Thursday, May 31, 2012

sweet cellular moments

// my niece alaina after climbing pulpit rock in pa with her dad
// my grandmom, smiling at my mom because jeopardy and the wheel were coming on=)
// kati in the plantain weeds, doing better each day with walks in her harness
// my lil pals evie and jt in all their muddy glory

just wanted to document and share these sweet moments captured via cell phone.
happy friday eve!

Monday, May 28, 2012

pea art and garlic harvest

this weekend was just what i needed. i played in the garden, then played with my food.=)

                                                   tall telephone shelling peas

                                                           sugar snap peas

                                             garden broccoli and peas with quinoa

our garlic was really early this year - two weeks earlier than last summer, and they were early then! we picked all 45 bulbs and put them in the basement to dry.

garlic has become one of my favorite things to grow. it's basically maintenance free and easy to plant. the organic cloves from the grocery store have always done the trick. just break up the bulbs and plant individual cloves pointed side up, four to six inches apart, a few inches deep, within two weeks of the average first frost (early fall around here). you got all that?=) for those lacking garden space, garlic can also be grown in containers!

Friday, May 25, 2012

some thoughts...

this week was trying. i babysat. it was rainy, humid and gloomy (with spurts of sun). we lounged around and the kids wanted to watch a horrible little show called fairly oddparents repeatedly. (though i had to laugh when jay leno's superhero character said, "i put the man in mandible!"=).

at least this week the ruby gloom theme song didn't torture my brain.

i'd rather they not watch tv at all so we craft, paint, and play games, but with 1-6 year olds, that doesn't last more than 20 minutes. (yes, the one-year old paints. beautifully.) so what do you do with the other 500 minutes? lots and lots of thumb wrestling, tickle tirades and staring contests.=)

i had to practically carry them outdoors to play in the sprinkler (mrs. wiggles), where we stumbled upon another animal their cat oscar got a hold of.=( i kind of feel responsible because oscar started getting out on my watch. but what do you do when an animal is begging to be let outside?

we're dealing with it with kati. we let her out once to see if she'd stay with us, but she strayed. we've tried a harness from a local pet store and it fit terribly. she did ok with it and even walked with me around the block the first time it was on, but you could tell she felt uncomfortable.

so now we're waiting for a jacket type of harness to arrive in the mail. we think she'll do better with that, and we're hoping if we walk her and play with her enough, the urge to go outside and kill animals won't be so strong.

this week was supposed to be the week i eat healthier. yeah right. though i did sprout some alfalfa and make raw nut tuna and nori snacks. gotta focus on the positive.=)

so i think i'm starting to feel a smidge of how stay-at-home mom's feel. i can't explain it, but it's just a draining feeling. children, though adorable, sweet bundles of joy, can really suck the life out of you! they can't help it, but sometimes it's just too much for one adult to handle all day alone. especially when you're watching five at a time.

i think villages where mothers all sit around and breast-feed and help out with each other's chidren really have the right idea. those children may not have nice sneakers and nintendo games, but i bet they feel rich with love from their mommies.

what the heck are we rushing for in our society anyway? the finish line? which is what - retirement? death? i do not do well on a go-go-go schedule. i need time to breathe it all in. i'm not talking holidays or vacations. i just want regular days at home where i do laundry, play in the garden, and contemplate the meaning of it all. is that too much to ask?=)

for those who say "you have to work", oh, know that i sure do work. i despise cleaning, so that's hard work, and gardening is no joke. i work on my health, my relationships, and keeping my cat happy and healthy, and most tryingly, i work on my bitchy miserable self (the side of kelli i try my best to shelter you from, poor john knows her best these days) and that takes more energy than anything! whose to say paid work is more important? how did we ever fall victim to that mentality?

this weekend i will rest. and clean. and play with kati. sunday is the american vegan society's garden party. i'll be volunteering in the bookroom. come and visit if you're in the area!

i want to sincerely thank you for reading my ramblings. it's nice to connect with people from all over the globe. makes my world feel sweet and cozy.=)

have a wonderful weekend! the sun's starting to come out. i hope it shines on you as well!=)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

may community garden

recently john sent me an article on how community plots are popping up all over the garden state. if you're looking for community gardens in your area, you could search this site. ours didn't show up, so you may also want to ask around or call your town whatever. (not sure who to call, sorry!)

how ours works is we are given two free plots under the agreement to keep it planted, neat, and organic. the use of non-organic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides is prohibited. compost is provided at the start of each season and even some free plants are donated every now and then. it's a wonderful thing to be a part of and i feel really blessed to have one so close-by.

the picture above shows our two plots. (the one below is from june of last year.)

in what was before the gourd's bed i'm trying the three sisters method with multi-color sweet corn, pole beans and squash.

last year the jordans grew amazing corn stalks in their plot. they also grew brussel sprouts, which i will be trying for fall. the jordans take extra produce from the garden to local food banks. you can tell from their sign they're a sweet bunch!

mick and miguel, the self-proclaimed community garden "water fairies", take time to make their plots look so pretty. they make me feel like a real slacker in that department, but john says he'll make us a sign soon. maybe i'll take random knick-knacks off the shelf and stick 'em in the dirt!=)

the reynold's are growing some huge-ass broccoli! seems like the trick is to give them adequate space, like one per 2 by 2 foot space. now i know for next time.

their broccoli is nearly double the size of mine! it's hard not to compare your plants to the others in the garden. especially when the two things you wish you had the most of are growing poorly for you and flourishing the next plot over!

i'm not sure whose spot it is, but they better get to harvesting that spinach and lettuce before i do...(or maybe i did pick some already. muahahahaha!=) what? it helps them grow better! really!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

may garden

our may weather has been ideal for gardening. days of rain followed by bursts of sunshine, who could ask for anything more? as mentioned, john built us a new 4 by 6 foot bed. we've filled it with basil, five roma plum tomato and edamame.

bed three houses beets, carrots, and sugar snap peas. bed two: peas, carrots, kale and lettuce, and bed one: echinacea, plum tomato, shelling peas, spinach, cilantro, cucumber and dill. the peas are not as plentiful as i would have liked, but there's always fall to try again.

maple sprouts are popping up everywhere and i've been plucking them left and right! oh canada!=)

these pansies are for you, bitt! aimee inspired me to use pansies for plate decor a few years ago. she's moved from the northwest to the southeast and can no longer enjoy her beloved pansies.

pansies are edible and help when your meal looks like swamp sludge.=)

green brunch smoothie: frozen banana, blueberry, garden collard and mint, cucumber, carrot, dried coconut, irish moss gel and spirulina.

the center of bed one was supposed to be filled with spinach. instead purslane weeds grew. now i'm trying to grow cilantro and dill in the space. volunteer cilantro has popped up in a few pots.

the echinacea is growing like a dream. the first few blooms are hiding.=)

in bed three the lettuce is taking its sweet old time. the seeds were sown in march and the romaine are transplants. definitely not the mvp (most valuable plant) this spring!=/

the fall kale on the right, however, made it through winter and is now producing seeds! i'm going to leave the pods to dry and we'll save the seeds. squash is supposed to grow in its space but since we've started two at the community garden, it can wait a few weeks.

today i'm going to start yellow beans above the lettuce and maybe pull those fall carrots. john loves carrot cake so i think i might surprise him with dessert.

in the flower garden, the zinnias will grow in honor of my neighbor, jimmy, who passed suddenly wednesday morning. he liked to walk by and look at the garden, and volunteer zinnias have been sprouting up all over the place. i will miss jimmy's smile and his fishing stories. i'll even miss him snooping in my bins.=) jimmy was a sweet man.

you may have noticed from my list that i'm growing more flowers this season. i made popsicle stick markers with color-coded yarn for when the ink washes off.

i'm most excited about the poppies that have been growing since march, the cosmos sprouting so quickly and the peony plant above my mom gave me (she's added so much to my garden - the fig tree, hydrangea, plumeria, lilac, pansies...thanks mom!). peonies have the best smell in the world. i think i actually snorted a bug the other day sniffing one! (not really, but maybe.=)

have a wonderful weekend, my friends, and stay tuned for a may community garden update! xoxo

Friday, May 18, 2012

2012 garden

alyssum ◦ african daisy ◦ amaranth (autumn palette) ◦ aster ◦ baby's breath ◦
bachelor's button ◦ chamomile ◦ cosmos ◦ echinacea ◦ forget-me-not ◦ goldenrod (summer showers) ◦ gomphrena (strawberry fields) ◦ hydrangea ◦ lilac ◦ pansy ◦ peony ◦ petunia ◦ plumeria ◦ poppy ◦ rose angel wings ◦ shasta daisy ◦ snapdragon ◦ strawflower ◦ stock dwarf ◦ sunflower (mammoth russian and vanilla ice) ◦ sweet pea ◦ sweet william ◦ verbana ◦ zinnia

arugula ◦ beans ◦ beets ◦ broccoli ◦ broccoli rabe ◦ brussel sprouts ◦ cabbage ◦ carrots ◦ collard greens ◦ corn ◦ cucumber ◦ edamame ◦ escarole ◦ fennel ◦ garlic ◦ kale ◦ lettuce ◦ peas ◦ spinach ◦ tomatoes (roma plum) ◦ yellow squash ◦ zucchini

basil ◦ cilantro/coriander ◦ dill ◦ oregano ◦ rosemary ◦ sage ◦ spearmint ◦ thyme

dandelion ◦ purslane ◦ plantain    

i'm hoping to grow all of these plants in my garden this season. most of the seeds and the few transplants and perennials are growing nicely. a lengthy may garden update post is in the works!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

mother's day ice cream cake

happy mother's day! the month of may is flying by! it's such a nice time of year with the foliage and warm weather - i wish it would slow down just a smidge. i've been on the go a few weeks now and am in need of a recharge day (or three.=)

amidst babysitting, gardening, family visits and spring cleaning, i found time to plan and execute a three-layer ice cream cake for my mom. the pansies and pea shoots were inspired by my blog friend aimee from bitt of raw.

bottom layer up: coffee coconut ice cream, blonde crunchies, chocolate ice cream with chocolate-covered almonds, chocolate buckwheat crunchies, vanilla ice cream.

two years ago, i made a similar cake since my mom likes chocolate, coffee, almond and coconut. both were pretty good, but i prefer the fruitier cakes.

my mom's biennial pear tree will be producing fruit this year and i plan to pair them with local raspberries or blueberries to make a variation of pearberry bliss. i'm also excited to make fruit roll-ups with organic strawberries from muth. yay for fruit season!

oh, and john ate the first of our eight strawberries today, declaring it perfect! also, he made us a new 4 by 6 foot bed! garden update coming soon...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

kati and her perch

for months i asked john to put up a shelf above my desk. when i mentioned kati would like to use it as a perch, it went up the next day. perhaps i should tell him she'd also like to see a new raised bed in the garden.=)

the pennant banner was inspired by all those i've seen online in the past few years. they're so cute and inexpensive to make! just cut out letters, squares and triangles, glue them altogether, then string them with yarn or twine.

at the craft store, i always check to see if their scrapbook paper is on sale - sometimes they're only 25 cents! scrapbook paper can be used in all types of crafts and also makes nice backgrounds for blog pictures. the floral designs are always my favorite.

kati-cakems has been cracking us up. it's amazing the amount of energy she has! last night she jumped into the hamper to relax after a long feather stake-out session.

she also likes to rest in plastic bags and of course the cat cave. she's adorable and exhausting. do they make these things in human sizes?=)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

little miss marlie

my bestest friend missy has the sweetest baby girls. well, marlie's not really a baby anymore, she turns two tomorrow! in march i captured these photos of aborable miss marlie. isn't she sweet?

marlie's talking, saying aunt kelli=) and meal-meal for mailman and oatmeal. she loves elmo and is a daredevil on the playground. i can already see the missy in her.=) she adores her baby sister abby and takes breaks from playing to check on her. so cute!

happy birthday, marlie marie!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

scenes from a soggy garden

it's been a rainy week, and i'm appreciating a nice long break from watering. yesterday john and i took a walk to the community garden to pick spinach for our pasta dinner.

the spinach are in the bottom row. i don't have much luck growing spinach. apparently i'm good with broccoli rabe, the plant overtaking the spinach. i should probably cut some of those leaves.

johnny snipped while i snapped, hehe.

we're growing escarole again from heirloom seeds. it's perfect in soup, but who really wants soup in may?!=) 

the next three photos are of neighboring plots. that's one healthy pea patch, eh?

at home, figgy is looking happy and healthy. she probably enjoyed our mild winter.

the echinacea is making some buds.

it's kind of funny to have one strawberry plant in the garden - we get a grand total of maybe 8 edible berries per season! but it is nice to watch strawberries grow.

a patch of poppies - i don't remember planting that many seeds!

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