Monday, March 28, 2011

A new purpose, a new garden

Not that I expect anyone even checks here anymore...But

This poor long neglected blog has just been repurposed. It is now my gardening journal. I'm sure this will still include several dozen pictures of the (not so little one) but it will also include boring details about planting, caring for, and trying desperately not to kill plants here in the low desert of Arizona.

Today I braved my first step. Six plants in a very small, rather simple 'garden' as a preliminary garden. The kind that will let me learn.

I started by purchasing a book about growing plants in Arizona, "Month by Month Gardening in the desert of Arizona" by Mary Irish. Decided to start with a few annuals, because, well, they were gonna die anyway, the goal was to see how long I could keep 'em alive until then.

I decided on two - the firewheel and zinnias. And I was gonna get some Basil to make a go of it. I desperately want fresh basil, and it is a pain to acquire at my local grocer. Time to grow it.

Went to Lowe's in a search for plants, sprinkler accoutrement and compost. They had neither of the type of flowers I was looking for. So I punted. Two pots of African Daisies, two pots of Cuphea (a perennial shrub, see link below), a basil plant, and, because the little one said, "I want mint" a peppermint plant. Plus some sprinkler pieces to extend the drip line from the citrus trees and a big ole bag of composted mulch. (I bought Miracle Grow garden soil at Sam's the day before.)

Long story short, dug between 6 and 8 inches down into the hard ground, mixed in some garden soil whilst removing rocks (lots and lots of rocks) planted each plant in to the level it was planted in the pot, set up the sprinkler heads to water each set of roots fairly well, and mulched the whole thing. And man am I sore. Now I wait and see what happens next.

Some salient details

African Daisies, annual, full sun
Cuphea, perennial shrub, full sun - one got put alongside 'the rock' which may not get quite full sun until it's a bit bigger, but we'll see
Basil, which variety I don't recall off hand at the moment, full sun, annual
and peppermint, full sun, planted alongside 'the rock' as well.

Watering schedule is currently every 5 days for half an hour. Drip line has two spouts for the bed, and I think they are set to about 2 gallons an hour each. Probably a little more.

Pictures coming tomorrow, because of course I discovered our camera was dead today. So I got a few with my phone...which are still on my phone.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bet you didn't expect this.

So, a post every...oh six months. Not bad right?

Heh.

A lot has happened around here since last I posted. It would be silly to even try to play catch up. So let's just jump in here, shall we?

We had a lovely Thanksgiving here with Jus' folks and a couple of dear friends. It was honestly one of the most wonderful visits. Now, for those of you on the east coast, don't get me wrong...I missed you all on Turkey Day. But it was really nice to have family and friends around our table and just be.

Plus it gave us a chance to do some exploring around the area, unfortunately I wasn't the taker of all the pictures this weekend, so I don't have many yet to share. But here is one of Russell playing with the goats at the zoo. It'll have to do until I can get a copy of the others.



To all of you who have stuck with this blog despite my poor performance, I thank you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Russell's first Haircut

Russell's hair is so fine and so blond that I almost feel like he doesn't have any. So, it was a hard to decide that he needed his first haircut. But I finally grew weary of him looking like a balding old man with the wispy stuff at the back of his neck and took him to get his haircut.

Before:

from the front:



profile:



We went to a chain place that caters to kids, so he got to sit in a car shaped seat that faced a tv screen. He loved it, until the buzzers were turned on.

During:

Playing with the car:



Then the buzzers went on:



Then the buzzers touched his head:



Then mommy had to put the camera down to comfort him.

But he looked really handsome when he was done. The other mother in the place (with 2 school-aged kids) commented that he looked older afterwards. The cut seems to have done his hair good, since then it's looked like it's fuller. He does have hair, it's just clear.

After:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

'Helping' in the kitchen.

Russell has earned a new nickname around the house: 'helper'.

Yep, he helps you with all your chores.

He helps you unload the dishwasher by climbing into it and pulling out the sharp objects.

He helps you clean the floor by chasing the mop.

He helps you with laundry by emptying the clean laundry out of the basket and throwing it around the living room.

So, when you need a few minutes to do something, like cook dinner, you give him something to help with.

On June 30, I gave him a bowl, a wooden spoon, and a quarter cup of flour. Voila: cooking in the kitchen, helping mommy. And boy did he have fun.




He's gonna be a chef when he grows up.

video

And then, of course, the dingo 'helped' by licking all the flour off of the floor. What a team!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Delinquency is my middle name.

I have been so busy that blogging hasn't happened a lot lately, but cute pics of the babe have been taken, so I am going to work backwards and share the best of the best with you guys. Here's the first installment, July 1 - July 11 2009:

July 1st, 2009: Russell loves to sit and stare outside. Actually, most of the time it is him sitting and looking outside, and then imploring me to go outside. But you know, same thing right?



He does not understand that it is over 100 degrees out there.

The artistic version:



I love that photo.

July 7th, 2009: Russell loves spaghetti...it doesn't love him:



Just yesterday morning (7/11/09) I took this before we went over to the new house. He still loves his jungle mat.



More to come in the next few days...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Our new home.

I made reference to us buying a house. It was a whirlwind, and one of the many reasons that I haven't posted lately. It was all precipitated by the fact that the house we are currently renting was put on the market by it's owner, because they are behind on the rent. There is NO WAY we were going to deal with the possibility of them going into foreclosure and us being evicted. And seriously, we didn't want to have to find a rental house now and move and then do it all again within a year, since that was the rough timeline for us to buy a house anyway...

so, long rambling saga cut short, we went for it, and closed on Thursday.

Here are some pics of our new home, which I am madly in love with:

The front room.



A shot through the dining area to the living room.



The living room. (Russell was hanging out in his pack and play while we were doing things around the house today).



The FANTASTIC kitchen.



The even more FANTASTIC pool! I kid you not when I say that one of the few luxuries I have ever wanted was a pool, and now I own one. And it is a gorgeous one. I am delighted.



I'm not the only one, Russell LOVES the water, and when he first saw this pool he thought he had just about won the lottery. All he wanted was for me to let go of him so he could go in the BIGGEST BATHTUB EVER. Alas, it was in really bad shape a few weeks ago (when the previous owners left, it was neglected for a few months) so we can't swim in it yet until a few more water treatments get the rest of the ick out. I SO look forward to it. (Especially since it averages 110 here right now.)

These are my fruit trees! I have wanted fruit trees so long that I asked for them for my 16th birthday. (To his credit, Jimmy bought me 2 apricot trees that year, but one didn't survive the New England winter, and the survivor couldn't bear fruit without a second to cross-pollinate.) The one on the left is a super-productive lemon tree, and the one on the right is an orange tree. I am thrilled.



Back inside, this is the loft, it is right outside the master bedroom double doors.



Yes, we are a little concerned about small babies throwing things off of it...like small babies. Here's the view down from the loft into the front room.



Cool no? We're not sure what we are going to do with that space yet, but it's a neat one.

Finally, the master bedroom.



The other two bedrooms don't photograph all that well, so I didn't bother to put the pics here, but one is for Russ and one is a guest room. Here's a good picture of Russell playing in his room.



He was crawling through the door and then shutting it most of the way and then crawling back out. ... well, until mommy realized that there were unprotected outlets on the other side of the door, and she couldn't see him, and she swung the door open fast and whacked him HARD in the head with it.

Yeah, great parenting. The only thing this kid really needs protection from is his mommy...I felt guilty until, well, seriously, I still feel guilty about it.

I also didn't get any good pics of the bathrooms, one master bath with a soaking tub and a stand alone shower and another full bath upstairs for Russell and guests, plus a half bath downstairs. There's a laundry room, and a two and a half car garage with a utility sink. And I am sure I am missing other details, but I can't remember them all.

If you made it this far I am sure you can tell that I am totally in love with the place and can't wait to move-in. Of course, now we have to pack... UGH.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Then again...

Please disregard that last post, turns out, I was being a little overambitious.

As of this morning, my dissertation defense has been rescheduled for the fall. This decision was all mine, though whole-heartedly supported by my advisor. Unfortunately, as I came down to the wire, I realized that there is no conceivable way I can both write this and do it justice in time for a July 17th defense. There is too much data and there are too many details to push it.

(As an aside, all of this is particularly true given the other events that are mucking up my life. I have been so busy working I have hardly had time to mention here that we are in the process of buying a house! But that is another post for another time.)

So, a graduate student I remain for a few months longer. We will reschedule the defense as soon as I have hit a number of benchmarks. Molly expects a October defense. I would love it to be sooner, but I am OUT of the prediction business, and it will be done when it is good. (Note that said "good" and not "perfect"...I want to graduate EVENTUALLY). In the meantime I will continue my intense schedule of work.

In the meantime, I will try and post SOMETHING once a week. You shouldn't all be deprived of cute baby (dare I say TODDLER!) pics just because I am still working on this dissertation!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The final countdown...

...I have a defense date! YAY!

On July 17th at 1pm, I will be defending my dissertation.

I have 70 days to finish the document and get it to my committee, and then 2 weeks to prepare the presentation.

AHHHHHHHHH!

And. Go.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

First biking...

...then hiking.

In March, Jus' folks came out for a visit. We took Russell on a hike in his hiking pack. He loved being able to see.

Getting ready to go.


Out on the trail...


...and loving every minute of it.


So exhausted he took a nap while we hiked.


and the obligatory scenery picture: a view out over Phoenix


It was a lot of fun, and certainly something we will be doing more of, when Mommy has some spare time...sometime in the future.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Some odds and ends and excuses.

I've been a lousy blogger, but it's because I've been a darned good student (mostly). Fair trade. Just a heads up that it might not get much better for a while, but I promise it's only temporary.

Working hard IS going to pay off eventually.

But, for now, since I am here, how about a few cute baby pics? Here are some random everyday pics from March that are cute. (And since some of them are over a month old, maybe it's time to get them up, no?)

Making it hard to put PJs on him after a bath.


Wild hair. It's like this a lot these days.


Sticking out our tongue at the camera.


What? I swear, I FOUND these tissues all torn up.


Opening a present.


I'll try and get posts up when I can, but no promises.