16 April 2014 Adventures with a Cold Frame

April 16th, 2014

Cold frame
My awesome next-door neighbor gave me some tomato, pepper and herb starts that she wasn’t going to use, and also lent me her cold-frame, so the plants could get sunlight but stay out of the wind and cold (we’re back to near freezing temperatures again at night!) The cold frame is really impressive– with the window shut it got close to 90 degrees in there. Too hot for these tender plants. With the window propped open and some blanket-shade, I was able to maintain 75 degrees during the day (when our highs reached only 50). I may have to persuade AC to build me one of these (hint, hint.)

15 April 2014 Pink Ladies

April 15th, 2014

Pink Ladies

14 April 2014 Visiting with Friends

April 14th, 2014

Sam has schooled her friends in the proper way to pose for the camera.

13 April 2014 Riding the “L” in Chicago

April 14th, 2014

The L in Chicago

The Return Trip:
1. Car to train station in Champaign.
2. Train to Chicago (3 hours)
Lunch in Chicago (Indian — yum)
3. Walk to “L” train.
4. “L” train till they kick us off because they’re working on the tracks & put us on a shuttle.
5. Shuttle to “L” train station farther down the line.
6. “L” train to airport.
7. Airplane to DC.
8. Flight home DC to Cville canceled. Shuttle to baggage claim & ground transportation.
9. Shuttle to car rental lots.
10. Rental car to home (2 hours).

For all of that, it feels like we should’ve traveled MUCH farther than we actually did.

12 April 2014 Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois

April 14th, 2014

Tallgrass prairie

OK, so it’s mostly Lyingdowngrass at this point in the season, but still, we got a feel for how tall it will be when it’s up and waving its amber grains. This was a treat for me and Sam, as we are in a full-blown Laura Ingalls Wilder obsession.

11 April 2014 Capitol Limited DC to Chicago

April 14th, 2014

Capitol Limited
After a pretty good night’s sleep in the sleeper car, we had breakfast in the dining car while the train trundled through Indiana. Indiana in the early morning struck us as foggy and flat.

10 April 2014 Cherry Blossoms in D.C.

April 14th, 2014

Cherry Blossoms in DC

Grand-mère treated us to an adventure this spring: an overnight train on the sleeper car from DC to Chicago (and eventually to Champaign, IL for a family reunion.) First leg: train to DC and an afternoon on the Mall and Smithsonian.

9 April 2014 Stella and Sam

April 9th, 2014

Stella and Sam
Our Stella Cherry tree is starting to bloom!

8 April 2014 Big Chair at Boxerwood

April 8th, 2014

Big Chair at Boxerwood

7 April 2014 The Cemetery Garden in Early Spring

April 7th, 2014

Cemetery Garden in Spring

6 April 2014 New Kitten in Town

April 6th, 2014

Stormy and Brother
A few days ago Sam started calling the new kitten in town Stormy, but today he appeared in our yard bearing a collar with the name “Shakim.” He’ll always be Stormy to us. The bruiser next to him in the tulip bed is Brother, another of Sam’s beloved neighborhood cats, also named by her.

5 April 2014 Go Cobras

April 5th, 2014

Go Cobras

4 April 2014 Football with Kenyans

April 4th, 2014

Football with Kenyans
A local church group of Kenyan teenagers came and joined our family soccer night with Westcity Soccer. If we play with them again, I am hoping to pick up some Swahili. I especially need to learn how to say, “I’m open– pass me the ball!” They were pretty wary of passing to the slow, middle-aged lady on the field. With good reason :-)

3 April 2014 Swingin

April 3rd, 2014


2 April 2014 Snow Pea Sprout

April 2nd, 2014

Snow pea sprout

1 April 2014 The Green Cleaner Lines Up His Shot

April 1st, 2014

Green Cleaner

31 March 2014 First Daffodil at Last

March 31st, 2014

First daffodil

30 March 2014 After the Rain

March 30th, 2014

After the rain

29 March 2014 Muddy

March 29th, 2014

Muddy boots
Sam scored three goals in a field of mud this morning!

28 March 2014 Shhh… It’s a Secret

March 28th, 2014

Pottery Painting place
We went to the pottery painting place today, but Sam made me promise not to use certain photos as my photo of the day.