Monday, April 30, 2012

Gutter Gardens - One month later

It's been a month since I planted my experimental gutter gardens, and I gotta say I am pretty pleased.

My first strawberry, yahoo!
My Honeoye plants are doing much better than my Eversweet, I am not sure if it is because they are not as hardy or if it is because they are above my head and may be a little neglected.  I lost about 6 of them and have since started to pay better attention to the top row.
If you compare my pictures from my first blog you can really see how much they have grown.

My radishes, carrots, and spinach are doing great also, my little green onions are having some issues, but I realized I had forgotten to drill holes in the bottom of the gutter for draining so I may have over watered, I have a few, but think I will re plant tomorrow.


Keeping my fingers crossed, and the warm weather continues, I think I might just have my first successful gutter garden!

My Neighbors and Friends

A fun busy weekend, started off with a Saturday morning potluck breakfast with my church family.  It was a cool spring morning but the sun was shining, so we sat up table and chairs outside.

  I have lived in my neighborhood for over twenty years, and have many close friends, but this morning as I was watching them all walking over with their muffins and Quiches, and all kinds of yummy treats, I had such a feeling of love and contentment. I am blessed.

 I feel like all of these neighbors were and are an extension of my family.  I have raised my children with most of these people.  And the new families with the young children make me smile, and bring back memories of my days as a young mom.

  It truly filled my bucket to watch the 12 year old boy scouts flipping pancakes with their bed heads, from a night of camping in their leaders back yard.

 The teenagers, some still in their jammies, the parents in jeans and t-shirts, and baseball caps, ready for a day of working in their yards and doing all the Saturday chores.

What a great way to start the weekend.

My Neighbors and Friends

by Ellen Bailey

My neighbors and my friends are very dear to me
They are always there whenever there is a need

We talk to each other and we borrow and lend
Such treasures they are, my neighbors and friends

I sing when they sing and I laugh when they laugh
We do things for each other on the other's behalf

They share with me their many worries and fears
I share with them my compassion and my tears

How lonely and cheerless a place my soul would be
Without such neighbors and good friends as these

I cherish them all and take each one into my heart
Feeling the love and kindness each in turn imparts

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Smile it's almost Friday

Ellen makes me laugh, she keeps it clean and still makes me almost pee my pants laughing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Broody Girl

broody [ˈbruːdɪ]
adj broodierbroodiest
1. moody; meditative; introspective
2. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Breeds) (of poultry) wishing to sit on or hatch eggs
3. Informal (of a woman) wishing to have a baby of her own
broodiness  n

My little brooding girl, not my daughter, but my chicken, for the past couple days she won’t come out of the hen house, not even to eat or drink, and when I force her out (cause that’s what I am supposed to do) in the yard she sits by the door and makes this sad little crow. But don't let that sad crow fool you she is one temperamental bird right now, she tries to peck me any chance she gets and fluffs her feathers to twice her size to let me know she means business and to leave her alone!  After doing some Googling I found out that she is feeling the desire to have chicks. 

It is kind of sad to me that she will not know what it’s like to have her own babies; I am feeling a little guilty. But I just don't have the room to add more chickens.  Hopefully, she doesn't brood for long.
I'm pretty sure she is giving me the 'stink eye' in this picture, warning me to leave her alone!

Now,while I was doing my research I came across lots of sites that talked about broody women and how some of us do the same thing when we start wanting to have babies. So I was thinking... (always a dangerous thing)  in that case, I hope my daughter in laws get broody soon!

“To the broody hen the notion would probably seem monstrous that there should be a creature in the world to whom a nestful of eggs was not utterly fascinating and precious and never-to-be-too-much-sat-upon object which it is to her.” 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Inch by Inch and Row by Row

My mom reminded me of this song, and I had to share it, seemed rather fitting as of late.

 Garden Song
by David Mallett

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
Gonna mulch it deep and low
Gonna make it fertile ground

Inch by inch, row by row
Please bless these seeds I sow
Please keep them safe below
'Till the rain comes tumbling down

Pullin' weeds and pickin' stones
We are made of dreams and bones
Need a place to call my own
'Cause the time is close at hand

Grain for grain, sun and rain
Find my way in nature's chain
Till my body and my brain
Tell the music of the land


Plant your rows straight and long
Season with a prayer and song
Mother Earth will make you strong
If you give her loving care


[The Anti-Garden Verses - by someone whose name Arlo forgot]:
Slug by slug, weed by weed
Boy this garden's got me t'd
All the insects come to feed
On my tomato plants

Sunburt face, skined up knees
The kitchen's chocked with zuchinis
I'm shopping at the A&P's
Next time I get the chance
[End of Anti-Garden Verses]

Old crow watching from a tree
He's got his hungry eye on me
In my garden I'm as free
As that feathered thief up there

Monday, April 23, 2012

You Say Potato I Say...

This weekend was fantastic, 80 plus degrees. Sean and I spent the entire day outside and we finished the day off with some hamburgers on the grill.

This week I have set some bike riding goals for myself, I am up to a whopping 2 miles now (insert sarcasm here)  I know it is pathetic and actually pretty embarrassing, but it feels good to get my blood pumping again, even if my face stays bright red for an hour after the bike ride is over!  There are such beautiful bike trials where I live, my goal is to be on those trails by June 1.

The garden is finally rota-tilled, the chickens were so excited to have all that loose dirt to kick around and enjoy their dirt baths. They have a couple more weeks to enjoy before I plant.

I've been trying to do some different types of container gardening and while at the IFA store this weekend I saw these green bags and the instructions said we could grow potato's in them... so of course I had to try.  I got 2 bags for about $16, I saw them at Walmart for $8 for one.

We bought some seed potato's (I think you can use any potato) we were told to put about 6 inches of garden soil (not to use potting soil) in the bottom of the bag, then put the seed potato's with shoots going up, then cover but not to deep.  Soil is supposed to be moist not wet.  Once the green shoots are about 6 inches up you add another 6 inches of dirt and continue this process till you reach the top of the bag. The cool thing if it works is at the bottom of the bag is an opening so I will be able to reach in and grab my potato's as they grow (which I understand takes a long time) patience is a virtue right?
My gutter gardens are doing great, my carrots finally came up...if this works it will be the first time I have ever been able to grow carrots, fingers crossed.

Sean got my hammock out yesterday so I think I will head outside and enjoy the sunshine.

Have a Great Day!

April is a promise that May is bound to keep ~ Hal Borland

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Singing... Mandy oh Mandy, I love my Mandy

I just got off the phone with my baby sister, she is usually one of the first posts I read on Facebook in the morning.   I love reading the dialog she posts of her son's conversations that she is eavesdropping on, it usually takes me down memory lane with my own kids and starts my day off with a smile.

Recent post from my sis...

Just overheard Jeremiah telling Cole that he needs to trust him, and to just let him try this one thing. Hmmm. This could end poorly. Lol.

 I am the oldest and Mandy is the baby, we are 14 years apart in age. When Mandy was born I could have rocked her all day.  She was a major cuddle bug and so tiny (still is after 3 kids, you stink) and I would make up songs to her name and sing them to her.

She was 4 when I got married and I moved away, so we don't share many memories of 'our family'. I felt most of the time more like a distant aunt, we saw each other maybe once a year and sometimes not even that.  I was a stranger to her.  It wasn't until she started having babies that we started to communicate more often.

Mandy and I still live a long ways from each other, but with Facebook and texting and weekly phone calls she has been able to share all their going on's with her family.

 She has 3 boys and is always busy... substitute teaching, being a scout mom, attending baseball games, and wrestling meets, science projects, oh and did I mention going to school to get her elementary ed degree, and  she is still crazy in love with her hubby, (otherwise known as muscles)

 She is one busy lady and I know she is sometimes worn out...  so many baseball games to get to, but she can't wait till baseball season starts, watching your boy hit a home run, I think I heard her yell all the way to Utah, to hear your oldest son's voice start to squeak, and needing a razor, she's completely wigged out by this one, and that's just funny, Jedi fights in the house, I think she probably should join em,  ordering an entire  pizza per boy...
and you still might not have enough to satisfy their appetites;  well,that's why you work right, to feed the animals, trips to Disney while they still 'believe'; ah it's all good!  So enjoy the journey Sis, I know you do, but I am here to remind you in case you need me, cause it goes so fast.

P.S. I happen to think you are an amazing, beautiful, talented, fantastic, wonderful lady!  (insert musical notes here) Mandy ohhh Mandy I love my Mandy!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Is this empty nest syndrome? Did I miss something?

My children's age range is 19 to 26, they are all in school and trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up.
I am in my late 40's and have devoted my life to the raising of my children and loved every minute.  
Now they are grown up and although they still need me at times, I have a lot of time to think about... what I what to be... now that I am all grown up.

I've heard other women say, don't lose sight of who 'you' are a long the way... I don't think I did.  I had read many times that you need to take care of your needs as you are raising your kids, I did, I had my nails done, I colored my hair, I went out with friends, my hubby took me on a date every Friday night,I scrap booked my guts out, I went to the gym with my girlfriends sometimes for hours. I don't remember feeling sad or neglected.  I had a some great friends doing the same thing I was, we spent our summers at the parks with our kids, went to the pool, bike rides, road trips and field trips. 
                                      July 4th Parade with my best friend and her family

 I'm also LDS and being a Mormon is like having a full time job!  I was involved in working with the young women in my neighborhood for many years, this meant planning weekly activities and Sunday lessons, and helping them achieve their goals, I was PTA president and home room mom, I was never bored!
                                          Girls camp with other awesome women 'Moms'

  My family went on yearly trips to Disney World and we all became Scuba Certified, we were blessed to have the financial ability to do lots of fun trips.

So I didn't think I was missing out or needed to add anything. 
 I still had my fair share of trials don't get me wrong, but that is a blog(s) for another day.

So that leads me to today... this stage of life. I know I would like to  spend a lot more time if I could with grand kids but they are far away as of now, so until I get a chance to revel in my 'grandma - ness' I need to make some goals, start a few hobbies, something...


So here I sit...  wondering, is there something that will make me as happy and as content as when I was raising my kids? 
 Or was that the best years of my life? Nah, I refuse to believe that! I am and will continue finding new interests, I mean who knew I liked gardening, certainly not me!   I know I am not alone, I have talked with you... all my friends/readers around the neighborhood,  I/we can do this!

 I think this could this be the empty nest syndrome that I have heard so much about! Well, I am not giving up, I will keep searching and along the way I'll let you know what I discover. I want you to know I am not sad, or depressed quite the opposite actually, just trying to figure out what next? If you have any ideas, give me a call I'm ready to try new stuff (insert smiley face)

Hmmm, maybe a quick weekend trip with my favorite husband will inspire me!  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Biking, Bee's and Boysenberries

Well we got our bikes back from Mad Dog Cycles they are all tuned up and ready to go.  So this morning after lazing around with my hubby I convinced him to give the bikes a whirl before the rain came.  Visions of riding up the canyon like I used to when my kids were little were running through my mind... that's about all they did, cause after a mile I realized how completely out of shape this mama/grandma has become!  Geesh, that was just down right embarrassing.
Maybe I'll make it to the mouth of the canyon in a couple weeks, but the canyon, well that may just take me a little while to work up to that:)  But like the blog title says...'it's still being written' haha

I have to show you the pics of my veggies they are coming along great.  Just a few more weeks till we can put them in our garden, must get the garden rota-tilled soon. 
My cucumbers...
My Spaghetti Squash...

I also wanted to introduce the rest of my family my 3 dogs; Bosley, Zoe, and Jack.  Not to be left out our pretty kitty Dolly.  I bet you can't guess that I am a huge animal lover.  I told my hubby all I needed now was a 'fainting goat' look it up, so cute.

Last year my hubby and I decided to try some bee keeping, (having been inspired by one of our son's in-laws) now what I really mean is that I thought it would be a good idea as long as I could admire from afar, and let Sean do the scary work.  We had 2 hives of Carnolian Bee's and ended up with about 40 pounds of honey at the end of the year.  Unfortunately, we lost both hives over the winter.  So we start fresh again this year, having learned a few lessons a long the way.  We ordered our bee's from The Knight Family Bee's a local place, and we get all of our equipment from Manlake.  Our bee's will be ready to pick up at the end of April and we (really I mean he) is ready for them.
 Finally, I keep forgetting to talk about our new berry plants, we planted 3 Boysenberry plants and 3 Raspberry.  The raspberries look like 3 sticks sticking out of the ground we are just starting to see a few shoots appear, I'll take some pictures of those when there is actually something to see.
 The Boysenberries are looking great, sad we won't have fruit from what I understand till next year.  

Last but not least on a rainy Saturday afternoon what is better than making some home made soft pretzels and a good movie with my sweetie.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blossoms and Museums

First Strawberry blossom of the year!!  They say I should pinch the blossoms off till June first, but the thought of doing that makes me want to cry.  So this little blossom is safe.  The next 4 days are supposed to be rainy and cloudy so no fun out in the yard, this little bloom will have to keep me content.

I missed a photo opportunity today with one of my daughter in laws, dang it!  She needed to go the 'Beauty and Belief -Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture' exhibit that is being featured at BYU...for one of her classes, so she invited me to come with.

 It was a fantastic display, it has 270 objects, it's basically a walk through of Islamic visual culture from the seventh century onward
Beautiful prayer rugs, jewelry, scrolls of poetry, we were on a tight schedule but got through it all in a couple hours.
Now if I was in my bloggin mind I would have had someone take our picture in front of the Museum of Art, but i wasn't so you'll just have to believe me.  If you get a chance it's worth heading down to take a look, added bonus, it's free.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Instead of Mom, call me point B...

I love Sarah Kay, I heard this for the first time last year and just found it again.  She is known for her spoken word poetry,  I think she is just one of the best.  If you get a chance check out the rest of her poems on YouTube.

I think she is wise beyond her years.

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
- Tenneva Jordan

Monday, April 9, 2012

Loving this Spring Weather!

Easter Sunday was great, the only way it would have been better is to have had my oldest son and his family here with us.  I thought about them most of the day and missed not being able to do my grandson's first Easter Egg hunt.  I know graduate school cannot last forever but right now it sure seems that way.  My grand daughter is now pulling herself up and crawling, by the time I see her she just might be walking.
 They let me know they will be out for a visit this summer and that can't come soon enough.  Let the count down begin!
It was great to be with the rest of the brood, nothing is better for a mom than to see her kids as adults as  friends and enjoying each others company.

My gutter gardens are really doing well, my strawberries are getting tall and looking healthy and strong.

My spinach is just starting to poke out of the dirt.

The carrots I was beginning to wonder about, I have never had luck with them in any garden... but I saw 2 little green shoots this morning so I won't give up yet.

I added two more gutters last Thursday and put radishes in one and green onions in the other, nothing so far, but patience is the name of the game.

On a whim, while I was down at the local IFA store getting my chickens some food, I decided to grow my cucumbers and squash from seeds instead of buying existing plants. 

 I bought some little starter containers.  I planted them last Thursday and my cucumbers have already poked through!   
I am so enjoying the outdoors and the spring weather.  After having worked full time for the last 7 years or so, to be able to enjoy the outdoors again and have all my time to myself  is a wonderful thing.  

Next adventure... getting our bike's in for a tune up and getting some much needed exercise!

It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  ~Mark Twain

Friday, April 6, 2012

Of course I said yes!

28 years ago today, Sean took me on a picnic to Wilde Lake in Columbia, Maryland, and asked me to marry him.

 We had met in January at church, he had just come home from serving a 2 year mission in Brazil.  There were quite a few that said we were too young, we had only just met, it was too fast.

But when it's right it is RIGHT!  He was and is the best decision I have ever made.  He is my very best friend.  I know some don't believe in 'soul mates' but I do, cause I found mine.

So Sean just in case you need to hear it again, the answer is yes, I am so glad you asked!

You are my happily ever after, forever and ever!

                                               Our Engagement Picture, oh man we look young!

                                       Growing old with you is going to be the best!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bugs and Slugs, nah just got me some gloves!

I am so much in the gardening mood right now, and the weather is only participating about 50% of the time where I live.  So I am trying to be patient.
Meanwhile I have been spending the colder days on my computer looking up other great ideas for gardening.  This is the one I came across today and thought it was really clever.
You can check out the information at

I must admit something to you, growing up my dad always had HUGE gardens, I mean like take up most of your back yard kind of garden.  As a teenager I remember him coming home from work changing out of his nice clothes and putting on his shorts and cowboy boots (yes this was a fashion nightmare for me) and heading straight to the garden. I think it was his way to de-stress and unwind from his busy day at work.
On Saturday mornings he would wake us kids up EARLY so we could go out and weed and pick the veggies before the humidity and heat of the day set it.  I resented this like no other, first of all I hated all veggies, and I hated bugs, slugs and all the the other creepy crawlies that live under spinach leaves and zucchini plants.
It wasn't until last year that I really had the desire to put in a garden.  I had the need to plant something and see it grow.  Maybe it was because my baby left the nest, maybe it was because I was in a job that stressed me to the hilt and I needed to unwind and going outside and weeding and watering and babying those plants was therapeutic.  I honestly don't know, but I am hooked.  My actual garden area is very small as you will see in upcoming blogs hence the need to find creative ways to garden. So hurry up warm weather I need some gardening therapy, go figure!

~There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.  ~Mirabel Osler

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What I will remember...

 I was working for a company that has offices all over the world.  One of the offices that I grew the closest to was the one in India. 
We worked and communicated only through, phone calls, and g-talk and WebEx meetings.  At first I was so very nervous… to be learning from a co-worker that sits beside me in the next cubicle is one thing, but to learn from someone in a different country, different language, well that was completely different.
Being the person that I am I knew that I wanted to become not just a co-worker but a friend just as I would if they were in the same office space. 
At first they were shy, about telling me anything about themselves until I started sharing my family’s happenings over the weekends, and pictures of my kids and grandkids.   They started to share pictures of their families and tell me about their Indian holidays and their beliefs.  (thank you Facebook)  Because we took the time to become friends working together became a bonus.  They knew they could depend on me and I could depend on them.  We formed a relationship built on trust. 
I was so thrilled when they got to come for a visit.  I was able to have them to my home and take them around my town and have them meet my family.  We learned from each other and had a really fun time.  
I think I always knew it, but it was confirmed to me that we are all so much more alike than different.  I no longer work with this company but I think of my new friends all the time.
What I know is that a year from now I won’t remember what campaigns I was working on, how much money they were worth, etc…  but I will remember  the people.
I will remember that reaching out with friendship is a much stronger force than trying to strong arm and control, I will remember that the more we learn about  other cultures in the world the better off we will be, I will remember the love they have for their families, I will remember ‘The Festival of Lights’, I will remember trying to say their real names and them laughing at me, I will remember how they sent wedding gifts to my son, I will remember taking them to Chick- fil-a, I will remember looking for gifts for them to take home to their family.  I will remember that being a friend is most important because once that is established the rest just seems to fall into place.  When you work with your 'friends' you want to do your best, you want that trust to go both ways, you don't worry about the project because you know your 'friend' co-worker has your back. I will remember that being nice wins.