Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Process of the garden, in pictures

process - a sustained phenomenon or one marked by gradual changes through a series of states

Last night it was taking a while to fall asleep so I opened the photo gallery on my phone and flipped through some recent photos. I realized I really enjoy capturing the process of things - gardening, the construction of our landscape project, cooking, crafting, or how the city looks from the top of our park throughout the seasons. So I thought I'd blog about some of it, using mostly pictures. 

This is my very first garden and I've had this spot planned out since we bought the house 5 years ago. Planning it, watching it grow, and learning along the way has been so gratifying! There's nothing like being able to get your hands into the earth in the early morning and seeing what has transpired overnight. Cultivating the soil, checking for bugs and pest damage and problem solving the issues, the smell of tomato plants and herbs in the air as you water, all of this is really grounding. 

Thoughts and stress float away... as Audrey Hepburn said, 
"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow" 

My giant pile of soil to move

Building and filling
Hey, I grew that! 


Tiny "California Gold" pepper emerges

The first zucchini bloom

First cucumber bloom! Each flower turns to a vegetable

Yellow Pear Tomatoes getting started

A few weeks in

These are male zucchini flowers, the female flowers have yet to bud

These flowers are edible. You pick them while they are closed and you can stuff them, fry them, or use in salads

Spring mix is starting to grow

As well as butter lettuce

I spy a ripe tomato

First veggies are ready! Learning lots of patience this summer

Painted rocks to trick the squirrels... Have yet to eat one strawberry!

Filling in nicely! Our garden owl keeps birds away

First "Salt and Pepper Cucumber"

Changes as the summer heat takes over. Cilantro died and everything needs extra water. The lettuce needs misting in the afternoon or it wilts and turns bitter
Added new basil plants, hoping to have some late summer pesto!

My petite "Red Robbin" tomato plant. These were stollen by squirrels...

Squirrels eat our first zucchini.... Cayenne pepper is now sprinkled all over our garden and it seems to be working

One very large pepper, just waiting for that "California Gold" color!

Salad mix

First lettuce greens harvest

Nothing like picking your salad greens 10 minutes before dinner! Yay!

We love to garden! Happy about the zucchini harvest! 

After cultivating the soil

After cultivating the soil


Been thinking about crafting a sign for my garden for a while...
Perfect! My first garden. I'm in love.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A typical day

I thought it would be interesting to document what a typical day at home with Asher entails, mostly for my own amusement because at the end of the day I often wonder... "What the hell did we DO today? I'm beat!" It's Friday, mind you, and we are home without the car so we'll be keeping it reeeaaal casual.

5:00am - My alarm goes off... for the first time in weeks... because I decided I should get up early and blog and do yoga. I briefly wake, laugh, and turn it off.

6:45am - Asher stirs, Collins gets on the bed. I go get Asher and his "BANKET" (His only attachment) and put him down. He takes off running and talking and I then I know what type of day I'm in for. Those first morning moments are pretty indicative of his mood for the day. We call dada to say good morning, who is in Houston for work.

7:00 - 8:00am - Getting milk and cereal x 2, making coffee, watching the news and cartoons, changing diapers.

8:15am - Banana Break. The one word he doesn't want to even attempt to say is the word banana. He says "Maaaaa"---> ? Start laundry. We go outside to check on and water the garden, prep the pool water if it's going to be a hot day, water plants, sweep up, reheat coffee x 2. Make a fort for Asher (and Collins). Call my sister to wish her a happy "Golden" birthday.

9:00am - Sit outside with my computer and attempt to blog. I say attempt because in about 3 minutes Asher will need something. He plays in his fort until...

9:05am - Poopy diaper
9:10am - Talk to mom
9:30am - Attempt to blog
9:35am - Asher asks for berries

9:40-10:15am - Attempt to blog... See how it goes? The morning just goes so quickly! Put on Sesame Street and attempt to finish writing. This helps.

11:00am - Put Asher down for nap time, publish blog post! It took all morning, well it took a week to actually sit down and do it, but success at last! Now 'breakfast' for me while catching up on emails, facebook, calling and talking to Geof about travel, and figuring out plans for our weekend...

11:37am - Abandon planning weekend... Getting in 30 minutes of yoga! Then take a chill break before the boy wakes up.

12:30 - 2:00pm - Made a fried egg & Canadian bacon breakfast sandwich for Asher and I to split for lunch. Then we wrestled it off and played with Collins. Put on some music and danced to a few songs. Changed poopy diapers.

2:15pm - Dishes. My least favorite task. Change out laundry, pick up the house. Or attempt to pick up the house. Have you ever done this with a toddler trailing you? Yeah... productive!

2:45 -  4:00pm - Play time and a popsicle break outside. Sweeping up and windexing the table for dinner tonight! Sit down to upload the photos of the day and it starts to sprinkle, naturally. Play ball and trucks with the boy instead. Nevermind, it's perfect and sunny again! Oh, Colorado :)

4:00-4:30pm - Shower, change. It may be 4:00 but it DID happen!

4:30pm - Put Asher down for a few minutes. He normally naps twice per day but some days he goes down to one nap. This transition can't be finished with quick enough! He gets cranky-pants. Watch the weather to see if the rain is going to come or not and decide I had better water the garden. While watering the garden, it starts to rain.

5:00pm - Back inside, Asher is laughing in his crib and I'm going to start dinner.
5:38pm - Dinner is nearly ready and I wonder if I should wake up A?
6:00pm - Dinner is served but Asher is cranky because I woke him up so he doesn't eat much. My dinner was fantastic! The best part is a lot of the ingredients came from my garden and my neighbor's garden. SO LOCAL and fresh! I'll call it:
Summer Garden Pasta: 
A whole wheat pasta with a chunky tomato vegetable sauce: onion, zucchini, garlic, and baby bella mushrooms. Topped with wilted chard and garlic mushrooms, crumbled goat cheese and two types of basil
  and Green Salad: 
homemade balsamic vinaigrette and some of my garden veggies and herbs

6:45pm - Load dishwasher and then back outside for graham crackers and T-Ball.
7:45pm - Back inside to clean up, dry off (he always gets wet outside), change poopy diaper, and get into our PJ's. Three songs, two books, and one tooth brushing later - He's down for the night at 8:00pm.

I should pick up the house again but.... nah. Now to make some tea and chillax in my bedroom. Geof will be home from Houston around 9:30pm but I may already be asleep by then. Yawn....

So I have to go back and read this again but I would say this is a typical day. Switch out the blogging time for laundry some days, or switch out the yoga for a walk in the park or crafting, and then some days the boy won't nap, throws everything he touches, I get nothing accomplished, and he eats frozen sweet potato fries Boca nuggets for dinner. Some days Dada is home and some days he is not. One thing is for sure, I'm blessed to be able to grow, teach, learn, and live this dream every single day!

The hubs is home. Perfect timing!

One Love

Hello, little lady

Minutes after I posted my last blog post, guess who stopped by to check it out? It's startling because all of the sudden there's a bug crawling up my arm or leg and I first want to swat it off but (try to) remember it's my little good luck charm!

Take off

Landscaping and ladybugs

We practically live outside now! Summer is in full swing and I'm so stinking happy we decided to landscape our backyard! I won't get into all that was involved but let me just say, it was a partial nightmare do to an honest mistake the paver guy made. It had me stressing because it was a big financial investment for Geof and I to make on our home. It was one that was long overdue and that I had planned out myself, so there was a lot of emotional investment too. One day while I was outside checking on some of the problems, feeling buyers remorse and slightly heartbroken, a ladybug landed on me, the first I had seen in ages.

It was just the reminder I needed to start thinking more positively and to "stop watering the weeds and start watering the flowers". We had some problems with our pavers but there were so many other things that were perfect! I had to come to realize that it was just beyond my control and the project was mine to own and accept, imperfections and all.

Ever since then, I've been seeing my ladybug friends. A few weeks after the project was completed we set up a dining set that seats 6-8 with a rug and umbrella on the old flagstone patio. This really completed the landscaping project by incorporating the old space into the new. We sit there every day for at least one al fresco meal and if I sit there for more than 10-15 minutes my little ladybug friend shows up to say hello! 

I'm letting the garden grow in and doing a few touch ups here and there and then I'm going to do a full before and after photo comparison. It's SHOCKING! Here are a few pictures from  before and then when they first finished the job to give you an idea:


Pretty cool, right? I'm dreading the fact that winter will come, no matter how sweet the summer and this will one day be covered in snow! EEK! Say it ain't so! Until then, we're enjoying ourselves SO MUCH in our new backyard! 
Pajamas in the pool? Why not!
One Love