Monthly Archives: July 2015

One Last Summer Hurrah

The summer was slipping through our fingers, we had been talking about getting up to the mountains since early spring, and Justin was about to celebrate his birthday.  All really good reasons to rent the funky, cozy, fun cabin near Pinecrest Lake.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

We arrived on his birthday so we celebrated with a delicious meal!  Grandpa and Grandma W. came up to stay with us for the first night and day.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

Justin made the most amazing Pork Belly Porchetta…so flavorful, moist on the inside, crispy on the outside.  I’m so glad he likes to cook his birthday dinner!

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

After dinner we went down to the lake to scope out a good fishing spot and let the kiddos throw their lines in a few times.  They had been dying to try their new fishing poles.

Pinecrest | Inanorchard

It was the perfect night on the lake.

Pinecrest | Inanorchard

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardThis little girl was aching to get in the water from the moment we walked onto the shore!  Jumping from rock to rock, throwing stones in the water, next dipping her toes in the water, then her feet, then up to her waist, and then all the way under…leaving her mamma scrambling to haul her out.

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardJ wrapped his arms around her to keep her warm while Grandma ran to the car to get her sweatshirt to wrap the girl up.  Miss P’s chin was chattering so hard!

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

All warmed up and ready for more mischief.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardGrandpa and G figuring out the perfect bait.

 

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

Mornings at the cabin mean hot chocolate with lots of mini marshmallows.  It also means children are roused out of bed semi-early for some morning fishing.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

 

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardThis photo of the fishing party… I love it.  I told Justin, “Don’t leave yet! I want to get a picture of you guys.”  Justin: “Don’t take a picture of us now.  We just look like people who are dressed weird.”  Grandpa W, “Hey! Speak for yourself!”

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardCutest little fisher girl ever.

Towards lunch time Grandma, Miss P, and I headed down to the lake with a picnic lunch to meet up with the gang.  These are the three lake trout the boys proudly caught.  Justin cleaned them, packed them in ice and placed them in a cooler.  The cooler of fish was temporarily placed near our car and then someone stole them!!  Who steals someone’s hard earned catch!?  The boys were pretty disappointed but at least we got a picture of their fish.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

Inanorchard 2015 | InanorchardMiss E snuggling with Grandma after a dip in the lake.

 

Inanorchard 2015 | Inanorchard

It’s the prettiest view a person could ask for…

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

These two…

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

After a day at the lake, we got pizza with Grandpa and Grandma.  They headed back home and we went back to the cabin.

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardEvenings in the cabin look like this; games and mini chocolate bars.

On Saturdays the lake is always so packed.  We decided to stay away from the crowds.  I hung out at the cabin with Miss P (reading my stack of library books), and Justin took the older kiddos to play Disc Golf at a nearby course.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

There is a charming little amphitheater right on the lake, that shows family movies on the weekends all summer long.  The Minions movie was being shown and the kids were super excited about watching a movie under the stars.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

We arrived early, just after dinner, we took a walk along the shore while we waited.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

 

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardSilliness always abounds when mamma wants a picture.

Inanorchard 2015 | Inanorchard

We found our places at the amphitheater, bundled up in our sweatshirts and blankets and waited for it to get dark.  Miss P was pretty sure that whole bag was supposed to be for her :)

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

 

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

 

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardWe eat good breakfasts at the cabin.

It was our last day so we took one more trip to the lake.  The kids swam, played in the raft, and tried one last time to catch some more fish.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

That night the children got warm baths and showers, we made more hot coco, and played a rousing game of Yahtzee!

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

 

These are the memories childhood is built on.  So much work, but so much fun, and so worth the effort.

 

This week in the Garden {July}

 

July Garden | Inanorchard

I’ll be honest; July didn’t start out well for the garden.  The last week of June we got hit with a real hot streak.  Day after day of 100+ degree weather was hitting the garden hard.  Up until the end of June, I had been watering by hand and it just wasn’t cutting it.  The grass around the raised beds was looking parched and crispy, the flowers were doing okay but not great. They weren’t thriving like I had hoped, I was getting flowers but everything looked stressed, and a bit sad.

And the zinnias…oh the zinnias were looking so very pitiful.  They were being nibbled away at each night, and a dozen or more plants had turned a sickly yellow color.  On the sick plants the leaves were curled and brown at the edges, and what few blooms it would produce would be malformed. There were very few buds on the zinnias that looked relatively health, and all the plants looked slightly stunted.  In a fit of frustration I almost pulled them all out one morning.  Once the frustration wore off, stubbornness kicked in and I decided to tackled the problem one step at a time.  First step: deal with whatever critter where eating them each night.  Snail bate and pest powder were applied the following day.  Next step: remove unhealthy plants completely.  If it was a disease that was affecting the zinnias I didn’t want to risk it spreading to healthy plants.  I pulled out quite a few plants and heavily pruned back any that were partially affected. Final step: fertilization, I scattered bone meal at the base of the zinnias, and sprinkled some Triple 15 around the roots.

July In the garden | Inanorchard

I’m so glad I didn’t give up on them because they are looking so healthy and big now!  They are lush and green, growing by the day, and covered with buds!July Garden | Inanorchard

The biggest boost the garden got was a better watering system.  Justin hooked up an oscillating sprinkler and set it on a timer.  The garden is watered early in the morning for a specific amount of time.  I was a little concerned about how the over-head watering would affecting the quality of the blooms, or that the roses and dahlias would start to mildew or bruise.  So far, everything seems to love the new watering system and I am loving having extra time in the morning!

The one area in the garden that I’m most disappointed with is my dahlias.  I didn’t take the time this past spring to order a really nice selection of dahlia tubers from reputable sellers.  I had a few left from last summer that have done well (mostly my white dinner plate dahlias).  I purchase one Cafe Au Latte dahlia from Eden’s Brothers and it’s lovely, but the rest are just cheap tubers I picked up locally and they haven’t done well.  There’s always next year though, and I have all fall and winter to decide what I’m going to plant next spring.

July Garden | Inanorchard

Ah, but the sunflowers!  They are magnificent this year! Two rows of mixed sunflowers in all shapes, sizes, and colors.  I bring them in by the armload and they last a full week in a vase, even a little longer if I keep the water changed.

July Garden | Inanorchard

I can’t get enough of these dark chocolate sunflowers.

July Garden | Inanorchard

Here’s a good sampling of all the varieties I have this year.  I also scattered some Teddy Bear sunflowers in but so far none have bloomed.  No worries though, I just planted 65 Teddy Bear sunflowers on the edge of the pumpkin patch and almost all of them have sprouted, so we should be swimming in them this fall!July Garden | Inanorchard

I picked up a vintage coffee can a few weeks ago while I was antiquing with Stephanie.  I love the way the garden flowers look in my “new” coffee tin.  I just need about a dozen more…

July Garden | Inanorchard

 

This row of cosmos I didn’t get planted until late April (it’s about three weeks behind the rest of the garden), so they don’t have any buds on them yet, but hopefully soon.  After last summer’s giant cosmos fail, I’m a little concerned I’ll end up with more flowerless cosmos bushes.

July Garden | Inanorchard

The orange and double click cosmos I planted early in the spring are covered with buds, which does my heart good!

July Garden | Inanorchard

This is the way Miss P came out to help me in the garden this morning.  Her big brother J helped her get dressed this morning.July in the Garden | Inanorchard

The Amaranthus is still looking gorgeous.  I harvested the first flush of flowers and now a second bloom is coming on.  If you want to grow a unique, richly colored, incredibly hardy plant, amaranthus is your best bet.  This is the “Love-lies-bleeding” variety but it also comes in a gorgeous bright green color as well.  It looks fabulous drooping down the side of a vase.

July in the Garden | Inanorchard

And our pumpkins! They are doing fantastic!  I couldn’t be more pleased.  I took these photos just one week ago and they have all doubled in size, maybe even more.  No blossoms yet but they are looking quite happy and healthy so far.

July Garden | Inanorchard

 

July Garden | Inanorchard

Last but not least; the garden in review-

March

The Cutting Garden | Inanorchard

April

In the garden | InanorchardMay

May in the Garden | Inanorchard

June

The Garden | Inanorchard

July

July in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

Thanks for once again indulging me with one of my lengthy garden posts

Next month we should have lots more flowers and some pumpkin blooms!

Have a wonderful week my friends,  April

 

Tag-along Wife

 

When Justin arranged for me to tag-along with him for his annual work review at Stanford University, I was beyond thrilled!  It’s always hard to get away from home; find a place for the kids to stay, someone to check on the dog. How will the garden and the pumpkin patch get watered?  It’s so tempting to just say “Never mind, it’s easier if I just stay home”.  But I’m so glad I didn’t!

Being a tag-along wife is a different experience than just going on vacation with your husband.  It’s so… luxurious.  That’s the word I wold use to describe it.  Glorious alone time, paired with meeting up with the love-of-my-life at the end of each day; it all adds up to the perfect holiday.

I picked Justin up from work Monday afternoon and we decided on a whim to have dinner in Halfmoon Bay.  After dinner he looked at me and said “Do you want to go to Santa Cruz for coffee and dessert?”   Yes. Yes I do.  So we took the winding road down the coast and ended up in Santa Cruz right at dusk.  We walked through the downtown streets under the lights of the shops, we sipped coffee and shared a dessert.  It didn’t matter that we didn’t get back to the hotel until well after 11:00 that night because there would be no little voices waking us in the morning.  Well, Justin had to get up for meetings but I got to sleep in ;)

I got up slowly the next morning, hung the “do not disturb” sign on the door, and took my sweet time getting ready.  Fortuitously, there was a Starbucks right in the parking lot of the hotel, so I had my breakfast there each morning.

First up on the “do what ever I would like” schedule: Filoli Gardens

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard I’ve visited the gardens in the past but it’s been close to 11 years since I’ve been able to get back.  I spent hours there, just walking down every path, looking in every nook, taking more pictures than any sane person should take of flowers :)  I took the 2 hour tour of the gardens and house, I strolled back to the cafe. I sipped my grape soda and ate my ham and swiss sandwich is beautiful silence, and then I headed back to the garden for more.

Tag- Along wife | Inanorchard

 

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard

I’m hoping to do a whole post on the gardens but I will save that for another day…

Tag-along wife | Inanorchard

Next up was the Stanford Shopping Center.  Such a beautiful place to shop!  I stopped at any store I felt like and looked at every.little.thing.  I didn’t walk by the crowded sales racks, I stood and looked through them all.  I nearly bought the piggy salt and pepper shakers at Crate & Barrel but opted for the darling green metal seed box instead.

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard

Of course all that shopping can make a girl peckish so I treated myself to a fancy cupcake and a glass of cold milk.

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard

Late that afternoon I went back to the hotel to wait for Justin.  He was stuck in a meeting so I piled up all the pillows and watched The Food Network…in the middle of the day!

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard

He finally escaped his meetings and we headed downtown for gourmet burgers and micro-brew beer.

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard

Of course we brought dessert back with us…

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard

 

It was only two days and two nights, but it’s amazing what a little time away can do for one’s moral.  And of course, one of the best things about leaving, is knowing I will come home to these sweet faces who love me so dearly; as I love them.

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard

Baby No Longer

She's two | Inanorchard

It was two years ago we brought her home from the hospital.  It was the hottest day of the summer and there were three eager faces waiting to meet her, hold her, and touch her.  Those first few weeks the rhythm of the whole house was wrapped around that tiny girl.  I remember how long Justin would linger in bed in the morning, just so her could hold her sleeping body a little while longer.  How can two years have passed already?  But the evidence greets me each day; the cheerful, ever busy, toe-headed little girl, who’s tiny voices chirps up at me as she follows me around the house.

She's two | Inanorchard

We celebrated her birthday last Thursday.  It was a quiet, small celebration.  We filled her day with all the little things she loves; balloons tied to her crib to greet her the moment she opened her eyes, doughnuts for breakfast, swimming with the big kids, fresh berries (her absolute favorite), and home-made pizza for dinner…because Miss P loves pizza!

She's two | Inanorchard

After dinner she excitedly opened her gifts from the children, Grandma and Grandpa W. and her daddy and I.  Grandma W included a card with her gift and Miss P spend several minutes “reading” it to us :) She’s such a little mockingbird!  She’s seen her big sister slowly reading out loud many times, so naturally she wanted to give it a go.

She's two | Inanorchard

She was so pleased and proud of every gift!

She's two | Inanorchard

This is the little back-pack I bough her.  She loves back-packs!  She’s always trying to borrow her sister’s so I thought it was time she had her own.  I filled it with magnetic letters and a small bag of Hershey’s kisses (because Miss P loves her chocolate too).

She's two | Inanorchard

She beamed as we sang to her and she blew that candle out just like pro

She's two | Inanorchard

Inspecting the sprinkles or “parkles” as she calls them…She's two | Inanorchard

She's two | Inanorchard

For the last month, when you would ask Miss P how old she was going to be; she would hold up 5 fingers and say “I two!”.  And then, when you asked her what she was going to have on her birthday she would say “Cake!!”.  But pretty soon it changed and when you asked her how old she was going to be she would simple say, “I cake!!!!”.

She's two | Inanorchard

Things I want to remember about my darling 2-year-old

-The way you swat your daddy’s hands away when he’s trying to buckle you into your carseat and say “I do! I do!”.

-Your gloriously goofy grin

-The way the crook of your neck smells when you wake up from a nap, and the way I close my eyes and breath you in, as you tuck your head under my chin

-How you jump up and down and shout “Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!” when you see Daddy walk in the door with a pizza box

She's two | Inanorchard

 

She's two | Inanorchard

 

You are the bright spot in our little family Miss P, and you are so very loved