Archive for May, 2010

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memorial day weekend 2010

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Craig and I journeyed to NYC for Memorial Day Weekend. It was absolutely incredible. We walked and walked and ate and ate and laughed and laughed. Here’s a little snippet of us showing off our Keens as we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge.

go keens!

Best shoes for poundin' the pavement. Yeah to our Keens!

Posted in The Daily Balance | 2 Comments »

how to make beetle juice

Friday, May 28th, 2010

One day your lillies are doing wonderfully in your garden. Perhaps they are tilting a tad like mine.

asian lillies

Leaning tower of lillies.

And then, wallah! Those darn little red beetles attack. And start feasting on lilly salad.
chomped lillies

Chomp, chomp, chomp. What fun for them. And I get to supervise and try to break up the party. I’ve researched quite a bit on what to do, and some of the research involves picking the red beetles off one by one and killing them and using icky pesticides to try to control the invasion.

But I really don’t want to be touching those beetles. And I really, really don’t want to spray pesticides.

So this year I’m combatting them guerilla style based on suggestions I’ve read online. I made a home brew of Seventh Generation dish soap, water, and hot sauce to spray on my lillies. I used a healthy squirt of the dish soap, several drops of hot sauce, filled my recycled spray bottle with lukewarm water, and then I mixed it up real good.

beetle juice

Laid back... sipping on beetle juice.

I’ve been generously spraying this little cocktail on my lillies every day.
beetle juice on lillies

Was it fun to make? Absolutely. Do I think it will work? Doubtful. But I will keep you posted. Half-eaten asian lillies, here we come.

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Posted in Reduce Reuse Recycle, The Growing Season | 1 Comment »

what an incredible spring it has been

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

I would like to state, for the bloggin’ record, that this has been a wonderful spring for me. This is the first year in many, many years that I have managed to persevere through allergy season without being horrendously miserable. And now that I’ve just written this, I feel as though I should go knock on wood.

Spring doesn’t tend to like me very much. I wake up from the long slumber of winter and usually launch right into spring allergies. They hit me at the end of April and I spend the month of may in a drugged-out, unhappy allergetic fog. I can’t breathe. I want to claw my face off. Craig has to massage my sinuses while they make hissing, popping noises. When I breathe it’s raspy and weezy. I can’t wear makeup whatsoever. And I generally want to just knock myself out. This was me last year in May:

spring allergies

Spring allergies 2009... destination: my head

But this has totally not been the case this year! Even with the hot, hot, hot temps this week (we hit a record 97°F here in NH!). I can see the clouds of goldeny green pollen in the air, blanketing my car and front steps at the house. And yet, I am doing pretty okay. I do take an allergy pill, just like I have every year. But I haven’t had full-blown all-day leaky eye, hacking allergy attacks. I can wear mascara. I don’t keep a box of puffs plus with aloe at my desk. I go outside willingly.

And I really do think it has to do with drinking raw milk. Because that is the only major change I have made in my diet/routine. Every morning I eat raw milk with cereal after I have properly caffeinated.

raw milk

I pour the milk into little mason jars or recycled jars I have on hand to take with me on the go.

I’ve been drinking and cooking with raw milk for 7 months now, and I think the benefits are so worth it. My teeth are so much healthier, stronger, and less sensitive. My gums are receding less. My hair is shiny and strong. My nails are hard and grow fast. I feel fuller longer. And my eyes aren’t constantly itching and leaking. The worst of my allergy symptoms has been itchy ears and waking up in the early morning with an itchy, dry throat. And even that has gotten better. There is, indeed, research being done that supports the idea that raw milk reduces histamine levels. I would have to agree.

So, yeah. I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of spring this year. I go outside during my lunch break. I come home after work and walk around in my gardens. I get up on the weekends excited to be outside. I dig and plant whenever I can. I go for bike rides. I take long, leisurely walks around the neighborhood. I washed my car outdoors by hand. I got soaking wet standing out in the rain during last night’s awesome thunderstorm.

These are all things that have been nearly impossible for me to savor in years past. I am so, so thankful for whatever seems to be keeping my allergies to a minimum this year. Sometimes preparing for the worst and hoping for the best works wonders.

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Posted in The Daily Balance | 3 Comments »

hot, hot, hot…

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Hot! Sizzling! Scorching!

It was pretty darn warm here in southern NH today. Temps rose above 90°F and the humidity soared with it all. Dare I say I fretted all day long about my lettuces while I was stuck at work, knowing they were gasping in the reallllly hot temps. Must water! I pleaded with Craig to water the gardens when he got home from work, knowing that I had to be at the dentist at 6 p.m. (Yes, I have a fantastic dentist who does nighttime appointments after work!)

Craig of course gladly obliged, bless him. And I trotted off to have my 6-month cleaning which I was slightly dreading. My last appointment wasn’t so stellar. But after having 5 cavities filled over the winter and committing myself to drinking raw milk, this visit was superb. I was told that my teeth look great and my gums are looking way healthier. I can’t help but give credit to the raw milk. Because I’m still brushing and flossing and eating fruits and veggies. The milk is really the biggest change I’ve made. So happy to go to the dentist and come away feeling victorious!

I stopped on the way home to pick up some organic tomato and pepper starts at a garden stand in Groton, Massachusetts near my dentist. It was fun to poke around a garden center where they grow everything on-site. One day (maybe next year?) I will finally commit to growing tomatoes from seed. Besides the roma and cherry tomatoes and banana peppers I picked up, everything else in my garden this year I’ve grown from organic seed. And without starting anything indoors. Heh heh.

This is a huge leap for me! Each year I’ve grown as a gardener, and committing myself to growing from seed is really exciting. And as of today, May 25th, everything is coming up!!! The heat over the last few days is causing a fantastic garden explosion. I’m so thrilled.


The cilantro is almost ready to harvest!


Here come Blue Lake Beans! They've sprouted and grown tremendously in 2 days.


Come on beets! I want success this year!


So the lettuces did wilt a bit, but a healthy watering revived them.

potato sprouts

I see potato sprouts!


The zucchini are up!

sugar snap peas

These sugar snap peas are ready to be staked/trellised. I need to figure out a way to do this.


Can you spot the radish? They are ready to harvest! I thinned a few this weekend and gave the babies to my Mom. First pick of the season!

broccoli rabe

If you look real close into the heart of the plant, you can see where the first broccoli rabe stalk is forming.

carrot sprouts

My carrot sprouts. They are slow and steady. And I am so excited for their progress.

tall garlic

The garlic plants are getting gigantic!

I am very thrilled with how the garden is going. Here it is the end of May, and everything is starting to flourish. The coming months should be exciting to see how my hard work to plant seeds and try new veggies pays off. Weeeee!

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Posted in The Growing Season | 2 Comments »

when iris eyes are smiling

Monday, May 24th, 2010

This weekend was one of those rare kinds where time slows down and everything seems light and airy and long. And it was actually a packed weekend to boot, but it went by nice and slow. Why can’t every day be like that?

I met my good friend Allison out on Friday night at a local bar/eatery called Timber Grille after my long work week. I was kind of dreading going out because I was so tired, but Allison was in town from Denver, CO, and I hadn’t seen her since December. I rallied and went out.

The Timber Grille has this fantastic outside deck that looks over the river in town, and it was so relaxing to get a Longtrail Blackberry Wheat on draft and sit outside in the warmth watching the sun set over the river. Our other good friends joined us one by one, and instantly I was in complete relaxation mode. It’s important to get out, see the good peeps, and laugh. We laughed a lot. I miss Allison already, and I look forward to hopefully hanging out with her again soon.

Saturday I wanted to sleep in, but I also had chores to get done. But first, the garden sweep. Hello irises. They’re all opening now, and I’ve got a few different varieties in the back flower bed.


pink iris


I just can't get enough of them. They make me smile.

Saturday afternoon, we were off to a BBQ at my parent’s house and a chance to see both of my sisters and brothers-in-law and kiddos. A chance for babies to interact with babies.

baby feets

1 week old foot and 8-month old foot meet.

My dad also debuted the return of Cheyenne the Wonder Horse. It was awesome.

cheyenne the wonder horse

This is the same horse my sisters and I rode on when we were kiddos. It was made in the '70s.

cheyenne the wonder horse

Whereas we used to get hurt frequently on this bucking bronco by misstepping or falling off, my dad has geniously reinforced Cheyenne the Wonder Horse with pipe insulation and duck tape. I think he even got new springs. And smartly moved Cheyenne outside for riding.

I loved bouncing and riding on this thing when I was growing up. And I had no idea that my dad held onto Cheyenne the Wonder Horse all these years. He’s amazing like that, storing something in the basement and then refurbishing it to glory. She looks amazing for her age!

Cheyenne the Wonder Horse

Yes, I mounted Cheyenne. Gingerly perhaps, but damn, it was fun. And no, I didn't break her. Those springs are, um, resilient.

Craig and I returned home to get nesty and catch up on the last season of LOST. We were the full 16 episodes of the last season behind when we started watching on Thursday night. But we methodically and strategically banged them out one by one, watching from the interwebz with limited commercials. We must have watched 6 or 7 episodes Saturday night alone. And by Sunday evening, we were caught up and ready to go for the series finale.

Despite all the activity, time passed slowly and wonderfully this weekend. I love that.

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Posted in Reduce Reuse Recycle, The Daily Balance, The Growing Season | 1 Comment »

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