera to computer. Back again the first weekend of August for the Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon. The annual/tropical beds wre now well developed, the Lurie Garden had shifted to coneflowers, and the Art on the Farm garden was ready for harvest. However, the weekend turned into an electronics nightmare. Started with dropping my phone in, uh, water at the race expo, then lost my camera not once but twice. Unfortunately, only recovered it once. Gone were the July and August planting updates (and sadly, shots of cool “destruction” along Wacker at the Transformers 3 film set). It did give me an excuse to get one of those cool new waterproof cameras, a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5, but that’s another story.
There was one more trip to end the summer. My favorite trip of them all…Labor Day weekend in the city with the boys (hubby and son). The weather was perfect for exploring the city. We rode down from Milwaukee via Amtrak; dropped our bags off at the hotel, and began our city adventure with a river and lake cruise using the Wendella line. Someday I’ll do the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise, but first wanted to introduce kiddo to Wendella. I remember doing this tour with my Girl Scout troop – at about the same age. Sill a great tour.
Kiddo has come to love walking around the city and on this trip we also introduced him to using public transportation, the el, the subway, city buses.
Spent our last afternoon at the Museum of Science and Industry. A childhood favorite of mine, and now my son’s. Spent quite a bit of time in the Smart House exhibit.
Hit the coal mine first to avoid the crowds – and ended up with a three person, personal tour, saw the Hubble movie at the Imax, found the Poop to Power exhibit amusing, the submarine tour well worth the extra charge, and the interactive screens are tons of fun.
All and all a great family weekend. Had a slight melancholy moment as we entered Union Station to take the Amtrak back to Milwaukee. My foursquare check-in said, “And with this summer comes to a close”.
Of course with every closed door, God opens a window……..so know we’ll have more adventures ahead.
Wordless Wednesday: Our next generation of gardener
May 26, 2010
What better place to spend Mother’s Day than Mom’s garden
May 10, 2010
One of my first blog posts was called Where it all begin. In it I talked about *my* first garden. But honestly, where my love of gardening and gardening experiences began were in the gardens of my Mom and my Grandma.
At the same time there’s bits and pieces of my influence- the corydalis lutea given to me by an on-line friend and shared with mom; the daylilies from an order I placed one winter as my life was about to change. I’d used Mom’s garden as a nursery bed during that time of upheaval in my life. Splits of these daylilies are spread around her yard, found homes in my subsequent garden but still have a home in this “temporary bed” by Mom’s vegetable garden 12 years later. Unfortunately, over time the plant tags for the daylilies have disappeared- hoping later this season I will recognize them – or at least be able to make notes of bloom time, height, and color, so I can divide and move pieces into my new garden.
On this trip I did dig up a few clumps of corydalis, and several of Mom’s ferns (including this one which had made it’s way out of the border), and was fascinated by the fiddleheads in the process.
I’ll take lessons from the side of the house where Mom says she doesn’t mess with – letting the plants spread as they may. Lesson one – I found the green white color scheme soothing, calming. It is one I will use in my own garden. Lesson two – skip the Snow in the Mountain, which is probably the influence behind the let the plants go attitude.
Left Mom’s with the car loaded to the brim with the spoils of our Mother’s Day adventures, two garden centers (Gurnee Garden Center and Jamaican Gardens), a stop by Wadsworth Feed and Saddlery for alfalfa pellets and cocoa hulls, a bucket of ferns in the back seat and Mom’s Corydalis tucked in the right corner.
When I arrived home, planted the ferns and potted up the smaller divisions. Made me smile this morning as I left for work to see these pieces of “home” waiting for their new spot in my current home.
Appreciating things close to home and heart…
April 13, 2010
From reading this blog, you’d think I lived in Chicago. There was a post about bike riding along their lakefront trail, a streetscape post, another streetscape post, and yet another streetscape post. Fact is I live in a suburb of Milwaukee – another city with a great lakefront along beautiful Lake Michigan. This weekend my son (one of the things closest to my heart) and I took advantage of a gorgeous spring day to ride along Milwaukee’s Oak Leaf Trail in the section from the Summerfest grounds, around Lakefront Park and north to Bradford Beach.
First stop was a cruise around Lakefront Park which brought us to the back-side of the now empty Henry Maier Festival Park, aka Summerfest grounds. So odd to see this empty – but the Harley stage and the Miller Lite stage brought a smile to my face – honoring these two icons of our proud city.
Moving onward, the smart (read, sneaky) Mom in me knew that in order to make *my* goal of riding 10 miles that we needed to take the occasional break. Which we did, first stopping at the park in front of Discovery World to play some tunes – on the bench and the pebble waterfall, a quick pause on the promenade by the art museum to watch a couple of spear fishers and finally a stop to check out the kite shop in Veteran’s Park.
McKinley Beach caused us to wonder, how crazy you have to be to be swimming in Lake Michigan in early April. While Bradford Beach brought another hint of summer, and that beach’s strong volleyball tradition.
We enjoyed our stop at what appears to be a new fitness area. I got a kick out of showing the guy you see struggling on the yellow apparatus how an assisted chin-up machine works – I did a couple of sets of squats, assisted chin-ups and back extensions, while my competitive gymnast son gave the p-bars a work-out.
After we left the fitness area, kiddo asked me if he’d ridden 1.5 miles yet. I fessed up and told him, he’d ridden almost five miles. Which led him to proclaim he was going to ride 10 miles this day. We made several laps around Lakefront Park in order to accomplish this goal. What fascinated me was how often he stood to ride, or assumed the bent over determine pose of acceleration. Made me realize the fun of riding as a child – and maybe understand a little the draw of single speeds. Not that I’m going *there* anytime soon – but I get how they might re-connect with the childhood joy of riding.
Once we accomplished the goal of 10 miles, we headed back to the car. With the kiddo telling me his next goal is 15 miles, and then 20. Meanwhile, I was reminded of what a great city I am privileged to live in! Not to mention I am blessed with one great kiddo!