Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It's Been Awhile

Not sure if anyone out there is reading but if so I must apologize for my lack of posting. I have discovered that my enjoyment of gardening has moved beyond just a simple hobby and has evolved into a full-blown passion and this new found passion is filling every free moment of time I may have. This passion shouldn't surprise me. I can from a long line of gardeners and farmers. My great-grandma had a huge vegetable garden and raspberry patch and worked right alongside the men in the days of the big threshing parties. (I have a picture of her all dudded up in pants getting ready to hit the field - I will share it some day.) My grandma and grandpa still attempt to manage 2 large gardens even though they are in their 80's and their health does not always cooperate. They have 4 children and all 4 of them love to garden - 2 of them in the short growing season of Northern Minnesota. So, the fact that I have found a new love in gardening should not surprise me. I have planted a small garden full of lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, carrots, cabbage, radishes and peas (if the rabbits would stop eating the shoots - I put up a fence now and will be adding netting over their trellises one of these next nights to try and prevent that) - I call it my "Cold Crop Garden". I have a couple of strawberry plants with plans to put in a full bed next year - my son was the proud receipient of this years first strawberry and he really enjoyed it. I also have 2 tomato plants in the ground under their little red water tents and 1 patio tomato in a container on the patio. Then there are the seedlings that I started that I need to start transitioning outside. I don't have the best luck starting from seed - still a beginner in that area - so that is why I did by a couple from nurseries. My tomato bed isn't fully prepared yet either - still has quite a few daylilies left in it even though I tried desparately to give them all away. I have a jalapeno in a container (bought the seedling at the Rochester Farmer's Market - more about that wonderful place in a later post - from an elementary school that had a booth - had to support the kids and feed their love of gardening :)). I have all my herbs in - 2 kinds of parsley, 2 kinds of basil, sage, dill, oregano, spearmint, rosemary, thyme and I think I am forgetting one or two. Now if I could just find my neat little herb markers that have not surfaced since the move last spring (I think they are with my missing sundial which I have also been looking for.) I have 2 raspberry plants waiting to find a home. (I am putting in another raised bed - may even talk my husband into that this weekend - and I think they will go behind it). I have a buttercup squash plant in the ground. Have created a rhubarb patch (won't be enjoying a harvest for a couple of years but my mom is happy to share as is my neighbor who has 9 crowns - that's a big patch!) I have planted many pots of flowers to brighten up the backyard and front porch. I also have some potatoes that I need to get planted - they are French Fingerling and I am going to try them in a couple pots. Should be a nice experiment. I have read that this kind does well in a pot and even may produce better - we shall see. I have beans to put in this weekend and will also put in the cucumber seedlings I have. Will start hardening it off today so it will be ready. Have a couple other seedlings - zucchini, pumpkin, melon and squash that I will start doing the same with. I am also going to put in a few seeds and see how those do as well. My mom says she always has good luck starting those from seed. Where this is all going though - I have no idea! Lots of thinking and work to do over the next week. Our last frost (hopefully) was just the other night so the time has come. I think my husband thinks I am insane!

Um - wow - I think that is enough garden info for now. I will write more later. Must actually do the work I am getting paid for now (have to support the gardening habit somehow.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Garden's Going!

Well the garden is started. A couple of weeks ago I planted lettuce, spinach and swiss chard and last night I added carrots, peas (4 kinds), cabbage and head lettuce. I am now officially out of room so I need to spend time this weekend clearing space for everything else (tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, squash, beans and corn. Also need to figure out where the herbs are going to go. The first year gardening in a new house is always hard.

Easter was a mixture of positive's and negatives. My poor little dude ended up getting the stomach flu Saturdat night. We were at my parent's house so he ended up exposing my whole family. Oh well - it only lasted 24 hours so if anyone else gets it, it is short lived. He was feeling better by Sunday but needless to say chocolate bunnies were not on his menu. He did try a little Easter ham though.

I meant to include some photos of what I created for Easter but I forgot. And now they have all found new homes. I had knitted chicken, egg, and Easter Bonnet egg cozies and they turned out quite cute. I also made my niece and nephew finger puppets for their baskets (an elephant and a pig). I will definately be making more finger puppets. Take about an hour each - I love projects that have instant gratification! My next project though is knitted vegetables - think it will look great in a bowl come harvest time. (My son is already requesting knitted Halloween items - can you tell our favorite season is fall :).

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

Jacob Age 1

Jacob Age 5

Last evening I had a wonderful night with my son. Wednesday my husband has his Trap Shooting League so it was just my boy and I. I knew by his mood on the way home that it would be a nice evening. We saw a very cute little puppy and my son says, "What if a dog laid eggs with puppy's in them?" I knew that he was using his wonderful imagination but also took time to verify that dog's don't lay eggs (he is a city boy after all) and explained that dog's have puppies that grow in the mommy's tummy. He then says, "So the dog lays puppies." Yep - they do :). We then ate a simple dinner and then worked on one of the projects his daycare mom sent home with him as "homework" to do while he is at his grandparents next week. We then finished watching a movie and headed upstairs to get him ready bed. After brushing teeth and getting on his jammies we settled in to read Harry Potter (we are on book #2 - he really likes them). Instead he said, "Mommy let's talk!". Words a mommy loves to hear and we proceeded to have a wonderful discussion about Easter and Christmas and friends all kinds of things. He also asked if he was ever going to have a brother or sister and I said we didn't know. So he decided that we needed to ask God. So we proceeded to say a prayer and asked for blessings to our family and friends and then at the end he added "and please can I have 2 sisters." The little dude does not dream small. Spending time with my son like that was a wonderful way to end the day. He is my greatest gift!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Going Gluten-Free

I have had some health problems on and off for years and they are always attributed to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Twice now though I have developed hives for no reason (I have some drug allergies that cause them but can't connect the last two reactions) and my mom has asked me to look into Celiac's Disease (many of the symptoms can be the same as IBS). I have an appointment next week with my doc and will bring it up then but in the mean time I am going to attempt to go gluten-free to see if that makes a difference. So, if any of you out there have any gluten-free recipes that you would like to share please send them my way.


I always delay posting because I want to include photos but then I never remember to download so here it goes sans pictures.

Spring is coming to Minnesota! A rainy day today and another one tomorrow. Washing away all the dirt and grime left over from winter. Can't wait until the backyard is "dog-poop free" and I can get back there and get some work done without stepping in yuck. Have some seedlings started - just ordered a grow light though cause I think they need some additional heat. Will be glad to have it once I start the tomatoes.

Have also been in a crafty mood. Knitting all kinds of Egg Cozies for Easter and have started sewing a jaguar hand-puppet for my son. Have the pieces cut out and just need to sew it up tonight. He is big into jaguars right now - he really likes Go Diego Go. He is my little animal lover and wants to be an "animal keeper" when he grows up :). I also have plans to sew new springy pillows as well as a couple of other spring-like projects I have in mind. Will include pictures if I remember to take some AND download them.

Quiet night at home tonight - husband has a business dinner so it is just me and the boy. Will make a stop at Target (per the boy's request - he has some kinda plan) and the grab some dinner before heading home.

This week has gone so slow at work. Glad a nice relaxing weekend is on the agenda. I hope to get some projects done. Saturday is supposed to be nice but more rain expected on Sunday.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Finally - Photos From Arizona

My very handsome husband at the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon - what an awesome place - everyone needs to visit at least once and I have been lucky enough to have been there twice.

My son at the Palace Saloon in Prescott -
they even gave him a little Deputy's badge -
made his day!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Looking A Little Closer

Last night as I was driving home from work I made a wonderful realization. Reading the blogs of so many of you has taught me how to look more closely at the what I thought was already too familiar world around me. I caught myself noticing how the rain hit my car window. I watched the ducks fly circles over the Mississippi and then caught a brief glimpse of what I though may be a bald eagle. Then this morning as my son and I crossed the river there the eagle was - right in front of our car. What a wonderful way to start the day! So to all of you out their in blogland - thank you! You have helped me open my eyes and made the ordinary extraordinary.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

A Much Needed Reprieve

Sorry it has been awhile since my last post (if there is anyone out there reading this in blogland). We took a much needed break from the gray Minnesota weather and headed for Arizona to visit my parents (Minnesota snow-birds) for a week. They are staying in Mesa at a 55+ RV park - very nice with lots of activities (I think we played mini-golf ten times :)). We spent some time in Sedona, visited the Grand Canyon, Jerome and Prescott (mining towns) and then spent some time in the Phoenix area including a quick jaunt to Globe and the peublo ruins they have their - fascinating and quite well done for such a small town. We also made a quick stop at the Apache Cultural Center and the Coolidge Dam. We also spent a day at the Phoenix Zoo - I highly recommend it. Very hands on and educational. Jacob throroughly enjoyed himself. We also swam, David and my dad got in a round of golf and we spent quite a bit of time just walking around and just enjoyed the sunshine. Loved seeing all the fruit trees and even brought some grapefruit home - YUM!

Now it's back to the routine. Yuck! Doesn't help that it is Saturday and I am at work! Doesn't happen very often but when it does I get pretty cranky.

Tomorrow I hope to get out the Easter/Spring decorations. I really need them to brighten up the house. (A good housecleaning wouldn't hurt either.)

Pretty soon I will be getting the tomato seedlings started and not long after that plant the lettuce. We still have some winter left but I am thinking wishfully.

I will include Arizona photos in my next post.