Sunday, August 18, 2013

School lunches, going back, and acorn squash |currently

That's an acorn squash from my garden. I'm hoping to get more like her soon. 
I missed the deadline for linking this week's list to the other currently posters, but I will write anyway because I am about to embark on grad school drudgery and will have less time to write. T has moved back home and things are difficult as we navigate our way through parenting, seeing each other everyday, relationship expectations and living in a small place with nowhere to hide from each other.

This weeks currently:

Spending as much time as possible planning dinners, lunches, new routines, routes, schedules, meetings, and downtime in anticipation of a crazy first year of graduate school. I am having doubts that I want to go on with my schooling. I'm not sure what it will get me in the end, but onward I move. I am sure that when I get into the groove of this crazy, hectic schedule, I will know that I made the right decision.

Saving sunflower seeds. One of the big sunflowers that I had planted last year dropped seeds before I could collect them, so I had volunteer sunflowers in the garden this year. Tomorrow I need to go to the garden and cut 'er down so I can save those seeds, or eat them, or both. Some of my fellow gardeners have let their food go to head, so I am hoping to save those seeds as well.

Speaking less and less these days. I am finding that I don't have much to say and listening is a much better option for me. Don't get me wrong, when you get me started, I will talk your ear off. As the weather cools, I return inward.

Going to meeting after meeting is exhausting. I have a book study tomorrow regarding A Course in Miracles, then another meeting on Tuesday, then a garden meeting on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday are chock full of meetings for grad school orientation. I am already missing my weekend as I sit here on a Sunday night and prepare for all of these meetings! Good golly!

Sharing the blog 100 Days of Real Food. This blog has inspired me to get back on the healthi(er) train. I am a vegetarian who (very) occasionally eats fish (wild caught) but mostly likes vegan faire. This blog has made me a better lunch packer already! Tomorrow's lunches include egg and cheese burritos, smoothies (almond milk, banana, flax meal, and peanut butter), an apple, and dried coconut. I will be making tomato bisque for Tuesdays lunch tomorrow (in between meetings). This will also help me eat better because I can pack my lunch at the same time as I pack the boys.

I am hoping to get a few more awesome posts in before my classes begin.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Garden 2013

I am finally posting pictures of our garden. I gave spent about 5 hours the last two days pulling weeds from around my bed and from others beds. The rains have been crazy awesome this year; just downpour after downpour. The garden eats are loving it, but so are the weeds. Yesterday, I spread alpaca poo on the beds for a little extra midsummer nutrition. That was foul! It and I smelled so bad! Alas, it will all be worth it! Without further ado, the Garden 2013!

At the beginning of the season, nothing that I planted was coming up. Rather than waste the space, I planted a ton of beans. I was so frustrated that I didn't write down what beans I planted. So...surprise! 

Crazy pumpkins! They are taking over. Hopefully these are half pie pumpkins and half jack-o-lantern pumpkins. At the bottom right corner, you can see the watermelon fighting for it's share of the nutrients and solar energy.

After I planted all those beans, I decided to lay straw down and BOOM! The parsley, carrots, lettuce, and chives decided to make and appearance!

Corn! Blue, white and hopi corn. Based on a friend's recently posted garden pictures, I should be getting ears in the next month or so. A harvest just in time for tofurkey day.  

A baby pumpkin, tucked in its manger of straw. So happy to see this little guy thriving! As soon as he is a bit bigger, I should be able to tell which of the two kinds he might be. 

One of my favorite patches: Hutterite soup beans, strawberries, and borage. We ate all of the strawberries last month. The borage is blooming like crazy and next week, I will be making conserves from the flowers. Borage conserves are good for curing fever.  

We have an over abundance of wild sunflowers in our garden. I pull them like weeds, but other gardeners love them! 

Last year I couldn't get a tomato to grow in our garden (the potted tomatoes did fine), but this is a tomato year! So many flowers, so many tomatoes. I hope they ripen soon. I'm getting hungry. 

Our first tomato is looking good! 

An overview of Plot 14. 

I started sweet potatoes today. I was hesitant to grow anything in a tire, but I don't even know if they will grow. I am super hoping though. 

A closer view. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

currently: eating, running...

Wow. This week has been a doozy. It's the first full week that the boys have been home since Tris moved back. Talk about navigating through some issues! Let me tell you, after three years of long distance, short distance is much harder than I ever thought it would be. When I was married, I didn't have any of this compromise crap, I made all of the rules and life was simple. What I said went, which meant that the world of home was peaceful and harmonic.

Alright! Enough of the lies already! It was full of repressed anger on both sides and pretend harmony. I just like to remember the good times of me being the master of my domain, an only child, a rule maker and breaker, not a sharer or a discipliner, or a partner! I know I am whining. It's just been a sucky week. Without further ado (or complaining) I present to you this week's Currently.

Reviewing my crappy week on a public blog. This will probably not help the home situation. Some of you may know that writing has gotten me into trouble before and I am sure it will again. So in reviewing my week, I should probably look at my part in the situation. I probably won't do that online though.

Wishing that this move home was a little smoother. Like wish on a star wishing. Like throw money in a well wishing. I know it will just take time for things to work themselves out. I am also wishing for a big plate of waffles with fresh strawberries and whip cream and an egg, cheese, and potato burrito from the local -bertos (there's not a Fillibertos here, but they are all a -bertos of sorts, right?). Also I would like a piping hot decaf vanilla almond milk latte, super sized. Now that my drowning-myself-in-my-food-wishes has run it's course, the biggest wish I have is that the past would not have happened. That reminds me of my favorite quote from poet Buddy Wakefield. (Click on his name to see him talking about Free Air at TED and then click on the link to read the poem the quote came from. I guarantee you will not be wasting your time.)

Forgiveness is the release of all hope for a better past. 
~Buddy Wakefield, Hurling Cowbirds at Mockingbirds

Eating fish. Many of you know that I usually go between vegetarian and vegan, but lately I have been craving fish. So yesterday, I went to the local natural food store and talked to and learned from the fish guy. Last night I made mahi mahi for the first time and it was GOOD! I am not surprised that the fish was good, but that I made it good! I may try another kind next month.

Carrying an extra pound from all of the carrot cake I ate this week. Our Safeway makes a carrot cake with the yummiest cream cheese/raisin/toasted coconut frosting ever!!

Running from the rain all week. We have had the craziest monsoon season ever! In previous years, we have had afternoon sprinkles that could be hiked in and gardened through and driven in. This year, one could be sitting with a blue sky overhead, then three minutes later, one will be pelted with nickle sized hail and a torrential downpour that has been washing parts of mountains down onto main streets. I am not complaining. We need that water and the garden loves this! I just want a 75° day with sprinkles and light rain.

Wow. Kind of a heavy post this week. I'm not sure if the last sections are even close to grammatically correct because I was listen to Buddy Wakefield tell me to be present and breathe. So whatever I write stays where it is, how it is. Peace and love y'all.

You know your kid's Waldorf when...

This week I drove down the mountain a bit to take the kiddos to Wet Beaver Creek. It boasts a great swimming hole, fresh blackberries (in the right season, which is now), and awesome wild grapes (not quite ready). While the kids swam, I went blackberry picking. They are just starting to turn and I am tempted to drive down the mountain again this week to get more. Next time I will be clad in more than shorts and a bikini top. That outfit hindered me a bit.

When I arrived back at the swimming hole, this is what I found...



Who needs neon plastic rafts when there are logs downstream? The boys played for over an hour on these large logs and had so much fun! 

Here's one more picture of the creek for you (at least my enjoyment). 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Radish!

This giant radish was harvested from our plot at the Izabel Community Garden. It's huge and lovely and T said it tasted awesome! We've been harvesting them for about a month now, but this is by far the biggest one.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

ART's, Research, High School, Prison, Gardening

Portland State University joined forces with Oregon's only women's prison to build a garden. Read about it here
I start grad school in a month. Everything I have been dreaming about is just coming into fruition. I am attending the School of Sustainable Communities at Northern Arizona University. Let me start by telling you about my project thesis.

I believe gardening with at risk youth will lower their risks and raise their grades. 

I first came up with this idea to garden with at risk students while I was looking for an undergrad internship that was required for me to graduate. I had to find something close to home because of the kiddos. I was having a hard time so as a last resort, I decided to try and make up my own research project. I contacted the high school by my house and asked if I could garden with some of the kids. The principle was ecstatic. Then, as luck would have it, I found another internship. And so the story goes...
 
It has not always been an asset to talk a lot. In fact, sometimes it's downright annoying to other people. Over the years I have learned to tone it down a bit, but this project is so exciting to me that I have blabbed. And that blabbing has paid off! I was talking with a man who will be in his second year of the Sustainable Communities program and mentioned what I wanted to do. He has heard that a teacher from the same high school I had contacted before had just received permission to build a garden at the school. I contacted the teacher and wouldn't you know, she's the teacher that works with the at risk students! We met and I'm in!

The first few weeks that I am there, I will be teaching the kids how to knit as I get to know them. Then I will be bringing guest speakers. Gardening involves biology, geometry, calculus, chemistry, the environment, and reading and comprehension. She has allotted me time during her Thursday sessions to  teach the kids about composting, grant writing, companion planting, all things garden. I am hoping to stay with the students the whole two years I am in the program.

The next big thing to fall into my lap was the ART's facilitator. ART's stands for Action Research Team. There are several teams and I will lead the gardening team. My team will consist of grad students in my program and also incoming NAU freshmen. I have so many things that I am looking forward to doing with them. I have the high school garden. I want to take the team to another high schools green house and let that high school's students teach us. I am acquainted with a woman who runs a behavior health clinic in need of garden help. There are also the community gardens in need of our help. And the neighborhood association in my hood. There is the elementary school garden. And lastly, an this is a huge dream still waiting to be realized, a prison garden. Seed to table for men, women, and youth in the correctional system.

My goal is lofty. Made even loftier by the fact that I need to still raise three amazing boys, hold down my job, and get good grades. Oh, and on top of all of that, Tris and I decided to get married in August of 2014. So add planning a wedding to that. I now I have the drive to get all of this completed, I just hope I have the energy everyday to fulfill my obligations.

First things first, I need to get a fingerprint card, look up laws governing gardening in public schools, read up on Nature Deficit Disorder, and get donations of yarn. Anyone feel like they want to raid their stash?

Big things are aloft for this queer hippie. I will do my best to keep y'all posted.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Night Pizza and a Movie

Friday nights are always pizza and movie nights. This week will hopefully be the first of many Friday nights that we make our pizza from scratch. I am tired of store bought oven crap or expensive take out. Tonight we made one cheese and one sauceless margarita pizza. Success! 
Number Three mixing the dough.  

Old Fashioned 
Yummy dinner



 
The margarita