Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Thrifty School Shopping

5 Shirts
6 Pairs of Shorts
2 Pairs of Pants
2 Long Sleeve Shirts
1 Winter Coat

Tony Hawk


Carbon Footprint: Less than an 1/8 of a tank of gas

Buying clothes has to be the most expensive thing a parent does, next to feeding kids and sending them on field trips. There's no way I could afford to take three boys to the mall and get all new clothes. Besides, I can't even imagine my carbon footprint if I did. We all like new stuff every once in a while, but most of this garb is next to new and the boys are super happy!

I uploaded my favorite thrift store videos for your view enjoyment!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Terribly Slow and Not-So-Steady

I pretty much fell apart and have been sweeping up the pieces since Tris left our family to pursue her own healing and well-being. I don't blame her in any way. She had to do what she felt needed to be done, and in a way, I think she is the bravest person I know. She walked her own path and it cost her, the boys, and I everything. I am no saint, I do get angry and I still cry every day, but I also tell myself that she is good and deserves to make her own way in this world. Our family still misses her every day.

For my part, I have become fairly depressed. Homemade dinners gave way to frozen and boxed foods more nights than not; when the kids aren't home, I don't really eat anyway. The garden looks like shit. I don't have the energy to water or weed it after 8 or more hours working outside. I even bought an elderberry bush for the garden so I could have fresh berries for medicinal uses, as well as food. It's still in it's pot waiting to be planted. (Now that I have typed this out, it will be in the ground by this evening.) My worms in my kitchen compost have all mostly passed on; I saw a few today when I fed and watered them. My bakashi compost bucket was empty until 20 minutes ago. It's been pretty lame. I have been trying to figure out the point of life when the love of your life has flown the coop.

I am writing today to say that I have started the Bokashi compost again, I have mango fruit leather in the oven, and the worm bin was tended to. I am trying to come back. I really am. Any encouragement that doesn't start with, "Time heals all wounds" will be greatly appreciated.

I guess I better get to digging the hole for the elderberry bush.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

New Life

It's with a heavy heart that I write this first blog of the gardening season. Currently, we are one queer hippie. T is gone (for right now, at least). I don't think I need to go into the details, but suffice it to say that spending time in the garden is both joyous and extremely sad. Knowing that things are going to grow is exciting and heartbreaking. My partner won't be here to share my bounty with, she won't be here to watch things grow with, she won't be here to make fun of me when I squeal with delight as each seedling pops out of the ground. For now, she is gone. For now, my contentment in weeding and watering is followed by a feeling that the air is being sucked out of a hole in my chest. She will always be the greatest love of my life. She is growing in her own way. And so am I. I hope this summer brings tremendous growth to everything. Enough of the emoting, here are some pictures of what is happening right now in the garden.

My downstairs neighbors are starting their plot on this lovely afternoon. Can you believe a week ago today it snowed?!

We should have a nice haul of strawberries in June. This year, they started flowering in March. The earliest flowers yet. 

Onion flowers. These onions are so potent that they make my eyes water when I eat them. 

Woohoo!!!! My favorite medicinal flower, borage, is volunteering this years crop. I cannot wait to see them. 

I went bulk trash shopping and found a whole crib. I made pea trellises out of the two ends. The other two sides, I will bury in another part of the garden for more peas. 

Garlic and onions. I will be planting the second round of bulbs tomorrow. 

Number Three is watering in this glorious sunshine and warmth. He surprised me at the garden and wanted to help. I gave up asking the boys to help me last year. When we did it as a whole family it was awesome, but they only want to text and play on their Nooks (the worst idea for a Christmas present I ever had). 

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).