Unlike me, Chris never showed any hesitation or nervousness about parenthood. During my pregnancy, he was never anything other than totally excited, and since the minute Joey was born he has been the best dad I could have imagined. Funny, loving, caring, energetic, involved. Joey is really lucky to have Chris, and I am lucky to watch them together. Happy Father's Day to the love of my life!
And happy Father's Day to my dad, who is the other best dad I know. I know how important Chris will be to Joey because of how important my dad has been to me. Love you, Dad.
When I buy plants at the store (as opposed to starting them from seed) I don't feel like they're mine until they have new growth or blooms that weren't there when I bought them. That first ripe strawberry a few weeks ago was really exciting, but it was already on the plant when I bought it, so while I was thrilled to eat it, it didn't quite feel like mine.
But! Last night when I walked out to the car, I noticed this runner hanging over the edge of the pot. Then I peeked under the leaves and there were six (!!!) berries growing. I checked the other plant, and there were four more berries!
It's possible ten berries from two plants is not too impressive, but that's not dampening my excitement any. I'm also really happy about the runner, aka future baby strawberry plant, because I'll be able to share my plants with a friend!
Gardening is so rad.
A few weeks ago I began hunting for a used piano on craigslist. I found one, but the guy never responded to my email. The saying "if it's too good to be true, it probably is" was coined about craigslist, I'm pretty sure. I haven't found one in our price range since then, but a couple weeks ago I found a Joey-sized piano for $30! That was an instant buy for me—luckily this guy answered my email!
It's nothing fancy (although it's been dusted since that first picture!), but it's exactly the right size for Joey and it's a lot of fun. He really seems to like it. He'll reach for it if we are sitting nearby, and happily bangs the keys, making his own music. Lately he's taken to getting a foot involved as well. It was advertised as "perfect for your avant-garde needs," so I guess he is just embracing that.
I love watching him play, and I hope that this is the beginning of a lifelong love of making music.
...at least when it comes to sewing gigantic quilts at home. Turns out that is quite an endeavor, physically speaking. I never knew quilting could give you sore muscles. Sore, needle-pricked fingertips, sure. But aching calves? Well, now I know.
I'm working on a queen-sized quilt for someone and it has been an adventure. Pretty much every step of the process was just a little bit harder due simply because of size, but by far the most challening step was the quilting itself. Normally I sew away at my desk, Netflix and tea at the ready. And I started that way for this too. In order to support the weight of the quilt I was sort of wearing it, draping it across my body as I pushed it through the machine. But at the back of the desk there was no room for the quilt to go anywhere and it was bunching and piling up and generally wreaking havoc.
So I moved to my cutting table. Maneuvering-wise, this was much, much better. Feet-wise, not so much. The view was nicer though! This experience had me wishing for a long-arm quilter pretty bad...a girl can dream, eh? I'd settle for a machine with an extra-wide throat.
I'm nearly done with this quilt—just have to bind it!—and while it's been a challenge, I think it has come out very nicely and I'm proud of it.
As I write this I'm sitting on my porch watching the rain. Its really lovely, but not very summery. I'm pretty sure summer is right around the corner though, so I've been thinking up a summer manifesto. (Which is totally just a dramatic way to say summer to do list.)
What brought this on is a picture I just found from two years ago, when we'd just moved to the DC area. It was a snapshot of a Screen on the Green schedule for the summer, and I posted it on Facebook with the caption "I'm going to watch all of these." I watched none of them. And I didn't go to any outdoor movies last summer either, even though I meant to. So maybe if I write down a list and dramatically call it a manifesto, and plan to document the list somehow, maybe I'll actually do the things on my list this year.
I wanted to share a couple of progress shots of some projects. I always enjoy seeing these on other blogs and on Instagram, but I never remember to take them myself. Trying to get better about that! Above is my first real try at an improvisational quilt. I'm still playing aroud with block arrangements, but I am really happy with this one so far.
Below is a custom quilt I am working on. It is going to be queen-sized. I haven't made a quilt this big since my very first one. (Luckily I'm a lot better at quilting now!)
As a side note, I created a page with all the quilts I've written about on the blog. (Which is all of them I've made, except just one or two.) You can see it here, and it's linked in my hello blurb on the top right. Each photo and title links to the corresponding post about the quilt. I wish I had some of those back to take better photos!
I've been able to pick a few fruits from my plants already, and let me tell you it is the best feeling! This beautiful strawberry was actually already on the plant when I bought it, in the form of a tiny fruit bud, so I got to watch it grow and grow. It was early, and now more and more of its brothers are showing up on the plant. The first one tasted great; I am very excited about the impending strawberry bounty!
And here are my very first tomatoes! The plant is laden down with clusters of green tomatoes right now, and I have been checking every day waiting for a hint of red. Yesterday I noticed a couple yellow fruits way in the back, so I double-checked the tag, and surprise! It's a yellow tomato plant! (Specifically, the Sweet'n'Neat tomato plant. A tiny little thing, but bears tons of fruit! No staking required! I am a fan!)
I also clipped a couple sprigs of dill and mint, not so muh because I planned to use them, but more in interest of encouraging growth. I laughed as I carried my tiny little harvest inside in one hand. I often see big garden baskets for sale, always with photographs of the basket completely full of eggplants and tomatoes and lettuce leaves and bell peppers. I'm not exactly there yet.
And then Oscar kept trying to grab the herbs for himself! He sat and watched steadily as I took a few pictures, occasionally trying to sneak a paw in to grab them.
Then I turned my back for five seconds, and the little turd immediately swiped the dill! He chowed down on one clipping and I thought surely he wouldn't like it, but apparently he did because he quickly moved on to the other two.
He also likes cream cheese and biscuits. Cats are weird.
We visisted Mount Vernon (George Washington's estate) recently and I absolutely loved it. The gardens were so amazing. If you come stay with us this summer, prepare to go there!
That last photo is just about my favorite thing ever. Our little family has had lots and lots of outside time lately. This warm spring weather is so great and we are taking advantage of it before it gets too hot and humid to be comfortable!