"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."

~ Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway


Friday, April 29, 2011

The [Sad] Herb Garden

This is the 'Herb Garden' as it currently stands. What a sad, sad sight!


The herbs listed that you can actually see are what wintered over - perennials. The [herbs] listed that you cannot see are what died sometime last season! As you can see, I clearly had no clue what I was doing when I planted this last year!!



I plan to relocate the Lovage. My mom said it will get fairly tall. I am considering planting it at a corner of our largest garden?

Clearly I should have taken more precaution when planting the Lemon Balm - it is just like a mint - invasive. I took a cutting from my mom and planted it where you see...and I can't say she didn't warn me :)

I do plan to plant cilantro again; I have a few seedlings started inside. (After writing this post, I went out later in the day to check out what hubby proclaimed was Cilantro growing up from last year! MY GOD he was RIGHT! How cool! Cilantro is so particular for me so the fact that it even regrew on its own is awesome in my book!)


I will keep the Oregano & Thyme and also want to replant the Dill. Seriously, who really has to 'replant' DILL!? Oh, me, of course!

The Basil I will also plant again this year, however, I am trying to do more companion planting so I think I will be planting in the garden. We had an 'regular' Basil last year as well as an heirloom Purple Basil.

The Parsely, mehhhh, I can take it or leave it. I am not a huge Parsely fan. I know a lot of people think it doesn't have much taste, but to me, it taste funky. Kind of like how I hate the way raw eggs smell .... kinda like how wet dogs smell ... mehhhhh

I believe I had some Hyssop also planted west of the Lovage too.

Anyways, I would like to plant some other things this year in the 'herb garden' too. Some of the things on my list are Tarragon, Sage (which last year was at the end of the garden - why, I do not know) and Marjoram among others. I will do Rosemary again this too; last year I just had it on the patio in a pot. I am not sure how I will do that one this year.

Guess I need to get moving on this! So how about you? How does your Herb Garden grow? I am also curious how many of you utilize companion planting - do you follow it to a 't'? Do you do some here and there? Do you want to try it but are too intimidated? We are going to attempt to companion plant all our gardens this year; last year we kinda-sorta did it on a whim :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baby Wipes Container 'Project'

I use the term 'project' for this lightly since it took a whole 5 minutes to do! But, what a genius idea I thought ... though I am sure someone else, somewhere, has already done it!

I decide to reuse these millions of containers I have been trashing to get some of my seeds started in. Let't check it out, shall we.

I filled it about half way or so with soil and then put my seeds in. Then I put a light covering of soil over my seeds.



Then, I misted them up nice and good :)




Here is what I LOVE about this container...it has an attached lid to help create a greenhouse effect. In late Winter and early Spring, our house is usually colder than most peoples ;) So this is super. And if I set it outside, it could be like a mini minature cold frame, no?!



Here is the other secret perk, a little window ;)




So, I will keep you update on how my seeds do in this container. For those wondering, I planted an Heirloom Cuc seed, Ruby Wallace's Old Time White. This is a white cuc that is good for making pickles and if you use white vinegar in your recipe, your pickles will stay white.




So tell me, what kind of containers have you reused to start your seedlings in?



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Magnolias & More

This wet weather has been a nightmare for our Orchard. We need to get a fungicide sprayed onto the trees and its been too wet and rainy. There was a break in the clouds Monday so Hubby rushed home to spray and got downpoured on halfway through -- basically it was a 'wash' -- pun intended. Ther weatherman has been calling for rain ALLLL week and go figure, yesterday was nice and dry and today is looking decent too :/ We are keeping our fingers crossed we can get another good shot at the spray and our crop won't be ruined.


In other areas though, the rain is brining things into bloom :)


The Magnolia bush in the front yard is so beautiful - I love the magenta color of its blooms!






And the Violets are popping up.




I just recently learned, from The Highlandview Pantry, that Violets have medicinial properties such as anti-inflamatory and respiratory benefits as well as being rich in Vitamin A!




This is the cold frame hubby made up a few weekends back. I am pretty sure he didn't do it right, but I am not going to tell him that! Two of the sides of the frame are old windows, and if I understand correctly, all the sides should be a wood of some sort, not a window. So, we'll see how it works once winter comes around again.


For now, we have lettuce growing in it and it's coming in nicely!


I'll have a post, tomorrow hopefully, on something I have just created reusing the 900 plastic containers baby wipes come in! It seems like such a shame to just be dumping all of them when empty. So, stay tuned!


Monday, April 25, 2011

..Coffee...

I don't think this getting up 100x a night thing is getting easier, I just think I am getting used to it.

Over the past few weeks, when the sun goes down, I get sad. I get sad because it means night time is upon us. And for me, that means listening to my husband and dogs snore away sweet dreams [seriously, SO annoying] while I lay in bed, eyes burning, listening to a baby scream for god only knows what. What is it this time? Hungry? Uncomfortable? Wide Awake and Bored? Landmine explode in your diaper...again?

So up I go...hobbling all over the place because I am dead tired, did I mention my eyes burn, and I cannot catch my footing. Meanwhile, I am trying to carry a 12# screaming baby :) And yes, last night I slammed straight into the wall, falling over, versus walking out the doorway to get to the nursery. YAHOOOOOOO - these are the things your mother doesn't warn you about ;)

So how, do you ask, do I manage to get myself psyched up for these lovely evenings?

COFFEE!

I dream, while my taste buds twinkle, thinking about that wonderful aroma I will smell in the morning. I dream about it piping hot with my latest flavored creamer waiting patiently in the fridge. Yes, I am dead serious. I help myself make the most of the twilight hours by thinking about how I get to have coffee when they are over!!

And don't fool yourself - I used to just be a morning coffee drinker. Now I drink it during the day and I love to make a pipping fresh pot at night too. And the craziest part? Caffeine has no affect on my as far as drinking it to stay awake!?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day 2011


Today is Earth Day!

What types of things are you doing to uphold the 5 R's?


Some things I have done recently were to 'Recycle' or 'Reuse' aluminum cans and plastic jugs to reuse for starting my seedlings in.


I have been trying, as much as I can remember, to 'Reduce' by taking canvas totes to the grocery store with me, in an effort to use less plastic bags. And hey, for the plastic bags I do get, I 'Reuse' those to clean out the litter box ;) I am just being honest!


Hubby 'Reused' the sucker branches he pruned off the apple trees to build some trellis for the garden. He also dried some out to be kindling wood for fires in the fireplace.


And of course, we are working on our gardens for this season and we have some seedlings started. Hubby has been turning his 'black gold' manure piles for our garden compost. He also 'Reused' some old windows to build a cold frame, which he's already planted lettuce in.


We have Lilac bushes on our property and every year around this time, hubby digs up some of the small sprouts to give to family and friends to transplant at their place.

So let's hear your ways of participating in Earth Day and the 5 R's. Share in the comments section and help to inspire others.

And to those who will be observing 'Good Friday' today or the Easter holiday Sunday, if you have a tradition in your family of dying eggs like we do, why not try to dye them naturally? There are tutorials for this here and over here at Adventures in Cooking. I would love to give this a try!!






Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 1

Today was the dreaded first day back to work after having my son. I have been home with him, with him 24 hours A DAY, for the past 6 weeks -- needless to say, today was hard.


Luckily, my mom watched him today and she will be able to watch him tomorrow as well. And Friday our office is closed so it will be a short & sweet work week for me! Next week we have to incorporate the sitter into the schedule for watching Allen.


I think today was a tad easier for me since I was leaving my son with my mom, but none the less, it wasn't without some heartache! It sure helped though that my mom sent me text message pictures throughout the day! Do you think the sitter will do that for me too - ha! ;)


Ruby & Madelyn haging out with their cousin - the new addition to Gran's Babysittin' Clan! Picture courtesy of 'The Gran Cam Cell Phone!'


And I am wondering, if most people know it is hard when you first start back to work and leave your child with someone, why does everyone insist on the first question they ask you to be something along the lines of "So, do you miss your baby...was it hard to leave your baby..."

Well OF COURSE it was hard and I miss him, thanks for reminding me!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bras, Boobs & A Blessing....


*Warning: If you have issues with boobs or breastfeeding, or the word boob in general, you might as well stop reading now!


I am sure this is nothing shocking to seasoned mothers; for a rookie, it deserves a blog post!


Last night was one heck of a night. I think I was lucky to get 15 straight minutes of sleep the whole night (so now I am delirious). The morning didn't pan out any better and I had plans today to get some shopping done before I have to start back to work - specially speaking, I need some nursing bras so I have a little more support than a tank top walking around in public ;)


By noon, I decided screaming or not, we had to get out the door. Made my bank stops w/o issue and got through most of Target w/o issue. Oh, well, I had issues, but the babe didn't. My intention was to get one bra in black and one bra in white. Let's be honest - I don't plan to be in this situation forever so one in each color is fine. Well, of course, they only had my size in black so it looks like I will be wearing dark colored shirts for now. Lets be honest again...by the time I get back to the store to see if they have my size now stocked in white, I may be done with a need for the nursing bra all together!


Back to the car, I was starving and seeing as I was shaking from all the coffee I had, and no food, (look, don't judge me. It was a rough night and my child isn't going to grow up with missing fingers because I overdosed on caffeine for a day!) so I had to detour to a fast food joint. (Boy, my diet gets better in every sentence!) As I was placing my order, the wailing started. And I could tell this wasn't the 'stick my pacifier in my mouth and I will shut-up' wailing, this was the 'stick a boob in my mouth and I will shut-up' wailing.


Grrrreat! I still needed to stop at the grocery store and it would be at least 25 minutes to drive home. So, I had no choice. I pulled into the grocery store parking lot and parked in the back. Then I realized a creepy lady was also parked in the back, sitting in her car, staring at my every move. So, we moved on down the road to a church parking lot, I got the babe out of his car seat and fed him! I figure, with people in America being all weird about public breastfeeding and all, the safest place to have to do it would be a church parking lot, right? I mean, really, would a nun come out and tell me to leave for indecent exposure? And just for the record, I am not the kind of breastfeeding mother who feels it is ok to whip out my boob anywhere to feed (and I am not judging those who do, I am just saying, that is not me!). If and when I am in public and I have no other choice, I will go to a bathroom stall, changing room etc .... I have no desire to publicly breastfeed just as much as I am sure you have no desire to walk by seeing it!


So, when my child decided he was content, I put him back in his car seat and headed on our merry way. We did have one more detour at the Post Office. Of course he started wailing again in there and the kindest lil' ol lady came up to me asking how old he was and what was his name etc, etc. Then she asked if she could offer him a blessing. 'Sure, why not' I said. So she proceeds to offering him a blessing, something about growing up to be strong blah blah blah. What I want to know is, why couldn't I have had that blessing too! Moms, I have come to discover first hand, need blessings to be and stay strong too!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Social Outings ... and a Farm


It is no secret my husband and I have a lot on our plate. But, to be fair, we put it all there ;)



We have what I would call our small 'hobby' farm on 6 acres. We have our orchard (120 trees), our gardens, 4 horses, 2 dogs and now - a baby! We have a lot going on here! There is always something that needs done and always something to do. So, it should come as no shocker that a lot of times, when we leave the farm, we don't leave together...and when we do leave together, we have to watch the clock because we have to be home to feed the horses (usually the case) or we may have to be home to get the orchard sprayed (depending on season and weather).



It dawned on me this past weekend, while I was visiting family with the babe, and someone asked where my husband was, that it is just a fact of our life that my response is usually going to be at home working on this or that.... And I am ok with that! We make it work when we have a special family function or holiday to attend, but for normal, casual gatherings, we aren't always going to be able to attend together. It is just the way it is. And I wouldn't change it either. Listening to my husband talk today about all the things he is going to do with our son made me smile; how they are going to get chickens and gather me eggs to cook with. How they are going to build a tree house in the apple orchard and how he'll learn to ride horses :) And I am reminded how lucky we are.



I admit, with my looming 'return to work from maternity date' hoovering, I am feeling sad and envious of those moms who can choose to just not to return to work so they can stay home with their baby. I can't. I have to work. But if I had that option, I wouldn't have this farm for my son to grow up on!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Farm Manager

I am sure I have mentioned our Farm Manager before.


Her name is Savannah.


She basically owns the place, so it is only logical that she 'manage' it. When she chased the neighbors 180# Rottiweiler back into its own yard, she was hired on the spot!


Spring time is usually a very active time for her. She is usually always leaving us presents on the patio, in the barn aisle, on the sidewalk - everywhere.


Lately though, this Spring seems to be more of a vacation for her! She lounges all day...and night. And when Allen is in the orchard or doing yard work, she finds a sunny spot to sit and watch him. Yesterday the babe and I went for a walk in the orchard and she led us around like she was the tour guide - like it was my first time through!

Oh wait! What's that? Maybe she is ready to get back to work...maybe...hopefully....soon....


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring is here!

Though I am sure it will get rather cold here again, at least one more time, dare I say Spring is here! There is lots going on I want to blog about, like the visit Romeo & Daisy had from the dentist yesterday, but the little one is keeping my hands rather tied. So, stay tuned!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

These cookies were pretty good...this coming from someone who is not a chocolate fanatic! Give them a try! Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies Slightly adapted from a Tasty Kitchen Recipe

Ingredients:



  • 1/2 C All Purpose Flour

  • 1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour

  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda

  • 1/2 C Cocoa Powder

  • 1/2 tsp Salt

  • 1/2 C Unsalted Butter

  • 4 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

  • 1.5 C Sugar

  • 2 Eggs

  • 1 tsp Vanilla

  • 4 oz. Peanut Butter Chips

Directions:


Preheat oven to 325 degrees


Combine flour, soda, cocoa & salt in one bowl and set aside


Melt the butter and chocolate chips in a double boiler


Combine sugar, vanilla and eggs in your mixer, then add the melted chocolate/butter mix once it is completely melted and mixed together


Add your flour mix to your wet mix slowly -- try not to overmix. Then fold in your PB chips.


Spoon onto a non-stick baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake at 325 degrees for approx. 15-17 minutes...don't overbake! My oven took 17 minutes on the dot...your oven will vary but check them around 15 minutes.


Enjoy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pruning Pick Up Day

Yesterday was beautiful here which was great since we had lots of work to do in the orchard. Allen pruned the whole orchard by himself this year - amen! - since I was a tad tied up with a newborn ;) After the trees are all pruned, we have to go through and pick up all the sticks and twigs (and sometimes whole branches) that are pruned off. It must be my least favorite job of running an orchard! Luckily, some of my family came out prepared to help us tackle this task!
My brother-in-law, Jay, and my Dad



Allen and his new farm hand, Maddy!


And yet the newest addition, destined to be a farm hand ;) haha



This week we'll be spraying a coating of Horticultural Oil on the trees. It helps control the pests that winter over on the trees. The buds are looking great and plentiful so cross your fingers we'll have a good season!

Friday, April 8, 2011

80# of Love!



Forget holding his baby when he gets home....THIS baby needs love first ;)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

First Milestone!

I promise I will have some posts un-baby-related soon, but today was a milestone!


ONE MONTH OLD! ...already....


"Really Mom?"

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weekend in a Word - Barrel