Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What I Did This Weekend...

I got busy and cleaned out the veggie beds. I have been a bad gardener lately and it was an awful summer. Hot, mosquito-infested, and humid. Not conditions that make you want to go out and work. However, I stepped out of the house on Sunday morning and realized that I could actually stand outside for more than 5 minutes without getting a) chewed to death or b) fainting from the heat. Getting the garden cleaned up shot straight to the top of my priority list. Somewhere below feeding/playing with the kiddo, but definately above dishes and laundry.

As soon as the kiddo went down for a nap, I made a bee line for the garden, grabbing gloves and shears along the way. For two hours, I weeded, trimmed, cleaned, and moved. I pulled approximately 10 volunteer Thai basil plants and a few non-producing okra plants. I had a weed/plant pile the size of my 3 year old when I was done. And the garden looked like this:

And my legs looked like this:

I apologize for posting pictures of my pasty white legs...but mosquitos find me tasty and I am somewhat allergic to grass.

However, thanks to the sacrifice of my legs, my garden is clean, weed-free, and ready for its fall planting.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Harvest Monday- 27 September 2010

After weeks of long, hot summer, I have a harvest again!

Apparently, my okra is psychic. I had put it on the list of things to be cleared out of the garden in order to make room for my fall planting. It must have heard my thoughts. Because when I went out on Friday to finalize the culling list, I noticed a huge crop of nice looking, good sized okra. So I picked it. And let the ones producing okra live for another week. That is the stay of execution, because the weather just turned cool. Which means what measly production I had is going to peter out to nothing. I got about 1 lb of okra over the weekend.

I also harvested sweet potatoes. They look great. A lot of them are on the small side, but that doesn't affect how they taste! There are about 2 lbs of those with more to harvest. I don't need the space, so I will probably leave the other two tubs of them alone until we eat up all the ones in the house.

I will probably have a lull again. The weather has finally cooled off enough for tomatoes and peppers to set fruit, so it will be a bit before we have more harvest, especially since the okra plants have their number.

Monday, September 20, 2010

One of These Days...

I might actually get back to blogging about the garden. The last few weeks have been a blur of long nights, long days, an unhappy kiddo, rain, and everything being out of sync. Even the felines were having bad fur days.

What passes for normal here at Jessamine Gardens is finally reasserting itself. Minus the rain, which God has every bit of control over and I have none. Anthony went back to school this morning. I have not had to give him pain meds in the last 24hours which is a relief for both of us. Have you ever tried to give a 3-year old medicine that he hates? Its an experience that I won't choose to repeat any time soon. He gets to eat a more normal diet soon and that will be a relief as well.

As for the garden...Let's just say that I am producing a successful crop of weeds at the moment. That's not entirely true. But suffice it to say, I have a big job ahead of me this weekend, assuming that it is not raining. I will be pulling the okra plants, pulling the Thai basil that has volunteered, cleaning up the tomatoes, and planting carrot, radish, parsnip, collard greens, mustard greens, and spinach seeds. I will also be harvesting the sweet potatoes that I planted back in May. I am very excited and meant to do it a week or so ago, but things got in the way.

So as you can tell, things are coming full circle. It will be an interesting season as always!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Owning it...

I am not talking about physical objects. I'm talking about owning who you are. In the biz, we talk a lot about project ownership. It basically means that you take responsibility for keeping the project on track, on budget, and having a personal investment in its success or failure. It also means dealing with failures in those above things and taking responsibility for fixing them.

I realized recently that I have been failing miserably at owning my life, who I am, and who God created me to be.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm an odd one. I have a deep southern drawl and a clipped Montana/North Dakota accent (regardless of the fact that I have lived in that area less than 6 months of my entire life) and frequently switch between the two in the same sentance. Then later in the same week, I will be accused of having no accent at all. I hate to shop, but if I can drag someone willing or unwilling, as the case may be, I'm all for it. I hate buying new shoes, but regularly drool over them.

As most of you who regularly read are aware, we went to North Dakota and Montana this summer for a long overdue vacation. At times, there was no tv, no internet, and no phone. Perfectly fine with me. It was time for reflection and peacefulness. Well, as much as you can get with your 3 year old around. But I did catch those moments. And in those moments, I discovered a few things in addition to what I already know and do:

1. I can be myself. I don't always have to be the stressed-out, take on the world, overachieving mom and geologist.

2. I still know how to really laugh.

3. I can still take on the world.

4. I am a cowgirl deep in my soul. I have spent a lot of time denying that part of myself because I was afraid of being labeled as a drugstore cowgirl (since I grew up in the 'burbs), but truth be told, its there. I just had to release it. But don't look for me in full on western dress any time soon. Its a mindset more than anything, and the gear to go with it only happens if its super-cute and I can't resist.

5. That part of me CAN happily exist with the professional geologist, who occasionally has to wear suits to work and probably should more often. Currently, I spend most of the work week in jeans. I do need to professionalize for the office.

6. I have to do things for me. While I get wonderful pleasure doing things for my son and spending time with him. I have to stop and enjoy my life too. After all, even as a mother, you have to live for yourself.

And finally, I have figured out that I will be loved no matter who I am or what I do by my family and God. Sometimes, I think that is the hardest thing to figure out. And all these things, my friends, are what I am going to own from this point on..

A rare picture of me!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


is bliss, isn't it? Anthony had a tonsillectomy last week. He also had his frenulum clipped to correct being tongue tied, his adenoids re-shaved (they were removed last year), and his ear tubes replaced. We were to spend a night in the hospital for observation since he was little and then go home to recover.

While I didn't think that it was going to be a walk in the park, I was wholly unprepared for the level of work that it is to get a 3 year old back up on his feet after that kind of surgery. I did think that we were going to sleep overnight at the hospital, then go home and have a week-long icecream/pudding/yogurt/mashed potato fest (and I might get some neglected garden work done).

Then, reality hit. I have not slept an entire night since September 7th. It has been a very long time (2 years or so!) since I have had to deal with this level of sleep deprivation. Between round the clock medications, a bout with some bleeding when a scab pulled off too early, and tummy aches as a result of the bleeding, I have not gotten a whole lot of sleep.

Then, Anthony decided that ice cream is not his thing and he wanted chicken nuggets and fries or bread. And begged for it. After a week of it, it is about to break my heart. Apparently, you can have too much of a good thing. Thankfully, now that he is past the first week, he can have soft sandwiches. His eyes lit up when I put the first PB&J in front of him.

Then there is the light activity thing. Have you ever tried to keep a 3 year old quiet and still so his body can concentrate on healing? It is damn near impossible. Books, videos, and puzzles are great to a point, but at some point, a little guy just needs to run. I did finally relent and started taking him outside for 10-15 minutes, but goodness!

Thankfully, all of this has had a major positive result. His voice, which used to be a little rough and gravelly, has now become clear as a bell. I used to be able to hear him snore/breathe all the way in my room. I now have to get up darn close to his mouth to hear him breathe. Speech therapy is the next step. I have a feeling he is going to blossom over the next few months and I can't wait to see it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Storm Story (ND/MT Trip)

I have always been a great fan of weather. I love a good thunderstorm and have been known to stare dumbfounded at the force of a hurricane (don't worry, I was about as protected as I could get). But my favorite storm of all time happened while we were in North Dakota. And even better than that, it got caught on film.

We were up at the new shooting range doing target practice. While I was waiting for my turn, I decided to photograph Buckhorn Butte from the range.

Pretty, no? Lots of nice, fluffy clouds, great lighting.

We went on with shooting. Bullets, not pictures. When I needed another break, I picked up the camera again. And took another picture of Buckhorn Butte. But I noticed through the camera lens, that it had changed dramatically in 15 minutes.

"Uh, Dad," I said, "Don't those clouds look a little worrisome?" Dad is the native here after all. "Don't worry," he said, "We'll get a warning." Being the trusting daughter I am, I continued shooting bullets. After all, private range, chance to work out any remaining agressions, time away from the kiddo, I'm totally going to soak up all possible time. But just to be sure, I did pick up the stray pistols and ammo, so we just had out what we were actually shooting.

About 5 minutes after that, a huge rush of wind carrying dirt and debris came through the draw. "Was that the warning?" I asked Dad. "Yup, that was it. Let's go," he said. And because I am crazy, I stopped for a second to catch another picture as we were picking up the last equipment to head to headquarters.

We got up to the headquarters just as the clouds started circling

Photo by RLB because I was far too chicken to stand out there. I'm crazy, not stupid.

That night, we were treated to an amazing lightning show, dime sized hail, and almost an inch of rain in an hour. I watched the lightning off in the distance for another half hour after the storm had cleared the ranch and it was apparent that no one was going to need to hide in the well vault!

Hail does not photograph well!