{october 5} happy corners of our home

the photo below is not necessarily a happy corner IN our home, but our yard and garden are just an extension of our home into the outdoors.october 5

the end is coming for our summer growing season. just after i snapped this photo, ryan tore out all but one of our tomato plants.

it was an interesting summer.

hot and dry.

our garden did not produce how we had expected, but we’ll try again next year with a different plan.

for now, the hops is still covering the arbor, the colorado buffalo flag is flying, and the chairs are set up for sipping coffee on cool weekend mornings.

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{in the garden} april 23rd

with our mild spring and winter we got an early start to our garden.

and, when i say “we”, i really mean ryan.

ryan is in charge of our veggie garden, and he started planting in early march!

he added our backyard compost that has been “cooking” for a year.

the strawberries are already coming up and flowering. they are always fun for the kids (and us) to pick.

he planted three more blueberry bushes, so we now have a total of six.

he planted a second artichoke plant…maybe this year we will actually get an artichoke!

he planted greens, which we have already started to harvest and eat.

the tomatoes are in the ground and are already starting to flower.

he also planted asparagus, potatoes, and italian oregano.

and, he planted hops.

yes. hops.

maybe he’ll be brewing his own beer soon, too.

{and, he calls ME the hippie.}

we still need to plant our basil, maybe a few peppers, some cucumber, and carrots.

we always go organic for fertilizer and pest control.

this year will be no different, but  i am hoping to integrate essential oils into the pest control.

i promise a photo tour by the end of the month…we’ve got another project going on that is taking a lot of my time…stay tuned!

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home is…in the garden 2015.

*i am not a medical professional, and cannot treat, cure or diagnose you. always consult a doctor first. more than likely your doctor will not be trained in essential oils and will not know all the facts about them, so do your own research first. we are our own advocate.

 

{spring break} operation bigger clubhouse

My parents came out to visit us over Spring Break. It was the first time my mom was able to travel on an airplane after having BOTH of her knees replaced last year! She has recovered amazingly and we had so much fun being active over the break!

One of the main highlights of the trip began after we all went to watch the little guys baseball practice on the morning after my parents arrived. Shortly after we got home, there were multiple trips to Home Depot to get supplies…to fix our large deck near the house…and upgrade where the old playhouse used to sit into a new “clubhouse” for the kids!

playhouse 1

We removed the railing from around the existing deck between the trees and started building walls on Saturday afternoon!

playhouse 2

Between Ryan’s deck project on our large deck and the project my dad and I were working on it was a flurry of activity in the backyard. My mom was helping out by keeping the kids entertained…which was so amazingly helpful.

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By the end of the day on Saturday, the walls were framed.

playhouse 10

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By Monday morning, the roof supports were taking shape and we were measuring and cutting cedar fence boards to put on as siding!

playhouse 13

By Tuesday, Topher was putting the roof on and nailing the last finish pieces of trim onto the clubhouse.

playhouse 14

playhouse 15

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It was so much fun to work with my dad on this project for the kids.

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We made fires in the firepit almost everyday as we worked through the changing Oregon weather.

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We celebrated and played in the clubhouse the rest of the week after we returned from our other adventures.

playhouse 24

I have plans to paint the interior ceiling white and the interior walls a turquoise color.

playhouse 25

I will also add canvas curtains to the front entry and to cover the windows and the slide door.

playhouse 26

Until then, it’s ready for play!

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I am not going to write up a post about how we built this…it was a labor of love. However, I will say that I was inspired by and The Handmade Home’s Handmade Hideaway. Their posts were invaluable in showing my dad what I wanted to accomplish and helpful for us to figure out how to get it done.

Thank you, Topher, for helping me bring my dreams into reality. It was so awesome to work on this project with you!!

I will be sharing more details in the next weeks as I add more finishing touches…in fact, Ryan added an awesome touch last night that I will need to share with you!

home is…a labor of love.

{in the kitchen} thai basil pesto

our garden has really produced this year.

early on we had bowl after bowl full of strawberries, handfuls of raspberries, and our first real harvest of blueberries (which we are still collecting by the handful every few days).

our greens came on strong and have added to ryan’s green smoothies almost every morning.

we have also made collard greens from the garden multiple times in the last few weeks.

our bush pickle cucumbers are producing enough for me to produce a quart of pickles each of the last two weeks and there are still many more flowers and babies on the vines.

we had an issue with our green beans so i am not sure how many we will get, but we still have a couple jars of dilly beans from last year!

i collect a few cherry tomatoes each day from my trailing cherry tomato plant that is hanging in a basket.

our san marzano and roma tomatoes are a little late to fruit, but it looks like we will get a great crop. considering the fact that we started these plants from seed in our house, i am super impressed that they made it! i am looking forward to harvesting and canning a bunch…maybe even pickling green tomatoes late in the season.

we winter over some of our herbs…thyme, basil, mint, and chives. they are doing well…in fact, we took a bunch up to the lake and still have a bunch to harvest.  we have tried drying herbs, but usually end up making pesto from our basil and using the rest of our herbs fresh when we cook.

i planted a few different types of basil this year. our usual sweet italian basil, a purple basil (which is supposed to taste like sweet italian, but i thought it would be fun to have purple pesto), a variegated basil, and a thai basil.

with all of that being said, i decided to try to make a thai basil pesto with our beautiful thai basil.

photo 1 copy

thai food is tough for me…i like the flavors of the herbs and spices, but i dislike coconut and peanut. most of the thai basil recipes called for peanuts…and in some cases, coconut of some sort (oil, water, or shredded).

so, i made up my own recipe…

thai basil pesto

  • 2 cups thai basil leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (i bet you could substitute coconut oil if you like the flavor)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp red pepper

put it in your food processor, pulse a few times. then, blend until smooth.

place in airtight containers and freeze or keep in refrigerator.

home is…coming up with your own recipe.

{our yard} pallet xylophone

I’ve had 3 pallets in our backyard for almost 3 years.

I had one idea for a project and it just didn’t end up working out.

So, the pallets leaned against the fence for the kids to climb on and look over into our neighbors yards.

Until a couple weeks ago.

I took a jigsaw and a dremel saw-max to the pallets.

Now, I have a few projects in mind for the pallet parts and pieces.

Here is the first one…

pallet xylophone 1

…pallet parts and pieces…

pallet xylophone 2

pallet xylophone 3

…power tools…

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…paint…

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…and a puppy dog helper.

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{You can see another spray paint project that I have been working on…trying to add more color to the backyard!}

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Once all the boards were painted I just screwed them into the partial pallet.

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I just lightly spray painted the pieces so that they have a weathered look.

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The final product makes me smile.

home is…pallets, paint, and power tools.