Jars

IMG_20190421_0090.jpg

This is a picture that my grandmother took ages and ages ago of their canning closet. My Papa was an expert gardener and could grow anything. If he ever struggled, it was only because the deer and rabbits liked his garden as much as he did. I remember sitting in their gazebo, shucking corn, snapping green beans in half and shelling peas with my brother. Once the peas were shelled, we had to spread them out onto a dish towel and comb through them looking for bad ones. We’d rake our hands through them, letting them fall from our hands like tiny pebbles.

I never got to see the canning process, but this photo is a treasure.

Our garden is literally overflowing. We have watermelons, banana peppers, pepperoncini peppers, bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, Serrano peppers, Roma tomatoes, Heirloom tomatoes, Black Krim tomatoes, okra, pickle cucumbers, regular cucumbers, broccoli, basil, sage, and rosemary. I hope to plant some pumpkins before it gets much later in the summer, but it may not happen and that’s okay. We spend every morning in our garden, crawling over watermelon vines and hunting for hidden goodies. We lost all but one of our cabbages to caterpillars, and we may lose our broccoli, too. But, gosh I love this garden. I love listening to it and learning from it, and I can’t wait to see how we do next year.

Show and Tell

  1. Yesterday, T and I celebrated the six year anniversary of us dating. We transplanted all of the seedlings that have been taking over our kitchen for the last couple of months and spent the whole day working in the yard. He is still fascinating to me and I think that he is the most fun.

  2. I’ve been researching recipes of all sorts because if all of the fruits and veggies that we’re planting actually take off…we’re going to be swimming in fresh produce. A few that I’m particularly excited for: this fig and prosciutto pizza (since we have a fig tree!), this Mediterranean recipe, and this recipe for chicken thighs in a creamy tomato sauce.

  3. I’m also reading a lot about canning and how to do it properly and safely. I’m excited to be able to give away tomato sauces, jams, pickles, beans, salsas, etc. When I was growing up, my grandparents had a closet in the garage where they stored all of their canned foods. Everything looked so pretty in the jars, it seemed like every shelf was always full of corn, okra, tomatoes, beans, peas, green beans, squash, and so much more. Because Martha Stewart is just…a dream, I’ll use this article as a guide when I start canning.

  4. Gardening dream purchases: this watering can, this hose, this iron sign, this mustard planter, and this wall planter.

  5. I’ve been reading My Life in France by Julia Child, and it just solidifies my love for her. Click the photo at the very top or below for one of the many articles displaying photos that Julia’s husband took of her.

Home Checklist

Bedroom:

  1. Paint the knotty-pine walls in the bedroom.

  2. Replace the bedroom carpet with hardwood flooring.

  3. Paint bedroom furniture.

  4. Replace bedroom furniture hardware.

  5. Buy a kingsize bed.

  6. Organize closet and replace clothes hangers with more sturdy, more space efficient clothes hangers.

  7. Style the built-in shelves in the bedroom.

Kitchen:

  1. Remove the backsplash and replace it with subway tile.

  2. Replace light fixtures over island bar with new fixtures.

  3. Replace light fixture over sink. I thought about keeping this one, but I just realized that we never even use it. So…probably should replace it when one we may use or remove it entirely?

  4. Replace cabinet hardware.

  5. Organize kitchen cabinets to better utilize space.

  6. Figure out what to do about the knotty-pine walls in the kitchen.

Livingroom:

  1. Paint the brick living room fireplace?

  2. Mount TV?

  3. Organize/style bookshelves.

  4. Gallery?

  5. Replace leather couch with armchair?

  6. Pick a rug for the living room?

  7. Cover the pillows.

Studio:

  1. Decide on a storage solution.

  2. Find a cozy seating solution.

  3. Get blinds.

  4. Organize closet and utilize the space efficiently.

  5. Decide on lighting.

  6. Replace the door with a french door to let light carry through to the living room.

Guest Bedroom:

  1. Get a bed.

  2. Find a bedside table/lamp.

  3. Organize the linen closet and make sure that all bedding sets are complete.

  4. Ensure that the guest bedroom functions properly for guests to have everything that they may need.

  5. Get blinds.

  6. Put outlet covers and switch covers back on.

Guest Bathroom:

  1. Paint the walls.

  2. Remove the frame from the mirror.

  3. Paint the cabinet.

  4. Stock the drawers with essentials.

  5. Shelves.

Master Bathroom:

  1. Replace the bathtub.

  2. Paint or wallpaper?

  3. Connect the master bedroom and the master bathroom?

  4. Decide on a hidden solution for James’s litter box.

  5. Organize the cabinets and drawers.

Yard:

  1. Put up a privacy fence.

  2. Decide on patio furniture/storage.

  3. Decide on lighting.

  4. Build plan for garden.

Mood Board

Click through the pictures for links.

Feeling particularly ready for spring this year, and feeling inspired by all the home decor.

“Home is the nicest word there is.” - Laura Ingalls Wilder

HOME

IMG_9608.JPG

So much has happened in the last month, and when I think about the last six months…I’m stunned. And when I think about the last year…it seems like three years in one. WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to us from us.

We haven’t even been in our house for a month…but I love it. I love everything about it, and I feel like an overprotective mother about it. There are several large updates that we plan to make, and some minor tweaks here and there…but we are taking it little by little and prioritizing as needed. But…it feels so good and so foreign and so perfect.

2018 held seriously high highs, like new puppies and visits with family, beautiful peach trees in community gardens, quick trips to nearby favorite places, and celebrating friends left and right. It then brought some of the lowest of lows. But through all of the lowest points, we were shown patience and understanding by our families and we are better because of those low points.

2019 is off to a fine start, and I have big plans for it.

And away we go.

IMG_6995.JPG

Imagine walking through your homey, lovely living room and admiring the things around you as you stroll. You walk along, noticing the framed photos of a place that has always meant the most to you, and the vase filled with flowers that you dried because you just really were digging them and didn’t want to let them go. Your pets are asleep on the couch and your favorite throw is draped just so beside them. The sunlight is pouring into the windows because it’s that perfect time of day. You keep walking along and then your gorgeous ornate rug gets pulled out from under you and you slam into the ground face first. Bruised and confused. That’s how I feel right now. 

Our apartment has...mold. And we know that there must be a lot of it. It’s making me sick, so we have to leave... now. Like, yesterday would have been better. The day before we found out about MoldCity, I spent the entire day painting our guest bedroom white and worked so hard to turn it into a beautiful, useful studio space. A lot of sweat and three coats of paint later, it was complete and I was so proud to check that off of the to-do list that it had been on for over a year. In the time we’ve lived in our current home, we’ve made it almost everything we wanted it to be. We still had a ways to go, but we were actively working to get it there. Now, I have to start from scratch again... and lose about 500-600 square feet of space. 

I am such a firm believer in there being a plan for everything, and a believer that all things have a purpose. So, when frustrated, my mind flips back and forth between positives and negatives and plus sides and down sides and goods and bads. So, maybe it was time for us to be shaken out of our rhythm. Maybe the rhythm we had wasn’t the rhythm we needed. Maybe this will get us further along in our long term plans than our previous living arrangement would have. Maybe this. Maybe that. Maybe an hour-long commute to work will mean I can finally listen to all of the books I’ve been wanting to read. Maybe this means we can spend more time with T’s family, and more time with mine. Maybe this will make us be more intentional with the time that we have. Maybe we will get gorgeously tan from having access to a swimming pool daily. Maybe T can start cooking again, since he will have access to a much bigger and better kitchen. Maybe. 

Despite how aggravated I am, and how unfair it all feels... I do feel grateful. I feel grateful for T’s parents and how they’ve offered up their guest house to us. I feel grateful for the memories that we get to make with them, and I feel grateful that I get to spend autumn tucked away in a leafy, dreamy space. I feel grateful for whatever it is in me that is making me feel at peace (96% of the time) about all of this. 

Let’s see how this goes.

2AF08871-C278-4D92-BE89-FCD1DB83EA13.JPG