Friday, August 15, 2014

as seen :: around home

Just a few shots from the very beginning of the month. The strawberries became jam and the cucumbers became pickles - plenty of both still in the fridge though we're eating them every day. The garage still has work to be done - two windows wait for installation. But we {Lukas} are getting better at repairing and replacing the rotted structure of the walls.  I'm working on claiming the yard back from the weeds and dirt and millions of brick pavers.  There's a lot of all that and it's all heavy to move.  Slowly, we're taking small steps forward - two steps forward, one step back.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

habits of home :: tending the garden

I drop Lukas off at the BART station and come home to a spunky kitty who tries to chat me up through the front window, his tail flip-flapping a mile a minute.  I set down keys and wallet and head out to the garage for my watering can.  With it filled, I give the back planter beds - which are in desperate need of a reboot - a drink.  Still going strong are thyme, sage and oregano.  Staging a come back are a couple basil plants.  My fingers are crossed about those.  A weekend away, with hot hot summer sun did in the lettuce and tiny strawberry plants though.

This quite morning time is squeezed in between Lukas leaving for work and then me leaving for work.  Yet, it's not hurried or rushed.  Just what I need to start the day.  And sometimes, like exercising, I don't really feel like doing it... but when done (and even while doing it) I feel so much better.

That simple daily reminder that our days are filled with infinitesimal choices.  We should always chose what brings us joy and happiness.   

Thursday, June 5, 2014

growing :: the front yard

First there were waist{or maybe shoulder} high weeds filling the front planter bed.  Wild radish and dandelion, both with slightly prickly stalks and tuberous roots.  And long, spindly grasses.  I pulled it all up, filling the green waste bin rather quickly.

And then there was bare dirt and a jade plant that needed a bit of relocation.  Into the ground I planted dahlia bulbs and poppies - all hidden beneath the dirt.  Still the ground looked bare.  In the front half of the bed I planted parsley and thyme and a flowering hydrangea.  Though the flowers soon withered and it wasn't looking all that healthy.

The parsley and thyme took off like gangbusters.  Raised beds got added to the backyard and the front yard herbs were moved.  Fingers are still crossed that the parsley comes back, though it does look to be making a solid effort.  I trimmed back the hydrangea and fresh leaves sprouted. And then...

The dahlias came up and poppies too.  And with them a volunteer sunflower!  A second, lagging behind sunflower didn't appreciate my relocation efforts and kicked the bucket.  But this first, big stalky fellow shot up quickly seemingly growing several inches each day.  I was eager to see it burst open and then it did.  With the dahlias following closely behind, like nature's fireworks.

Such anticipation, even though I did the planting and I did the watering, each time a new flower opens it feels like a wonderful surprise.  A cultivated sense of wonder.

Also growing in the front are a rosemary plant and two lavenders {that replaced the thyme and parsley}.  Even as such baby plants, the lavender are shooting up flowers and looking like miniature versions of their older counter parts I see in our neighbors' yards.  I can't wait for the day when they are also so lush.  And just like most everything else, that day will come and when it does it will feel like both all of a sudden and like an eternity.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

a little bit of :: these days

:: wine tasting to celebrate a great friend who is getting married this year

:: we can be dressed fancy but still appreciate some good {and messy} BBQ

:: one planter box turned into three & I ventured to Annie's Annuals {it's awesome!}

:: though my attempt to transplant the crazy parsley was most likely not a success

:: the long weekend was filled with working on the house/backyard, a cookout {with margaritas and ladder ball}, and a sail in the SF Bay.  It was good.

:: the dahlias in the front yard have burst open and the sunflower is starting to show too

:: we've planned the steps needed to start fixing our garage.  We're ready for that to just be done!

:: the days are full and speeding by so fast

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

growing :: the first planter box

Last Saturday I drove up to Napa to spend the day wine tasting with girl friends.  I had the car all day and Lukas told me explicitly that he would be spending the day watching TV and napping and doing fantasy baseball and not doing homework.  In other words, a day off for both of us.  My day in Napa was a blast and I didn't get home till after midnight.  A quick shower and then I crawled into bed.

The next morning after some tasty cornmeal, buttermilk pancakes Lukas said, "When you're done cleaning up there's something for you in the garage."  Ooooo, what could it be, I wondered.  And I didn't have a clue.  And there sitting in {the cleaned up} garage was this beautiful raised planter bed.  

How was it possible?  I had the car all day.  Did Lukas just see it on the side of the street when he walked to the market?  There wasn't any mess or sign of work... could he have made it?  I scurried back into the house.  "Where did it come from?" I squealed.  And when Lukas confirmed that he made it, I could only respond with... "But, how?  I had the car all day."  

Turns out, he borrowed a friend's car to pick up the lumber.  And he's very good at cleaning up.  My socks = completely knocked off.  Everything looked so perfect and professional to me.  Back out to the garage I went to look at my surprise a bit more.  

We spent the rest of the day spending a $20 gift card at REI {Sierra North: Backcountry Trips in California Sierra Nevada} and getting dirt and plants to fill the box.  I still can't get over how beautiful the planter is.  Now I've got the start of a backyard garden.  It was a perfect surprise.

:: planted ::
     {2} basil
     {6} strawberries