Monthly Archives: July 2008

the peas are psyched

We had a total cat and dog experience last night. I can’t ever remember getting rain like this in July. And it was chilly this morning, like in the 50s. Compared to last year at this time, when I could be found lounging like a pregnant whale in the doggie pool in the back yard, that’s somethin’. The bummer was that Mother Nature decided to pour on our dear friends 60/30 Birthday/versary party (60th birthday and 30th anniversary together). But it didn’t dampen the 150 people’s spirits; it wasn’t anything a full bar and tons of love couldn’t cure. :: :: :: But now I am off to Steamboat Springs to see my best pal Meg and her fiance. Her man bought bug and me a ticket ( I know. Love him.) to surprise her for her birthday but then he told her which is just as well says Meg because now our room is all cute and cozy waiting for us. We can’t wait. Except this morning I am moving slow because I drank a lot of wine last night because I was all Woohoo I Am On Vacation at the 30/60 party. :: :: :: So, the diaper issue when traveling. We use cloth diapers for our bug. We dig the cloth but when traveling it is a bit more work..washing in the sink and hanging to dry in friend’s bathrooms, hotel balconies, etc. Not a huge deal nor a deal-breaker for our commitment to cloth, but a pain in the ass none the less. I discovered the g diaper a while back and it is this disposable insert that plops right in your diaper cover instead of cloth. The fab thing is that it takes like a month to decompose instead of the estimated 500 years for disposables (if no poo, you can actually throw on your compost pile). Even better, it doesn’t even ever need to go in the landfill because the insert is flushable. My issue with the g is the price. $16.99 for 32 inserts. Bug has already has $1.06 worth of poo and it is only 9am. :: :: :: Anyway, we’re off on the plane to hike in the mountains, imbibe in fab food (Pete is a chef) and just sit and stare at Meg. Wish me luck on the plane with a seven-month-old. I promise witty garden insight when I return. Read more on the peas are psyched…
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hey look I made stuff!

One of my resolutions was to take a sewing class and I can check that one off the old list. It turns out that I was like a really crummy seamstress before. In fact, I don’t think I should even use that word. Seamstress. As with many things I approach in life, I just went for it full steam ahead without regard to Sewing Rules like pre-washing fabric, ironing, measuring, cutting straight lines, following patterns… This fake-it-’til-you-make-it approach often works often but sometimes, it is best to be careful and thoughtful and follow rules. Like with sewing (I know mom, you told me so). My sewing class was through the adult ed program and was held at a local high school in the home ec room. Or, consumer science, as our dear teacher, Carol, called it. Carol is a sewing champion and taught the eight young women enrolled in her class the lost arts of patience and clothes-making. Carol’s days involved classes full of smart ass kids who would tell her things like I don’t care if I mess up with the serger this class doesn’t matter anyway. Punk. So, for her to have the full, thirsty attention of us, well. She dug it. Although I have to admit I just couldn’t indulge her enthusiasm for paper piecing to make Christmas ornaments. My eye-opening lesson: There is good reason to take the prep seriously. I learned that not everyone has to seam rip for 45 minutes with each project. Really? I learned that the edge of my happy curtains in my living room no longer needs to be concealed by a giant jade plant because now I know how to straighten my fabric perfectly (I alway ripped my fabric before). The crisp, clean, pre-washed fabric with flawless, blunt edges all stacked up on my work table brought my inner type A to the surface. I realized that I didn’t follow sewing etiquette because I was afraid that I would then have a ton invested in the project and if it didn’t turn out I would feel like an asshole but if I just kinda tossed my hands in the air and sewed with whimsy and it didn’t turn out I could say oh well, it was just an experiment. Now, I sew with intention and respect. I am still impulsive and a rule-breaker but I feel like I can be now because I know when not the break the rules (in theory anyway). I am, in fact, making a large quilt for our bed. It is currently in a tidy stack of 36 16-inch squares on my dresser. I used the pillow cases I made in my class as the color inspiration. We also made pajama pants and a zippered pouch. In other sewing news, my sewing guru of a mama is starting an etsy shop for kids clothes like this dress. Stay tuned. Read more on hey look I made stuff!…
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and more!

So I was madly running all about yesterday trying to get my nesting box ready for the hens since they started laying already. And, while I was building said box, Clementine started clucking and wiggling her butt. I thought it was because I was in her house but nope. I watched her lay an egg. And then two more appeared before the end of the day. Five eggs in one day. All brown so Bossy P isn’t pulling her weight just yet (hers will be blue and green). Read more on and more!…
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Good Job Chickens!

Yup. We have eggs. Two of ‘em. You would have thought the chickens were smoking cigars and speaking French with the level of my enthusiasm as I sprinted across the backyard in my pjs early this morning screaming babe! eggs! babe, come here! eggs! I suspected something was up with all the bbrruuuggg brrruuoookkking in their run. Then I had mild cardiac arrest when I saw two brown eggs just sitting there in the dirt. Holy shit. They were so cute. My vegan friend, Sarah, has been craving eggs lately and said if I could prove that chickens don’t have anxiety with the removal of the eggs, she would eat one. Well, I don’t know for sure, but I thought they were a little freaked out when I took the eggs. But then, I realized it was more my excitement and audible heartbeat that was the freakish thing and that they were actually calm. Like, chicken relief. They were so worked up and proud over their creations. And, after I took the eggs they went back to their usual brooding, calm selves. To reward their efforts, I cut up some really horrible tasting apples. But horrible tasting apples to humans are exquisite noshing for chickens. AND, one was a double yolker. They were so delicious. We didn’t even sit down to eat them in our back yard, or sit down at all. We just scooped the eggs off the skillet and dove in right there standing in the kitchen. Not the prettiest picture of me, but Andy documented my pleasure. Read more on Good Job Chickens!…
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garden update: the strong, the weak and the chickens

After my last post where I talked about feeling all green thumb confident, I must now admit that it isn’t all magic and perfect here in my Missoula plot. There have been some real disappointments this year. There always are…last year it was my squash with the spider mites. This year, while I have no pests (knock on wood), I have some seriously crummy germination. Chioggia Beet. Damn it. I was so excited about these heirloom candy cane swirled dudes. I planted a 1gm packet which was enough for about 12 feet before thinning. I estimate about a 40% germination rate. Seeds of Change has this on the back of the packet: “These seeds…meet or exceed Federal germination requirements. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.” So, I’ll follow up and see what happens. Thankfully, the Detroit Dark Red and the Bull’s Blood were their usual trustworthy selves and I was able to carefully transplant when thinning to fill in the gaps for the lame Chioggia. Detroit Dark Red beets Purple Haze hybrid Carrot. This is a tragedy because garden carrots are one of my faves and I planted 30 feet of carrots this year. It is a big chunk of my plot. I have ten, three-foot rows and there are like two to four measly seedlings per row. I have 29 carrots en masse. Yes, I can count them. At least they’ll be gorgeous with all that room for root growth. I am in desperate search for a carrot that can germinate in this warm weather. Anyone know? Purple Haze Carrot Golden Purslane. I have never grown this before and was psyched for the succulent wannabe green. Also rich in vitamin C and great raw or cooked…well, of a 230mg packet, I have about 12 plants. This *may* be my fault as I was annoyed with little seeds from having just sewed a million rows of carrots so I cast the seeds and wasn’t too careful about covering them. To fill in the painful, bare spots, I bought some Black Bell Eggplants and tucked them quaintly into little purslane niches. And it looks purposeful. See, gardening is all about creative solutions. Golden Purslane Here is my garden today: The screened back crops (arugula, spinach, radish and mesclun) have already come and gone. And, the chickens. Still no eggs. But they are happy birds noshing on radish and pea greens, apples and bolted spinach. They are a kick to watch; I set up a bench in front of the run and bug, Andy and I had coffee with the girls this morning. Bossy P runs back and forth like a kid on Christmas morning waiting for the parents to wake up. She is not the most brilliant chicken, but entertaining and, well, bossy. Clementine remains sweet and shy. Her white tail feathers emerging. Ida is Andy’s favorite. He says he like the way Bossy P looks but she is a pain in the ass. Ida is social and curious. Read more on garden update: the strong, the weak and the chickens…
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