April 10, 2016

Life Lately: Spring thinking


making: new henna designs for next summer's festival season.
cooking: paleo...and its not terrible.  We were strict for two months, and I'm making cookies today.
drinking: lime water - so yum.
wanting: the sun to stay!  It has been sunny, and I'm loving the break in clouds.
looking: at my seed starts, checking them multiple times a day.
wasting: evening binge watching The Time In Between (El Tiempo Entre Costuras)
enjoying: family picnics.  We've finally broken out the picnic blanket for the season.
liking: the fact that James slept in until 8 two days in a row.
loving: watching new buds appear on my roses.
marveling: at James' kind heart.
needing: the call the doctor, I'm pretty sure James can't breathe out of his nose ever.
smelling: warm pavement.
wearing: my birkenstocks with socks and without. :)
listening: to Inheritance by Audrey Assad
knowing: our Kalispell vacation is getting close
noticing: the birds have returned...a sure sign of spring.
thinking: about the upcoming henna festival season, and looking forward.
feeling: a bit anxious as May 5 approaches...it has almost been a year.
bookmarking: all the PNW gardening blogs.

March 31, 2016

Monthly Portrait: March

video
In lieu of a still photo, I chose a short clip to document James' growth this month.  Sporting his eye patch (for a crossing eye), getting ready to make breakfast, and playing one of his favorite games, it was clearly a winner to document the month.  James is growing and his vocabulary is extensive.  He is recently getting into pretend play.  One of his favorite games is phone call.

March 18, 2016

My Old Garden Round-up

So during my hardscaping (making raised bed out of cool hand-me-down bricks, and turning all the zillions of rocks into a path) I swear we have more rocks than soil!  I've been dreaming about a plan for the little plants that will inhabit the space.  Brad and I looked back at our other little gardens for some inspiration.  I just love seeing things grow up out of the ground...its magic.

Our first "Push seeds into the soil" Garden 2013
One of many harvests (bush beans - not pictured are one trillion zucchini)
For our 2014 Garden, we experimented with Afghan Garbanzo Beans...mild success/fail.
One of multiple harvests (including container basil from seed and blackberries)
2015 was a non gardening year due to a move and losing Graham.

However, my containers survived the move and are thriving.  My 2013 mint and thyme seedlings are now huge, give plenty and smell delish all summer.  I'm adding container yarrow and echinacea this year for more herbs.  

March 9, 2016

Spring Garden 2016

Can you see it?  There in the middle of the egg carton...a tiny, tiny seedling just pushing through the soil.  Victory!  I decided to try and start lavender from seed.  It is supposed to be super finicky and better started from cuttings.  But one packet of seeds, soil from the backyard, 1 night in the freezer, and 2 weeks later...there is one victor.  I had very low hopes that they would take, and am still not holding my breathe.  But if I can get even one seedling, it will be success!!  

My gardening skills have been slowing growing each year.  I've been lucky enough to have stayed in rentals that all have 1. garden spaces or 2. landlords who don't mind.  Our latest place (1 year in May) has a little front "yard" full of dead ground-cover.  So I've been working up a little potager garden plan.  Something with perennials, annual vegetables, and green year round for the tenants after we move.  

My successes with growing from seeds have been with plants that grow well in the PNW.  Zucchini, bush beans, strawberry, thyme, mint, oregano, violets, and garbanzo beans.  This year I'm trying lavender, chile peppers, banana peppers, lemon balm, bush beans, bachelor buttons, nasturtiums, chamomile, cilantro, echinacea and red yarrow.  I know that a few are practically guaranteed to do well...like bush beans, lemon balm, nasturtiums, and red yarrow.  Friends have had success with chiles and banana peppers so I'm thinking they have a good chance.  Cheers to the start of a new growing season.

March 2, 2016

Eye surgery on a 2 year old? NBD

"He'll probably need surgery."

The Dr. said those words so casually, like he was offering us cookies rather than telling us that our two. year. old. son would need eye surgery.  "We'll patch him and have him wear glasses for a couple months before I decide if surgery is the best option.  The good news is that the eye isn't damaged; he just doesn't use it."

I know, I know.  So its no big deal.  Things could be worse.  Lots of little kids wear patches/glasses to fix a crossed eye.  But his wasn't that bad, was it?!  We just noticed it last month!  Surgery?!  What kind of parent am I?  Should I have seen the signs earlier?

Needless to say Monday hit me like a bag of bricks.

We had started the process by getting to his primary doc, then a referral, and finally appointment day came - along with a nice 2 hr car ride to calm everyone's nerves.  Ah.

James took it all in stride at the doctor's office...until today, when the actual patch was placed over his strong eye.  Four patches, two hours, 3 bags of fruit snacks and hundreds of tears later, I would say he adjusted to wearing it.  He only ran into something twice during his four hours of "Pirate Time".  We even played catch, legos and ran around Rite-Aid...only 60 more days to go.

We can do this...right?

I will say that it was amazing to watch his eye start to move around and focus on things.  It was very apparent that he hadn't been using it because he was so frustrated and confused trying to focus at first.
 
But seriously, can't this kid catch a break?  33 weeks premie, 16 days in the NICU, screaming pain for 6 months before we find out he's allergic to dairy, no ice-cream ever, his baby brother dies and he wants a baby so badly, and now he probably needs eye surgery?!  Apparently I need to stop keeping track.  I keep telling myself, at least he's alive, thank you for that Lord.  He's alive.  He can hear.  He can talk.  He can smell.  He can run, climb and throw sticks.  He has cousins.  He has a Mama and a Daddy.  He is loved.  So he can't see out of one eye.  No big deal.  Really.  We have so much to be grateful for, and a chance meeting with a friend reminded me of that Monday night.

Patches working or surgery needed, we can do this.  He can do this.

So after dinner we drew on a bunch of the eye patches to make them more fun...now he has Mater, Lumpy, a lion, eyeball, and Nemo.  He liked them so much he wanted to put one on for bed.

Monocular vision isn't the end of the world - we just won't sign him up for baseball.