Small accomplishments and observations don’t seem to get their justice here lately. I tend to log the larger endeavors, but who raises a flag for the little things in this journal?
Not me lately.
Time has now passed, as have the mental lists of things that I wanted to get down here. Things like vegetables other than tomatoes, riding my bicycle twice a day, meeting more online friends offline (at around 20 now, I think), Polka Fest, my obsession with a few new-to-me cookbooks, so many different recipes, Gosford Park, learning embroidery, cleaning out lots of corners, and much wonderful mundane moments that add up to a happy whole.
Most importantly, I have learned to love summer.
Winter will always be my favorite season (and I will never be fond of sweaty undergarments), but I decided that life is too short to opt out of one-quarter of it. I don’t think that I complained about the heat or humidity at all. Maybe once. That said, I could have straightened my bangs more than once a day on some occasions, while I totally submitted to my hair on others. Each time that I felt uncomfortable, each time that I wanted to complain, I instead found gratitude. I learned to like the warmth of the sun, even when I’m already too warm.
(An aside: I watch THIS LITTLE VIDEO a lot.)
Also, it’s beginning to look a bit like autumn already, mid-August 2011. Little thing, I want to remember you.
This has become less like a household journal and more of a tomato blog.
Recipes, plus more on the shed, coming soon…
P.S. I hate to honk my own horn, but if you’re interested, I do have a Facebook page HERE.
Yesterday, I woke up and looked out the window over the head of our bed, just like every other morning. It made me happy to see all the stuff lined up against the shed. There’s only a fraction of our reclaimed goods in this photo, but it makes me satisfied just the same. My mister told me to come up with some projects for the new materials.
Back to the drawing board!
Five days ago, I stood and looked at this ghastly sight, and I knew that something had to be done. I wanted a cleaner line of vision. I mentioned it to my husband and I used words like “trellis wall” and “privacy barrier”.
The next day, he dropped off some random supplies by the shed, including a metal piece from a deconstructed communications tower that I will eventually use for a permanent trellis. That was on the 22nd. On July 23, he built the fence and I purchased some clearance perennials: Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage), Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush), and Astilbe Arendsii (might have to correct the genus on that one).
On the 24th, we went to Craftacular and I did no work in the garden. I might have drank mimosas while browsing the vendors. I eventually purchased a ring made from a vintage cash register key. [Note: Ring from Kim at www.kimscraftyapple.com. You can find the rings HERE.]
Monday taught me patience. Also, I never want to paint a trellis fence by hand again.
Today, I spiffed up the paint a bit and planted the perennials. I also dug up four small Hostas and divided a Bleeding Heart from the northeast corner of the property and put it along the shadier part of the … privacy barrier.
I’m going to take a shower and put my feet up now.
Sweet diary, I have been a complete bum. Slow and lazy. But, this week is all about getting caught up on chores, or pleasant tasks that I put off until they feel like a chore. I am taking the power back, catching up and falling in love again with my mundane life.
- Plant kale, a fresh row of radishes, more onions.
- Fertilize tomatoes and peppers.
- Tend to houseplants.
- Make a plant hanger. Or two.
- Add last of trellises to garden. Make them first.
- Create a summer banner for my journal.
- Prune mock-orange dogwood tree.
- Prowl the perennial close-out sales.
- Start Wisconsin thrift store database (!!!!).
- Take inventory for the store.
Mint pesto. Potatoes, peas, and mint. Garlic scape pesto. Pickled garlic scapes.
- Draft next year’s garden, greenhouse, and yard.
- Purge pantry, fridge, and freezer.
- Detail July household projects, such as wooden valances and music creation station.
My mister and I decided to make a quick tent for our daughter’s 19th birthday (on June 20).
He picked up the necessary wood stuff this morning, and I pulled out an old full-size sheet, one that has been a drop cloth for painting actually, to use as the canvas material. We had seen a few similar tents online, but each of us implemented our own ideas for our individual parts in the project. The tent folds up flat (to four inches). Rob put a pin in each end of the tent, under the dowel, to secure it, fearing that the dowel would eventually loosen. For my part, I made it no-sew. I cut hem bond into manageable-sized pieces and fused the ends of the sheet around the kick board to secure it. (Photos: one, two, three)
It took less than an hour from start to finish.
Every bit of energy that I can scrape together lands me in the garden.
I have been doing the mid-June shuffle, when the spring crops are pulled (eaten) and the summer crops take their place. Where peas are still on the trellis, there are other viney veggies (cantaloupe, zucchini, three kinds of cukes) waiting patiently on the sidelines to begin their ascent to glory. Radishes are growing in the tomatoes’ dappled shade. Little sparks of baby dill sprout from any bare spot.
We have begun to have some interest in the idea of square foot gardening. I don’t want to convert all of my gardens to this method, perhaps two or three raised beds when we rotate crops next spring. (I can’t believe that I am deeply entrenched in next year’s planting already, but I am.)
Meanwhile, inside, my painting supplies are stacked up in the master bedroom… when they should be in the kitchen so that I can finish the cabinets. The kitchen is a bloody mess. I need to reorganize several sections, and until that is done there are dishcloths and pantry items and that damn forsaken pizza pan that I hate and a few rogue plastic bags and dirty dishes and clean dishes stacked on the counters. The living room has a blanket pile and a random tool pile and a library pile. I think that I’ll stop there, maybe go out to the garden to get that other stuff off of my conscience.
I am so glad that I am remembering to make more things with rhubarb this year. I haven’t baked any of my old standbys, like rhubarb crisp, but we did try strawberry-rhubarb coffee cake this weekend and it did not disappoint.
Last month, I started to collect online recipes in one place for my own reference. So often, I’m trying to think of what to make and I wish that I could see all of my favorites in one space, on a single page. I have started to work on that, adding a few here and there, but I’ve a long way to go. When the page is a bit more substantial, there will be a link in the sidebar. It is public now, in case anyone wants to follow along with my (slow) progress. Most of the links take you to other sites, although some are hosted here.
Progress, in general, has been very good, but I’m not so-very-good at documenting it.
For instance, the robins were babies and then they were five days old and now they are flying around the yard with mum and poppy. The squabs are so big and beautiful that I can no longer distinguish them from their parents. The feeders, even when empty of seed, are full of young and demanding sparrows. Some of my favorites, the grackles, dutifully comb the yard with their young all day. They have an especially obnoxious teen that chased its mum and bit her tail when she didn’t produce supper fast enough.
Also, the radishes were seedlings and then they were growing and then they were pickled for my husband. Fortunately, there are a lot more radishes to come throughout the next few months. More pickles for my man and maybe a photo of them for me. (There are similar stories with other vegetables that have grown and vanished and have been reseeded.)
Our various plans are progressing (and often growing) as well.
The idea for a back door became a backdoor with a little porch and then a little porch with a cat tree and then a porch that leads to an arbor. We were trying so hard envision how we could make the backdoor lead into an arbor more easily. First, I decided that the structure must be white. That was a no-brainer. After that, I spotted this amazing cat porch on a blog that I follow. That gave me ideas. Then it gave Rob ideas. Now, he is using my graph paper to make super-duper sketches of his plans for a cat-friendly, leading-into-the-arbor, backdoor porch.
Since we are doing all of the work ourselves, it’ll be done in stages and won’t be very photogenic yet this year. Still, I look so very forward to charting that progress along with all of the other things that are going on around here.
(Shade trees? Fruit trees? DIY snake enclosure? Master closet redo? Yes, yes, yes, and yes.)
This morning, my husband brought me in a bunch of boxes that, according to the newspaper the contents had been wrapped in, had not been seen by my eyes since August of 2002. (THE SAME MONTH THAT I STARTED BLOGGING!!!) There was so much treasure, like Auntie’s Mel-Mac dishes and Uncle Herb’s Kentucky Scotch Whiskey decanter and 100-year-old bubble glass frame of Auntie, Aunt Moody, and their parents, great-Grandma and Grandpa Grauvogl.
I am so over the moon.
I’ll be sprucing things up and sharing more soon. Some of it I plan to sell on Etsy as I’m totally not invested in the Depression glass or a lot of the other stuff that I have accumulated. The little vases in the photo? I doubt that they are worth a thing, probably soda fountain glasses, but I’m so glad to have those girls back to hold my silly clippings.
[I am logging my family heirlooms and thrifted finds. All items will be considered vintage by the 20-year standard. You can find all of the entries under the category 'something old'.]