Thursday, January 27, 2011

if at first you dont succeed try try again

I cant think of anything better than being able to provide my family with clean fresh food. I recently read that 1 out of 6 Americans or 45 million people are going hungry. This saddened and shocked me and they say it is expected to get worse, yikes. I am so thankful that through the ups and downs life often throws i have always been able to provide clean nutritious food for my family.

After we moved i no longer had a large area to garden in so i used my library card and spent a bit of time researching and learning about container, small space and hydroponic gardening. Here in our temporary home there is a beautiful view but no yard to speak of. I was so excited and now armed with this new info i recycled and re purposed our moving stuff into hydroponic containers. I planted a pretty good mix of veggies last spring just to find out that i had a lot to learn about trying to grow anything here in this new space.

Oh my gosh, first i found that cement and the light colored house stucco is a double whammy as it intensifies and reflects the suns effect which burns the plants unless partially protected. I also learned that we have possums, a gazillions rabbits, raccoons, rats and coyotes, all of which seem to have amazing timing. I swear just prior to harvest they would swoop in and eat my stuff! So last years garden was all but a total bust. There was no freezing or canning of anything. The only successful thing i was able to grow to a harvest were carrots, lettuce and cherry tomatoes.

I found that the root veggies worked because i could cover the tops with wire. Some lettuce survived and i say some because the bunnies liked it a lot too. I finally had to put it up high so that limited how much i could grow and cherry tomatoes. After i wrapped chicken wire around them they found enough protection to grow. Hardly a bounty of food but a lot of lessons learned.

One really great thing about living in California is that we can garden all year long because we don't have a frost. So i put on my big girl pants dusted off last years disaster and decided to give it another try. I planted spinach and lettuce seeds a couple weeks ago in hopes of a spring harvest. I use pod trays that are set up in my kitchen and they are doing really well.

Today the weather was warm and beautiful and after reading this and that i was completely motivated and inspired to get outside and start prepping my containers for another round. I hope to take the lessons learned, adjust plant types and construct new and improved barriers because I've heard it said that "if at first you don't succeed try try again.

Here's wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

we're back

from the Winter Wine Road. Oh my gosh we had such a great time. The weather couldn't have been any better. It was sunny and in the 60's, I know awesome right! We spent three days living the "luxurious" life.
Visiting the Sonoma Wine Road
This girl could easily get used to living up north, thats for sure. Sonoma county and the valleys we visited were so beautiful. The wines were amazing and the people were so friendly. I suppose if you lived in an atmosphere where your daily view was watching grape vines grow, sampling wine often and grabbing fresh laid eggs you couldn't be anything but.
Mozzocco Winery
Mozzocco winery ~ yum they had some of the best red zin's we tasted.
This is at Bella Winery. We are standing inside the earth in a cave where the barrels are kept. The Maple Zin was amazing. The Maple is a grape produced and released to only a few wineries in the region.

One thing i noticed almost everywhere we went was that most wineries had a greenhouse and grew there own food, used solar energy and several even had chickens running around. I was in love, no doubt. I hope to one day soon be able to live in a place where i can expand my garden to grow grapes and keep chickens, sigh...

The ride was a long one but the music man drove so i was able to get a lot of knitting time, and you know i love that. We stopped a few times so i could get out and stretch since bad backs and long car rides don't mix so well.
taking a break too
One of the places we got out of the truck was in the central part of our state where it is all about agriculture 24/7. The air is thick, heavy and has a brownish tint with the low laying fog. This particular stop was next to a pasture where I saw this awesome fence. I love how the birds seem to be taking a break from their travels too.
Knitting was done during travel days because as you know a little wine and knitting is a fun combo but a lot of wine and knitting well, not so much especially when you have to keep count. So not much to report on the slouchy front but I did crank out dish cloths, no counting. haha

Now it's back to work and back to reality and nothing says it more clear than a 12 hour work day and an awaiting vacuum, laundry and dirty dishes. Yep, just living the dream here.


Friday, January 14, 2011

bag packed ~ check

The music man and I are going to a Winter Wine Festival in Sonoma this weekend. Its a two day wine tasting event paired with snackies at over 100 wineries. *whoohoo*. Years ago I went with my girlfriends a few times and we had so much fun. Crazy how fast time flies by, I realized I haven't been back there in over 10 years. I'm so excited for this trip I can hardly stand it because my buddies will be there too. Not to mention that I love road trips because they give me a lot of knitting time (the music man usually drives) and this one's a long one. Not sure how the hours of sitting will effect my back but for good wines and visits with old friends it is totally worth it.
bag packed ~ check
I hope to finish up my slouchy and if I do I have a couple skeins of sugar n cream cotton for dish clothes. I am really loving the things in my knitting bag these days. As usual whenever I go somewhere it is the first thing packed and thus far the only thing. I better get going we leave soon but wanted to wish you a Happy weekend. I hope it's full of things that make you wanna *whoohoo* too!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

slow and steady these days

The new year is well underway now and although I sometimes feels like my days are not as productive as I would like, I am making slow and steady progress. Perhaps these slow moving days are a blessing and are helping me to appreciate all the joy that surrounds me this winter season. blowing in the wind, still
Our Autumn leaves were late this year but when they arrived they were stunning. Lucky me, well into winter they are still falling and so beautiful.
Fresh clean food to celebrate
After all the sweets and over eating we did to our bellies through the holidays it has been necessary to get back to basics. I am feeling thankful to be able to provide my family with fresh clean food to celebrate life and our bodies.
I love my dog version of bench monday
These slower days have also allowed me to get back outside and enjoy fresh air and a daily walk with the brown dog.
Yes slow, steady and oh so good! Here's wishing you a lovely slower kind of week to enjoy the things that surround you.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

baby it's cold outside

#3 Addictive
The weather has been really cold lately with a lot of rain. We have already passed the average rain total for the whole year in just two weeks alone and temps have been in the 30's at night. I know not cold compared to where some of you live but for here it is cold. We got snow the other day in places it has never snowed before, weird but fun to see. I think some people are starting to complain but not me I think it's perfect knitting weather! I have been enjoying the quiet nights bundled up and working on my slouchy from Knit Cafe. Thanks to the corrections on ravelry I am making good steady progress.

I also started another batch of seeds for bibb lettuce and spinach for a spring harvest, yum! I am sure enjoying this cool weather a lot for it will be warm before you know it. Life is so good!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Here's to 2011

Good bye 2010
What an interesting year you proved to be. Through all the highs and lows that life often throws I was able to find a little peace, joy and thankfulness in my every day's and am truly grateful.
pieces of my 2010
1/1/11 ready.set.go

Here's to 2011. I look forward to you with such hope and excitement for all the possibilities you bring...

Projects to knit::dreams to dream::hugs to give::pictures to take::projects to sew::trails to walk::coffee to drink::kisses to get::books to read::recipes to find::meals to make::cookies to bake::friends to meet::picnics to take::time outdoors::and celebrating the joy in everyday::

Happy New Year!