Monday, March 10, 2014

the coldest winter of all time

While I'm quite sure that's not historically accurate, this winter had more below-28 cold snaps that I remember from the other 24 years I lived in Austin all put together. It killed my citrus trees and pineapples and all kinds of other things that lived through last winter just fine. Somewhat ironic since I was worried about missing those Chicago winters (I still miss the snow).

But anyway, it should be warming up any day now and I'm excited about the garden. I'm even thinking of making a spreadsheet and putting it on the fridge to keep track of the harvest. If I can keep up with it, it will be cool info to have.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

let's take a walk

We've been alternating icy cold snaps and just gorgeous stretches, one after the other. It's been lovely. I really enjoy real winter so this way I don't have to feel like I'm missing my beloved Chicago but I mean, who doesn't like a nice 70 degree stroll in the winter sunshine?

Friday, December 6, 2013

record highs and records lows

Temperature-wise, yes. Earlier this week it was 85 which is certainly on the higher end of a December temperature here in Austin. Today we all woke up to our third cold snap of the year, with freezing rain and nighttime temperatures in the twenties, something that doesn't normally happen until February, and not every February either.

Also in life. 2013 has included possibly more difficult moments than any other year - more exhaustion, confusion, despair, frustration, exasperation, guilt, illness and injury, and yes, even anger. But also more happy moments, more daily melt-your-heart cuteness, more first steps first words excitement, more general contentedness and joy than any other year.


So here's to putting beets in your hair and here's to 2013.

Monday, November 18, 2013

what winters says

"dat! dat!" = cat


shhhhhhhsss = shoes

chhss = cheese

bocks = blocks/box

dock = socks

uht = up

mamamamaaah = mom

dad-doh = dad

bat = bath

bat-uh = bathroom

cack-cah = cracker

cack-cah = tractor (context is important here)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

hi, fever

This has been the month of the fever, with poor Win getting his first and second fevers ever. This past one seems to be on the way out after 4 days and a nasty rash. Not flu, but as "just one of the hundreds of other virsuses going around" according to his pediatrician. On the bright side he was so pathetic yesterday his dad couldn't resist buying him a new tractor toy while at the drugstore for more baby Advil. Winters says, "cack-cahh." We may be entering the era of the tractor.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

the year of the eggplant

Last year I got, I think, one eggplant. This year has tested my eggplant cooking and eating abilities.


Tonight was a Thai eggplant stirfry, before that was eggplant and tomatoes over pasta, Indian eggplant and lentils, grilled eggplant and other veggies with couscous or quinoa, grilled eggplant pizza, and the list goes on. IF anyone has a favorite eggplant recipe, I'm all ears.

Last night a freeze was predicted and the low tonight is supposed to be 27, so I have tarps over my plants which still have probably 10 more eggplants in various stages of growth.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

garden store

Untitled by sarahs_and_aarons
Untitled, a photo by sarahs_and_aarons on Flickr.

Win loves to go to the store now, any store really. Here we are at the garden store, toughing out 104 degrees like a champ. We got a bougainvillea and a bay laurel, and a serrano and chive plant, because they were on sale.

Friday, August 9, 2013


Here it is, August 9, which is our ten-year wedding anniversary. We just got back from a trip to Chicago with the baby which was a lot of fun.


Now that we're back, we're back to working on our house and trying to figure out how to take care of all the things we've recently acquired, like a small fruit orchard and a small person. I got a pruning book from the library so that's my current mission, that and planting a fall garden.

Turns out it's actually kind of fun to be a grown-up old married person!

Friday, July 19, 2013


I just realized I haven't taken a photo of the garden in over a month. This one is from June 11:


Even though it's a huge garden I've been kind of disappointed with it, the corn all died before the ears were done filling out and the squash bugs got to all my squash although I did get about 20 crookneck and 10 zucchinis before they died. Winter squash seems to be a bust though. Even the green beans I planted were all vines and no beans. Of course I have tons of tomatoes and I'm happy about that but they have mostly been cherry tomatoes, poor planning on my part. I don't even really like cherry tomatoes. Next year it's all roma and maybe 1 cherry and 1 beefsteak. Since I like to process them, the cherry tomatoes are a pain. I'm finally getting some cucumbers and will try again for beans soon.

In Chicago the growing season was short, but so bountiful. I could go out every day and come back in with armfuls of tomatoes, squash, eggplant, tomatillos, beans and cucumbers. Here is seems like it's more year-round, but one thing at a time. I'm not sure if that's a quirk of my planning or just the weather, but it's awkward to have tons of one thing (tomatoes, cucumbers, beans) and nothing to cook them with. Luckily I have many years ahead of me to work on the plan.

I'm also getting excited about the fall garden, and realizing that while summer is showier, the fall, winter and spring gardens are the ones that really pay off. No need to buy salad greens, carrots, onions, garlic, herbs, green beans or peas ever. I'm going to try again with beets because we love them, we always end up eating the greens but the beets don't grow. I also plan to plant rutabaga.

If any Texas gardeners have tips for getting things to produce at the same time, or have had success growing squash, please speak up!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Untitled by sarahs_and_aarons
Untitled, a photo by sarahs_and_aarons on Flickr.

today I turn 32. we went to a show last weekend and this weekend I'm throwing myself a party. I try to make my birthday last as long as possible!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

projects around the house

IMG_1181 by sarahs_and_aarons
IMG_1181, a photo by sarahs_and_aarons on Flickr.

Never end... but occasionally we complete something that feels significant. We have been in the process of terracing our tiny front yard and building a retaining wall for a while now. Next up is to build a short fence, a walkway to the front door, some kind of sidewalk, and put in plants by the curb...