Sunday, April 29, 2012

Updates...and growing love

I was hoping to get some stuff done this weekend....but it's still super frosty here at night so gardening is on hold... :(  And regular domestic matters are kinda taking priority over getting anything fun or creative accomplished... :(  So I'm kinda feeling a little bit "rutty" lately.

On a positive note, health and fitness goals are still on track. :)  I'm meeting with a trainer Wednesday to get a little bit of an actual plan going.  I'm ready to take everything to the next level, but am not really sure where to begin.  So I'm excited for that.

So no updates or anything today really.  But I do have a beautiful bit of poetry I'd like to share with you that I read this morning on block-a-day.  (Love! her blog.)

The light of the soul throws sparks,
can send up flares, build signal fires,
causes proper matters to catch fire.

To display the lantern of the soul in shadowy times like these,
to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both,
are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes

This piece speaks to me in so many ways.  Ever since I was very young I felt that our souls were such powerful, powerful things...and yet, at the same time, so very fragile.  Maybe it was the overwhelming love I had for Jewel growing up and her influence on me at a very impressionable point in my life.  <3  But I do feel  that each one of us has so much potential for love and kindness and beauty...or not.  And unfortunately, it's the "not" that we seem to see more of lately.  I feel like we're experiencing a terrible disconnect in our lives today and that we need so desperately to grow love wherever and whenever we can.  But that no one seems to know, realize or care that that's the case.  For me, I see it in everything from people not waving to me on my runs through the neighborhood (are they too cool? too busy? am I invisible??) to the "me first" attitude that I've experienced first hand on more than one occasion this week (the details on where and with whom I'll leave out...).

All you can do, though, is work on yourself.  I'm glad I opened my blog reader this morning and that these were the first words I saw...I am far from perfect and am so grateful when a beautiful reminder like that falls into my lap.  From a kinda rough week, I was instantly drawn back to center and experienced a great little meditation moment dwelling on those words.  So - many thanks to Lily for sharing.

As for me, I will continue to wave at my neighbors.  We're all just people.  A smile from a stranger always brightens my day, so smile I will. :)  I'll continue to try, and try harder, to extend kindnesses to others and think of the effect my words and actions will have on others before I speak and act.  If it's not our job to make the world a better place - whose is it?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dirrty Dirrty!

So our dirt was delivered last week and this past weekend we were able to get all of it moved into the garden beds!  Woohooo!  First we had to lay mesh down and attach it to the walls so no pesky critters can creep in and snatch my veggies.

Moving the dirt was one heck of a job.  I'm a seriously lucky girl to have two strong men folk in my life who like to help me do stuff like this. <3

I swear I did help (even though, again, the pictures do not show any evidence of it), but the boys did most of the work.  Shoveling dirt is no joke.  I definitely got a good extra work out in that day. :)

Next step - fencing.  Lots of fencing.  And maybe getting a few good buckets of some super rich compost to act as fertilizer and food for my new babies once they're ready to go in.  So excited. :)  And so much more research to do!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Professor Nerdus Owlus

I just wanted to share with you the finished pics of my Professor Nerdus Owlus plush.

He's the latest custom order I had been working on.  And he actually went out to his new home about a week ago, but I wanted to make sure he arrived home before I shared final pics with everyone. :)

And here's his little bio that I whipped up to go along with him:

Prof. Owlus is a slow and steady kinda guy.  He’s been around a while.  Seen his share of things.  He knows that the most important things in life come to those with patience and determination.  He also believes that a good education and knowledge gained from world experiences trump pretty much all else when it comes to being an interesting and well-rounded sorta person – er, owl.  And yeah, he does his own taxes, plays chess and enjoys a nice cognac at the end of a hard day, sure.  But what he really likes is playing a rousing game of Clue with his grandkids and going out late-night on the weekends to watch the stars with Mrs. Owlus.  Sometimes they stay up all night and get pastries at the local breakfast cafĂ©.  He may be entering his golden years, but you can bet your bum he’ll still teach you a thing or two about how the good life should be lived.

Do you love him?  I do. :)  

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Garden Plans

Our dirt was delivered yesterday. :)  A great big pile of composty organic goodness.  It takes a certain kinda person to get excited about dirt. Haha!  But it's going to be a lot of work getting it from point A (the spot where it was dumped because our yard is too soft still so the truck wouldn't drive to the beds) to point B (the beds).  More pics on that later hopefully.  :)

But for now, I wanted to share my grand plan for the garden layout.  Let me just start this by saying - I really have no idea what I'm doing.  I've done (and am still doing) a bunch of research, trying to learn about each kind of plant and its needs and spacing and stuff like that.  But I'm so open to suggestion and tips - so bring 'em on!! :)

Here's what I whipped up the other day:

Click pic to make it bigger...
And here's a close up of my handy dandy little veggie key: (remember in school when you'd have to do assignments making maps or graphs or something and you had to make a key and color code everything and put all the little details in?  I loved those assignments.) :)

Sadly, you see "sweet potatoes" have been crossed off my list. :(  I don't think Michigan is an ideal place for growing sweet potatoes.  As much as I friggin love them.  From what I'm reading online, they need a long, warm growing season - which we don't really have.  I'm gonna talk to a few actual people though - at the greenhouses and such - and see what their experience is with them.  Maybe I can still do them.  We'll see.

That big blank space in the back on the right is still open.  Jon thinks we should just plant more tomatoes.  I kinda agree.  We eat the crap out of tomatoes in the summer.  And I really want to learn to can this year - so tomatoes would be a good (easy!) option for that last space.

I'm so excited about all of this.  Pretty soon, I'll get to show you this!!:

Ok, maybe not quite.  After all this prep and time and $$$, I'm just hoping I don't mess the whole thing up.  Haha!  A couple months of solid, healthy veggie production...heck, how 'bout just not killing all my plants before they produce....that's all I'm hoping for.  :)  I think I can do it.

What about you?  How does your garden grow?  Are you planning it out yet?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The proof is in the pudding

The raised bed construction continues.  This weekend, while Jon dug the holes for the posts, I dug up the grass out of the raised beds.

Go ahead and ignore the fact that I'm wearing my snowmobiling boots as garden boots...
Well, one at least.  It was a lot of hard work!  I was pooped!

...also ignore the fact that yes, apparently my tongue sticks out when I work.  
Now we're looking into some local dirt and manure places.  I'm kinda scared at the amount we're gonna need to bring in....  A lot.  I'm assuming a lot.

Well, that's all for now!  Just wanted to stop in and prove that I'm actually gettin in on this garden bed action.  Boys aren't the only ones who like to play in the dirt. :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wheel of 'Phantie Colors

I'm super excited about the custom order I'm working on right now.  (If you're not a regular here - check out some background pics here.)

I love working on new things.  And especially for super sweeties like this elephantie's future owner. (Hi Kaila!)  I got a good portion of the fabric cutting done - the body's going to be this awesomely soft, almost crushed velvet kinda stuff I found a while back and knew would be just perfect for something.  Someday. :)

But now it's time to pic out some accent pieces.  I picked a few of the prettiest, elephantiest fabrics I have in my hoard collection and need to give them some time to swim around in my brain.  Ultimately, I'll probably pick between two and four patterns.  But they have to be just right.  What do you think?

By the way, I left both pictures fairly large - so if you click on them, you can take a good look.  :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I'm Getting Beds!

Raised garden beds, that is!  I've been wanting some for so long.  We were going to make some last year - but just never got around to it in time.  But this year - construction is already underway!

My he-man helpers.  I'm so lucky to have such a great guy...with a great family.  They're so supportive of all my crazy dreams and ideas.  Jon's dad is even on board with me getting chickens! :)

I know, from this post, it probably looks like I just stood around and took pictures.  But there was quite a bit of pre-construction that was done in the garage before we got to this point.  And I actually helped a lot!  I got to drill stuff and everything. :)  Oh - and lug these giant sides out to the middle of our yard.  That was fun.

I'm kidding - it really was a lot of fun.  I miss my family a lot (they're in CT) so getting to work on a project like this with my honey and his dad really made me happy.  It reminded me of when I was little and my dad and I would build stuff together.  Granted I was just a munchkin back then - but he would always include my sister and me in his projects around the house.  <3

Overall, with a little know-how and the right tools, I'd say this was a pretty easy job.  Definitely a three-man (woman!) job at times - but not too hard to figure out.  And a great workout by the way! (Speaking of workouts - guess who is currently .8 pounds away from her first target weight goal as of this morning!!!)  :)  Woohoo!

Oh, also - as much as I love our house, please excuse its current shabby-ish appearance.  It's Spring and we haven't done much any yardwork yet.  Also, we're in definite need of a paint job this year.  (Any suggestion on colors? I hate the current ones...)

And here's ^ the boys putting some of the last screws in for the day!  They also added a support beam on each bed across the top in the middle to hold these loooong suckers together.  (I didn't realize how big they were going to be!  They're 4' x 16' - plenty of room for lots of veggie goodness!)

Today we're planning to get the holes dug for the posts, the grass dug up and get the beds into place so that later during the week we can locate some good dirt and possibly get it delivered before next weekend!  I'm frigging excited!  I hope my gardening skills turn out to be at least half as good as my enthusiasm for gardening.  Haha! is your weekend going?  Any of my fitness nuts have any news they'd like to share?  And really - what color should we paint the house??