Thursday, June 30, 2011

Need / Want / Like / Love [ bowl ]

In 2004, the year after I was married, I asked for a salad bowl for Christmas. When I opened the box from San Diego, my jaw dropped. This wasn't just a salad bowl. This bowl was smooth. It had irregular contours that led your hand around it's edges. The grain of the wood was so rich and deep. I flipped it over and saw "Handcrafted in Haiti by Einstein Albert" on a little paper sticker. After I giggled, my mind traveled to a man I regularly watched carve during an extended stay in Mexico. I remembered the commitment, labor and love that went into each of his creations. Immediately, respect. Respect for the tree. Respect for the man who made it. Respect for my mother-in-law who chose it.

This is the bowl we use to gather our meals from our garden. This is the bowl that brings salads to our friends' homes. This is the bowl that reminds me to respect the source. This is the bowl I love.

Share your thoughts with me.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

~Say What?!?~ peas

This is entry #1 for the Gardening Hall of Shame. Note: Remove bird netting before the peas go wild otherwise you will end up with:

Ok, snicker away at my expense. Every year has to have it's failures so we can LEARN, right? We have learned from our mistakes, fixed the problem, updated our gardening journal and now, publicly humiliated ourselves. Now that we have that out of our systems, CHECK THIS OUT!

Peas! Can you believe it? All of the drama and now we have sweet peas. If I see a certain Towhee, I might even offer him one as a peace offering.

We are up to our elbows in spinach, lettuce, peas and strawberries right now and we should have some zucchini by the end of the week. I had to prep my better half about the beginning of zucchini season at dinner tonight. His response was very neutral.

If you are a neighbor and you are reading this, come grab a head of heirloom salad greens or some spinach! (Keep your fingers off the strawberries. A certain 4 year old doesn't believe in sharing these.)

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Mental Chew has been nominated as one of the Top 25 Family Blogs on Circle of Moms. *blushing* But now I want to win. I can't help it. I am closet competitive. So if you have already found yourself in my little corner of the blogosphere, please click on the lil' pink graphic and then choose "Mental Chew" and give me a thumbs up. You can vote once a day until July 14 and I hope someone out there will join me in clicking. Gee thanks. *blushing* again.

Friday, June 24, 2011

{this moment}: garden in watercolor

A Friday ritual from Soule Mama
A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  
If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your “moment” in the comments for all to find and see.

I just pasted red circles. He created the flower garden.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Need / Want / Like / Love 062311

I was searching through those items you just HAVE to have and I ran across this at Gardener's Supply Company.
Orchard Rack
It is a perfect little produce rack (orchard rack). I can just envision our summer and fall bounty of potatoes, onions and garlic resting here and looking beautiful to boot. They have a much larger version, but I would need to add a room on the house if I went any larger. So there it is.

What items do you dream of having for your garden?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Spinach baby!

The following scenario is all too common these days.

The panic button is hit. What will I make for dinner tonight? Somehow (HA!) the day has escaped me and it is 4:30 and I am just thinking about our dinner. Easy comes to mind first. Pasta? Chicken? What is in the fridge? Do I dare dig into the freezer? Ugh. Microwave defrost. Hate it. Ok, fresh. Look out the window and there is the answer. Spinach. Lots of spinach, but not quite as much as I should have planted.

Last year this crop was VERY plentiful, however, due to my morning/afternoon/evening sickness, I couldn't enjoy it. My three little rows seem like an emerald gift under the cloche. I wish I planted more. It would lead to more quick meals.

This particular night we BBQed some chicken and I plucked several handfuls of spinach from the garden.

A quick rinse and it could be a delicious salad. Today we continue on to the stove top.

A spritz of olive oil and 3 crushed cloves of garlic are thrown into the fry pan. After the garlic started to sizzle, I added all of the spinach in and saut├ęd it. Done!

The end product shows why I need to plant more. It takes a lot for a side dish.

So when in doubt about what you are going to make for dinner, think fresh first and build the rest of your menu from there. Most of all remember that you can NEVER go wrong with olive oil and garlic.

~Say What?!?~ 062111

Somebody is busy chomping my radishes. Any ideas on who it could be? Any suggestions about how to conquer them? Interestingly enough, they aren't bothering the radishes themselves and we haven't jumped into the world of eating radish greens. As a result, these little pests are leaving us unscathed for the most part, but I am worried about the damage they might do elsewhere in the garden. Thanks for your suggestions!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

~Say What?!?~ 061411

Give me your ideas in the comment box below. Humorous and factual entries appreciated.

SAY WHAT #1: Once upon a time this was a perfectly happy Thompson's Broccoli plant living under a cloche. One day I lifted the cloche and **GASP** this is what I found. Ideas?

SAY WHAT #2: I found this at the base of another Thompson's Broccoli plant. Huh???

Monday, June 13, 2011

Keep Your Eyes Open

Gardening and I are relatively new friends. I would consider us to be in the courting phase. We both surprise each other with new revelations upon each encounter. We are learning about ourselves through our interactions. And there are those frequent "Say what?!?" moments when you have to call your best girlfriends to see if the latest manifestation is "normal" or if you should run for the hills.

Every Tuesday, I will be sharing my "Say What?!?" moment of the week with you in hopes of finding some answers.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A time for Purpose. A time for Fancy.

My children remind me that there are times to be purposeful (parading the crew out the door to pick up the one forgotten item at the store) and times to be fanciful (looking under forest debris for signs of fairies). Just when I am immersed in the throws of purpose, I will be reminded of the importance of fancy.

This week we experienced our first real summeresque day after a long winter of cold, wet days spent indoors taking care of our newest addition. My calendar was chock full of events and tasks to complete, but I opted to ignore the list for a couple of sun-drenched hours at our local beach with a friend and her son. Somehow this "spontaneity" turned me into a taskmaster yet again. Gather blankets, umbrellas, sunscreen, snacks and oh, yes, the kids, before completing our shopping at the Farmer's Market so we can THEN enjoy the sun. During my preparation / frenzy, my son kept asking me to come see his new trail (we often create new paths for adventures around our house) and I kept nodding and smiling and saying, "Ok Buddy, just let Mommy get the van packed so we can go have some fun." "But Mommy." "I know. Go pack yourself into the van Buggy."

Scurry scurry. Rush rush. Ugh. Where are his sand toys? So, I ran into the garden to grab his gardening tool bag when I stopped dead in my tracks. There before me ran a beautiful path of purple to the garden. Cole's trail. Dozens of zinnias and lavender buds were placed carefully to create a gentle carpet of purple (our favorite garden color) to the raised beds. I had to sit down and catch my breath and then I ran inside to grab my camera. After brushing away a few tears, I approached my little man and told him I found his trail and that it was beautiful and special and incredibly thoughtful. "I made it all purple for you." Yes, he made it all purple...for me.

As you catch yourself hurrying with purpose this week, do not forget to look for/appreciate/acknowledge the fanciful trails made, with love, for you.

Virgin harvest

This year my goal is to outwit the animals in my garden and to actually grow something while managing, laughing and playing with my two kiddos.

Dig this Chick has a great page on her blog honoring gardening firsts. Enjoy!


Friday, June 3, 2011

Join me. Laugh with me.

After dealing with the furry little bandits and a little anticipation...

Time: 10:23pm

Sound: chick-chick-chick-chick and some serious squealing.


The sprinkler may not solve my problem, but that sound byte was worth every penny we spent on it.

Now I can go to sleep with a smile on my face.

Summer To Do's...tah dah

The sun is out and I am a keeper of To Do Lists (not to be confused with a completer of To Do Lists) so I felt the inspiration to create my summer fun / goal list with the help of some of my favorite blogs.

1) Make sure the kids are fed/clothed/cleanish.
2) Make sure the garden is watered regularly.
3) Monthly camping trip scheduled. (Check! That felt good.)
4) Take the time to pull out the camera during the memorable moments. My friend at Baby by the Sea excels at this. Perhaps I should adopt her Friday ritual to keep me on track.
5)Make some of the delicious recipes listed on Orangette to bring to Potlucks.
6)Grab some wisdom from the incredible Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen by reading her blog religiously. I love her style. She has some great baby food recipes too!!
7) Food for My Family gives me something to strive for with my blog. She hits it all, really. Gardening, recipes, going green and more. Take at look at this giveaway she had. I think it is how she won my heart. So, I too, hope to have a giveaway by the end of the summer.
8) Hike a new trail every week. There are so many on the island and my kiddos are happiest on the trail looking for fairies and bears. San Juan Trails Committee's website will help us choose our adventure sites.
9) Potlucks on Mondays at Roche Harbor, Music on the Lawn on Wednesdays and Beach Potlucks on Thursdays.
10) Submit a certain something somewhere.

Ok, so the list is out, now I am accountable, right?

What are your summer goals?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Ok, the raccoon came back. This isn't too surprising. That man I mentioned before...the one I married and love. He was outside setting up a sprinkler with a motion detector. He tested it himself. Seriously. I wish I had video. LOVE this guy.

He is asleep. I am awake. I am waiting to hear that chick-chick-chick sound from the sprinkler and I will be upstairs snickering, chuckling, giggling, and LAUGHING.

Moral of the story: if you can't beat 'em, soak 'em!!