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right now

May 22, 2010

kinderGardens Update & Random Avoidance of Work!

Inadvertent Farmer

Here we are, week 6, and we've got nothin'! Below is a pic of the green roof to be's planter box, growing but not onto the trellis yet! I don't even have any pics of the kids in the garden this week! For good reason though, as they had a life changing event that most of you know about already, I figured that excuse is at least better than "my dog ate it"! Check out The Inadvertent Farmer's blog to see updates from other kinderGardens participants.

In other news I am happy to report that I am back in business - or at least back to housework and gardening, sort of! Today started off with the best intentions of getting ALOT of weed pulling and garden maintenance done... things derailed fairly quickly though, and I only got about an hour's worth of work done pulling weeds with the help of child labor before they started begging to do something "more funner, MOM!" But first, let's see what I did get done...

3 loads of laundry washed and hung out! It would appear that we all wear a uniform of sorts around here from the multiples of the same t-shirts we all have!

Sprocket's harvest of onions! She helped dig...

Onions were hung to cure

Found the first of the Heirlooms on Tomato Alley...the winner: Brandywine!

About lunchtime, I could hold off the kids' pleas no longer and I just said "oh, $%&!, let's go do something more funner"! After the week the kids had, how could I say no to an uncrowded beach with temps in the 70's and a slight breeze? Exactly! So I took them out to the secret spot, without being blindfolded! No tourists here, ever!

Finnegan doing some kind of ritual to celebrate the end of mommy's crabbiness!

Mommy with her baby... he's getting so big, he carried his own bag o'junk out to the beach today, hooray!

my guys

Tonight, all I can think of is a huge list of things I must get done! No diversions tomorrow, no excuses! My first sowing of carrots is almost ready and I never sowed more, so I need to do some carrot and parsnip t.p. strips, more weeding, pull out the greens that look like a rabbit's Christmas tree farm now, wash and put away all my seedling trays and plastic pots. My front yard needs attention too very soon, it looks like hell, and my blog and computer desktop is a mess! I still have up last year's harvest counter, slideshows that never worked right, I feel so overwhelmed that I think I'll have a glass of wine and knit. As Scarlett said, "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow..."

As soon as I thought about it, I could hear Rhett saying "I'm very drunk and I intend on getting still drunker before this evening's over!"

But no, that won't do at all, headaches are lame-o without another parent around to wake up with the kids at zero-six-thirty on a Sunday! Have a great weekend y'all!

Slacking Off in the Garden...


Do you see me now?


This is wonderful - I have wanted a bird for a few years now but don't want the 80+ year commitment of their lifespan, so now I don't have to worry about that anymore! I have so many doves and all let me get right next to them while weeding, etc, but this is the first that has decided to nest right outside my back door in a basket. I can see her looking at me as I type! Smart on her part, since she can see when I am going to let the dogs out and she can round up the young'uns!

Yes, I am supposed to be knee deep in garden work right now... I'm so easily distracted!

May 21, 2010

Ripping the Band Aid Off...

I'm back! Bear with the deployment talk for one more post - I like to post all these since his family is all out on the West Coast and they aren't able to be here to send him off. The following photos took place over the course of two days. The first set is from the night he had to report onboard the ship, and the second set is the actual departure day. I am lucky that I live at the beach so it's easy for me to watch them until they disappear into the horizon, that is, if I was crazy enough to sit there that long. Okay, grab your Kleenex and join our family on the bye-bye express. Last depressing post, I promise! Remember, "It's Not Just a Job, It's an Adventure" (insert sarcasm here!)

Daddy & Marley

Daddy & Sprocket

No words necessary for these:

Morning - on my walk out to my "secret spot" I can watch the ship leave the Chesapeake Bay and head into open ocean.

"Secret Spot"

These photos were taken in the morning, from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay is to the left (west) and the Atlantic Ocean opens up to the right (east). Once they clear the viewfinder in this screen they open it up and boogie out of the Bay pretty quickly!

Watching & Waiting (that oiler is not the carrier!)... I call it "Knittin' on the dock o' the bay"!
I also feel slightly Top-Gunnish asking upon arrival at the beach "Anyone seen an aircraft carrier around here?"

There it is!

Rounding the point into open ocean, it was gone from sight within 15 minutes. When they decide to go faster, they don't mess around.

Hubby, I met a couple of tourists at the lighthouse from Ohio, Canada, Kentucky, and one Grandpa from Maine down to see his granddaugher off... they all said to wish you all safe travels and wanted to thank you & your crew. How nice! Said I would pass it on! Stay safe and we'll see you in 2011 sometime!

Love and Hugs from your very own homestead in the US of A! Maybe I'll try and mail you an heirloom tomato - hey it would be fun posting on the condition of it by the time it arrived into 120 degree heat after many days of transit, LOL!

May 19, 2010

The Final Countdown...

This morning finds us in the home stretch before deployment. Loch woke up with the standard vague aches and pains and asked to stay home from school, but I made him go. Hubby still has to work today loading his shop's stuff onboard the ship, so I figured that after a late night tonight I will let him stay home tomorrow, but not today!

We got a nice surprise yesterday as I was taking Finn to preschool - my brother called and his squadron was in town for a few days but his flight schedule was cancelled due to the weather, and would I mind a visit? Well, of course I rushed right over to the base to pick him up after dropping Finn and we had a nice visit. He was able to go to the kids' swimming lessons last night which they loved, and stayed for dinner. Weather permitting, he will be flying the rest of the week but we may get to see him one last time before he heads back.

The weather the past 4 days has been pretty miserable. Drenching downpours to the point that we had to tarp my container tomatoes because I was afraid of having drainage issues like fungus and rot if it kept raining the way it has been. I just uncovered them this morning and they look pretty good, but I will be glad when the sun comes back out later this week and starts drying them out. I imagine my peas are loving this cool damp weather and I will have to go check later today to see if my pods are plumping up.

That's all for today, got a million things to do: buy razors, tshirts, batteries, and a bunch of other random stuff my hubby waits until the last minute to tell me he needs! And I have a piece of flashing on the side of the house that he needs to repair on the way out the door lol! There's never enough time to get it all done.

Here's some video I took over the past couple of weeks. The yard actually looks a bit more lush and blooming now, but an updated video will have to wait for now. I harvested a bit yesterday and will have to do a harvest update and update my harvest sidebar, but that will all have to wait for Friday probably since I will be consoling children tomorrow! Hope you enjoy my "tour" video, I know I love it when you all do this as it helps me imagine you in your gardens when you write about your harvests and growth! Mama Pea, the potato cages you asked about are in the video too.

In the spirit of the day I will sign off by saying to hubby,

"Fair Winds and Following Seas"!

We love you, don't worry about home or the kids, I have it covered, just go chase pirates and bad guys so you can turn that boat around and get back home!

Garden Tour

Deck Garden

May 17, 2010

I am officially asking to be committed to a psych facility!

The past weekend found us with just 5 days left with Sailor/Husband/Father before he deploys to the Middle East. Do you think I decided to relax and enjoy? Nope, in true OCD/Type A fashion, I decided to entertain all weekend! Although I have an ability to step outside the box and see myself as a crazy person, I also admit that I thrive on being busy and my favorite thing to do is entertain, so maybe that is my relaxation in some twisted fashion! I decided to serve basically the same things all weekend, so that made food planning a bit easier. I am fanatical about being able to serve things that I can prepare ahead of time so at least I do get to enjoy any parties that I have. I decided to smoke a pork shoulder Thursday night and do a traditional North Carolina pulled pork BBQ. This sounded easy enough, but I didn't put it in until 8 pm Thursday night so I had to set my alarm all night to check on it! Come 6 am Friday morning, it was ready to be pulled. Let me tell you, the scent of smoked meat is delicious in the evening, but at 6 a.m. it's a different story. By the time I got done pulling it by hand at 7:30 a.m. I didn't think I would ever have the appetite for it again, LOL! This turned out to be a really good project though, out of a 15 lb pork shoulder, I netted 9 lbs of pulled pork and managed to put a good amount of it into the freezer for the kids and I in the future. If there's one thing I would never do for just the kids & I without hubby around, it's smoke a pork shoulder! Homemade mop sauce got put into the freezer too, so we will be able to enjoy a quick yummy meal later that doesn't involve mac & cheese or grilled cheese!

Friday Night was hanging out with the kids' friends and parents, eating and enjoying marshmallows around the campfire:

Finn with his special friend - to say he is very fond of her is an understatement! He wrote I "heart" you on his slide with sidewalk chalk, LOL!
Campfires never get old! We burned the huge rosemary shrub hedge I pulled out and it smelled divine!

Here's some photos of the food created in my tiny kitchen this weekend, I can't believe my little kitchen didn't self-destruct! I decided to go with kind of a patriotic 4th of July type menu for a send-off, BBQ, wings, potato salad, that type of thing since he will miss that holiday (along with every other holiday between now and next spring)!

Some of the 9 lbs of Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches & Vinegar BBQ Sauce

48 Buffalo Wings! (I always use Alton Brown's method, makes yummy wings with a crispy crust, unless they are forced to sit in a steamy crockpot!)

Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers
(These are peppers harvested from last fall and frozen. Stuffed with sausage, cream cheese, sprinkled with cheddar broiled and crushed fried onions for crunch!)

Potato Salad
(Red Potatoes, Onion, Bacon, Garlic, served chilled and tossed with a vinegar dressing and feta - I also use bleu or goat cheese depending on my mood and supplies!)

Here it is!

My Patriotic Farwell Party Strawberry Trifle...

You should have seen the kids' eyes when they got home from school and saw this - bonus for them that I had to make two of these this weekend, since I needed the dish back to make the second one, they got to have the leftovers for breakfast Saturday morning so I could start all over again!

Not too bad for them I figure, it's fresh fruit with a few frozen blueberries from last season, pound cake, and I use plain whipping cream without sugar. Once in awhile is okay, right? The looks on their faces at breakfast time were worth it!

Pretty soon you will all be enjoying fresh berries if you don't have them already, happy eating!

A Week 5 kinderGARDENS Update & a busy weekend!

Inadvertent Farmer

The week began with a wonderful gift in the mail from Kim at The Inadvertent Farmer, who happens to be the host of this wonderfully fun contest, "kinderGARDENS"! Thank you so much Kim, my resident garden geek child couldn't put it down and I had to wait until after his bedtime to sneak it from him and look through it. What a fabulous book! This book goes above and beyond the "dumbed-down" gardening books we usually see written for kids. For kids who love science and really learning about the garden, it is an incredible learning tool, and as a bonus grownups will love it too! I can't wait to delve into some of the things inside the book.

This week the seedlings on the "green roof" are coming along nicely, about 3 inches tall now but not yet grabbing onto their supports. The kids took the downtime to decide on what they wanted to plant in their garden box, and they decided on peanuts! I received some peanuts at a seed swap party I hosted a few weeks ago and I don't know how they never made it into my garden before, since our area of Virginia is known for this cash crop! I will be learning about growing peanuts right alongside them on this project.

That's all the news on the kinderGarden project right now, but speaking of seedlings, I forgot to update that I finally got rid of these:

These all went to the Master Gardener Plant Sale last weekend and not a moment too soon since the hot weather has been taking a toll on anything that hadn't been transplanted out to the garden yet.

The rest of the weekend was a blur with work on chores that needed to be done before hubby leaves on deployment this week and making sure I found the time I needed to cook and entertain both Friday and Saturday nights this weekend. I'll do a separate post on all the food that managed to leave my tiny kitchen!

More child labor

Garden Mama working hard, luckily it was only 72 degrees!

No! Not a SOCK TAN!
Yesterday evening I was pleasantly surprised to see our first tomatoes: the race was won by "Fourth of July" hybrid - not too surprising since this is marketed as a very early tomato. Exciting nonetheless!

Separate update on food and fun later today!