Sunday, July 22, 2012

My blog gets so neglected in the summer

And I'd go on about why it gets neglected, but if you have read my blog for any length of time, or if you know me at all, then you know that my children are on the summer parks and rec swim team.  And taking the kids to practice and meets for swim team takes up a big bulk of my time in the summer. 

And if that wasn't enough, Flower just finished up acting the summer parks and rec outdoor production of Les Miserables.  She tried out in May and got a part in the Children's Ensemble.  She LOVED it.  She did a great job - in fact everyone in the production did a great job.  They started practice in Mid May and then started performing the last weekend of June and the first two weekends in July.  There would have been 12 performances, but we have been suffering through a dreadful heat wave/drought and the performance had to be cancelled on one night, so they "only" ended up having 11 performances. 

AND, Jelly Bean was also doing long course events for her competitive swim team, which included a few travel meets.  And she was also practicing with this team about 16 hours a week, in addition to the 4 hours a week practicing with her summer team. 

Oh, and I got a different job!  I was contacted in mid June by a contracting company who wanted to hire me on an 8 week contract to do technical writing.  So still working full-time, but a) I have the flexibility to work from home a couple days a week b) the pay is much better and c) it is doing something that I enjoy MUCH better than what I was doing before. 

But today, we finished summer swim team with a WIN at swim team conference, and Flower finished up her play last weekend.  I'm still working for another month, but like I said, I have more flexibility than I did earlier in the summer. 

So things SHOULD be calming down.  We will see what happens.  It seems like I will say something like that and then, poof, I'll be crazy busy for some reason. But in theory, I should be calming down and I can devote more time to the blog.  Let's see if that actually happens :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

You'd think that I would have an empty house

It seems like every year - heck, every other month, I get rid of a bunch of stuff. As in multiple bags of stuff.  Most of it I either give or sell, but some of it (especially some from a certain couple of girls' room) is just actual trash.  Well, maybe some of it is recycling.  But not anything that I can actually sell or give away.  I've had several garage sales. 

But yet, it never seems to ever really end.  We just did some a lot of rearranging of furniture around here - a bed from Super's room went down to the girls' room and was turned into a funky tween couch.  The art shelf was taken out of the dining room and put in the family room.  The old kitchen table was moved out of the girls room (we put it there for them to use as a desk, but it mostly just became a place to put stuff that they didn't want to put away LOL) and brought into the family room, and the old card table was put in the garage.  The second TV from the family was moved to the studio because we are going to use the bed, etc. in the studio as a guest room instead of my room.  We bought a new to us dresser for the girls, and moved one of their old dressers into the studio.  We bought a new tall bookcase for the girls' room and moved the two small ones to Super's room. 

And so by doing all that rearranging, we got rid of a lot of stuff.

And then, I'm finally selling the rest of the things that I still had from when I was still running Montgomery Academy.  So things that I had put in one of the storage closet had to be gone through, taken pictures of, post pictures, etc. and then mailed. 

And by doing all that, I got rid of a lot of stuff. 

Oh, and a couple months ago, I went through all my papers and books that I accumulated in college and got rid of most of it. 

You would seriously think that I should live in an empty house by now.  I'm not sentimental.  I don't hold on to things unless they are functional.  I am much more brutal about things than the rest of my family, but yet, it isn't like the rest of them should be on Hoarders or anything. 

But yet, I'm sure that come this time next month, I'll have a trunk full of things to take to Goodwill and a full recycling container and a full trash container. I'm starting to think that maybe someone sneaks into my house and drops off stuff so that I never actually get to the end of it.

I'm kidding.  Mostly :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

July 2012 - What is my garden up to?

I'll try and post some pictures here later today, but I at least wanted to get the report done (because if I don't do it now, it probably won't get done!)

Well, the herb garden is doing well.  I haven't had time to do much to take care of it, and there are tons of herbs that I really need to harvest, but I don't have time to do anything with them - most of them I dry - and so there just out there growing away.  I'm not sure I can remember all of the herbs I've got out there, but here's most of them - stevia, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, thyme (used this as a ground cover along the border, and this is growing like gangbusters!) basil, lemon verbena, dill, sage, rosemary, lavender, oregano, spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, marjoram, sage, and chives. 

On the north side of the house, I planted a three zucchini plants, and it looks like I might get zucchini off all of them this year.  There are two zucchinis on one plant that are about a day from being ready to pick.  I also planted a perennial flower garden on this side.  It is doing o.k.  It has been crazy hot for weeks now, and hardly any rain, and I only water a couple of days a week.  Next year, I'm doing drip irrigation, but for now, it is just the sprinkler, and so the flowers in particular aren't doing great.  But I'm hoping for the best.  There are 6 plants in the bed now, and I plan on adding 4-6 more in the bed next year.

Along the fence on the north side, I have two containers - one has two butternut squash plants with lattice behind it for it to climb, and then the other container has two melon plants with lattice behind it to climb.  The squash is doing o.k., slow but steady growth.  The melon, well, it might be dead.  I haven't looked in the past few days, but it isn't growing really.  I think I planted them too early and then it got too hot, etc. 

The four boxes along the west end are doing o.k.  Box 1 has onion and garlic.  I have garlic flowers coming up now, and so I will probably cut the scapes and make some garlic scape pesto this weekend.  The onions are plugging along.  Box 2 has some lettuce left in it that we need to eat up this week, and some HUGE swiss chard, celery, and 8 cucumber plants that are growing horizontally on garden netting.  I think I might actually get cucumbers this year! I planted marigolds or some kind of flowers by any of the plants that flowered, and I think that helped to bring in the pollinators, etc.  Box 3 has peppers and tomatoes.  I have small tomatoes on the plants, and I have banana peppers ready to pick.  The green peppers are slowly but surely growing.  Box 4 has green beans.  I'm not sure what is going on there.  I've got leaves, but I haven't seen blossoms or any indication of beans.  I planted them well over a month ago. 

The strawberry patch had some strawberries in it this year, but I didn't get as much as I'd hoped.  I probably got a quart total.  But about half of them are the everlasting kind, so hopefully I'll get another quart in the fall. 

I'm planning on a fall garden this year - at the very least, I'm doing broccoli, peas, and spinach. 

I've got BIG plans for the garden next year.  I'm putting in 4 new beds - one for potatoes, one for cabbage and broccoli, one for greens (this one may actually be a cold frame instead of just a raised bed), and one for blueberries.  I'm also moving the peas to a different area and putting netting or fencing in between the rows instead of doing bamboo teepees in one of the boxes.  I'm also planning on planting more peas in general next year.  I'm planting grapes and a pear, an apple, and cherry tree next year. Oh, and asparagus.  I totally meant to plant it this year, but the spring just got away from me.  As always LOL, I plan on doing better with successive planting and getting a spring, summer, and fall crop out of as many of the beds as possible.  I'm also putting in a drip irrigation system. 

I'm super tempted to start a front yard garden too, but I think I'll wait another year after that.  Check with the HOA and the city over the next year, and get all those ducks in a row before I do it.  However, if nothing else, I do plan on adding some more perennial and native plants in the front yard.