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    Sunday Spark: Spring Break





    As our Spring Break comes to a close today, I'm looking back with fondness on a week that we didn't really go anywhere, butwe had a grand time all the same - relaxing, witnessing the many Spring flowers in bloom, planting and finding geocaches, and just enjoying tons of family time. Okay, yes, and enduring the stomach bug too (fortunately, that passed quickly). And with today's weather in the 80's, the kids put up a lemonade stand (They made $3.75!!). I hope your Spring break was as agreeable as ours (less the intestinal flu). Happy Spring! 

    Lemonade stand and chalk drawing in April!

     

    Clematis in our front garden, in nearly full bloom!

     

    Swinging...

     

    Iris in our front yard. So quickly they come & go...

     

    One of many geocaches we found this week!

     

    Ah, tulips - the sure sign of Spring!

     

    Serious egg-dying at Grandma's house.

     

    Eggs on the lawn after the fifth or six hide & seek game.

     

    Fetching a ball from the pond. 

     

    The stunning beauty of nature & why I love New Jersey - the pines.

    Posted: Apr 15 2012, 19:36 by kelly | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |
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    Wordless Wednesday: Spring Awakening





    Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.
    ~Lewis Grizzard

    Yesterday was the first day of Spring - the equinox - the moment when the sun crosses directly over our earth's equator - a time when day and night are equal in length. It's a time of awakening, balance, renewal, promise.

    The turning of the seasons grounds me. Spring, after the cold and bare of Winter, is always so welcome, necessary, a gladly received reminder and assurance of time and life continuing. Even after this, the most mild of Winters I can remember in New Jersey, I still was grateful to see that first daffodil poking up through the soil several weeks ago. 

    My heart lightened. And, each day since then I have anxiously searched my garden for signs of new life, never to be disappointed - as Mother Nature delivers new wonders with each moment.

    The weather has been so bright, and the sun so warm this week, that we've all been outside as much as possible; taking in the new season, breathing Spring and all it's wonderous new life... awakening.

    Wake. Breathe. Start fresh, as each moment in your life is as new as the Spring buds on the trees. Happy Spring, readers! 

    Posted: Mar 20 2012, 20:28 by kelly | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |
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    Wordless Wednesday: Spring Geocaching





    Spring is almost here! The morning rain stopped, and the afternoon brought warm(ish) temperatures and glorious sun - just perfect for an outdoor geocaching (what's geocaching?) adventure!

    Starting off...

    Getting closer...

    I think it's down there somewhere...

    We found it!!!

    Kids & water...

    Cool old house alond the way...

    I just had to peek inside (it's the photographer in me - going to have to get a real camera one of these days!)...

    And look, the daffodils think it's Spring!!

    What are you doing now that it's nearly Spring?

    Posted: Mar 16 2011, 17:50 by kelly | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |
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    Philadelphia Flower Show





    Two weekends ago now (wow, this last week flew by) I took myself to the Philadelphia Flower Show! I've been going to the show since I was a little kid. See?

    (That's me! Circa 1979, maybe)

    The Philadelphia Flower Show is an amazing place - especially when you are small and the displays seem to be as big as the world - you can really imagine yourself being transported to the places that are being represented. Over the years though, the exhibit areas have gotten smaller and smaller while the vendor area has gotten bigger and bigger. I'd say the selling area was at least 1/3 of the show floor space this year which is somewhat disappointing. One of the most amazing parts of the flower show is the ability to be transported by looking into a scene. Yet, with all the commercialism and the noticably scaled-down exhibits, I just didn't feel that the magic so much this year. Even though the theme WAS Paris (Springtime in Paris, to be precise) - a magical place! Now, there were still some amazing specimens, arrangments, exhibits, and fantastic artistry. In spite of the ramped-up vendor area, I still enjoyed myself, was inspired, and found that per usual, the Flower Show helped make me all the more ready for Spring and getting back into our garden! Here are a few of the highlight in pictures (thank you iPhone). Enjoy!

    Amazing lilies:

    Astounding orchids. There were SO MANY amazing orchids. Wow:

    A shoe of flowers hanging from a wire in a "city gardening" display. I just found it precious:

    Rather bizarre yet weirdly wonderful Alice-in-Wonderland roses through the pink lookingglass exhibit.

    I'd totally wear this:

    Along with this... very Parisian:

    See? I'm in Paris:

    And to further prove that point, Degas:

    Artistically arranged pinks:

    And yellows:

    And reds:

    How I'd like my perennial beds to look:

    And also like this:

    Au Revoir!

    Posted: Mar 14 2011, 18:24 by kelly | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Gardening | Travel

    Neighborhood Nature





    Welcome to the June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor fun

    This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their stories and tips for playing outside with kids. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

    ***

    I am happiest in nature.  Whether barefooted in our garden, or hiking up a wooded trail.  The best place for me is outside, surrounded by my family. As a child, my most fond memories are of being outside: climbing trees, exploring, gardening, waiting for the big rainfalls that would flood our backyard and turn it into an amazing imaginary rain forest through which my sisters and I could paddle our pool floats.  Now that I’m nearly 6 years into being a parent, hardly a day goes by where we’re not outside.  Even on the most inclement days, we often find ways to spend a few moments with nature. There’s something about being close to the earth, the plants, the trees, which recharges your energy.  Nature connects you, in a world where people, so close in proximity, can be so disconnected from each other and the world. I want my children to be one with the planet – to feel energy that we all share.  I want them to love being outside as much as I do. The best way to do this, quite simply, is getting outside as much as we can.

    Right now, we live in a small condo in New Jersey, without much land to ourselves.  Sometimes I feel sad about this, and yearn for a big backyard – for the acres of woods, and clean streams and lakes we had in Maine, where my daughter was born.  In our current space, we have a small front flower garden and an enclosed back yard – both of which we’ve filled with flowers, plants, and as of this year, tomatoes & strawberries too! I know that we are fortunate to have our backyard right up against a bit of woods where we routinely see deer, squirrels, and other wildlife.  When I tend to the plants and flowers in my little garden, with my children playing around me, it is easier to come to terms with the realization that the best place I am, we are, is where we are – right now.  I realize that there is no sense in feeling sadness, when there’s so much to be grateful for. So, for today, we treasure being in, around, and enjoying the nature we DO have access to; realizing that many people live in places without such nearby access to wildlife. 

    I’d love to share a photo story of a typical after-school afternoon around our place doing our favorite things – outdoors:

     


    My son, filling the birdbath – one of his favorite outdoor tasks!

     


    My daughter, watering the annuals out front (which she helped to plant).

     


    My son, lovingly watering the tomato (he talks to her while he waters).

     


    Heading out to the woods – feeling the soft, long grasses.

     


    Stopping to taste the wild honeysuckle!

     


    My daughter, finding (and later chasing) a ladybug!

     


    My daughter climbing a very large, almost prehistoric-looking vine!

     


    My son, hanging from a neighborhood tree.

    In all, it was a lovely day.  One of many ahead as the weather gets more and more lovely, and we spend much of our waking hours outside.  I truly hope that by spending time outdoors playing and working, my children will take with them as they grow, a love and respect for nature and all she has to share with us! 

    ***

    Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

    Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

    Posted: Jun 08 2010, 01:07 by kelly | Comments (7) RSS comment feed |
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