It's... a Salad!

Wow!  There are sprouts every where in my little garden!  I now have enough sprouts to make the world's tiniest salad: basil, dill, carrots, lettuce, cauliflower, onion, peas, snow peas, okra, corn, and tomatoes.  Oh, and mint, strawberries, pumpkin and cantaloupe, too, but they didn't fit the salad theme. 

Now if I can just keep everything watered and critter free for another six(?) weeks, I might actually be able to eat that salad. 



This little guy has me SO excited!

When we moved to Wester, the previous owners left us a perfect little garden spot.  The fence was half-a$$ed and the patch was weedy, but it could have been a going concern with a whole lot of little work.  Instead, we ignored it and it became a shoddily fenced patch of the lushest weeds in west Texas.  Go us!

Eventually, T took down the shoddy fence and made some noise about putting up a 'quality' fence.  Then... nothing.  We had a second summer of super luxe weeds and lots of vicious stickers.  And Holly adopted the area for her bathroom.  Super!

This year, I was determined to get that garden in. My grandmother (who lived in Wester) always gardened in raised beds, so I had vague notions that I would do that, too.  She used cinder blocks.  Sounded good to me, but the rest of it was still a hazy mess in my mind.  The whole thing might have stalled out right there if I hadn't serendipitously run out of things to read on my blog reader one afternoon.

I read all the way to end of a post I might normally have skimmed and stumbled onto a website about square foot gardening.  I clicked through and started reading about the methodology and was immediately sold.  No amending soil!  No rows to hoe!  High yield in a small space!  Sign me up!  (Seriously, it's like a gardening cult.  I am totally gung-ho brain-washed.)

Sounds simple, right?  And it would have been... if my darling husband hadn't been involved.  There is no simple task that the man can't make more difficult in the name of 'quality.'  My plan was to set up my cinder blocks up in the nice flat garden area and get to work.  T insisted that the blocks had to be set down into the ground or they would just wiggle all around.  Sigh.

Once we got the blocks set, it was just add Mel's Mix (a soil alternative) and go, right?  That would work if I didn't have two giant shovel-pawed-digger-dogs, but I didn't see the point in planting the garden only to have my dogs destroy it in a nanosecond.  I needed a fence. 

I got the stuff for a two-foot fence and started pounding posts.  Little did I know that I would hit bedrock a mere four inches under soil.  T didn't believe me and just pounded them harder.  And bent the lightweight posts all to hell.  Not only that, but when they hit the rock, they bent under and formed a hook so they were impossible to remove.  Yay!  We actually had to buy a post puller to get them out of the rock.

Next, we bought heavy-duty keep-the-cows-in-the-pasture fence posts.  I left the pounding up to T.  They are very tall.  Maybe I'll dress them up with bird houses somewhere down the line.  But they hold up the fencing!  And keep out the dogs!  So they are great!

The fence still needs a little work.  The big plastic lattice will be cut down into a small-ish gate.  The composter will be moved all the way up into the front corner for easier access.  I think I'll leave the gloves.  Adds a touch of class, no?

But this guy?  Is what it is all about!  So excited!

UPDATED:  I now have multiple sprouts!  So far, pumpkin, cucumber, and basil have come up from seed.  My mint and strawberry transplants are doing well, too.  Squee!


New 'Do

Since I had that, ahem, significant birthday a few months ago, I have been talking a lot of smack about cutting my hair off and donating it to charity and getting a whole new look for this whole 'middle aged' thing. I had T snap a photo, a control, if you will. Then... nothing. Six months later and nothing.

Then I stumbled across a fun makeover tool on the Real Simple website. Awesomeness! Here are my results: (please to ignore the funky Barbie-esque hair colors. I tried to get them as close to my own hair color as possible, but... well, you can see the results. The make up looks pretty aweswome though, right?)

Au Naturel

This is what I look like on a daily basis.  My hair is long (almost to my waist) and curly and not quite as blond as it used to be.  I have a LOT of hair and it gets HOT.  That is why it is almost always in a pony tail or, lately, a bun.

Broadcaster Bob

I really like the bangs on this style.  Unfortunately, the rest of it is a little blah.  Mom-ish, if you will.  (And not in a MILF sort of way!)  I think it could look cute either curly or straight.

Hip Flip

I think this cut would work really well with my hair.  I had a cut similar to this years ago (before my hair was curly) that I really liked.  It doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to style.  Unfortunately it is widest right where my face is widest...

Short Shag

I am strangely obsessed with this look.  I fear it would require a lot of flat ironing - which in my world equals not getting done a whole lot.  If I didn't iron it, would it shrink up into the dreaded 'mom helmet'? 

Shaggy Shag

This might be what my hair looks like on a good day.  On a bad day?  I look like Mikey from Orange County Choppers.   Perhaps this isn't quite the change of look I am looking for.  Or is is?

Short and Sassy

Unexpectedly, this one is my favorite!  If I got this haircut, I would be losing something like two feet of hair!  Might have to get a keratin treatment to pull this off.  Lots of maintenance.  Hmmm.  Maybe I am talking myself out of this one.

Beach-y Keen

This?  Is my fantasy hair.  The reality is that I would always put it behind my ears and end up with a butt-crack part.  My hair looked like this for about a minute in college - before the hormonal soup of my thirties gave me curly hair.

Bang-less Bob

Do I love it?  Do I hate it?  Honestly, I don't know any more.  I think it might look like the ill-advised haircut just-cut-it-all-off haircut I got when I was pregnant with Z.  Or it might be a perfectly nice age-appropriate style.

Help me!  With this here poll?  Anyone?  Crickets?

Which 'do should I do?
Au Naturel
Broadcaster Bob
Hip Flip
Short Shag
Shaggy Shag
Short and Sassy
Beach-y Keen
Bang-less Bob

Web Polls


Farmhouse Table Idea

I was at Tractor Supply the other day looking for garden supplies.  While I was there, this little beauty caught my eye:
My first thought was that it would make a fun mini-pool for the kids and when they were done, I could use the water for the garden.  (The garden is a whole other post.  SO excited!)  Captain Killjoy (aka: T) said it would make the water too hot for the kids and would never work, blah, blah, I'm-no-fun blah.  So I sadly walked away.

Earlier, I had been discussing my future kitchen/dining room plans with my sisters.  (You can read about that here.)  I am planning to build a banquette along the long wall of my dining room.  My current table is an antique Duncan Phyfe.  Every child-inflicted nick and gouge kills me, so I want to replace it with something a little more kid friendly.  I figure if I start out with something distressed, kid-damage will just be enhancing it, right?  Like adding patina. 

So a farmhouse table seemed like the way to go.  I found an Ana White plan I really liked here.  The chunky legs were what sold me.  I thought it gave it a modern edge despite the rustic materials.  When I told my sisters about it, they pointed out that a classic farm table would be a real knee-banger for whoever was sitting on the banquette, and a pedestal would be way better.  They were totally right, of course.  But how would I build a pedestal that didn't look totally DIY?

Enter the galvanized stock tank.  I think it could make a totally cool table base.  It is only 24 inches tall, so I would have to come up with five to six more inches to make it standard height, but I think I could cover that with a wooden base and the height of the tabletop itself.  If I was feeling particularly ambitious, I could even punch holes in the sides and put a light inside.  How cool would that be? 

T thinks it would be too rustic and wouldn't go with the rest of our house.  I think the contemporary eclectic style of our decor could handle it.  What do you think?


Mother's Day

Once upon a time, in a small west Texas town, a princess was born.  Nelda was everything a princess should be: very smart, very sweet, and very beautiful.  She loved school and while maintaining excellent grades, she worked on the yearbook, sang in the choir, was in a social club and was a cheerleader. 

After high school, Nelda was off to college.  She attended for two and a half years before a financial crunch forced her to leave.  Then in true fairy tale style, she married her high school sweetheart, Jack, and set off for a life of adventure.

She spent the next 30 years as an Air Force wife and mother to three daughters, moving more than 16 times and on three continents.  Her most exotic stay was Seoul, Korea, but her favorite was Naples, Italy.

At the age of 40, the princess embarked on yet another adventure:  she returned to college to finish her education.  Her studies brought her to life in a whole new way.  She loved everything about her college experience: learning new things, helping people, pursuing her interests.  She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in speech pathology.  It was a high point in an already lovely life.

Eventually, the princess and her prince retired from their life of adventure and moved to a small town in southern Texas where they proceeded to live happily ever after.

Unfortunately, every fairy tale has to have a villain and this one is no exception.  In 2004, Nelda was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.  She was tragically young and within a few short years went from a vibrant princess to a mere shell of her former self.  First memory, then language, then mobility fell victim to this horrible disease.

My mom died on Good Friday, just six months after my dad.  Sister L and I were with her.  She went quietly and, as far as we could tell, without pain.  It was hard to lose the husk of what used to be my mother, but also a relief.

She is now free to laugh and sing and dance in my heart.  I love you, Mom. 
Happy Mother's Day.

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