Tag Archives: Gardening

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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Snapshot

22 Sep

Harvest Tomatoes

My husband was out of town for a week and I’ve been surviving solo parenthood by the seat of my pants. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

–I’m in a list-making mood, firing out lists like crazy. Lists of old movies I want to see. Lists of pastas I want to make. Lists of places to take Isobel on our adventures. I’ve always been a list-maker, but something is causing me to crank out lists in overdrive. I’ve been noticing my Life List is outmoded, so I’m coming for that next.

–We have a baby butternut squash growing in our garden! This is very exciting for me because I had given up on the butternuts. The squash plant languished and squeaked out a few leaves before stagnating in the stifling heat, while our pumpkins, for their part, became Mama’s favorite and took over their entire corner plus the lawn. We already have two huge pumpkins plus several smaller ones. This year we are going to have an actual harvest from the garden. This makes me feel all sorts of accomplished.

–Fall always reminds me to clean out my closet. I really need to buy new clothes and update my wardrobe, but I always put it off. We have a really limited budget and I always have limited time, so buying clothes just seems like a pain in the ass. I’m taking the advice from a book I read once and and am trying on everything I own before I go shopping. This is supposed to open your eyes to what you really need as well as point out things that no longer work for you. Have you ever done this? I don’t even have a lot of clothes compared to most people I know and I’m guessing this is going to some time. I’m doing it bit by bit and already it’s pretty revealing.

–Now that we are living on just one paycheck I’m trying to make our money stretch as far as possible. I’ve been tracking my spending and my coupon-savvy buddy Angela is teaching me some of her frugal ways. I also recently stumbled upon a sassy coupon envelope I had made that I forgot about, and I’m taking that as a sign.

–I’ve been reading Killer Stuff and Tons of Money, which is pretty interesting, even though it won’t help me at all with my business. I went to a large community sale with a friend recently and thought about that book as I interacted with some of the vendors.

–In honor of my Grandma’s birthday my extended family got together for a few family dinners. I also threw a dinner party for my friend Jacob’s 30th birthday, so there was a lot of eating and celebrating this weekend.

–Isobel was crying when I put her down for a nap a few days ago. Normally she handles nap time like a champ, but that day was difficult for some reason. We’ve been working on emotions and pointing out when someone feels a certain way and we correspond that with what their face looks like. She has also developed an obsession with Go, Diego, Go, a show which encourages observation. While she was crying in her toddler bed I could hear her talking to herself. “Is Isobel happy?” (sob sob) “No! (sob) Isobel is not happy!” (sob) “Isobel is sad!” (SOB SOB SOB).

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.

Giveaway: Vintage Terrarium Book

14 Jul

When I was a little girl I used to love visiting my Papa and Nana’s house. We went there often but it seemed to have an ever-changing array of interesting things to look at. Their house was modest and quite small but when my dad was in grade school they built a large living and dining room addition. It housed the baby grand piano, lots of Depression-era glass, and an old TV that the cousins and I would gather around to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles every day after school. Under the piano, near a large, light-filled plate glass window stood this jar filled with the most amazing terrarium.

Only later in life did I find out these containers were called carboys and were intended for homebrewing, not terrariums. When the time came to move my grandparents out of their house, I took the long-defunct terrarium container home and hoped to fill it with plants and rocks and a tiny ecosystem someday.

I also inherited their vintage terrarium guide that my grandparents used to make the terrarium that so fascinated me as a child:

Recently, longtime flickr pal Mia sent me another awesome vintage terrarium guide she found at a book sale:

And now, Little Big readers, I have some good news: I found an extra copy of Terrariums & Miniature Gardens while thrifting and I’m going to give it away to one of you! To enter this giveaway, simply leave one comment below.

You can earn an extra entry on twitter if you tweet about this giveaway, but if you do, be sure to leave a second comment with a link to your tweet. Additional comments will be deleted.

This giveaway is open to all readers, not just those in the United States. In addition to the book, I’ll also send along some fun miniature items to stick inside your terrarium and give it personality. I’ll announce the winner next Thursday.

Good luck!

Follow Friday – Garden Helper

8 Jul

With all the time we’ve spent outside this summer putting in our new lawn, building a pergola, and generally trying not to get eaten by our rabid wisteria, Isobel has taken a keen interest in gardening. Basically, she wants to do whatever Mama is doing, and when we’re outside, Mama is gardening. My good friend Jake went with us to a nursery recently and helped me pick out some herbs for the garden. While at there we picked up a set of child-sized gloves for Isobel. They are laughable too big but she adores them anyway.

I made the mistake of telling Isobel the herbs we bought were “baby” plants, and now she loves them. A little too much, actually, because within the first three days she loved my basil and dill to death. The others I’ve managed to keep alive by making sure she doesn’t love on them too much.When I wasn’t looking, however, I found out she had been repeatedly watering my cactus. I now need a new cactus.

 

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



sgnp Halfway through “Splice” now. I’m beginning to suspect it’s a Björk biopic.

kwmurphy My bologna has a first name. It’s Janet. Miss Jackson if you’re nasty.

hotdogsladies Remember: when you eat poop ironically, you’re still totally eating poop.

badbanana “He died doing what he loved, which was clinging to life and trying not to die, which he was very good at until recently.”

steenyweeny any Garys following me? if so i apologize but i normally use your name as a profanity.

shinyinfo I’ve taken to my bedchamber in despair! Also that is where the air conditioner is.

KeepingYouAwake “Don’t be scared, I’m not going to kill you” is possibly the least comforting phrase ever.

RailbirdJ 30 people have found my blog this week by searching “naked planking” I think I should win something.

nuunisms “Fuck this shit.” ~ A mantra that will never prove invalid.

ProfessorSnack I think “Rending Topics” would be more descriptive.

KeepingYouAwake Yes, for your information, I do kiss your mother with this mouth.

Sigafoos Comment from spam from work: “Well macadamia nuts, how about that.” I don’t know how to respond. They said it all.

eliza_evans I can buy an at-home waffle cone maker? This changes EVERYTHING.

BridgetCallahan I like to think the guy in the Applebees commercial who says “I love when that happens.” kills himself as soon as he walks off shot.

PolyesterPony I could cook or I could simply eat this bean dip with a spoon.

JohnFugelsang I seriously haven’t seen Nancy Grace this furious since her bungling henchmen let those Dalmatians escape.

babybabylemon The downside is I dropped an entire jar of pepperponcinis on the floor. The upside is that my house smells like a delicious deli.

mommywantsvodka I like to imagine all the Diet Coke I drink is acting as a preservative. Preserving me from the inside out.

bebehblog My toddler is officially old enough to follow orders when I say “Evan, get that dirty piece of napkin out of the baby’s mouth” #winning

thebookpolice I like seeing raccoons, deer, and turkeys when I drive into work and thinking, “I’ve eaten all of you.”

modinkpeeb At least Phineas and Ferb are trending again. It feels so good to get on with our lives.

kwmurphy Just ended a good day’s work by writing a poop joke for a cyborg.

stateiamin My favorite kind of cheese is….all the kinds.

JillMorris The cat bath I tried to give was so ridiculous it could have won an MTV Movie Award for Best Cat Bath.

KeepingYouAwake I’m only excited about “to do” lists, if I’m potentially on them, and the list-maker is hot.

RailbirdJ Whatever you do, for the rest of the day, DO NOT LOOK AT FACEBOOK. You’ll thank me later.

steenyweeny I SWEAR TO HOTDOGS IF YOU GUYS BREAK THE INTERNET OVER THIS.

jennifurret I want a shirt that says “Bloggers: Raising awareness one internet shitstorm at a time”

theleanover Um… why do nards call me on my cellphone? Hello, I pay for text messaging so I never have to talk to anyone ever. Get with the times.

ScrewyDecimal It’s a shame that openly weeping at the reference desk is frowned upon.

danielgrosvenor Someone really needs to invent a GPS app that helps you find the exit in IKEA.

lianamaeby Tweeting about how you’re not gonna tweet about that thing is the new not tweeting about that thing.

shinyinfo I’m in Beal City for 4th of July and I’m not drunk on a pontoon boat. What am I doing with my life???

markleggett Nikon really nailed it with their new camera specifically designed to take flattering photos of genitalia. It even works on animals!

BeTheBoy Didn’t go to the Dodger game because they wouldn’t honor the military discount despite the fact that I was in my KISS Army uniform.

sween Thank you, “Transformers”, for making “Independence Day” look stately.

slackmistress Glad this wine isn’t going to drink itself, cause then I’d have some overachieving wine that’d probably think it was too good for me.

LPCookbook I feel impatient waiting for fireworks but it is less because of the magic and more because bitch gotta get up for work in like 9 hours.

antigone_spit My mom: “This is not the Mystery Science version so shut up. But if you want to put a gumball machine on your head feel free.”

kerrianne “This is my childhood in pie form,” she said as she merrily sat down in front of a gleaming triangle of huckleberries and flaky crust.

maggiesox Drinking boxed wine out of a plastic cup while watching fireworks from a Rita’s parking lot. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

BillCorbett If you don’t lose at least three fingers to fireworks tonight, I say your love of country is suspect. #GoBackToRussia

johnmoe The name “Lowly Worm” tells you all you need to know about the brutal Busytown caste system.

muffpunch Just dropped my first f bomb in front of a kid. This party just got started.

theleanover Too many Kardashian sex tapes; not enough Nigella Lawson sex tapes. #ReasonsWhySocietyIsCollapsing

SisterHuff Pants falling down, Pants falling down #ReasonsWhySocietyIsCollapsing

theleanover Guns are cheaper than medical treatment. #ReasonsWhySocietyIsCollapsing

theleanover Your mom. #ReasonsWhySocietyIsCollapsing

kellyoxford I’d love a video montage of every single time I’ve walked into a room and forgotten why I’m in there.

markleggett Let’s not forget who the greatest American hero is: Ralph Hinkley.

steenyweeny ‘aw shit i’m out of agave nectar!’ is a sentence i never thought i would say.

theneener Hooray! It’s that time of the month! You know, the time where I pay my rent and buy groceries.

daddytwocoats Someone referenced a joke I made in a show on Twitter. This must be how Oprah feels.

JosephScrimshaw If you want to blow your hand off with firecrackers, that’s your right. Or your left, depending on which hand you use. #America

thejohnblog “ACCIO JACK DANIELS!”

thebookpolice This land is your land, this land is my land–from the Rocky Mountains, to the two pounds of short ribs in my fridge marinatin’.

MightyHunter Earthlings will always defeat aliens because Earthlings are willing to punch aliens in the face. #independenceday

apodixis Making a movie about today. It’s going to be called “There Will Be Beer.”

theleanover Goodbye, losers! aka unfollowers.

mrteacup The quality of a relationship can be perfectly measured by the length of a mutually agreed-upon netflix queue

modinkpeeb Just ate a hot dog in two bites. Ladies?

unrealsnow Wine tasting places make me wish I carried a disguise kit with me all the time.

PolyesterPonyReheating coffee on the stove top. Like my grandma. Also, wearing support hose.

evandawson I’m proud to be an American, which gives me the freedom to say that the song Proud to be an American is dreadful.

jimmyfairplay I told my dad how many followers I have. He just pointed at stuff he’d built with his hands. You win this round, dad.

wolfpupy Grounded again for delivering the Peoples Elbow to the cat.

apodixis Constant Bliss, Humboldt Fog, Purple Haze. California cheeses all have pot names.

blanklibrarian @exlibris I said “Sweet Baby Picard Jesus!” the other day on fb w/out realizing it’s not really a thing. Except it is now. You’re spreading.

thejohnblog I just woke up with a hangover again, but I’m annoyed that it’s not as good or original as the first one.

B_tothe_S Weed & Feed is lawn fertilizer? I thought it was just something stoners did.

letsgetgizzy The random alley fireworks don’t scare me, but the bag of garbage sitting in the kitchen that I thought was a murderer did.

stevetweeters Day 1 of living in a rural community: A bug flew into my ear.

rstevens I should paint my apartment black with orange gridlines and tell ladies that my Holodeck is broken. #humblebragthenextgeneration

steenyweeny based on how successful my patio garden is, i’m shocked there’s enough food in the world for more than 9 people.

johnmoe Is that a passive aggressive dig at the end of the alphabet song? Like was I supposed to sing with you THIS time?

modinkpeeb Skanks: A good time for you to bathe in Beyonce’s new scent is when it’s 100 degrees and 400% humidity.

GoGadgetGadget Your condescending tone is so sexy. Look! It’s giving my middle finger a boner.

maggiesox So it turns out that I am the kind of asshole who will correct you in public if you get your dinosaurs wrong.

RailbirdJ We can be friends no matter what race, religion, sexual orientation or political party you are. You just can’t vote for Palin.

sgnp Thanks for the sex! #fourwordsaftersex

stray Friends are the people you wish were your siblings.

librarianearp I asked Papa Bear if he’d be my sugar daddy. He said yes and gave me a mint. I don’t think he understands what I meant.

pnkrcklibrarian It’s a truth universally acknowledged a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of an Internet startup to call his own.

lauracope Dust Storms May Exist is a really philosophical way to put it, New Mexico.

jadesongbird When you saw one set of footprints in the sand, that was when I ate your feet.  #ZombieProverbs

ProfessorSnack I have 5 bottles of BBQ sauce and no meat in the house. My subconscious must have big plans for the neighborhood this holiday weekend.

mrteacup The quality of a relationship can be perfectly measured by the length of a mutually agreed-upon netflix queue.

 

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



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.

Scrapbook: Ama & Papa’s Garden

26 Jun

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.


Easter Basket Inspiration

31 May

Here it is, nearly June, and I’m writing a post about Isobel’s Easter basket. I should probably feel ashamed of myself. But I won’t! Because I’m a shameless hussy. I’m hoping that someone will eventually come along and want ideas for a toddler’s Easter basket so I’m posting this in the hopes of finding that person. You sure are special, whomever you are. Plus, I like the photos too much not to post.

In a move that’s sure to spark controversy (which parentning decision isn’t?) I didn’t put any candy in Isobel’s Easter basket. She doesn’t need any and I knew she’d be going to an egg hunt later. Aslo one of her grandmas is a little liberal with the sugar so figured she’d be getting candy from multiple sources and I didn’t need to be one of them. I was right. So right in fact, that we’re going into June and she still has uneaten Easter candy in the cupboard.

For all I don’t agree with giving toddlers candy, it sure is cute to see her eat a piece of chocolate. Before she’s even finished chewing the last ibit she’s already asking for more, face smeared and sticky, lisping through the mouthful of sugar.

 I have a love-hate relationship with children’s gift giving. I love shopping and dreaming up fun things to give her. I hate the inevitable junkpile. Add to that the fact that last year we were so strapped for cash we couldn’t afford to give her toys in her first Easter basket (not even cheap ones) and Easter becomes another guilt-laden holiday associated with presents, hiding its deeper meaning: Cadbury eggs & marshmallow peeps. But I digress. This year we could buy her modest presents, so I did.

 I had a bit of a dilemma with this year’s gifts, as I always seem to do. As much as I abhor clutter I’m not so cruel as to think that my child should grow up without toys. On the whole my philosophy is to get her toys that last, that I don’t feel guilty spending my money on. Of course I’m not the only one buying her toys, but I prefer things that will last, things that will be played with often. I’m almost embarrassed to admit how I agonized over the shovel set. It’s plastic and crappy and obviously meant for a baby. Shouldn’t I get her a metal set that would last? In the end, my concern for her injuring herself or others won out, and I gave her an admittedly cheapie shovel and rake set. The good news is that she’s using the hell out of them, and at least once a day she asks to got outside so she can “dig for wormies.” She’d take them to bed if we let her, and she’s left the house for Grandma’s with those in her hands.

 She loves the butterfly kneeling pad, but she doesn’t understand its true purpose yet. When I sat on it to play with her outside she got pretty upset. It’s for your butt, little girl. Get used to it.

 (Easter is the perfect time of year to practice your power-lifting skills.)

 Plastic plates are truly essential at our house right now, as she’s too rough on dishes to be trusted with dangerously breakable porcelain. She loves this chickie plate and the matching blue gingham bunny plate. I didn’t get a photo of that one because as soon as she found her basket she ate wanted to eat breakfast off that plate. She’s still using them because in Isobel’s opinion, bunnies and chickies never go out of style, even when the seasons change.

She looks like a teenager here. I blame Easter.

Photographs: Garden Buddhas

28 May

I fell in love with Buddha statuary after reading Siddhartha in high school. I think they are quite at home in the garden.