Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dear Loki,
This is day 4 of 11 that you are in Minnesota and I am in Wisconsin. Yep, I've been counting. This is the longest you've been away from me since you became "mine." I think we were gone longer when we visited China but you didn't really become "mine" until later that year when we moved to Milwaukee. I'm sure if you could reason, you would agree. You are one of the best things that happened to me when I married Christopher but it took us awhile to really get to know one another.

I miss being greeted by you at the door and the little dance you do right before you get your food. I miss your warm little body on our bed when I'm sleeping and giving you apple cores. But I have enjoyed taking walks around town and going into the coffee shop and the library and sweeping without you walking through my pile of dirt. While the house seems way too quiet, I have slept really well without you prancing around or shaking your collar which I believe is usually an attempt to wake me up.

I am thankful that you can stay in Rochester with family while we do a wee bit of traveling (that isn't Loki-friendly) and a lot of working. And I know that since you will be at my in-laws when the rest of our family is visiting with their dog, it will probably be a little chaotic and that makes me appreciate it even more. And I know your little introverted personality will probably be a little overwhelmed. We will see you in a week and I think the saying will be true: absence will make our hearts fonder.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Garden saga, part 1

Inspired by this book, we decided to build a raised bed garden this year. Christopher worked hard building the garden plus a little bit extra and we ended up with a nice 4x12 bed. He also built a small 2x4 bed for some friends to put in some herbs.

While looking around for some soil - we wanted a mix of good compost and top soil - we came to the problem of how do we (with a fairly small car) haul well over 1,000 lbs of dirt back to our house. The big bags of soil are usually about 40 lbs and we'd need like 30. That just seemed like a lot of work and one could argue that a pregnant lady shouldn't lift that much (although the dr recently told me that I don't have a lifting "restriction" at this time in my pregnancy). In addition, buying compost in bags can be fairly expensive. So I found a local company that sells a compost and top soil mix especially for vegetable gardens. The price seemed reasonable and they delivered.

The two week wait seemed super long when I wanted to put our plants in the ground.  But the "soil guy" delivered our black gold yesterday and Christopher then hauled the dirt from our parking space to the garden using a 5 gallon bucket. Who needs a wheel barrow??

We had started some herbs and a couple of veggies from scratch:
Our helpers while planting. The red dog is our little friend, Lucy.


I had planned our garden on paper but, unfortunately, the wait meant more time for me to dream about what else we could do and I bought a couple more plants and seeds that didn't really have a home.

Around this time I wondered if everything would fit. It didn't.
So yesterday the plan was altered slightly and I still have to go out and create a map of what actually went in. Who plants things is rows? Not this girl! We'll see how that works out. Oh, and those are strawberries on the side!

We are going to see if some herbs will come back as perennials with some love and mulch over our cold winter. (There wasn't really room in the garden for them anyway.) Most of the smaller plot is barley seeds for beer.
 Speaking of beer, Christopher's hops are racing up their poles. We will eventually run string from the front porch down to the poles and the hops should go up it. Hops don't produce much the first year but he should get plenty next year for all his brewing needs.

 It looks like today will be a nice day and there are still a few things to do. I have several herbs in small containers that need to find a home and I'm going to prep some soil in the front to plant carrots, beets, garlic and maybe lettuce, all from seed.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Birthday Surprise

The last time my husband told me that he was "cooking something up" for my birthday, he got a bunch of our friends and family together and they gave me the MacBook that I am typing on.

This time was a little bit different.

Maybe I should have figured it out when he told me that all our friends (who are students) had a mandatory lecture the evening of my birthday. Marquette usually doesn't have mandatory lectures, especially in the summer.

Maybe I also should have figured it out when my sneaky husband told me he wasn't going to said mandatory lecture. 

Or maybe I should have figured it out when my husband cleaned the bathroom and lite candles while we were talking with his family on google chat.

And maybe I should have known that something was up when he told me that my birthday gift was in the backyard, where we had just spent the afternoon working on our yard and garden.

But I didn't and he surprised me and we had lots of our friends over for ice cream.

It was a pretty great day.