I need a distraction, so update it is!

We’ve had some strange weather this spring. Oh who am I kidding? We live in Michigan. It’s strange every spring. But still. It’s not every spring that we have an on and off crazy storm in the afternoon with a big tree branch landing in the middle of the yard. I’m grateful, though. I’ve got so much going on everywhere else in the yard, that the branch landed in the exact spot that it should have landed (you know, assuming it must land somewhere…). Plus, it may actually give me enough wood to finish out the front yard’s borders. So… thanks Universe!



Garden, I love you.

Here are the peas growing at work. Being allergic to them, I never got the opportunity to grow them. Now that I get to, I really like them. They are the first things to really shoot up in the garden, and they are beautiful. Such neat roundish little leaves, a sweet green color with flecks of white, and little sturdy tendrils that help it up towards the light. Yay peas. I’m excited to see them at harvest time.

We were at Value World the other day and Vera discovered these little beat up Barbie dolls. We let her have them. I may have protested more if it was the really tall busty kind, but these are fairly benign. Although I can’t stand the crazy make-up on them. But anyway, Vera named the bigger one Susan and the little one GG. She came to me with one of my scarves and asked to have me wrap GG on Susan. It made me smile. Babywearing Barbie. 🙂

Vera has serious opinions lately about what to wear. This was her "skirt shirt". Hmmm.


Being a mother is so wonderful, but sometimes it feels seriously painful. We’re switching Maya over to a raw meat diet, and so far she’s loving it. The problem is that she likes to grab little bits of the meat, take them elsewhere, drop them, lick them for a while, etc. It’s just gross. We’re working on training her to stay by her bowl, and it basically means constantly supervising her while she eats. Well, last night all looked well, but Jeff did notice that she left the kitchen briefly. Come this morning, I find little Asa munching on a bony raw piece of chicken! It had sat out all night in the living room, and although it was only a second before I caught it and rinsed out his mouth, I just don’t know… I called Poison Control, and now we’re just waiting and watching. I really really really hope that he doesn’t get sick. It’s got me all distracted and bothered now, so that’s part of why I wanted to just sit and write an update. I’m thinking, although we don’t use a crate for Maya, we’ll just feed her in a crate so this never. happens. again. I don’t even trust her to eat it outside, she’s just a finicky eater that I never know if she’s finished everything… Gah. I need to not think about this anymore. 

I’m crazy. Despite how busy we are, I long for this land to have our own little farm. I just know we’d love it. Here’s the front:

Behind the fence.

And then the rest of it. The property is shaped kind of like an L. It’s not even half an acre, but I just know we could do something special with it…
I’ve been really loving my walks lately. Everything is so alive and green.


Finally getting around to sorting out my own garden. There’s more to do, but we’re almost there.

The potatoes are growing fast!


And more progress on the front yard. I have mulch ready to go down on the walkways.

Slowly but surely. There’s talk of a swing set off of that maple tree, too… 
I’m not much of a knitter (at least not yet), but I’m loving sticking my hair up with one of my double pointed needles. I’m loving summer clothes and feeling the sun on my face… even if I am a little pink most of the time as a result. I didn’t quite realize how thirsty I was for summer until the warm sun started coming back every day and I began bounding out of the house barefoot and insisting on eating outside despite the mosquitoes. It’s good.


Trying out strawberries in containers. 🙂

Planted beans. These are just markers to show us where the trellis (that we have yet to construct) should go. I’m growing both bush beans and pole beans this year. The idea is that we’ll eat the pole beans throughout the whole season for fresh eating, and then when the bush beans are ripe we’ll just go nuts storing them all. 

We’re constructing the trellises for the tomatoes. This is definitely a more intensive way of planting them, but we really want to make these crop rotations work (which is tricky with such limited space), so we have to see how we can fit them together and just be willing to try new things. So this year, we’re trying them on the northern most side of the garden in ten 6 foot rows, about 5 plants per row, with about 1 foot between rows. It’s tight, but we plan to keep them off the ground, well pruned, and well mulched to try to combat any disease… We’ll see!

Loads of cabbage, brussels, and broccoli. They are very happy so far. I’m doing more with companion planting and trying out "living mulches"- for instance, I’ll be planting lots of spinach and lettuce in with my brassicas, instead of leaving that space empty.

Onions and leeks are also doing well. I’m not sure I’ll grow these again in this garden. Onions are so cheap and easy to buy locally… I’m just not sure it’s a good use of the space. But, regardless, we’ve got one bed dedicated to them this year.

Garlic is very happy. 🙂

Tomatoes. We did really well with our seedlings this year. I’m happy. We even had enough to give away to people.

Today is muggy and hot, but I’m still planning on doing more gardening today. We’ll see how Asa feels. How are your gardens doing? 

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Comments (17)

  1. 3ticklemepink3

    I would love to have a yard that big, ours is on the small size and has lots of roots from trees, so a lot of it is useless for gardening.
    I have one little garden about the size of one of your raised beds. 🙂

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      You know, I think the best kind of garden is the one you can do. I’m always so thrilled when people don’t have much space but they do it anyway. 🙂

  2. pagangoat

    Good luck with Asa, hope he avoids getting sick:(

    Beautiful garden pictures!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Thanks, me too. So far so good, but we’re only about 10 hours since he mouthed it… I’m hoping my milk is kicking all those little bacterial asses!

  3. poppleshatesyou

    Eep! My gut says Asa will be just fine, but scary all the same!

    Ha! Love baby wearing barbie!

    Ohhhh my goodness Grace, I think your front yard is going to look awesome and oh the garden!! It already looks so fabulous! Can’t wait to see it in full bloom. I envy your space sooo much.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I hope you’re right!

      Yay! I’m so glad you like everything and can see where the front yard is going. I think it’ll be really nice and woodlandy… When you come to town I’ll give you a big basket of veggies. 🙂

  4. muirichinnahali

    I feel like I might already know this, so sorry if I’ve asked before. 😛 But what is your tattoo on your back?

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      It’s a tree of life. I got it about 2 years ago. 🙂 Do you have any?

      1. muirichinnahali

        I thought that’s what it was. 🙂 Do you have any others?
        I do have some! I have a leafy design across my lower back. M and I have matching ring tattoos under our wedding rings. And I have a shark on my leg (which is a tribute to my dad). My next tattoo will likely be a tree of life, in the same place as yours. lol

        1. Gracie (Post author)

          Cool! That’s a great place to get a tree of life tattoo, in my opinion. 😉

          I have a daisy on my leg, which I got when I was 17. I love the meaning (based on this scene in Harold and Maude: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0FX_ROcNV4). However, I’m not super thrilled about the tattoo itself, but I do have plans for it soon…

  5. purerandomness

    Do you think hanging the tomatoes like that will combat the blight we’ve had going on locally?
    We’ve got just a few things planted this year. A lot of herbs came back (sage, thyme, oregano) and we planted more basil and tomatoes. Then I think we’ve got spinach/lettuce and broccoli/onions just sprouting from leftover seeds. We have a sunflower or two that we’ll plant soon for the boys.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yes! I think the tomatoes will probably still get it, but you’ll be able to save most of the harvest and keep it from spreading too rapidly. We have friends who live out in the country and they planted loads of tomatoes, but didn’t stake them or anything, and they lost it all. We trellised and watered with our soaker hoses, and it really made a difference. We lost some, but we still have canned tomatoes in the basement, so clearly we did alright! So yes, I think trellising, a good layer of straw mulch on top of a drip/soaker hose, and rotation will keep it all at least usable, even if we can’t get rid of it altogether.

      Your garden sounds lovely! Hopefully you can post pictures of everything soon- I’m itching to see Leo!

  6. brigittefires

    Dear Grace,

    It looked like you might need a little more sun there, and I saw you needed some wood to finish up the front garden. Sorry if it’s inconvenient, but you know, stay local and nothing is ever quite free, right?

    Love the garden!
    Sincerely, Universe.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I <3 you.

    2. poppleshatesyou

      lol, love this!

  7. stupidfool

    aww, so how’s asa? i had a similar scare the other night when one of my cats got into some chocolate… luckily, it was just a small amount, too, and he’s fine–hopefully, you can say the same for asa! 🙂

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      He’s fine, I think! Thank goodness. There’s a 72 hour window, but it’s been 48 now and I’m just not nearly as concerned. I’m glad your cat is okay!


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