Life Goals and Stuff

New life goal: live life so the smile lines way outweigh the frown lines. Way easier said than done at times.

New life goal: live so the laugh lines far outweigh the stress lines.

Things to smile about: how much Willem loves watching the wind blow through the trees.
20140708. Watching the wind in the trees.

Chris’ new obsession/love of all things bees and our dreams of alpaca/bee farms in the mountains outside Asheville. Hey, it could happen.
Fat Honey Comb in my Top-Bar Hive - Day 62

First tomatoes:
20140708. State of the garden address.

Mad, mad gardens:
20140708. State of the garden address.

Covered Rows and a Blanket of Sunshine to Keep Me Warm

What a day, people! WHAT. A. DAY. For the first time since I can’t even remember when, I was able to be outside all day in a t-shirt and corduroys. Well, okay, if I stood still for too long and the sun dipped behind a cloud, I began to think longingly of cozy old man wool sweater (you know, the one with the leather patches on the elbows), lying on the couch being a louse. But I refused to put that damn thing on, just on the principle of the thing.

Hello, spring! I’ve missed you! In no particular order and in reverence to the beautiful day, today I have:

  • Drafted and submitted my proposal to my employer for a part-time sabbatical for 10 weeks this summer to allow me to participate in the Growing Places Indy Summer Apprenticeship Program. That’s right, folks – I’ve been accepted! Please, please, please, employer – let me do this. This is one of those once in a lifetime/dream experiences, for goodness sakes.
  • Took Birdie on a long walk of the neighborhood, pausing to sniff grass, sign posts, and sometimes just the sidewalk.
  • Did laundry! Really, this is notable.
  • Ate fried eggs a la Chris and toast with blueberry-cinnamon jam a la me.
  • Scrambled some eggs for the chickens. We ran out of chicken feed, and the girls needed something first thing before we could pick up a new bag!
  • Went grocery shopping for such amazing things as ingredients to make banana pudding poke cake and egg casserole with sausage and peppers. It is a comfort food kind of weekend.
  • Planted two flats of lettuces and spinach in my covered row in back, threw a few more in with the garlic, then plunked the last four into the front yard bed, which I hope to turn into a PRETTY edible garden this year. Think chard, artichokes, beets, and kale mixed in with the perennials. 
  • Planted a metric butt-ton of beet, turnip, and chard seeds across the front beds and in a few of the back beds. What? I like root vegetables.
  • Got super excited upon realizing my sweet potatoes are FINALLY sprouting! We just might have sweet potatoes in the garden again this year.
  • Watched as Chris put in two more posts for our brand new, Birdie- and chicken-proof garden fence! Go, Chris, go.
  • Purchased a copy of Indianapolis Monthly, featuring an article on backyard chicken keepers this month, including MOI and the girls.

Evidence of the above, also in no particular order:

20130330. Indianapolis Monthly collage.

The Indianapolis Monthly spread – at least, the important parts (i.e. the ones that include ME and MY CHICKENS).

20130330. Putting posts in for the garden fence.

Those posts on the left? We are going to have the most awesome Birdie- and chicken-proof garden fence ever. This is a very good thing.

20130330. Putting posts in for the garden fence.

Work that post hole, Chris! Hmmm… that doesn’t sound too good…

20130330. Baby garlic!

Baby garlics!!!

20130330. The sweet potatoes finally started sprouting.

Thank goodness the sweet potatoes started sprouting. This was one of the funnest things to grow last year, and I really wanted a redo. Part deux.

20130330. Indianapolis Monthly's April edition includes an article of backyard chickens. We're (in)famous!

And, just in case you couldn’t read my words of wisdom in the collage above, here is my sage advice for Indianapolis – and the WORLD – at large.

State of the Garden Address, May 9

I established previously that I sucked at growing plants from seeds this year. After much coaxing, teeth gnashing, lying awake at night, and general upset, I made it through to the acceptance stage. Namely, I accepted that I would just have to buy many of my summer garden plants this year.

20120509. The seedlings have sucked this year.

Suspended animation – the magical, non-growing seedlings of 2012!

Single tear. So last weekend, the grow lights were dimmed, the seedlings were moved outside to fend for themselves, and I headed to the Broad Ripple farmer’s market and Habig’s Garden Shop to get my plant fix.

20120509. State of the Garden Address.

First State of the Garden Address of 2012: at least the spring seedlings grew like weeds.

I figured it might be a good thing to document exactly what is planted where at this point. Plus, I love looking back at initial garden photos in, say, August to see how much the baby planties have grown. Oh, the babies!

Bed #1:

20120509. Looking ahead to warmer weather.

Front row: Summer squash, hot Portugal pepper, Genovese basil, Georgia flame pepper, and summer squash. Middle row: Genovese basil, three cayenne peppers, Genovese basil. Back rows: six Roma tomatoes.

Bed #2:

20120509. First attempts at fennel.

The “we’ll see” bed. At this point, it’s got some baby lettuce, an insanely massive fennel, a couple of languishing basil plants, lavender and rosemary, some peas, and a few bee balms.

Does anyone know what kind of caterpillar this is? It loves the fennel, and I love it.

20120509. Fennel-loving caterpillar.

Bed #3:

20120509. Beets and peas and lettuce.

Front row: beets and lettuces. Middle row: three jalapeno plants and some ridiculously healthy peas. Back row (hidden by aforementioned peas): two grape tomatoes, hog heart tomato, mom’s paste tomato, two black krim tomatoes, and a garden peach tomato.

Did I mention how healthy the peas and lettuces are?

20120509. The peas and lettuce are just a little happy with the world right now.

Bed #4:

20120509. Strawberries, cayenne peppers, and cucumbers.

Left side: three cayenne peppers in back, four strawberry plants in the middle, sad little chives in the front. Right side: three pickling cucumbers up front, three slicing cucumbers in back.

And let’s not forget the green beans!
20120509. Green beans.New-to-me this year (so far): beets, lettuce, strawberries, fennel (and definitely quite a few of the heirloom tomatoes and peppers). This weekend, I’m hoping we will get our berry bush supports built and some plants in the ground, too. Raspberries and blueberries and blackberries? Thumbs WAY up.