Friday, May 6, 2011

The State of Things - Garden

I’m going to attempt a weekly segment where I review the state of things. Not the state of things that the international/national/local news covers, but a more personal look at the state of things. Some weeks I’ll focus on the traditions I tried to establish in 2011, some weeks it might be a short blurb about the state of crazy I exist in, but mostly I just want documentation that there is progress in my life.

It is so easy to blow through a week and not take a moment to acknowledge the time that has passed or the things I have done. I am trying not to do that.

This week we will talk about the garden.

Veggie Garden
The garden is one of those things that I enjoy, but it requires so much work. We have planted beans, lettuces, carrots and such. I really think if we had a cold frame of some sort we would have had salad by now, but this spring was cold and long so our lettuce has been stuck in the sprout stage forever.

Silly sprouts
 Nevertheless, the patio garden is coming up, weeds have been pulled, mulch has been applied and pictures taken. The first bulbs of the year are the crocuses, I’m not sure if something got to them before they bloomed or if a bunch of them just didn’t flower this year, but they were not as stellar as I had hoped. Then there are my “dwarf tulips” I don’t’ know what variety these tulips are, but they bloom as low as the crocuses, and this year they continued to grow taller until something (Dennis?) nibbled the blooms right off.

Right now (and by now I mean this past weekend when I wrote this post) the other tulips are up, blooming beautifully. The bright yellow ones are so cheery and they have the thinnest line of red outlining the petals. They open WIDE during sunny days inviting bees and butterflies to stop by for a visit.

Open Sesame

Can you see the red outline?
Closed in the evening

There are also a couple purpley/pink ones. They have a much smaller flower, but bloom at a normal height just a day or two behind the yellow ones.

Love this picture
Closed in the evening right after I watered
Around our patio we have three lilac trees which I hated the first year we lived here, but now I love them. The fragrance alone won me over. They are also blooming late this year and haven’t produced a single flower yet, but I expect they will appear sometime between writing and posting this entry to the blog.
Purple Lilac
Then there are just some other random plants coming up and starting to bloom around the garden
Ground Cover (Macro setting)

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Friday I did not get up and watch the wedding of the royals over in England. I recognize that it is a big day, but I have always considered weddings so personal and since I don’t know either people getting married it feels invasive. That doesn’t stop me from looking at pictures (mostly of Kate’s dress and veil, I love her veil)

When I got married my goal was to wear a pretty dress, kiss a cute boy and make sure I had my parents there. Then I wanted to celebrate with friends out in Oregon. I did it all. My dress was adorable, my parents were there, no tears were shed and a cute boy kissed me. There are some tiny things I might change if I did it over (different veil), but basically it was perfect even if it was four years ago.

My hair jewelry

My Veil, not as Pretty as the Princess's

My little sister is getting married in September and I am really excited for her. I won’t attend her actual ceremony, but I will (job-willing) be there for her party back home. I hope she has as much fun as I did, but I worry too. She is the opposite of bridezilla and I hope it doesn’t end up being a wedding where decisions are made to appease others. I hope everything ends up as close to perfect as possible. I recognize that a wedding (single event) is not as important as a marriage (life long journey), but it is something that you look back to and I want her to look back and smile. I want her to look at her wedding pictures and laugh because it was a wonderful day.
What do you think about weddings? 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Our Anniversary

If I had to describe my husband and I as a couple I would say best friends who are sort of adorable in a teenage-couple sort of way. Our anniversary has its own history of on again off again fun. At least once, Jim was thousands of miles away, I often forget the actual date and we aren’t into big gestures, so this year we made a small effort and I found it to be practically perfect. I had thought about a weekend away, but our anniversary falls during that unpredictable spring season where you can have any kind of weather imaginable and I didn’t want to waste a getaway on a weekend with crummy weather. So we stuck around home and celebrated on the actual anniversary date, which fell during the week.

I came home, cleaned up after the boys and just as I was finishing up jim arrived home with groceries. After putting all the food away I set about arranging the four bunches of flowers (for 4 years of marriage) into vases. Jim picked up a couple bunches of my favorite flower (Tulips) in lovely white and light orangey-peach colors. I placed those (with a penny) in a lovely faux crystal vase next to the sink in the kitchen. 

The other two bunches were brightly dyed daisies that I added to a separate vase and placed on the counter in between the kitchen and eating area. Flowers may not last forever, but I do love them and they make me smile every time I enter the kitchen.

After the chores were done we figured a restaurant would be a good thing for celebration. The first thought would be to go to a restaurant that we had eaten at while dating. The only one that really fits the bill is mostly a pasta place and we had already eaten pasta multiple times that week, so that was nixed almost immediately. Instead, we went to the hibachi/Japanese Steakhouse place in our town. This restaurant also serves sushi, but since this was a celebration of us and Jim doesn’t like sushi I decided to stay with the hibachi specials exclusively. It was excellent fun and delicious food.

We rounded out the evening in tradition Jim-Britt style with some Jeopardy, knitting and hanging around. It may not have been the biggest deviation from our normal routine, it was enough to be special and celebratory and since it was with my husband it was exactly perfect.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Easter Dress 2011 Edition

Easter was well over a week ago, but with the new job my schedule is still not quite settled. I wrote about this before, but the tradition continues. This year my little (ok so she’s 20, she’s still little to me) told me that she thinks I should not call them Easter dresses because I wear them more than just on Easter. She believes that Spring dress would be more appropriate and less juvenile. 

I don’t completely disagree, but enjoy the thought of an Easter dress so much more than a seasonal dress so I’m still going to call it an Easter dress.

This year, I got to go easter dress shopping with my mom because she was in town. We hit 3 stores even though I found the dress at the second one.

adorable, bright pink and flattering. I am loving it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Caterpillar - April Edition

The Lace Reader, Brunonia Barry – Exactly the kind of book I like to read, underlying mysticism, enjoyable plot, conflict, etc. Loved it. Not life changing, nor would I read it a second time, but I would recommend it.

The Mark of the Angel: A Novel, by Nancy Huston – I felt this book boring, and non-climactic

Love Means… Courage , by Andrew Grey–  First audiobook from the library. I didn’t read the blurb to know what it was about and had I, it would have never been downloaded. First, the premise isn’t that interesting to me. Second, the author went to great detail to explain how the main character walked into his office, but when someone in the book dies there are no details. Not about the death, not about how characters react, nothing. No delving into emotions. There were love scenes a plenty (which I really don’t need in a book) and the writing was poor. I do not recommend it.

Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up, by Dave Barry – Another audio book for my commute. Fun collection of some of Dave’s articles.

Flying Changes, by Sara Gruen – This was a fun book, relatively predictable, but the main character was neurotic enough that she was relatable.

My reading has most definitely slowed down since my commute was chopped short, thankfully the audiobooks add some literature to my life and I am using the extra time to make some much needed improvements. I still get a couple of minutes of reading before I fall asleep, but nothing extreme.