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31 May 2012

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152_366 05-30-12

Just Yoda.

In other news, I'm going to participate in Reverb Broads again, throughout the month of June.  And this time, I plan on participating more. You know, actually trying to write something to the prompts and more than the four (I went and counted) I did last December.

Would you like to participate with me?  You don't need a blog to participate. You can email them to me, I'll read it and respond.

Go here: http://reverbbroads.blogspot.com/ for more information on the prompts.  They already have prompts listed up until June 5th.  (And they keep a blog roll so the other participants and go around and read others responses and participate and stuff.)

So yeah - basically - starting tomorrow, I'm going to start rambling more.

30 May 2012

The weekend catch-up and a bonus day too!

It was a three day weekend, which was nice. I spent my bonus day off at the dentist with the kids getting our teeth cleaned (they have no cavities, but I have two) and grocery shopping (blergh) but it was still a bonus day off where I actually got to sleep in so it was nice.  I was going to do the catch-up yesterday, but didn't get to it so I'm doing it early this morning cause I'm up anyways (I really hate 6 am), and now there's a bonus day to add to the catch-up.

Without further ado -

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Lexus, our friends' dog.  Such a sweetie.

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Saturday we celebrated our anniversary, a day late.  We worked in the yard, went to lunch, hung out with some friends, and then saw MIB III and went to dinner.  Not as extravagant as last years Hawaii vacation, but nice.  I enjoyed myself.



149:366 - Sunday morning Robert and I worked in the yard again.  (Phone/instagram photo)
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On Saturday, we were finally able to get the last of the poles cemented in, so Sunday we spent working on reshaping the hill into a gradual slope into the garden.  After several hours of tilling and moving clay, pulling out tons and tons of plastic*, digging out tree roots, and moving of more clay soil we stopped.  There is still more to do (*whimper*) but we've made progress so that's something.



*At some point, someone put down plastic over the entire yard before dumping soil on top and then planting, or planted and then put plastic down and topped with soil.  I don't get why, it doesn't help with weeds (trust me) but it does go ahead and kill plants.  It's why we've removed so many plants and trees.  Their roots were all at the surface because they were being suffocated under plastic or couldn't get below the plastic.  Because of it, they were weak and, in the case of the humongous tree we recently removed, dangerous.  We are gradually removing the plastic as we come across it, but unfortunately aren't able to get it all.  Every time we start digging and pulling out a chunk we are cursing whoever put it down in the first place.



150:366 - (Monday) Robert surprised me with creating a tomato support.

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I've been trying to figure out the best way to stake my tomatoes this year.  I'm not happy with the traditional tomato cages.  They are not sturdy enough and at best are only good one year. (Okay, occasionally you can get two years, or turn it into a Christmas decoration. But still.)  It feels like a waste to purchase new cages all the time, especially when they collapse under the pressure of the plants and fruit.  There are tons of different kinds of cages/supports/trellis though, many that appear more substantial; however, I don't want to pay what the stores are charging.

When brainstorming with Robert I thought we could use the metal T-bar poles we had already (from fencing off the swampy area of the lawn) and the twine we had already and create a zig zag-ish support system for the tomatoes.  We need to buy more twine (which we will use for many other things anyways so I don't feel guilty or wasteful about it) and maybe add to it - but for now, it looks perfect.  He did it while I was out running errands and since I got back late I didn't go out to the garden the next day so it was a nice surprise.



151:366 - (Tuesday) Adam's final band concert.

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At first I thought this was the view I was going to get for the concert, but shortly after I got this shot two other kids sat right in front of him and I was stuck with .... (see next photo)

.... this view the rest of the concert.

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Oh well.

The band played well.  Adam has made great progress and enjoyed his first year of band.  He's already signed up to do band again next year and I'm excited for more concerts.  Hopefully we can get him his very own trombone this summer/next fall.

25 May 2012

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All things garden!

147:366 - Gorgeous Oregon spring sky - view from my garden. (Instagram/phone photo)
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My new garden fence.  Robert was finally able to cement the posts in this afternoon.  Still needs a gate and some finishing touches.  Maybe some white paint, I haven't fully decided. I'm loving it.  (Look at that sky!)
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Yoda is having a hard time with the no dogs in the garden rule. (Instagram/phone photo)
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The steps to the backyard.  The bottom level was there already, but it felt awkward climbing into the yard.  Robert put in the next two steps, and it has helped so much.  It no longer feels awkward.  He framed the steps in wood to match the retaining wall and to keep mud from sliding onto the steps from the sides.
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Baby plants in my garden. Can't wait for them to start producing fruits (tomatoes, watermelon) and veggies (peas, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, Italian roaster peppers, onions, celery, garlic).
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SUN!  It was such a nice, warm afternoon/evening.  Just perfect weather.
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Yoda starting to accept the no dog rule.
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Storm clouds moving in. Isn't that just a GORGEOUS sky?!
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Earlier this week, from another blog, I got the link to this movie talking about the Back to Eden (http://backtoedenfilm.com/) gardening  practices.  It's only 103 minutes, completely free.  I totally recommend watching it.  It breaks down to minimal gardening work where you mulch your plants to provide them with nutrients so you don't have to constantly schlep fertilizer and such, and it helps retain water in the soil so you don't have to water as often, if at all.

It also promotes chemical free gardening - no chemical herbicides for weeds (pull them easily with this method), no chemical pesticides (which don't wash off easily so basically you're eating pesticides), no chemical fertilizers (causing your food to be full of chemicals).  All in all, I'm loving this video and hope to work some of the practices into my garden - or at least a little at a time. (I already don't use chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers so no big change there.)

(It does quote the bible and such... HOWEVER! It's not bad and all preaching and stuff.)

24 May 2012

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Today kicked my butt!  It was just one of those days at work where my email and my IM were going non-stop, in addition to the constant flow of reports we've had for the past 3 months.  One of those days where you feel like you're hovering at the surface of being overwhelmed and drowning in the tasks.

Robert made dinner, though, and without me asking.  That was a relief.  I don't mind making dinner, and sometimes I actually enjoy it.  But at the same time, because it is something that I have to do constantly I get a little burnt out.

After dinner, I headed outside with the dogs planning to work in my new garden and finally plant the last plants I needed to plant but got side tracked playing with my camera (which I took out to get my 366 photo of the day) and the dogs and didn't get right to "gardening".  When I finally did get in there, I didn't get far until I got stuck.

I spent more time trying to figure out the layout than I would have liked, the original layout plan I had ended up not working how I wanted it to. And the reason for the "trouble" was I didn't want the squash, zucchini, and Adam's watermelon plant to be too close to each other and cross pollinate.  Zucchini watermelon does not sound appetizing.  I eventually got it figured out and got half of the remaining plants in the ground.  I'll do the other half tomorrow evening. As long as the sun sticks around.  It has been raining a lot this week.

By the way, it's Adam's watermelon because I haven't had great luck with watermelon plants in the past, and wasn't going to try again this year but Adam begged and I caved with the caveat that he be in charge with keeping it's section weeded, bad bug free, and helping me with any watering or other garden chores.

More on gardening stuff tomorrow! (I hope...)

23 May 2012

145:366 Wise pug says

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Wise pug says, "Piss me off and I'll piss in your shoes."

Now you try.

Wise pug say, "______"

21 May 2012

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The other night while I was passed out, Robert was up late playing his new computer game, Diablo III, and so when Leia needed a middle of the night potty run he got to take her out.  And yes, he had to take her all the way out.  She is afraid of things that go bump in the night and will refuse to go out to potty unless she can see you.

He was telling me earlier today that during her middle of the night run, she was searching for The Spot to go and all was well, until one frog croaked.  At that one croak, she pulled her head up from her search and tensed.  Then, another frog joined in. And another, and another.  And, well, Leia quickly ran back to the house and the protection of Robert.

The frogs that scare the bejeezus out of her are the Pacific Tree Frog.

That brings us to this morning.

Just as Carus and I were sitting down to our work, Leia started to stare intently out at the back porch.  And then she barked her scared bark and started pacing back and forth from us to the door.  We could not figure out what in the world was freaking her out.  Carus went to let her outside to see if that would help, and Leia, bolstered by Carus's protective presence, went straight to a corner of the porch.  Leia's presence made a little frog jump, which renewed Leia's fear and sent her running back to me while Carus emitted an "aawww, it's a cute little frog."

Carus couldn't muster the courage to pick up the frog and place him in a jar to keep to show Adam so I did.  She provided froggy with some soil and a stick from the backyard and kept him on her desk while she worked until Adam came home.

I had him pose for a few quick shots and, after he jumped off the surface I had him on and onto the cats back, I rescued him and we released him back into the yard.

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Menu 5-21-12 to 5-26-12


Sunday - BBQ chicken legs and thighs, potato salad
Monday - Burritos and cheese cake*
Tuesday - Roasted chicken and roasted red potatoes
Wednesday - FFY
Thursday - Beef and broccoli
Friday - Anniversary night, not sure what is being done.  Either we'll have a FFY or we'll go out...
Saturday - When we are actually celebrating our anniversary.  Looks like we're going to the movies and there is the possibility of lunch or dinner out.

*I made the cheescake Sunday, but I started it too late cause I forgot how long it took to make a cheesecake, so instead we'll have it for dessert Monday night/tonight. I'm excited.


Links to some recipes can be found here


If you see anything you want a recipe to and it's not listed on my recipe page, leave me a comment to let me know and I'll post the recipe.



20 May 2012

Weekend 366s

Friday
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Clover fields
I love when the clover fields are blooming.  They are GORGEOUS and red and green and so pretty.
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Saturday
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We worked on getting the garden in and the garden fence up.

Putting in my garden and putting up the garden fence to keep the dogs out.

Picture one - garden compost was brought in
Picture three to four - Progress on the garden fence and the few plants I have to put in right now.

Still not finished, but pretty darn close.  We would have been done if we didn't have to dig out more than we already had. Stoopid clay soil is a &*$#@ to dig up.
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*All 4 of these photos were taken with my cell phone

Sunday
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Simba watching the birdies.
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18 May 2012

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Got my birthday present early, more than a month early!  Robert has a hard time keeping surprises from me. He has been squirreling away and saving for months.

I may not mind turning 30 after all.

14 May 2012

13 May 2012

Weekend Ketch-up

See what I did there?  Clever huh?

Probably not too clever since I went ahead and pointed it out, but yeah. I get some points.

Onwards and upwards.  Or something.

How come weekends aren't long enough?

Friday -
Some baby chicks that our neighbor/friends just got.  Baby  Buff Orpington and baby Rhode Island Red. They are adorable, of course.
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Saturday-
Saturday, I went to a baby shower for a friend who is having twins.  It was an adorable party and she made out like a bandit, which is good with twins coming along.
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Sunday-
Mother's Day dinner at the in-laws with the in-laws and some bonus grammas.  The whole gang.
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Me and my kids, Mother's day 2012
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Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's day

Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and friends who are mothers. I love you!

10 May 2012

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At lunch today I went outside to sit on the deck, which quickly turned into laying on the deck with my eyes closed enjoying the sun. (I had been chilly all morning.)  All the sudden, Timmy came slinking out.  He wanted to enjoy the sun too.  He's not supposed to be outside, he's an indoor only kitty.  But I let him stay with me for a bit.

07 May 2012

128:366 All about Leia

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She has pretties on.

They're Carus's slap bracelets.  She didn't slap them on her.

128/366 - Robert was washing bird poo off the cars' windshields, but Leia really wanted to play... bite the water.
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Shake it off
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Happy, wet puppy
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06 May 2012

The weekend 366s

Friday evening playing with Leia
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Getting ready to . . . .

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. . . catch the ball!

Saturday we went to the local annual renaissance fair, Faire in the Grove.  Loads of fun, we always enjoy it and always learn something new.

There are many merchants with all sorts of handmade goods, and there are many activities to watch to learn how things were done, and even a few that you can participate in.  They also had a little class that allowed you to take a small fencing course to see if you like it (which if you do, you can then sign up for a class with the people putting it on).
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I let the kids take the class on Italian rapier.  The whole time, I wanted to yell out, "I am Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die!"  I didn't.

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Leia playing with the neighbor dog.


Here is a slideshow of the rest of the photos I got from the Faire in the Grove.






03 May 2012

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Figured it was about time to update you on a yard project we recently finished.  We redid the front flower garden bed.  When we moved in it was full of azelea bushes that weren't too healthy and a few where dead.  We pulled those out last year after for sure deciding we didn't want them and it has been sitting waiting for us to decide what we did want.

See - before.  All full of rocks.  (There on the left.)  (The bed in the middle, the kidney shaped one, that will be a water feature, probably much later this year or next.) (Also the spindly Japanese maple tree in the middle has since leafed out and doesn't look so sad.)
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I was considering some cacti and succulents, but when Robert and I went to the garden nursery, we found other plants we liked more. Which ended up meaning a lot more work.

We dug up all the rock (ugh) on the hottest day this year so far (85!), in the direct sun, tilled up the soil, added more fresh garden soil and a few pretty plants and voila. We'll top it off with some bark mulch in a month or so when we get mulch for the whole yard.

After
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Yesterday got away from me and before I knew it, it was bed time.  So I grabbed my phone and grabbed a quick shot of the rain puddle reflection on the deck on the last doggy potty trip before bed.

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