Abode {W}

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Pretty-the lovely green garden!

Happy-Stuart happily supervising the strawberry planting

funny-I love the fact that Stuart can fall asleep anywhere, and sleep comfortably!

Real-My sweet, beautiful little girl loves to make freaky faces for the camera. She was thrilled that I did not delete this one.
Joining like mother like daughter for another round of pretty,happy,funny,real. I love this link up, this finding contentment in everyday life and photographing it and sharing it with others. I struggle with contentment, and this is always a good exercise for me!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

strawberry planting pictures

Strawberry planting is going well! For more pictures, go to my farm blog life as a farmer's wife!So far, so good-no rain, the crew showed up, and no equipment has broken down!

Monday, May 23, 2011

first roses!

The first roses of the year!

The strawberry planter
I picked the first roses today (had to get them in before the rains began again!) and tomorrow we plant next year's strawberry field. Before too much longer, I will have great jugs of beautiful  scented roses filling the house, bowls of ripe strawberries to turn in to jam and fruit leather, and hundreds of phone calls a day. Hooray for summer!

celebrating Ella!

A latte to keep me going

Hazelnut cake with chocolate glaze

Ella and Aunt Sal, drinking coffee together

Blowing out the candles - Aunt Sal bought the ones that keep re-lighting

The cousins play....

.....While Stuart picks his nose and watches

My nephew Travis shows Estelle how to throw a frisbee

Ella receiving a Shakespeare's insults book!
Happy fifteenth birthday to the lovely Ella!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Estelle the translator

Stuart just came running up to me and yelled  "I hoo hoo!" I had not idea what this meant, and started asking him if he wanted water, a diaper change,a book, or to play with his trains. He kept saying no, and yelling "I hoo hoo!" I was at my wit's end when Estelle walked by and said "He wants to go see the owls." When he heard this, Stuart said yes and went running to the door. Estelle is now the designated translator!

An outing

Getting ready to cross the bridge

Year the bridge was built

Willamette River looking north

And looking south

The lovely bridge!
Yesterday we took full advantage of the sunshine (it was SO nice) and left a pile of work at home to just play. About fifteen years ago, the city of Salem turned an unused industrial area into a beautiful park along the Willamette River. The park has a carousel, lots of emerald green lawn, picnic tables, and a really cool play ground. Nearby is a great children's museum, and beyond that is a foot bridge over the river. The bridge is an old railway, which hadn't been used since the 70's. in 2009, it was opened as a foot bridge, and I love it! It is such a pretty walk. The path leads you to West Salem, and a short walk from the end of the path will land you in a Starbucks, sipping coffee and eating a salted caramel square (my new favorite) as a reward. Robert and I played frisbee while the others ran around the playground, and then we walked across the bridge to McDonalds for cheap cheeseburgers. The gloom and crossness of yesterday (and the two days before that!) are gone, dispelled by time spent in the sunshine with my lovely children!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

pretty,happy,funny,real-the pretty version

Our little lake

My favorite lilac bush

Birds on a fountain in the garden

Plum and Asian pear trees in bloom
The last few days have been hard. I don't even know why. I am struggling to be cheerful, feeling as cross as two sticks, tired. I miss my father so much, and really wish I could talk to him. I am also really struggling with contentment. So, today I am planning to pack a picnic, grab a good book, and just spend the day playing outside. The day has dawned clear and sunny, with an expected high of 70 degrees. Definitely too nice to stay indoors! A day spent playing outside with my favorite people should be just the cure for what ails me! Once again linking with Like Mother, Like Daughter for another round of Pretty,Happy,Funny,Real

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

taking a deep breath

Graham holding Stuart and Estelle.

Watching Jeeves and Wooster.

Rainbow ending on our shed.

In between the rains!
So! The tea is all over, and it went very well. We filled every seat, the food was delicious, and everyone had a good time. Last week was a very busy week, as I was shopping for food, decorating the tea venue, making food, and still trying to hold things together here at home. I was so busy on the day of the tea that I did not take a single picture! Now the tea is finished, and I am trying desperately to catch up on all of the work I left undone last week while I worked on the tea. Strawberry season begins in just three weeks, and I really want to be caught up by then! We will see what happens. For now, I am just trying to keep calm and carry on! As usual, the beauty all around me and my lovely children are helping me to keep my wits about me and truly enjoy these busy, happy days.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

pretty,happy,funny,real round 5

Pretty-lilacs are in full bloom! The picture is my father as a child.

Happy -little baby raspberries!

Funny, or not! The rat someone gave Graham as a joke for his birthday. The little girls love it, and have decided to keep it.

Real-Yes, we really do eat pie for breakfast! Apple blackberry, made by my clever husband!
Linking with Like Mother, Like Daughter for another week of Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real! Thanks for joining me!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To keep me sane during a busy week!

Stuart playing hide and seek with his favorite blanket

Huge spider my children found-outside, thankfully!

Farm girls taking a break on the bucket of the Farmer's tractor

Birds enjoying the fountain in the garden

Birds silhouetted against lovely, lovely blue sky! 
This week is insanely crazy for me. I am in charge of the fund raising tea at Graham and Ella's school on Sunday. This is going to keep me busy with food, decorating, and all of the last minute details. I am actually enjoying the whole thing, and really looking forward to Sunday. However, the farmer has thrown his back out, and is barely moving. He is supposed to bake scones, pies, and a cake for me, make lemon curd to go with the scones, and sing at the tea. I must confess to feeling very nervous that every thing will just go horribly wrong! I also hate seeing my husband suffer (obviously, I don't think any wife LIKES seeing her husband suffer....) and know how badly he wishes he were outside getting all of his work done. In amidst all of the craziness, I got a nice walk in this evening, and the golden sunlight, sweetly scented warm air, and good music on my ipod helped reduce a great deal of my stress!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Evangeline on the right, Estelle in the center.

Estelle after Mass, looking pensive

Evangeline after Mass, looking ready to be done!

Beautiful cake

Estelle with the cake

Benedict, Evangeline, and Estelle cutting their cake.
What a great Mother's Day! My two little girls received their First Holy Communion, and were so excited to do so. The Mass was completely full, the sun came out during Mass, and the girls were very much aware of what a special day it was. After Mass, we went to the home of some dear friends whose son also received First Holy Communion. I love this Catholic culture of celebrating these milestones in our children' lives. It is good that our children know they are not alone in this journey!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Almost sorry!

This almost makes me sorry that warm weather is coming! It is Farro stew, a favorite recipe from Heidi Swanson's new cookbook, Super Natural Every Day. I love this cookbook! It is full of delicious recipes and beautiful photos. This stew contains farro, sweet potatoes, lentils (I used lentils de puy) curry and onions. It is topped with yogurt mixed with fresh lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil. Making big pots of soup while the wind is howling and the rain is lashing against the windows is one of my chief joys in life, and I always miss this when summer arrives! Fortunately, warm, sweet strawberries and juicy plums and tangy raspberries will be arriving soon, and that will make me as happy as soup makes me in the fall!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

pretty,happy,funny,real round 4

Pretty, but should be majestic-Mount Hood taken from Bishop's Close garden 40 miles north of my house

Happy-Graham's 17th birthday party (he isn't in the picture....)

Funny-I told Ella to cross her fingers and she crossed everything, even her eyes!

Real-the bookshelf of children's books in the living room after Stuart was alone for five minutes!

round button chicken