Aug 22, 2014

Peace out, Heat Wave

The last three days have been the hottest of the year so far. Highs in the upper 90s with the heat index into the middle 100s. I now understand why everyone has a comment about being pregnant in the summer. I'm super thankful that I'm not much later into the pregnancy right now. It would not be comfortable.

So, with the high at 99 tomorrow we're going to bust out of town and head towards the beach where the high for Monday is 84. Sweet relief!

I'm looking forward to sitting in my beach chair with a book or magazine, toes in the sand, gazing at the water. There will be walks on the beach, swimming, and lots of seafood. My doctor gave me the okay to eat as much as I want for the week.

Do you think we've packed enough reading material?

We've been knocking things off the to-do list over the last few weeks and it will be good to take a break and get away. Once we get back things will start moving forward. Closet hardware will be installed, bookcase and furniture will be moved, plaster repaired, and nurseries to be planned.

It feels like this trip is an odd bookmark in time somehow. The ending of our life as two and the beginning of our new family. Maybe I'm being overly emotional (sorry, hormones).

If you will excuse me, I'm going to go pack up my snacks and tank tops. Back in a week or so.

Aug 20, 2014

Summer Snapshots

I haven't been great at posting much lately besides garden updates. As I was backing up photos recently I thought I'd post a few here to remember our summer.

We've had many nice mornings this summer in which we drink our coffee on the back patio. This picture was before we switched to iced coffee full time.

I made strawberry jam from my first CSA.

Bryan's been putting the grill to good use.

Lots of Shell time.

I tried my hand at fishing with no success.

We finally got to the top of the Madison Hotel one Sunday afternoon to take in this amazing view.

We've been eating lots of local produce thanks to our CSA. Here I'm making a batch of pickles from our garden.

We saw the Parthenon in Nashville.

We voted.

We sat on the front porch and watched a summer storm.

Finally tried Tart for breakfast. It was amazing.

Gotta have a Jerry's snowcone!

Seriously, we have been overtaken with the fresh produce this summer!

I've been putting up stuff like it's my job. (Maybe it is a little.)

This summer I will remember peaches and mornings on the back patio. We've had fresh peaches in our CSA for the last 5-6 weeks. Almost every day we've had a peach. It's been wonderful.

It's hard to believe the summer is over. Kids are already back in school here. We head to the beach soon and that will be the official close of summer for us. Then it will be time to start working on the office and nursery.

Aug 18, 2014

The Potato Experiment: Part 1

This year we decided to experiment with growing potatoes. It was a scheme of mine to see if I could get Bryan more involved in the garden this year. When I was pouring over my seed catalog early in the year I asked him what was something he wanted me to grow. He said potatoes. The man could live on potatoes alone. I swear he's Irish and not German.

I purchased two varieties of seed potatoes, Desiree and Yellow Fin. In early April they arrived and I planted the varities in two rows in a garden bed and also a few in buckets of various sizes.

Sometime in July the garden bed started looking a little sad. I was convinced that the buckets would be the winner in this experiment.

Well, this past weekend we decided that it was time to harvest some of the potatoes.

The Yellow Fin potatoes (in the silver buckets) were starting to look ready. I read up that you can tell they are ready when the leaves start turning yellow.

We spread out a tarp and dumped out the first bucket.

We had an excellent crop of big fat worms.

From the three 5 gallon buckets we got only these teeny tiny potatoes. About the size of a finger nail - and not even a thumb finger nail, maybe a ring finger sized finger nail.

We were seriously disappointed, but decided to move on to the garden bed. Last week I pulled up a few dead vines.

Here's what we were left with. That's three remaining vines.

After the disappointing bucket results I had zero faith in this garden bed.

Bryan got in there and started digging.

It wasn't long before we spotted this beautiful sight. Potatoes!

We ended up harvesting this. A platter full of Desiree potatoes. It's not earth shattering or enough to put away in the basement (my original hope), but it was pretty exciting for us.

We still have three buckets and one large trash can of Desiree potatoes growing that we're leaving be for a few more weeks. So I'll check back in later with Part 2 of our potato saga.

Aug 11, 2014

Garden Update

It's been a few weeks since a garden update. That's mostly because I've been ignoring it. It's gotten hot and pregnancy is not suiting me very well. I'm not really neglecting it. Just doing the bare minimum.

My tomatoes are finally progressing. I have baby green tomatoes on all the plants now, except the stunted ones. I have no explanation for those. I've picked a handful of cherry roma tomatoes in the last week and it's nice to pick something other than peppers and cucumbers.

Cucumbers. They have become my nemesis. Please remind me why I over eagerly plant too many plants each year? Seriously? Why?

Last Tuesday we had neighborhood night out, or the night in which our neighborhood gets together for dinner and I pawn off all my excess vegetables. Bwahaha. Mentally it was good for me to get to cucumber zero. Here's what a week's worth of cucumbers look like:

So I guess it's time for me to face the cucumbers this week. I had a break last week. Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler so I guess I could pickle a couple of batches.

In other garden news, edamame was a bust. I picked a small handful and boiled and ate them as a snack. The lima beans are growing well and I'll have some to pick in the next few weeks. I keep forgetting about my green beans.

Last week I ordered a couple of seed packets for fall gardening. Two varieties of beets, spinach, and lettuce. I think I have a sickness. I don't even know where I'm going to plant them. Oops.

So that's what's happening in our garden as of lately.

Aug 4, 2014

Monday Musings

Over the weekend we were able to make some progress on the house. We sold the Murphy bed - don't worry, it went to a good, loving home. We set up an outdoor bicycle tent and moved the bikes from our living room to outside. We now have what feels like two gaping holes in our home. It feels good.

I started going through my closet of things to get rid of. Since meeting with the designer and coming up with a plan I've been itching to clean out everything. Even in the rooms that we won't be working on right now. It feels good to make space. Have some room to grow into as a family of three.  Although, let's be honest, the kid's stuff will probably take over what minuscule room I make.

On Friday we went to the closet showroom and saw plans for the closet. It was good to be in the showroom because we were able visualize what it will look like and also make some tweaks to make the space work better for us me.

While I feel a little selfish knowing we're pouring a large chunk of money into a space that I will mostly use, I know it will be for the better of the house. It will add value to the house if we decide to sell down the line. And it will make other spaces work better for the whole family. I will be able to move everything from my dresser in our bedroom into the closet. Which means a) I won't be getting dressed in two spaces and b) it opens up a whole wall in our bedroom (another gaping hole). We will also store Bryan's sample rack and shoe bag in here as well. Making Bryan's office less cluttered and a better space for him to work in.

It feels good to make progress. Yesterday I made a list room-by-room (YHL style) of what all we need to do. Before the closet installation (sometime around mid September) I'll need to take down the two Ikea shelves, repair the holes, and paint. The trim in this room really needs to be repainted, but I'm not sure I have the energy for it right now. We'll have to see how the whole repairing and patching goes. I'm not even sure we have the paint to match. If we do I'm hoping that I don't have to totally repaint the whole room. But who knows... We may have a paint job in our future.

So that's where we are. We've made some progress and now pondering when/how we will make our next steps.