First Bloom

Purple Dwarf iris

These dwarf reticulated irises were an impulse buy from a big box store back in the fall of 2016, I believe. Ever since, they’ve been the first pop of color in the Early Spring Border in February or March.

Granted, they don’t deal as well with the March and April snows as their later-blooming neighbors — muscari, hyacinth, daffodils, brunnera — but I welcome their early flash of color every spring, even if it’s brief.

Lazer Pointer Thersday

Connor told me last night that he wanted to make this shirt in the morning; I gave him the OK, with the caveat that most of his markers are washable.

When I came downstairs this morning, I had completely forgotten about our shirt conversation — until I saw him wearing his creation. (I didn’t have the heart to mention his spelling errors after he’d already made the shirt). He managed to find a black marker that wasn’t washable, but he could only find a red washable one, “so be very careful when you wash this. Maybe put it on delicate.” I attempted to heat-set his t-shirt art by ironing it, so hopefully it doesn’t bleed too much during the course of the day.

I’ve been wanting to play around with screen printing for a while now… Hmm.

I still have no idea where he got the idea for Laser Pointer Thursday.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: February 2021

Mid-February is the season for snowstorms here in Zone 6 Northwest Ohio. I’m grateful to have my stalwart kalanchoes in bloom indoors.

The purple shamrock is also in bloom!

Also, even though we were quarantined for COVID exposure and had to get our groceries delivered to our home, my husband still managed to sneak a grocery-store Valentine’s Day bouquet onto the list without me knowing.

Thanks as always to Carol Michel for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day on the 15th of each month! As Elizabeth Lawrence said, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.”

Test Roll: Vivitar cv35

The first weekend in June 2020, our family hit up a neighborhood garage sale, and my son (age 8 at the time) “borrowed” 50 cents to buy this camera.

Appropriately enough, the Vivitar cv35 was marketed as “an ideal first camera for young people and beginning photographers.” If he hadn’t seen it first, I might have bought it myself, though; I’m a sucker for trashcams and toy cameras.

Its main distinguishing features on the surface are its translucent body, a built-in sliding lens cover, and a flash powered by one AA battery. However, it also has a two-element lens, which is a step up from most cheap plastic cameras from the 90’s. Cameras like this can produce unique results with vignetting and sketchy focus, so I was eager to load it up and take it for a spin.

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Year In Review: 2020

We’ve all spent the past year living through a global pandemic that’s destined to be at least a footnote in the history books. It’s upended everyone’s sense of normalcy, changed social interactions, wreaked havoc on some sectors of the economy, and cost many their jobs or their lives.

My family has been lucky: our jobs are stable, we’re all healthy, and COVID-19 mainly just means an upheaval to our routines. I’ve been working from home, Connor finished out second grade from home and started third grade with a hybrid of remote and in-person learning, and Aaron spent most of the year working longer hours and adjusting to having us at home during the week.

Even though 2020 was a Very Different Year Indeed, I still kept track of most of the things I usually do, and I certainly couldn’t leave this bizarre year undocumented.

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Line Art

Connor has been making line art lately, so I showed him how I used to do mine back in the day. Once he saw the one corner, he asked if I could make an entire square like that. When I finished drawing the third corner, he said that it looked like a comet warping the fabric of space-time, and wanted me to draw that.

So, I guess you could say this is a collaborative piece.

Comfort Food

I’ve had the meatball recipe tucked away in my recipe box for some 20 years, but tonight was the first time I actually made them.

Technically, it’s not Memaw’s recipe; she got it from the Italian girl who worked in the kitchen with her at Bix’s, back in the mid-1970’s. I also didn’t make the recipe exactly as written, since it’s a restaurant recipe calling for 7 lbs of hamburger and three dozen eggs.

I didn’t think of these meatballs as comfort food as I was making them. It was only when I sat down to dinner and tucked into a savory memory that I realized what they were.

I’ve been missing my Memaw more than usual lately, even though she’s been gone for almost 18 years now. Even though it wasn’t my intention, making Memaw’s meatballs helped.