Monday, July 21, 2014

popsicle weather... & a spontaneous parachute

It's been hot here lately. Definitely popsicle weather. Last week Jeff made us popsicles and they were much enjoyed. Most days Jeff watered the garden in the morning while I made breakfast, but sometimes we watered in the evening. I watered a few times in mid morning and it was already getting really hot by that time. I seem to remember I used to move Bracken's pool every other day to  a new location last summer. This summer we have to move it every single day to a new spot because with the heat it kills the grass underneath so quickly.

Before Bracken was born I had a long period of time when I didn't get headaches, I was pretty happy about that, thinking perhaps I could say goodbye to them for the most part after making so many diet and lifestyle changes to improve my health. (I should have knocked on some wood. ha!) After his birth I got them on a rare occasion. Lately, though, I've been getting a headache every month, like clockwork, when I get my moon. (Meaning it's hormone related and I just went back and read this post a second time with tips about balancing hormones. I already do many of those things.) I got a headache Friday night that turned into a migraine. On Saturday morning I woke up to get ready for market and had a light headache lingering. I figured that as I got up and moved around it would go away. Usually a headache is gone when I wake up, but if it isn't it usually goes away once I get up and moving. But the light headache stayed with me and then started turning back into a migraine later in the day. I was just trying to get through the day and I wasn't myself at market that day. On top of that it was really hot and I'm not a person that does really well in the heat. At home I can escape to the cool of the shade or house, but at market that day I just felt like I was melting. (Thank you to the blog reader who came and bought the green cowl I knit! I was walking Bracken around and am sorry I missed meeting you in person!) I've come so far in my health, learning to take better and better care of myself over the years, but I still have so much to learn. The migraine was a loud wake up call for me to start listening to some things my body and intuition have been telling me I need. I got a good night sleep on Saturday night and then Sunday morning I woke up feeling incredible with the contrast, being pain free.

Apparently, even if I learn something the hard way, it takes awhile to sink in. Last week I had taken the SD card out of my camera to upload the pictures to my computer. I forgot to put it back in and took pictures only to later realize that none had been saved. Such a bummer. But I chalked it up to a learning experience and luckily, I didn't have that many pictures I cared about that time. Over the weekend, though, I took some pictures that were really special to me. I came home, so excited to look through them, only to discover that I had taken the SD card out on Friday night, given it to Jeff to upload the pictures and in our hurry to prepare for market (and in my migraine-state) we completely forgot about it. Double bummer. I wish the camera wouldn't work at all when there isn't an SD card in there. Hopefully this time the lesson will stick.

I didn't originally intend for this post to be about the garden, but I started taking pictures out there. I guess many of my posts end up being about the garden this time of year. This morning Jeff turned one of Bracken's play silks into a little parachute and gave his doll, Grandmother Larkin, a ride. I love when Jeff has spontaneous inspirations for fun things to do that delight Bracken so much. When he was first making something, though, and they were about to head out the front door to try it out, part of me wanted to insist that everyone finish their breakfast first before they went out to the yard on some adventure. But then I saw the light shining in both of their eyes and decided to go with the flow, not be a party pooper, and join in the fun. Bracken was so delighted and I had a blast taking pictures of the silk floating down after Jeff threw it up into the air. One time I got very close to the landing site and it landed right on top of my head. We all thought it was so funny and then Bracken said he wanted it to land on his head and ran towards it the rest of the time trying to make that happen. 

And to explain the other pictures: 

Our friend makes the most delicious guacamole. I love dipping carrots and celery in it. I've tried to recreate it, but was missing one of her secret ingredients: garlic powder. Need to add that next time.

We're getting some squash flowers and some runner bean flowers now. In previous years, I've never been so excited for them to flower before, but like I said, this year I felt anxious for them to because of our summer mason bees. Speaking of the mason bees, I love going over to visit their home when I walk by to see if there is any activity. Today I saw for the first time that there are some holes that are filled, you can see leaf material, which is a great sign because it means they're laying eggs in there. (We can save the cocoons through the winter and hatch them out again next summer.) I got pictures of one mason bee as it emerged from one of the holes this morning. As if that wasn't excited enough (to me, anyway), I went to harvest some calendula flowers, discovered a mason bee collecting pollen in one, and got pictures of that. I love seeing the back legs all covered in pollen. Mason bees are so cute and tiny. I just think all bees are pretty fascinating. 

Bit by bit we harvest the calendula flowers and the mullein flowers and it adds up (much more slowly with the teensy mullein flowers.) I know I mention those quite a bit, but every time we gather some they are so pretty that I want to take a picture. And every time I take a picture and post it here, I feel like it needs an explanation. We save some for the bees and I also leave some calendula flowers to let them go to seed.

A few ecchinacea flowers are blooming here this year. By the time I went to take a picture of one today, it was starting to fade, the petals shriveling up. 

Jeff reserved some of our cilantro in the garden to let it go to seed. He pointed out which plants he wanted to save so I wouldn't harvest them. He has always loved coriander seed, using it in his cooking as much as the supply lasts. When I first tried coriander seed when Jeff introduced me to it, I wasn't a fan. Now I find that funny because I really love it now. 

And the last picture? The flowers from the wedding have probably tripled in size since Jeff and Bracken planted them in Bracken's blue pot. (It's his special pot where he plants his own things. Right now it has two onions, one marigold and the flowers from the wedding. Hidden beneath the dirt are a whole bunch of "Bracken Appleseed" bits that he has collected at mealtimes.)

I think that explains them all. Wishing you all a wonderful start to your week. 


Sunday, July 20, 2014

G r a t i t u d e * S u n d a y

 G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y
{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.} 
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If you would like to join us, see below. 
Our gratefulness feeds one another. 
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Throughout the week I've felt grateful for:

...Bracken's wonderful idea to put some of our blue hydrangea flowers in a vase and bring them to a friend. She loved them. (Later he brought someone over to the table and proudly pointed to the flowers, saying they were from him.)
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...Being able to fall back asleep for awhile after I woke up super early one morning.
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...An overcast morning with perfect lighting for taking lots of pictures of buttons for our Etsy shop.
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...Outside time followed by a good nap for Bracken (and good work time for me.)
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...Jeff working his magic, transforming simple scrambled eggs with onions, zucchini, and cilantro.
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...Having coconut oil back in the house again after we had run out. And noticeably increased energy each day when I have some of my favorite coconut oil! I know I've said it before, but it's really true.
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...Watering the garden while Bracken played in his pool.
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...Learning. Even when you learn something the hard way, which is not always fun. (Lesson learned: when you forget to put the SD card in your camera, your pictures won't be saved. Kind of a no-brainer, but still not fun to realize after a photo session.)
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...The neighbor who came by to help life something heavy. We wouldn't have been able to lift it without him.
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...Organic avocados on sale. And then seeing they were perfect inside when we opened them up.
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...Three prayers answered in one morning, not long after I prayed.
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...Having fun at a friend's birthday party. 
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...Our neighbor giving us lettuce starts right after Jeff said to me that we needed some lettuce starts.
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...Having a husband who is so creative and willing to learn new things. And for all the help he gives me in learning new things (especially tech related) that overwhelm me. 
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...Seeing two cutie pies in the handknit hats I made them.
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...Meeting our friend's baby boy, almost one month old and just as precious as can be. 
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You can read more about the inspiration for Gratitude Sunday here

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Link the URL to your blog post and not to your main blog URL.
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Whether your week flowed smoothly or you had a rough one, taking the time to focus on what you're grateful for always makes things better and will bring you a happy heart!
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What have you felt grateful for throughout your week?
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Gratitude Sunday

Friday, July 18, 2014

an evening surprise

 On Wednesday night I was in the kitchen, washing up the last of the dishes so we could get dinner made, when Jeff hollered in the backdoor something along the lines of "Taryn, come out here!!!" then... "And bring your camera!"... and finally "And a colander!" Jeff and Bracken were crazy excited and I had no idea what they were going to show me. I'd been all over the garden, what could there be to harvest that I didn't already know about? The anticipation was crazy. I followed them into the greenhouse where they pointed to a bale of straw with huge grins on their faces. Mushrooms!! Lots and lots of white elm mushrooms! Remember our little mushroom experiment? Well, it was a success! (Thanks to Jeff keeping it watered regularly. Thank you, honey!) Jeff pulled the plastic down from around the straw a bit more. I started taking pictures. It was so late in the day, I wasn't sure if any would turn out. Jeff harvested some and we were all giddy about it. Harvesting mushrooms in our own backyard? A dream come true. When we came inside, Bracken and I did a happy mushroom dance in the living room.
The next morning Jeff asked me if I could bring the colander out again. There were even more mushrooms to harvest than the night before! I was amazed at how quickly they grow. After I took some more pictures and harvested a bunch, I brought them inside and rinsed them off. We enjoyed them in scrambled eggs and frittatas and they were delicious. (The timing was so perfect because Jeff had just said that the frittatas I was about to make really needed some mushrooms in them.)  This morning Jeff went out and harvested more and cooked them with our breakfast. We're really loving this. White elm mushrooms are a new favorite.

P.S. We'll be at the Eugene Saturday Market tomorrow. Hope to see you there!