Thursday, April 30, 2009

A view of my backyard. You can see my new garden area on the right. The bed towards the back is where I planted the asparagus and Hubby planted his flower bed (in half). The half towards the fence is where I'll be putting a row of potatoes, hopefully this weekend. The left, well, the left is not our doing. It's what was left by the previous owners. We are doing our best to keep it up, but we're making it our own as well.

And this is where I was when I took the picture. It is an outdoor stairway. We are assuming the house may have had an upstairs apartment at some point. But, the stairway inside is very small, narrow and closed-up. Without this outdoor one, we never would've been able to move any furniture in up there. So, it may just be an addition out of necessity. Neverthless, the stairway is in need of some repair and upkeep. We're hoping to sand it down and re-stain it this weekend. I'm also hoping to be able to reinforce it in places and trim the tree back. The rosebush underneath it also needs some care. It's growing up through the floor of the landing!

A close-up of my veggie beds. I have planted three kinds of beans, lettuce, rosemary, marigolds and spinach this past weekend. More to come! I will be updating after planting and putting up a bit of a diagram of where things will be.

And, here is a glimpse of some of what I got from my grandma's house this weekend. It's one of the large jars (and a granite cup :) I haven't washed any up yet, but I will hopefully get that done this weekend too!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Menu Monday (Tuesday)

No pictures yet, sorry. I spent most of last night on the couch with a terrible headache. It wasn't quite a migraine, but it was close. And it didn't go away, it's still hanging around this morning. Ugh. I'm hoping the rain today will cure what ails me :)

But, I will manage to get my menu up this week!

Monday - tacos made with leftover pork roast (from the freezer)
Tuesday - breakfast for dinner! Eggs, bacon and potatoes (made with leftovers from the grill Sunday)
Wednesday - Pork chops with asparagus and couscous
Thursday - potato soup (didn't get it made before)
Friday - burgers on the grill
Saturday - we may or may not be doing dinner with be decided
Sunday - pizza

For more menus, visit

Monday, April 27, 2009

One tired treehugger

I am pooped. It was a gorgeous weekend filled with lots of good, productive work. But Lord am I tired. I spent almost every minute of this weekend (including Friday night) outside. It was 80 plus degrees the whole time, and it still is. I got a lot done and I'll have pics hopefully tonight or tomorrow. I planted some in the garden and Hubby and I planted two flats of annuals all around. We're just hoping it won't get cold again. It's still really early for us here in NW Ohio!

Just wanted to check in, let you all know I'm here. Hopefully I can stay awake to make it through the day. I'm sore, I'm tired and the weather is wreaking havoc with my sinus issues and my head is going to explode.

The good news is that I got a bunch of boxes of canning jars, even some really big ones. I think I'm done accumulating jars, woohoo!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Adventures in Guerilla Gardening

Today, another girl at work and I were guerilla rebels. She had ordered 10 free trees from the Arbor Foundation, but decided that her yard wasn't big enough for all of them (as this is the third year she's done this). She brought four into work today.

In honor of Earth Day, we went outside and planted them around a pond we have behind our warehouse. Apparently this used to be a very nice area, but since I've been here, the landscaping has been all-but-neglected, the pond is barely half full and it's just kinda dull and boring.

We're not sure if we would have received a welcome reception had we inquired about our endeavors, so we were sneaky about it. We got them planted though! Two golden rain trees and two crab apples to add to the atmosphere of our area. She says she planted the rain trees in her yard a few years ago and they're pretty big already, so we have that to look forward to.

And, I can make it my goal to not be strapped to this desk and sitting in this cubicle by the time they are as tall as I am. The only time in my life I've been glad I'm not tall!!


Happy Earth Day and Happy 100th Post. I waited to post again today just so the two would coincide :) I can't believe it's 100 already, but it is, so yeah!

I wish I had something more substantial to post about on this day, but life has been fairly bland this week and my brain is just coasting. No deep insight into the world or anything.

I will share with you, however, what I did at my place of employment yesterday. It was the day of our monthly Safety Meeting, and I think I mentioned before that I was working on a presentation to go along with that. It was all about going green at work and at home and was full of simple and easy thing you can do to go green that not only help the environment but also improve health, pad the bank account and improve the quality of life for future generations. Woohoo.

If anyone is interested in looking at the powerpoint, please let me know and I can get it to you.

Along with this, I am implementing weekly "Go Green" tips. Today's tip is about composting. I put buckets in each of our kitchens and will be asking at least to put coffee grounds and filters in there as a starting point. I was going to go all the way and ask for food scraps, but I was counseled that it might gross people out. So we're starting with coffee grounds. I have a used Folgers can at my desk for food scraps, etc. and will be using that. I'm soon going to be up to my eyeballs in compostable material. I may have to invest in red worms just to keep up with it all!

A lot of talk is going around about Earth Day being bad and people having anti-Earth Day campaigns. The basic premise is that every day should be like Earth Day, there shouldn't be a holiday. I completely agree with that. But, not everyone is as enlightened as the rest of us. Earth Day is still necessary because it gives those of us who do have the knowledge of living lightly on the Earth the opportunity to pass it along to a more receptive audience. Hopefully, a few more people will have the CFLs in their heads switched on and realize what's going on in the world because they participated in some sort of Earth Day event or read an article.

I love my husband very much and he loves me. We tell each other this every day. But, we still like to do something special on Valentine's Day. It's a Hallmark Holiday, I know, but it is a holiday and it is an opportunity for us to take a step back and appreciate each other.

So, on this Earth Day, even if you already celebrate it every day, take a step back and really appreciate what an awesome planet we live on.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A couple more hair pics

Sorry for those of you who don't really care, but I wanted to share a couple more of the new 'do. I also found one that shows my hair in a long ponytail about a year ago.

before (one year prior to cut)

after, the straightened version. It took 20 minutes, not something I'm going to do every day, that's for sure.

I think the black and white shows it a little better. It's still so weird to see it. It doesn't look like me yet. Oh well.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Rainy Sunday

Compared to yesterday, today is cold and rainy. But, it was good as my house needed some TLC.

I started the day (after Hubby made me breakfast :) browning some burger and stew beef for chili. I made a crockpot full of chili and started some bread dough. Then we went to visit my family and share some bulbs with my Mom! She also got me some beef bones so I can make beef broth, woohoo!

When we got back, I put a chicken in the oven. I'm hoping to make some chicken salad still tonight if it cools enough too.

I got a pineapple and cut that up. I definitely need more practice, it's not something I would say was easy for me at all. But Hubby will eat it and it's good for him, so I buy them even though they're shipped from the other side of the world and I cut them, even though it is nearly impossible! I also chopped up some peppers and onions and put them in the freezer for easy use during the week.

And I'm also working on four loads of laundry. I did some general pick up all over and washed about three loads of dishes! Busy day inside, but very productive and will help during the week. I just wish I was able to get some cookies made. I was also planning on making a lasagna for the freezer, but realized I don't have all the ingredients only after I returned from my quick trip to the store. Oh well. There's always tomorrow!

Adventures on the most beautiful day of the year

Saturday this past weekend was just gorgeous. It got up to around 75 degrees (F) and was sunny just about all day. I got out there about 8AM and worked until about 7PM (with a few hours out to go to brunch with friends and get my hair cut!)

Most of the time was spent digging up bulbs and separating a bunch out. I gave a lot to my mom and a few friends. I also moved some around on my own property, but I don't have a lot of room for more plants!

The tiger lilies here were taking over and the root/bulb ball was huge and about a foot above ground level due to the mound of sand/rock/dirt that was here before. So I really cleaned this area up.

And moved a couple small plants here to the front.

I also moved these babies from the strawberry patch to the front of the house. If I remember correctly they are tulips. There were about six of them and I was sure they were all dead. Nothing came up last year. So I planted strawberries, but here they are! Hopefully both the strawberries and the flowers will do better now.

I also thinned out these daffodils, though the ones that were replanted arent' looking so good. Hopefully after today's rains they'll perk up.

Hubby and I also worked on cleaning out the pond and took the net off. There was a poor toad out on the middle of the net and I'm pretty sure I freaked him out. He was moved to safety and has been singing to us ever since :) Hubby also mowed for the first time, trimmed and reseeded some bare spots in the front.

I also got five itty, bitty asparagus plants in the ground.

Yesterdays warm and sun paired with today's rain has brought buds and blossoms everywhere!

I didn't even know all of these were here! Last year they did not look this beautiful at all.

And this area is my next project. There is a layer of weed barrier not too far under the surface and I am looking for a nice ground cover for most of the area. And I'll probably move some of the billion Iris bulbs I have over here if the soil is deep enough. Any ground cover suggestions?

I've been very productive today too, but this post is already long, so I'll make it another.

I Am Not My Hair, The Finale

Here's a pic of my hair before (I was dancing at a bar with friends. I'm the one in silver). It's not a good one, I'm actually having a much harder time finding one of my hair down than I thought. But, I think you can tell there was a massive amount of hair. It was past my elbows and very, very thick. Sad thing is, all I ever do is wear a pony tail, a braid, or a messy bun similar to this. Boring.

So yesterday, I went with Sara and Kira and chopped it off to donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. I think I cut off about a foot. I haven't measured or gotten pics yet. I will before I send out all three of our sets of pony tails tomorrow.

So now, I have this tiny little pony tail that I need to use a clip to keep up!

Definitely the smallest I can remember. I think it's shorter now that it has been since I was in third or fourth grade. and it's much shorter than I expected as well. I'm still deciding how I feel about it, but most say they like it.

This is the back without the pony tail. This illustrates why I'm not sure I like it yet or not. The curl that's in my hair makes it very unruly now. Much crazier than I'm used to!

Overall, I'm getting used to it. It's okay. It looks much better with my face than I thought it would, as long as it'll stay behind my ears! This is the fourth time I've donated, and the first time I didn't go into it apprehensive. You can read a little more about the past experiences here.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I got the other large bed done last night, woohoo! It took some time and some work, but I got the dirt worked up and mixed in some compost. Hopefully this weekend I can get the potatoes and asparagus in and the bulbs moved around. It's supposed to be 73 tomorrow!!

I also dumped two 10-gallon garbage cans and a 32-gallon can full of rock and stone in the area between the beds where I have the "container" portion of the garden started.

On my trip to Menards last night I also bought 4 more pots for tomato plants.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring may be here

I'm very much looking forward to this weekend. It's finally supposed to reach the 70's!!

Hubby's getting home late tonight, so I'm going to work in the garden (surprise, surprise). I'm hoping to hit Menards on the way home for some soil amendments to add to the sandy part and get it hoed in. My mom and dad have a small tiller that they said I can borrow, but they're about 40 minutes away, so I think I'm just going to sweat it out. Hoping to get a run in too.

I got my asparagus and potatoes that I ordered from Burgess last week so I have to get them in the ground. My plan is to use the sandy bed for those and maybe some extra carrots. Hubby wants a flower bed, but I don't think that area gets enough sunlight for very many flowers. I also need to work on splitting my bulbs up all over the property. Yeah for good weather!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Growing Update

Here are some pictures updating what's been growing around our place. Enjoy.

broccoli roots, definitely ready to go outside!

onions, big and strong
The last pepper plants to come up. I don't think they're getting as much light.

Luffa plant. Let's hope they stay this nice and healthy long enough to produce fruit!

According to my labeling, this is a pepper, but from the looks of that seed shell,
I'm pretty sure this is the Luffa plant and the other is the pepper. Oops.

Adventures with Rain

So this morning I was doing dishes and thought I heard a dripping noise. I couldn't pin-point where it was coming from, but it was raining outside and I just figured it was a noise from out there as my house is not very sound-proof. WRONG. A few seconds later I heard drips landing on the kitchen floor.

There used to be a wood stove in our kitchen and the area where the chimney is has been capped off. It is now dripping from three different places (you can almost see one in the pic above). The dripping noises I heard earlier was from inside the chimney. Awesome.

I put a bucket down and I'm praying that the kitchen won't be a mess when I get home. Sounds like I'm getting up on the roof this week. Woohoo!!

The spoils of turning 27

Easter was the final celebration of my birthday, we managed to stretch it out over three weeks! But now it's done and I am officially in my late twenties. Ugh.

I got some very lovely gifts, thank you to everyone who was generous and kind :)

When my family came last weekend, my mom brought me this awesome food scale. Notice the yummy cake in the background, almost completely gone by Sunday :) I also got from her the book Nourishing Traditions. I just started reading it and am very excited! Thanks again mom!

And on Easter, I got gifts from my sisters who couldn't make it over last weekend. A box of wide-mouth canning jars (woohoo!) from the twins and Sara Snow's new book and a bunch of Burt's Bees chapstick from the older one. (For those who are counting, I have four younger sisters). The funnel I got for myself, $0.49 at Kroger this weekend. Thanks girls. I love when I get gifts that I really need and/or want but won't get for myself. These are all awesome. Also, I spoke to my grandma last week and she promised to show me how to darn socks when they come back from Florida. Woohoo!!! Thank you to everyone!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Menu Monday

Last week I completely skipped menu planning, and it was difficult. Hopefully I'm back on track this week.

Monday = pork roast with potatoes and carrots (already in the crockpot at home!)
Tuesday = pulled pork sandwiches from leftover roast and rolls from mom's house this weekend!
Wednesday = grilled chicken
Thursday = potato soup (I know it's a little past soup season, but I love it and I miss it!)
Friday = leftover night (Hubby's going to be gone)
Saturday = more grilled chicken and veggies
Sunday = ribs (still haven't made the ones in the freezer!)

I'm also planning on a pot of chili sometime this week. I also have to make bread and maybe roast another chicken...all the while working on my garden. I'm almost glad it's going to be a rainy week :)

For more menus visit

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Beautiful day!

I am currently taking a break from working outside. I'm getting a lot done. I will hopefully get some shots later. But, I did get my second bed in and I'm working on sprucing up the existing bed that is currently nothing but sand.

Hope everyone's enjoying this beautiful Easter weekend!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Garden (almost) Complete!

Tonight I managed to get one box ready for planting!

The dirt in this area is terrible. Almost as much gravel as their is dirt.

So I used my wonderful soil sifter to get rid of some of it, but I didn't get all of it. I'm worried there will be a very high level of lime in the soil, as most of the gravel appears to be limestone. I will have to test the ph before I plant anything.

Also buried in the dirt were a lot of these. Actual bricks and pieces of brick. This place was just a junk dump with a few bushes planted in it.

And here is a finished square, yeah! I dug down a few inches below the wood and then put the garden fabric down and added the soil mix on top. Hopefully this will keep the ivy out in the future.

I also got the raspberry and blueberry bushes planted. I think I'm going to get some more pots and put some tomato plants and potatoes in the pots.

This is the area where the building used to be and where I think we will put the pots. Those four round stones were found buried under ivy. My sister named them all. One is a boy.

This is the second bed we uncovered. At the end, by the little fence piece there used to be a mound. Hubby found and old blue tarp with a bunch of sand in it under the mound. More garbage!

This is the tarp that we found, along with a bunch of bricks that were buried. This hitch, thing was also buried under ivy. It was bungy-corded to the fence behind it and almost completely covered with ivy. Anyone know what it is? I appears to fit on a truck hitch, but I don't know what it would be used for...

And last but not least, more of the rock that was uncovered. Woohoo. More updates soon, I promise :)