May 26, 2014

Garden Update

Not much activity in the garden this week. This is mostly just photos.

The potatoes are starting to bloom. What does this mean? I really need to look up what I should do with this bed!

First tomatoes are appearing on the Jet Star!

Cucumbers are starting to bloom.

My peas died the other day, so I repotted the jalepeno seedlings and my meyer lemon.

The peas and beans are growing like crazy. I'm trying to train them to climb the fence. No such luck yet.

I topped off most of the potato buckets today. Something appears to be snacking on the leaves in the black trash can container.

About time to harvest more lettuce.

On Friday I went to a herbal symposium at the Memphis Botantic Garden. They had several speakers and vendors. One thing I picked up is herbal water.

I've been obsessed ever since. Clip whatever herbs smell good to you, twist and stuff in a pitcher or some sort of vessel. Cover with ice and water, let steep for at least 30 minutes, and drink. So easy and so delicious!

May 23, 2014

New Music: JJ Grey and Mofro

As part of my 30 before 30 goal I wanted to spent more time this year immersing myself in music, specifically new to me music. I hope to post a few of my findings here for you. I'm not a music reviewer so don't expect any titillating review or anything.

Travel season is upon us. Next week Bryan and I hit the road for New Orleans and lower Mississippi. I never got around to finishing last seasons mixed CD. Whoops! After this week's listen I'm motivated to finish it up. Only 6 months late. Ha.

This week I listened to JJ Grey and Mofro's 2013 album The River. I even remember when I first heard of them! Early 2013 on WEVL. One of the morning shows was doing a Jazzfest preview show. Since then I've had this band tagged as a New Orleans band in my head. I am wrong. They are from Jacksonville, FL. But from their funky, bluesy sound they'd fit right in New Orleans or Memphis.

Needless to say this album is now on my "to buy" list. I love moving albums over from the "to listen" to the "to buy" category! The album is a good mix of booty shaking music, nodding head along, or just drinking beer songs.

Favorite songs: Your Lady, She's Shady, Florabama

When to listen: road trips, when you need a pick-me-up, beer drinking times

May 22, 2014

The Hermitage

A few weeks ago we spent the night in Nashville. We had an event at a store and decided it was best to just stay the night instead of trying to drive home late. Bryan fully supported this idea after he realized that the next morning would be the perfect time to see The Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson.

It was a rainy morning, but we decided to just go on. We skipped the museum part at the beginning and just headed straight to the house. It was a Friday and apparently there were a lot of school and retirement groups. I mean a lot. Every single staff people commented on it.

Before you get to the house there is a short walk on the grounds. There are several spots to listen for more information, but given the rain and junior high kids on our heels we skipped much of them.

Once at the front door they allow groups in every several minutes. The sweet staff members put Bryan and I with another couple and let us in between groups. Touring the house just the four of us allowed us more time to look at all the pretty things and ask all the questions we could think of.

Pictures weren't allowed inside, but I was honestly amazed at how nice the house and furnishings were. I particularly loved the fabrics and wallpaper. (Huh, now that I think about it, I also loved the same things at The Biltmore last fall.)

After touring the house you end up on the back patio. You can see the kitchen, pantry, and grounds.

Our tour friends took this for us. We took pictures of them as well.

On this day they had a bunch of 4th or 5th graders outside giving information at certain stations. They were dressed in period garb and were adorable. We loved this little touch.

We saw Rachel's garden. I'd love to see it later in the summer or early fall when it's grown up more.

Despite the rain we stopped to smell the flowers. Or at least I did.

We saw at least three different wild turkeys on the grounds.

We took the most basic tour and it cost $19 each. A little pricey, but we both enjoyed the tour. If it had been a nicer day we might have spent more time on the grounds. But we needed to get back on the road toward home anyways.

The tour focuses on life at the Hermitage and not so much on Andrew Jackson. Perhaps this is focused more in the museum at the start. I was totally fine with this, but if you were hoping to learn all about Andrew Jackson you might want to do some reading before going to The Hermitage.

If you go wear comfortable shoes. I was not prepared for how much you can walk the grounds. Since this was an unplanned excursion I just had flip flops. Budget at least three hours.

May 19, 2014

Garden Update

Happy Monday! Time for a garden update.

We had rain the last five days! Not much has gotten done in the garden this week aside from adding a little dirt to the potatoes in buckets on Saturday between rain showers. Although, as I stated last week, there's not much work to do now aside from weeding and watering. Just waiting until everything is ready for harvesting.

Here's the view from the top step of the whole yard/garden. Still looking a little sparse from a distance.

The potatoes in this bed are huge. I can't decide what I should do about the dirt situation. Should I add more or let it be?

Extra tomato plants I need to take to my mom and my fig tree.

The left side of the garden.  The sweet pepper in the left most bed is starting to bloom. A week or so ago I planted an extra row of carrots in the middle bed. I'll add another row or two I think in another week or so. Or should I plant my jalepeno peppers here?

The jet start tomato in the right bed is growing like crazy. There are four or five blooms on it already.

The right side of the garden. Peppers are growing slowly in the left bed, although the chocolate bell pepper has a couple of blooms. Basil is starting to sprout in the middle bed. And the cucumbers are looking healthy in the right bed.

My meyer lemon has put out a ton of new leaves in the last couple of weeks.

The prettiest lettuce yet.

Over in the new bed the peas are sprouting!


Seeing lots of sprouts in my cinder block holes.

The right side of the bed. More tomatoes and soybeans.

Lots of lettuce sprouting over here.

Potatoes in buckets. These are growing so fast! I'll probably have them filled with dirt in just another week or two. Then it's the waiting game.

No harvests this week. I could probably put together a little salad with lettuce that is ready, but that's about it.

May 16, 2014

New Music: The Ruby Suns

As part of my 30 before 30 goal I wanted to spent more time this year immersing myself in music, specifically new to me music. I hope to post a few of my findings here for you. I'm not a music reviewer so don't expect any titillating review or anything.

Yep, another band I have no idea where I heard them from. You'll be happy to know that on new additions to the "to listen to" list I notate where I first heard of said band. That way I can give credit where credit is due two to three years from now when I finally get around to listening to them. Sigh... some days I think I need to ramp up my new music listening. Otherwise I'll never get caught up. But then I remind myself that this is not a race and if I did get caught up I'd be bored and wouldn't know what to listen to.

This week I listened to The Ruby Sun's 2013 album Christopher. It's upbeat and a little bit electronica. Perfect for the tedious, mind-numbing task I was working on (organizing old photos on my hard drive). Turns out the main guy lives in New Zealand. Shout to to Brett!

When to Listen: doing tedious work, Friday's at work, getting ready to go out

May 14, 2014

Getaway Picture

In recent months I've been going through a bunch of old pictures. My parents and I had a couple of boxes of photos scanned and put on a disc. They came back out of order despite my putting them in order with note cards dividing them between the various photo albums I took the photos out of. Having a disc of old photos is great... but when your baby pictures is next to college pictures it can make finding a specific photo very challenging. So I've been putting some time aside here and there to work through organizing them.

This is one I've come across. I have no idea when it was taken - anytime between the years 1995-2001. But it as since found a permanent spot on my desk. I look at it daily. It takes me back to a time and place and a feeling of the warmth of the sun on my skin, wind in my hair, and a mist in the air. I can't help but take a deep sigh and relax a little each time I look at it and get lost in those moments.

It's no wonder I've been craving the water and being on a boat lately.

What are you day dreaming about? The beach? Sunny weather? A specific time and place?

May 12, 2014

Garden Update

It's Monday! Time for a garden update!

Things are still pretty little, but this week I'm beginning to really see things take off. Specifically the potatoes and cucumbers.

The potatoes I swear grow a couple of inches a day. I'm not joking. I filled the buckets with several inches of dirt on Saturday and I already need to add some more.

The cucumbers are putting out a couple of leaves in this past week. I can see them really growing like crazy over the next few weeks.

I planted my pea and beans in the new bed on Saturday as well as the remaining tomatoes. All tomatoes are in the ground! I have a few starts left over and I'm not sure what will happen with them at this point. I may keep a few in pots. Or I'll give them to my parents for their garden.

First tomato blossom from my Jet Star transplant!

Saturday was the turning point. Now the beds are mostly full and it's all about watering and weeding.

In the front yard the fruit is blooming! Both the limes and the blackberries.

Future cobbler.

It can be difficult to wait patiently in these first weeks, but I have no doubt in about a month things will be well established and I'll be regretting planting so many things. Oh well, that's the beauty of growing vegetables and herbs. It's all edible!

May 9, 2014

New Music: Dirty Projectors' Swing Lo Magellan

As part of my 30 before 30 goal I wanted to spent more time this year immersing myself in music, specifically new to me music. I hope to post a few of my findings here for you. I'm not a music reviewer so don't expect any titillating review or anything.

Just like the last two weeks the Dirty Projects have been on my to-do list for a long time and I have no idea where I heard of them. It's been interesting to listen through these. Kind of like opening a present or a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.

I have no idea how to describe this album. They have a different sound. Sometimes with an electronic sound, but more voice driven than most electronic music. A little experimental maybe?

I listened through a few times. There were a couple of songs I didn't mind, but also a few that I had to skip over after the first listen. Not really a ringing endorsement. I won't be putting this on my to-buy list. But I'm glad I gave it a listen. It's what this project is all about, after all.

When to listen: multi-tasking, hanging out with friends drinking PBRs on the front porch

May 6, 2014

Brewery Untapped

A few years ago Bryan and I toured the old Tennessee Brewery with our architectural group, LuniTects. It is a vast, but gorgeous building that has sat empty for several decades. Recently the owners have planned to demolish the building if no one bought it by the end of the summer. Several local leaders got together and decided to do something with the space temporarily. The plan was to bring people to the space, show off the amazing building, and also get people thinking that maybe you don't have to do something with the whole space at one time. The hopes that during the short term event a buyer/investor can see the potential and save the building.

The first weekend I went and met some friends on a Friday evening.

Then last Thursday I drug Brett and Bryan while we were downtown to show off the space. We stayed for lunch.

During this event the courtyard and two rooms are open. There are usually two food trucks on premises for your food needs and also a bar in one of the rooms with lots of local and regional beer options. On Sundays $1 from every purchase is donated back to a non-profit.

We hope to go back at least one more time, if not several more. If you are in the area, please make an effort to go to this cool event and support the efforts to save this building.

May 5, 2014

Garden Update

I haven't done too much since last week, so this update will be mostly pictures. 

Potatoes are growing quickly! I put some dirt around the taller ones on Wednesday, but looks like they are ready for more dirt. I can't decide how much dirt to put on these. 

Yesterday I forgot to water. It is way too early for me to start getting lazy in this area.