My little guy is such a character.  He’s fun and adventurous. He loves to travel and he’s a great student of everything. We  never know what he’s going to be up to next. Here are a few shots of him through the years.  He was a happy, cute baby with the  most irresistible little cue ball head and today he turns ten!  I tried to scan and add some baby pictures but the computer, scanner and I were all speaking different languages. One day soon I’ll be able to translate better and I’ll add them in.  All moms say this on their child’s tenth birthday and I have to too… “where did the time go?”  I can’t wait to see what the next ten years brings.  This kid is going places!

Happy Birthday Sweetie! I love you to pieces!

National Museum of the American Indian–Just a Peek at the Garden

The garden at the National Museum of the American Indian…

yet another great place to take a little break in Washington DC!

Clearly, I enjoyed this trip!

Happy Sunday!


Free Family Fun! The Salem Maritime Festival

Tomorrow is the Salem Maritime festival at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site!

Participation is a long-time tradition in our family, as my husband has coordinated parts of it since it began in the early 90s.

There are knots to tie!
The Friendship will be open for tours.

You can explore the beach,

listen to great music,

and visit with animals.

There’s  kite making

and flying!Last year Blackbeard visited!

There are historical re-enactors

and kayakers!

It’s always a wonderful day!

My focus is on the kid’s activities, but there’s  also lots of traditional crafts people who adults can visit with and learn from.

It’s a wonderful celebration of maritime tradition!

And, if you need a quiet moment, be sure to check out the Derby Garden (right behind the Derby House)…

Hope to see you there!!


A Walk Through the National Garden

Last week I wrote a post about my visit to the Children’s Garden at the US Botanic Garden. Here are a few photos from the rest of my visit. It was unbelievably hot that day and I had all of the outside gardens to myself. The conservatory was climate controlled, of course, and just beautiful.  If I lived or worked in DC I’m sure that I  would visit very, very often.

The garden is located  just to the right of the capital building, at the end of the National Mall.

Inside the conservatory there are surprises everywhere.

I loved this Pink Powder Puff, Calliandra emarginata

 and this beautiful view.

There are educational exhibits.  

And there are orchids. Here are a few photos for my friends who grow orchids…

I loved the beautiful pots of succulents and the great benches.

I need one of these butterfly benches!

The First Lady’s Water Garden looked very refreshing.

As you know, I love Echinacea… this variety is called Big Sky Sunrise.

The garden was a perfect respite from the DC heat.

I’ll be sure to return the next time I’m on Capital Hill!

Just One

I’m on the move this week! We’re hosting a student from Ota City, Japan, so we have lots of fun family activities planned and I have a new child to take care of. My Mom and nieces are visiting my brother and sister-in-law in New Hampshire so we had lunch with them yesterday and we’ll meet them at a nearby amusement park tomorrow (with the Salem Ota students). One of my children is going to sleep-a-way camp in NH on Sunday. My little guy is going to sailing camp next week and my oldest son’s golf team tournament is on Monday. There is so much to do and so much to prepare for! This is a busier than usual week but not too far off the mark from what we consider to be “normal”.  Life with five kids means lots of action and commitments.

People often ask me how I can take on projects like gardening or blogging. I think that one of the keys for me is to learn just one thing a day about something that I’m interested in.  I find one new idea or skill to add to my knowledge base each day and before I know it I feel pretty confident about what I’m doing. I could never accomplish anything if I had to learn about a topic all at once, my brain just doesn’t work that way (there really isn’t room)! So, I break things down. I also do this with household tasks or in the garden. I’ve learned about parenting, gardening, blogging, health care concerns, how to use a computer, cooking… I could go on and on. It really helps me to try to embrace  little accomplishments and bits of knowledge and store them away.

Consider reading just one page a day of the instruction manual for your camera or learning just one new cooking technique or one word of  a foreign language. You might be surprised at how quickly  your  “just one thing” turns into something that you really enjoy and feel great about.

You can do anything!


Dream House

When I think of my dream house, it’s this one. I’ve gone by it for years and I’ve always loved it.

It’s right on the ocean, here in Salem. 

The borders and architecture are beautiful with just the right mix of colors and textures. Every detail is perfect.

 I love the way the pots of flowers welcome visitors all the way up the steps.

Imagine sitting on this bench and enjoying the view.

And turning around to see the beach!

It’s really a little bit of heaven!

What does your dream house look like?

I’ve seen lots of questions and comments about the hot weather’s effect on our gardens in the past few days so I’d like to share this great post by Amy at A Healthy Life for Me. There’s lots of good explanation and answers to questions. I hope it’s helpful to all of my friends who are dealing with heat and drought right now…. Michele


I like to order my seeds from a few different sources, one of them is JUNG SEEDS.  They sent out their newsletter last weekend and an article touched on the Hot Weather and its effects on our garden.  Since my garden really took a beating during the heat wave, I found the article really informative, so I thought I would share.

Tomatoes are the most widely planted garden crop.  An abundance of blossoms on tomatoes doesn’t always result in a bumper crop. Temperatures above 85 degrees F. can affect pollination and fruit set. Studies have shown that daytime temperatures in excess of 95 degrees and night time temps of over 75 degrees may cause flowers to fall off. Temperatures over 100 degrees can make the plant go into survival mode, causing red pigments in tomatoes to stop forming, while the yellow and orange ones continue. If this is the…

View original post 509 more words

Pineapple Zucchini Bread

I know that there are lots of zucchini recipes out there this week but you really must try this delicious bread. I got this recipe at a Bed and Breakfast called the Ferry Point House while on my honeymoon in New Hampshire  almost 23 years ago. The pineapple makes it so moist and delicious. You can add a cup of chopped walnuts if you’d like to.

Ferry Point House Pineapple Zucchini Bread

3 cups of flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

½ teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1 ½ teaspoon of cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of nutmeg

1 cup of salad oil

3 large eggs

2 cups of sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 cups of unpaired, shredded zucchini

1 can (8 1/4 oz) of crushed pineapple, drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and put to the side. Beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla until thick and foamy. Stir in zucchini, pineapple and then the flour mixture. Pour into two greased loan pans. Bake at 350 for one hour or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan for ten minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling. Enjoy!

I have to write a quick disclaimer about this photo, the “ghost” in the top left corner is not in the original. I can’t figure out how it got there but my little guy loved it and said “you have to post it like that”.. so, here it is. I think it’s kind of amusing. Let me know if it’s something that can be fixed. Maybe it’s the ghost of WordPress?

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!


A Great Stop in DC—The US Botanic Garden, Children’s Garden

We were in Washington DC a few weeks ago and I treated myself to a walk in the US Botanic Garden.  I would have taken my  family with me for my walk but it was literally 108 degrees that day. They stayed in the cool air conditioned Smithsonian while I enjoyed the garden. Needless to say I had the whole thing to myself and it was glorious! I spent about 45 minutes relaxing and taking in every nook and cranny. One of the highlights was the Children’s Garden. It’s a beautiful child friendly oasis in the middle of all of the DC action.

The Children’s Garden is located just outside of the huge conservatory.

The plants are so varied.  The  shapes, colors, sizes and textures are really engaging.

The posted rules are simple and child friendly.

I saw pots of plants waiting for kids to put into the ground themselves.

Unfortunately I missed the photo, but I loved the concept!

There’s a fountain (pictured on the left) that children can play in and use to water plants. There’s a wonderful green-roofed playhouse!Along with places to hide and run…and to pretend and just “be”…It was easy to get lost in the whimsy and fun.

I hope that next time my children are in the photos too!

They would have enjoyed this… it’s a great place for families to learn, relax and spend time together while enjoying Washington DC.

I could have stayed for hours!

Related articles