working on something new.
hopefully i’ll be back soon.
working on something new.
hopefully i’ll be back soon.
things happening in life lately
1. best friends in town for a long 4th of july weekend
2. playing with this little guy
even if it’s just to watch him sleep
3. attempting to keep the garden alive
4. family in town to visit
5. and beginning last week, i’m back to work. only 3 days a week right now, which is a blessing, but it didn’t make dropping jonah off with the babysitter any easier. i was pretty much a mess the whole day, but i really do love my job, so hopefully i can find a good balance between work and jonah and everything else going on in life. it’s been pretty busy around here but the long days of summer help me feel like i can fit in everything i need to.
got a few things done over memorial day weekend last week. i daily go through the mental struggle of loving this laid back domestic life i’ve had over the past two months (just learning how to be a mother and doing stuff around the house and garden) and the desire to rev things up
a bit a lot. for example, i’ve had the urge recently to literally bag up my entire closet, donate it to goodwill and then hit up every store in sight for a crazier, edgier wardrobe. on top of that i want to walk into the nearest salon and say “have your way with me!” – still considering both of those options. but in the meantime i’m also very content with this slower paced mom-life (if only i could continue doing this and continue picking up my paycheck every 2 weeks. siiiigh.)
baked some chocolate chip scones that didn’t really turn out as expected but were edible enough
grabbed a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for dinner one night last week and after finishing off the bird, dropped the whole thing in a stock pot with some veggies and herbs and cooked it down into chicken stock
the beginnings of chicken salad
it was a bright sunny day, so i laid out all the cloth dipes for a nice bleach in the sun
the front porch right now
what i’ve planted:
what’s left to be planted:
– green beans
what i’ve been attempting to cook from lately:
p.s. no, we’re not vegetarians. but meat is expensive!
our area got a whole lot of rain at the beginning of april. which finally allowed our horrible looking yard to turn a rich shade of green. and to grow at an alarming rate. so the rain, plus a few other little distractions, made it hard for ross to get out and mow it for several weeks.
so then it looked like this:
but last weekend he finally got out to mow (and even got to “cheat” by borrowing our neighbor’s riding lawn mower – ours is a push mower, aka “would’ve taken 6 hours to mow”)
left: unmowed grass, right: mowed grass
and voila, the after. much better.
and now for a casual stroll around our yard. i love when our yard finally starts to come back to life.
grape hyacinths. we have them everywhere.
our one lone yellow tulip in the back mulch bed…
and the one lone daffodil right beside it. must plant more bulbs back there this fall so these two don’t seem so random. which right now, they are.
seedum, transplanted from the mother-in-law’s house a few years ago and growing really well.
more seedum. this stuff is so pretty for not having any flowers.
gratuitous puppy pic!
and in the front yard:
on either side of our front porch we have tulips, more grape hyacinths, and creeping phlox – since they’re all in bloom at the same time it really jazzes up the front of the house without me having to do any work. love me some perennials.
and tah-dahhhh! garden 2k11 has begun!
ross had a work thing up in roanoke earlier this week and was kind enough to buy me some pepper seedlings at the roanoke farmer’s market. these seedlings (red, yellow, and orange bell peppers) look soo much better than what i can usually get my pepper seedlings to look like and i’m A-OK with not growing them from seed this year.
all we did was transplant them from their plastic 4-pack into larger pots, where they’ll await their final transplant into the garden sometime in mid may. can’t wait.
and finally, i started my tomato seeds – the only seeds i’ll be growing under lights this year. everything else will get direct-seeded into the garden in may along with the peppers.
this year’s tomatoes: amish paste (like a roma), black cherry (a purpleish cherry), carbon (purple beefsteak), german red strawberry (red beefsteak), and moneymaker (small, very round red tomato).
gratuitous baby pic! our little future farmer (i told him we’d call him a farmer and not a gardener so he could sound more masculine – think that will convince him to help mom in the garden?)
fact: we’re having a garden this year.
fact: it will be much smaller than last year’s, but it will exist.
fact: i haven’t done the first thing to start it yet.
but i will very, very soon. say, this weekend if all goes well.
the plan for the garden this year is pretty straightforward:
– i didn’t buy any new seeds. all the seeds to be planted are from my already existing stash. this is probably a good idea no matter how big of a garden i wanted, because i have a ton of leftover seeds and they don’t stay good forever.
– i’ve decided to buy pepper seedlings and not start them from seed this year. they never get as big as they need to when i’ve started them myself, so i’m just going to make it easy on myself and buy seedlings at the farmer’s market or southern states
– i’m keeping the number of plants to a minimum. i.e. last year i grew 12 different types of tomatoes – not 12 different plants – TYPES. and then around 2-3 plants of each type, sometimes more. that’s a LOT. scaling back big time this year to 4 types of tomatoes: moneymaker, black cherry, carbon, and german red strawberry. other plants include: green beans, squash, zucchini, basil, cilantro, lettuce, and spinach. and only using half of my raised bed space to do it.
– tomatoes are the only thing i’m starting from seed this year. everything else just gets direct-seeded once the weather is warmer.
so those are my major changes as i attempt to garden while coping with being a first time mom. but maybe it’ll be the perfect outlet for me: a relaxing way to be outside, have an excuse to not need to be in real clothes, and introduce the babe to dirt.
to be honest, gardening did not go as expected this year. let’s talk about why.
– first and foremost, i don’t know. i really don’t know what went wrong. it just did. and kind of all at once.
– brutally hot days. with raised beds you don’t have weeds, but you really don’t have water retention either, and there were several weeks in a row where the garden probably would have only flourished with a 3-a-day watering regimen. i just didn’t have that kind of time. or money.
– ants. ants bored into the base of all my squash and zucchini plants and ate them from the inside out. that’s a downer.
– neglect. i just got buried in the busyness. we traveled, we did youth group stuff with the kids, i got bogged down by insane deadlines and other work stuff and when i got home, gardening wasn’t at the top of my list.
below are pictures of what my graveyard, i mean, garden looks like right now. its kind of like in the second Narnia book – the kids return to Narnia expecting it to have all the same grandeur as when they left, only to find everything in ruins and no one they know still around. its very depressing. and apparently melodramatic.
so i confess all this to say that by golly ross and i are going to get the whole thing cleaned up and attempt to plant a few fall veggies (probably just lettuce, garlic, and broccoli if i’m being honest). and i can’t overlook the fact that i did get some great produce this summer. its just never as much as the wild and outlandish dreams i set for myself in march and april. someday.
yikes. this is horrible.
what used to be tomatoes
long-dead squash and zucchini
gone to seed lettuce.
four bags of leaves + weeds and dead plants. (all leaves from our neighbor’s tree. frustrating.)
still a graveyard, but much cleaner at least.
tidied up tomatoes. that are miraculously still producing.
the silver lining to this cloudy garden: a late season harvest!
well….sort of. does not having a single spare moment to post count as holding out?
but the confession is: we’ve been harvesting tomatoes for almost a week! just like last year, our first tomato was a Sungold cherry tomato, but we’ve also harvested a German Red Strawberry and Green Sausage tomato too, so I think it’s official to say that tomato season has started. last year, our first tomato came in on July 23, so that puts us almost a week earlier this year. usually the domino effect begins about a week or so after the first harvest, then we’ll have so many tomatoes we won’t know what to do with them all.
1. fireworks were amazing, but never ever ever ever ever ever again will we bring the dogs. i think they thought they were under seige.
2. i’ve harvested my first squash and zucchinis!
3. we have something to do every single night this week. on top of packing for the beach.
4. i’m so ready for the beach.
5. finally – we’ve created a “trellis” design for our squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchini, watermelons, etc. and i think it may actually work!
6. i have some great pictures from our backpacking trip that i need to share soon.
7. today’s high is 94 degrees. that is insanity.
8. i’m really so ready for the beach.
Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans, LA 6.17.10