Weekend Wrap-Up

It feels sacrilegious that I’m writing our weekend wrap-up on Sunday morning, but that’s sort of how the whole weekend has felt.  We had an awesome dinner with friends on Friday night, but Jason and his mom have had to spend the entire weekend (and nearly every weekend this summer) out at his father’s house preparing it for sale (we’re under contract!), which has made for a weekend that, frankly, feels a lot like the middle of the week.  I’m not complaining, but it has lent a different feel to the days, particularly since A loves her Daddy so much.

We did sneak in a lovely dinner last night (pizza on the grill) and a quiet early evening together before A woke up for an hour.  When she did finally go down, she slept through the night for the second time ever, so this Mama’s keeping her fingers crossed that it happens again.

Since the summer is slipping away so quickly, I wanted a quick list of things that I’m hoping to accomplish this week.  Not having to drive into work should definitely help with the getting things done, but it’s also that time of the summer where I usually start devoting my mornings to lesson planning again, so we’ll see how it all goes.

  1. Put away A’s Swing.  She hasn’t used it in more than a month, but it’s still set up in her bedroom and taking up a TON of space.  We’re thinking #2 needs to wait a year or two, so it’s definitely not something I want under foot until then.
  2. Re-cord the living room entertainment system.  There are so many wires behind our bookshelves, and A has taken to trying to get them.  I also need to figure out some kind of charging station for the laptop because the old cord across the living room floor to the coffee table is an accident waiting to happen.

    I love this idea from HGTV

  3. Wash the kitchen floor.  Seriously.  Scrub it on hands and knees.  Because if A isn’t crawling on it, she’s licking it like her best friend, Abby the Dog.
  4. Find a solution to the mail on the kitchen table nightmare.  So much mail.  So little organization.  I’m thinking some sort of organizer I can hide away in my kitchen closet.  Ditto for a purse hanger.  I need somewhere other than the floor to set my handbag when I come in.
  5. Put together Katie’s Bridal Shower gift – I’ll share this one with you after her shower on August 2.
  6. I doubt I’ll get to it this week, but I bought 15 yards of fabric in April, and my living room still has the ugly Roman shades that have been up since… Jason bought the house ten years ago.

    Fabric Swatch – Waverly Swept Away

  7. Finish Week Three of T25 – Weeks 1 & 2 are complete.
  8. Keep harvesting peas.  Yesterday, I picked, shucked, prepared and froze two quarts.  All during nap time.  I’m hoping to do a Preserving the Harvest blog post on how to freeze peas that taste sweet and fresh all year long.

What are you hoping to accomplish this week?  Amelia is working hard on standing up in her crib every chance she gets!DSC_0085


Garden Planning – Plotting Things Out

Our seeds arrived on Wednesday, and after eagerly tearing open the package and gazing at the gold, vacuum-sealed packets, I decided – when I finally had a few moments to myself – that it was time to plan the garden out, foot by foot.

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I drew up a tentative garden plan in October, right before we placed our garlic in the ground.  I started in my garden notebook with just a simple sketch:

Original Garden Plan for 2012

My initial thought was to just plan out the 2012 garden, as I did the 2011 garden, using the notebook that I’ve used for the past two years to carefully track when we plant things and

Last year's garden plan.

how they grow (though, last year things fell a bit by the wayside come July, when I was finishing up a second Master’s certification).  That said, one of the great weaknesses of the notebook method, was the lack of proper graph paper, and my own inability to go back in and change things without making a real mess.  I liked the ability to see how my changes tracked, but after realizing that I could save successive drafts of a garden plan on my laptop, I decided that the best way to move forward was to look at garden-layout software.

I am nothing if not frugal, and I made the choice early-on that the garden should be a place where money is saved, rather than spent excessively, so I decided to see what I could do on my computer, without purchasing specific software (I have a MacBook).  I discovered that Microsoft Excel has graph paper available as one of its projects, and by unprotecting the document, I was able to map out, square-foot by square-foot, the exact dimensions of our two gardens (though the second garden might be a bit short, as I couldn’t remember its exact length (now, under several inches of snow) and preferred to under-estimate, rather than over-estimate.  After consulting the crop rotation charts  in Carleen Madigan’s wonderful Backyard Homestead, I was able to plot out our 2012 plan.

Garden Plan 2012 - 1 square = 1 square foot

This plan took me about 30 minutes to make and will save plenty of time when we head out to turn the soil, build our tomato trellises and form raised hills in mid-May.  Now, I’m just waiting in eager anticipation for the day when we can plug in our growing lamps and start sprouting the 2012 seedlings.  And given that I have absolutely no willpower at all, here are some images to tide us all over until planting can really start…

Seedlings - April 17 (1 Week After Planting)

Seedlings - April 27

Seedlings, May 18

Then, finally, the arrival of the chickens on May 23 meant that everything would move outside for hardening off in the winter coop until complete transplantation took place just after Memorial Day (that, folks, is how far north we really are).

2011 Chicks - 45 Minutes After Arrival