Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Not So Secret Gardens, Scary Mantis, and Surprises

It hasn't been a secret around here that one of my favorite parts of home ownership is the ability to have my very own garden. There's just something empowering about being able to grow your own food. And watching the kids pick their own veggies and eat them straight from the garden just makes my day. I can't wait until next year when our garden is full-strength and not just something we threw together in late June once we'd moved in. But here are a couple of highlights...

My stunted purple bell pepper. It's a tiny little plant trying to put out a full-sized pepper. We'll just have to wait and see if it gets to full-size. But I'm enraptured by the beauty of it. Maybe it's just because I'm a purple girl, but I love it.

Swiss chard was our biggest surprise this year. None of us had ever tried it before finding a small tray of it at our local greenhouse when I was throwing our garden together. Even if it didn't grow for us, I figured it was a chance to try it to see if it was even worth growing. Nutritionally, I knew it was phenomenal, so definitely worth the dollar and some change for a taste-test. Well, I nearly wasn't able to plant it! Miss Kate kept eating the leaves and FORBADE me from planting her food! I was able to get it into the ground and we've been harvesting since. The dog dug up 3 of the 4, but we still have this very strong yellow-stemmed plant that has held together many salads. Definitely something we'll be doing every year from here on out! Plus, it's just a really pretty plant, isn't it?

With the garden and our new yard have come some visitors my kids never got to see in our old yards. We're a bit more out in the country now and have garter snakes, praying mantis, grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, moths, and so much more sharing our yard with us. One of our favorites is what Miss Kate calls the "Scary Mantis" despite many attempts at correcting her. Here's one such scary mantis. :)

Miss May found this grasshopper on our front porch today too and was very excited.

So what's this about "surprises," you ask? Ahh.. Well I don't want to say just yet. It'll be official tomorrow, so I'll totally spill the beans then. But here's a tiny hint of what I've been up to lately. A peek at what my workspace has looked like for the better part of the last two weeks...

Oh and the other surprise? This past weekend I was diagnosed with strep throat. But instead of it getting better with antibiotics, it got worse! Monday, I had an emergency tonsillectomy to remove what my ENT called the largest tonsil he's ever seen. He seemed shocked that I was still able to breathe, so he got me in right away. I'm still quite sore, am fairly well drugged up on narcotics, and really really wish I could snarf down some pizza or something right now instead of runny mashed potatoes like tonight's dinner. BUT, I do feel better overall and am expecting to heal quite nicely now. I'm also hoping that much of my illness these last couple winters will not plague me this winter now that my tonsils are gone. I'm only telling you this so that you know that if this blog post or any correspondence with me over the next couple days is...well...."off" know to blame it on the narcotics. You'd do me that favor, right? :)
I'll be back tomorrow with the big news. It's very exciting for JL Yarnworks! I can't wait to share!

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Ouch! I'm so sorry that your throat is in such a fix. Here's hoping the tonsillectomy will make things much better for the future.

Swiss chard (rainbow lights is my fave) is always the mainstay of my vegetable garden. My everyday lazy way to fix it is lightly steamed with a couple of sliced carrots (to add a touch of sweetness; with dehydrated onions and butter added at the end). The large leaves are great for stuffing with rice mixtures (blanch first to make them pliable) and chard is an excellent substitute for spinach in lasagna and many other dishes. But you probably already knew all that. The other mainstay of my garden is always the Oregon sugar snap edible pod pea. So good straight off the vine!

Wishing you a speedy recovery.