Posts Tagged ‘family’

It’s bike month!

Denette handed me this flyer today.

Photo 377.jpg

SLO Rideshare has done an awesome job of putting this together. I don’t know about you, but riding to an outdoor screening of Ratatouille with the kids sounds, well, perfect.

And the timing of bike month is kind of perfect, too. I’ve been thinking about riding again for a number of reasons, fitness and kid time among them. I even unburied the bikes from the storage shed. And uncobwebbed them. And undusted them. Now I just have to reinflate the tires.

Then there’s the serious repair. So I’m going to take them to the bike kitchen at Mission Meadow Park where someone knowledgeable can perform magic and make them rideable.

And I’m definitely doing the Errands by bike day on the 23rd.

How about you? Are you a biker?

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All right, gang, we’re back with another jam-packed episode!

One of our goals has been to make this into a collaborative effort, and it continues move in that direction. Jeff Jensen, my friend from High School (that place I went to nearly 20 years ago!) sent me some music to include in this episode, and I’m thrilled to add him to our growing collection of great artists. (Now if only I could get Fear Factory. What, not the right tone? Okay, fine.)

It’s also really cool to see the progress we’ve made on both the filming and editing front. We’re actually improving. Although we can only improve so much with me in front of the camera….

This episode sees us doing a little catch-up to get on schedule with the seasons: we pack the summer garden tearout in with the what I call a “winter garden medley”—photos of the garden as it grows over three months. Now our filming schedule will only be a month off instead of six….

We also take a trip to Mt. Olive where I learn a LOT about organic farming, and, inspired by their worm bins (200 tons of compost?! Seriously?!), I set out to build my own.

Join us! And let us know what you think!

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And what a beautiful weekend it was for shooting scenes and planting veggies!

First, we prepped:

  • We soaked the beds thoroughly
  • I tilled to loosen the dense loam
  • We sprayed worm “tea” (read: poop) on the soil and then tilled it under

Then we planted:

Lots o' bounty!

As you can see, the right-hand bed still has some hangers-on from the winter planting. We’re going to make the plants in this bed multi-seasonal.

The mound in the middle is comprised of a) my failed composting efforts and b) my successful (though unintentional) greenhouse efforts: the little cantaloupes had started in the “compost” so I just transplanted them to the mound. I’m a genius (also unintentional).


Finally, we planted some potatoes, some already started—again, from my composter-turned-greenhouse.

Now we water, we weed, and we wait for the sweet, sweet rewards!

How about you? Have you planted your summer garden?

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I love the rain! So does the garden!

So do the weeds. It was time to do some serious weeding.

I pulled the big weeds right out of the rain-soft ground. I’ve found there’s actually an art to pulling weeds with the entire rootstalk intact. And I really get into the challenge of seeing how many weeds I can pull out whole.

The kids jumped right in. Logan gathered the weeds I’d pulled and Kaia played in the mud.

On the smaller weeds we used straight white vinegar, which is, as I’ve said before, the edible version of Round Up.

And by edible I mean, if you get a bit peckish while your weeding just grab some lettuce, apply a little of your weed killer, and voilà! instant salad.

It’s weird: a project can look massive and onerous, but once I get rolling it’s done in half the time AND I end up enjoying it. Or maybe that’s just me—made half crazy from all the vinegar.

P.S. I also wanted to demonstrate my awesome weed-pulling skillz with an animated gif, but the site that would have allowed me to do that suffered a server crash, so…another time!

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Okay, this is what invention looks like when you decide not to buy a new dryer and use a clothesline exclusively. And it’s raining outside. And you need clean clothes.

Fun for hide and seek!

The kids love it. I’m glad Denette and I are flexible, because we do a LOT of ducking from the kitchen to the living room.

Um...anyone seen my family?

Yes, I’m STILL working on a solution. I’m thinking we should just wear less clothing. Problem solved.

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We did some pickups for Episode 3 last week. Logan loves doing the “Man vs. Wild” thing. So he and Kaia went to find some lizards. It took a bit of searching: most of our reptile friends are doing their best to stay under cover and keep warm. But after much diligence (and an assist from dad), success! A couple of Sagebrush lizards to show off.

Logan’s pointing them out to the camera, explaining all the good things Sagebrush lizards do: “Kill bugs, and, um, eat insects.”

Kaia tells Denette, “It’s okay, mom, he’s sleeping. You can touch him now.”

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First, I rent. Second, my landlord is awesome. Third, he’s also very much into order and neatness.

So, a few months ago he was was doing his usual landscaping check and he noticed some weeds growing up between the cracks of the stones on the back porch.

“I’ll take care of those next week,” he said.

What I heard: I’m going to soak your back porch with glyphosphate.

He’s an awesome guy, but not so much into the organic thing. Expediency and efficiency drive his decisions. So I talked him into letting me take care of it.

Now I had to take care of it. First stop, Google. I read up on natural herbicides. What could I use that would be nearly as effective as a glyphosphate-based weed killer? The bulk of articles favored straight white vinegar applied with a pump sprayer. So I went to Home  Depot and bought a sprayer for about $10. Then off to the local grocery store for several gallons of white vinegar. Finally, I soaked all the weeds in the back and stood back to see the results.

They were amazing.

Below are a series of photos showing the application process and the results over a five day period. Bottom line: this is totally the best way to go. Added bonus: Kaia gets to help.

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In keeping with the idea of promoting community activism, our very own song writer Jora is trying to help out a local girl scout troop with their annual cookie drive. What particularly appealed to me in this drive was the troop to troop option. You can order girl scout cookies here and they will be delivered to our troops overseas. Thinking of cookies as a real comfort food I really liked this idea. It is a way of letting our troops (some of whom may have sold GS cookies themselves!) know we are thinking about them and send them our best. The cookies are $4 a box.

You can email Jora your order. Please include a phone # so she can verify your order. Checks can be made payable to: Girl Scout Troop #40175 and mailed to PO Box 6135 Los Osos Ca 93412. Please order no later than Saturday February 1, 2009.

Here is a list of cookies:

  • Thin Mints (The BEST!)
  • Tag Alongs Peanut (Butter Patties)
  • Sugar Free Chocolate Chips (new)
  • Dulce de Leche(new)
  • Samoas (carmel delights)
  • Do-si-does (Peanut Butter Sandwichs)
  • Trefoils (Shortbread)
  • Lemon Chalet Creames (new)

If you need ingredient listings you can visit littlebrownie.com

I thought the troops would like the thin mints and lemon creams. The thin mints were always my favorite. Oh my gosh. I remember selling these when I was a girl scout a million and half years ago. Anyway let’s not go there. Thank you, Jora, for letting us know about this.

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When I was 12 (hey it was not THAT long ago!), I had an accident that pretty much confined me to my couch for a few months. I was a VERY active tomboy, so after about a week of watching television and reading I was going crazy.

Say it with me: CRAZY.

A friend of my mother’s offered to teach me how to crochet. As desperate as I was, I lunged at the opportunity. So a group of us pre-teen girls would get together and have classes. We crocheted, we talked, we laughed, which really helped distract me from the long recovery. Kathy, if you’re reading this, THANK YOU!

Time went by; friends started having babies; I started making blankets; but no matter how much I tried I just could not get past the “square ” crochet, so blankets was pretty much all anyone got.

After I had Logan I felt emboldened to try more complex knits. I mean, I was a MOM, and once I became a mom, long dormant genes had awakened. I figured one of them had to be the “knit” gene. So I took up a knitting book—the basic “teach yourself to knit” type. Success! I learned to make a hat!

By the time Kaia came along, I had advanced to booties, so she had the full outfit—hat, booties, blanket!—when she was born. And I had found a creative outlet that was portable, fun, and easy to start and stop—except for the starting and stopping part. You see, as the kids and their dexterity grew, projects were abandoned with increasing frequency as I found the needles in increasingly interesting places—and consequently not in my project. When Kaia was hitting her first birthday, I was hitting my limit. I put the needles down (more or less) permanently.

Then in November, the month after Kaia turned four, I came across knitting looms. At first I was unsure if the looms could give me the same satisfaction as my needles. Turns out not only am I satisfied, I am thrilled.

Say it with me: THRILLED.

I can leave my knitting for days, know exactly where I was when I left off, and the kids have not messed up one project. In the 8 weeks or so I have worked on the looms I have made over 30 hats, which was perfect for a Christmas where we chose to emphasize giving handmade gifts over purchased ones. I’ve also made a few cool scarves, and I’m in the process of doing a blanket with a stuffed teddy bear head for a baby shower. I have lots of other ideas turning in my head, too. I’m a knitting genius.

I have even inspired my brother-in-law and his kids to take up knitting.  Apparently he is using it in the place of a bad habit he is trying to kick……I expect a hat (or 20) soon!

I personally have the knifty knitters round and long looms; they come with basic instructions and you can watch demonstrations and get patterns or craft ideas online. Any fellow knitters reading this? Wanna share secrets and ideas?

Knit on!

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To the Family

Hi gang!

So…we’re finally off the ground. Aren’t you proud? Or, at the very least, amazed? I kinda can’t believe we did it either. Mom thinks it’s a bloody miracle after all the yelling and screaming she had to do.

But it’s up! And we’re keeping up the tradition of appearing on film doing silly things that also might be a smidgen helpful.

It feels really good. And I’m actually thrilled that we can share this with you. It feels like you’re part of this, too, because you are…in so many ways. And we’d like you to be involved in other ways.

More tangible ways.

Like contributing to this blog. As commenters, as writers, as contributors, as hydroponic experimenters, as whatever you’d like to do. And then, when you feel like we’ve got a handle on this and that it’s actually going somewhere, invite friends and confidants to come and participate. Let’s turn this into a party!

P.S. I’m working on a virtual game of Oh Hell.

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