Posts Tagged ‘garden’

And the World Continues Turning

August 12, 2014


Hey there. I’d ask you how you’re doing, but you’re a website that just hangs out, and this conversation is entirely one-sided. But that haircut is fabulous, dear. Just superb. Sooooo, a number of big things have changed since we last spoke!

That new house I had mentioned moving into? Well, we did, with the help of a diverse group of friendly people armed with high fives and arms around boxes and toasts of cold beers. That little house we moved into has proven to be better than we anticipated. The backyard we initially viewed under a blanket of snow? Best thing about the place. We’ve planted all types of veggies and fruits there (with some help of our next door landlord/master gardener) and I’m currently buried in produce that I’m trying to preserve/can/dry/soak in alcohol as fast as my free time allows. Plus the adjacent patio is the ideal entertaining/happy hour location, and we’ve been soaking up sun, fun, conversation, and contemplation in that little spot as much as possible.

Surprisingly, this is BEFORE the garden went nuts. Now you can't even see that trellis with all the tomatoes, cucumbers, spaghetti squash and zucchini that are snaking their way through it..

Surprisingly, this is BEFORE the garden went nuts. Now you can’t even see that trellis with all the tomatoes, cucumbers, spaghetti squash and zucchini that are snaking their way through it..

The previously mentioned next door landlords? Oh, are they the definition of Good People. They built us raised beds filled with the best soil. They tore down an old shed and built a new one, stocked with all the yard and garden care equipment we could need. They’ve had us over for cocktails in their beautiful and immense backyard, and they shared their family’s Easter feast with us. They’ve introduced us to a bunch of other really super nice neighbors. Heck, they even waved me over one Sunday morning and gave us a couple of freshly made crepes stuffed with fresh crab and topped with creme fraiche. Truly, truly great, generous people. Our hesitations about living next to landlords are gone.

A big change is that I am no longer driving 120 miles a day to a job marketing tasty craft beer. It had been a long and emotionally tolling job search.

(A quick aside with a few examples of that endeavor… I was a final candidate four or five times over the course of 18 months. I was offered a very mediocre [but well paying] job marketing a product in which I had no interest… that I turned down. I did a shit-ton of research on every place that I applied and produced detailed, personalized cover letters over and over and over again, oftentimes to no response and no avail. One snowboarding clothing company VP had me write an after-interview essay on digital marketing strategies, and after I sent it to him I never heard from him or the company again. Trust me, the list goes on.)

I loved the brewery, loved the product, loved the people, loved the place. Still do! But it wasn’t working for where I wanted to go and where I want to be. When I was offered the new gig of being a full time designer for a wholesale home decor company, I bid a friendly adieu, toasted a few pints with coworkers, exchanged a couple tears with my boss, and very amicably parted ways.

This is my first time being a 100% designer (no hyphenated job titles or duties for this gal!) and it’s already been so exciting. Skills are improving, influences are growing, confidence is… biggening. Biggening? Getting bigger. Broadening. See? I’ve stopped including “copywriter” in my job description and look how my vernacular has languished.

In the three months I’ve been there I’ve already traveled to Memphis and Atlanta, and will likely head to China sometime within the next six months. One of the neatest aspects is seeing conceptual products that I’ve roughly illustrated or patched together in Photoshop turn into real, three-dimensional products that don’t look like utter crap! I’m not diminishing my skills with that statement, it’s just amazing to see something I once considered a hobby, an afterthought, not even my major, turn into a full-fledged career that produces items that people will purchase and give meaningfully to friends or bring out each holiday.

Go to Memphis for the first time? End up in a "Who's Who of Memphis" magazine.

Go to Memphis for the first time? End up in a “Who’s Who of Memphis” magazine.

We’re midst a summer that’s already been a busy whirlwind, and as per usual I’m already bemoaning the oncoming fall. I haven’t gotten enough of a tan yet, haven’t jumped into enough swimming holes, haven’t napped outdoors, haven’t played enough. The weekends are quickly filling up and still it feels like not enough time before the rains return and I can’t comfortably drive around with the windows down.

That all being said, life is darn peachy right now and I couldn’t complain a bit.


Reasons why having a garden is worth it…

September 28, 2010

homegrown organic vegetables produce cat

… Going outside and harvesting a bounty like this, just steps away from my kitchen. I made a big ol’ saute/mash with these glories for dinner (added spinach, chickpeas, fresh herbs and a sweet potato), and have leftovers for 3 other meals before even finishing all of this off.

Fabrizio, as you can see, totally approves.

(pictured: three zucchini, Early Girl and Juliet tomatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, rainbow Swiss chard and four lonely soybeans)

product of usa, fresh tomatoes, garden, veggies, produce, organic

Photo of the Day: Fifty-Eight

May 7, 2009

I told you my backyard was overgrown. Hopefully we will be taking care of that on this upcoming sunny and warm weekend.

When I got home from work I came out back to see the wisteria blooms before they started falling off. It ended up being a 15 minute playing in the tall grass and weeds photo session with my cats. You can just tell how excited they are when I come outside for the season and actually *play* where they hang out all the time. They even show off. Merlot was racing up trees, Fabrizio was stalking Merlot in the grass… I took a ridiculous number of photos of them and the nicely lit vegetation.

The chairs you see below are a couple I salvaged and for which I have yet to paint and make new seats. They’ve been artistic additions in the unruly yard for a few months now.


Photo of the Day: Fifty-Six

May 5, 2009

It was just in recent days that with a heavy heart I came to the realization that I simply do not have the time or money for the vegetable garden I’ve been dreaming about since November. A year and a half ago I had removed (poorly, might I add) the scrabbly grass in my backyard and had planted a wayward, free-form veggie and herb garden. Things were going great until I was gone at a wedding for a week in late June, when the garden exploded and I never quite got caught back up with my weeding.

While it was rather unruly, it did produce some splendid tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, peas, beans, a plethora of lettuces and greens, squash, gourds, eggplants, strawberries, several mint varieties and one round pumpkin. There were failures in the brussels sprouts, corn, English cucumber, dill and garlic, but everything else handled pretty decently. My dreams for this year’s bounty grew with every page turned in seed catalogs.

But with the change of employment (and awkward financial standings after being unemployed for 5 weeks and then working for meager pay at a temp job for 7) and now spending 75% of my weekends in Portland with my hairier half, the garden simply isn’t plausible. Sadness.

In the meantime I’ll put what focus I can spare on my front yard, which is mostly ornamental flowers and shrubs, such as this allium in half bloom. I couldn’t wait until it was a full, spherical puff ball of purple before snapping this.


Now the dilemma remains: what to do with the backyard that is quickly turning into a lush forest of green grass (I told you I didn’t get rid of it all), weeds, and the few perennial plants when I simply don’t have time to maintain it? Advice, ideas…? HELP!

Photo of the Day: Day Eight

March 17, 2009

While yesterday’s snowfall is of little indication, spring is officially here on Friday and my first crop of spring flower bulbs have finally started poking their inquisitive leaves out of the soil. Dreams of this year’s vegetable garden grow bigger in my mind than the weeds I had last year.