Pumpkin Patch Trip

Last week Patrick had his first school field trip to a local pumpkin patch.  The weather was beautiful and the boys had a good time picking out their pumpkins.

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Hello October

It doesn’t feel like October here yet.  Just wait, the cold and rain is coming.

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Meet Milo

This is Milo (formerly Canelo).

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His original owner passed away and her granddaughter has been caring for him since.  She already had 2 other dogs and there were some personality clashes, so she decided to re-home him.

Since ET has had some allergic reactions to some dogs, we decided to do a trial.  The dog came home on monday and it has been a pretty fun week for the boys.

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Elliott loves walking him to and from the bus stop.  The dog is mostly a couch potato and he is also my shadow, so he follows me everywhere.   He also likes to sleep inside/under a blanket, which is hilarious and weird at the same time.  And when I bust out the vacuum, he becomes 12 pounds of ferociousness, which is even more hilarious.

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A Sad Post

Earlier this week two of Evan’s uncles passed away, just hours apart.  One had been ill for quite a while, and the other was diagnosed with multiple myeloma just one year ago.  I think Elliott may have met Uncle Bill when he was a baby, but both boys had gotten to know Uncle Jack.

Uncle Jack was a true kindred spirit.  He could chat up anybody, wherever he went.  He loved working in the yard and turning his compost.  He gave me the compost bin that I have moved to 3 separate houses (and still have!).  He will be missed terribly.

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After Jack got his diagnosis last fall, I signed up to join the bone marrow registry.  It’s really easy (send some cheek swabs in the mail!) and the chance that you will ever get a call to donate your marrow is really slim.  Ideally, I would have been Jack’s match and we would have written anonymous letters to each other until we found out that we knew each other and then they would make a Lifetime movie about us.  Obviously, that’s not what really happened.  On one hand I’m glad he doesn’t have to deal with chemo and hospitals anymore, but the world just isn’t the same without him in it.

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September Garden

I decided that I need to start taking pictures of the garden throughout the months to see what’s growing where and when.  I should have started this way earlier, but better late than never.  This is what we’re rolling with now:2014_09_0012

I cleared out the chinese lanterns.  They are pretty but also very invasive.  they had runners EVERYWHERE, so I’m sure I will find more before we are done with it.  These Perennials are the backbone of the front yard.  I am making lists of new things to add to fill in the gaps.  I don’t really need anything big, maybe just some low growing stuff to put in front/under these main items.  I do want to add an Autumn Joy Sedum, where the blue X is.  I just took out an old stump there and it will be a perfect spot for it.

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This is our front walkway.  It used to have that ugly red lava rock instead of bark dust.  I am working on finding something to fill the narrow space.  On the other side of the walkway (below) the last short-term owners tore out a lot of nice flowers and put in these evergreen things.  There was another one of the little christmas tree looking things but it died.  It might be nice to try to get this back the way it used to be but for now it’s OK.2014_09_0010

Side of driveway.  This also used to be full of flowers that were torn out, replaced with these evergreens and some more red lava rock.  One of the evergreen shrubs died.  I wouldn’t mind too much if the other three bit the dust.  Just sayin’.
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I just dug out an old stump from here.  No idea what it was.  This is where the sedum will go.  They are pretty neat looking and have a lot of color.
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I don’t really know what to do with this area.  It seems pretty disorganized.  There is a lot of stuff in there that I don’t know what it is, so I’m not sure if it’s doing what it’s supposed to do.  I’m not really doing much over here right now.  I may just clear out a bunch of it and start over.
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Side yard.  I just cut back the yellow loosestrife here and I need to divide it.  Fluffy green stuff to the right of it is iris.  It also needs to be cut back and divided but I will wait until it browns up.  To the left is one of my Dahlias.  They need to be staked.  I will definitely get a cage in place next year.  They are too big and flopping over now.
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A giant lilac (should have pruned it way back right after it bloomed.  Oops)  And a dying Japanese Pieris.  I don’t love the pieris here so if it bites the dust I won’t cry.  I will not enjoy digging out the stump.  In between them is what I think is white valerian.  Also floppy.
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More floppy dahlias.  I staked these ones.  I also cut back the crocosmias and probably need to divide those bad boys too.
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Dahlias next to butterfly bush.  I don’t HATE the butterfly bush.  It stays flowering a long time and you just have to prune it aggressively in the spring.  They are supposedly invasive but I am not seeing that here.
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This is either lambs ear or jerusalem sage.  Maybe.  Also a weird placement.  Way too close to some lilacs.  Which are invasive little jerks.  I think some are popping up in the backyard now too.
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Dahlias are pretty.  They seem to last a while in a vase too!
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The bane of my existence.  The backyard extension.  Hot, dry and chock full of blackberries that refuse to die.  This area needs a lot of work.  For now I just try to keep on the new shoots of blackberries coming up.  Ideally I’d have this area landscaped, maybe with tiers and something low-maintenance – rocks and grasses.  Different style from the front yard.
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I see you.  Die, die, DIE!!!
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See why they call it a butterfly bush?
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I also have two buckets (yes buckets) full of bulbs that need to be planted this fall.  Most of them I dug up when I was working in the yard, so back to the yard they will go.  Some of them *may* have come from the foreclosed house across the street.  They had a really pretty kind that I don’t have, so I will “trade” them.  I weed their yard, so it’s only fair.

BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE!

Today I got a little present in the mail from the former owner:
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It’s pretty unbelievable about just how much is missing from what was there just two years ago.  Though now it is nice to have some real plans to work with!

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First Day of Pre-Kindergarten – Patrick

Today Mr. Patrick goes to school!

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This is his friend Olivia who will be at the same school but not in his classroom.

These are pictures from the open house day they had last week.  It is a really neat school, it is part of a university/teacher education program and they have the best of everything available to them.  He loves it already and all we’ve done so far is visit!  I took a ton of pictures at the school because Evan couldn’t be there for the open house.

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Lots of edibles are growing outside.
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his is the common play area inside.

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First Day of 1st Grade – Elliott

Today is ET’s first day of school!

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Our neighbor friend Ruby is also in his class.  He gets to eat lunch at school now so he is pretty jazzed about that.

And this year, we actually managed to make it on the bus!

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End of Summer

Tomorrow is our last real day of summer.  We went out for a walk tonight to sneak some ears of corn and play in the orchard.

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Tough guys!

 

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Big Deal!

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Flower Power

The house we bought this spring (winter?) was once owned by an avid gardener.  She had some sort of master design going on here.  I have never seen a lot of the flowers here before, so I have no idea what most of it is, let alone how to care for it.

The yard was planned to be a succession garden, meaning that there is constant color and different things blooming at different times.  It’s pretty cool.

In early spring we had daffodils, then tulips scattered around the flower beds. The Japanese Pieris started flowering.

And then came the irises.  And Lilies (pink asiatic ones and yellow ones).  Lily of the Valley, too.  There were Hyacinths too, but I forget when.  We had lilacs bloom in April. Then we had purple columbines.

In June-ish we had these weird tallish flowers that sort of looked like pumpkins.  The leaves were fuzzy.  I am still trying to figure out what those were, I don’t have a picture (dumb i know).  Then the butterfly bushes, an unidentified white flowery bush and the hydrangeas flowered, they are almost done.  We also had these tall yellow spikes of flowers, now done, who knows what those were?  Yellow loosestrife?  Near those is (I think?) St. Johns Wort.  There was were two tall blue flowering stalks, maybe a delphinium?  It is done.  I need to hack it back.  Near it is one lone little purple liatris, I see them around the neighborhood and they are pretty.  I like that, and i think this one got bumped so it’s growing funny.  I would like more of these.

Now we have Crocosmias (I think), Dahlias, Chinese Lanterns starting to turn orange and these nice white bunches of flowers.  I don’t know what they are either but they smell nice.  I also have some unidentified yellow daisy-ish flowers (coreopsis?) and an unidentified large-leaf thing that apparently makes purple flowers.  We just identified some Lamium maculatum and Japanese Anemones.  I am sure there is more, I just need to wait and see.

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no clue what this is. Phlox?  it smells nice though!

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Hydrangeas, almost done.  They had been hacked back to almost nothing by someone who lived here for one year.  Hopefully next year they will do better.  We have a different kind of hydrangea on the side of the house too.
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Japanese pieris

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Same mystery flower from the first pic.  Maybe Phlox.

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Daisy-ish things.  Coreopsis?

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These are just now blooming and they appear to be plentiful.  Purple flowers.  Mystery.

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these were little yellow flowers.  another mystery.

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Crocosmia?

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Dahlia, next to butteryfly bush

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Butterfly Bush

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Mystery #4,592

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Delphinium-ish

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Liatris.  It should be more upright, I think it is planted too shallow.

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St. Johns Wort?

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Chinese Lantern

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?Who knows?  Leaves look like columbine but these didn’t flower if memory serves me.

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his will bloom soon.  whatever it is.

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