Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Garlic Harvest & Creating Support

It's been a while since I gave you an update on the state of our garden. So here is where the garden was exactly one week ago. Honestly, at this point I had done little besides water it a few times and harvest some greens. But it was starting to get unruly and I was feeling bad about all the neglect.
First up: staked the tomato plants, which were starting to creep along the floor of the bed. Clearly this was an over due task, but better late than never! I bought a package of 6 stakes for $6.99 at the local hardware store - since I happen to have 6 tomato plants I took this as a sign from the universe that I was making the right choice in my method of support. I took advice from the University of Maine on this method and I'm excited to see how it goes.
Last year I caged the plants but  eventually they out grew the cages and the weight of the plants made them topple over. Husband built an ad-hoc support/brace for the cages to deal with the problem but that eventually required the support gardening tape to tie them off. Basically it was a mess.
Next up, I caged the bell peppers and the jalapenos. I am happy to report that I actually managed to get cages around the peppers before they were too big to actually cage. This is the definition of success I'm working with. 
Next up, havest the garlic! Garlic is ready to be harvested when the tips go yellow. I recommend heading over to A Way To Garden for all sorts of helpful information about caring for your veggies. I love her site!!
 This was the best smelling chore I've ever had!
After I pulled out all of the heads of garlic, I hung them in garage where they will dry for the next several weeks. In total, we have 13 heads of garlic drying out in the garage. 

Last but not least I awkwardly added last years cucumber trellis back to the bed. Again, I should have done this earlier in the year but too bad so sad, I didn't. They will figure out how to climb up it eventually. 
I wish I could say the neglect our yard has suffered has all been brought back to pace with this recent work, but there is always more to be done. I'd like to figure out a way to grow the squash vertically, I never planted the cantelope. (Next Year?) The yard hasn't been mowed in weeks, weeds have taken over every bed in the yard and as you can tell from the photo below white clover has taken over our lawn. Ah, well! It's summer! I'll take any reason I can to be out doors. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Snap Peas!

Yesterday on my walk around the yard I came across something very exciting! 
 Snap Peas!!
 And they were delicious.
These little guys made my day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

House Tour: Living Room

On with the house tour already, you say! I couldn't agree more. 

Here are some old photos of our living room, they date back to about March 2011, just a few months after we moved in. In this first photo, I am standing in the stairwell looking down at the living room. This was the first of many many ways I have tried to arrange this room. What I like about this arrangement is that the rug we have is actually proportional to the set-up, it makes use of that over-sized, yet insanely comfy chair and people can pass through the living room without walking in front of the TV. What I don't like about this arrangement is that the couch was way too close to the TV and it the room only seat three people (comfortably) and there was a lot of space not being used. 
Here I am standing beside that over-sized yet insanely comfy chair looking up at the stairwell. See all that space behind the couch, it was basically just a hallway area. Not much going on.
This photo gives you a better look at what was actually being utilized in the room. Also you can see clearly in this photo that we have a whole other room off the living room. We call that room the sun room/white room/library. It also is not being utilized to the best of it's ability.
Standing in the door way of the sun room/white room/library you see how the living room flows into the dining room. 
From the dining room, one heads into the kitchen, make sense?
And the kitchen, originally looked this...
But now we are off topic. Let's go back to the living room. One of the most exciting things about transitioning from being a renter to a home owner is the power to paint a room. To paint it whatever color you want, and to not have to worry about painting it again, until you feel like it. So that's what we did. And it went from this...
To this...
And for a while that held us over. But soon, we wanted more improvements. And also, we needed somewhere to put all the books piled up around the house...(see the very bottom right corner of the photo above...piles of books, books, and more books.) 

Which meant our living room went from this (please refer to the green above for a more accurate depiction of what the room really looks like)...
To this! Yes, we love books THAT much. 
Since these photos were taken, we added new floor to ceiling curtains, got a real entertainment center/tv stand, rearranged the furniture about 50 times, bought some shelves from IKEA for our cd's (to add much needed symmetry and storage) and now our living room (more or less) looks like this.

And this. 
So the theme of the living room now is....wait for it...RANDOM. I would love a rug that actually filled up the space. And some furniture that wasn't made for giants. My dream is to have seating for lots and lots of people in this room. But it's so awkwardly long and it's right in the center of everything that it's hard to find good fung-shway. 

Now is that part where I twiddle my thumbs and wait for you to give me brilliant comments on how to best arrange this space. Ready..Set...COMMENT!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Weekend of Epicly Awesome Proportions

Ah Summer! It's my favorite time of the year. I love the heat and the sunshine and being out doors. I do not love being on computers. And, as you may have already noticed, it's hard to blog when you aren't on a computer. So be warned, these blog posts will come at you inconsistently at best over the next few months. But I really will try to at least make weekly posts. 

On that note, the ZF's had a wonderful summer weekend. Full of all the things I love. Good Food. Reading. Bikes Rides. Farmers Markets. Friends. And breath taking views. For the quick & dirty re-cap keep reading.

Friday night Chris and I went out for a fancy dinner at Meritage to celebrate his 31st year. We had tiny tuna tartar tacos, and an amazing House-Made Merguez Sausage w black olive purée, couscous, baby sweet bell pepper, lemon, micro cilantro and harissa phyllo (see below). I had the special for dinner, which was some dang good crab and Chris had some very good fish. Overall it was a delicious meal, although, if I'm honest I thought it was a bit over priced. 
Saturday, we biked to the farmer's market in Lowertown and ate delicious breakfast sandwiches. It was my first bike ride through downtown, and despite my fear of biking down the Smith Ave Bridge all went well. I would even go so far as to say that it went better than well. It was awesome. When we got home, I made a few planted terrariums. Then I set about to reading for the rest of the weekend. Oh, summer, you are divine!
There was about an hour or so of weeding our strawberry patch that also happened.. Which also resulted in picking strawberries. 'Twas well worth the weeding time. 
Sunday evening we celebrated the birthday of a dear friend, (who also happened to be our roommate for the last three weeks or so). On the way home we caught this sunset from the top of the high bridge. 
It was stunning. And the perfect ending to a lovely summer weekend.