Friday, June 10, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Since I haven't been blogging regularly, it would help to explain why......

What's that? A Garden!!!! I, personally, have been gardening for ohhhh.... 10 years or so? Now my husband is just as obsessed with gardening :) Each year is such a learning experience and each year it gets bigger and better. We have progressed from a simple garden of tomato's and pepper's to now interweaving crops and many different varieties. We used to just run to the store and buy the plants but now we are learning about and have started a lot of our garden from seed. This year, I'm trying to learn about seed saving so that we can harvest our seeds for next year and possibly participate in a seed exchange locally! Hopefully in a few years, we will have all seeds saved and be advanced enough to have to spend virtually NOTHING to start our garden! We make our own compost and this year we were able to use our OWN mulch on 1/4th of the garden for weed control!

Is that a picnic table? Yeah, we don't get to eat on it too often anymore :) It has become more of a work station :) We actually might look into purchasing another one because we LOVE to eat outside in the summer but we also love having this one to work on so we aren't killing our backs bending over all the time :) My husband is the "flower" person, I am the "veggie" person.... nice match huh? So a lot of these pots are his, growing flowers from seeds he has saved....

So many have asked what we have planted? Well lets break it down a bit....

Above is what it looked like in the VERY beginning....

Now it's FULL! I have created a "list" of our garden inhabitants for the year and
I have included links... LOTS of links. If we bought the seeds from Seed Saver's Exchange (SSE for future reference) then the link takes you to their page of information on that plant, if we didn't buy it there, then the link takes you to images of what the plant is like.

Tomato's (Total of 12 plants)
3- Two Mr. Stripey plants bought at Teske's
4- One Beefsteak plant bought at Teske's
5- One Jubilee Heirloom plant bought at Teske's
6- One Lemon Boy plant bought at Teske's

(Mr. Stripey)
(Eva Purple Ball)

Pepper's: (Total of 7 plants)
2- One Sweet Banana plant bought at Teske's
3- One Orange Sun Bell plant bought at Teske's
4- One Costa Rican Sweet Red Hybrid plant bought at Teske's
5- One Purple Beauty plant bought at Teske's

(Variety of Peppers)

Vegetables: (Lot's of variety here)
1- Five Premium Late Flat Dutch Cabbage plants from seeds bought at SSE (NOTE: I think we planted these a bit too early so may have to replant in the fall)
6- Two Homemade Pickles Cucumber plants bought at Teske's
7- One mound of Mexican Sour Gherkins started from seeds bought at SSE (NOTE: I have one bloom that is struggling so I waited until temps increased and I have reseeded)
8- One mound of A+C Pickling Cucumbers started from seeds bought at SSE (NOTE: Same as Gherkins, I have reseeded)
9- Eight Packman Broccoli plants bought at an unknown store by John
10-Six Cauliflower plants purchased from Nostalgia Farm's at our local Farmer's Market
11- Six Napa Cabbage plants bought at an unknown store by John
12- One potato plant in a bag received as a Mother's Day gift from Izeah :)

Notes: We also purchased Calabrese Broccoli seeds and Early Snowball Cauliflower seeds from SSE but for some unknown reason, we had trouble starting them from seed this spring. Our plan is to do another round in the fall from seed to have a double crop.

(Amish Snap Peas)

(Climbing French Green Beans)

(Homemade Pickles Cucumber plants)

(A carrot seedling)


(Premium Late Flat Dutch Cabbage)

(Napa Cabbage plants)

(Broccoli plants)

Greens and Lettuce:
2- One row of Vivian Lettuce (a type of romaine) started from seeds we purchased 2 years ago
3- One row of Little Caeser Lettuce started from seeds we purchased 2 years ago
5- Eight Arugula plants purchased at Home Depot (NOTE: These are bolting, see what I wrote below)
6- Two Fire Lettuce plants we received from Let Us Farm Inc. at Fun Night at school
7- One row of America Spinach started from seeds bought at SSE (NOTE: I had to plant these twice, first time had no results, 2nd time, I have Spinach!!!!!)

(Five Color Silverbeet Swiss Chard)

(Seed Saver's Lettuce Mixture plants)

(Little Caesar lettuce plants)

(Vivian Lettuce plants)

(Fire Lettuce plant)

(Izeah's Potato plant)

We also have a variety of potted plants and herbs:
1- Two pots of Strawberry Plants purchased online by John
2- Two pots of Sweet Basil plants purchased at Home Depot
3- One pot of Oregano we have had for 2 years and it's still growing!
4- One pot with a Red Rubin Basil plant bought at Teske's
5- One pot with two Purple Basil plants bought at Teske's
6- One pot of Cilantro started from seeds we have had for 2 years
7- Three mounds of Garlic we received from John's Dad
8- Three mounds of Chives we received from John's Dad




(Red Rubin Basil on left, Purple Basil on right)

(Sweet Basil plants)



As I talked a little bit above... the below pic is Arugula. We are going to attempt seed saving this year ourselves.... this pic was taken about 5 days ago and shows how it is bolting... but in the last few days, there are now seed pods on it!!! The plants are leaning over so I'm going to assume the pods may burst soon so I will be working to harvest them following this website's advice. I will be reseeding through out the summer for tender Arugula and hopefully have a great crop in the fall when the temps wind down a bit!

(Bolting Arugula)

And just for fun.... here's my flower lovin' hubby and his "I love this shit and hate this shit" fun face ;)

Oh yeah, we grow kids too (hahaha) Apparently they need a lot of water to grow :)

So after what seems to be the worlds longest post on gardening, that's our garden in a nutshell. This year we are going to start keeping records of where our plants have come from, how they have produced and if we harvest the seeds from them for another year...

We also had a small sad disaster.... we had storms with straight line winds blow through early Thursday morning and it bent all of our broccoli and snapped 2 cauliflowers clean off at the roots :( I have staked the broccoli up now though and it's just fine :) I replanted the remaining roots of the cauliflower and now we're waiting to see if they take hold! First day they looked bad but today they might have hope!!! Cross your fingers!

Happy Gardening everyone! :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Living My Life

Oh you know me... just thinking out loud here...

I'm sure many of us go through tough times.

I'm sure many of us wish our lives were different or we feel like we are lost in the "busy-ness" that is life.

I know I'm victim.

Maybe victim isn't the right word... but I can't think of another....

I've thought about this a lot in the last few years... thoughts on having lots of children and living the life that was handed to me. How it has twisted many times.... how there have been numerous forks in the road... how I think about choices I have made in the past and how they will affect my present and my future....

Yes, even the ones who appear to be "supermom".... hate to burst some bubbles but some of us supermoms don't have it all together all of the time.

So I start playing the "what if" game. What if I had made different choices? What if I had chosen different paths? Would I had more time to focus on me? Would I have more time to pursue the person that I "think" I'm meant to be? Would I have more time to pursue my hobbies and interests? Even the little things.... Would I be able to eat a quiet meal with no interruptions?

Would my life be better?

Short answer?



Life is what it is. You make choices and life happens to you. There is no controlling this. You are subject to whichever god is out there or whatever the universe has planned for you.

But every time I get upset thinking my life could have been different, I think of all the wonderful things that I DO have in my life.

Zak-- you are my first born. The VERY FIRST thing in this life that showed me what true love was. No man before you EVER could make me want to sacrifice my life for another human being... until I had you. You have blessed me with the ability to be completely selfless over and over again. You were the first step in me becoming an adult, and a mother. And tonight? I got to jump up and down with joy because you hit that ball into the outfield. You were beaming with pride. And in all the busy activities of getting to your game? It was instantly worth it to see you so proud.

Izeah-- Never in my life have I ever imagined I would have a child that is "hard to please" :) You don't just readily smile at every person who passes you by.... you are calculating and thoughtful. You have made me work so hard at so many points in my life, just to get you to smile. You have shown me what determination means. You also brighten my day with all your craziness. Tonight? You told me, "Mom, I need surgery because I have these JIGGLES" as you twitched up and down the sidewalk we were walking on.... Oh my goodness child, I about peed myself with laughter.

Zane-- My third and final child to come from my womb. With your fiery red hair and hella attitude.... you really rock my world. You are the first one to greet me every morning with out fail and the first one to make me laugh (last weekend, he was a wolf, howling at 6 AM). You are hilarious and a true joy to be around. You have also taught me that children come in all shapes and sizes. You may not be the top of your class at school, or you may stutter over your words, but you are the brightest and funniest little man I know. You have spirit, and you have energy inside you that just can't stay bottled up. Tonight? You were so thoughtful bringing Izeah's DSI to dinner, so caring to remember your brother and how "bored" he might be... you care so much that it makes me care just as much.

Kayla-- Oh my teenager... how I fear for you in this great big world. You are so intelligent and mature that I often times forget that you are only 14. I frequently try to play boss just to insure the fact that you don't grow up too fast and miss the fun things a childhood has to offer... but I remember, I remember being 14 and all I wanted to do was grow up... I get it, I really do. I know I've done my job as a parent though if you don't like me once or twice in your teenage years. Teaching you about rules and limits is my job, my job as a parent, and one I believe in. You are so beautiful though, and it scares me... you will never have to want for what other girls have.... you are truly a beautiful rose in my world and yes, I will do anything to protect you, just as if I birthed you myself.

As for other things in my life? They are just things or events that have happened to me that have taught me very important lessons.... I frequently touch on them and there is no need to go into too much detail.... I just know that with people that have come into and out of my life, I have learned that to this day my inner strength still hasn't met it's limit. I know that I am a strong woman, even if I doubt my own strength at times.

My house is falling apart, but I have a house, and I make it a home. My bills are high, but lower then they have been in years because I've finally learned how to pay stuff off. My health has certain issues, but I'm not dying. I'm over all very healthy and I am working to make those other problems go away. I bitch because I'm "too busy" but I know that I'm too busy because I'm surrounded by friends. Friends that desire to spend time with me, and that makes me feel very special and appreciated. I complain because I have a lot to do up at the kids' school, but I get to be involved in their education and watch them grow.

John-- You are not my first love but yes, my only love. I know that this family causes you a lot of busy times and leaves a lot less time for yourself. I won't say thank you though. It's what I assumed you sacrificed because you loved me, and all of our children, and every crazy minute of every crazy day that comes with it. I only hope you still see the brighter sides and that you still have dreams that have me in them....


Does your life trouble you? Do you frequently think of things that you could be or should be? Do you feel like life is passing you by and your wasting your time with trivial family things? Do you feel trapped?

Well if you do.... it's ok to feel this way once in a while.... but if it becomes a constant daily thought that your life is holding you back from what you want to be.... then maybe you should re-evaluate your life and the choices you have made.

I just did.

And I'm perfectly content to be where I am, right here, right now. Do I complain and bitch each day about my many tasks and how tired I am? Yep. Sure do. But each night I go to sleep content and wake up each morning ready to roll. Do I have plans and dreams of the future? You bet, and I honestly don't believe I'm wasting my life away right now, I believe that I'm just following a path to my plans and my essence, just living my life.