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Showing posts from May, 2010

Summer Heat

I really, really didn't want to do our long run this weekend, but I finally ran out of excuses today.  First, it was rainy all day Saturday and then Sunday we just *had* to go to cherry picking.  Well enough was enough come Monday, so we got up early and hit the road.  We hoped the early run would help us escape the heat and humidity.  I hate to even imagine what it would have been like if we waited a couple hours because it was pretty dang miserable already.  Bleh!    I guess we have a couple more weeks of summer running before we get used to running in this mess.

pic removed Running over a wooden bridge.

Monday Garden Update

So, according to my insanenifty plan I need to start my broccoli and cauliflower seedlings sometime soon if I want a fall harvest.  Pretty much all of the plants I grew from seed this Spring did not grow as strong as I wanted (with the exception of the squash) thanks to a lack of light.  As such, I had Nick build me a set up similar to Feet Off the Table's in our crawl space.  Just like Ali, I'm putting the lights on a timer so all I have to do is come in and water as needed.  My plan is to raise the lights with S-hooks as the plants grow toward the light. It is much cooler in the crawl space then outside during the summer and warmer in the winter so it should be a good location.  It also keeps the plants out of the house and away from grabby toddlers. Let's hope the new set-up yields some nicer looking plants!

on to the garden...

I'm going to say that about 25% of the peas are ready for picking.  I don't know if I should wait until more are ready or what...  so I&…

Cherry Picking

Apparently cherry picking season started last weekend here.  The season is only expected to last another two weeks so it was a perfect excuse to get out today and enjoy some of this humid, hot weather we are having.    I don't mind excessive sweating or even greasy sunscreen running into my eyes.  I love the hot weather and I LOVE SUMMER!!!

Road Leading to the Orchard
pic removed Greeneyes Hanging Out
pic removed Ladybug and the Human Ladder
pic removed Mom preferred to climb an actual ladder
pic removed Posing by the cemetery
Now what are we to do with all these cherries?  Jam, tarts...  eat 'em plain?!   :)

Oh summer, I missed you...  I really, really missed you.

Broccoli Harvest

Life is delicious these days at Out in Them Sticks, that's for sure!  We harvested a bunch of broccoli today. Between the broccoli and the salad greens we haven't had the need for many grocery store vegetables lately!

pic removed
Home Grown broccoli is milder/sweeter in flavor than grocery store versions and absolutely fabulous !  Below are 3 broccoli heads I harvested today.  We have at least 12 other heads that have yet to mature in the garden so a lot of good eats await us. For dinner tonight we ate one and half heads along with some salad and roasted pork loin.  Yum! Ladybug asked for thirds on the broccoli and GreenEyes scarfed his down too...  makes me all gushy inside!

Weekend in Review

We didn't have a lot of sunshine time this weekend but when we did we were outside.  We managed to fit both a long run in (10 miles) and a little leisurely biking despite the on and off showers.

pic removed
I also stuffed myself with an unbelievable amount of strawberries.  You wouldn't belive how many strawberries didn't make it to the bowl! 

Monday Garden Club (a day early)

We have been getting a lot of intermittent rain showers recently so it has been a bit of a lazy week as it's been too soggy to do much gardening.  It's been great for the broccoli so we harvested our first couple plants this week and it was delicious.  We have plenty more too.  We are thrilled!

The peas have been going crazy and started to crowd out the parsnips so we had to do something.  Nick is a pea expert and had explained to me prior to planting that we didn't need to use a trellis for them because they would just fall over in the wind. He knows this because he used to drive a pea combine.  While they probably would have been fine, we didn't give them enough room for that so Nick threw up some stakes and some kite string to make me an impromptu trellis for the peas.  It's better but we should have done that a while ago.

The potatoes were starting to wipe out the onions so I had Nick stake 'em so they'd go more up than out.  I don't know if this wi…

Our Oven is Functioning Again

Per our last post, we've been coping with the loss of oven function.  It's been rough but we've been surviving by doing a hell of a lot of grilling....  OK, so maybe it hasn't been so rough.  Nick has been doing all the cooking the last day or so and I've been enjoying a nice break. 

Nick must have gotten tired of it quickly though because as of today we no longer have an oven issue.  I had noticed about a month ago that there were some weird plastic burning odors coming from the oven.  I told Nick about it, but he didn't seemed phased.  Well, come to find out, some wires had melted and fused together resulting in loss of power to the stove.  Go figure.  See below.

Melted off Terminal Block (or in wife terms: Wire Holder)
Melted Power Supply Wire.
pic removed Nick finishing the fix-up job.  
(Please ignore the dirty state of the oven!)
Moral to this story:  When you smell plastic burning smells coming from your stove and you don't really know where it's com…

Adventures in Pizza Making

I'd like to preface this post by mentioning that Nick used to work in a frozen pizza factory when he was in high school.  He wanted me to let you all know that little factoid, in case you already didn't (he only mentions this as every opportunity given to him).

As you may remember in previous posts, I'm a bit of coupon freak and I've been able to get Tombstone pizzas for around $.50 or less a piece (they have even made me money).  Nick is addicted and I admit, I love the convenience.  BUT they are full of junk with ingredients a mile long and I just can't stand buying them anymore even at that price.  I, myself do not eat them (I tend to eat a Kashi frozen meal instead on Tombstone night) but my kids do because dad eats it and they love it.  It's our go to meal when time is tight or whenever a pizza strikes Nick's fancy which is fairly often.

I love to cook, but I don't have the time to wait 2 to 3 hours for dough to rise every time my husband feels li…

Monday Garden Update

It's Monday and you know what that means: it's time for Monday Garden Club at Feet off the Table!

We've been enjoying salad greens for some time now.  My favorite greens to grow are musclun mix (i.e. a rainbow of everything).  The flavor is phenomenal and they are so easy to grow.  I do think greens season is coming to an end here but I am going to sow two more short rows tomorrow for experimentation purposes.  June is usually too hot for these babies but we've been having cooler weather than usual.  I'm probably jinxing myself and now we are bound to have some narly a$$ heat wave, but whatever.  Aren't they beautiful? We've been having salad every single day for the past couple weeks here at Out in them Sticks!

We have little grape tomatoes hanging out already!  It'll be a while of course though...

We have little pea pods!  It'll be a while until we harvest those too, but it's progress!

Here are the eggplants and a pepper (in the corner) I ment…

Hiking the AT, Strawberries, and More

It's been a packed weekend here at Out in Them Sticks.  The garden chores would have to wait until the work week because we had big plans!

Saturday we went for a wonderful hike on a portion of the Appalachian Trail (AT).

pic removed Nick and Ladybug on the AT
It was just one of those days that would be a sin if you weren't outside.  We hiked up to a small overlook and had a small picnic lunch there.  Usually, we'd have lunched on the big rock outcropping with the amazing view but that would be just a little too insane with the little ones.

pics removed Nick and Ladybug at the Summit
pics removed GreenEyes and Mom at the Summit
Instead, we opted to lunch at a spot just off the trail (see below).  The total hike was only 3.7 miles round trip but it felt like a moderate hike with the 40+ lbs. strapped to our backs.

We got home completely beat.  While Nick was making his bimonthly biweekly trip to the dump, I couldn't help but indulge myself in an hour long siesta.  Despite th…

Week in Review

Nick mentioned to me last week that he needed to take a business trip up north for a conference.  It was located at a drivable location so I had the option of actually attending this time.  It took me a millisecond to weigh this decision:  

Option A:  Stay at home in isolation with two little terrors


Option B: Hang out in a hotel for a week of no dishes, no garden chores, no kiddos to clean up after...  oh and no dinner making.

So I spent a nice week of sloth and gluttony.  That's right; sweet, lazy bliss.  :)

pics removed
Enjoying a little Mexican.

Did any of y'all see yesterday's Today Show?  It was "NO makeup day" so all the ladies didn't wear makeup (oddly, men were allowed).   Nowadays I think I'm lucky to get out of the house with a smudge of mascara and maybe some lip gloss (as I did above).  But now, as it has been revealed in the same photo, I seem to have lost a good bit of my eyebrow hair.  I'm hoping they just got lost in the camera flash. …

Monday Garden Update

As you may have seen in yesterday's post, we are done with the landscaping around our house and we couldn't be more thrilled. It was the most amazing mother's day present to have it DONE!!! On Mother's Day we actually found the down time to do a long run (9 miles) as well as do some tiding up.

As for a Garden Update, we have a lot to report. First, we have broccoli people! No, not enough to harvest yet, but we are very close to it!!! Check it out below!!!! Third time is indeed the charm!!! I will try for a fourth time this fall by seed starting indoors in June.

Oh broccoli, you can be a pain in the ass, but you will be worth the extra effort I have gone through in the last month when we have you for dinner and you nourish my family with your folate and Vitamin C. :)

I'm a little scared about carrots after reading on some other garden blogs about how hard they are to grow. I know they are cheap in the grocery store, but I couldn't help myself and give them a go in …

Landscape Project Phase 5 of 10 is now complete!

We've come a long way in the the last two years. Whereas, once you only saw the side of the house when you got to the driveway, this is what you see now: a lot of gorgeous forest surrounding our humble home.

When we bought the house it had absolutely no landscaping, just grass and weeds.

Now we have just enough landscaping to make it feel like home. Everything looks small right now but in time everything will fill out

Whereas once there was no sidewalk or even front porch stairs, now it's very clear where the front door is and how to get there.

I think we finally have solved the issues with the house that made it unsellable and we are looking forward to enjoying it for many years to come!

Good Seed

My life revolves around food. I pretty much go to bed and wake up thinking about it so my favorite part of gardening is letting my inner foodie get its fix without breaking the bank.

The key to a indulgent, varied, and flavorful harvest are great seeds. There are so many awesome seed companies on the web, it is a little overwhelming to a newbie such as myself! Last year we mostly ordered from Territorial Seed. We were in a bit of rush at the time and had done little planning so our choices were all done rather hastily. We had just moved, had a new baby and a crazy toddler running a muck so it was all overwhelming.

Somehow, we managed to scrape a garden together that spring despite all the challenges and I was shocked at what we accomplished. The Cabernet grape tomato plant we purchased from Territorial grew to be 8 feet high and produced an amazing amount of fruit!

Our Awesome Cabernet Tomato Plant '09

This year, we were much more prepared but we had enough left over seed from…

Monday Garden Club

I'm really busy on Monday mornings so these posts may have to come Sunday night.

We were elbow deep in dirt all the weekend getting in our landscaping. I wish I could say we are done, but we still have quite a bit of groundcover plants to get in the ground. I love the outdoors so anytime spent outside is a real joy but I have to admit, I spent more than just a few moments fantasizing about spending the weekend doing something a little more relaxing... maybe a nice wine festival or something? The constant, back breaking work is getting old and I'm missing my runs. I only got one run in last week!

Here is one of the completed portions for a little preview. As you can see, it's nothing amazing but a huge improvement. (Forgive us, we have a bit of clean up to do yet!)

Nick found this sleepy frog in one of our newly planted pine trees (see below).

The wild blackberries are blooming everywhere! They make me salivate!

The parsnips actually look like parsnips now. It took a…

Potty Power

First, I apologize for the boring nature of this post, but I am enthused mom and can't help myself.

I am very pleased to announce that GreenEyes has made it 3 days without diapers (with the exception of course to sleeping hours)!!! After several weeks of repeated Potty Power DVD watching, he started showing some initiative (i.e. ripping off his diaper and sitting on the potty on his own). The timing wasn't ideal but I realized he was ready.

The worst part about potty training is that ever-elusive initial pee on the potty. The waiting can be excruciating. I waited a good hour and half next to GreenEyes in the bathroom, singing, reading books, singing some more... Finally, he couldn't hold it anymore and had to go. He started to squirm and squeal. But we held steady, I assured him it'd be OK... then.... Success!

Once you get that initial pee, it's get easier from there. Sure, there was a lot more waiting in store, but nothing like the first time. Nothing ca…