Archive for the ‘Garden’ Category

Continuing from part 1…

After lunch it was back to school work. Isaac read aloud from his Scooby-Do phonics reader. One story to me and the 2nd to Natalie. Maddie is reading a story about how a family made a garden.

Isaac reading

Maddie reading


While the kids finished up their reading time I walked out to the garden. Pea sprouts are just starting to peek through the soil. And I just realized an earthworm photobombed my shot. Oh well.. glad to have him in there!

Pea sprouts

My onion sets have also started pushing up. We need a warm sunny day and all these plants will really take off.

Onion sets


I had a couple furry and feathered friends hanging out nearby. The Mourning Dove was setting on the corner of the garage roof watching me. The squirrel was fussing back and forth with our resident flock of grackles. They bicker and fight about ownership of the backyard bird feeder.

Mourning Dove


A few of my perennial plantings are starting to wake up around the house.  In order of appearance: Peonies, Daffodil, Aronia, Red Gooseberry, and Black Currant.








After my nice little walk around, I switched up the laundry again, starting one more load in the wash, moving a washed load to the dryer, and putting this basket away.




It was time for another bottle of water and a bit of a crafty break. I took about 15-20 minutes to drop spindle some lovely fiber I picked up at the most recent Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet festival.


Drop Spindle


A bit more internet browsing and email checking and then it was back to the laundry gig again… nothing else went in the wash though… the end was in sight.



By now the day is pretty long in the tooth so I need to get the house whipped into shape before we move into dinner time and evening routines. So.. here comes the “keeping it real” parts. This was my den after a day of school, snacks, laundry and time spent outside… followed by the spiffed up version.

Messy Den

clean Den

Next up was the kitchen… and wow.. it was even worse. So once again.. here’s the end of the day “real” followed by the clean up.

Messy Kitchen

clean kitchen


In the clean kitchen photo above.. dinner is in the works… spaghetti with meatballs in a tomato-basil sauce with pancetta. Now.. the beautiful thing here.. is that I’m not the one cooking it. Nor did I have to go out and pick up the groceries to make it. This wonderful guy here took care of all that. Here he is coming in from work last night, carrying in the groceries in the pouring rain with his raincoat hanging haphazardly from his head. Thanks honey!!



After that delicious dinner I put away the last load of laundry, then got Miss Natalie ready for bed.




After the kids were all asleep I laced up my running shoes and hit the treadmill.

Running Shoes

My current training work out is three sets of runs… each 12 minutes long with a one minute walk break between each. Running pace is 11.1 miles per minute or 5.4mph. This gave me a 35 minute 5K time and a total run of 3.36 miles in 38 minutes.  Hopefully I can keep or better that 35 minute 5K time on Saturday for the Achilles race at North Park.

So… there ya go… that’s a pretty typical day in our life.


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Way back in the fall I ordered a bunch of plants from Raintree Nursery. I got about half of them put in the ground before winter set in and the ground froze solid. The rest lived on my covered front porch pretty much entirely neglected until today. Today my two currants and one gooseberry found their permanent homes.


The single gooseberry, closest in the photo, is a variety named Red George. It’s cold hardy, self-fertile, compact at only 2′-3′ at maturity and will yield 4 to 5 lbs of fruit each season. The two currants are both black varieties, which require cross pollination. The first is Minaj Smyriou, another compact and hardy plant. The second currant is a variety named Titania and it can get quite large, over 6 feet!. I located it on the corner of my planting bed in case I need to support it using a tie on the porch column.


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So you see all these landscape timbers… yeah… they used to be the border to the terribly over grown mess known to us as the North garden bed.

And this is what is left after dragging all those landscape timbers out. Tons and tons of thick grass and weeds… and a few non-plant surprises.

Beneath all those weeds were a bunch of strange metal grates… I’m still not sure what they were… weird fence panels maybe? shelving of some sort??

Here’s a close up of the grates. So what do you think they are? They are each really really heavy.

A couple days later the truck arrived to reclaim the dumpster.

I have to be honest… right at this point.. I was more than a little worried that the truck wasn’t going to be able to get it up on the rig. We put a LOT of really heavy stuff in there and packed that dumpster tight as a sardine tin.

But the winch on the truck made pretty short work of the job and in no time the dumpster was safely on and locked in place.

And then it was time to say goodbye as the dumpster and all that junk rolled off into the sunset.

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The weekend is right around the corner and I am so happy to be spending it at home. While I enjoyed seeing our family in Virginia last weekend, I am a home body and this house is now home for me. Rain is in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. This isn’t so bad though since I can get our seedlings out on the porch to start hardening them off in the cool gray weather. I’m happy to report that all of the up-potted (from 3/4″ into 2″ soil blocks) survived while we were gone. If I start hardening them off this Saturday they should be ready to go out into the raised beds next weekend. Which also means I have one week to get the soil ready for them!

I have last years compost pile sitting out on a tarp with another tarp loosely draped over the top. It was very wet and clumpy when I first started digging into it so I wanted to give the pile an opportunity to release some of its moisture. Hopefully it will have dried enough that I can sift it through my hardware cloth screen without too much effort. After its screened I’ll mix it with some mineral amendments and then work it all into the planting beds.

My big task in the garden for today, and probably tomorrow too, is to move all the dirt out of one of the old beds and into the new frame that my husband built before our vacation. The old bed currently sits too close to the new garage site and about one half it will become the expanded section of our driveway.  The weather should be perfect for this kind of work with highs in the mid-70’s.

Oh.. the house needs a good spiffing up too.. but that’s boring stuff. 🙂

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To begin.. let me say Happy Easter to all of my friends and family who celebrate!

We had a full Saturday here at the bungalow and out and about town as well. We began with a trip to the family feed and seed for more seed starting flats, a plastic dome to fit a flat for my next round of starts and some organic plant food to water the growing starts with.  Its a fish meal based formula with a mint scent added to mask the fishiness.  I hope it doesn’t reek.

Next we drove over to 84 Lumber to get a materials list and pricing for the garage supplies. This ended up being more of an adventure than I had planned on since we didn’t know exactly where we were going.  The trip took longer than expected but we finally arrived there and then made it back home safely.

Around 5pm my husband drove into the north side of the city to pick up bottles.  Lots and lots of bottles. A coworker of his is also a home brewer but has moved to kegging instead of  bottling so he was happy to get rid of his bottle collection and reclaim some space in his house.

After an unexciting but filling dinner of tuna noodle casserole with green peas and pumpernickel bread, we cleaned up the house, put the kids to bed and watched 2 episodes of The Misfits with one of our neighbors.  Its become a weekend tradition.

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Its Friday. Yay!  I’m getting the house spiffed up today in preparation for a weekend of gardening and family time.

On the agenda:

– A stop at the local feed & seed for potting soil

– Target for underwear… the little guy is potty training and doing great.

– A stop at Home Depot for lumber and a new light for the seed rack.

– Make a bunch of 2″ soil blocks for my garden seedlings

– Put together a couple new raised garden beds

– Brainstorm new front yard flower beds

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