Friday, May 28, 2010

Back in the Garden...Finally

You would think with the wave of beautiful weather we've been having that I would be in all of my garden glory. Truth is, sadly that is not the case. I spent a week in my basement making two more screen doors (one featuring a beaver, another a moose) and a second week in the hospital with my son. He had a 5 day EEG to determine if he was having seizures. Happily, he is seizure free. However, they have diagnosed him with a pediatric sleep disorder. So we are awaiting a visit with another neurologist that specializes in sleep disorders. Oh joy! After our release from the hospital we celebrated with a weekend of camping! What fun we had. If you ask was just what the doctor ordered. LOL.

But now, I have returned to the garden to find...WEEDS, WEEDS, WEEDS! My beautiful iris' are starting to bloom and all I can notice is the overrun, unkempt, disheveled look of my once beautiful gardens! Since weeding can take soooo looooonnnngggg... I decided to start my gardening work by planting the veggie garden yesterday. Can you say Pro-Crast-In-Ation?

Hubby and I spent all day putting the finishing touches on the garden (square foot guidelines, weed pulling, etc) and when the kids came home we planted all the seeds. For a grand total of 532 seeds/plants! Not including berries and garlic which were already in the garden. Our detail garden plan looks like this:

I'm so glad we finally planted. It feels like I've missed some beautiful growing days happens! I guess the only thing left to do is: Pull Weeds. Today. Tomorrow. Until Snow Flies.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Craftin' for the Garden

Have you ever started a project but didn't want to tell anyone? You have that overwhelming feeling that it could be good or a COMPLETE DISASTER! And if you say anything to anyone you'll jinx your own chances?

That's what happened with me with my most recent Garden Project. Once we put mulch on the veggie garden walkways it looked so pretty. I'm still not loving the mulch color but it is by far the nicest looking garden I've ever had so I decided that it was time to actually try to label my plants. For those who label their plants, I am jealous of your organization. I, however, lack all the necessary skills for such an endeavor...usually. But, I was determined to change my slacking ways. So, being still very cold here in 5B and with the seedlings needing very little of my attention I decided to get CRAFTY! You know, I just love me some Crafts!
Anyhoo, I started scouring the internet for clipart of taters, peppers, lettuce, etc. for inspriation. Then I hit the dollar store where I found some blank wooden plaques (I had to remove the gaudy ribbons~which my hubby found in the garbage later! He shouted, "HA! I knew it you've been having brothel parties here, Haven't You?" Oh, yeah, he thinks he's funny.) I drilled holes, sand the edges, painted, sanded again, then painted the veggies, then scoured the internet for a fun font, then used transfer paper, and finally painted the veggie names. I was sure that I would ruin them at every single step in the process but except for a few minor blunders I think I did okay.

So. I think I'll put exact variety info on the back. I'm still trying to figure out a way of making it easily changeable.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Whether it's the season, the last of the school year, or the stress of an extended hospital stay...whatever the reason it seems that I've been running around like a chicken with...well, you know.
But I refuse to let go of this blog again. So here's the update.

The garden is so beautiful, green, frustrating, and sad. The veggie garden is in waiting mode. I wish that we lived in a warmer climate but I live in fear of "The Killing Frost!" so I will not plant until Memorial day (except for cold weather crops). But as it waits, with fresh mulch, and new boxes, and lovely weed free pathways, it is beautiful.

My flower gardens however are under attack. The enemy (aka: dandelions) snuck across the border and have launched several forms of low tech warfare. I plan to battle the enemy soon but for now they stand in my garden in a mocking salute when I hurry by.

While I am saddened by the dandelions in my garden bed I am happy to see how large and happy by iris and day lilies seem to be. It should make for beautiful summer blooms. After I decimate the enemy. LOL.

I wish, however, that all my favorite plants were healthy but tragically, that is not the case. My prized Lilac bushes are in bloom. One is large, lovely, and perfect (as always). The second lilac is spindly, sad, and only offers a few leaves or blooms. It didn't bloom well last year but this year is heartbreaking. I've been told that a hard pruning of all the old wood will give the bush new life but...I don't hold out much hope.

Meanwhile, life continues. The children are under near constant NYS testing (4th & 7th grade) and are doing their best. William will be heading to the hospital for his V-EEG monitoring the week of May 17th. He will stay anywhere from 48 hours to 5 days. Hopefully, we'll finally find whether or not he has nocturnal seizures or a sleep disorder. Whatever the verdict, we are prepared. The waiting is the hardest part. Except, maybe, for the preparation. I'm in search of pajamas, games, books, DVDs, etc. And I need to bring his favorite cookies, and make cookies for kindergarten snack day.

With all this going on I was really very stressed so I decided to try OAMC. Have you heard of this? Well, I hadn't until I went in search of a few recipes that could be frozen ahead of time. Google offered OAMC in answer to my search. With a bit more research I was hooked on the concept of Once a Month Cooking. I spent a day searching for recipes and planning my meal calender for the month. I spent a day shopping. And on Saturday, May 2 I spent the day cooking. My mother came to help me. Together we put 24 meals into the freezer and two into the fridge. Unfortunately, with only my small freezer I did not have enough room to complete all 30 meals but I got darned close. It's already been a lifesaver. I get up in the morning and check my menu calendar. I then retrieve the frozen package from the freezer. I can either cook in the slow cooker all day or unthaw and reheat later. It has made dinner so much easier. No asking, "Whaddya want for dinner?" No last minute trips to the grocery store. No "I give up" trips to Burger King. And there's an unseen bonus. Because dinner is already taken care of I use my normal cooking time to make homemade desserts! Yes, it all boils down to chocolate for me.

Everything from homemade chicken pot pies, stuffed peppers, casseroles, soups, meatloaf, pulled pork, boneless buffalo chicken bites, pizza makings, to hamburgers and tater tots.

Update Complete. Another thing checked off my to do list.