Archive for June, 2012


Thank you for the birthday wishes. You all are so kind. I had a really nice day yesterday. Mellow and easy, just like I needed. After lunch with my sister and a couple girlfriends, Steven and I worked in the garden late into the evening. The colors of the garden always look even richer in the evening light.

It was also a strangely emotional day for a girl who doesn’t tend to be emotional. What was most notable was the feeling of being loved by the people who care about me, and a welling up of realizations and feelings about the life I have carved out for myself. There are things that are going so right and there are things that need some work. When is that not the case for most anyone, right? But I guess the things that need work showed up quite a lot. The people in my life, whether they realize it or not, offer a clear and quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) mirror that shows me the things I might not see left unto myself. The day of one’s birth can be a powerful time to check in, in what ever way feels fit at the time. I didn’t even have to try this year!

Is there anything interesting your like to do on your birthday? When Steven and I were first together, I remember when his birthday came around one of the things he wanted to do was to lay on the earth and sense himself within the universe. We were in our backyard in a tiny little garden we had created. I did this with him and loved this simple act of getting in touch with myself amongst life, on this earth, as a sentient, energetic, living being.

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+ I learned to make mojitos, then tried one at a restaurant… (mine are better!).

+ Family.

+ Fresh cilantro.

+ Wading together in the warm sunshine.

+ Waxing moon.

+ Warming up after a cold swim.

+ Love in a Mist, in the garden.

It’s my birthday tomorrow and one of my few wishes each year is to go swimming. Born in water in a water sign, I am in love with water. To me, summer is swimming season. With rain in the forecast we took yesterday’s hot summer day as our chance, and stole away for a bit in the early evening. It was the best thing ever.

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Loving this song right now – a new release from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Click the image for the official video, or here for the official audio.

Any current favorite music you feel compelled to share? Do tell!

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kitchen rhythm

There’s a rhythm in the kitchen which, when I notice, just makes me smile. I feel a quiet satisfaction for how much we do to care for ourselves and feed ourselves in ways that are whole and nourishing. This morning allowed for some time in the kitchen, and now a few of our staples are refilled for a while, once again…




always dishes

[and a pretty smoothie to start the day…]

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june highlight

This is a big highlight for us, every month of June, since we have lived here. One we actually wait for with anticipation come mid spring. We had our first super brief sightings on June 1st or so, but today was the first day we were able to really observe the new fauns.

This doe, from all that we can tell, is the same doe that has frequented our property, and felt safe to tuck her babies in while foraging, for the 3 years we have been here. She is a strong, calm, beautiful doe – a bit larger than the others we see here – and her prominent brow is distinctive.

Today the 3 of them came a few different times and spent quite a while in the yard each time. These little babies are the funniest most precious things we see here. There is so much silly behavior as they explore this new world. Today we saw nursing, dandelion eating, wandering (sometimes a little too far, which sometimes creates a panic), frolicking, bouncing and racing around, peeing, all the simple things of new life.

So excuse my gush of baby deer photos, I can’t help but share.

This was immediately following a reunion, after one of the babies wandered too far, getting confused and then causing concern for itself and it’s mom. Just like human babies, nursing seems to be a consolation (for all of them?) after these kinds of events.

We treat our yard as a sanctuary as much as we can. While deer create a challenge for us as gardeners (yes, I have been super bummed and irritated at times when that plant got chowed to the ground), I don’t think we would trade easy growing for the lack of their presence here.

Just a little aside – These photos were all taken from inside the house, with camera zoomed in (in low light on this very rainy day).

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summer days


It’s officially summer.  *big sigh*  Hello summer evenings and sunny summer days!

We spent some time out on the patio last night, to soak up the onset of these long summer days, sip a glass of wine and talk about the garden. It was a beautiful night after a truly summer-like day. It seemed like every bird around was chattering and singing… At one point a little side conversation sprung up….

A: sniffsniffsniff   wow, it smells like…   what is that? reminds me of my mom, home, my family.

Wow, waffles! sniffsniffsniff   Sweet and toasted.   Smell that??

S: Smells like burnt sugar. And wheat? It’s interesting how smells can trigger whole memories of things. How they can have so much meaning.

A: We used to have breakfast for dinner pretty often growing up. Waffles, pancakes, scrambled eggs…

S: That does smell pretty strong.

A: [deep in thought] – thinking of her childhood kitchen and the old waffle maker they had. Remembering the feeling of family all together, throughout the house, as dinner was cooking…  (Amazing how fully I was taken back)

. . . .

A: Suddenly alarmed, pulled out of deep thought, BOLTS out of the chair and races inside. Oh my gosh! It’s US!!

The beans! And oh crap, the pots are stuck to the stove!


A & S: Roaring laughter! (good grief!)


[Apparently, burnt pinto bean juice smells like waffles. And waffles remind me of Mom. Steven managed to get the pots off the glass stovetop by prying a wooden spatula under them. And luckily, all that was burnt was boiled over liquid, and our enchilada makings were not ruined after all]

Happy solstice friends! Enjoy these summer nights!

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The gardener, and the essential sun hat.

Melons doing well. Just need to figure out where to put them…

The new planter boxes, built by the builder, have been filling up with herbs this week – mostly transplanted portions of herbs we have been growing in other areas of the yard. So far we have a few varieties of oregano, marjoram, a few varieties of thyme, and chives in them.

Ground cherry, a husk tomato. Thank you Amy! I had never heard of these until Amy shared about them a while back.

Artichokes ready for picking.

I think we are going to have a great winter squash harvest this year.

The hoop house! This is our biggest garden project of late. Steven (the builder) has been busting his butt on this. I am happy to say that we finished it today (shown here just a few hours prior to completion). We have a few small details to go, but it is totally secure and functional now. I am super excited about the potential here.

Tomatoes were the catalyst for the hoop house project. I planted 25 or so tomato plants back in May, not really expecting to keep them all.  After tending them all this time, it would be hard to see them do anything less than their best, and I have to admit, it would be hard to give any of them away either. Some serious labors of love here for the last couple months, with multiple transplants and daily moving outside and inside, tracking with the sun, keeping them safe from wind and rain and deer. Half of them are lined up in the hoop house tonight. Their first night out! I can just FEEL their excitement. They are so ready to get into the ground.

Marigolds. A late and feeble attempt at pest deterrence. It has been a tough spring with root maggots. We lost almost an entire cucumber planting and recently discovered the whole kale patch has hatchings of these fly eggs as well.

Round 3 on beans. This time waiting until they are pretty well established to put out in the garden. Why do slugs like beans so much?? They have eaten 95% of them literally down to the ground. I keep talking about slugs and a possible solution here and will try to get my act together soon… been so busy I haven’t fully been able to get the results I wanted to report on.

Purple basil. New for us this year. Smells amazing (of course!), and the color is so pretty.

Genovese basil.

This photo is kind of unrelated, but I wanted to share this fleeting view up the driveway. Right now, just a week or so later, that explosion of rhododendron color is gone until next year.



Well the gardener has been quiet for a while, but she has had her hands full. It’s starting to look like a summer garden out there, but it’s taken some real patience to get to this point. A long cool and wet spell brought a record lot of root maggots. I could have taken pictures for you, but maggots are just so gross. After a bit of frantic research I purchased some beneficial nematodes from our neighborhood nursery. I am feeling hopeful about this organic pest control method.  I’ve done 2 applications now in the kale bed, and am watching closely. The lady at the nursery said she has also had successful results with beneficial nematode treatments for pear slugs, so if any of you with fruit trees struggle with those, you might give this a try. Our plum and cherry trees get pear slugs (aka cherry slugs… the leaf eating larvae of the sawfly) every year, so I will definitely be trying it there as well.

I thought I went way overboard with cucumber starts this spring, but in the end I am so glad to have extra plants. Not gonna let maggots get me down! I have a serious love for kale, so am really hoping what’s left out there makes it.

I’ll share more about the hoop house soon. Hopefully tomorrow I will plant all those tomatoes in there!

What’s happening in your garden these days? I’m curious, what are your worst pests?

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a few things

+ Coming soon, a few summer satchels and various pouches. In between my work schedule I have been squeezing a little something new in here and there for the sake of my own personal enjoyment (in the end it’s really all for you though ;) It is starting to amount to a fun little shop update.

+ There has been a modification to the construction of the Rucksack straps. I think this change is here to stay. The straps should be better able to handle the stress of heavy loads over time.

+ New postcards came in last week. I am loving this new selection. I also had a few printed with some photos from the garden last year for personal use. I have never been one to have note cards on hand. It’s a luxury not to have to go hunting for a “nice” scrap of paper when ever I want to send a little note, and they make me want to write more letters.


It’s the golden hour here right now. I love the light this time of night, as the sun sets on the trees.

Have a great night all.

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early june

foxglove season has arrived.

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Erin Wallace, the talented photographer behind A Love Supreme photography, has shared what she would bring with her if her house was burning down, over at The Burning House. Do you see that there bag? Yes? Awesome. See more collections here. So interesting to see what people have chosen, and to think what would I bring in such a situation. What would you take with you if your house was burning?



photo property of Erin Wallace

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