Monday, March 31, 2014

This And That.

On Friday I met up with Eva and Tamber and got to meet baby Gus. He is such a happy babe, smiley and lovey. Catching up with these girls and their littles was so restorative and filled my friend-cup. I've missed them.
On Saturday we celebrated Tim's parents retirement. We are very excited for their upcoming adventures and having more free time to do what they most love.
We also celebrated Tim's dad's birthday.
Grady is still working on candle-blowing etiquette.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Afternoon Peace.

While tidying the house this afternoon I happened upon this sweet Goo and his "lil' guy". Immediately I wanted to switch places with either of them, my eyelids feeling so heavy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I am happy. My garden is in a plantable state; fencing up and secured, soil mended, beds mixed and marked off, planting schedule and map arranged. Yesterday I direct-sowed 2 varieties of beets, 2 varieties of carrots and radishes. Today I transplanted the broccoli and kale I started weeks ago from seed and direct-sowed spinach, malabar, arugula, red romaine and mustard greens. I'll continue to sow seeds of all these early crops throughout the upcoming summer, say every two weeks, to extend my harvests well into next fall.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Making Things Right.

Last Thursday I picked up Ivy at the bus stop and as we walked home she started telling me about how a boy was scaring her on the bus and so she and her friend got down on the floor and hid from him. She said Mrs. Nelson didn't like it and got her and the friend in trouble. I was upset Ivy was riding unsafely on the bus and very glad Mrs. Nelson caught her and put an end to that danger (I may have gone into dramatic details about what could happen to her if the bus crashed or how her actions put others in danger). But I wanted Ivy to make it right, I wanted her to take responsibility for behavior. I told her she had to write an apology letter. She cried. And yelled. And then had a tummy ache. Then she begged me not to make her do it. But she did write the letter and when we walked to pick up Savannah at the bus an hour later, she gave the letter to Mrs. Nelson.

The next morning while walking Ivy to her classroom, Mrs. Nelson thanked Ivy for the note and making it right. She said "I don't get to many notes like yours." and then really quietly so just Ivy and I could hear, "Like never."
Ivy was so proud.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Babes.

Wrenna's goats had their babies and these kids are so sweet!
Ivy holding Kona just hours after she was born.
Lina, such a good mama.
And Ruby just hours after her babes when through a rough birth. I am so proud and in awe of Krista, Kevin and their little girls. They all camped out in the barn last night and helped these mamas through their first labor. This is the family's first experience in animal husbandry, what champs!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Making Amends

Over the weekend Tim and I set the garden's fence posts (bah, that sounds so easy but it wasn't, we were dog tired after mixing and pouring cement all day). We rototilled and leveled the two sites. Then our friends Kevin and Krista brought over sustenance, knowing exactly what we needed as they are currently finishing up their own major fencing project.

Yesterday the mushroom compost arrived. This is what 6 yards of living soil looks like.
I have never been so excited about smelly dirt before this pile arrived. Can't wait to amend our naked soil with this compost. So rich and healthy.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

(thank you Margaret and Gordon for the glasses and treats!)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Toothy Milestone.

Ivy Jane has a new smile! We have waited anxiously for this wee tooth to grow free. Loosing her first tooth has been such fun for Ivy, she has thoroughly enjoyed the extra attention and having something special happening to her. While this tooth was wiggling out, she was so brave and rarely complained. This afternoon she bit down into a chippie and the little pearl fell out into her hand. She started to loose her cool, fearing the blood, but all the sudden she and I jumped up and down with glee. Ivy has written a note to the Tooth Fairy asking her to leave her tooth under her pillow so she can save it. So darling. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Progress and Pain.

So this is the lava cap I mentioned. These rocks in the wheelbarrow came from a narrow 2x10 ft. by 6 inch deep pass of the rototiller (ugh). It's like digging up potatoes but a little less gratifying knowing I can't store these rocks for the winter. At least I'll never have to dig the craggly bits up again.
Happily, I made a breakthrough on that mess and the rest of the upper garden space was easier.
So far I've broken a rake, a shovel and a post hole digger. see broken tools above.
You can't imagine the sense of pride I have in this plot of land right now. My body aches in that way in which I know I've done an honest day's work on the acre.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


So this is the progress on the new garden site. Many years ago the previous owners terraced fruit tree boxes on the acre. Over time the land has shifted and what once was level is now a gentle slope, likely due to water run off. In order to plant my garden in North-South rows (thank you Master Gardeners classes!), I need to level the garden site.
This is proving more challenging than I hoped, The Hut sits on a lava cap (enter local winery jokes here). What I hoped I would finish in a few hours will likely take me the next three days to complete. Balancing this with a cranky Goo is a juggling act.
Last week's MG class on "Soils" encouraged gardeners to love their soil and it will love them back. If true, harvest is going to be amazing.
Oh look, only this much more to go...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

38 and 1.

Today has been such a beautiful day. Tim and The Littles have spoiled me on by birthday. We went to the antique fair, Tower Café for brunch and spent the evening with Tim's parents here at The Hut enjoying good company and a tasty dinner. A full year of 37 was wonderful, I can't wait to see what 38 feels like. Today also marks the 1 year anniversary of Izzie-pug joining our family, obviously she had to wear the obligatory family birthday hat.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Worm Farming/Vermiculture.

A few Saturdays ago I took a class offered by the Master Gardeners entitled: Worms and Worm Bins. I wasn't overly excited about sitting through this particular class and was even more annoyed when I couldn't bring my coffee into the lecture hall but after 10 minutes of presentation, I was hooked. My friend Krista has had a worm bin for some time now and uses the castings or vermicompost on her ornamental plants. Another girlfriend Tara had been telling me about an article she read about Worm Bins and so we made a date and decided to become worm farmers. Vermicompost is a nutrient rich, organic fertilizer for gardening. I get really excited when I think about the benefits of vermicomposting here at The Hut, and I am a few months away from any real change but here is what I am thinking: outside of the obvious reason I have for worm farming (NUTRIENT RICH ORGANIC FERTILIZER!), The Hut now has another way to break down refuse in this house=no garbage. We already recycle whatever we can. My Lovelies get all the table scraps they will eat minus citrus, coffee grinds, garlic, onions, egg shells or fats and meats. Worms eat what the chickens won't (citrus, coffee grinds, garlic, onions, egg shells) aside from meat. So really, the only "trash or garbage" we will have here is meat (which we eat very little of anyways) and The Goo's diapers. So essentially the only thing trash in this house will be diapers. I've got to get organized about the sorting of all this but you know what? I am very excited about less waste.
Tara distributing worms.
Teaching The Littles.
Luxen loving his worms.
Olive, Ivy and Savannah.
(thanks for the photos Tara)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Say What?

If someone would have told me a year ago I was about to acquire a pug and a flock of chickens, I would have shook my head in disbelief and convinced them how wrong they were. Then I likely would have made sure it didn't happen because that is just how I am. A year ago I was quite pleased with the ease and flow of our home life without a single domesticated animal to call our own.
But here I sit. With a pug, resting her chin on my shoulder. And 12 chickens, 5 of which currently reside in my dining room (in a brooder box). It's amazing right? Our hearts, and their capacity to love. My heart overflows for my furry and feather-y loves.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sprouts And Hope.

Do you see this? Look closer...
All my seeds have sprouted save the peppers. And I've yet to plant many other seeds of other vegetables and herbs (some will be directly sown) but here we are with the promise of a prolific harvest ahead. The photo above is a variety of broccoli called Purple Peacock.  
Look who's feeling better! Chicka is still a bit slow and lethargic, but she is drinking and eating on her own which eases my worry tremendously. She's a tough little Lovely.

Monday, March 3, 2014


Chicka is sick. I think something is stuck in her crop. I've been hydrating her with water and olive oil, feeding her yogurt and cottage cheese, massaging her neck, wearing her tied to my neck -- all suggestions I've read on chicken-lover forums and discussion groups. At this point only time will tell if she can pull through. Worry is occupying my mind.
How was your weekend Hutters? What are you looking forward to most about this coming week? My weekend was easy and fun. We spent time with family friends, I enjoyed a girls' night out with book club (we read this, so SO good), My friend Tara convinced me to do a long run with her (8 miles!), I went to a gardening class and we spent family time here at The Honey Hut. This week, I am looking forward to the rain which is buying me some time to plot out and plan my next steps towards putting up the garden fence. The amount of work needed to be done plus the lack of knowledge/time it takes to learn equals a very large sum of puzzles and second-guessing. My hope is to have post holes dug by the end of the week. Happy new week ahead!