Gardening and Such

Yes, it’s been a while. Sorry. But I am thankful for those of you that keep reading even though I’m not taking the time to write. And I may have found a blog skin that fits me 🙂 See, the pictures at the top change every.single.time. Which means I have a different look every time I refresh the page. And that, my friends, is what I was looking for.

And now I will try to fill you in on every detail and inundate you with photos.

First off, we have big Chloe news! Overall, we’ve had a great homeschool year. She’s had a nice break from the grueling schedule she was on and she loved it. Mostly. She doesn’t like to do her school work. But Chloe doesn’t just want to be with other kids, she *needs* to be with other kids. Halle and I can lean towards being loners but not Chloe (or Amanda for that matter). So after looking at several different options we have decided to put her in the Academy. Yes, we went through this last year. But I never considered putting just Chloe in and the only way we could have done it last year was for me to work there. And I have to be honest with you, I don’t really want to work. You know, outside of what I already do. My ultimate goal is for both Chloe and Halle to be in the Academy and to have two days a week to myself. This year though, I’ll have Tuesday and Thursday to really dig into Halle’s lessons with her. And hopefully to really have some fun too. Admittedly, all I’ve thought of so far is that it will be fall and Halle, Daisy and I could walk downtown or at the park.

Oh, and speaking of homeschool, we’re still at it. For about another month. We had a lot of sickness this past fall that put us behind and we’re running into some summer sickness too. I’m a bit bummed about that. It’s far too pretty outside to be sick.

The weekend before last all of the Buttons headed to Lebanon (not like the country, Lebanun is how they say it in Middle Tennessee. And there’s nothing I can do about it. Also Santa Fe, TN is pronounced Santa FEE…please don’t get me started) to do some shopping. We don’t go there often because it’s an hour-ish away. And since we were headed that way, we decided to call our friends Kris and Mary to see if they wanted to grab a bite with us. They live in Mt. Juliet (which is delightfully pronounced correctly) which is close to where we were going to be. They ended up inviting us to their place which was great because with 5 kids between us I think we got more time to talk rather than meeting at a restaurant and trying to keep 5 kids happy. We had a great time and ended the evening with homemade cream cheese ice cream topped with strawberry freezer jam. I’ve had a lot of ice cream in my lifetime and none even comes close to that one. It tasted like strawberry topped cheesecake. And I’m now a *huge* fan of freezer jam.

Yesterday was Father’s Day and Travis had to work. All day. He left at 8-ish and got home with 16 minutes left in the holiday. So we’ll be making it up to him later. I could complain but I won’t. I’ll just say that when this season wraps up I’ll be very thankful. I want to finish this current season well. And I’m thankful that he has a job that enables me to stay home with our kids. And that is all I have to say about that.

The garden. I took photos last week and then we got a bunch of rain.

My tomatoes last week…

And this week…

Okay, it’s not a huge difference but I did get a couple of tomatoes last week and there are a couple that are nearly ready. I should have gotten more than one plant but I was still undecided about how much gardening I was going to do this year. Actually, I’d lost my mojo in lots of areas. I’ll talk about that later. These tomatoes meet with Trav’s approval and he said that these taste much more like a big tomato than smaller ones usually do. So I think that’s a good thing.

Basil…it actually sparked a little gardening mojo in me. I’m not sure why but I’m so happy I’m growing it this year. I’ll plant some more in a few weeks so that I have basil to last the whole summer. I didn’t do that in the past and regretted it. See, once basil has sprouted these beautiful, floppy leaves, they’re replaced with smaller, tougher and then it flowers. It’s best to toss it once the floppy ones are gone. And I see some basil garlic burgers in our future.

Lavender. The flowers are so pretty and purple and there were lots of them. And now they’re brown. I’m not sure why. I love the smell of fresh lavender but not so much in products like lotions.

Squash last week…

And this week…

Yes, that’s a tomato cage. I read that squash is easy to grow but in order to keep vine borers out it’s best to keep them off the ground and use a trellis. I didn’t have a trellis but I had a tomato cage so that’s what I used. I’ve never grown squash before so we’ll see how this goes.

See this?

You’ll probably have to click on the picture to make it bigger. Or I could just tell you what it is. It’s a tomato blossom. My best guess is that a bird clipped it off and dropped it in the squash bucket. I don’t know why. But it doesn’t make me happy. I have a love/hate relationship with wildlife. I love deer but I hate it when they steal my tomatoes. You get the idea.

That tiny little thing at the bottom should be a squash blossom. Of course, it reminds me on pumpkins so I’m not getting my hopes too high. Although, this blossom appeared much more quickly than the pumpkin did. It’s not that I’m even such a huge fan of squash, it’s just that I want to get something for my efforts.

So, my garden isn’t huge but it looks a lot better than last year. And it was a lot of work. Oh, I have strawberries too. Daisy was kind enough to dig them out of the planter I had them in. Ahem. I yelled at her and quickly salvaged what I could and stuck them in the ground. And amazingly, they’re still alive. Although they look a bit stressed. I had two other strawberry plants but I figured out that they’re just spring producers and they were taking up space so I pulled them out.

And now I’m tired of writing.

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6 thoughts on “Gardening and Such

  1. I loved that ice cream too. I need to make some more I think. It didn’t last long. I also made ice cream last week and didn’t even have a recipe. I knew I didn’t have what was in any of my recipes anyway, so I just started dumping stuff in and it was SOOOOO good. I need to do that more often. Just go with what I’m in the mood for. 🙂

    Love the gardening posts. I will garden more one of these days. I think. I often look at you and Christy producing things and get a little bit down on myself for not digging in…but I’m going to give myself a break and just remember it hasn’t been that long that my kids have been diaper free. I’ll get there. 🙂

    • I think it’s all about what you can do or what is important in any given season. For me, it doesn’t take a lot to toss some seeds into pots and water them. I did a lot of work last year but I’m still using mostly pots. And sunflowers are growing like crazy but I’ve only planted seeds once. Don’t feel guilty. Go to the Farmer’s Market and buy some fresh veggies and you can feel good about buying “local” or “organic” or whatever. It’s all relative. I never quilt and I’ve never made homemade ice cream. Feel better? 😉

    • That’s a really important thing to remember Mary – the age of your littles! Mine are big enough to help in the garden and, honestly, I am certain I couldn’t have done it any sooner in my life than I did.

  2. Love the new blog look – you and Mary are putting me to shame 🙂
    Super excited for new stuff in Chloe’s life. I’m sure she’s going to have a great year. But still, we need to get the girls Skype-ing! Emma would simply love it.
    Your garden stuff is looking fab. Mine is about done for the summer as it’s getting to be so hot here.
    Also? Strawberry freezer jam for the win! Yum!

    • Skype! Yes! Chloe will only be at school on Tues/Thurs. so that leaves plenty of time for chatting. I just have to get Travis to set it up.

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