Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2010

Hey Good Lookin'

The kids like to get a hold of my glasses when I'm not looking and break them just about as soon as I get them home so I decided to find some cheap pairs of their own to wear instead. I found these at the dollar spot at Target. Funny how long we have had these glasses. My last pair lasted all of 5 minutes. We've had these for two weeks and counting!

pic removed

A Few Ticks and an Aching Back Later... the Monday Garden Club (a little early)

For a little background on our site improvement projects you can check out these posts here, here, here, and here.

Nick using the loader.

We poured our hearts out this weekend getting our yard screened in and things are really starting to take shape. I ordered 12 large pine trees last week from a local wholesale nursery and had them delivered on Friday to fill in the wide swath of forest the previous owner had unnecessarily taken out. These trees will help screen our reforesting project (nicknamed by a neighbor as little Arlington Cemetery) from our neighbors. While it only took us an hour to get all the material off of the delivery truck (which I'm very proud of considering our little crew of 3 including myself), it took us two entire days to get our 6'-8' tall pines fully planted in the ground. My MIL had the task of watching the kiddos all weekend while Nick and I experienced a few days in the lives of day laborers.

View of the pines from the yard.

View of the pines fro…

Monday Garden Club

There is so much to report this week!

I'm happy to say that Spring has indeed sprung here and the trees are beautiful and green. I think the foliage arrival occurred earlier than usual thanks to our 90 degree weather a few weeks ago. Most everything started to come out big time last week but now all but the Oaks are holding out. It's good to see everything out of dormancy again!

Yay! (taken Saturday)

Nick got home after a very, very long week in Idaho. He left on Sunday for a business trip and did not return until 2 in the morning Saturday. The kids and I spent the week sick and miserable (so did he) . Luckily, we were all better by the end of it and I have an awesome MIL who watched the kids Friday night so I could get a much needed break for a night out with the girls. Thank God as I very much needed it for my sanity! Ever heard of plum wine? I hadn't before Friday, but let me tell you it's great stuff!

On our way home from Northern Virginia, Nick and I picked up s…


Nick left out some sewing needles he had used to sew a button on his shirt. It was not one of his best parental moments. Anyway, you can imagine my surprise when I found Ladybug doing this to her beloved babydoll. Poor babydoll.

Earth Day

Earthbound Farms is giving away their reusable bags again in honor of Earth Day, April 22. They are giving them away all throughout the month and lucky me, I just won a bag. I won one last year also (it's not difficult).

I loved it so much that even when the handle broke because a special grocery employee put one too many 2-liters in the bag, I took the time to sew the handle back on. I felt so thrifty and cool. As long as you don't put 5 or 6 2-liters of diet soda in it at once, the bags really holds up. It holds way more than the average reusable bag at the grocery store.

Last Year's Bag.

These bags are made from recycled bottles and absolutely awesome. We are big recyclers here at Them Sticks (see our recycling stack below). It's neat to think that maybe a bottle you recycled is coming back to you in some form (though OK it may be a little far fetched as these babies are made in China.) It still makes me feel good inside to recycle.

Our recycling bins.

My favorite reusab…

Mindless Suburban Transplant Babble

I'm in bit of a daze today. I'm still under the weather and a little loopy on cold medication. At one point this morning I thought I was about to lose it. Tired, sleep deprived and aching to the core, my kids got into their closet for the 40th time and had taken every single piece of clothing out of it while I made breakfast. Really kids?! I just don't have any energy for this sh*t today!?!!!

A couple breaths....


and out...

A moment on the porch amongst the swaying trees watching the clouds roll in.

Slowly, I returned to my calm self. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. The entire contents of the closet being thrown about the floor no longer seemed to be a big deal.

I never got the country life as a kid. I'd have told you that anyone living in the country was a crazy loon. Back then, I didn't care for suburbia either. I had spent too many summers stranded without a car 4 miles from the nearest store. My parents were busy working parents and we were left alone most o…

Monday Garden Club

Isn't it ironic that when you need sleep the most, it's the most elusive? Everyone in our family came down with a nasty cold this weekend. My kids are miserable and I can't seem to sleep myself. So, here I am, up at 5 in the morning waiting for the sun to come up.

Despite how terrible I feel, I'm am just loving that there is so much going so early this year in the garden. It's nice to be a little more on the ball this season. The basil, squash, eggplant, and peppers appear to be thriving. Last week, I neglected to mention that I transferred the seedlings into Jiffy pots. It's been a REAL pain in the ass but I've been bringing the heat loving peppers and eggplant in and out of the house to insure they get enough heat and light but aren't subjected to evening cold. Note to self: get our mini green-house lit and heated next year.

I mulched the strawberry beds with straw this week and planted some more carrots, parsnips, and mesclun mix (as I will cont…

Tilling Accidents

Above are some of the grape hyacinths (Muscari) that I planted in late October. Unfortunately, they look tortured because Nick tilled over them this Spring when we were trying to clear the beds for some foundation planting later this month. I tried to save what I could but they aren't what they were. I think my friend Ali can sympathize. Such is life... or well intentioned men, lol. :)

Don't get me wrong. I may seem to have been hard on Nick the last week, criticizing his questionable choices in TV shows while the children are awake and his giving away my European chocolate bars to his co-worker. Truth is, the good so far outweighs the negative, it's unbelievable. If I didn't have something to pick on, he wouldn't be real. Yeah, I've got it good.

Anyway, it's hard to believe but it's mowing time again. I spent an hour doing the push mover on the steeper sections of lawn and the more tedious sections around the house this morning. Now it's Ni…

It's HOT!

Nong, my brother's wife, made Ladybug a beautiful traditional Thai outfit that we received at the end of the season last year. It was a little too cool at the time to use it so I had to stash it in the closet until warm weather was upon us again. With the temps in the low 90's, it was time to get it out! I have to say, she looks adorable!!

pic removed
Ladybug in her traditional Thai outfit made by her Aunt Nong.

I love this weather. I'm sure my eggplant and peppers are loving it too. My poor broccoli, please persevere... you'll have your cool weather back in just a few days.

Monday Garden Club

Amazingly there is a lot to report. The asparagus has sprung out of the ground. I highlighted it with some fancy Photoshop tricks for your pleasure. I assure you, it is even more amazing in person. Ta-da!

We buried the spears a couple inches deeper this weekend. Apparently, we are supposed to do this every 2 to 3 weeks until we fill a 6" trench. The deeper you bury asparagus the thicker the more robust the spears. Even next year we can only lightly harvest them or we will reduce future yield. It'll be a good two years before we have a good crop. Asparagus is the 2nd favorite vegetable in our house despite what it does to our pee.

I've been watering the broccoli a good amount with all the heat we have been getting and some seem to be doing better than others. Below is one of the better looking ones. We are going to have 87 degree temperatures tomorrow and Wednesday before it cools back down to the mid-60's. Crazy.

Packman is the broccoli variety to grow in VA wi…

Happy Easter!!

Below are the pics of our Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday as promised in the last post. Words can not express how tired and sore we were that day but we managed. G-ma was limping along as well as she was nursing a leg injury. It was a good thing we had a 3 to 2 adult-kid ratio that day to keep up with the kiddos!

pics removed

After that we took a brief siesta and then got dressed up for dinner alfresco on the downtown mall. I am a huge fan of pistachio gelato so of course we had to stop there as well...

pics removed

Easter Sunday has been a big day. First the Easter Bunny had given us a visit. Ladybug wasn't sure she wanted the "giant", "humongous" or "gigantic" bunny to come by but she was pretty pleased with the baskets he hid around the house. After opening the baskets we had a big pancake breakfast with real maple syrup and sliced strawberries. Yum!

pics removed

Later that day, Papa and Grandpa came by and we sat and chatted and had an early East…

Charlottesville 10 Miler and Egg Coloring

Above: Easter egg coloring we accomplished earlier this week
What a glorious day!!

I'm happy to report that Nick and I finished our 10 Miler. Nick did really well again achieving a 8:00 minute mile pace. He said he felt like he was going to puke at mile 3 but managed to overcome it and hit it hard the rest of the way. I wish I was such a masochist, but alas, I am not.

I did not push myself to the point of wanting to puke but I did push. I was doing great until mile 8, accomplishing a 10 minute mile at that point. Then I hit a wall and try as I might, I slowed down quite a bit. If I ran like Nick there is no reason I shouldn't have been able to accomplish that, but I am a wuss. I wish I could report our chip times (I'm guessing it'd be about 10:45 miles which isn't terrible for the hilly terrain and the lack of winter training) but unfortunately there seems to be some sort of glitch in the system and the gun and chip times are showing as the same. I know it …