Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lilac-adaisical Days

The title of today's blog is a bit of a joke, because spring days are absolutely the busiest around here! On top of my regular schedule, I have to squeeze in my spring necessities: taking care of growing plants and seedlings and taking lots and lots of photos.

Some I don't have to take care of...I just enjoy them when they pop up in the yard, all on their own. I love spring violets.

I especially love the ones that have a nearly blue tint. We've got a lot of them right now and they make lovely little bouquets!

The big news is that our 'lilac season' has begun. From now until late May, we'll have lots of beautiful blooms to enjoy! It was a long wait. First the buds appeared...

They swelled and lightened, and a few solitary blooms showed.

Then more...

...until they all popped.

Then poor Todd gamely finished several meals of sauerkraut and sausage while I stopped cooking and cleaning and did nothing but took lilac photos and arranged bouquets.

I can't help it...they're so beautiful! I think the blooms look especially nice with viburnum blooms.

It's a nice contrast.

Of course, there were mini bouquets too.

Lilacs are amazing!

We've picked some little flowers on our walks. Here are some white violets and spring beauties.

They last for several days if you change the water regularly.

The tulips are up!

Tulips last about a week in bouquets. Right now we just have red tulips, but when we move I'm going to plant lots of different colors.

With all the rain and alternating nice weather, our grass grew embarrassingly high. We had to mow, even if it meant mowing over our beautiful patches of grape hyacinth. I couldn't let them go to waste, so I picked many of them...

...and for a week, every surface in the house was covered with these purple blooms!

The creeping thyme has flowered.

More purple for the back yard. Even when the flowers wilt, this is a really attractive, low-growing groundcover.

The columbines are sending up spikes.

Spring is in full bloom around here! There's so much life. I've spotted butterflies...

...and carpenter bees.

Bosewichte has been begging to go outside for weeks. He's almost exclusively an indoor cat, but sometimes I let him outside to stretch in the sun.

He's mostly indoors with Tabitha, though, so I always have two pairs of eyes staring mournfully at me through our sunroom screens when I work in the yard.

Make that three pairs.

Don't let those hang-dog eyes fool you. She runs and plays in the park for at least an hour a day!

That doesn't include all of her home playtime, either.

When I haven't been working or cleaning or squeezing in knitting or caring for seedlings or weeding in the garden or taking photos or arranging bouquets, I've been baking. I found this great recipe for mini gourmet hamburgers with whole-grain buns.

Wait, that's not true. These are actual brownie/cookie combos, baked up for April Fool's Day! I meant to bake these and another tricky treat earlier this week to fool Todd, but I ran out of time. I whipped these up on April Fool's morning and took them to a friend's house to fool her children! They're so easy to make. Peanut butter cookies for the 'bun' and brownies baked in a 9 x 12 instead of 8 x 8 pan and cut into 'hamburger' circles. Red- and yellow-colored icing completed the look.

I did end up fooling Todd, of course, by cutting up a piece of paper into thin strips, taping the ends together, and folding the long strip over and over again until I had one long springy length, easily flattened. I taped one end to the floor and another end to a $20 bill. When Todd picked up the money, the long white snake-like strip stretched up with it, causing quite a yelp!

Hope you have a great week!

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