Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Time To Garden!!

Hello there.  I have a few random things to talk about today.  Our weather has been just beautiful!  We had a cold weekend, which was nice, but now we are enjoying temperatures in the mid and upper 80's!  You know what that means don't you?  Time to get that garden ready!!  Today I got my garden boxes all weeded and broke up the soil, making it nice and soft. This is my compost bin.  It is the kind that is three removable tiers.  You add your leaves and grass clippings, and garden waste, as well as kitchen compostables, like banana peels, egg shells, coffee grinds, fruit cores, and vegetable scraps.
I took off the top layers off of the compost bin, and dug out bucket after bucket of that rich, black, composted soil to add to my garden boxes. 
When I muck out the chicken coop, all of that hay and chicken manure goes into the compost bin.  I wet it once a week or so, more often in the summer, and turn it weekly with a giant pitchfork.  Above, you can see that I removed the top two tiers and stacked them just in front of the piece left on the ground.  That bottom layer was beautiful, black, rich, crumbly, nitrogen rich, composted soil.  FREE!!  And the best thing you can possibly add to amend your soil before you plant.
While digging the soil up to put into my bucket, I came across dozens of grubs.  The chickens favorite snack of all!!!  They came a running when I called them to see what I had.
See those white things in front of the hens?   These are like candy to chickens!!
The garden boxes still need a bit more soil added before I plant.  Hoping to get some of my things in this weekend.
This year I will probably plant less variety, and more of the things that we love to eat.  That means lots of tomatoes, cilantro, spinach, lettuce, sugar snap peas, melons, cucumbers, peppers, basil, and later in the summer, pumpkins.
With this warm weather we are having, I have been hanging the clothes out on the line again.  I love to do this.  The clothes smell so fresh and clean.
I hung this order I just finished recently.  It is all ready for pick up.  Five ear warmer headbands.
As the sun was going down, the chickens made their way to the safety of their coop to roost for the night.  I brought my camera along to say goodnight. Goodnight Tilly, Ham, Chickas, Sammy.
Goodnight Blue.   She likes to roost all by herself on the opposite side of the coop.
They have full crops after grazing in the grove and then having dessert of plump garden grubs!!!  Just look at those bulging crops!!
Yesterday, I went out to my Mom's.  We had such a nice day.  We drove to a little shopping center with a cute feed shop, and visited their chicks, and baby pigs and ducks.  Then went to Pacific Ranch Market and walked around in there to see all of their beautiful produce and meats.  They are one of the few places that sell Prime Beef.  And they do all of their butchering on site.  We talked to the butchers about lamb, and which is best, New Zealand lamb, or US lamb.  We found a beautiful boutique with terrific prices, and I saw lots of things I loved, and thought of my girls too because they would have loved this place.  Then we drove on a few more miles down the road and had lunch at one of our all time favorite places, Zov's Bistro.  We split salmon and angel hair pasta, and then shared one of their delicious, tart lemon bars for dessert.  After than, we went out to visit Nana.  We did some reorganizing in her place, to allow for more room for her to get around with her walker.  She was having a pretty good day, and I enjoyed seeing her so much.  After visiting with Nana, we were heading back to my Mom's house, and decided to pop into Home Goods.  The one by Mom's is so good!
I have been in the market for a new area rug in our family room.  They have a huge selection, and very good prices.  There were several that I liked, and after narrowing it down to one, my Mom said she wanted to get it for me for my birthday.  We also picked out a couple of new pillows for the sofa.  I was eager to go home and see how it looked.  But after a long day, and then getting stuck in traffic coming home, I decided to just wait to put it out today after cleaning the floors.  I love the new rug!  With the cream colored background, it really lightens up our sort of darkish room.
Tomorrow I am going to pull it down a wee bit so the lamp can sit all the way on the carpet.  I am also going to have to take down the quilt over the couch and find something to put on the wall.  The reds in the quilt don't do anything for the rug.  But Greg wants to leave it up.  We shall see.  Here is a close up of the colors in the rug.  I love the bits of red, my favorite color, and the sage green, and bold black.  All on a cream background.  Dusty says hi.
I love this butterfly pillow I got.
I am on the lookout for another shape pillow to add to the couch.  A bolster I think.
I love the way it brightens up the room!  I love it!  Thank you Mom!
And lastly, a little tip I wanted to share.  The other night, I made tostadas for dinner.  I had enough so that the next day, we had leftovers.  But I didn't have enough refried beans.  But I did have a can of Pinto beans in the pantry, which I often do.
Drain the beans, reserving some of the liquid to add to the pan if needed.  Pour beans into pan, and mash them up, adding back some of the liquid from the can to moisten if needed.  Pinto beans are frequently on sale, and cost a dollar or less a can.  Which is less than a can of refried beans.  So, if you keep some of these on hand, you never have to worry about running out of refried beans!  Just mash your own.  Or better yet, buy dry beans, and cook your own all day in the crock pot!  DELICIOUS!!!
That's it for me tonight.  It is going to be lights out, and go lay heady down time!!!   I worked hard today!
XO  Kris


From the Kitchen said...

You have a gardening head start on us--another six weeks at least around here! I've heard a lot about Home Goods and we don't have one anywhere near!!


Mereknits said...

It sounds like you had a lovely day with your Mom. I love the relationship you have with her. Your new rug is beautiful Kris. The rugs in my office and family room are both from Home Goods, it is a great store. Love the chicken pictures.
Hugs to you,

priscilla said...

So Jealous of you getting to garden :) EWWW grubs .. So funny the chickens love to eat them ! Love your new rug, and pillow ! Still snowing here .. Have a great day !

Debbie said...

Good morning! I will never remember everything I wanted to say, haha...First off, I am looking forward to watching your garden grow...you always have such a GOOD one. And then sounds like your day with your mom and grandma was a really good one. And I LOVE the new rug and pillows. Your right too, Home Goods has such a good selection and prices. Good tip on the beans...OK, that's it for now I think. Enjoy your day Kris!

Anonymous said...

Here in IL it's still cold and we had snow showers yesterday and last night which left a thin white covering on the ground. Today it is cloudy and has the look of winter. I don't care though, later I'm going to put on my wool coat and go out for some errands. Sounds like you had a fun day with some fun finds. I always feel the cheer in your posts, you are an upbeat person and find fun in everyday life! xo

Holly said...

So excited to see how your garden looksin the future. Just do't hurt yourself out there. I'm still having arm problems from all that tilling and turning. Love the rug and the pillows, Mom's are so awesome. Glad to hear some good news about Nana, I've been praying for her. Just bought your bday card yesterday and getting it in the mail soon. Love ya!

The Garden Bell - Kate said...

Wait a sec. I'm just leaving for the winter to Florida and you are already gardening. Not fair, it's just not fair....ok, maybe a little fair. Guess I'll take a month at the beach over dirty nails....he-he.... Have a great time.

Sarah said...

Seeing your garden get started gives me hope for spring here! We're still trying to find a way to have chickens once my in laws get back up here from Texas. Maybe one day... And that rug - beautiful! Special surprise from your mom! Love that!

Dawn said...

What a great day, I always enjoy reading your blog:) Thanks friend!

Patty@Lemon Lane Cottage said...

Your mom sounds so much like mine and I think we have similar relationships, too. I just finished planting my raised bed gardens and I am pooped. I already had lettuce, radishes, sugarsnap peas and cilantro going from seed but today I snuck to the garden center and came home with four different tomotaoes, two bell peppers, a chili pepper, a couple of cucumber plants and some basil. It is all in the ground and well watered. I am done except maybe some seeds of something different when the lettuce and radish are done. Whew!!!! Can't wait to start harvesting. Happy planting dear friend.

NanaNor's said...

Hi Kris, Wow in the 80's-luck you girl. WE are having the 50's and I'm so happy; this weekend might get up to the 70's. We had snow yesterday so sunshine is very welcome here. Love the pillow but I love everything about your living room, especially that quilt above your couch. Dusty looks so cute. Have a great evening.
Hugs, Noreen

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Hi Kris, Busy busy at your house! Your garden is going to be awesome! We are a long way from gardening so I can enjoy your's for now. So nice to go out with your mom. I see my mom next week, can't wait.
Love the pillow!

Linda said...

I am soooo jealous about you starting to plant!!!
We had a nice warm spell, and now it is cold again...
So nice to visit with your Mom AND Grandma...lucky you!!!
We have Homesense here in Canada...same store...different name...and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it there...Great job on the new carpet!!

Linda :o)

Grayseasailor said...

Thanks for sharing your day, Kris! Your gardening efforts are great...exciting!! And I am so glad you got to spend time with your Mom and Nana. Precious times and some good shopping with lovely results :-)

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Blue needs a new buddy. Maybe the new chicks will bond with her since she is a sweetie. Love your rich compost. Like gold to a gardener baby. I want to bring a chick home. Would one be too lonely until it could go in with the girls?

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Your chickens look very happy and content, Kris -that is why they reward you with so many nice eggs!

The new carpet is beautiful! I still have so much I need to buy for my home here as we did not move all of our furniture, etc. I wish there was a Home Goods closer to me -- the only one here is pretty far.

Gloria Baker said...

How are you Kris I notice today I dont heard from you! Hope you are doing well dear Kris!

Jann Olson said...

Kris, your girls look all snug tucked in their beds. That compost is black gold for sure. I don't have one, but have thought about it from time to time. Glad that you got to spend some time with your mom and Nana. Family is so important. Love the rug and happy birthday my friend!