Poppycock and Sunshine

The adventures of a crazy girl trying to live a quiet, slower Provincial lifestyle in an hectic, fast paced, American society.

Wordless Wednesday March 30, 2011

Filed under: Chickens, organic gardening, and the like.... — May-May Golly @ 2:15 pm

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Spring has Sprung April 2, 2010

“Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.”  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

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I love spring. The newness of it all. The bareness of winter is replaced with the greenery of new life. This spring had brought about some changes though, here at the Jandt home.

My parents own our home, you see. We rent from them. And this particular spring, they both thought it a good idea to come over for some “spring cleaning” in the yard. Even though I had been working to clear things up in the yard myself, apparently it wasn’t getting done quickly enough, or thoroughly enough, for my mother went over my places again with a fine tooth comb. 😉

Now to watch my parents undertake such a thing is a sight to behold. My father is 77 and my mother 61, and yet they still can run multiple circles around me. It was a 3 day flurry. Rakes raking furiously, carts being piled high with debris, clippers snapping at their latest victim. It was quite the event. In the midst of it all, we discovered there had been a death in the family. Remember this beautiful creature that I always have cherished?

I loved this tropical plant so. It always made me feel like I was living in a California bungalow, offering privacy and a unique exotic feel. It died. How, I have no idea, but the poor thing was completely rotted through. God only knows how long it had been there.

I have always loved how wild my yard looks. Foliage bursting out for all around. Layered texture and variegated  color. And although I am SO incredibly grateful for the hard work my parents did on the place, it looks, well, like their yard now. Manicured. Clean. Simple. Not really me. Does that make me an ungrateful wretch to say that? Oh dear.

Not to mention the house looks positively naked without that big luscious plant out front. Sadness is mine. I am in mourning.

Things are in bloom, however, and that makes me so happy.

The finished walkway.

I am very lucky.

The backyard, however, is still a bit of a wild jungle.

As I mentioned, I have been working on the yard myself, when the weather permits. Please observe the before and afters of my garden beds.

Before:

After:

All plumped and fluffed and ready to go! This year I procrastinated too long and did not plant indoor seeds in time, so I shall be purchasing starts of things such as tomatoes and cucumbers and zucchini. Sadly, no heirloom tomatoes this year. Next year, I shall be more prepared. I did, however, stop by this sight and purchase heirloom Savoy cabbage, Purple Broccoli, and French Leeks!

I attacked the planter boxes yesterday, adding pretties to their clay interiors. Have I mentioned I love spring?

They contain lovely items such as cosmos and lobelia. I cannot wait for the next few months to see how they fill out.

In other news on the home front…… my delightful husband had been cooking lately! Which is also quite the sight to see. He’s so very serious about it all, and especially about his presentation. All I know is I am welcoming a reprieve from having to cook all the time. Some of his delicious dishes have included Guiness braised London Broil with Garlic Rosemary Potatoes,

as well as an interestingly tasty salad he concocted last night with Soba noodles, chicken, peas, carrots, crispy potato crisps, soy sauce, and lemon zest.

And so there you have all the updates. Spring is here. We have only one more month till our trip to Portugal! We are busy little bees working hard and saving like mad.

Pray tell, what are you up to this spring? Any new things on the horizon?

 

It’s that time again…. April 25, 2009

 

“Gardening requires lots of water – most of it in the form of perspiration.”

~Lou Erickson

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This spring so far has been so frustrating, wouldn’t you agree? Until lately, that is. Now, the weather here in dear old Washington is finally deciding to cooperate with us. There has been sun and warmish weather. Thank god! 

Which brings me to the 2009 attempt at self-sufficiency with a garden. If you remember, last year was not so much. Sure, I harvested a few good things, but not the extent that I would have liked. But it’s a new year, folks! I love the new year. It means another new beginning. If I remember correctly, a square foot garden was part of my new year’s resolution. So far, I have kept true to some of the other resolutions, and therefore am encouraged when I think of my possible success rate on this venture. We shall see. Weeee shallll seeeeeee.

 

Things are off to a good start though.

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This year I decided to save the money and make my own seedling pots out of newspaper. It’s amazing the things you can get info on through the internet.

Click on this graphic for the how-to video:

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I used some color newspaper, however I think they tell you that black and white is the best. Oh well.

Then there’s the egg cartons, those always work well also.

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This next weeks project: getting the beds sectioned off into 1 foot squares and planting the first of the greens! Keep tuned in for further developments!

 

“Hey, mama. Whatcha’ doin?”

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Bye Bye to the Cluck Cluck April 22, 2009

“Rooster today, feather duster tomorrow.” -Russian Proverb

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Remember this guy?

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Well, he no longer lives with us. No, I didn’t turn him into a feather duster. Or chicken soup. (I would be lying if I said that I didn’t think about it occasionally. Unfortunate, but true.)

No, I simply put an add on Craigslist, and a nice man from the town came and whisked him away. He now lives and reigns on 2 fenced acres. With 10 hens to now boss around. Why did we get rid of him, you ask? Well, I was tired of him trying to “protect” his girls and in the process give me another scar on my leg. The neighbors were tired of his incessant crowing and clucking and complaining. The little girls (the hens) were tired of his bossy ways and his bullying antics. I felt it was time for them to live life for themselves.  It was just time. It’s too hard having a rooster with that much personality within city limits. 

How are the girls, you ask? Well they seem to be doing just fine. They seem to love the peace and quiet. They don’t miss the fact that they had to throw their meager weight around to get to the food dish at feeding time. They don’t miss the pecking and prodding and the bossing around. Fran-fran still does her usual ugly wretched singing when she’s laying an egg for me and Greta is still her curious little self. I was so worried. Of how they would be after he was gone, that Rudy, with that strong personality of his. But they seem to be doing just fine. 🙂

Shhhhh. Listen. Hear that? Nope, neither do I! 

 

Happy Unsickiness March 10, 2009

Okay, so it was more than just a few days before I would write again. But here am I finally. The weekend was filled with sickness for me. But Sunday was a day I began feeling better. And did I ever take advantage of it.

 

Of course it had to begin with a proper cup of tea, as all good days do. (Flowers provided from the Market on friday from gracious Rich, the BF ((Read, Birth Father)). He wanted to  buy me something. Flowers it was.)

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The tea, from a grocers in Anacortes from when I was on a visit with Vic. They have the most amazing tea and spice selection. The vintage teapot, purchased years ago from a thrift store. The vintage diner mug, same story. It’s these little details that give me happy mornings.

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But of course, then there is the next step to the morning. Sitting down on the sofa with my favorite cozy quilt that Daniel’s mum made for him ( I love love love that quilt, cindy!), hot cuppa in hand, reading whatever blog I fancy, Facebooking, what-have-you. 

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Faithful companion by my side. Please note perma-boo lip. I love that boo lip of hers.

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We have a new temporary member of the family. Meet Charlie II, or as we affectionally call him, Fatty McGee. He’s staying with us for a few months until his Mommy, Nika, finds a home to buy.

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After tea and puppy snuggles, it was time to make the most of finally feeling better and not like I was going to die. This would be my back bedroom that I am turning into a office/ guest room/ art studio. That would be me, painting it.

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So what do you think of the color? I am not usually a blue person, but I really enjoy it!

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So there you have a sunday with Faith. I shall post more pictures when it’s all said and done. I expect you to ooo and ahhh and clap in glee. Okay, maybe you can just give me your opinion. 😉 That would work also.

 

The Real Truth October 2, 2008

 

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.” -George Bernard Shaw

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It occurred to me the other day that often times I only blog about my successes and seemingly good ideas in life…. and not my failures and not-so-good ideas. Now that’s just silly. That would lead you to believe that I live this sweet little life where everything is sunshine and cupcakes and singing birdies and beautiful gardens and roses and cooking and baking and candlestick making. If I have led you to believe any of those things, I apologize, for that is not the case. No, in fact there are many things that I have blogged about that were NOT successes at all. In fact are now the cause of frustration and more frustration. Not to mention, my house is usually a mess, there always seems to be an indisputable amount of laundry, and currently my refrigerator smells like something crawled in it and died. I suppose I have just always been one who does not like to DWELL on the bad parts, choosing instead to see the good. Well poo poo on that idea. So I shall now share with you some successes, yes, but also some of the nose dives.

 

First off I would like to comment on my excitment to see autumn is here at last. I do believe it’s one of my favorites. Leaves changing, temperature dropping, excuses to build a fire in the fireplace, reasons to wear a sweater, whatnot. Yes, it’s peeking it’s little head around the corner.

The leaves on the tree outside my dining room have begun to exhibit color. Yay. 

 

Success: One of my tomato plants has actually had a few tomatoes ripen!! Nose Dive: I had 3 rather large plants. I guess 1 out of 3 ain’t bad.

 

Success:

 

Nose Dive:

 

Success: My scarlet runner beans produced!! Not as well as I’d hoped, but at least I was able to harvest enough for planting seeds next year.

 

Nose Dive: The rest of my garden beds were NOT as I had planned. Unfortunately the colorful visions of the imagination are NOT always the reality of inexperience. 

 

Ah ha! But I am not deterred! Oh no, there will be another attempt next year, damn it all. I will be armed this time with lots of valuable information and useful knowledge from this book:

 

Remember the Kombucha I blogged about a few weeks ago?? Nose dive.

I haven’t separated the mushrooms in a while (they grow new babies on top of one another). The more mushrooms, also called scobies, you have the quicker the brew time. This tea was done in probably 5 days, I let it go 8. Needless to say, it was yucky. Ah ha! But I am not deterred! Oh no, not I. Today I have separated said scobies, packed a few to ship to my dear friend Victorea, and am readying the jar to re-brew. I am going through Kombucha withdrawals, damn it all. Anyways. 

 

I have also learned many things from the plants that I have killed this summer. (Poor Little Creatures.) I had all these hopes and aspirations of having these lovely colorful pots to greet friends when they approached my front porch. They died, all of them. I would promptly run out and purchase equally colorful and lovely ones to replace them. They died as well, all of them. Thus, I realized finally that my front porch gets too hot. And I’m too scatterbrained to water enough. My solution? Buy plants that can handle the heat and don’t need much water. Brilliant. The result? 

 

 

And then there’s the chickens. Daniel built the chicken coop and I tried to make it all cozy inside, in the hopes of encouraging them to lay lots of pretty little eggs. This is what I gave them….

Granted, not so pretty, I know. But I thought it would be cozy enough for them. 

Here is where they insist on laying……

Outside, underneath the ramp of the chicken coup. Gah. *chuckles* Of course, stubborn git that I am, I shall have to try other solutions to coax them to lay inside. More on that later. 

*sighs* It’s raining now, and I’ve just made myself a pot of tea. So I shall sit here now, in my blue house-robe, and read a bit….. trying NOT to think about the things I should be doing instead.(Like cleaning out the fridge.)  Glorious. 

 

 

 

Mr. Heckle and Mr. Hyde September 14, 2008

Good Kitty….

 

BAD KITTY…….

 

P.S. Look what I found yesterday…….