June In Review

When I dreamed up weekly gardening posts, I had visions of wowing you with lush and amazing gardens. The tree limbs in the orchard would be heavy with fruit, the garden boxes would be overflowing with produce, and the newly-seeded lawn would be lush and green.

Here’s my attempt at time-lapse photography.

Lettuce Collage

Isn’t it amazing? In the last month, the lettuce has gone from two leaves to three. Sometimes reality doesn’t quite match up to my expectations. The garden is a little stunted around here, but we’ve got fences up, we’ve added fertilizer, and we haven’t given up hope. The potatoes are thriving; and even though we had a torrential downpour followed by thunder and lightning right after I transplanted some of my new seedlings, they seem to have survived.

As soon as I posted my blog on Monday, I hopped in the shower, got all cleaned up, and began opening the bedroom blinds. Remember I said I wasn’t going to plant my flowers until the rain stopped? Well the dogs decided to motivate me. I was greeted with the sight of my lovely plants knocked over and dragged around the driveway. The housekeeper arrived to find my muddy and disheveled planting flowers in the rain.

She should be hiding

You’d think she’d be fleeing the scene of the crime. I was in a fine mood at that point, but my new flowers do look good.

New Flower bed

You can read all about our gardening woes hereherehere, and oh yeah here. On a positive note, I’m sprouting seedlings like a pro. The 16 hours of light on the china hutch are working like magic. And for those of you who couldn’t tell what kind of varmint I caught in the netting around the orchard, here’s a closer look.

Catching Varmints

Puppies are a curious lot.

It’s just Cocoa trying to figure out how to get in on the fun. Her newest trick is exploring the dense blackberry thickets; I think she’s hunting mice. The problem is she gets lost and can’t find her way out. When mournful yelps float up from the sticker bushes, we just call her name until she appears exhilarated from her adventure and covered in twigs and spider webs.

Brambles 2

Christmas All Year has snowballed beyond expectations. I found a handsome nutcracker at the new Value Village, brought him home, showed him off, and hoped maybe some of you would see one at a garage sale and let me know. Well, three nutcrackers went up for sale on our local Facebook trading post, and a friend pointed me in the right direction (thank you Sandy). Next thing I knew, I was picking up these three fine fellows.

More Nutcrackers

Chatting with the seller, I learned that these were just a few from the collection of his mother-in-law who had recently passed away. He had access to more if I was interested. Of course, I said yes. I received a message just this week that his father-in-law has 175 more down in California to choose from. I do believe I’ve hit the nutcracker jackpot. My visions of nutcrackers marching down the wing walls and lining the mantle at Christmastime may actually become a reality.

Organizing my yarn projects has paid off. I have three Christmas presents completed plus a few more. I love having everything together in a “grab and go” bag. Now about our stacks of family photos, perhaps I need to add organizing them to my to-do list.

We are Making Changes in our diets by going soy-free and gluten-free for Baby Girl, and now with Sweet Miss at home we’re trying to avoid onions and garlic as well. Sweet Miss breaks out in hives when she eats them, and we love her too much to just ply her with Benadryl. I’ve been surprised at how much soy is added to everyday foods. Pull your mayo out of the fridge; I bet the main ingredient is soy bean oil. Did you know they put it in your chocolate chips and your peanut butter? We had gyros this week and I made some tasty homemade, gluten-free pitas. We’ve learned that they taste good the first day, and not so good after day two or three. Maybe I’ll just make a few and freeze the rest of the dough next time.

I was excited to make a decent teriyaki sauce by substituting worcestershire for soy sauce and omitting the garlic. Fish sauce on the other hand, didn’t work in our shrimp stir-fry. We are learning as we go. A jar of gluten-free, soy-free miso arrived in the mail yesterday. I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll add great flavor to our cooking.

We love our silly dogs, whether they’re chewing up shoes (here) or playing in the river (here). I bought a few new toys for Cocoa, although I saw Bogart chewing on one the other day. My plan is to play a lot of fetch, so they’re too tired to destroy anything.

Scruffy

It’s mostly working.

Settling In to our new layout is great. I love having the office off on its own. Now on sunny days, the computer screen is no longer washed out, but I have taken to wearing my John Deere hat so I don’t end up with a permanent squint.

Desk

With five people around most evenings, we have plenty of room for everyone in the great room watching TV or playing cards.

LR from left

If only we could finish the puzzle on the dining room table so we could have somewhere to eat.

I finished the month with the prospects of exciting solar energy (here), but we are still waiting for the final sign off from the inspector and the meter installation. I guess we’ll wait until next week to become an electricity making machine.

Array 2

While June days have been filled with the quest for solar, changing diets, furniture rearranging, and gardening challenges, the best part of this month had to be those I didn’t share with you my readers. I enjoyed five days visiting my older brother and his family in Kansas at the beginning of June. Not only did I get to see all my nieces and nephews–they’ve changed a lot in the last eight year–I visited my aunt and caught up with a friend from college.

Kansas Collage II

If you’re ever in Lindsborg, Kansas, stop in at the White Peacock for coffee, tea, frappes, and gelatos and say hello to my sweet family for me.

By far the highlight of the month was Sweet Miss moving back after her first year of college. It’s so nice to have both my babies at home.

Sweet Miss moving home with dogs

How did your June shape up?

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3 thoughts on “June In Review

  1. Pingback: Marching Into the Season | bigwhitehouseonthehill

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