Finally Friday

Not that it matters much around here for me since my class is a Thursday through Wednesday class instead of Monday through Sunday, but Jarell being home for the weekend is ALWAYS the best part of the week whether he’s been working here locally like this week, or out of town.

I’ve been a busy bee lately between gardening, baby creating, (and creating for the baby), working on assignments, trying to get some¬†cleaning done (not much, but some…), and running the various errands that go with my life. Monday I hit some thrift stores with J11 to look for some clothes for our annual Sisk Birthday bash that’s coming up. If you’re new around here, you won’t know there are 14 kids in my husband’s family, each name starting with the letter J (hence J11 is the 11th child) and, even with 2 kids who are still strict Jehovah’s witnesses, 1 that lives out of state, 1 we prefer to pretend doesn’t exist, and one we don’t see very often because her life is “complicated”, that’s still 9 birthdays to celebrate every year. A lot of those birthdays happen to fall in April so to make things easier, several years ago we started doing annual birthday parties for the April birthdays. This year, we’re combining everyone’s birthdays into one big event (yours truly included) to make things a little easier on this mama to be. The theme this year cracks me up because it is so appropriate for us. We’re doing a Redneck Bash. So the trip to the store was necessary in order to get Jarell a shirt I could rip the sleeves off for his costume. I myself plan to be ‘barefoot and pregnant’ which is just too easy, but should be fun.

While out at the thrift stores I scored some adorable baby clothes for super cheap (think 90 cents a piece!) so that made for a fun day.

Tuesday I overdid it in the garden getting corn, beans, okra, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, eggplant, and quinoa seeds in the ground. That evening I had to have Jarell just about carry me because with my hip problems + that wonderful hormone, relaxin, I took about 2 steps from the couch and got stuck. The pain was literally too much for me to move. So Wednesday I took a lukewarm bath with epsom salts to loosen things up again and took the day easy by helping my mother in law pick out plants for a flower bed around her house. We got mulch to fill in and spent the last hour tearing out weeds and the super invasive but delicious smelling chocolate mint that had gone haywire there. J12, 13, and 14 helped out to varying degrees- they’re practically grown up and at that age, but still really good kids so they pitched in. I hope to get over there this weekend with Jarell to finish the job.

Yesterday I spent too much time online entering giveaways for diapers and other baby stuff- figured hey why not. When I decided I’d had enough of that, I got to work in the garden again, this time digging a 16 foot long by 8 inch deep by 8-10 inch wide trench for my asparagus crowns. I’m glad to finally have them in the ground because I really want an asparagus bed and I was dreading the work that went with it. I took the tortoise way out and went slow and steady so it wasn’t so bad. I even took a break in the middle to plant zinnias next to my beans since they’re supposed to be a good companion plant.¬† Last but not least I set up a bed with some yellow straight neck squash inter-planted with nasturtiums for bug control. I’m really getting into companion planting this year because I want my garden to produce as much as possible so I can preserve it and feed us this winter. Its a huge undertaking, but having a baby on the way is a big motivator.

Today I’ll be hitting the library, doing an assignment, and then getting back in the garden to try and finish up with a few more things. This weather has been beautiful, but its crazy. My daffodils, crocuses, tulips and grape hyacinths (muscari) are all blooming at the same time and on Wednesday I saw irises blooming down the road! Fought off the first mosquitoes of the season yesterday and the ticks have been out for several weeks. I’m not complaining tho because getting the garden in now is a blessing since bending over is getting uncomfortable. Hopefully I’ll have some pictures soon to verify all this hard work but for now, Happy Friday!

Oh and a P.S. if you’re on Pinterest, come hang out with me here!

Let it SNOW!

Well I promised to show you all pictures of the cake and I have them now. The before and after shots no less because it did not end up making it as an ice cream cake *sigh* but it was still one of the best damn homemade cakes I’ve ever had. (even tho I baked it)100_3129copy

This picture is the before shot. I had made two layers and an ice cream layer was waiting in the freezer, but I got antsy and put things together too fast and the result was this- melted ice cream everywhere. So I scrapped the bottom layer and the ice cream that had gelled into and inedible mass and was able to completely salvage the top layer (thank god) for the next attempt. Back to the mixing bowls where I used slightly different color combinations on the purple so as to have a contrast when the cake was cut that would be more visually pleasing and cooler too. *grins*

Enter the final product100_3147copy

Sorry for the silly string in the picture- we were in a hurry to eat cake and the darn can is such an attention hog that I gave up and let it have its moment in the spotlight.

With regards to the title of this post, we finally got our only big snow of the year here yesterday and of course I took pictures. I was only mildly disappointed about spring not getting here sooner because I have a hollyhock that I bought at a garage/garden sale on my kitchen windowsill that has been blooming since Christmas and its saving me from being sad about the lack of green and growing things. The snow is so beautiful that it hurts to look at (literally) but the only shot I got that I think is worthwhile so far was this one.

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I was waiting in the truck while my husband picked up some games from a friend’s house when I noticed a fallen fence in the rearview mirror. When I turned around I realized it was the fallen sides of a dumpster enclosure (not the nicest apartment complex) but I loved the way the shadows sat on the snow and it had a nice background of a wooded creek bed so I jumped out of the truck hoping no one was watching me take pictures of the dumpster fence and snapped a couple of shots. Then before my darling dearest could come back I was back in the truck and the snow had even melted from my boots before he got back so he was never any the wiser of my strange antics. Not that he’d care, but its my tender dignity at stake here so…. thats that.

The only other news around here is I’m getting my seeds started for the garden this year. I’ve got a bunch of early girls planted in newspaper pots and I have more pots to fill and make too. The snow put a bit of a damper on that activity as it made me feel like we might get a bit of real winter here after all so I’m lobbying for sledding rather than thinking of my plant placements just now.

Au Revoir for now mes chers invisibles

Sproing!!! Sproing Sproing

No I’m not completely mental, just a little bit. I’m just happy because spring seems to finally be showing its little head around my house. I went outside today to check on my babies and as they were running and jumping after I let them out of the fence I decided to investigate my bulb plantings. And I am ecstatic to say that many of them are grinning up at me from above the ground. There were hyacinths, lilies, irises, and grape hyacinths along with the ever present wild garlic all topside now. No actual flowers but lots of green that wasn’t there two weeks ago and the hyacinth is even going so far as to have buds showing. I’m absolutely in heaven because that is definitely one of my favorite smells in the whole world. Jasmine, roses, wisteria, hyacinths, irises, freesia and gardenias all make me smile for hours. On a stranger note, I’m beginning to be a bit suspicious of Tink’s marked weight gain over the last few weeks. I can’t say anything for sure but she seems to be getting wider and I’m a bit nervous that the increase may mean puppies. I’d be happy but Jarell maybe probably would not. Little Pepper is getting bigger but I realized the other day that she’s the same age now as Tink was when we got her and only about half the size. This may not seem that odd, but Tink only got a little bit bigger and is a very diminuitive Labrabor by most standards. I’m hoping this means that Pepper will be small because big dogs are a little harder to contain. She might be Beagle which Jarell would like. We’ll see I guess. But thats enough about flowers and puppy dogs for now. I’m off to do something productive.

Tiptoe thru the tulips

Its me again because as I went out for my walk today, (self-enforced exercise regimen that I avoid as much as possible) I was reminded that I meant to talk about my first sighting of the true messengers of spring. I’m not speaking of the bluebird or the robin. I’m talking about the ant. Inside my house in my bathroom on the floor and although he was only a scout I’m sure he’s planning on inviting all his family and friends to join him soon. It was a combination of chills and thrills for me because I hate having my house overrun by the six legged kind but knowing that spring is finally almost here is a wonderful relief. I have lots of hopeful egg cartons full of starter mix and herb seeds that I check daily to see if there’s a sign of green. In a fit of future ambition I will start some vegetables too. Its my yearly ritual and only once have any of these starts actually made it into the garden so I’ve got my fingers crossed. I was also ambitious enough to order a bunch of trees from Burgess my favoritest of all times seed and plant catalog so I have my work cut out for me. Just thought I’d share this random info with my invisibles.