Tag Archives: gardening

Sometimes I Need a Bit of Quiet

Sometimes I need a bit of quiet. Do you ever get that way? Life’s just so go-go-go noisy and it’s good to take a break to breathe. So that’s what I’m doing today on my 31st birthday. Hubby and I went grocery shopping and that’s really the only thing I’ve checked off my to-do list…. which is totally okay. We’ll cook together tonight and watch a RedBox movie. I’ll quilt a bit and fold a load of laundry. Maybe have a nice long soak in the tub. I’ll return those phone calls and emails later.

have to put clothes on

I’m getting real quiet and listening and learning about myself and my business. I’ve noticed that I don’t have a real clear direction and want to remedy that. One thing I have planned is to participate in a group read and discussion of The Power of Unpopular by Erika Napoletano, a business book that many people have recommended to me.

This week’s Project Quilting Challenge is to finish a UFO (unfinished object) so I’ve been working on the Turtles Quilt for my childhood summer camp. I’m up to the final border on the top. I’ll post some updated photos of that in a few days. It almost definitely won’t be finished by Sunday so I may work on a smaller project to submit. There are some great prizes that are randomly drawn this year and it always feels good to have a finish. If I don’t this week, well, I’m not going to stress about it.

turtle sees who can get home first

We’ve been doing some gardening this past week. Living in Southern California does have benefits! We loved the potatoes so much last year that we’re planting three times as many. So far we’ve weeded, pulled up some stumps, laid a brick path, transplanted the bird of paradise plants, painted some pots, and planted seeds that’ll be flowers.

tatobucket

I’ve linked an older post up to the Tuesday Archives link party. This week’s theme is nine-patch quilts. The last nine-patch that I made is in my etsy shop. It’s a disappearing nine-patch baby quilt with kids’ prints on a pink and orange background. pink d9p finished

Advertisements

Garden Harvest

gardendinerMary, Mary, quite Contrary how does your garden grow? It’s time for a gardening wrap-up! Is anything on your dinner plate home-grown? The carrots and potatoes shown were harvested this week. Mmmm yum.

We grew carrots, onions and garlic in the front flowerbed. Carrots pretty much took over the world. They bullied the garlic out of getting enough sunlight so those heads are marble-sized. Otherwise, the onions held their own and are relaxing in our crisper. We have a LOT of juicy sweet carrots. I got to bring some to my quilting friends last night at mini-group!

First Corn

The backyard had pumpkin plants that died, watermelon that thrived, potatoes in tire planters where we couldn’t tell if they were making tubers or not, and corn that was quite popular with the wildlife. You can see some of the troubles we had with the corn in this post. Some of the plants recovered and we put more seeds to ground. The corn was delicious, especially fresh from the field straight to the pot. Unfortunately, we lost over half the ears to birds. Apparently, everybody likes corn.

tatobucket

Now I can tell you about THE POTATOES!!!!!!! We harvested the potatoes on Wednesday from the tires. Remember the tire planters? I was scared that we wouldn’t find any tubers. The plants have been growing fine all summer out of the top of the tires but that wasn’t any indication that underground things were okie-dokie. I was so excited to dig potatoes out of the dirt that I didn’t get any photos of that process. A video probably would’ve been more appropriate anyway because my husband was giggling at me exclaiming “tatohhhhs” every time I found another grouping.

hosewashingThese yukon gold potatoes are the BEST for mashed potatoes. Once they were all harvested and washed, the lot weighed in at 23 lbs.

I’m thinking about next year’s garden as I sew the binding on this round robin quilt. Tomatoes are in order. I’d like to start some asparagus plants too, though they can’t be touched for three years until established. My husband and I have also been talking about sowing some cold-weather crops, since the winter is so mild here. Broccoli and peas are on that list. I think we’re hooked on gardening!

handquiltingrr

A Little Bit of Dad

As I told you, my family rarely celebrated Father’s Dad on its calendar day.  So here’s my celebration post!

My Dad has always gone out of his way to show me that I’m loved and accepted for who I am. I’m usually pretty good with words but it’s difficult to find the right ones so you’ll know just how I feel about him. He’s shown up for me whether I’m doing well or not. I’m one of his greatest fans just as he is one of mine.

The plot-line of our relationship today goes something like this. We play phone tag and when we do connect end up talking for over an hour about anything and everything. He forwards inspirational emails and I send him dirty jokes. He earned a free travel voucher and gave it to me so I could come visit. He sleeps under a quilt I made. I wake up knowing I’ve always been wanted.

I’m the oldest of three. My sister was born right before my fourth birthday, and my brother after my fourteenth. I love them dearly, but it’s time to show some photos from back when I was an only child! Yes, they’re pictures of photographs in an album. Try not to oooooh too much at how cute baby Megan is. It’s about the Dad in the photos, afterall. 🙂 The first one shows Dad, Uncle Shawn, and I playing at the beach.

Beach Dad with Uncle Shawn

Here he is snuggling with me and my cousin Jasmine. Dad snuggling with Jasmine

He isn’t in this photo, but you can tell how I feel about him from the caption. I’m so proud, showing off his stuff! (Do you remember when computers looked like that?)
Dad's computer What a sweet mother’s day gift. Not only did we garden, we became mud monsters! Gardening DadThis last one might have been after my sister was born. I look a bit older and T-ball happened at our next house, I think. Anyway, I can just imagine the pep talk I got when Dad adjusted my hat. “Now Megan, pay attention to the game. I know there are flowers in the outfield but you really need to know when the ball’s coming towards you. Oh, and run towards the base. You can skip later. I know you’ll do great.”
T-ball Dad

“Happy” Memorial Day? Celebrate in the Garden.

memorial-day-cemetary

Memorial day is both a solemn remembrance of the death of American soldiers and a celebration of their service. Sounds like an oxymoron to some, but being sad and celebrating makes sense to me.

See, my Mom’s mother died young. I never got to meet her. So Mom and I had lots of conversations about death when I was little. One fantasy Mom had was to be cremated and have her ashes spread in someone’s garden. I thought it’d be romantic to drift out to sea. We talked about how hard it is when someone you love died… how it’s okay to be angry and sad. Mom said she’d like a big party after her funeral. One where people laughed and smiled and remembered the good times.

So that’s what we did. Mom died suddenly when I was only fourteen. We cried and laughed. Mourned and celebrated. She was not a soldier, but soldiers aren’t just their job. They’re brothers, fathers, sisters, sons, mothers. Some of the people honored this memorial day will be remembered by their great-great-grandchildren. My thoughts are with each of you as you celebrate and honor your loved ones in your own way.

And now for some pictures of my garden. Growth, death, new life… yeah, gardening works for Memorial Day. Here’s the front. That big fro of foliage is carrots. Yup, my husband vetoed thinning the plants so we might have one giant carrot under that mess. We also have garlic and onions in this patch.

front gardenThese corn plants are doing pretty well.healthy cornTheir neighboring corn plants, not so well. They’ve become a tasty treat for the local bunnies. eaten corn
It’s nearly time to put the second tire on our potato planters. Remember how small these guys used to be? We’ll need a bale of hay soon too. 
potatoesThis pumpkin plant is doing well. Only two of six have thrived.
pumpkin All of the watermelon plants look thick and bushy like this. They must like it here. I predict our backyard will be gradually overtaken by vines…. and watermelon slushies are in order at harvest time. Mmmmm….watermellon

Expect an update on the T-shirt quilt I’m working on in my next post.

 

Break for Tire Gardening

After spending an hour looking for my new rotary blade packages, I found this in my center desk drawer. It was so smart of me to put all the new blades in one easily accessible container. Just wish I’d remembered doing it before the big search.

RotaryBlades

So I decided it was time to take a break and get some sunshine. I did a bunch of weeding and checked on the food crops we’re growing, including potatoes. Did you know that you can grow potatoes in old tires? Here’s how we’re doing it.

PotatoPlanterWe painted the tires white with cheap spray paint. The quality doesn’t matter, just trying to change the color so the tires don’t heat up as much in the sun. Then we planted the seed potatoes inside them. My husband and I aren’t very good at remembering to water our garden, so we rigged up a drip sprinkler system. That’s what the tubes are you see in the photographs. TirePlantersAs the potatoes grow, we’ll cover them with hay. Not dirt, hay. The roots grow in the dirt where we planted but the plant with the spuds will start growing above ground. Hay from a feed store will block the light and add structure for the plants to grow in.

PotatoSeedlingHere’s one of the potato plants now. When it’s taller than the tire, we’ll stack another tire on top. The stacks might be four or five high by harvesting time. Tire shops have to pay to have their old tires carted away. So our local shop is more than happy to donate them to us. PumpkinWe’re growing other food crops, too. This little guy’s a pumpkin.

CornThe corn grown from seed outside is doing well. We tried starting some inside, but they didn’t survive the transplanting. 
Carrots and Garlic

Carrots and garlic grown side-by-side. 

Alright, now that I’ve gotten a bit of sunlight and spent time with growing things, it’s time to cut some more fabric… with a fresh blade.