Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Bouquet of Broccoli

Never before have I posted a garden update in January.

*Brief pause for a momentary back pat*

This year-round gardening thing has worked out well. Although many of the crops planted for the fall/winter version of our edible backyard didn't work out as planned, we spent the weekend up to our ears in broccoli.

I think we ended up with 19 plantings and we cut heads from most of them last week. We enjoyed a delicious serving of steamed broccoli with a chicken dinner to kick off the New Year and all but one Bauer approved {...Owen}. Then we moved to the processing part of our harvest. We cut, blanched, and froze enough goodness to last until the ground is ready to plant more. Unfortunately there are no photos of this step, but you can close your eyes and imagine a bunch of broccoli florets dancing about in a big pot of boiling water. I know. It's glorious.

Although this has been my first experience actually harvesting vegetables in January, this month has always signaled the beginning of the growing season for me. Various seed catalogs will soon be shoved into my mailbox and my eyes will dance at the new varieties, bright colors, and promise that spring draws nearer. Plans are already swirling around my brain for double the amount of cucumbers, never-before-tried tomato varieties, and a first attempt at backyard potatoes.

In keeping with the theme of the year, homegrown will play a bigger part of my family's diet in 2016. I have yet to physically sketch any garden plans because that just makes me more anxious for the spring plant. However, you can trust that all members of my family may already be tired of hearing about vegetables.

But you aren't, right? You like hearing about gardening, right? Right?!

Hope you're having a happy hump day, friends. Also, do tell: How does your January garden grow?

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Monday, January 4, 2016

One Little Word

Be it ever so humble {and surrounded by kids and chickens}, there's no place like home.

I've boarded the One Little Word train annually since 2013. This is a one-word resolution claimed on January 1 to provide a more directed purpose to everyday life. I've made big proclamations each year about a consistent series wherein I update you on the progress of living toward my new-found direction, but I've basically forgotten about it a few weeks in.

Yet here I am, trying again.

For 2016, however, I'm going down a different stream. Instead of tossing out an adjective I want to become or a verb I want to get done, my word is more of a theme for my life/blog. My OLW for 2016 is home. This year I want to focus on the roots I'm putting down. Not just the literal ones in my garden, but the ones on the other side of that yellow door. I want to pull back my focus to live where I am and love where I am. I want 2016 to be homemade and homegrown and more vested in homesteading. I want to appreciate the family waiting inside and the safe feeling that comes from the place we've built together. Home isn't just a house to me, it's a feeling, and I vow to embrace it this year.

A word like "home" leaves room for interpretation, and hopefully I'll use that to my advantage as I keep you updated. The best part of my day is turning off the pavement and onto my gravel driveway. There's a lot to celebrate in this life, but the comfort of home is what brings me peace. I need to get lost in that.

The grass may look greener on the other side, but the grass on this patch of earth is all mine. I want to nurture it, enjoy it, and focus on what we've made of it. It's actually pretty sweet, y'all.

There you have it folks. What's your word or theme for 2016? I'm sure it's a good one!

For the curious, here are my past words:

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Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year Cheers

Ahhh. First nap of the new year.

Happy 2016, y'all! I'm taking advantage of the first quiet moments of the year to open a blank slate and start making marks. Last night we celebrated in style: in pajamas, on the couch, dodging sparking apple cider spills from a little girl who was too excited. Only one member of the bunch gave in before midnight {Owen}, so there was an even number for the good luck smooch.

Scrolling through Facebook while waiting to count down, I loved seeing all the elegant dresses, suits and ties, and confetti-covered rooms. Although I did have a bit of non-apple bubbly myself, our view was different. We spent the evening with Wreck-It Ralph and Peppa Pig and turned to Times Square with only a couple minutes to spare. The morning brought a living room floor covered in a layer of popcorn and cookie crumbs, a hot cup of coffee, and only one kid up before 9:00 AM {guess which one}. Our New Year's Eve wasn't glamorous, but it was a great start.

While I don't necessarily have a bullet-by-bullet list at this point, there are a few things I want to keep in mind for 2016. I need more laughter and less anger. More relaxation and less tension. More kindness and less quickness. More green and less fried. More doing and less worrying. More writing and less procrastinating. More play and less wait. More love and less envy. I just want to be better this year. It's a tall order, but we have to start somewhere, don't we?

Cheers to 2016, my friends, let's make this one the best yet.

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