Thursday, June 30, 2011

W7 Garden--as promised!

The majority of my day was spent washing clothes and packing for our vacation. And taking plenty of breaks to be with Kaelyn who has figured out that if I'm in the kitchen, I'm probably not going to hold her. She is a pro at steering me away from the kitchen sink or stove.

I am going to miss my daily visits to my garden while I'm gone! See the lone tear make its way down my cheek.

NW Garden.

Zucchini flower!

NE Garden.

Something likes this broccoli plant.

SE Garden.

The strawberries are doing so much better now than they were a month ago!

Monday, June 27, 2011

W6 Garden

If I remember, I'll be taking W7 pictures on Thursday and then W8 a few days late. What's new? :)

NW Garden. I pulled the spinach and planted.... um, something there. I'm pretty certain I put beans there.

I love how this pak choy looks more and more like the final project every day.

SW Garden. Don't look at the tomato still sprawling on the asphalt. It's too late for that tomato to be staked up.

Beans! Some of the few out of several seeds that I've planted.

SE Garden. Growing beautifully!

One pepper plant with no leaves on the bottom stem.

Another pepper plant just as tall as the last but with leaves on the bottom.

Some beautiful tomatoes.

I kept forgetting to take a picture of this, but there's these greenery things out front. A few weeks after I put the fence up around the garden out back, I noticed some of these leaves disappearing. In a matter of five days, all the leaves of that particular type of plant was gone. It looks like this now.

See? Gone. I don't really care because they came with the house and in my long-term plan, those aren't remaining. Revenge of the Rabbits?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

W5 Garden

I already made my excuses for why this is nearly a week late in the W4 post. So straight onto pictures.

NW Garden. Look how big those zucchini plants are!!! The spinach plants are still growing well too.

Some carrots.

My mouth drools just looking at the pak choy. I can't wait to harvest it. I need to plant more. And I definitely need a bigger garden next year!

My chest puffs up with pride every time I look at these tomato plants. I only purchased two from a nursery and the rest I started from seed. This is one that I started.

SW Garden. Oh look. That tomato plant is still not staked. But hey, some beans actually sprouted!

Lettuce. Yum.

More beautiful little tomatoes.

SE Garden. Everything is growing so well. Except the beans that keep not sprouting.

The yellow (I think) pepper plant. It's tall along with the red (I think) pepper plant.

The green pepper plant still is having trouble. The leaves keep going brown in spots and then dropping. The growth is also super stunted. It is barely half the height of the others.

The watermelon plant.

My cherry tree is weird this year. It barely bloomed and it barely had any cherries on it. There were five within reach and not many more besides. :(

I don't know what was going on with our back step this day, but there were TONS of ants crawling all over it. The next day, they were gone.

And for a very last picture, this was the first harvest several weeks ago. Since then we've enjoyed lettuce and spinach as salad and on sandwiches. I love eating what we've grown!!

Week 4 Garden

So much for weekly posts. I have excuses. Wanna hear them? If not, just skip to the pictures. The Friday of W4 was taken up with a family trip to the zoo and then a Chinese buffet afterwards (which Jared rated barely above average but I think he was rating it against Chinese restaurants as a whole and not just buffets). I got these pictures taken on Saturday but then was busy with prepping for my ward's camp for our young women (just on a ward level, not a stake level) that was on W5. W5 pictures were taken on Sunday (Father's Day) and this week has been the beginning of the summer whirlwind. BUT HEY. Pictures of W4 coming up.

NW Garden. I'm so glad I'm taking weekly pictures because this garden really amazes me now!!

The pak choy.

The zucchini.

SW Garden. Guess who hasn't staked her tomato plants yet. (Look in the NW corner of this picture.)

Little tomatoes have appeared!!

See? It needs to be staked.

SE Garden.

The leaves of my green pepper plant keep turning like this and then dropping off.

The cucumbers.

The watermelon.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Love this girl

I loved the original picture but with a little bit of editing, I love it even more.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Blackberry Jam

I had this idea to write about fitness. Close upon the heels of that thought came the thought that really, what do I know about it? Maybe I can write about what I'm doing or reviews of DVDs that I've tried. Actually, I like that idea.

But not today.

Today I have two other things to say.

1. This is post #100. Tear.
2. I noticed today that I have blogged more this year than I did last year.

And I just decided I'm going to blog about Wellness on Mondays. See? A step in the right direction. On Mondays, you get Wellness. On Fridays, you get Garden. On Saturdays, you get Rambles. Or perhaps Bad Habits, Evil Doings, and Other Unnecessary Confessions is a better title.

Wellness is a way of life. Wellness is being fit. Wellness is exercising. Wellness is movement. Wellness is healthy foods. Wellness is unprocessed foods. Wellness is cleanliness. Wellness is being financially fit. Wellness is being spiritually fit. These are just a few of my thoughts about what wellness includes for me. I certainly have not achieved my goal, but every little change gets me closer.

When I run out of a food, I often look for a healthier alternative or brand. In one of those past 99 posts, I mentioned that Heinz makes ketchup that has no HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). It is not that much more expensive and it is called Simply Heinz.

Recently, I was running low on jam and I always dread buying jam because it seems like the healthier versions are way more expensive so I have to hang my head in shame while I buy a product loaded with HFCS, CS, and other additives. When I got to the store, I looked down the row and picked up one that said it was all natural with no preservatives. The pricing wasn't that bad and it was a decent sized jar. My jaw dropped. Four ingredients! Now THAT is what I'm talking about.

I wish I had the price, but this was one of the weeks that I did not enter anything into my price book. :(

Blackberry Jam by Wind Stone Farms. Made in Kentucky. I bought seedless because I thought that's what Jared liked. Jared told me otherwise when I got home. Does my dad like seedless then? I swear someone in my life somewhere does not like seeds and apparently it is not Jared. It is an 18 oz jar and it is yummy.

Ingredients: Blackberries, sugar, fruit pectin, citric acid.

Nutrition Facts--I confess that I haven't really ventured too much into this world. I figure if I'm eating foods that are low in ingredients and not very processed, I'm doing pretty good. But maybe someone who reads this will want to know this information. So here you go.
Serving size: 1 Tbsp
Calories 50
Total Carbs 13g
Sugars 12g

One year I will take it a step further and make my own. I'm not there yet.

Friday, June 3, 2011

When I just write, I ramble -- fair warning

Warning: This post has no pictures. (Maybe I shouldn't even be writing right now since I just typed "this picture has no posts" but that is what a backspace button is for.)

Contrary to popular belief (hahahaha, I make myself laugh), I have problems. And this one I'm going to talk about is HUGE, people (not HUGE people which I had initially typed -- that is what arrow buttons are for). Like IN YOUR FACE PINK ELEPHANT kind of huge. And serious. Very serious.

Sometimes when I have a moment from Kaelyn (or even if Kaelyn is playing or reading all nice and quiet by herself), I don't know what to do.

I'll wait for you to stop laughing.

You other moms know what I'm talking about. You moms with multiple kids know more than I do what I'm talking about.

I have tons of things I should do and need to do and want to do and none of it sticks in my head when I have the time to do it. Most of the things I should and need to do are also things I want to do so it's not like I hate the stuff.

Oooh, ooh, and there's also the problem of knowing what I should and need to do and really wanting to do something else instead.

Like today. It was a gorgeous day yesterday and today. I kept escaping from Kaelyn to work outside. There's still wood all over our backyard because of that tree that fell down (so. much. wood.) so I worked with that a little bit. Then I was in the front yard (I still can't remember why) and noticed the prickly weeds (which I didn't touch at all last year) had flower buds. I for sure wasn't going to let those suckers flower this year so I pulled all of them up and any other weeds that got in my way. I discovered three bush stumps hidden among the greenery. That was yesterday. Today I had this huge huge huge itch to start cutting down the bushes out front. We want all four of them gone eventually. I made the mistake of telling Jared that's what I wanted to do. He wisely counseled (and very gently suggested) that maybe starting something else wasn't a good idea. I pouted (maybe) and slunk out back (maybe) to separate and pile up more wood from that blasted tree (did I mention it is a lot of wood????).

Maybe it is that I feel overwhelmed with how much I should/need/want to do that I just don't do any of it. But then when I do something, I feel so good about it and I wonder why I didn't want to do it in the first place. I dream and plan way more than I actually do.

I think the most likely reason is that I try to stay busy most of the day (Jared, stop laughing) with either Kaelyn or laundry or reading my email or browsing Pinterest or washing dishes or my garden or whatever else I can do with Kaelyn around. Then when Kaelyn is asleep or with someone else, I take a breath and just.... don't do anything. Lately that's driven me to pick up a book -- good thing, but isn't there something else I could/should do?

There is probably a better way that I could be explaining this that is far less wordy (although, let's face it, nobody's reading this anymore) but it's 10pm and I'm feeling plagued by this conflicting feeling. 

How does your garden grow?

At least I'm writing once a week even if it's nearly all about the garden. I have had many thoughts of other posts. I just don't write them. Mayhap I can change that.

Kaelyn pulled up one of my tomato plants this week. I replanted it and it seems to be doing fine. Kaelyn is now banished from my garden. I'm not sure what I'll do once Jared isn't around to watch her while I'm out there. Let her run around the garden fence trying to find a way to get in?

NW Garden. The spinach is hanging on after the bunny beating it took but I'm just going to have to start eating its leaves as super baby spinach leaves instead of just baby spinach. I'm so proud of all my tomato plants I have that I started from seed. It makes me happy to see them grow bigger. Zucchinis grow fast. Not all my carrots survived - I think some of the seeds drowned or something. I planted more pak choi.

My little pak choi.

SW Garden. I bought more broccoli and brussel sprouts plants to replace the ones that were bunny terrorized. Those are scattered throughout the three garden plots. The heat wilted them a bit when they were sitting out for a few hours before I was able to plant them but with a good watering, they looked so much better the next day! My bush beans haven't sprouted yet but I'm hoping they will.

My single strawberry still! These strawberries are supposed to give two harvests per year so hopefully we'll see more later. This one is looking so pretty but it's not yet ready to pick.

The yellow pear tomato plant has a cluster of flowers now!

SE Garden. There is something planted in every square foot of this bed. Hooray! More carrots, watermelon, cucumbers.

I was pleased to see new growth on some of the strawberry plants. Some had just died but others are coming back. Yay.

The flower from last week is now this mini green pepper!

I don't remember which color this bell pepper plant is but the flower is just starting to open.

And there you have it! Three weeks of gardening. I love it.