Girl, interrupted

I’d just like to clarify that I’ve never actually seen that movie. Girl, Interrupted, I mean. But then again, I’ve never seen a lot of movies that appear to belong to the “you HAVE to see this movie to belong to the American culture” class. I get a lot of eye-rolls from my husband when he’s talking about some movie and I tell him I haven’t seen it.

But enough of that.

Want to apologize for disappearing from blog land yet again. Between moving, a visit from my parents-in-law, a new part time job and no Internet access at home, I’ve found little time for blogging. I also can’t justify driving nine miles to town to use Internet at a coffee house. Sorry, blog friends.

However, I am starting school next week (and taking the bus into town to save the environment and my wallet) and will have reliable Internet access five days a week. So the blogging shall return!

Thanks for being patient. 🙂

How does your garden grow? … Mine? Slowly.

OK, I’ve been promising a garden update for some time now. So here it is! It’s been an interesting season for me. I live in a place that’s sort of on the cusp of both zones 3 and 4 (less than 100-day growing season). Which means it’s hard to grow here! I would have liked to start planting in March, but was delayed until May because of snow and frost. So my garden looks woefully behind those of friends in friendlier climates it would seem. But despite that, I’ve had some successes, some failures and overall a fun time.

In the front garden, I planted an assortment of flowers and raspberry cane. The flowers that are thriving are bachelor’s button (the photo above) in white, lavender and blue and orange poppies. My sunflowers are coming up FINALLY, but they’re only six inches or so tall and I don’t know if they’ll make it to six feet before the frost. They’re Mexican torches, supposed to be bright orange.

There was a bee buzzing around the poppies yesterday.

I have to be careful to water the front garden every day. I usually dump two water pails on it, most of which goes to the raspberries. Since the garden is south facing and narrow against brick, it’s a hot place and the flowers and raspberries need a lot of hydration.

My romaine is going positively gangbusters. The spinach bolted at the first sign of heat (sigh), but the romaine just keeps on going. We’ve had a number of salads from the romaine patch now! Those salads always taste fabulous because about five minutes before they were eaten the lettuce was still in the ground.

The rhubarb is still growing like the giant beast it is. I had to somewhat decapitate it yesterday because it was shading out the beans. The carrots, which I’ve gradually thinned, seem to be growing well. When I thinned yesterday, I pulled out some tiny carrot nublets. Despite being only a centimeter or two long, they were delicious and orange! I thinned the onions again, as well as the rainbow chard. The pumpkins and squash I planted must have drowned in the couple long rains we got a few days after I planted. Alas, they wouldn’t have made it anyway, I don’t think. Too short a growing season.

Raspberries and romaine from the garden.

I also toddled up the street a few houses to snap some photos of a neighbor’s flower garden. It’s really quite beautiful. The folks who live in the house must have the garden planted in a succession because there are have been flowers there since May and they’re always changing.

These red and yellow sunflowers are called Velvet Queens. The pretty white butterfly was having a heyday amidst these beauties. In addition to the Velvet Queens, the neighbor’s garden has some great orange lilies, but I’d have to go up the stairs and into the garden to gets good shots of those and well, that’s creepy.

The neighbor’s garden.

In other news, my husband and I are moving about an hour east Friday. We’re moving so we can both go to school. Shawn will be doing most of the commuting, but I’ll be taking a free bus to campus. I’m so excited for school to start! I am so NOT excited to move. The only thing that’s really keeping me going on the packing process is the knowledge that the new apartment has a dishwasher, washer and dryer. Amenities I’ve lived without for four years. It’s time to rejoin modern society. Huzzah! I’m sad to be leaving the garden behind, but we’re planning some veggies raids later on in the season. On the positive side, though our new apartment doesn’t have a yard or space for a garden, we’ve already located a community garden nearby that I hope to join.

I hope your gardening this summer has been successful and delicious!

Big news

I’m sure those of you who follow this blog semi-regularly have found that I’ve been posting pretty rarely this summer (this post is long enough to make up for that, trust me). And it’s not because I’m so busy there’s not enough time for blogging. Quite the contrary, actually. But there’s a different reason I haven’t been doing much blogging: I’ve been adjusting to my life’s new normal, to some very big changes.

Big changes like I’m pregnant.

I found out I was pregnant while in London in May. I’ve always been the girl whose periods you could set your watch to (sorry if that was TMI), so while overseas I had a growing dread, knowing I was late. So I popped down to a Boots pharmacy around the block from the apartment where we were staying one day mid-trip. I didn’t have much cash on me, so I opted for the cheapest pregnancy test. I was probably just freaking myself out, right? I’d missed a period before from stress, so it could happen again, right? Anyway, I waited an agonizing 24 hours to take the test (you’re supposed to take the test in the morning right when you get up). The instructions said to wait for three minutes for results. Well, my results were immediate. No theatrical sitting on the toilet in the bathroom waiting for the test to confirm or deny my fears like the movies. There it was, the pink line. Oh. My. God. I hurried back over to Boots and bought another pregnancy test, praying for false positive. The test I bought was twice as expensive and boasted of a “conception counter.” I didn’t wait until the next morning but took the test right away: “Positive. 3+ weeks.”

From the beginning, my thoughts have been conflicted about this new development. This is not an opportune time for me to get pregnant. I’m going back to school at the end of this month for a bachelor’s degree (my third… it’s ridiculous, I know) in sustainable crop production. I’m shifting my life away from a career that wasn’t working and I’ve been so excited about it. I spend my free time reading books about organic gardening and homesteading. I fantasize about the CSA I hope to operate one day, planning out the little things and dreaming big. And Shawn and I have been married less than a year. Our big plans included having children in about five years. On top of this, to say money is tight is an understatement. Shawn and I are relying on loans for this round of schooling and the bill at the end is not going to be pretty. I’ve been unemployed for three and half months. The Phil Vassar song “In a Real Love” has been playing on endless loop in my head since May: Continue reading