Saturday, May 29, 2010

More Love.

da Vinci, the early years:

We love it when the kids visit! It gives us a great excuse to be "off the clock". Even though it may not look that way here... this picture shows the only child labor involved the entire afternoon. The rest of the time it was sprinklers, sandboxes, and snacks, I swear. But hey, kids gotta earn their keep somehow, right?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day Laborer

Very dissimilar to a "Day Tripper".

8 cubic yards of compost:

Moving it to various vegetable beds:

Task completed.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sewing (in our new back door!)

Also, love. Love the seamstress, love the door, love love love.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Campfires in our backyard.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesdays are for Making Blisters

I had a load of compost delivered this morning (8 cu yards, which is a LOT of compost). I spent the morning vacillating between filling garden beds, supervising our backyard door construction, and installing the 4 rainbarrels we earned from the Recycling Association of Minnesota. Here's this weekend's Elk River site and Laura "earning" a rainbarrel. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it! In fairness, she did work hard when there was work to be done.

Today was a different story. Talk about hard work! The compost hauling and shoveling nearly did me in today. We have 10 raised beds total - the one that's in the front of the house and the one with the peas & beans were already filled earlier this month. The other eight need some serious filling and will suck up all of the 8 cubic yards of compost - and then some. I filled two of the eight beds completely and got a great start on a third (the long one that stretches all the way across the back of the garden area). So I have five and a half left. My goal is to have them done by the time Laura's friends come tomorrow night. Yikes. My hands ache from today's shoveling and cannot bear the thought of tomorrow morning's job.

What is it about wheelbarrows and shovels that entice ugly, mean blisters to angrily pop out of soft, delicate hand skin? I wore gloves today. I did, I swear! But I still managed to come away with four reddish-white burning mounds of misery protruding from my upper palms.

To take my mind off of the pain, here are some pictures of our rainbarrels and compost bins:

Compost bins: large for everything except food, small for food and bunny poop/dried alfalfa hay mix

One of the rainbarrels, pre-installation.


Next up: How a Window Became a Door: A Story of Courage, Hope and Transformation.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bursting into Life

This was an even busier-than-usual weekend, what with bonfires, May Day celebrations, and a visit from my mom (and the accompanying carload of "here's-boxes-of-your-junk-from-my-basement").
Despite that, we managed to get some things done around our house. Laura brought out our push-reel mower and mowed the lawn without polluting the air. Have I mentioned our push-reel mower before? My almost-90 year old grandma gave it to us when she cleaned out her garage this Spring. I was under the impression that it harkened back to olden times, but apparently my grandma purchased it shortly after my grandpa died - less than 10 years ago. Why on earth would a frail 80 year old lady buy a push-reel mower? It's true, her lawn is small, but still! I don't even think she'd ever mowed the lawn before, let alone with a push-reel lawnmower. Those things are way more exercise than an elderly person needs. Needless to say, she used it no more than twice and decided maybe it would be better off as a dust-collector in her garage. Now she has a local kid mow her lawn, which is totally the way to go. I think when I'm 80, I will be hiring a neighbor kid to mow our lawn. It's a good tax-free job for kids and will give me more time to rock in my rocking chair and sip lemonade with Laura as we gossip, reminisce about the good ol' days, and bitch about how everything's going to hell in a handbasket and just what is it with kids these days, no respect for their elders, listening to that rock 'n roll devil music.

Anyways, as I was saying - we did get some things done around the house this weekend. Bachman's had their 125th anniversary sale, so I picked up strawberry seedlings, raspberry canes, and a few free tomato plants. Then, feeling productive and wanting to enjoy the beautiful morning weather, I planted the strawberries! They are happily growing in front of our house now, hoping that the neighborhood bunnies will pass them by with nary a nibble. We'll see about that.

More details on the strawberries: 2 different types, one is a June-bearing variety and the other is something I'd never heard of before, called a "day-neutral" variety. The day-neutral strawberry plants are supposed to be relatively similar to ever-bearing, but produce throughout the growing season (while ever-bearing, despite their name, typically produce only two crops during the growing season). I don't recall the names of the two varieties that I chose, but I'll add that soon along with photos. I can't wait to update on how they do - and more importantly, how wonderful they taste!