Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Eli's Big Day Today

School is serious business.  Eli doesn't remember any names or details, but is excited to go back wearing his new Cars t-shirt Brian got for him in California.  Mousie patiently waited in his backpack the whole time.  On the way out Esme wanted a turn wearing his backpack.  It wasn't pretty. I'm going to have to get her one. Here she is while we were shopping:

She ran around making people smile and
the sensitive door alarms go off.

But this is about Eli.  Last year he was to scared to start school and this year he jumped right in. He's quite friendly, so I imagine he'll be inviting kids over all the time.  Surprisingly I didn't even tear up dropping my first child off to his first day of school.  I wasn't quite kicking my heels like the other moms.  Excited to see what kind of student he ends up being and what friends he will make.

The Back Yard

There were quite a few houses in the neighborhood I picked out within our price range, all of them larger, many of them upgraded throughout, but this back yard sealed the deal.  Brian was hesitant, but realized that this yard would affect our lives more than, say, a formal dining room.  We already spend most of our time out there.  Tonight we had dinner outside, Brian mowed the lawn, the kids played on the swingset and picked berries. The sizable trees are on the west side, bringing afternoon/evening shade making it totally pleasant rather than unbearably hot. And the yard is not just a big area of grass and a few trees like I see when I peek to the neighbors' yards.  There are several different areas that make it feel more homey and useful.

Perfect slope for sledding, we're quite wimpy

Clothesline and fire pit 

Dining area, herbs, swing set, sand box, balance beam,
tree swing and hammock.

There are places to eat, play, relax, hang laundry, keep chickens, roast marshmallows and plant a vegetable garden.  We moved in too late for that last one, but the fruit is making up for it. Peaches started just as we got here and are coming to an end, but apples and pears are just about ready, raspberries and black berries are full.  It's really insane how many much fruit there is, but luckily the trees are mostly small and quite manageable. Elder berries, currants, goose berries, rhubarb, apricot, several plumb trees.  Everything needs to be pruned, so I better learn about that fast since I think it's best to do in the Fall. And natural pest control, the berries are the only things we haven't had to share with the bugs, and if I don't figure it out, Brian will go at it with toxic chemicals.  I'm especially excited about the Elder berries, besides making tea and syrup from the flowers, the berries apparently have a medicinal quality, helping prevent and quicken the end of colds and the flu.  I've already made some syrup.

Elder Berries

One of the last peaches

Bartlett Pears

The smart bugs seem to like fuji apples best too, not as much
as the honeycrisp next door.
And two bunches of grapes

Tonight's loot, being looted

I'm sort of glad we missed the apricots, it's the largest tree and I'm hoping to ease my way into canning and such, rather than being thrown into the kitchen for endless, messy hours right away.  Although, I love the apricot tree.  

I think it's beautiful with its twisted trunk and appreciate that it gives our hammock and tree swing a home.  A squirrel lives there too.  He likes to eat the inside of the pits.  We've found other creatures too. Like this praying mantis in the peppermint that I gather almost daily for some tea. 

I have to say, late summer would be a good time for visitors.  We gather all this fruit and since we don't know anyone around here we just keep it. Well, I guess I could knock on a neighbor's door. 

We enjoy outside time, but the house isn't bad either; I like it a lot.  It is small, but has everything we need. I'm glad Brian gave in.  It's the perfect place for us.