Sunday, July 30, 2006

Squashing Negativity

I was extemely eager to start gardening our new lot this year. Though I said we would do inside first and outside later, come spring, I was itching to plant. I had Mac out tilling up part of the field for a vegetable garden starting around April first -truly a fool's thing to do as the ground was still too wet and the temperatures too cold. Nonetheless, I started planting seeds and starts during this still chilly weather.

Soon after this Mac and I began taking regular strolls through the garden. We'd survey the land, talk, and most importantly, check on the plant progess. Somewhere toward the end of May, our veggie starts were still extremely stunted, the bean seedlings had been devoured by slugs, the blueberries and roses were still dormant and the weeds were more robust than anything we had actually planted.

"Our garden sucks!" Mac proclaimed.

"This year is just experimental. Anything we get is a bonus and we've learned a lot for next year," I tried to reassure Mac.

"Our garden still sucks." Mr. Negativity strikes again.

Two months, lots of sun and an automatic irrigation system later, the garden is looking much better. It's still not the exuberant and lush vegetable bounty that we envision and the weeds still seem to grow faster than anything else, but we have been harvesting plenty.

The peas did fantastic. A cool season veggie, they were probably the one thing that relished the early planting time.

We replanted the beans in late May. The warmer temperatures and a healthy dose of slug bait made a big difference. We might not be canning this year, but some of the plants are stretching above the 8 foot fence and a few beans are setting.

The tomatoes are kind of pathetic. The neighbors warned that tomatoes are tough here because of the cool nights. But the 'early cascade' seems to be living up to its name and breeding, and we've gotten 4 or 5 tomatoes with many green ones loading the vines.

There are 4 pumpkins, 2 spaghetti squash and a few other smaller ones ripening on the vines. Our zucchini and crookneck are nowhere near as prolific as normal, but we don't really mind this. We've also gotten a few white bush squash, but I am not sure what to do with these.

There is more than enough basil.

There are a couple of softball sized watermelons out there. I consider this a huge success as I never even had the tiniest of fruits form in Portland.

The blueberries and cane berries have a lot of new growth. I expect to get at least a few handfuls of berries next year. This'll certainly make Megan happy as "beshies" are one of her favorite foods.

So our garden might not be a pretty sight and it is a long way from perfect, but I don't think it totally sucks.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hay Day

A couple of weekends ago the we headed off to the Marion County Fair for a day of fun. The exhibit was very disappointing compared to the previously attended Ag Fest, but Megan was still entertained. Hard as we tried we couldn't get Megan to crawl through the long plastic tunnel, but the shorter and taller hay tunnel wasn't so intimidating.

Megan also came back with a few ideas from the fair. Now we walk down to the neighbors cows, Meg always begs "pet... pet... pet." Seems she's gotten the idea that cows are for petting as we pet lots of them at the fair. Problem is the neighbor's cows don't really care to be pet.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A little Catching Up

Well, we're back by popular demand. Ok, we're really back by demand since the only people who asked where we've been were family members. They need their Megan fix afterall. Looking back at the archives shows us that we haven't posted anything since the middle of May, so I'll start there.

Pam took one of her vacation weeks and tied it to the Memorial Day Holiday and the Smith's packed in to the car and headed to Northern California to visit many people. We left after work, and planned on driving as far as Meg would allow us. She melted down in Redding, CA at about 11:30 PM and we spent a night at the Holiday Inn Express.

The next day around lunch time, we arrived in Lincoln, CA for a visit with Nana and Grandpa (Pam's parents).
As you can see, Meg was thrilled to be there :) We visited for the weekend and then continued on our trek.

The plan was to introduce Megan to some of Pam's friends from college and med school (and their own children) and also to stop for a visit with my Aunt Kate. We made our way to Sebastopol, CA on Sunday night and had a nice dinner and visit with Kate.

On Memorial Day, we hopped on over to Napa to visit Pam's friend Betty, her husband Jimmy, and their daughter Sabrina. They took us out to to a great Italian Bistro for lunch and the kids had a great time getting to know each other.

After lunch, we went in to the city to visit another of Pam's friends--this one from college. We spent the afternoon walking through the Presidio Park and hanging out at the playground.

Finally, we headed back to Lincoln for dinner that night and finished up the week hanging out with Nana and Grandpa.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Getting Dressed

Megan is working on getting herself dressed.

As you can see, she still needs a bit more work!

Yesterday, Megan put a plastic food container (clean) on her head and said, "hat," with no parental prompting. In fact, we just wanted to use the container to pick blueberries. The best part was that Megan knew this was funny.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

My Return

I am coming back, I promise! My mom is finally taking the time to learn the new system.