Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Misc. Ramblings

Almost 2 weeks have passed since my last post.  Eeek!  This time of year has got to be the worst for teachers.  Without going into the woes I will simply state that June 7th can not get here fast enough!
Enough of that - I'm trying to escape ignore forget that is going on at work during the time I am at home each day.  Especially since I have some fun stuff to blog about today!

While many folks were spending their Memorial Day weekend cooking out or hitting the pool, the Hubs and I were getting our summer garden ready.  In the past, we (read, the Hubs) have tilled the garden and sown seeds or put plants directly into the ground. And while this method has worked okay for us it is not optimal.  The weeds would get out. of. control.  I mean, when I had my appendix removed last summer, I thought I was going to have to get a machete just to get to the base of all the weeds.  It was terrible.  With the thought of pulling weeds after having my appendix out still fresh in my mind I begged for suggested a raised bed for our vegetables this year.  The Hubs relented and helped me being my raised bed dream to reality!

Being the dork that I am, I took pictures so I could share.  I should have taken before pics but, alas, I thought about that after we were finished.  (Okay, so I just now thought about it.  Don't judge, it's been a tough couple of weeks!)

First, the Hubs used a tiller to loosen up the soil.  He had done this once before to turn over the weeds so they would die.  This time I got to pull out all of the rocks!

We used 2x6 pressure treated lumber for our bed to help slow down the weathering process.
 After we lined them up, the Hubs screwed in coated decking screws.  He only did one at the top of each corner to start so we could move and adjust as needed for squareness. 

Once we had the frame level and square, the hubs put 2 more screws in each of the corners (for a total of 3 in each corner).  Looks good so far!

Next came my favorite part.  The DIRT!  (Excuse me, soil.  Sorry Honey!)

We did a layer of topsoil, a layer of humus, and another layer of topsoil.  We used a rake to level it all out. 

I haven't taken pictures of the garden since I out plants in it but trust me, they look pretty good!  I'm looking forward to a summer full of fresh produce as well as some extra tomatoes that I can use to put up spaghetti sauce for the winter.  I made some last year and it was really good.  It was a sad day when we pulled the last can out of the storage room and ate it.

So that's what we did this weekend.  But this post wouldn't be complete without some Babycakes...

Have a great week!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

What's Up at Wilted Acres?

I am so sorry I have not been better about posting to my blog.  This time of year is insane for special education teachers.  "IEP Season."  Kind of like deer season but not really.  It's when we are up to our eyeballs in paperwork and meetings.  Throw in some state mandated testing, warm weather, and hormonal middle schoolers and it is a recipe for disaster  margaritas evenings spent in a warm bath.  I've also been trying desperately to get caught up on writing my dissertation proposal since Babycakes was sick almost every other week (if not every week) this past winter/spring.  Can a Mama ever get a break???

Anywho, I have been trying to take pictures of some things with the thought that I would post them on here.  Since my relaxing bath is running as I type, I will post a few pics so you all don't think I've fallen off the face of the earth...

Recently, we had to purchase a new mower "sub-compact garden tractor" (that's for you,Hubs! ;-)  )  Babycakes LOVES this thing.  We have a little trailer that we use for miscellaneous yard work projects (a necessity with 2 acres) that is now used for the primary purpose of entertaining the little one.

These pictures were taken over a period of time.  The first one was in early April and the last two (with the pink hat) were taken at the end of April.  Babycakes is all about hats right now.  We will be in the store and she will point out to me anyone wearing a hat.  It's pretty cute.

Besides taking pictures of this beautiful girl, I've also been working on a couple of gardening projects.  A couple of weeks ago I saw the cutest little teacups with Johnny-Jump-Ups in them.  I was drawn to them immediately and soon realized I had a teacup exactly like the one in the store at home in my cabinet.  Trying to be a frugalista I decided to try and replicate the look for less than the $7 or $8 the store wanted for them.  I decided to keep my eye out for Johnny-Jump-Ups in the gardening areas of our local shops but didn't see any.  I had actually put it in the back of my mind until I was pulling weeds in my rose bed and saw this...

The little purple flowers hiding in the weeds are the Johnny-Jump-Ups I was looking for!  They were hiding in my weeds  rose garden the entire time! :-)  So I gathered up some supplies and set to work. First I grabbed a couple of teacups out of the cupboard.  The one on the left I bought about 10 years ago at Ross or Marshall's.  The one on the right was a yard sale or thrift store purchase from many years ago. 

Next I put some rocks in the bottom of the teacups to help with drainage (this keeps the water from pooling on the roots, thus creating the dreaded root rot).

Next, I grabbed my trusty garden trowel and weed fork (not sure what the thing is really called but it looks like a giant fork with two tines that I use to pull weeds) and got busy digging up my weeds  plants

I separated the big clump into to smaller clumps so I would have one plant for each teacup.  I used some potting soil to fill in the teacups. 

The final product...

Not bad for a "free" gardening project!  AND I'm happy to report that they are still alive in their new home on my kitchen window sill!