Gardening has Started!

Please forgive me for my lack of posting last week.  I’m happy to say the beautiful summer weather has finally made it to our neck of the woods!  So any nap times have been spent outside trying to clear away winter debris + get our property ready for summer beauty…

Sunday after EJ’s party, I was able to rally my hubby + in-laws to fill in the trench around our home addition with top soil.  Even the young boys next door wanted to help us shovel it out of the truck and into the wheel borrow.  I loved how quickly it went with so many hands!

 

Friday I finally planted two large rhubarb starts during nap time and I’m so excited to see them taking root.  Saturday hubby picked up a truck load of compost to spread on top of the topsoil, around the rhubarb and around the back side of the addition for the future blueberry bed.

 

After I planted the rhubarb I got to work pulling out all the grass taking over our 3 remaining raised beds.  (Two? years ago hubby had to remove 2 beds in order to bury our electric line to the house).

 

It is definitely taking longer than I wanted.

 

But I’m so thrilled to see all the earth worms that have taken up residence in the beds!  I don’t remember seeing ONE when we were building + tilling them 3 years ago.

BONUS!

 

my dad is starting my Amish paste tomato + bell pepper seeds since I don’t have access to a sunny south window this year (or the time to remember to water them) and he sent me this picture last night of the SPROUTS!

How is your garden growing?

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Summer Review

Another long-lost post that was started but never posted.  It is definitely fun to read through last year’s canning season to wet the palette for this year’s goals.  My goodness where has summer gone??  Nap times have been spent cleaning & keeping up with housework as well as the occasional canning session.  And since time is so fleeting as it is, blogging has unfortunately move to the back burner 😦  But not forgotten!  Many times I have snapped a picture and thought, “This would be a great blog post!” only to barely find time to post it to Instagram (better than nothing, right?)

Canning:

June 25: strawberry jam
Aug 21: Green beans from the backyard garden

I started canning already-picked green beans from the garden and realized I had enough room for a couple more quarts.  Since EJ was still miraculously sleeping, I went out and picked more, washed & stuffed them in clean jars and even processed the whole canner before she woke up!  It was her first nap over 20 minutes – which turned out to be 3 hours long!

Sept. 8: Salsa & sauce
Aug. 24: Tomato pieces
Sept 14: Tomato Sauce

To my Mama friends, have you discovered Baby Wearing??  I feel like I just discovered an alternate universe with this lifestyle!  Here I thought cloth diapering had a following…

Here and there I have slowly started to carve out knitting time but I think it will pick up more when the colder weather sets in and I’m not busy with canning.  Even the garden has taken a hit of neglect 😦

I certainly hope my 2015 garden will be better tended than it was last year.  Maybe EJ will even get her hands dirty…  Are you planning any canning or gardening for Summer 2015?

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Friday Find: A New Film to stir an Old Passion

I’ve dreamed of living in a Tiny House since I first stumbled upon Jay’s Tumbleweed Tiny House designs back in 2007.  I was living alone in my first apartment with only an hour a day of direct sunlight on my balcony, but I was having a renaissance in my life.  I was devouring every book, blog, and video about living green, living tiny, and living sustainably.  I wanted to grow my own food, preserve it, and cook from scratch; I wanted to make anything & everything so I could be independent of the grocery store.  I wanted to have a home that I didn’t have to pay utilities or a monthly rent /mortgage on.
To “live for free” without the need for an active income stream, began as a young dream and has continued to be a driving force in my adult life, whether on the front or back burner.
This morning I found this in my inbox and my passion is once again stirred up.
More videos that fuel this passion:
Tiny: A Story About Living Small
No-impact man
& one novel: The Good Life
Do you aspire to anything off-grid, self-sustainable, from-scratch or car-free?  I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!  Please feel free to post any and all links that you find fuels your passions =)

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Decorating for Christmas

Slowly but surely it is starting to look like Christmas around here!

Hubby hung the Christmas lights on the house last week & I hung up the wreath on our door.

I had hopes to get three stockings knit up by now but it hasn’t yet.  Maybe next week?  Last night I got around to making this crochet star garland, though, and that is a decoration crossed off the list!

We’re planning to pick out a real Christmas tree this year so EJ has the full holiday experience.  It should be up by this weekend and I’ll update with a photo when we do.

What decorations have you put up?

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Seed Swap 2014

I promised some back-logged posts.  Unfortunately this one doesn’t have pictures :-\  But there is a great link about sustainability!  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.  More posts on the way!

3/10/14:
I’m so ready for the snow to melt and spring to get here so I can start planting my seeds!

I love the annual Seed Swap that The Toledo Botanical Gardens hosts every year.  It is such a great way to get new, FREE seeds for the garden plus discover other local organizations that share and support similar interests.  This year I discovered Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission and I’m so excited to see what great improvements they bring to this area.  One of my long-time desires is actually on the THIS YEAR list!: Complete Streets!  (aka, safe road sharing between bicyclists, cars, & pedestrians!)

This year I picked up a lot of flower seeds for growing a variety in front of the white picket fence we will be putting in at the back of our yard, separating us from the alley, to replace the rotten one we took down our second summer here.

I also picked up a few veggie seeds for kolhrabi, beets, yellow squash & zucchini.   But my favorite finds this year were definitely the Sustainability Commission.

5/3/14
I also swung by the Plant Swap and picked up some lemon balm, white violets, gerber daisies, and citronella.  So far I planted the lemon balm in a planter, the citronella in a self-watering container, and the daisies & violets in a flower bed border.  The lemon balm is doing well, the citronella needs weeding and I haven’t checked on the flowers in a little while.  They are interplanted with poppies.  🙂

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Banana Oat Cookie Sandwichs

Photo courtesy of Jessica Murnane

Lately I’ve been experimenting with my diet to omit milk and dairy as I believe they might be upsetting little EJ’s stomach.  And I remembered these cookie sandwiches that my sister (a newly transitioned vegan from vegetarian) shared with me at her last visit.  Being vegan, they naturally don’t contain any dairy and since I’ve been running out of foods to eat (or at least, ideas), I gave this recipe a try.  — and doubled it straight off the bat.  Luckily it doubles easily which made 15 sandwiches.

At first I thought they would take so much time and effort to put together, but after reading the recipe, they are just like Vegan Muffins, with one extra step: assembling the sandwiches.  The frosting is thick, so I recommend using a knife to scoop and spread it (instead of a spoon, like I first tried).

I had a tablespoon or two of filling left over so I would say be generous when frosting the first cookie.  They taste so much better with lots of that cocoa flavor, too 🙂

Here’s the recipe.  Let me know if you try it and how you like them!

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Friday Finds

Whoops!  Looks like I almost forgot about my pledge to post once a week!  Luckily I already had this one started so I could add some lovely finds that I thought you might enjoy as well.

I came across a lot of green living, bicycle transportation, and living intentionally small this week.  I posted a lot of my favorites on twitter.

On top of that, I finally responded to an email from Bicycle City which was in response to my request for more info.  First time I actually heard from someone (I’ve been following them since 2007) and I was tickled to death!!

My husband taught me how to use Pocket to save articles for later reading instead of leaving 15 tabs open on my browser (and thus slowing my browsing to a CRAWL….).

After “meeting” Sarah through Liesl’s 3 Question interview series, I proceeded to pin about a dozen recipes from her blog: The Vanilla Bean Blog.  One of which I have already tried my hand at.

This board has some great eye candy for contemplating yarn storage as we continue to plan our addition (and my little etsy corner).

This might be a great way to use up my wool scraps & also allow us to stop buying dryer sheets.

And I’ve been doing a lot of swagbucks these last two weeks to reach my daily goal for the whole month to get a bonus 300 points.  Does anyone else use swagbucks?  Once I got the hang of it, it has been a great background addition to my daily computer use to earn a few giftcards toward fun things 🙂  We are currently saving for Home Depot giftcards for home improvement projects.

What did you find worthwhile this week?

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