In My Garden

DSC05739 DSC05738 DSC05737 DSC05736 DSC05735 DSC05734 DSC05733It has been a while since I last shared my garden with you. It seems like the garden is just trudging along slowly… slower than I would like: I need lettuce! We are eating a few peas, and the pumpkins have been cut from the vine to sit and cure a while longer in the sun. The days and nights are finally growing cooler, so I hope that will move along my fall crops. There are still some tomatoes on vines and the basil is never ending, which I am certainly not complaining about.

I recently had a battle with field mice in my compost and so I moved it out of the garden to the back of the yard where I surrounded it in mint. Supposedly mint drives away mice. So far it has proven true. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my compost is actually composting! Here in the desert keeping compost wet is a real battle, so I must be doing something right! :)

This weekend I’ll be planting the garlic in time for the full moon coming up. I don’t normally plant with the moon cycles, but why not!?

Next week the forecast is for 43 degrees in the evening! Eek I am excited. Yes, yes all my Canadian friends, 43 F is not cold but to us desert dwellers it gives us every excuse to start a fire and have some soup!

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Crushing Cars

IMG_0092IMG_0098IMG_0099 IMG_0096IMG_0087 IMG_0086 IMG_0085Yesterday we went to an auto salvage yard to see cars being crushed. What we took away from it was much more than crushed cars though. It was a strange place filled with junk and destruction, and yet incredible beauty. I saw with my artist eye the lines and shapes of all the junk that flowed together so beautifully. The yard was heaped in organized piles of different metals, cardboard, plastics and so on.

I watched the men who worked the giant machines crush and lift cars as if they were toys. That takes some serious skill. At one point we saw the man using the excavator to pick up a piece of metal tubing no bigger than my arm and remove it from a pile of other metal. They were like ballerinas with construction equipment.

The one thing I did not expect was to see grass and flowers growing in amongst all the rubbish. All this junk we humans create did not stop nature from growing. That gave me such a  jolt of joy. I needed a jolt of joy in that moment as I feeling a bit pessimistic looking at all the waste of modern society.

So in the end it was a cool field trip on so many levels. If you can go to an auto salvage yard in your town do it. You won’t regret it!

Posted in Life Learning | 3 Comments

The Importance of Family

DSC05701These two are like peas in a pod, peanut butter and chocolate, sriracha and eggs, rum and coke. Basically they completely understand each other. They are so much a like in so many ways.

I understand S because she’s my daughter and I am around her all the time love her, but we have very different personalities. My mom however is very much like her and because of this she understands exactly how S feels in different situations.

It gives me great comfort to know that when S grows up and needs someone to share her feelings with that she will have someone who understands her besides me, someone who has been there.

The reason they say it takes a village to raise a child is because it does. People need more than one type of personality to bounce ideas off of. More than one person to make them laugh or hold them when they cry. Someone to mirror themselves for good or bad.

No matter how big or small, far or near, family always matters.

Posted in Life Learning | 5 Comments

The Weekend

IMG_0067Yesterday marked the 8th day of solo parenting.  This afternoon the cavalry is coming, I mean my mother and her sister, my dear Aunt Peg. They are coming with such enthusiasm the girls can hardly stand it. D will be home on Wednesday and I look forward to having some testosterone in the house again to balance all the estrogen.

This weekend was :

  • eight days long
  • slow
  • full of laughter and tantrums
  • full of freedom to be spontaneous
  • full of long chats with family and friends
  • surprise rain storm
  • lots of garden clean up
  • learning to be a plumber
  • fixing clogged pipes
  • making Halloween costumes
  • lots of time spent outdoors

At first I was tired all the time with our rhythm having been altered by D’s absence.  Then we found it again, even if it’s only temporary, and everything fell into place. The picture above pretty much sums it up. How was your weekend?

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In My Garden

DSC05677 DSC05678 DSC05680 DSC05681 DSC05682 DSC05683It feels like spring again in my garden this week. The morning air has a chill to it and the days are warm. A perfect incubator for little sprouts. Everything I planted in the last two weeks has sprouted: peas, beans, onions, carrots, radishes, kale chard, broccoli rabe, cilantro, parsley, calendula and lettuce. I am really hankering for some lettuce. A fresh salad from the garden sounds really good right now.

My tomato plants, which I planted in February are having their last hurrah. They gave me lots of tomatoes early in the season then went dormant during the hottest months and now are producing fruit again. I’m a bit surprised but happy I didn’t rip out the plants a month ago when I thought they had finished producing.

Next month I’ll plant the 80 or so cloves of garlic I have stored in my fridge. We love garlic and I am sure already that it won’t be enough!

 

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F is for Forest


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I’m totally the kind of parent who says, “Camping in October why not?” This week we are looking at the letter F and learning about why leaves change color so no better place to figure that out than the forest. So Sunday morning I packed up the girls and headed up the mountain.

We found ourselves at the very highest camp ground at almost 8,000 feet.  It was cold. No not “Canadian cold” but in the 50’s. We set up camp and then explored by this stream for hours. I sat and watched them play and listened to the wind sing in the trees. I let all sense of time stop. I didn’t rush them or call them out of their play until they said they were done. I wish I could let them play every day like that. They seem so at home in the wilderness.

After dinner we bundled up in hats, coats and warm pajamas watched the first stars come out then tucked ourselves into our warm sleeping bags. It was much colder than my desert bones are used too. I wish I had had wool long johns. But sleeping between to warm babes kept me all the warmer.

In the morning it was so cold my breath fogged my glasses and it made V laugh. As soon as the sun came into the canyon we were in we packed up and headed home. One day and one night but it was so well spent. And yes I did do this trip solo. D is out of town on business for a week so we  decided to be spontaneous.

Checkout my Instagram stream for some other fun pictures from our trip.

Posted in Life Learning, Life Notes | 16 Comments

Crafty Projects

DSC05609DSC05610 DSC05608DSC05606DSC05607As you all know I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time in the garden. Well, the garden is in good shape right now and I can slow down a little. Since there is not much gardening to be done at night I’ve taken up knitting and sewing again. I thought it would be a good idea to get a head start on this year’s hats and scarves for the girls. S picked the pink and blue yarn with a puff ball on top. V picked the yellow yarn with added braids. Same basic hat pattern, different yarns and add-ons. I love to see their personalities come out in something as simple as a hat.

I also decided it high time to change our pillow covers. I dug through my stash and found these fall inspired fabrics. I am totally in love with the red pillow. The large rectangular one is actually a small memory foam bed pillow, and it was D’s idea and fabric pick.

Last night I finished up a pair of pajama pants for each girl. Next are Halloween costumes for our homeschooling fall festival, and then on two sweater knitting for both girls. They have very specific requests for all of that, of course.

How are your creative sides doing?

Posted in Sewing and Crafts | 25 Comments

In My Garden

DSC05605 DSC05599 DSC05596 DSC05595 DSC05592 DSC05589This week in my garden we’re seeing the beginnings of our fall garden. Hundreds of little sprouts are popping up out of the ground. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly radishes spout.  So what did we sow last week?

  • kale
  • chard
  • broccoli rabe
  • rattlesnake beans
  • three kinds of radishes
  • two kinds of carrots
  • red onions
  • white onions
  • lettuce
  • parsley
  • cilantro
  • calendula
  • cone flowers
  • rosemary
  • sage

I’m still waiting for the daytime temperatures to cool off. The highs have been in the low 90’s, cooler but still too warm to plant garlic. Come the end of October and I’ll be planting at least 80 cloves of garlic. We are really lucky here that our first frost doesn’t come for a long time. We can sometimes make it to December before a frost comes.

This garden has been a lot of hard work to put together but it brings me immense joy. I put it right outside my bedroom so that I could look out on it whenever I wanted. This allows me to monitor the garden throughout the day. It’s my “zone one” space, for those of you who are into permaculture. The place that will get the utmost attention.

How are your fall gardens doing?

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Mud Kitchen

DSC05588DSC05587DSC05594 I can’t tell you for how long I have wanted to build the girls a mud kitchen. Probably since before they were born. I do believe that when you live in the city having as much access to the out of doors as possible is really important. A mud kitchen goes against all my lazy instincts, meaning after playing in the mud I had to do laundry, clean the floors, and bathe my children. However the benefits outweigh the cons.

So I built them a table to hold a bunch of kitchen items I bought for 50 cents or less at the thrift shop. I used leftover wood from the garden fence and some salvaged wood from a bookcase I found in the alley behind a neighbor’s house. Normally my carpentry projects are pretty ramshackle (D says my motto is “measure never, cut wherever”). However this time I really put some effort into building it properly. I measured (twice!), pre-drilled holes, and used wood screws to hold it all together.

The playspace I imagine for my girls is slowly coming together. My friend Kim has created an incredible space for her son, and that has been a big inspiration to me. There are still a few more elements like a sandbox and a some climbing apparatuses. But all things in good time.

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Posted in Garden, Natural Parenting | 4 Comments