Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Garden critters

I saw this butterfly puddling on a mound of dog poop. Rich in nutrients, I suppose. This is some kind of swallowtail, possibly pipevine swallowtail, or a black form female Eastern tiger swallowtail, or spicebush swallowtail. The tails aren't very prominent. It hung around for a really long time, until Lucy came over to see what I was looking at.

More butterflies, maybe Pearl crescent, although it looks more like Phaon crescent to my untrained eye. Here's my source for North Carolina butterflies.

Lucy's determined to catch a frog. She's caught squirrels, voles, lizards, bugs, bunnies, and chased a big ole deer out of the yard.

A rare sighting of the elusive red-shirted ice cream eater!

We tried out the Crayola 3D sidewalk chalk. It's fun to see the pictures float off the driveway. Red flowers, like our lonely canna, float off their stems, as well.

Summer Garden

My friend Charlotte asked How does your garden grow? in her blog. Here's what's growing in my garden.

The beets managed to beat the heat. And there are some teeny tiny carrots.

Parsley and sage, above. But no rosemary or thyme, so you can stop singing, Mom. The oregano, below, looks a bit scraggly, but still tastes good. On those 100 degree days, you can smell it baking in the sun as soon as you step out of the garage.

The basil looks healthy. I think these seeds came from a box of Triscuits.

One sad gladiolus, above. A few others bloomed earlier in the summer. One canna, below.

Lots and lots of this flower. I finally found out its name: Cleome or spider flower. We've been calling it fireworks flower. And this gigantic weed below. Princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa).

And lots of poison ivy. Not actually in the garden, but there's plenty of it all around the yard.

That's it for plants. I think I'll save the critters for another post.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Finally moving in

We've been living in our house for two years now, and we're finally moving in. There are no more books in boxes. Now there are books in the computer niche in the basement...

... in the other niche created by load-bearing walls in the basement...

... and on bookcases in the storage room in the basement.

It looks like "the stacks" in the music library at Northwestern. The main part of the music library was a beautiful historic building, but the stacks were in a dimly lit, temperature and humidity controlled underground concrete room. They probably didn't keep their furnace and water heater and leftover construction materials in with the books, though.

The girls have their bookcases up in their bedroom, as well. I moved Audrey's bookcases out of the playroom because no one could get to them there. Now she's rediscovering some old favorites, most of which she's grown out since she last read them.

Finally moving in also means putting holes in the walls. Scott hung up some shelves in the dining room, and now we have a place to display some pottery. There's a piece by a local potter, a candlestick Mom and Dad brought back from Hungary, the tea set from our trip to Singapore, things Scott's mom collected, and pieces the kids have made in classes and camps.

Before, our knick-knacks were hidden in the hallway. Now the cookbooks live there.

Getting all those cookbooks off the kitchen counter made a lot of room for the stuff that won't fit in the baking supplies drawer. The counter's still cluttered, but not like it was before. The oils and boxes of breadcrumbs came all the way to the edge, before. It was hard to reach the knives.

I think we were holding off on finally moving in because we were waiting until we finished renovating the rest of the house. But we've decided we're done renovating for a while (probably a long while). So, it's time to just enjoy living in our house.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I cleaned the guest room

Hey, Mom and Dad, I'm getting ready for your visit! All the stuff we moved out of the rest of the basement during the renovation was piled up in the guest room, but now it's ready for guests.

Lovely Lunch

Audrey noticed that her hard-boiled egg had a flat end and could stand up. She wanted to put some fruit around it. Here's her lovely lunch. There are two blueberries between each strawberry, but they don't all show up in the photo.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Junk drawer robots

Audrey built a robot called Jewels. She used jewels, and Play-Doh for the construction material. Then she built a KangaRapsor out of Play-Doh.

Mary's robot is called the All-Purpose-a-Tron 3000. You can use it to magnify stuff, and it has a compass, and a tape roll (just to balance the magnifying glass), it has a night light that's not taped on (for easy removal), and a head made out of a fairy doll. The head is stuck inside the body, which is made of a magazine. The legs are inside the body. She did a lot of work to get everything to stand up. Her construction material is Scotch tape, and she was wishing she had used duct tape.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Finally fingerpainting

Now that we have our basement set up, we can finally fingerpaint! Audrey has not had as much chance to fingerpaint as Mary did when she was little. We were in California for a year during Scott's fellowship, living in someone else's apartment with someone else's walls and furniture, then when we came back to Florida it wasn't long before we started fixing up the house to sell to move here. Fingerpainting in a house you're trying to keep show-ready in a slow real estate market is not recommended! Since we moved here, we've been remodeling, and a lot of our stuff has stayed packed away. Audrey has done some messy painting and some cornstarch goop outside, but not like what Mary and I used to do on our back porch in Florida, on Papa's old potting table. But I finally bought Audrey some fingerpaint, and a new pack of fingerpaint paper (I'm sure we have some around here somewhere, packed away). It took her a while to get into it. At first, she washed her hands each time she changed colors, and then she used a craft stick to spread the paint around. But finally she got into it: