Friday, January 15, 2010


I knew it was coming any time. You've been wanting to walk for several weeks now...your favorite game is to hold onto Mommy's fingers and walk around the room in a circle. This is very fun for you and very hard on Mommy's back! You take every opportunity to try and constantly falling down hasn't dampened your exhuberance at all. Its been wonderful watching you perfect your balance; my heart sways every time your little body does. I love how you tackled your first step of carpeted stairs, you took one look at them and just went zoom! Straight up to the top without hesitation, my brave little one.

And now here you are, just two weeks past your first birthday, and I can now officially call you my little toddler, instead of my little baby. *Sniff*.

One day, you too will understand how proud I am, when YOUR baby is taking his or her first steps.

All my love,


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Garden Fail.

Ok, I suck. I know. Its been months since I updated. There's a very good reason for this though; its called "shame." After a promising start to the season, my poor garden took a turn for the worse. Seriously, photos of my garden from August should be on .

Still, its a good news/bad news sort of thing. The bad news is, my entire yield for the summer was: Three zucchini, two beans, a whole mess of cherry tomatoes, zero cucumbers, and one sollitary pepper. Yep. A sorry haul, huh? The yield wouldn't have kept my chickens going, let along myself and my husband.

The good news is that I pretty much know why everything failed, so I can make adjustments for next year.

1) Blame it on the weather: It ended up being an awful cool summer down on the coast. It never really got above 80 degrees, which didn't make the peppers very happy. They prefer it HOT. I think next year I'll forget sweet peppers in favor of something else, maybe potatoes or something else that likes cooler temps.

2) Lack of bees and butterflies: It turns out that zucchini needs to be pollinated in order to produce fruit. Lord knows those poor plants tried..every morning a couple of beautiful big yellow flowers were as wide-open and inviting as a sorority girl at a kegger. But there just weren't any bees to play the role of frat house pledge. I tried self-pollinating a couple of times, but had to admit that I had NO idea what the male vs. female part of the flower was. Next year I'll let nature handle it and plant some more flowers to make the yard attractive for those little buzzers.

3) Over-crowding: I tried to cram a lot into a small space (the books call it "intensive gardening", I call it "not being able to choose what to grow"). So the poor bush beans got crowded out and shaded over from the zucchini and the tomatoes.

4) Not pruning the tomatoes: This year, instead of intensively pruning the tomato bushes, I decided to let them go natural and "do their thing." Well, "decided" might be too strong an action word. "Sheer laziness" might be a better phrase. As a result, the cherry varieties took over the whole box, sprawling into a messy, disease-wracked pile. They did however, produce many tasty cherry tomatoes, both red and yellow pear varieties. Next year I'll go back to pruning, and try to feed more often.

5) Poor watering. Last year I was able to rely on the sprinklers to do a lot of my watering, but sprinklers really are a poor choice..they get the foliage wet which prompts disease, and they don't water evenly at the roots, which is where plants really need it. So next year I am determined to finally get that drip system into place. It's time.

The one bright note is still the chickens, who continue to produce lovely, organic eggs. I know that as long as they are around, I certainly won't starve.

Thanks ladies.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June 11, 2008

Finally, some photos! I know, I've been lax in this regard. Weather is finally starting to warm up (hello, its mid-June!)and the tomatoes in particular are loving it. They have exploded and are taking over the planter.

This is not good, because I don't want them to crowd out my zucchini and bush beans! The latter, by the way, are sort of a mystery to me. They shot out of the ground quickly enough, but now seem to be growing verrrry slowly. Perhaps because of the aforementioned crowding.

The cucumbers, alas, didn't make it. I have NO idea what went wrong. Andthe peppers are limping a bit..I think they are waiting for some warmer weather. Temps have been in the mid-70's and I think they really prefer 80's. The zucchini is thriving though!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What a Difference A Week Makes

So, after the disaster of a few weeks ago (hereafter to be memorialized as the Great Chicken Crisis of Aught Eight) I carefully secured the fencing, top and bottom, moved away the wheelbarrow, and strewed pointy devices along the rock wall to discourage chickens from climbing up and launching themselves over the fencing.

I carefully replanted, and so far so good. All I needed was some heat, and over the past weekend, nature complied. BOY did she comply. Daytime temps went from the mid-60's to almost 90 degrees instantly, and the plants responded. I just happened to take some photos last Friday, I'll take some more tonight and post them. The tomatoes shot up about a foot and have several yellow flowers appearing. The zucchini exploded, and all the bean sprouts I planted have taken off.

The slow poke peppers are finally starting to show some good growth too. The only ones not particularly pleased with the heat are the cukes...I may have to rig up some shade for them. I also need to pick up some fish emulsion, as they must be hungry from all that rapid growth!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Disaster Strikes.

Last night I was in the kitchen, making dinner. I was in a pretty good mood, humming, pots boiling, etc. It was a lovely evening, I had let the chickens out to roam the yard and they were happily eating grass and bugs. Or so I thought.

I look up just in time to see ALL FOUR CHICKENS had somehow got around or over my fencing and were just going to town on my poor vegetable garden. I flipped. I ran out the door screaming, "NO! NO! NO! NO!", hurdled OVER the fencing and started picking up chickens and hurling them back over the fence.

Unfortunately, it was too late. I don't think they were in there for very long, but in a short time they had managed to destroy all my newly sprouted beans, the cucumber seedlings and all but one of the zucchini plants, which had been doing SO well.

I was livid. Livid and heartbroken. I know they were just plants, and I guess I can plant more, but I still can't figure out how the chickens got in there, and there is no point planting more until I can build some better fencing to keep them out. Which means more money and another project I didn't feel like taking on.

Roast chicken is sounding mighty good about now.