The Bounty of May

IMG_9675 IMG_9677 IMG_9681 IMG_9687 IMG_9690 IMG_9692 IMG_9698 IMG_9713 IMG_9714 IMG_9718 IMG_9722 IMG_9726The garden is slaying me with beauty this year. The end of this month marks four years in this house and it’s our first growing season feeling like we’re…well not quite ‘on top of it’. Nor do we have the beast tamed. But we’re the least overwhelmed of the previous years. And I think that’s a thing to celebrate.

Two acres is a lot to maintain. I’d approximate one acre is devoted to field and the other acre to our house and garden. As I was recently telling a group of friends, not only do we have a lawn mower, but we have a high weed mower, a machete, a weed whacker, a tractor and a scythe just came in the mail. And still we’re only mostly on top of weed control. This year being such a high risk fire season, we’re trying our best to get it all cut down. But as I’ve said in the past, if you squint your eyes and tilt your head a little to the left you see nothing but flowers right now. And this year, despite the lack of rain, it looks really, really beautiful to me. Maybe it’s the vast contrast against our already brown lawns that make the flowers so much more vibrant.

We have so many different varieties of beautiful flowers growing right now and on a typical morning I’ll go through with clippers, cut them and plunk them into a canning jar in the kitchen. But every once in a while I’ll sit down and try my hand at making a ‘real’ arrangement, which is very fun to do.

It’s been a banner onion and beet year. The onions were planted from sets in mid-November in our raised beds and they are the biggest we’ve ever grown, I do believe. The beets were planted at the end of January from seed in one of our new raised beds. The chickens are giving us a reliable 5 eggs per day, potatoes are coming out of the ground and our meals are becoming more garden focused lately. What a fantastic change to be eating from the back yard again. Those fresh potatoes are the creamiest things you’ve ever tasted.

With any luck, by the time you are reading this, we should be getting a little rain. Fingers crossed! How is your garden looking?

(shared with soulemama & may dreams gardens)

Knitting & Reading & Unknitting

You won’t believe what happened to me last week.
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We’ve been planning our school fundraiser. We haven’t had a big party like fundraiser in a few years and since it’s the school’s 20th anniversary, we’re even going so far as to call this a ‘gala’. All of us who got suckered onto the planning committee have hit high stress as we’re in the final stages of preparations. I’m in charge of all things design wise. Last week it was the program. I was expecting text to come on Monday, so I sat at my computer waiting…and waiting for the email to come through. Whilst waiting I of course got side-tracked and started reading about capsule wardrobes. My capsule wardrobe has worked so well for me all through fall and winter that I wanted ideas for a good spring and summer collection. And then I read this article about how this writer developed a ‘uniform’ to wear. Huh, interesting idea. To have a uniform. So I went to my closet and looked for what I thought would be a good uniform. Maybe my dark skinny jeans and my favorite Rambler’s Way t-shirt. I would wear that tomorrow and that, along with my newly finished fringe scarf (ravelry notes) would be as my accessory, and that would be my uniform.

Well, the text for this supposedly simple, little event program came through and of course as things go, things went wrong pretty quickly. Within a short window of time about 75 emails went flying around and stress levels got even higher as we scrambled for solutions. I decided we needed chocolate. So I bought a bar of Theo’s for myself and one for my gala program partner, you know, as a coping mechanism.

The next day, I dressed in my ‘uniform’, pictured here. I worked all day long at the computer designing this program and breaking off little pieces of my raspberry dark chocolate bar ‘to get me through it’. Upon time for picking up my children I strolled into the school hallway, feeling quite stylish. I was having a lively chat with some friends when one spoke up rather loudly, ‘So, who’s it going to be, you or I, who tells Kendra that she has chocolate smeared on her rear?’ I turned around and yes, in fact I had a huge square of chocolate melted to the back pocket of my jeans. Uhg! We all started laughed and I immediately ran to the bathroom to wipe it up. I picked up the kids, got back in the car, took them to gymnastics, got out of the car, when a friend from school saw me and called out in her thick Mexican accent, ‘Oh, Kendriux! Not the chocolate again!’ Oh, yes, friends. I sat in it again. I went back to the car to clean up and saw a big puddle of melted chocolate on my car seat. And on the back of my pants, only this time it was worse because I had squatted down to tie my daughters shoe, so it was all over the back of my leg too. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Eating chocolate might be a stress relief coping mechanism, but sitting in it twice in front of all your friends provides some solid and much needed comedic relief.

And in addition, now I have solid proof that when I eat chocolate it goes straight to my ass.
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In other news, ever since I’ve heard his interview on the woolful podcast, I’ve been following a gentleman who goes by the name of gridjunkie on instagram. He’s a fiber artist who gets all his yarn from recycling sweaters he’s found at thrift stores. Recently I found a cashmere sweater that Scott put in the donation bag because it had a little moth hole in it. So I tried to take it apart and unravel it. And its working! It may not look it from the photo above, but you wouldn’t believe how soft this yarn is. My kids think I’ve gone a little looney, unraveling this big sweater, but they are also enraptured asking me daily if there is a new sweater that needs to be unraveled in the donation bag.

Currently reading and very much enjoying Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner.

A Simple Seaside Spring Break

IMG_1595 IMG_1604 IMG_1605 IMG_1607 IMG_1616 IMG_1626 IMG_1628 IMG_1633 IMG_1650 IMG_1653 IMG_1659 IMG_1672 IMG_1674It’s tough to get back in the habit of blogging once you’ve broken it. But I’m going to try get things going once more. After all things are blooming and growing and that’s motivation, certainly. (I do try and keep up on facebook and instagram, if you’d like to follow me there)

We took to the sea for spring break. We haven’t taken a vacation for a year, so this was much welcome. As I’ve talked about before, we travel light. Though it’s only a few hours drive, it’s nice to bring as little as we can get by with. Scott and I share one small carry on, the kids get their own kid-sized back packs to fill. I brought one book, one knitting project and one sketch book. Having few choices in what to wear and what to do really make this annual vacation so very relaxing for us.

Someone asked me what we do while we’re up there. My answer was, ‘Not much!’ We walked down to the beach, we watched the storms come in, I read Wild from cover to cover (a really good book – a little intense to read at this point in my life, but I still very much recommend it.), I knit. We played board games, we went for rainy walks along the bluffs. We built things out of driftwood.

Having few choices, seeing few people, withdrawing from media is such a needed break for me. Though we live on a quiet street in the country on the outskirts of a slow town, there is a certain busyness in working and raising three kids that makes it hard to focus and listen to what’s really going on.

And then I came home to see this Hungarian Blue poppy blooming! I’ve been so eager to see how it looked when it bloomed and it exceeded my expectations! Gorgeous! These flowers aren’t lasting long, just a few days until they drop their petals and form the most incredible seed pod. More pictures soon. Because I will make it a priority to be back here again soon.

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Knitting and Reading : : Life Lessons

My goodness. I made a sort of a new years resolution that I wasn’t going to knit any sweaters this year. I typically like a long, constant project like a sweater. This year was going to be different. This year I wanted to play around with textures and new stitches that I hadn’t tried before….

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Enjoy this Life

{ this moment }

{this moment} ~ Joining Soulmama’s Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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Life with Barred Rocks | Chickens with Personality

Last winter I read Joel Salatin’s Pastured Poultry Profit. A great, very educational book about the benefits of keeping chickens in mobile coops rather than stationary coops (which I intend to get us closer towards). This book is set up for those who are looking specifically to go into the pastured poultry business, but I…

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What We’re Doing in the Garden this Month

February in the garden! Today I can report in my garden bullet journal that there is indeed rain today! Hallelujia. Those who live around here know already that we didn’t get much of any rain in January, I think maybe one day we received a slight drizzle. Folks I ran into this morning seemed happy…

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Knitting and Reading | Shawls and Signatures

Notes from the knitting nest: This is where, almost every night without fail, I curl up after the children have gone to bed to knit. The CVM sheep skin, that I bought from the Fibershed Wool Symposium, to my back, the light blue throw on my lap and knitting in my hands. It’s not a…

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My Secret to a Tidy House : : Stay Out of It

Last winter, due to various family affairs, we called in a house cleaner to come and clean for us every two weeks. She’s been a lovely addition, but as she is quite pregnant (don’t worry, she’s been bringing a helper the last few months) we will soon be without her for a while. She came…

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