right now

right now

Mar 2, 2017

Struggling With Multi-Tasking!

I've been just swamped with life lately.  I've been finding it very difficult to get everything done that needs doing!  

Update on my knee surgery - it went well, all the hardware and metal has been removed and I'm on the road to recovery again.  The good part is that this surgery happened in the winter, so I'm not missing out on any nice weather!

Why does it seem like everyone has down time except me?!  I'm not even sure these are my kids, since the internet wasn't even down when I took this photo...

My schedule has been a constant stream of doctor appointments, physical therapy appointments, trying to get taxes done, kids' birthdays, hubby's crazy work schedule and a nonstop stream of kids' activities.  L is on the robotics team again this year, so they have had regional championships, then he made it to state championships last weekend.  I think that is as far as his team will go this year.  (Last year Loch's team, with hubby as coach, made it to the World Robotics Championship in KY!)  

L with his team's robotics design

F was selected to attend a Percussion "Master Class" for middle and high school percussionists, so that ate up 2 Saturdays, and now he has been selected for Honors/Festival Band, which entails frequent after school practices and a few competitions with other schools.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm super proud of them both but - yikes, sailing practice hasn't even started yet for spring!  I'm just exhausted to be honest.

I have medical appointments that require driving in DC traffic, yuk!

And... amidst all the chaos, it's already time for the military to tell us where to move next!  


Thanks for hanging in there with me, I have a lot of kinks to work out so apologies for being so sporadic with my posting!  I will leave you with this photo taken during the unseasonably warm weather we have been having... back to snow showers tomorrow!


***

Jan 26, 2017

Odds and Ends

This week has had me busy doing all kinds of last minute chores and preparations around the house before I go in for surgery.  Yes, surgery!  By the time some of you read this, I will be under the knife getting a whole bunch of metal pins, wires and screws out of my knee.  This is the second part of a long process I have been dealing with since last summer.  Needless to say, I am actually looking forward to this surgery and being able to eventually (hopefully) get some type of normal back.  After my first surgery I was actually in an immobilizer for 2 MONTHS, and couldn't drive for 4 months.  It was awful, and very isolating.  After many months of physical therapy I was doing pretty well when my hardware started working its way out and became obvious that it needed to be removed in order for me to progress.  The shrapnel in there was never designed to be permanent, so I knew this was coming.  Just hoping that recovery isn't as long this time since it should mainly involve muscle and tissue healing and not bone.  In short, the past year has been.... challenging.  Also the reason why my garden didn't really happen for me last summer!

Anyway... in prepping for my surgery I've spent most of the week doing things that are going to get very neglected in the coming weeks - cleaning the house, cleaning aquariums, laundry, prepping freezer meals, grocery shopping, etc.  I won't be able to go upstairs after surgery, so I had to make sure the kids cleaned their room, bathrooms, etc. I shudder to think what it will look like up there next time I am able to climb stairs!  As for grocery shopping, hubby is perfectly capable and willing to do it, but I am such a bargain and sale/coupon shopper that I know he would spend more than I would so it's easier for me to just do it.


I have been working on refreshing my sourdough starter over the past month.  I was having some issues with the dough rising for a couple of weeks but I think I just needed to be patient while it revived, because last night, this happened!  Finally!


Crummy cold and rainy weather has had me doing lots of "one-dish comfort meals".  I'm hoping the boys paid attention so they can assume some of the cooking while I am down and out!



I will try and check in as soon as my painkillers wear off... I definitely don't want to blog while medicated, who knows what I might write?!


Jan 19, 2017

2-4-6-8...What can I depreciate?

This week is filled with things that are completely uninteresting to blog about!


Rental properties, a home daycare business, military stuff, 3 different states to file in plus Federal means I am a busy girl right now!

Of course before any of that can happen, I have to organize my files, shred old stuff, clean my desk... which morphs into cleaning the kitchen, bathrooms, etc.  Anyone else find themselves in "Preparation Mode" before tackling a large project, then feeling like all kinds of other unrelated stuff needs to happen too?  

Oh yeah... I believe it's called PROCRASTINATION!


Jan 11, 2017

I aim to please!

Thing 1 walks in from school and says "it smells great, mom" and proceeds to peek into the crock pot...

"too much celery"


Thing 2 takes a look and says...

"yuck, too many beans"



Glad everyone is happy, then.  

I've never frozen my bean & ham soup before but I'm going to try it.  Anyone know if freezing will ruin the texture of the beans?  Besides chili, what are your favorite soups to make big batches of and freeze?


Jan 9, 2017

I'm ready to get my feet wet again...



There is no graceful way to make a comeback, is there?

Somehow, I lost my muse.  One week turned into a month, which turned into many more.   To be honest, since the Big Military Move I felt lost about subject matter.  I had gotten way too comfortable living multiple military tours in the same home in Virginia, other than the deployments it didn't even feel like a military life because we had roots planted for so many years.


Proof of Life!

In retrospect, I think I boxed myself in by focusing too much on blogging mainly about gardening.  So much so, that when we moved and I found myself in government quarters living on base with a concrete pad for a backyard - I thought that anyone who was following me would no longer have any interest in what little ol' me was up to.

Yes, I was able to score a community garden plot on base, but that came with a host of issues that I touched on a bit in some previous posts.  The bottom line, though, is that my life completely changed. like the rug was pulled right out from under me!

New schools to deal with, little kids quickly became teenagers, new sports to travel to, higher cost of living to adjust to, and not the least of my wrenches thrown in was deciding that, after 12 years of being a stay at home mom, I would return to work.  After a few weeks of the initial shock of 50+ hour workweeks as a Navy certified childcare provider, the blog was a luxury item at the very end of a long list of "must do's".

Many things have happened, some very stressful,  some exciting.  Don't worry, I'm okay, the man is ok and the kids are great - but we are in for an eventful 2017 as well.  I will recap some of these events in future posts, but gardening in anything other than my wee raised bed in my tiny yard is a pipe dream for this year, anyway.


I still get dirty, just not as often as I'd like!

I have been wanting to post for about 2 weeks now, and really thinking about how much I miss blogging and how fulfilling it is to be able to write and connect with others in this way.  Facebook is no substitute for real journaling of what goes on in my life.  My focus will change somewhat, I expect that I will write about everything from kids to military life, paying down debt to cooking, gardening, sewing and the other things that I love to do.  Lots of photos and posts about what has transpired during my absence so these experiences can be looked back upon by my family.  I would love to document the process we go through as we deal with looming military retirement and that transition from military life to civilian life in hopes of connecting with others that may be in the same situation.  Life in general, really.  I even debated on changing the name of the blog, except that it's a nightmare to do that, and I have every intention of having my dream garden again, sooner rather than later.  We are getting very close to military retirement, which means... a "Forever Home" and all the things that come with actually being able to CHOOSE our home for once!

So, the name stays.  I hope you do, too - if any of my friends are still out there!  Even if it's just my mom reading though, I am back on the wagon!

A parting shot.... it's COLD here, 2┬║ last night!


***

Jun 9, 2015

Beeches!

 

Yep, that's about all I had to say last week in the garden. 

Here's one racing me to the garden plot as I drive down the street. They are like flies here.
Fun Fact:  Woodchucks don't actually chuck any wood.  They eat gardens.

More Beeches


I resorted to a natural dust to see if I could stop them, since I was handpicking 60-80 a day…

Result?  It's like I sprinkled cocaine all over my potatoes.

They continue to party with the next generation now.


Some of us found out that nearly half of the plot tenants are using Roundup.  Hmmm, must be why it's June and some of the plots aren't planted yet.  The "waiting period".  It's in the contract we all signed that there can't be chemical insecticides or pesticides, but I guess some people don't care one bit.  Spraying in 15 mph wind, and even having their kids spraying. 



Beeches.

A normal plot is covered in weeds in just 48 hours, so there really is no other explanation for it, especially when we don't see them ever working the plot.  (Oh, and finding jugs of it under tarps is another clue!)  We are expected to "self govern" down there or we could easily just have the gardens closed since the base doesn't really have time to manage it - therefore we don't really want to become too "vocal" with complaints.  I'm thinking…. a little nighttime mission to teach them a lesson.  Who is to say they didn't kill their own plants with overspray?  Yeah, I'm like that.

Dark photo, but this is my garden right now…


The first harvest is…. a Tokyo White Cross Turnip!


This is the turnip/rutabaga bed.  I used old seed from 2009 so only had about half germinate, so will need to get some new stuff in there next week.


My Brandywines are looking really good.  Even though I won't get much out of those potatoes, I will keep them going at the other end of the garden, just to act as host so those stupid Colorado Potato Beetles won't venture into my tomato bed!


Little jalape├▒os.


I've been doing a lot of busy night dinners here lately.  The kids have tennis for several hours every. single. night.  …. so frozen veggies have become my best friend along with grilling tons of meat and slicing and freezing it so I can just fling it in a pan pre-cooked.  Hey, it's better than Sonic, right?


I made a double batch of hummus to help with tennis munchies, but they seemed to eat even faster so I don't think that is going to last as long as I thought it was.  Tweenage boys are bottomless pits.





I didn't mean to take so long between posts, and I am NOT going A.W.O.L. again like last time, I have just been really busy with things - things I can eventually share with you, but it involves me going back to work.  Yep, you heard right!  I have no clue how to juggle all these things since I have been a stay at home mom since they were born.  I know it will work itself out, I just don't know when or how!  

Bonus:  I actually wrote a full post last week while typing on the little phone keyboard during tennis practice…. I get home and "POOF"!  it was all gone.  So I won't be trusting the blogger "app" anytime soon.  I was so mad I couldn't come near the blog for a few days.

Now is time for me to catch up and see what I've been missing on my favorite blogs… that's you!















May 18, 2015

Slow Growth and Bug Guts

Things are moving very slowly in the garden.  Or it seems like it when compared to my garden plot neighbors.  Everyone else out there buys their plants whereas I plant seeds.  I'm not talking about tomatoes and peppers, but these people are buying beans and lettuce and cucumber plants!  They sprout in like 2 days, they can't wait 2 days?  And lettuce!  Lettuce sprouts in like 2 hours!  For my money and budget, I'll stick with seeds, even if it takes longer.

   Tick, tock...


At least starting from seed means the plants are used to this poor soil and actively chose to sprout and grow there.  No transplant shock here in the dried out riverbed!  Seriously though… bean starter plants?

Speaking of beans, this year considering the wildlife circumstances, I started my bean seeds under these hoops.  I'm hoping to get them past that sprout stage when the birds swoop in and take them all out in one shot.  Once they have a few leaves on them I plan on moving the hoops over the lettuces to give them some shade and help thwart bunny attacks!


My tomato & pepper bed is coming along.  All survived the transplant well and although small, they are putting out nice new foliage at a rapid rate.


My Tokyo White Cross turnips are up!  Along with a lone ladybug doing her job.  She needs to recruit all her beneficial buddies to get here asap because…




… because of these little b@$t@rds!  Yep, you will hear a lot of that language in the Flightline Garden!  It's okay, it's a Navy base, so cussing like a sailor is expected and encouraged.  :)



Colorado Potato Beetles!  My plants aren't even 8 inches tall!

Funny story though…  so I'm on my little toy wagon/scooter thing I stole  liberated from my neighbors in Virginia (anyone remember the Mt. Everest of crap on the curb when my neighbors were evicted?) - and I'm scooting down the row of potatoes handpicking and squishing these little buggers when one of my plot neighbors comes over for advice.  This nice gal and new gardener wanted to ask about her plants and seeds and plot in general.  I feel the need to show her the infidels currently infiltrating the plots since they were probably headed her way at the other end of the garden.  I show her the beetle, show her the eggs, then tell her that most sprays don't work on them, tell her about handpicking them into a bucket of soapy water,  then fill her in on the Dr. Bronner's soap spray, blah blah….  yeah, then proceed to tell her that it's awesome to just squeeze them with your bare hands and wait for the crunch.  As if that wasn't enough I pick one up and say "like this!"  - and squeeze a beetle that was absolutely packed with eggs that squirted everywhere.  Seriously - I think I had orange beetle eggs on my face.  What has become of me?  Doesn't matter if I love the insect or hate it, I have to touch them all, and I have forgotten that most people aren't that into it.  Being a gardener sure puts you at one with all the living things around you, and not just plants!  I hope I didn't freak her out, but I'm pretty sure she now refers to me as "The Crazy Chick at Plot 59".  


In the kitchen, I've managed to add another dish to the crock pot/freezer repertoire… 

Chicken Tikka Masala!




The kids even liked curry!  Paired with rice in the rice cooker and it's an easy dinner.  I dumbed down the curry for the kids but since they liked it I will keep raising the curry/spice level until I hit their ceiling of what they will tolerate.  Yep, that's the kind of mom I am - we'll stop just short of fire.

My new "Maryland" wild yeast starter was looking great after just 3 weeks, all bubbly and puffy n'stuff… honestly better than my years-old Virginia starter ever looked, so I decided to try baking the first loaf of sourdough this morning...


Yeah, this just happened.  Unbelievable.  

Best loaf of sourdough I've ever made!



Maryland wild yeast strains are a hit here :)