Tag Archives: Backyard

Scrapbook: Home Harvest

26 Jan

I’m still catching up on photos and posts that should have run much earlier in year. At the time I was recovering from debilitating panic attacks so this post and a few others kind of got pushed aside. But I am really proud of my pumpkins and I want to show them to you! (That last sentence was not a euphemism. I swear.)

Aside from the herb garden, which I didn’t take a lot of photos of, we grew pumpkins, butternut squash, a sunflower, and marigolds. I count marigolds because they are a pest-repellant plant and I was specifically growing them for Day of the Dead decorations. Anthony accidentally cleared them out when he was weeding the garden at the end of the season (oops!) so I didn’t get to use them.

I’m really proud of our pumpkins. We were so infested with aphids that I was really worried we wouldn’t get any fruit but we managed to grow three fat orange globes. You can see the other two, plus a helpful PSA, here. Isobel was especially impressed with our pumpkins.

And the sunflower. Which was pretty magical for both of us. When I was thirteen I grew a patch of Russian Giant sunflowers that were easily 15 feet tall. My mom proudly took a picture of me standing next to them. I’ll have to show you someday. We only grew the one, and about half of the seeds are empty, but it was a really fun experience.

We didn’t even have to go to the pumpkin patch this year!

But of course we did, anyway.

The good thing about marigolds, besides the fact they are so cheerful and lovely, is that their petals each turn into a seed, so that by the time the plant has wilted you have enough seeds for a thousand plants. My friend Jake gave me plenty more seeds for next year.

Growing all of these plants was way easier than I thought it would be. Preparing the soil was most of the work done, and daily watering was a chore I had to do anyway. Plus Isobel loves to go outside. I can’t wait to start another garden this summer, but I’m not sure what we’ll grow.

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Scrapbook: Goodbye Summer

25 Sep

Flipbook: Summer

20 Sep

Scrapbook: Bucket Head

18 Sep

Follow Friday: Our Garden

26 Aug

Our garden is so enormous now the pumpkin and butternut squash vines my friend Jake gave me have taken over the back corner completely and are growing over the lawn. It’s crazy. These photos were from when they decided to be serious about being squash vines instead of just little baby plants, as Isobel likes to call them. One of her favorite things to do still is to hang out in the garden and paint with water. A while ago we had a get together in the back yard and it was still going strong even after the sun went down. Kingston and Isobel stood in the garden, knee-deep in squash vines, each drinking their sippy cup full of milk and shouting “MOON! MOON! MOON!”

I love summer.

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

JerryThomas I wish I loved anything as much as Ren Faire people love the word “huzzah.”

markos God is punishing Virginia for not allowing gay marriage.

iasshole Oh nooo today is still happening every time I look.

theleanover Worst dressed particles: tachyons.

kerrianne Overheard: “I probably shouldn’t say these things out loud because someone will take me seriously if one of them turns up dead.”

BenTallen Together there are more of us than if there were only one of us! #GenericActivism

Hornpipe2 We support Posterboard and Magic Marker! #GenericActivism

thebremely It’s important to remember. #GenericActivism

peachgrenade All over the world there are people. Won’t you help? #GenericActivism

johnmoe If none of us can, which of us will? Please send money to an email. #GenericActivism

johnbiggs For the price of a cup of coffee you can buy someone a cup of coffee. #GenericActivism

Unept “If we don’t stop now, then who will?” #GenericActivism

slackmistress “Home is where the hearts are.” – Serial Killer Needlepoint Sampler

palinode My out-of-office email has been on. For the last five years.

shinyinfo @exlibris Goofus was like Tyler Durden to Gallant.

eshep Text “Sorry you spilled your chai latte” to 90999 to donate $1 to the victims of the U.S. East Coast earthquake.

joeinverarity Just installed a rope to swing from my balcony into my car through the passenger window. This will make every morning epic!

InfiniteChicken ‘Little Rascals’ never made sense to me until I realized they were all in Purgatory.

theleanover My fantasy football league still involves helmets and a grassy field but also a lot more Victoria’s Secret models and pillow fights.

LIFECOACHERS Try waving goodbye with five fingers instead of just the middle one.

YourAuntDiane I’m against harmful emissions but LOVE the smell of gasoline. Ugh! Copulate with ONE Bolivian on a riding mower and it haunts you for years.

goodinthestacks If my car’s a rockin’ it’s probably an earthquake. Or the engine mounts.

WordShore Earthquakes, droughts, 100F+ heat, hurricanes, tornados, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, fried butter on a stick. Still want to live here, though.

matt_T EAST COAST QUAKES HAVE STARTED A RAP BEEF WITH WEST COAST QUAKES LAST TIME THIS HAPPENED BIGGIE AND TUPAC DIED.

BillCorbett Giant earthquakes. THAT is what wall-to-wall coverage of a Kardashian wedding will get you, America.

rob_sheridan The collective eye-rolling of everyone in California is probably moving the earth more than the east coast.

joeljohnson New York earthquakes are better because of our thinner crust.

gabedelahaye Change your avatar to green in support of the Earthquake! #swineflu

johnmoe I like earlier earthquakes before everyone found out about them. I felt a tiny earthquake in Olympia, Washington once at a house party.

BillableBarbie That wasn’t an earthquake. That was just me getting out of my chair. #pregnant

JerryThomas Since the earthquake, I can’t make a call on my AT&T phone. So, no different from normal.

xzqx Confirmed 5.8 earthquake in Virginia. Casualties include my productivity for the rest of the day as I continually refresh twitter.

FakeeEtiquette Politely respond to online friends who make duckfaces in every picture by throwing bread crumbs at them when you meet in real life.

badbanana Wore my Lucky Meeting Pants today and all three of my meetings got cancelled. See, they work.

morninggloria I knew that “Gettin Jiggy Wit It” would lead to nothing but pain.

shariv67 Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Eve? Thou art more douchey and more desperate.

theRratedBull One very important lesson I’ve learned is that no matter how smart your phone is it still won’t know how to swim.

massagebyted Just a hunch, but I’m beginning to suspect that some of these DMV employees are not pillars of the motor-vehicle professional community.

UnicornFlavored My rice salad is even better the next day. It’s like all the flavors had an orgy overnight. A delicious, delicious orgy.

letsgetgizzy Oh, look who downloaded the Country Strong soundtrack off iTunes when she was drunk last night.

gabedelahaye Ladies, which do you find more romantic: “AWOOGA!” or “HUBBA HUBBA!”? Please be honest.

wordlust If I’m supposed to be loving my neighbor as I love myself, I guess I owe my neighbor 217,816 handjobs.

DogWearingAHat I saw the best minds of my generation post gay porn under other peoples’ accounts – that dude who wrote Howl.

BillCorbett Look Look Cool Jorts #CelebInitialsRevealed

apelad The first day of school is over, but the evening of signing every form ever is just beginning.

ProfessorSnack I send all of my followers a Terms & Conditions statement to accept. They just have to cross out “Fear Factor” and write in @ProfessorSnack.

smileydooby If I had a business I’d call it “mind your own” and we’d sell nothing but shut the hell up.

ProfessorSnack Welcome new followers. Many of you will deny and unfollow me before I tweet thrice. I’ll love you no less.

tommycm i always feel like my iphone is passing comment on my life when it states ‘nothing to undo’.

SpaghettiJesus I think it’s safe to say that Twitter’s trending topics are proof of the limits of humanity’s reach. This is as far as we go.

tommycm you know those awful misogynist hip-hop gigs where the group get all the sexy ladies onto the stage? how might i do something similar here?

adiopink Somewhere in the library, a patron with the perfect bass is quietly singing “Noooobody knows… the trouble I’ve seen.”

badbanana Pandora has gone from asking me “Are you still listening?” to “So, like, shouldn’t you go get some exercise or something?”

MyVogonPoetry Giraffes are actually horses who purchase the extension neck as an upgrade. Mainly to spy on the penguins. #MadeUpFacts

Pinochet I was much happier before i knew what truck nutz were.

lateandsoon Books in the STORM of Ice &Fire series include: A HOME FOR KNIVES, A PRIDE OF KNAVES, A GORGE OF SCONES, A STORM OF SONGS, & STABAPALLOOZA.

MmeSurly My teen angst should be worth something now because it’s vintage.

january_samurai My response to the poor service at the Dust Bowl Brewery -> non stop Tears for Fears on their music. You’re welcome.

notthatkendall I miss elementary school, when you could pick out the crazy people around you by whether or not they smelled funny.

sitrick2 @johnmoe hey now! Gaius Baltar! Seein’ cylons! In-yer brain! Go now! Tell Adama! You’re not! Insane! #smashedmouth

sgnp @johnmoe Pay now! For a small car! Buy a dayglo…toupee! Stray chow! Got a name tag? Look I’m James Caan! Olé!!! #SMASHEDMOUTH

InfiniteChicken Tina! Where’s the hand towel. Spilled my soda. Tina! #smashedmouth

johnmoe Hey now! It’s your mom’s car! Eat a crayon! Old grave! Goat chow! Where’s a snack bar! Move to Bayonne! Nice save! #SMASHEDMOUTH

InfiniteChicken @johnmoe All those quitters have toads! Only Hooter’s bars share the load. #SMASHEDMOUTH

johnmoe Hey now! Watch the Munsters! Bring some clams home! Okay! Nice cow! In the dumpster! Buy a lawn gnome! Bad play! #SMASHEDMOUTH

morninggloria Gold is all the rage, stylish youths are wearing overalls, and I predict a return of the pickaxe. Prospector chic is hot for fall 2011.

InfiniteChicken I’m ‘clouding’ my entire music library to the Google. It’s inloading now!

bookishbella The good news is my bra padding burst and started leaking all over my shirt *before* I left the house.

nicpiper #ff @exlibris She’s a lady, whoa whoa whoa she’s a lady…except on #oversharewednesday when she is not a lady.

sarcasmically I just closed a convo with “word to yo’ mother”, in case anyone needs a ride back to 1998.

andrewtshaffer Today’s sex term: “pork sandwich.” Being tag-teamed by Jon Hamm and Kevin Bacon.

hazard Tweet not, lest ye be tweeted. #noideawhatthatwouldmean

lauracope all i need now are some studies that say watching Teen Mom and using Quora make you smarter. i’ll happily participate in trials for this.

rstevens Give me coffee or give me a minute to remember what the end of that sentence was.

BridgetCallahan I have named some of you My Circle of Jerks.

jenstatsky Just thinking bout how effin cool it would be to go to the original Panda Express in China.

Bookish_Bitch Today I had to explain to my father what a reach around was. It was special.

Handflapper I’m too drunk to even try to suck in my stomach. That’s pretty drunk, y’all.

CanuckLibrarian Wasn’t sure I’d have any luck finding linens here, but then there was a blanket with my name on it. (in marker, grandma wrote on it)

TheRedQueen Trying to pull up spanx while tipsy in very tall heels in small bathroom is adventure.

ohrebecca I’m 15% alcohol right now.

geekandahalf I love these Buick commercials with people under 80 in them. Spielberg is something else.

steenyweeny i’m holding out on you guys, i came up with all kinds of bread tweets this afternoon.

FlyteAphrodite *taps microphone* Let today be known as the most fucked up day in my recent history! *stumbles offstage* *passes out* *makes the front page*

oodja I thought Bing worked by saying “BING!”

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

Thrifty Living: Toy Cart Update

22 Aug

Recently I posted about the vintage cart we’re using as toy storage for Isobel. I still needed organizing bins at the time, but it worked out so perfectly just as it was that I wanted to share it. Isobel and I took a trip to Target the next day and I happy to discover their dollar aisle was full of colorful storage bins. I bought a ton since I didn’t know what exactly I’d need and also because her play room (known in our house as “the guest bedroom,” or more often simply, “the pencil room”) was also in need of some organizational assistance. Even so, I bought more than I’d need for just the two areas since I wanted to be sure I had both areas covered and I knew I could take back the unused bins.

Isobel was busy “painting” while I got to work on the toy cart.

Her toys already divided pretty evenly by type: bubbles, sand and gardening toys, chalk, and water painting supplies. She also has a ton of small inflatable beach balls left over from her bubble-themed birthday party,  but those we keep near the pool with her other water toys. The Barbies, of course, are courtesy of Jupey’s Harem.

The top of the cart is where we keep the watering cans, her bulk bubbles, her (by now crusty) Easter basket, and of course, all of her water painting buckets and brushes. Since she was playing with them at the moment of the photo, they are not pictured.

The second tier of the cart comfortably holds vast amounts of chalk and an assortment of bubble wands and bubbles. The librarian in me was tickled the two orange pans fit neatly side by side on this shelf, as if they were meant for it. It gave me an organizational boner.

The bottom shelf holds a large bin with all of her gardening equipment and her sand castle toys. Next to that is the bubble bucket and her “Mrs. Cat Boots.”

Hey, Isobel! While I was organizing, you weren’t by chance  painting the windows, hrmmmmmm?

That’s what I thought.

All the extra tubs I had intended to return never made it back to Target. Isobel thought up a lovely new game called “Train” and they are now a necessary part of our family. She likes to organize them by color, sort them into a line, fill each “car” with passengers, and sit in the front bin while saying, “CHOO CHOO!”

If it makes her happy then I guess it was money well spent, especially since each bin averaged out to about a dollar.

This whole “thrifty living” thing I’m so fond of? I think Isobel’s better at it than I am.

Thrifty Living: Toy Cart

2 Aug

When our neighbor of over twenty years passed away recently, my parents assisted my neighbor’s children in cleaning out her house. We had been close to my neighbor, and her health issues over the years made us grow us close to her out-of-town children, too. My neighbor was proud and stubborn, living alone and independently well into her nineties. We helped her when we could and she baked us the most amazing pies (from scratch, of course). Frugal to the end, her home was a vintage wonderland of things she kept clean and well-ordered so they wouldn’t need to be replaced. My parents were given permission to take a few things from the house before it sold. My Dad grabbed this cart.

Although my parents had no immediate use for it, they knew at the very least I’d be interested. They gave it a good scrubbing and brought it over. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it myself until I saw Isobel stacking her containers of “bubble juice” on it. It needs a little work in the form of some cute storage bins, but it makes the perfect toy caddy for Isobel’s chalk and paint buckets, and, of course, her bubble juice.

It’s not a bad cat storage, either.

 

I just picked up some cute organizing bins for this morning, so once I get it all put together I’ll share the results.

What The Hell Is A Pergola

28 Jun

Now that I’m off and Anthony had some vacation time, we’ve been pouring a lot of time and energy this summer into the yard. The back yard, specifically, though the front yard’s time will come at some point. My FIL and our friend Jacob (winner of the previously mentioned Awesome Friend Award) helped Anthony put in sod a few weeks ago and our next big project is to build a pergola, all by ourselves. Or I should say “themselves” because I’m not helping beyond watching the baby and making sun tea. This is just not my field of expertise.

Right now you’re probably asking, “What the hell is a pergola?!” I’ve heard this question at least as many times as I’ve said, “I want a pergola,” which is a lot because I’ve been saying that repeatedly since we moved into this house and I noticed it had a nice, lawn-free gravelly area that used to hold a shed and how should be used for pergola-ing.

Right. So what is it? Let’s consult a vintage 1978 edition of Sunset Book’s Landscaping & Garden Remodeling to find out. (I found it while thrifting.) (Of course.)

Basically what I’m after is something that sort of looks like this structure above the pool boy in the photo below. It has posts but no walls, beams but no roof. It’s a pergola, and it’s awesome. It provides shade and will be a home for our overenthusiastic wisteria. After the structure is up we’re going to level out the dirt underneath and add some stone tiles and make a patio area for alfresco dining and a home for potted plants. It’s going to be awesome.

If you’re interested, here’s more information on the book.

While we’re at it, check out this douche bag on the opposite page as my pergola. Plaid AND a handlebar mustache? What a hipster!

So our pergola right now is not that impressive, and it’s taking a really long time to build. But that is fine by me–I’d rather have them take their time and construct it safely and accurately as opposed to quickly and dangerously. Since my kid is going to be playing under it and all.

She is loving the lawn and just being outside in general.

That orange plastic mold is over there because she was playing sandcastles with the soft, loose dirt. Well, she was playing sandcastles and pancakes. She likes to walk around holding a fist full of dirt and shouting “MMM! PANCAKES!”

She was kept quite busy shouting, “JUPEY! GET DOWN!”

Right now we have these two posts in the ground and that’s the extent of our construction. But it’s coming along.

Welcome to the Jungle

14 Jun


Anthony, our good friend Jake, and my Father-in-law spent a very rainy Saturday morning installing sod in our our backyard so Isobel can have a lovely green place to run around this summer. We ended up texting Jacob first thing in the morning and said something like, “Hey, do you want to come over in an hour and help us lay sod? On a Saturday morning? In the rain?” And he did! He gets the Awesome Friend Award.

In frustrating news, our neighbors have a very expensive little terrier dog that is naturally the bane of our neighborhood’s existence. Constantly barking, always digging holes and getting loose, frequently running in the path of oncoming traffic, and (of course) taking dumps on everyone’s lawn, this dog is just basically an asshole. He’s been in our yard on a near daily-basis this summer, and I’m torn about it. On the one hand, here’s a tiny, helpless, innocent animal. And I could never hurt an animal. I love animals.

But when I see that little dog running around on our new lawn I lose it. My vision goes red, I start imagining some wicked guitar licks, and I can hear myself saying, “You know where you are? You’re in the Jungle, baby! You’re gonna DIE.” And then I fight the urge to punt him over the fence like a football player that… punts stuff. (I don’t really know where to go with that. My knowledge of football starts and ends with punting. And cheese dip.)

Here are some not lovely shots of our lawn for you to compare to the gloriousness that is the top photo of our finished lawn. I call it, “A Tragedy for All Seasons.”

Here we have winter, when  green patches flourish among the dirt.

And then we have spring! When the weeds make it look like we have some sort of lawn-ish.

Ah, summer. When the lawn is dead and the wisteria is once again angling for world domination.

And fall. Everything is dead and sharp and painful and the sand is so hot the parts of you that aren’t stabbed are burnt on its molten surface. Wear shoes, or regret leaving the house.

Tired of waiting for our troubled neighbor to get rid of the pond like we arranged, Anthony finally took a sledgehammer to the whole thing and filled it in with rocks and lawn clippings and dirt and now we have a little garden area complete with drainage.

Here’s the lawn area, ready to be tilled. It was sunny the days we prepped the lawn area, but rainy by the time we got it down.

While Anthony toiled away in the sun, I watched Isobel on the weekends while I was home. I was finishing up the school year at this point. She loved climbing on the piles of dirt. She called them “mountains.”

Here’s Isobel’s infamous “cheese face.” She makes this or some other weird approximation when I hold the camera up and say, “cheese.” I love it.

Here she is asking where Jupey is. Most likely he’s hiding from that asshole neighbor dog.


Little Big Links: The Patio

26 Mar

I’m a little anxious for spring.

Ceylon Pitcher: Remember last year’s obsession with the carafe? This modern one is amazing, and anticipates my desire to make naturally flavored waters.

How To Build A Patio: Our house came with a gravel pit that’s now a gravel-and-weed-pit. I want do to something like this to save it.

Mason Jar Lights: lighting is my most favorite patio item to shop for.

Japanese Rain Chains: I’ve wanted one of these since before I had a house. Now I just need to pick the perfect spot.

Vintage Yellow Lantern: It’s not even in use and already the place feels brighter.

Make Your Own Copper Wind Chimes: I love wind chimes. This looks fun.