Category: home(sweet)home

putting things back together

plants and broken pictures

my desk in my studio

poppy's room, in progress

above my desk in my studio

we’ve been in our new place here in chicago for two weeks, tomorrow.

my mom came a few days after moving in to help out and take care of p while i set to work putting things in their places. having her here was amazing…i was able to get a lot done. without her here, the same work would have taken me months to complete. because 3 year olds need to be cared for, fed and entertained, you see… 🙂

there’s still a lot of work to be done, but little corners of the house feel settled and for now, that’s enough.

***

every day i am surer of our decision to move to chicago. i have and always have had a lot on my mind, but my soul feels more at home and at rest here than i have anywhere in the last two to three years. i believe i’m allergic to suburbs. 🙂

i’m really loving how *close* our new place is to everything. how i can not bother using the car most days, and can just hop on a bus or train to get me where i want and need to go. or just use my feet. it just feels easy and right.

growing here & growing there

kale peas tomatoes cabbages broccoli lettuce beans

onions cabbages tomatoes chard peas and basil

herbs and onions and tomatoes

i’m gardening again this year, in my patio container garden, and things are coming along great. this year we’ve implemented the SFG system and built a couple of narrow 6′ x 1′ boxes and have utilized the existent apartment boxes, our half barrel containers, and various smaller pots, and are growing:

6 bush tomato plants, one purple eggplant, one white “ghostbuster” eggplant, chard from seed, radishes from seed, basil, mint, lavender, dill, purple and white onions, cabbage, cauliflower, snow peas, bush beans, chives, kale, rosemary, oregano, lemon and german thyme, sweet pepper, and…i am sure i’m forgetting something! hopefully my onions will be done soon and i can get some cukes in.

we had red leaf lettuce and romaine but i just hacked it down last week and ate it. YUM.

just like last year, things are coming along great. no massive failures…yet! seems some caterpillars have taken a liking to the cabbages, but no big deal; they were a springtime experiment; i wanted to grow something a little different and i tried a few. probably won’t try them again. live, garden, learn. 🙂

***

watering our plot at the community garden

celery

peppers, sweet and hot

all sorts of tomatoes

cherry tomatoes, yellow straightneck squash, tomatillo, bush beams

as alluded to in previous posts, we also joined a community garden here in greenwich, the armstrong court community garden, which resides next to a small stream directly behind a public housing complex here in the city. we’ve been working on the garden most weekends for the past month and a half, and things are coming along great! in our plot at armstrong we’re growing tomatoes (various types, including some cherry varieties), sweet and hot peppers, a tomatillo, bush beans, chard, romaine lettuce, celery, and yellow straightneck squash.

pete and poppy come over and help me with the garden, and it’s really a family project! we’re having so much fun and it’s nice to get out and do something together and meet people. the other gardeners are so nice and helpful and everyone really pitches in and makes the garden look great, keeping it maintained and growing strong. and holy moly, the garden as a whole is kicking butt. we had several weeks of rain, followed by a couple weeks with some heat and everything is looking really happy! can’t wait to see what it all looks like once summer is in full swing.

our tummies are sure to be really really happy come july and august! i totally want to make buckets full of preserved tomatoes and tomato products (sauce, salsas, stewed tomatoes, and the like), and if our tomatoes are successful (at home and at the plot), we’re likely to be inundated with tomatoes and quite busy at the end of the season! hahaha. here’s hoping!

***

what are you growing this year?
what do you plan to do with your harvest?

recycled, renewed: green at heart’s (tee-shirt) rugs

greenrug2.jpg
(image via green at heart)

how flipping cool are these handmade braided rugs by green at heart? each one is made from a plethora of recycled tees. i remember seeing these a while back on the interwebs and coveting them, but noticing one in this recent apartment therapy smaller cooler kid’s room entry made me fall in love all over again. i wouldn’t mind putting one under a circular table in an eat-in kitchen (over top of some kind of white or light flooring, natch). or even in a little bright bijoux of a living room, where everything else was pale. or, or! maybe even an otherwise all-white, uber-moderne austere bedroom, maybe something with white or pale pastel walls and a high ceiling? YES! but, whoa, totally breathtaking, any-which-way you might style them…

re-reorganizing

our bedroom

our bedroom

poppy's bedroom

poppy's bedroom

poppy's bedroom

poppy's bedroom

in recent weeks, i got a bug in my butt to move and improve things around our place. maybe i was inspired by the newness and rebirth of spring, or by the fact that we’ve signed on to live in our current apartment for another year, or by seeing peeps (like frecklewonder) reorganizing and improving their lovely abodes. likely it was all of the above.

i’m pretty happy with the way things turned out…at least, for now. 🙂

our house (in the middle of the street)

master bedroom

master bedroom

master bedroom

living room

living room

dining room

dining room

dining room

dining room/kitchen

***

a peek into the royal abode. such as it is. 🙂

been spending the better part of the last 6 months getting settled. i’m constantly obsessing about and fussing over the decor in our pad. nesting, 2 years late! 😛

also:

how fun is hipstamatic for the iPhone?! 😛 i can see it becoming an obsession… seeing as i carry my phone around with me more than my nikon these days, that very well may happen. har!

my colorful life

tomatoes, cuke, and pepper

yellow shoesies

blazing

i don’t know what to say…i’ve been crazy absent. i’ve sort of lost my blogging mojo. BIG TIME. but also, i just have put other stuff ahead of blogging (see below)…limited free time for me equals less time for bouncing around the webs. which, as i have said before, stinks, because i wish i had time for everything. but this way i have more time for creative pursuits instead. and right now that seems to be the best thing for me.

anyway.

my kiddo will be TWO (!!!) in about a month and just this past month, she has started talking like never before. and has pretty much given up napping again…or maybe for good? back to <30 minute naps. maybe that's normal for kiddos her age, maybe it's normal for her. they were nice and long for several months (more than an hour?)

overall, though, she’s growing up so fast and it feels like we’re entering a new stage with this new age. she’s transitioning from being a little girl to a big girl and clearly, it’s not a linear journey.

***

a small update on what i’ve been doing (rather than blogging):

-enjoying the fruits of my gardening labors (see above). so happy to see things grow. and know that i somehow helped them on their way, with my diligent watering, fertilizing, pruning, and the like. how cool is it to grow your own food?? VERY.

-cooking like a maniac, using as much of my garden yield as possible. tonight, for instance, i threw a bunch of the rosemary i’ve got growing on top of a beef tenderloin roast, which i then cubed up and made into a salad, using tomatoes from the garden. added a red pepper and an avocado from the store (plus a few other ingredients), and threw it all on top of some greens, covering it with an avocado dressing. totally not my idea; something i saw in mark bittman’s how to cook anything. it’s a recent cookbook purchase; it is AWESOME. and so was the salad!

-keeping my kiddo from completely destroying the house! she gets into EVERYTHING, her middle name should have been “chaos”! totally normal behavior though, i know. either way i feel like i’m constantly tidying/cleaning! oy! so tired.

-walking around a lot when it’s not crazy hot (aka 103 degrees. what the heck was THAT? thought i was going to melt!). looking forward to somewhat cooler temps.

-sewing like a maniac. some quilt stuff (as previously mentioned), and lots of garments (including, omg, a pair of black linen harem style pants (!!??) and a yellow denim skirt, to name but a few).

-going down to NYC fairly frequently, as a little fam. sometimes just to eat, walk around, and enjoy the weather; other times to see friends or get fanciful novelties or provisions that aren’t available up here in the boonies (aka, connecticut). i love our new apartment (WOO, 3 stories! in a fairly walkable town! lots of nature around!) but i miss NYC, big time. thankfully it’s a quick drive away and i can visit whenever i like…

***

as always, some questions!:

how’s your summer going? 🙂

ever have a blogging slump? did you ever recover? if so, how?

how do you make time to blog? or do anything else?
(especially if you’re a parent with small children?)