Gardening in January

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Jan 142018
 
two image collage of the raised beds, before and after

Left: The raised bed (double height) in its original shaded spot. Right: One of the new beds, moved into the sun.

It seems like every January has at least one day that makes us all a little hopeful that winter won’t last forever, and today was that day, with clear blue skies, temperatures up into the 60’s and a hint of spring in the air. I took advantage of the beautiful weather to embark on a gardening project I’ve been planning since fall, when we had two sickly trees taken out of our back yard. The trees, along our eastern fence, blocked much of the morning and midday light from half of the yard, and now that they’re out I finally have somewhere besides my back patio to grow vegetables.

I had an old raised bed in another part of the garden that never got enough sun, so today I took it apart and started to move it (and the soil) to the new sunny patch. I’m halfway through, but since tomorrow’s a holiday and it’s supposed to be nice again I’ll have plenty of time to finish. While I was out there I had an epiphany about using the old posts from a wood pile to frame and support a raspberry patch, now that its in the sun. Here’s a highly professional mock-up of what that would look like:

raspberry patch mockup

The only problem with this plan is that its right atop our pachamanca pit, so I might not win this round – we’ll see!

Split Pea Soup and Homemade Rolls

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Jan 122018
 

split pea soup and roll

At the end of a long, rainy week I really needed a nice comforting bowl of soup tonight, so I made a pot of green split pea soup from scratch. I love a good roll with my soup, and I got home a little earlier than usual so I decided to make a batch of dinner rolls as well. For the rolls, I used a recipe I found a few months ago around Thanksgiving – the recipe makes rolls that taste like bread stuffing, but I left out most of the herbs this time and they turned out quite nice – just simple savory rolls.

No recipe needed for the split pea soup; it’s hard to mess up. Saute a diced onion, add some diced carrots and potatoes, ham if you like it and have some on hand, ample water and dried split peas. The one trick I borrowed from a recipe is from Ina Garten, who adds half the bag of peas at the beginning and the other about halfway through, which gives nice texture to the soup.
Cook it all until creamy, season with salt and pepper and you’re done!

Forgotten Spot in the Caribbean

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Jan 112018
 

drawing of West Indies and NevisSo I’ve been pretty much obsessed with the musical “Hamilton” for about two years now. Luckily, I have lovelies in my life who help feed my obsession, and one of them got me a Hamilton desk calendar this Christmas. Today happens to be Alexander Hamilton’s birthday, and so I made a little sketch of the Leeward Islands and St. Kitts and Nevis in honor of the ten dollar founding father who was dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean.

Adding Pages to My Bullet Journal

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Jan 082018
 
Adding Pages to My Bullet Journal

Today was busy and long – off to a rough start in the morning and then lots to do at home in the evening. The most I could manage was to add a few new layouts and a little color to my bullet journal. I made a generic ‘Important Notes’ page for little notes I […]

Setting Up My Bullet Journal for 2018

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Jan 072018
 
Setting Up My Bullet Journal for 2018

Last year I started using a bullet journal as a way to keep myself organized and on track, and jot down events and memories as the year progressed. I ended up really liking the format, so I’m going to continue on this year. Tonight I cracked open a new notebook and started out with a […]

Grilled New York Steaks

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Jan 062018
 
Grilled New York Steaks

Whew! I was feeling so lazy tonight I almost punted on dinner. Instead, I got my rear off the couch, to the store to get a propane refill, and grilled New York steaks. To go with I made quinoa in the Instant Pot (1 minute on high pressure and you’ve got the best, fluffiest quinoa […]

Finishing Up the Meditative Mandala

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Jan 052018
 
Finishing Up the Meditative Mandala

This afternoon, I was lucky enough to come home to an empty house, with the kids away at the grandparents and A not yet home from work. Since I am literally never alone in this house it was a real treat. I decided to watch a movie with my completely free time (no one needed […]

Jan 042018
 
Coloring in My Meditative Mandala

I got a bit of time to add some color to my meditative mandala after dinner (btw Instant Pot chicken and potatoes was A+++). Careful coloring takes time, at least for me, so I’ve got another night or two after this to finish this drawing. Also, I’m using watercolor pencils so I might do some […]