Friday, May 28, 2010

Garden Update

Between work, my dissertation, playing tennis and working in the gardens, I haven't had much time to update my blog. Maybe posting will improve after the school year wraps up...

Here are the pictures I took of the garden early this week. The patio landscaping looks great, with the exception of the columbine. It looks find in this picture, unfortunately the rabbits that live under our shed have taken a liking to it and it's not looking nearly as healthy.

The round garden looks fabulous. The deep red peonies opened up last week and the white ones look ready to pop any day now. We also had some giant white irises open up (pictures later this weekend) over the past few days. The tall purple flowers, allium, are no longer purple. They might be one of my new favorite flowers. They were so pretty when they were blooming.

The circle garden also has a healthy crop of creeping Charley. I pulled a significant amount of it last night, but it was exhausting work. I'll have to go back out later this weekend and finish the job. I thought about using borax or another chemical to eliminate the problem, but I really don't want to kill anything else in the garden. The means my only option is to use my hands...

The front yard is looking pretty good, too. The hastas are unfolding their leaves and the poppy looks like it will bloom any day. Have I mentioned it's exciting to watch the perennials open? It is. You can also, just barely, see the hanging basket I put together. It's a wire basket filled with a layer of moss. My family has a tradition of planting red geraniums outside the front door of the house, so that's what I put in the basket. I also put in a delicate little purple flower, but I'm not sure what it's called. It looks better every day.

Lots of change in the vegetable garden. The raspberry bushes are very full. The corn is sprouting (up to 8 inches already). I added a tomato plant that appears to be thriving and plan to add two more later this weekend. The carrots and peas look great, but I think the beans and onions might need to be replanted. I'll give them a few more days before I do anything. I'm really enjoying watching the garden grow. I go out almost daily to check its progress. I can't wait until the plants bear fruit later this summer.

I put up a makeshift fence to keep the rabbits out. It appears to be doing the trick, although I might do something more permanent next spring.

The bricks alongside the fence are to help deter the rabbits. They are so stinkin' annoying. Earlier this week I saw a bunny hop through the open gate in our neighbor's backyard. I checked to make sure no one was looking and then I shut the door. I thought I had locked it in there, but this morning G saw a bunny crawl under the fence that separates our yards. Bummer. Our home's previous owner randomly showed up last Sunday to check things out and when we asked him about the bunnies, he said he shot them and buried them under the garden. Actually, his words were "there are a lot of bunnies under that garden," which just grossed me out. The consensus amongst our neighbors that the only way to get rid of them is to shoot them, but we're hesitant to do so because it's illegal to fire a gun in our city. We like to play by the rules. We've decided to buy a live trap. I'll let you know how that goes...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quick Catch-Up

  • One of my closest girlfriends and her husband had their first baby yesterday. She texted me just before 2:00 AM to let me know she was en route to the hospital. I happened to have a coughing fit around 2:10 AM that resulted in my husband forcing me to leave the bedroom so he could keep sleeping. I grabbed my phone (alarm clock) on the way out and saw her message. It was hard to go back to sleep. Is it normal to get so excited about your best friends having kids? Anyway, Harper entered the world yesterday and I am trying to figure out how to get to Denver this summer so I can meet her and hangout with her mom.

  • In other news, the school I work at apparently doesn't believe in air conditioning and since most of my work clothes are for cooler temps, I had to go out and buy some new clothes yesterday afternoon. Today I'm wearing a shirt dress from Target with some ankle length leggings (it might be hot, but no one is going to be blinded by my white legs):

My husband calls this my "suburban camo" dress. I think that's hilarious!

  • Remember when I posted about needing to find coconut M&Ms? My MIL found them at Sam's Club. I now have 30 bags of them sitting on my counter top. They are good. So, so good.
  • I called my dad to complain about our rabbit problem (another post for another day), and after listening to my rant he asked if I'd rather have the creature that visited my parents' backyard over the weekend:

He thinks it was a bear. There was some other evidence not shown in this picture, but whatever it was toppled thick steel poles at their base and knocked several bird feeders around.
  • Last week I actually had to convince a kid that he had wet his pants. He didn't believe me. It was the weirdest conversation I've had in a long time.
Off to school. Have a great Tuesday!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Things I Like: Address Stamps

A few weeks ago I was awarded a research grant from my university's department. While not huge, the extra funds are much appreciated and will allow me to distribute a mass survey to my research site. In an attempt to get more people to open the surveys when they arrive in the mail, I'm hand addressing all 150+ envelopes. This morning I used some of my grant money to buy a return address stamp, which I think will come in very handy while working on this part of my research.

I looked at several options on Etsy over the past week or so and finally decided to go with SugarLetter. There were lots of other stamp designs I liked (check out the options here, here and here), but it turns out my husband has strong preferences when it comes to return address stamps. Who knew? Good thing I checked with him before buying the stamp. Actually he probably wouldn't have ever noticed since he doesn't do much with our mail...

Oh well! Still a good choice!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Garden Progress

I'm at home sick today. My throat felt funny when I woke up yesterday morning, but I just thought it was the result of drainage. Yesterday afternoon I had a meeting in the big city and whatever bug I have hit me hard. I drove home with the heat on full blast and I was still shivering. I went to bed dressed as though I was going outside for a walk on a brisk fall day. This morning I had to get up by 6:00 to decide if I was going to call the company I work for and tell them I couldn't sub today. I wasn't shivery and achy anymore, but my throat, ears and head told me to stay home. The kids at school may have generously shared their germs with me, but I decided to keep mine to myself. I made the phone call and then crashed for the next 5.5 hours.

Now I'm up. My left ear has popped, and I'm hoping for more progress. I want to go back to work tomorrow!

I took some pictures of our circular garden last weekend, but have neglected to post the pictures. I suppose this afternoon is a good time to take care of that task. Remember when our garden looked like death? I was so scared of the garden at that time. I really didn't think anything was going to come back.

...but it did. Last week I posted this picture of our garden:

...and during the past week this is what has happened:

I'm no expert, but it looks like we have quite a few bloom that should open up sometime soon. I am totally amazed by how quickly this garden has developed. I can't wait to see what it looks like next week.

This weekend my dad is delivering a hole digger and some chicken wire so I can fence in the vegetable garden. The beans, peas and lettuce are up and I want to protect them from the next of bunnies that have taken shelter under our shed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Good Things: Lands' End Canvas

I drop by the Lands' End Canvas website every few weeks to see what's new. Earlier this winter, when I first learned of Canvas, I went from feeling rather "eh" about Lands' End to loving the store. I'm having trouble uploading more images to this post, but I'm currently drooling over this, this, these (I haven't worn shorts in years, it's about time I buy a pair), and this. I wish there was a store closer to MSP.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Weekend Recap

I just logged into blogger and noticed that my post from last Friday has a Thursday post date. Slightly confusing.

We had a nice, relaxing weekend so this post won't be very exciting.

1. My Friday morning started off with another early morning trip to the gym. While jogging on the treadmill I witnessed a 70+ year old man jump off an elliptical machine and rock out on the air guitar to celebrate what looked like a grueling workout. That was an excellent way to start a Friday.

2. Every day I with special needs kids I realize it's my true calling. I love the fact that I get up every morning knowing I get to spend the day with some awesome, severely disadvantaged kids. It is so incredibly rewarding. Meaningful work. I like meaningful work.

3. Every Friday I take my student to Burger King for lunch. He loves it. Last Friday we went to Burger King for the third time. As we entered the restaurant he looked at me and said "this is going to be so exciting!" I'd take him to Burger King everyday if I could. I can't imagine being born into his place in this world. He has a tough home life and some serious neurological issues. If taking him to Burger King for a kid's meal is a special outing for him, you better believe I'm going to make it happen. Anyone want to sponsor a meal for him? Or maybe buy him some Legos (he's so anxious to get some "colored Legos")?

4. I hit the gym early on Saturday morning, dropped off my car at the repair shop, had lunch with my husband and BIL, and spent the afternoon at Panera working on my dissertation. My evening was spent running errands and relaxing at home. Boring? Maybe to some, but it really nice. I made so much progress.

5. We spent Sunday afternoon at the state historical society. My dear husband was kind enough to come with me. He did his own thing for a few hours and after my motion sickness was unbearable (I get it from reading microfilm, but not riding in cars), he relieved me of my research duties and followed my directions to a "T." Husband of the Year? I think so. Especially considering the reward he gets if I don't finish my writing this year...

6. I really do have the most amazing husband on the face of this good earth.

7. I spent Sunday night weeding, planting a hanging basket (pictures soon), and working on a crafting project. I have a little less than half of that project left to finish, so I can't post pictures yet. Soon, soon!

It reallyw as a good weekend...