For fun we grew pumpkins in our front flower bed. They filled in the end of the bed that we weren't quite sure what to do with quite nicely. In fact they took over! and climbed down the hill all of the way to the mailbox.
We planted three plants and harvested one pumpkin from each. Here is one as a baby. They grew quite large. Two of them were cooperative and grew up in the flowerbed. The third grew over the edge of the hill. It was quite a challenge for William to get it up and of course it was the largest!
I had Coleen and Biscuit pose with the pumpkins after William rolled them around the house. As you can see Biscuit is a little distracted... by the cat!
Coleen's first day of school was Monday and this was the outfit we made. Coleen made the shirt and I made the pants. Both patterns are from Ottobre magazine.
Of course, after a very cool August, it has finally warmed up and it was too hot for a long sleeve shirt. She ended up wearing the t-shirt she dyed in her batik class at College for Kids.
She is very enthusiastic about school this year (of course, Coleen is always enthusiastic). We were able to meet her teacher last night and were very impressed. She is on Safety Patrol this year and has crosswalk duty in the mornings so she has to be at school half an hour early. The exciting thing about the Patrol is they get to go on a two day trip to Wisconsin Dells in the spring. Besides they really stress the responsibility the older kids have for the younger kids. They make sure all the kindergartners get on the right buses and help them during lunch to get through the line, etc.
We all entered items in the county fair this year.
Here we are with the ribbons we won.
Coleen was especially thrilled that she won both first and second place and is proudly displaying her ribbons in her room. William and I will put ours in our workspaces to remind us to always work towards the best we can do.
I think county fairs are great. It is one of the few chances any more that people get to show off their talents without the pressure of trying to sell it. There were some beautiful items entered. I only wish that there were more people participating. It seemed, at least here, that most of the entries were put in by people over 60 or by kids working on their 4-H projects. How do you create interest for younger adults to participate?
One of the magic things about a garden is that it is always changing. Plants start blooming and stop. They fill in empty spots and then die back and create a new space for something else.
I try to get out every week or two and take pictures of our front flower bed. It is mostly perennials and so far this summer it has put on quite a show. I changed spots this last week so I could include the giant pumpkin that William added to the end of the bed as "filler". It's now trying to take over!
This is Biscuit. She came to live with us on Tuesday.
She looks especially funny when she is running. I think her back end gets going faster than her front end.
The cats are not sure what to think of her. They both run away from her even though she is probably only a quarter of their size. Lucy (pictured here) will not get near her at all. Thomas has sniffed noses and will settle down in the same room with her as long as Biscuit is napping, but as soon as Biscuit moves, Thomas is out of there!
William had to make a business trip down to the Carolinas last week and I was able to join him for the weekend. We went to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden near Charlotte and then over to Great Smoky National Park where we took an 8 mile hike up to Charlie's Bunion.
Everything was wonderful! It was warm. We have had a cool spring here in Wisconsin and getting out of the plane and feeling the sun upon you was a lovely thing.
It is extremely lush. Green everywhere. The trees towered above you and everything was flowering. The azaleas up in the mountains were blooming. There were large patches of wildflowers along the road that included Flanders poppies and cosmos. I don't know if they were truly wild or had been planted at some point but they were lovely. This was at the botanical garden, but the ones on the roadside were similar.
The Botanical Garden was lovely. There were all sorts of plants growing outside that William remembers tending in the greenhouses in Chico. Including the passion flower.
And then they had an orchid conservatory which was full of orchids and other tropical plants that cannot handle the cold of South Carolina - bananas, begonias.
We had great food while we were there. Lots of fun restaurants both in Charlotte and Asheville.
Then we got to hike a part of the Appalachian Trail. The trail starts in Georgia and goes all the way to Maine. You can see how much further you had to go from where we were at the North Carolina/Tennessee border.
We chose to hike only 4 miles in to a place called Charlie's Bunion which was a rock outcropping overlooking the layers upon layers of rolling valleys that are part of the Smoky Mountains. It was quite stunning.
We had a great weekend and when we talked to Coleen in New Mexico it sounded like she was having lots of fun visiting her grandparents. We did wish that we could share it all with her. She would have especially loved the different kinds of rocks in the mountains and the fiddler that was dancing a jig in downtown Asheville. Well, I guess that gives us an excuse to return...
We took some time last week and sewed up a couple of pairs. She made the blue ones and I made the khaki ones. This is the best way to teach her sewing. I can show her every step without doing any of it for her. She constructed these all on her own. She even serged the seams!
The pattern is from Ottobre Design 3/2009. The pants are full of great details - like these waistline pockets-
They also had a narrow waistband with an invisible zipper in the side seam. They have a long slit at the hem. Very cute!
When they test, they work through the forms for all of the different levels up to their level and then they also practice kicks and punches and then do sparring with a partner.
Coleen and Sergei both started around the same time and usually test for their belts at the same time. They really like to egg each other on. In kyuki-do there are 13 belts between white (novice) and black (expert). Coleen just moved up to her sixth belt.
Gwen at After the Dress posted an adorable alphabet quilt she did for a friend. It reminded me of these doll quilts I made. They were the standard birthday gift for all of Coleen's friends when she was in kindergarten-1st grade.
I mentioned in a comment on Gwen's site that free-motion quilting can be quite fun and these all employ it. Hopefully you can zoom in and see the quilting
While there is still very little to show in the flower garden (we really should plant some more early season flowers - we seem to have one daffodil plant and about 3 tulips.)-
the wildflowers are already spectacular.
On one of our favorite walks in Perrot Park you come around a corner and are confronted by this lovely sight.
These are Dodecatheon radicatum with an occasional Aquilegia canadensis thrown in. An absolutely stunning sight! I went Thursday and took pictures because William said the flowers were stunning when he went on Monday- I came back with shots of flowers he hadn't seen three days before. I think we could probably discover new things each week - hopefully we'll get out there more this summer.
The pants class is going great! I am learning alot and I really think I'll have a well-fitting pair of pants by the end.
Coleen will be testing for her next belt in karate next week.
William is busy in the garden. Our front flower bed is expanded and planted. Everything but the tomatoes and the beans are planted in the vegetable garden. Hopefully it will warm up for the squash soon. It's been a long, cool spring.