Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Little Flying Fishy

A low-key weekend left some time for swimming with friends.  Their plush backyard includes a lovely pool with a nicely shaded section.  Perfect for a fair skinned little fish that likes the water.  Cora loved the water so much that almost two hours passed in the blink of an eye!  So far she likes kicking and splashing, fishing, oh, and FLYING! 

I would venture to say that there are some fundamental differences between mama's and daddy's and I use the photo as a perfect example.  Rob can make her squeal like no other with his rocket launches.  I have my own ways I connect with her and make her laugh, but Dad hung the moon in her books.  There is no greater joy than seeing the two of them interact with such adoration for each other.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More Poodle than Lab

So it's been a while since I've posted any pics of our labradoodle, Yeti.  He is now 8 months old and is huge!  Or at least we thought it was.  Turns out, there was a lot more hair there than we though.  With the summer heat and his impressive fluffy mane, we decided we take him for his first haircut.  Here are the before and afters.  He is DEFINITELY more poodle.  Also, his name doesn't quite fit the new hair cut, but oh well, Cora can say it! 

Here he is hanging with his good buddy Angus.

Fresh from a visit to the Doggie Day Spa.  This clip is a little weird to us, but it does cut down on the "velcro-like" qualities of his body!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Rockin' the Block

Long time, no post.  We've been a little busy and I've been more inclined to stay unplugged at night.  In the past couple of weeks we've had much fun and I know there is only more to come. 

The cool peeps on our street had a rockin' block party over Father's Day weekend.  One thing you should know about our neighborhood is that we're pretty tight with each other.  Summer evenings usually lend themselves to impromptu porch gatherings, but we decided to make it official.  At the suggestion of my neighbor, Marie, who has been in our neighborhood since the early '50's, we shut down the street and rolled out the grills.

Here's my Pop working hard behind the grill.
The 60 plus year old trees on our street provided a pleasant canopy and we all tried to ignore the sweltering humidity.  The block party coincided with the first anniversary of the street's baby boom.  Liam turned one and we tried to get a group pick of the not-so-newborns playing together.  These pics were more difficult than when they were immobile, although there was a little less crying this time. 

When we just couldn't stand the heat any longer, we stripped the babes down and got out our version of a baby pool.  Notice the blue painter's tape over the holes in the bottom of the wagon to hold the water in a little longer.  Yep, we're engineers.

Everyone had such a good time that we just might make this an annual occurence.  Although, I doubt we will wait until late June next time!

When things get hot, just remember to get out the water hose...
Untitled from Courtney Green on Vimeo.
Block Party 1 from Courtney Green on Vimeo.

Untitled from Courtney Green on Vimeo.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Momo!

I've had fun swimming through my fond memories of you today, and since it is a birthday, remember that one time we made a birthday cake together???  Thank you for being such a wonderful grandmother to me, and now great grandmother to Cora.  I love you beyond words and am thankful for your birthday.  I hope this day is full of joy and happiness!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Presto Pesto

Now that the temps are heating up outside, the action in my garden is heating up as well.  I'm happy to report there are some hopeful signs of at least a modest harvest.  The few almost ripe tomatoes and sweet, tiny baby cukes have already got me thinking about what I might grow next year.  I'm probably getting a little ahead of myself, but it certainly is fun to watch things grow, especially a little chubby-legged sweetie who now "helps" me pull weeds.

When we first put the garden in, Cora was just on the brink of crawling.  Now, she is using the raised boards to teeter around and check out all the vines, blossoms and leaves.  I suspect that she'll be walking on her own well before the growing season is over. 

I've let her gnaw on some fresh basil and oregano and she's tried to sneak some tomato leaves and marigolds behind my back.  Tomorrow I'll let her see what she thinks of the mint. 

Since the herbs have taken off so has the interest level of what appears on the table from the kitchen each night.  I've let the garden inspire my cooking for past week and I feel like we've eaten better than we have in a long time.  I'd been a little bit of cooking rut.  In fact, Rob mused one night that I seem to make stir fry a lot these days.  Oops. 

Some recent stars on the menu have been fresh pesto, mashed potatoes loaded with chives  (rode my bike 8 miles out to a friend's house to dig up the potatoes - so creamy and fresh, also snagged some carrots and peas...I'm sure I looked silly riding back to town with jersey pockets full of potatoes and green sprigs sticking up everywhere), grilled butternut squash pasta seasoned with fresh sage and topped with pecorino, grilled sweet potato quesadillas, orzo and garbanzo beans with oregano and goat cheese, and soon I plan on making some lavender sorbet and maybe having a mojito or two garnished with mint.  Cora has eaten all of this!  I think the girl has good taste in food and I pray she doesn't turn picky. 

In the interest of keeping the temps in the house down, We've been trying to use the oven and stove as little as possible and are realizing that the possibilities with the grill are endless.  I think soon we'll even try pizza on the grill...probably with fresh basil and mozzarella.

As I mentioned earlier, I've loved watching Cora grow right alongside the garden.  She has really almost completely outgrown baby food and wants to eat what's on our plates.  Since I'm not freezing any food for her anymore, her storage containers are free for things like pesto.  While I'm sad that she is quickly outgrowing so many "baby" things, I do like not firing up the food processor or hand grinder as often and am joyful when she likes the same foods we do.

Over the winter I think we might build a few more small raised beds for extra space.  I would like to use our chain link fence in the back as a built in trellis system, but need to check with my neighbor.

Little Juliets just waiting to blush and a Brandywine heirloom that still has some growing to do before ripening.   Also, this sweet little yellow lady was spotted loitering around the 'maters.  Hopefully she is eating aphids if there are any around.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

When Daddy...

I've posted before about how Daddy puts Cora down for a nap, but here is another variation.  

I like the creative use of the rug as a blankie and ottoman as a pillow.  Notice that the dog doesn't get too far from all this action too.

Hmm...perhaps I should join in on the nap action next time.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

On the Line

When this happens...

This happens...

And we actually kind of like it.  We're thinking about setting up some type of more permanent line drying area.  You really can smell the sun captured in the fibers. We piddled around getting the dryer fixed, but now it is back in commission.  Hopefully, though, we'll do mother nature a favor and hang dry more. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Feel like David Attenborough

So my Mom and Dad might be the only ones out there that get this title reference (we spent a good deal of time watching nature documentaries by this famous documentarian together). Once, when I was in fifth grade, I even made a nature documentary about feeding squirrels in the backyard with a camcorder and a tripod, a few handfuls of pecans, and a seriously nerdy stocking cap. Oh, I hope they NEVER find that. Sigh, I digress.

Moving on, a couple of weeks ago we noticed a Robin meticulously piecing together a nest in our Blue Atlas Cedar right outside our front window. We had a great view of her gathering materials and weaving them into the nest. We were so excited by the prospect that we might see the whole process from beginning to end.

Each day, we would look for new signs that she might be laying an egg, and one morning, while she was in the nest, she puffed her body up so huge! It definitely looked like she might have been laying.  I didn't catch this on camera, but Rob got some other shots of her from in our living room.

Cora even enjoyed looking out the window at all of the action.

After she had been away from the nest for a while, we decided we would take a peek to see if there was an egg and we saw this beautiful, single blue jewel.  We were surprised that there was only one.  Keep in mind that we took extra care to avoid detection.

After a week had passed and we hadn't seen the mommy to be, we began to wonder.  So, in the cover of night I snuck out to see what was happening.  Here is what I found.

The single egg was gone!  I did some research and learned that Robin's eggs actually have threats from several different predators including other birds.  Also, with the nest placed so closely to our front door and all of our comings and goings, it was bound to be disturbed sooner or later.  We'll leave the nest up for now and hope that some other bird might take up residence.  Anyone know if that ever happens?