Monday, March 30, 2009

Alaska has really spoiled me

Not only is Alaska just plain beautiful, there really are wild animals everywhere and outdoor adventures 10 minutes from your house.

I think I am having a desperate Atlanta housewife moment.  I know what I want to be doing with my kids, but I can’t and I feel like I have to make do with what is here.

I feel continually disappointed by Atlanta’s version of “nature.”   Thankfully, my kids don’t seem too disappointed by our local adventures.  Today we ventured out to the Chattachoochee Nature Center.  We were nearly attacked by two Canada geese who were in no way afraid of people and were trying to get our lunch.  They actually hissed and lunged at me.  The boys jumped up on the table and we had to find a new place to eat.  I felt completely confounded by the geese’s behavior.  I should have realized they would expect food from me, but I know you never feed wild animals and have taught my kids the same.  I guess my mistake was thinking they were wild.

Later we saw the beaver habitat, basically a fenced area smaller than my house.  The boys were interested, but I kept thinking about my first experience with a beaver.  I was about 5 or 6 and my family took a float plane into a lake for a fishing trip.  It was just a day trip, but this is what Alaskans do, we fly little planes in to a remote area for fishing and picnicking.  Anyway, I sat on the dock or a bank with my feet in the water (even little kids have hip waders in Alaska).  A beaver did not like it.  I guess I was in his space and he kept coming over to tell me.  He would slap his tail on the water and splash me.   I thought it was funny, but eventually decided to leave him alone.

Anyway, I guess I want more for my kids.  I want them to experience seals and otters while kayaking on the ocean, not at an aquarium, watch bald eagles while hiking up Bird Ridge, watch beavers,  rabbits, moose, caribou, and bears in the wild. not all fattened up in a sanctuary or nature center. 

I am tired of cement.  I need the mountains and the ocean in my every day life.

I know I am spoiled.  I want my kids to be too.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Four days of rain

We went outside anyway.   It has been an unusual rain for Atlanta.  I have enjoyed it because there hasn’t been much thunder or lightning and a lot of slow rain, even sprinkling. 

We were all getting a little stir crazy, so several days we went for walks in the rain.   These pictures were taken when we came back to the house and drew with chalk on the sidewalk.

As long as there is no lightening, I see no reason why we shouldn’t get a little wet.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Working on a vegetable garden...

We have been talking about making raised garden beds for a month now.  After an unsuccessful search for cedar to build some and finding expensive options for prefab beds, Dan decided to do it the easy and inexpensive way. 

He started digging. 

He used the our yard’s red clay to create walls and is filling it with the “square foot gardening” recommended mix: 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite. 

Oliver and Benton did their best to be helpful.  :)  Digging in the dirt is always fun, so they were more than willing to hang out with dad and put their little shovels to work.

Meanwhile,  I need to work on getting some seeds.  We’ll keep you posted on our progress, unless the garden fails miserably, then I’ll probably never mention it again.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beach Camping

We took another camping trip to the beach.  This time we headed to Edisto Island in South Carolina.  It’s a great campground right on the beach.  Well, there is a sand dune between the beach and the campground, so you can’t actually see the waves while sitting at camp, but you can hear them and there was no road noise like at Little Talbot Island in Florida. 

We had a great time and Gramma Kathy was able to come with us.  The weather wasn’t ideal, but the rain held off until the last night.  Worked out for me, we went out to dinner instead of cooking at camp again.

It was a long drive, but we enjoyed our new truck - big enough for 3 carseats, a dog, and a grandparent or two.  Oh, yeah, in case you haven’t heard...we’re expecting another little one in September.