Birthday Blizzard

IMG_9487As you know NYC got a little snow this weekend. Lindsay’s birthday party was scheduled for Saturday afternoon. We were going to take the girls into Chinatown and have soup dumplings and bubble tea and then they would come back to Brooklyn and spend the night. We were getting calls from parents to see if we were cancelling and we weren’t. Lindsay is on a ski team, so it’s hard to take weekends off. We were getting reports of above-ground subway closures, and restaurant closures. We checked our restaurant and the subway station and they were remaining open. So we decided to go for it.

Our closest subway line does go above-ground, so we had to walk what is normally a 10-15 minute walk to a station that had running trains. Then we would get off at Canal street, which is 6 lanes of some of the most congested traffic in Manhattan and then walk about 10 minutes to the restaurant. Turns out the bubble tea place threw in the towel and closed.

IMG_9400Call us crazy for attempting it, but it turned out to be magical. The girls totally realized how special it was and made snow angels right in the middle of Canal street. Lindsay kept saying “Best day ever!” and one or more girls would agree with her. It made me so happy to see these kids, who can be over-programmed, or addicted to their screens, really rampage in the snow. They lay down in snowdrifts and gazed up at the falling snow and remarked how beautiful it was, and just lay there quietly observing. Then they made me do it too, and you know what? It was amazing.

lindsay birthday 2016-18It took us ages to get home and then we had the galaxy birthday cake.Gaxay cake 2 up

Turning 12

IMG_3972  Today amidst the blizzard-mania, we are celebrating Lindsay’s 12th birthday. I just finished knitting this infinity scarf for her and will be making a new hat for her as well.

Every year I make a cake to her specifications. This year she requested a galaxy cake. See photo below. The cake is baked and I’m waiting for it to cool to frost it. Wish me luck.IMG_3964

And fingers crossed that her friends are willing to brave the storm to come over. Her very first birthday was a true blizzard and everyone showed up. Not sure why we’ve gotten so soft. Made me think of this clip from Animal House.

Oodles of Milkweed 


If you were following me around last summer you might have seen me reach into various gardens and swipe some milkweed seed pods. You might also have seen a mortified 10 year old girl with me. Poor kid. She didn’t get a normal mom. 

After taking a propagation class this winter, I was inspired to set up my lights and heat mat at home. While the Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed) and the Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed) sprouted easily, the Asclepias purpurea end (purple milkweed) did nothing. 

I moved the tiny seedlings out of their initial trays into roomier pots I made out of newspaper. These are easy to make (I guess a tutorial is in order) and are great because you can plant them directly into the soil. 

I have enough of these guys to have a mini plant sale. Anyone interested in some native plants that are the host plant of the monarch butterfly?

The High Line

I just started a temporary gardening job at The High Line. So far we’ve mostly been clearing snow and ice to make it safe for the park’s visitors. It’s great to see how many people come out to walk the line in the cold weather. I’m so excited to be a part of it. 

Next week promises to be true Spring weather. Can’t wait to get in the plant beds! In the meantime, it’s fun to dig in the snow.

Fruit fly control

We seem to have gotten some fruit flies setting up camp in our kitchen. In the past we’ve made traps with glasses of beer and plastic bags. These work well, but are pretty ugly to have on the counter.

This time I thought I would try something different. The shop at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens sells carnivorous plants. I’ve never had much luck with Venus fly traps, so I thought I would try a pitcher plant this time.

Insects are lured into the funnel-shaped part of the plant, but can’t work their way out because of tiny hairs that point downward inside the tube.

Wish me luck on this little experiment.