Other things I considered titling this post: Please Be Patient and Total Picture Vomit. I've gotten so behind on posting here that the earliest pictures are probably at least two (and maybe three?) weeks old. I promised myself I wouldn't even upload the pictures I also have on the camera for this post, lest it become so unbearably long that your scrolling finger cramps up and you exclaim ah, screw it before even making it to then end. Usually I try to organize the pictures into somewhat logical groupings, but this time I did you no such service and they're just in the order in which I snapped them. So, so sorry.
In the garden: the top picture was the last of the spinach right before it was going to bolt. I filled the whole sink and blanched and froze it on the recommendation of my friend Elizabeth. I tore up the bolted spinach a few weeks ago and just today seeded some salad greens in that space. The sugar snap peas are blooming and producing. What a rewarding thing to grow! You get to enjoy both beautiful, snowy white flowers, and crisp, sweet peas. And on a slightly sad note - we had not a single blossom on our peach tree this year. This was the coldest winter in something like 150 years, and seeing that we're pretty much the northern most zone for peaches, it just wasn't going to happen. Not only that, several of the branches are as of now still leafless too, so we're unsure of how much damage the tree really sustained, but it might be even more permanent than the loss of a single year's crop. We're obviously really bummed.
Made in the past few weeks: bacon and tomato quiche (again from the Holistic Squid meal plans), and refrigerator pickles. Do you make these? They are so easy! Stick to a basic recipe of 50/50 water and vinegar (I mixed apple cider and white vinegar), whatever spices you have on hand (I added fresh dill, mustard seed, peppercorns, garlic, onion and salt) and of course your pickling veggie, in this case english cucumber. I never boil it, just stick it all in the fridge and give it a day or two.
Recommended reads: On the recommendation of Ginny, I signed up for Soul Gardening, which is a journal for mothers written by mothers, and with a collection of beautiful essays, prayers, art, recipes, liturgical activities etc. I enjoyed it so much and gleaned such great encouragement and ideas that I will surely read it through again. The journal runs on donations and is free to receive, so you should sign up! And on a slightly more mundane note - so far I have only skimmed the Organic Lawn Care Manual, but I have already learned a lot. Leave it to me to find a book on organic lawn care fascinating! But truly! The book is completely comprehensive, and explains how caring for your lawn naturally can initially and periodically mean a greater investment of time, but will actually result in an overall healthier lawn than just routinely dowsing it with weed killer and NPK chemical fertilizers ever could. My favorite tidbit of information so far: before the creation of synthetic weed killers, most lawns contained white clover. In fact, the quality of a lawn seed mixture was judged by the percentage of clover seed it contained! There's a good reason for that: white clover is a legume, and therefore naturally pulls nitrogen from the air and fixes it into the soil, resulting in a greener and healthier lawn. Having about 10% white clover in your lawn is actually good for it! Of course, since it wasn't possible to invent a weed killer that killed weeds without harming grass and clover only, clover ended up being thrown under the bus with the rest of the weeds. "The scientist who developed 2,4-D, the most common synthetic herbicide, was publicly apologetic because his new product had the unfortunate side effect of eliminating clover." So how do you like that.
In other news: We had the pleasure of baby-sitting (chicken-sitting?) our friend's chicken while they prepare to move to a farm in Minnesota. No, those are not her eggs. She's just a little teenager, but she was a pleasure to have around and the kids just adored her (Tenny also would have enjoyed pulling all her feathers out, but with the tenderest intentions, of course). It was sad to see her go, but a taste of the good life while it lasted. And the last picture, oh my dear dishes. If you follow me on instagram you're already privy to this, but Tenny had elevated lead levels at his one year checkup (as did Indy at that age), so we tested around the house, and found some lead paint on the porch, but the real culprit is likely many of our dishes. The vintage ones were really the worst, but some of our modern dishes and cups (from places like Pottery Barn, Target and Anthropologie) tested positive as well. So we sadly packed up our pretty dishes, but we picked up some beautiful mint green new ones from Crate and Barrel (I almost typed Cracker Barrel) and now we're really truly grown ups (forget two kids. . . matching dishes), so, silver lining. The rest of the pictures are self-explanatory, no?
Congrats! You made it to the end. I'm so enjoying sharing and documenting, and I promise I'll try to come at more regularly intervals to avoid these novellas. See you soon!
Also, don't forget to sign up to win a beautiful pair of handmade Guatemalan sandals in the giveaway below! Anyone with a US address can enter!