Tuesday, March 27, 2012

For Sale!

735 Alpine Iowa City
Click Here To View This Listing
Many updates in this impressive four bedroom home.  Three bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms located on main (upper) level and the fourth bedroom and additional full bathroom on the lower (basement) level.  Fourth bedroom could be used as mother-in-law suite with a small kitchenette including sink and refrigerator.  Beautiful landscape is influenced by Permaculture and Nature Explore Playscape concepts.  All gardening and lawn care has been 100% organic since 2004.  

Connect With FSBO-Iowa -

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bugs and Toads Galore

One of Adi's favorite things to do in the summer is collect, raise and eventually release a variety of bugs and the occasional amphibian.

Monarchs are no strangers to our home.  We raise many caterpillars each year but it just never seems to get old.  Some of them hang around for a little while before flying off and some fly instantly away, but I try to get photos of each one before we release them to their wild journey.
Adilyn found a toad at our friends place in the country and she just had to bring him home.  Meet Arani. I have no idea where she got the name, just her vast imagination I suppose.
Arani has been one of the hardest for her to let go.  We have this cute pond by our entryway and that is where we released him in hopes that he would stick around and we'd get to see him again.  We did see him once but he's been hiding from us since.
One morning we noticed a giant bug on the front door.  The light had been left on all night, which I later learned these guys are attracted to.  So after a bit of research we learned that what we had on our hands was a Grape Leaf (Grape Vine) Beetle.  We kept it for about a week, we had plenty of grape leaves to feed it, but it was just too messy.  It pooped a LOT!  So we released it on one of our wild grape vines that never produces grapes and haven't seen it since.
I have to get a couple more photos of monarchs in since we put so much time and energy into them.  This one hung around for at least half an hour before flying away which was a real treat for Adilyn.
In this photo you can see both a new butterfly and a chrysalis about ready to "hatch" just hours later.  We had four in just a few days time.  That was a lot of fun!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Spring Hodge Podge

The spring around here was a hodgepodge of events.  Starting up daycare was such a huge challenge that everything else somewhat fell to the back burner.  One thing we managed to do was force some tulips to bloom indoors, which was such a big help in early spring to have the brilliant color and sense of hope for spring to come.
One feat I accomplished was my first try at baklava.  It's one of my favorite desserts and for some reason I tackled it one day.  It was really delicious but I wish I would have shared it with more people.  It is so rich and I wanted to eat it all but we just couldn't do it.  I hate to say that a couple of pieces even went to waste :(  Tisk tisk!
I think this is a really funny ultrasound picture of the baby.  I think this one has Cam's nose.  Not easy to tell from this picture, but trust me.  This ultrasound was a really emotional event for us.  It put what few worries we had left about the baby's health to rest and instead of confirming our steadfast belief that that baby is a boy the ultrasound tech surprised us with a prediction that it is a girl!  Since our sense and many dreams told us it was a boy we've decided that we will enjoy the mystery and treat the gender of the baby as just that.  A mystery.
I've wanted a swing set for years for Adi to play on and the daycare was the straw that broke the cameron's back ;)  It has proven to be a must have and I'm so grateful to finally have a play structure in our yard.  The kids appreciate it too.
As usual we took our annual hike a couple of blocks over to "Mulberry Trail" and foraged us up some tasty mulberries.  The magic may have been lost on Adi this year, though.  She's become  more like me and examines each bite she take before eating rather than shoving fruit in her mouth as quickly as possible in years past.  The wet season had produced more mosquitos than we care to deal with as well so that didn't really help either.

As for our gardens, our poor poor gardens, they've gone mostly unattended.  We did start a few plants from seed but I didn't attend to them as I should have and they were started a bit late.  We ended up buying several tomato and pepper plants from farmer's market and got those planted, though late.  At least we got some stuff planted but it's not what we had hoped for.  There's always next year.

Long Time No Post

Wow, it sure has been a long time since I posted to this blog.  So much has happened in the past 6 months that I'm not sure where to begin trying to catch up.  I've been working on starting up an in-home daycare business and am currently almost 37 weeks pregnant so between those two things and preparing Adilyn to start Kindergarten in 3 weeks I've been swamped and have hardly had time or energy to post to any of my blogs.  I have all my photos archived by date, though, so I should be able to post in chronological order, or at least I'll try.

So one thing that has been a big topic on this blog has been chickens.  I can now come clean and confess that we raised 3 laying hens in our urban yard for one year, and this May sent them to live at the farm (they are now going to be a part of a small flock that my dear friends are raising in the country).  Above is a picture of our girls as chicks: Anna, Zinnia and Sweet Pea.

We chose to raise the girls in the beginning because we truly believed that we were going to get the backing we needed to change the ordinance in Iowa City quickly and we'd be able to keep them legally. So many things seemed to go wrong and what we hoped would be a quick process turned into a long, drawn out and disappointing experience with local government.  I'm still a little scarred from the whole thing.  Regardless, we love having our own hens and our neighbors loved them as well.  This is where they lived until we enclosed the under side of our deck with lattice to create a larger run and safe place for them.
We were surprised by how attached we got to our girls and equally surprised by the positive responses our neighbors had to them.  We did talk to them before getting the chicks, but no one really knew what was in store.  It was definitely an experimental year for chicken raising.  One of our neighbors went as far as to say he would be willing to stand up and speak in front of city council in support of urban chickens if needed.  Wow!  That's so awesome :)  So this is a pic of our girl Sweet Pea which we lost in April or May, I think.  We don't really know what exactly happened, definitely wasn't predators or anything like that.  I just found her dead one morning.  I suspect she was eating rhubarb leaves which are poisonous, though we don't have any way to know for sure.  She is now in heaven squawking away and laying eggs for us ;)
Next is Miss ZinZin.  Zinnia was by far the most lovable of the girls.  She was very gentle and liked to be held, especially in the cold winter when I would go out and snuggle with her for a few minutes in the morning and just before bed.
And finally Anna.  Adilyn was able to hold Anna like a baby and she'd just lay there like that for several minutes, or until I would make Adi put her down.  She was a sweet girl too.  I understand that she is the more docile chicken on the farm while Zinnia has taken a more dominant and aggressive role which surprises me, but what do I know about chickens?
I find it particularly hard to buy eggs at the grocery store now.  I miss my chickens.  I miss their eggs.  I won't lie, though.  They can be a lot of work but I think with a well designed coop and care plan caring for 2 or 3 chickens is really no more challenging than a couple of indoor cats.  Really.

So now the effort to get chickens legalized in Iowa City from my perspective is somewhat on hold.  I enjoy watching and listening to what Cedar Rapids CLUC is doing, I feel like we can learn a whole lot from them.  I understand the ordinance in CR has passed but more work is yet to be done, I don't know the details but am so happy for them!!  I've met with someone in our community in hopes of passing the leadership reins on to her and she is excited to take on a lot of what I had been trying to do before my entire life took on some drastic changes.  I will help as much as I'm able and still believe that one day urban chickens will be a normal and legal part of life in Iowa City.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Spring Can't Come Soon Enough

This is our garden. It's all white. It's cold. It's resting, I suppose. It's a good thing that it gets a rest every year, right? Problem is, I'm tired. I want to see some sunshine. I'd like a little less white for a little while, brown would be just fine. I'm not usually one to complain about winter at all, but I have a hankerin' for spring.
So while I wait for the right season to start working outdoors, we'll work on indoor projects. We've already been working hard on getting the house ready for me to do an in-home daycare. I'm getting pretty excited about it. It will be so much fun to get the little ones involved in growing the very food that we will eat and to love and nurture our little piece of earth. Good times ahead. I'll post more photos soon.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Fresh New Color for the Entry Way

This is the color we've had our entry way since we moved into our house 5 years ago. Most people pick a color and stick with it for a while, but I, like my mom, prefer to change things up more often than most. So five years into this gold color (which is really nice but "old") we finally decided to get a fresh new look.
So here it is. A fresh wonderful shade of green that makes me smile whenever I see it!

The funny thing is that all of our art had some relation with gold and doesn't really work with the cooler shade of green. So now I'm faced with the challenge of creating new art to decorate our space. A friend of facebook suggested using photos. I love that idea, so I'm now in the process of selecting the photos we'll use and finding creative ways to display them. It's a slow moving process but I have plenty of time since being laid off in October.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ethical Perspectives on the News

I recently taped a 30 minute program called Ethical Perspectives on the News. It was a panel discussion on urban chickens moderated by Charlotte Fallon. I was scared out of my gourd that I was going to say something stupid but the other panelists Misha Goodman, IC Animal Control Supervisor and Dr. Richard Pope, Linn County Health Advisor were so down to earth, easy to talk with and very knowledgeable. I felt so blessed and honored to be on the show with them.

So the show aired on KCRG TV9 this morning at 5:00 am. It was supposed to be at 11:30 am but got bumped. I did get up and watched it and recorded it as well. How could I resist? It's the first time I've had a chance to be on TV for any significant amount of time. How fun!

I believe the show will continue to run all this week on the digital channel 9-2 at 7:00 am but I don't know if it will be urban chickens all week or if other topics will rotate in. Either way, the show will be re-run sometime in December at it's regular time slot. I'll post when I find out when that will be for sure.

This was a remarkable experience for me. I really didn't believe I could do it. I was so freakin nervous. With a lot of prayer and confidence that God truly is with me, I went into this thing and came out so glad I did! Not only do I believe others will be educated by this program, but I also learned from Misha and Richard during the taping. Blessed indeed!