Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More from Arizona

I posted those pictures of Frank and Jeanne a while back but am just now getting around to posting a few more from our trip to Arizona two months ago.
Lauren and Brendan were as cute and sassy as ever. We spent our time playing in the tree house, playing jump rope, playing tether ball, making several trips to get ice cream, making ice cream, and eating more ice cream.

Brendan is one-of-a-kind. I mean seriously, just look at that face!
At one point he was leading me somewhere with my eyes closed and I said I didn't trust him, and he just responded completely matter-of-factly, "that's because I lie all the time" :) Shawn and I always compare him to Tatanka- so so naughty, but so so irresistible.

Lauren and I beat Shawn several times at Tether Ball. He claims we cheated, but I think he may just suck at Tether Ball.

The kids were getting ready to get a horse, so we did a fair amount of playing in the new horse trailers.

So that was our trip. It ended with lots of tears, watching the kids say goodbye to their dad as he headed back to Iraq (Man, war is such a lame idea on so many accounts). Anyway, he'll be home soon and we'll go back soon.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Food from our Garden

Ok, we didn't grow the fish, but it was a nice side-dish to our fabulous red potatoes (with green onions) and red chard (prepared with lemon and chili flakes). This dinner was so so so good.

Some yellow potatoes and peas.

Potato, carrot and cheese quesedilla.

Potato, spinach/chard stir fry with onions and lavender.

And this is Courtney after a trip to the grocery store in our backyard!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Gardening- the 3rd update.

Ok, I left off a few days ago with where we were in May, and now here we have what things were looking like last month in mid June. It's totally starting to look like a real backyard! You can see we harvested our potatoes in the back and then finally cleaned up the center area a bit. We're sectioning off the back half of the center area for some new foods yet TBD.

Our squash started taking over the sidewalk by this point. Looking at these amazes me every time. That started as a seed! That's crazy! I know that is a basic life lesson, but still, that was just a SEED.

And our bed of leafy greens was pretty magnificent at this point, if I do say so myself. The smaller stuff in the front is more newly planted Kale.

The blueberries are getting bigger and bluer, and here is a close-up of our nifty hand-made fence. They sell these things pre-made for like $2 more than making it but Nate was set on making a fence. I do have to say, despite a lot more time, and maybe one or two breakdowns concerning Nate's daddy issues, it was a much nicer fence than those other ones :)

On the right hand side, we have the very pretty beginnings of some blackberries, and on the left we the the pretty endings of a shallot that I think we waited too long to harvest.

Ok, and now, finally we get to the present- July. We did a mad rush of getting things "finished" the week before 4th of July so we could host a little bbq, and while there is still lots left to do, it came together quite nicely. I unfortunately forgot to take any pictures during our party, but here's a few of hanging out with my fellow farmers afterward. You can kinda see how we put a little strip of grass in under the hammock and then created a social area with the little pebbled oval.

Tatanka is pretty sure this picture falls under the "life imitating art" side of the argument.

And finally, a little vegetable check-in: squash are growing, and we need to figure out how to get rid of all the bugs eating our lettuces.

The next day I finished up planting some more moss. I love moss; it's so satisfying just to push my hand down on it over and over again.

Courtney and Shawn took control of the squash plant and redirected it from the sidewalk to the fence.

And you can see some of the backyard furniture we bought that day from a lady on craigslist.

And here you can see our garden as of this morning! Unfortunately our grass is allready not looking good due to my precious dogs :( Most of our greens were going to seed so we harvested those, as well as the peas, and, uh. . . I guess that's all for now.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lily and Andrew- sneak Peek

Just a quickie from Lily and Andrew a few weekends ago. Can't wait to show the rest!

LOVE this couple!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gardening- the second installment

I had intentions of posting about our garden's progress much more often, but you know how those go . . . so we left off with the first six weeks or so back in March.

And here we have what was going on in April- you can see things are really starting to grow, and isn't my hammock dreamy!

Shawn thinks so too.

The squash grew fastest (and biggest, as you'll soon see).

. . . although, the artichokes are a close second. I remember back in April when I thought this was ginormous.

Unfortunately, we read the package wrong and planted them 4 inches apart not 4 feet apart. (Reminds me of the time in college when I took Vivarin wrong- it apparently said 'one every 4-6 hours' not '4 every 6 hours'). Anyway, makes a lot of sense now that we are seeing how big they get

And the potatoes. I feel kinda dumb but I never before realized that they were a green plant. I just thought everything happened under ground. But look at them- they're all green and leafy and above ground! (the red ones blossomed much quicker than the yellow ones)

This is our leafy green bed right as it was starting to grow. Then the right side is our raspberry bush. Lots more leaves than when we first planted it a month earlier!

And our peas.

Our lemon tree lost all it's leaves in a few severe wind storms we had back in the beginning of April, but it still looked promising here, like maybe it would do something, and maybe wasn't completely dead. . . but now is sorta a different story.

We had to put this net-and-gate contraption up to keep Nate out.

The first signs of a blueberry and some of the green onions just starting to mature.

And here we have Farmers Nate, Shawn, and Courtney, not really being all that mature.

By the way, Farmer Shawn, he should probably win the "farmer with the most improved attitude" award. For being the least excited of the group about this project, he has certainly become quite dedicated to the job!

Ok, next. Here is what things looked like in mid May.

The yellow potatoes have now outgrown the red ones.

Strawberry, beet, and squash.

pretty peas.

Look at those artichokes- all the way up to Shawn's waist!

Courtney was super excited to discover these squash blossoms.

The bed of leafy greens starting to fill out.

red chard.

The Green Onions and the Butterhead Lettuce- ready to be eaten!

So this was a very exciting moment- it was the first time we harvested anything from our garden!!

We walked stuff up to the kitchen and made tofu Terriyaki lettuce wraps. And of course commented over and over again about how good the lettuce and green onions were.

I still have 2 more months to bring you up to speed on but this post is getting awfully long, so I'll do it tomorrow.