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I think Spring is coming.  At least I hope it is.

My plants are going gangbusters.  My paperwhites from Christmas are finally blooming.  And my orchid has bloomed twice (it’s still in the same spot on the kitchen counter by the way.  It’s doing to darn well to move it).  Even my violets are getting into the act.

And now?  It’s that time of year!  When the seed catalogs start arriving and my thoughts turn to the garden.

(For those of you in a more temperate clime, I may seem to be behind the times.  But please keep in mind my last frost will likely be in mid-June.  I don’t even think of putting the good stuff in the ground until Memorial Day.  And then I hover over the forecast every night with my old sheets at the ready.)

I’m considering starting more plants from seed this year.  I often get lazy and just buy my cukes, tomatoes, peppers, and onions in plant form from the garden center.  But I really want to spend my money there on landscaping plants this year, so I’m thinking it’s time to go back to the old fashioned way of doing things:  gather seeds where I can, borrow plants from friends when they split them (rhubarb), and purchase good quality seeds.

Since my garden has expanded nearly 3 fold in size (or more), I’m thinking ambitious this year.  I really want to be able to put up enough that we can eat all summer and have enough to make it through winter.  Here’s my list of what I’d like to have:

  1. Asparagus
  2. Beets
  3. Broccoli
  4. Carrots
  5. Celery Root (we really like this in our Turkey day stuffing, so why not try it?)
  6. Corn (Yes, the failure is going to torture me.)
  7. Cucumber
  8. Garlic
  9. Green Beans
  10. Horseradish
  11. Lima Beans
  12. Onion
  13. Parsnips
  14. Bell Peppers
  15. Jalapenos
  16. Peas
  17. Potatoes
  18. Pumpkins
  19. Radish
  20. Rutabaga
  21. Acorn Squash
  22. Spaghetti Squash
  23. Zucchini
  24. Sweet Potatoes
  25. Tomatoes (regular, cherry, and pear)
  26. Turnips
  27. Watermelon
  28. Basil
  29. Strawberries
  30. Rhubarb
  31. Dill
  32. Sunflowers

That’s in the main garden.  Most of those I’ve grown here before.  Some are new, but I figure if we’ve got the space we might as well try ’em.  Up near the house, I hope to have a couple small areas out back for herbs.  (Basil is in the main garden because we use a ton of it…it needs space.  Same with the dill.)  In that area I’m looking at thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, sage, chives, and maybe some funky basil like purple or chocolate.

I’m looking forward to having a garden again.  Except for the idea of running into major league sized snakes.  The little green guys I can deal with.  It’s the big black ones that freak me out.  So here’s hoping they’ll stay down in the long grass and leave my garden alone. (Yes, I know I’m kidding myself.  Leave me to my delusions for a few more months, thanks.)  Anyway, the first step is to gather my seeds.  So I’m perusing seed catalogs and finding those that offer me short season plants.  (38 days for turnips?  That we can do.  100 days for a ‘mater?  No siree.)  Then I have to start hassling my husband about putting up the fence.  Because anything we plant will not last if we don’t have a fence.  There are at least a half dozen deer in residence on the property.  They’ll clear those tender plantings out in one night.  Easy-peasy.  Then the question is do I need to worry about the guinea hens getting in?  What about the pocket gophers?  They never bothered my other garden (just our apple trees and shrubs), but are these guys more rogue?  And I haven’t seen any rabbits around, but you just know as soon as I plant my bounty they’re gonna show up in spades.

Suddenly my gardening dreams are turning into nightmares…

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We gave the Girl cereal last night.  Wow.  I couldn’t shovel it in fast enough!  Being cautious, I only made a few teaspoons worth.  I thought she was ready for it, but didn’t want to over do it.  Uh-huh.

(That’s not a runny nose, just a bit of cereal she wanted to smell…)

Every time I’d take the spoon away to get more she’d start hollerin’.  She gobbled down those two teaspoons in no time flat.  And probably would have eaten another couple if I’d let her.  But erring on the side of  caution, we cut her off.  No ill effects so far, so we’ll give her a bit more tonight.  (I wasn’t really expecting any.  Neither of my kids have had any issues food related.  I can eat pretty much anything I want and except for a bit of gas after 3 days straight of broccoli for lunch they’ve never had a problem.)

The whole process was well documented.  We had an official videographer (seen below), as well as a photographer….

The photographer’s focus was a bit off however…

And his composition needs a bit of work as well.

But we made sure he snagged a good one before we cleaned everyone up.

The Boy had his stitch removed last Friday.  Yes…by Friday he only had one left.  *sigh*  The cut is healing well, although he’s definitely going to be left with a scar.  Ripping 3 of the 5 stitches out on Monday night (slightly re-opening the cut) sure didn’t help matters.  The huge scab came off on Sunday night.  Now it’s just a puffy pink dent.

To celebrate the removal of the stitches, my mom and I took the kids out to dinner (Josh had a basketball game).  We tried out a re-vamped local place called Hamilton’s.  I’d heard rumor they had a good fish fry.  In preparation for some friend’s coming to visit (Jack? Ceil?  We’re looking at you!) we’ve been checking out the local fish fry scene.  Mom and the Carey’s used to have fish every Friday back when she lived in Illinois.  So far, not much luck.  This place was nummy, but not up to par.  The rest of the menu looks awesome, and the sweet potato chips were right up my alley.  I’ve told Josh we’ll be going back this summer when their patio is open.

In other news, Saturday night Josh and I enjoyed a night out on the town.  The company I work for donated a piece of statuary for the Black Hills Autism Society’s annual Mardi Gras fund raising dinner.  In return, they gave our retail folks two free tickets.  But the retail folks couldn’t go, so they asked if I’d like the tickets.  You betcha!

While we didn’t win any of the silent auction items we bid on, we had a great time.  The food was yummy (a seafood bake with corn, potatoes, cod, prawns, mussels, clams, and sausage), the conversation captivating, and the band pretty rockin’.  (We laughed, amazed, while the drummer actually texted *while* drumming.  Talent, baby, talent.)

The Girl is now four months old! She’s discovered the joy of peek-a-boo.  I’m not sure who laughs harder over it, her or the Boy.

We’ve been battling RSV this last week.  Nothing too serious, just a runny nose and a bit of a cough.  I’ve let her return to sleeping in the car seat for a few nights to keep the mucous draining and have been running her humidifier on high.  No fever and no troubles breathing, so I never even took her in to the doc.  (10 kids were out of daycare last week, with 2 confirmed cases of RSV.)  Even with that, she’s still a happy content little gal.  Although I think tonight we’re going to give some cereal a go.  Her head control is well developed, she oggles you every time you eat, and frankly I’m tired of getting up repeatedly at night.  (Yeah, that whole sleep through the night thing went out the window when we made her sleep in her bed and not in her car seat.)  So we’ll give a couple teaspoons of cereal a try and see how she likes it.  Look for messy photos tomorrow…

I can tell I’m finally recovering from hibernation status and settling into my winter groove – I’m suddenly feeling crafty.  I have all sorts of craft projects I really want to start, but I’m pacing myself.  To kick things off I made a crib bumper for the Girl.

I have enough fabric leftover (planned it that way) to make a blanket as well.  I want to back it with some luscious minkie, as soon as I find some.  Other projects on the radar:  a couple fun new bags from free patterns I found online, maybe an apron or two, a travel crayon/drawing case for the Boy, some canvas art, a quilt for the Boy, and a hugemongous quilt to hang in our foyer.  I haven’t decided on patterns for the last 2 yet.  The Boy’s will be something classic yet fun that will grow with him.  I have no ideas yet on the foyer.  I’m debating between a spring/summer-ish design (and then making a second one for the fall/winter), or something a bit more timeless that we can leave up year round.  I do know it will likely end up a ten foot by ten foot quilt or more.  That means it needs simple lines so I can do the quilting myself without losing my mind.  I have a huge file of quilt inspiration I need to rifle through, but I want to knock a few of the other projects off the list first.  Plus, um, I need to get my sewing machine fixed.  Unless Mom just let’s me keep hers in perpetuity…