May 3, 2012

we like peas

due to our being “in transition mode” i only planted one 4′ row of bush peas this year.  i thought we’d at least get enough for one or two meals.  i still have some yet to harvest, but yesterday this was all we got:

just enough to garnish some penne pasta with shallots, pancetta, and alfredo sauce.

after i picked them, i set the bucket down on the porch to tend to something else in the garden.

i guess we aren’t the only ones who love fresh peas.

May 1, 2012

happy may day!

April 26, 2012

portable property

even though we are tentatively planning on moving late this summer, i couldn’t bear the thought of a summer without tomatoes, which, if all goes as planned, would be  coming on just as we’re getting ready to leave.

i’ve heard through the grapevine that this could potentially be the summer for tomatoes.  the last two years in a row the weather here has been so hot, and the spider mites so bad, that few tomatoes were to be had. but this year, this year, could be… The Year.  and i don’t want to miss out.  i decided to plant them all in plastic buckets, so that, come time to move, we can bring them along.

i purchased a series of plastic five gallon buckets at lowe’s and husby drilled holes in the bottom  to allow for drainage.


i then loaded them up with soil, dug a little hole and added some egg shells for a calcium boost.  this was a little trick i learned  that helps eliminate blossom end rot.  it really does work.


i put in the plants,  labeled them….


set the cage around the plant, and placed them in the back of the yard where they should receive the needed 6-8 hours of sun a day.

in addition to one ancho pepper plant, i have two roma tomatoes, and four cherokee purples.  we decided to add some grape tomatoes, and i wanted to give something new and funky (for us at least) a try: a cream sausage tomato.

the buckets, along with all the other things i have in pots in preparation for the move, really make the yard look junkie, but, they are happily growing and i’m keeping my fingers crossed for homemade spaghetti sauce (the romas), and roasted tomato pie (the cherokee purples) prepared in our new kitchen late this summer.

April 24, 2012

my kale has started going to seed.  we usually eat it up rather quickly.  but this spring i just haven’t been harvesting it as often.

who knew that red russian kale produced such pretty little blossoms?

who knew that this kale,

this cole crop, whose cooked “aroma”  hangs in the kitchen for days afterward,

when combined with blue batchelor’s buttons that have self seeded,

could be




April 23, 2012

with tuppence, for paper, and string…

…you can have your own set of wings

with your feet on the ground you’re a bird in flight…

with your fist holding tight…

to the string of your kite.

let’s go fly a kite

up to the highest height

let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring

up to the atmosphere, up where the air is clear,

oh let’s go fly a kite!

(can we go home already?)

April 19, 2012

random thoughts on turning 40 tomorrow

~two decades ago i turned twenty wearing a red laura ashley sailor dress and long hair.  today my hair is shorter, layered, and showing some silver strands.  my housewifey wardrobe consists of cropped yoga pants and hoodies.  i confess though that i miss those pretty, feminine laura ashley dresses of the ‘90s.

~two decades ago, my mortal fear was that i would never get married.  today i am scared silly of developing jowls and a turkey neck.

~i still feel very much like a kid.  when my husband asked me what i wanted to do to celebrate my big day, i said  i wanted to go fly a kite.   i don’t feel any different turning 40 than i did turning 16, also wearing a laura ashley dress.  the first one i ever owned.   i still have it.   it is in the bottom of my cedar chest, tucked underneath the red sailor dress.  i’ve never been able to give them up.

~my husband suggested i whip out the sailor dress and put it on for old time’s sake, but….i’ve grown since.

~speaking of apparel, i still love the same sneakers and ballet flats of the laura ashley decade.  i will celebrate the arrival of middle age( ish)wearing floweredy sneakers.

~in the same cedar chest, to the side of the laura ashley dresses, lie  a stuffed teddy and three unused rolls of beatrix potter nursery wall paper.  life doesn’t always pan out the way you expect.  i thought by this time in our lives my husband and i would  have a busy household with lots of little people underfoot.  we don’t.  instead, our home and weekends are very quiet.  although this change has been an adjustment for both of us, we’ve come to value the quiet. life together is very rich.  if one looks for it, every cloud has a silver lining.

April 16, 2012

moving the maple

when we signed on with our builder the original plan was to start around the first of this month.  we’ve had some nasty weather however, and for that reason, things have been delayed by a few weeks.


i’m so excited about our new place, but decluttering, getting rid of things, putting everything else in a box, and moving it all from here to there – not so much.  in order to make the process easier i’m starting early and just doing a little bit at a time; sorting through and packing up the things we don’t use on a daily basis.

this includes some of my plants.

yes, i plan to take with me a few things growing in my yard.  one is a japanese maple given to me by my parents.  the other is a rose bush given to me by a dear friend.

i know it seems really crazy to try to bring these along when they are both pretty happy right now where they are, but they mean a great deal to me.  they have very great sentimental value and the thought of leaving them behind in the care of someone who doesn’t know what they are and why they are there is unbearable to me.  so they are coming along,  even though they may not like it.

we started last weekend with the japanese maple.

we located the largest plastic pot we could find, about 20″ and drilled holes in the bottom:

i put stones in the bottom for drainage:

we filled it with a small amount of potting soil:

and then we set to work digging her out.  well, my husband did that.  i took pictures.  here she is:

we worked, and worked around the base; digging and lifting in order to get a good sized root ball.

pause here for a brief look at the east side garden:

the majority (if not all) of these plants will stay here.  i’m still undecided about the siberian iris….

back to the tree.  we then lifted her out, and placed her in the pot.

we then added some more soil, some mulch, and with the help of a wheel barrow moved her to the back porch.  we have no pictures to document this little journey because i had to put down the camera and hang on to her to keep her from toppling out of the wheel barrow.

she made it though just fine, where we positioned her and watered her in.

i was pleased that she showed very little signs of stress and seems to have transitioned quite well.  so well in fact, i’m thinking we may keep her in a container permanently and use her for the outdoor seating area of the master bedroom we have planned for our future place.

isn’t she lovely?




April 11, 2012


my husband and i had just been talking that morning about how it was just a matter of time.  i had been saying that i felt much more comfortable with our “plan b” in inola, than the “plan a” in skiatook.  among other reasons,  it seemed less likely to me that we’d encounter a venomous snake on our grassy acreage, than in the woodsy, rocky terrain we had looked at previously.  nevertheless, we do have a pond; and the pond is home to frogs.  we also have tall grass, and the grass, i’m sure is home to rodents. since snakes eat frogs and mice,  it was just a matter of time before we encountered an unwelcome reptile.

i hate snakes.

i hate them with a passion.   they terrify me, and i, for some strange reason seem to attract them.   i ended up with one in my lap once.  i was preparing to  demonstrate the use of a pedal sewing machine to a group of central american ladies, when the little fella who’d been sleeping down in the well of the machine, crawled out onto my lap.  that experience wasn’t what gave me a mortal fear of snakes.  i had it before then.

so last weekend we took a drive out to the property to see how the water tap was coming along and we decided to explore the perimeter of the pond.

when all of a sudden husby exclaims: SSSNNNNAAAAKE!

to which i responded: omgomgomgomg.

but for some unexplained reason, instead of heading to the car, i had to have a look at it myself.  so i proceeded to omg over to where sweetie was standing.

sure enough, there curled up in the grass was a snake.

perhaps it was because it was just sitting there, nonchalantly, not seeming to really give a care that we were there that i decided to leave it alone. it didn’t budge, it didn’t bat an eye.  it just contentedly napped in the sun. under normal circumstances i’d have sought out the nearest blunt object and proceeded to hack it into a million pieces (i’ve actually done this to a large grass snake.  much, much easier said than done, in case you were wondering.)

to the best of my limited knowledge (the snakes of OK website) he is a graham’s crayfish snake (who is graham?), called so because he eats, well, crayfish as well as frogs.  and as far as i can tell he is not poisonous.  i know this, not because i looked at his pupils, but because he didn’t seem to match any of the “venomous snake” photos on the snakes of OK website.

so we’ve christened him “zeke” and for the time being, i’ve decided he can stay.  we feel he probably contributes to the natural ecosystem and that system is best left undisturbed.  should, however, zeke decide to explore my garden some afternoon, contentedly sleeping or not, he’ll meet the sharp edge of a garden hoe.

April 9, 2012

the water tap part 3

the newest addition to our farmette:

…and it is the most beautiful ugly thing i have ever seen.

April 7, 2012

lovely lettuces all in a row…

from back to front: red velvet, yugoslavian butterhead, and amish deer tongue.  i’ve worked on these since february.  we’ll probably consume them in about a week.   i definitely need more space….