Thursday, July 17, 2014

Garden Harvest - July 16

We had a great garden harvest last night for this early in the year (Zone 3).

  1. Enough garden peas for a meal (blanched and frozen last night)
  2. Enough kale for two large pots of soup (blanched and frozen last night)
  3. Two cucumbers - which will be sliced and eaten on crackers tonight
  4. A few small carrots from thinning out the patch (most were eaten directly in the garden!)
  5. Enough beans for two large meals (my absolute favorite summer vegetable!)

I am going to get everything possible out of this garden before August 15 when we have to be out of our house for the closing.  Everything I can get my fingers on will be preserved or eaten.  Of course, the garden looks great this year too - hopefully the new owner will appreciate it. 

Eddie and Libby helped me pick the green beans - Libby picked beans, Eddie picked plants.  I know he wants to help, but it is hard for me to see him pull up an entire plant that is heavy with blossoms, knowing we will not get to eat those beans!  He also tried to pull out my sunflower plant.  Luckily, I stopped him in time!

On a side note, so far my use of grass clippings as mulch to keep down the weeds is working wonderful.  I need to have William save a few more loads to mulch the kale and carrots, now that they are properly thinned.  Should have had him do it last night when he mowed!

I am going to miss my little garden.  But I am going to enjoy creating a new one!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

First Tomato of the 2014 Garden

The first tomato of the season (zone 3) --  Yes, its small, but it's there!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Garden - July 9

I finally made it out to weed the garden last night.

It really needed it - but now it has been weeded, mulched and will be good for another week or so!

July 9

July 8 Harvest of Radishes
I sure am going to miss this little garden when we move.  But within a couple years I am sure I will have another one ready to plant.  Hopefully, it will be even a little larger!

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Perfect Week (on Vacation!)

Last week was the most perfect week. 

It felt like I was on vacation for at least two weeks instead of just one.

So grateful for the time to spend with my family and extended family at the lake in Minnesota.  We are truly thankful for them opening their houses, cabins and campers to us for the holiday week!


Ice Cream eating with a black eye from the waterpark.  (She ran into a chair when she wasn't looking!)

Breakfast at Grandpa's house.

Waterpark fun with the Kids!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Peonie Love*

The complexity of a single flower and its life cycle.

How much joy it has brought me today and how much it is teaching me about life. 

Today is tough.  I am not even going to pretend I have the energy or the strength to make it through today.  Being a parent is HARD.  Especially when you want to excel at everything you do!  Sometimes, I just need a day like today to make me step back and realize I am not in control and that I can only do so much - the rest is in God's hands.  Children are only little for such a short time - a lot like the blooming of a flower.

The peonie season is just too short, but I will be grateful and enjoy every moment of it.  Just like I will with my children in the short time I have with them - no matter how difficult it is, I will choose to be grateful.

This post shared at Gratituesday - Hosted by Laura at Heavenly Homemakers.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Eddie's 2nd Birthday Party

Eddie turned two last week. 

Not sure how that happened as I am pretty sure I just gave birth to him a few months ago...

He is such a joyful kid (for the most part - he can throw a temper tantrum with the best of them) and I am so grateful he is part of our family.  His smile is infectious, his laugh is contagious and his kisses and hugs are the very best.

Here are a few photos of his party, which was very small, but so perfect. 

The Big Boy with his Birthday Cake.

Eddie & Libby enjoying the cake.

Excitement over a Slinky.  Love the simple gifts!

The fishing pole.  I had to pry it out of his hands to get him to go to bed!

Grandma Connie trying to teach Eddie how to play his new harmonica!

He needs to grow a little bit before he can start riding his balance bike, but I am exited for him to have the opportunity to learn to ride without training wheels!

It was such a wonderful day - we were supposed to have storms and rain showers most of the day, but it cleared up nicely and we were able to play outside and get some fresh air.  It is always more fun when we can play outside instead of being stuck indoors! 
Eddie has enjoyed playing with all of his presents this past week.  Not a single one has gone untouched!  Even the balance bike has been used (by Libby though!). 
Thanks to everyone for a wonderful party!  It was so nice to see you all (and even nice that the family members who were sick earlier in the week that didn't show up - they didn't want to share their germs - and I truly appreciated it!)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Homestead Ramblings - May 29, 2014

I made the most delicious soup earlier this week.  It had been raining all day and I was chilled to the core.  A good hearty soup is just what I needed to warm up.  So, Shaye's Chicken Tortilla Soup was the one I chose to make.  It was AMAZING.  Even the kiddos both tried it.  They didn't eat it, but they tried it.  I wish I would have taken a picture of it as not only was this soup tasty, it looked pretty too.   But I just gobbled it up instead.  Definitely a keeper!

The lettuce is growing.  I need to thin it out a bit!
The grass is growing like crazy at our house.  I bet we could mow two or three times a week and keep up with it, but who wants to do that?!  Hopefully, someday I will have more gardens and less lawn.  A girl can dream!

I weeded the garden again last night.  The majority of the weeds that are growing are seeds from the trees that are closest to the gardens.  I need to remind myself that at my next house, don't plant the garden close to trees if at all possible. 

I am having some troubles finding one small straw bale to use as ground cover in the gardens.  No one seems to have straw.  Do farmers not use straw for bedding anymore?  We always had straw bales growing up on the farm.  Maybe no one has small balers anymore and only use ones that make huge rectangle bales or round bales?
The Pole Beans.  These ones I will dry in the sun and use the beans inside the pods for soup this winter.
It is Eddie's birthday this weekend.  Little man will be two years old.  We are going to have a very small party for him with immediate family.  Simple food, laughter and play always sound like a good way to spend an afternoon.  I am hearing it may storm that day, so I am hoping it hits early in the day and we can be able to spend time outside or go to the park after the party.  No fun being stuck in the house when you want to go out and play!

This post shared in the HomeAcre Hop!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Wonderful Long Weekend

Memorial Weekend this year was wonderful.  We stayed home and got rest and played outside and literally watched the garden and plants around the house grow in the heat!  Things are looking so wonderful and it makes my heart happy and content. Something about growth after a dormancy is so very refreshing and welcome.  Granted come fall, I am sure I will be ready to see everything to the compost pile.  The way our seasons cycle is absolutely perfect.

We also headed to a local cemetery for the memorial service.  I hadn't been to one in well over 15 years, and it was good to be able to expose the kids to the reality of the reason why we have this day off.  Eddie needs a little work on respecting the flag - they handed out small flags for the kids to wave, and he decided his was better used as a shovel or to tap the gravestones with - but the more he is exposed to it, the sooner he will learn.

The smallest hosta - purchased new last year as when we split the others, we missed filling in a hole!

One of the new perennials purchased over the weekend at the Cafe Wren plant sale.

Another one of the new perennials.

The buds are waiting to open - the anticipation this year is WONDERFUL!
Even the tomato plants and pepper plants are starting to perk up so nicely.  Many are still laying on their sides, but I will simply trench them when planting to take care of this.  Nothing to it.

The green beans are starting to pop through the ground, so I expect to have to do a re-planting this weekend for any bare spots that are not growing.  Pretty soon the garden will be all set and all I will have to do is keep the weeds at bay while the sun and rain do the rest.  Then comes the fun part.  EATING!!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Garden Progress - May 23, 2014

I know there has been a lot of garden stuff here lately, but I just can't help it.

After the terrible winter we had in Wisconsin, I am so excited to see things growing!  Plus when I look back at the blog posts during the winter, these ones are some of my favorites, so I am excited to add a bunch to the collection to look at during the next freeze.

Took these photos this morning before heading into the office and I am so very excited that I get to spend three days at home this weekend tending to the garden, yard and house.  It has been neglected and it needs some care.  Plus, that kind of work is my absolute favorite.  I am happy when doing it and refreshed when it is completed.  That is exactly how I think you should feel after a good days work.  Just wish it was that way for my paid job!

Big Boston Lettuce

Merlo Nero Spinach

Blue Curled Scotch Kale

Ching Chang Bok Choy - A small variety that is ready to harvest when it is only 5" tall.
So yummy in stir fry and Cashew Chicken.

Alaska Peas

Lily of the Valley - Coming up nicely along the back of our garage!
This is my Grandmother's favorite flower and I think that once they bloom, I should pick a bunch and take them to her as a surprise.  She would love a visit anyways!!!

The Peonie is starting to fill out nicely and even has tons of buds.
The Lily of the Valley was given to my by Susie (Bill's step-mother) and every time I see them now, I think of her.  So nice to have wonderful reminders of family and friends that have passed on.  I will always associate her with this flower now.  I think if we do end up selling this house, I may try to take some with me.  If I can't, I will just make sure to plant some at our new place.  They are such beautiful and delicate flowers. 

This post shared on the Homeacre Hop!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May 22 Garden Update

My tomato plants look terrible.  My pepper plants are tiny.  My cucumbers are looking half decent.

Apparently I need a southern facing patio door like my sister if I am going to start plants from seed inside my house.  She planted hers this week in her gardens and I asked her where she bought her plants --- she started hers from seed too, a month ago and they are five times the size of mine and look healthy. 

I am leaving them outside full time now, so hopefully this weekend (or next) I can get them out into the garden beds.  I want to give them a little more time to see if they perk up before planting them into their final spots.  If it comes down to it and they just don't grow, I guess I can always head to the greenhouse to purchase some of their plants.  They likely will  not be beautiful heirlooms like I am trying to grow, but even a conventional home grown tomato and pepper is better than a store bought one!

Tomatoes and a couple pepper plants.

Cabbage, Broccoli & Cucumbers