This Summer’s Garden

We put our garden in about a month late this year due to our little trip Out West. The week before we went on vacation we planted a few seeds: some sugar snap peas, carrots, kale, and lettuce. When we came home all but the lettuce had come up. I think the lettuce may have died in the Memorial Day heat wave the Midwest had while we were out in California.

I had a medical scare the week after we got home. The kind where you are thinking about how many years or months you might have to live. We had to wait over a weekend for a test, and that weekend when we left the health clinic unsure of the future all I wanted to do was garden. I wanted to get my flowers and vegetables and put them in the ground. I wanted to weed and care for the earth I that has been given to my care.
So the professor and I did just that. We went to the local garden store with the children and picked over what was left of the vegetables and flowers. I went back the next day and picked out some new perennials. If I was going to be super sick, I wanted to see flowers all summer, and I wanted the flowers to be there for years to come. Now, that I know I am not super sick, I am just happy to have the flowers to remind me of the goodness of being alive.
But that weekend we did not know, and we weeded the out of control garden beds, and dug and planted our tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, basil, parsley, and cilantro. We planted our dusty miller, panseys, and allysum. We dug up the grass on either side of our front walk, giving the sod to a neighbor who came by walking her dogs. We put in a decorative egder, and planted black-eyed susans, coneflowers and nepeta.
And now our garden is ready for summer. Our raspberries are ripening. I am slowly getting better from an illness that wiped me out after our trip, but turned out to be one I will survive.
The professor and I are writing this summer–he is on sabbatical this Fall and is writing a book. I am trying to get my projects in order. I am planning my own book idea (still in the very baby stages, but I want to get it ready to propose to a publisher this summer). I have home school books to order. And the next school year on the horizon. We still have a subject or two to wrap up (MATH).
But mostly we are just enjoying that it is summer. The windows are open most days. I am trying to rest on the patio. The kids are taking swim lessons, and scouring the garden for food that is ripe. And the flowers are blooming, and will continue to bloom.
Flowers and shrubs, bless the Lord. Praise and exalt Him above all forever.

Seven Quick Takes: Tulips, Broccoli, and Scissors

1. Happy Friday! Home schooling has made me love Fridays more than ever. It makes my weekdays fuller, and makes the weekends more of a break. It reminds me of how life was when I was in school, except, no homework! Perhaps that is how all working adults feel as well.

2. I am also sooooo ready for summer break, but don’t tell that to my daughter; we have at least 6 more weeks of math to do. I am half contemplating hiring a mother’s helper to watch the kids for a few mornings a week so that I can do a little bit more writing guilt free. That would be nice. Patio writing with a cold-pressed coffee. That would be the life.

3. Speaking of warmer weather, I planted some seeds last week. Everytime I plant seeds I think of the Frog and Toad story where frog plants seeds and then panics that they will not grow. He goes out and reads to his seeds, sings, brings light at night. Well these seeds got watered by me twice, and then the Spring began to do the rainy thing, which is so much better than the snowy thing now that it is almost the end of April. I planted some carrots, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and broccoli raab, lettuces, and snow peas. Once it is more consistently warmer I will do more.

4. Broccoli seedlings. Yay!

5. I love tulips; they are so happy.

6. My daffodils really are having the best year yet! I am glad I gave them another chance. I will have to find a good annual to throw in here once the daffodils are finished.

7. My three year old F informed me this morning that she is “going to cut off all [her] hair, and find some red hair, and sew it to [her] head, and make two braids” and be Anne of Green Gables. And to her sister L she is “going to cut off all her hair and find some black curly hair and sew it on her head and she will be Diana.” I think I better hide the scissors.

That’s all folks!

I am linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Seven Quick Takes: Friday, February 27–Around the House

The quiet beauty of the morning before the kids were up. I love tulips.

 1) This week I have resolved myself to February and a lingering winter. We have been mostly at home because we have not really had any place we had to go. I have been tackling projects that I meant to do last February, like put curtain ties on the bedroom windows (instead of clothes pins) and getting some extra wall decor up. I have also been taking on some chores that I usually neglect because of the effort and time they take. And my nesting has led me to do things like order baby diaper covers and make a registry of things this baby is going to need. So, these quick takes are mostly about the house.

2) I had a little date with my double oven and Norwex cleaning products. I could not get every spot, but it is much better and shiny:

I then took on the rest of the kitchen deep cleaning. I think I need to work this into my weekly schedule, like doing one kitchen chore a week so that I don’t put it off for six months and then wear myself out in a week trying to get it all done.

3) My father’s father was a photographer, and last winter I spent an evening with two of my aunts going through photographs and taking my favorites home. I have been meaning to hang them for awhile. We don’t have a lot of common area wall space (that is not in the play room), so we only put two things up for now.

 The first is a picture of an old man reading in a really nice room. If you want to see the photograph well, you are going to have to come over and see it yourself.

The second is a series of photographs of a house that seemed inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is probably near Los Angelos somewhere since that is where my grandfather got his art degree. We are really enjoying having some original and good art on our walls, and I like that it is done by my grandfather.

4) L asked for a painting of her name patron saint for Christmas to hang in her room with her name cross stitch (made by her aunt). G was given a Romanian style painted glass icon of her name patron saint at birth, and it has been hanging with her cross stitch for years. For L, we found a poster print of a painting, and finally hung in her room the other week. With the plan for the bunk bed, we decided to put all four framed items on one wall. I think it turned out really well, but you will have to come see it for yourself.

5) To add to Lent for the children (in addition to our Lent wreath and stational churches) we decided to do a bean jar for charitable deeds and a crown of thorns for sacrificial deeds. Since they are all below the age of reason, we have to remind them of it and tell them when they have done something worthy of it. They also look nice.

A certain girl likes to have her saint statue “talking” to Jesus or Our Lady.

6) The girls and I planted some basil seeds this week. It is supposed to be ready to harvest in 60-90 days which will put us in April. My thought is that we could transplant the basil to the garden after the last frost, and then start another set indoors to have for next fall and winter. Gardeners, does it matter how old basil is when you plant it outside?

The basil pots are covered in plastic until the seeds sprout.

Our mini rose bush and parsley are thriving. We have been using the parsley on various dishes, and it is acting the same as our parsley did last summer. The more you use it, the thicker it grows.

7) I will leave you with a few gems from the girls:

G (almost 6) at the end of quiet time the other day: “I was just finishing up my prayer time. It took me longer than normal today. I said a Hail Mary, an Our Father, a St. Michael, and then made up some prayers to Jesus.”

L (4), when I brought her toys into her quiet time (after her “sleeping time”): “I was singing about when I should get my toys. I was also singing Jesus songs. I sang a song to the monsters about how Jesus died on the cross so that we could go to Heaven.”
Me: “What did the monsters think of that?”
L: “I don’t know. They did not say.”

F (2) all the time: “I have to go potty. No, I don’t have to go.”

Linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.