Hello and happy Wednesday!! Life at the W is clicking right long, and I have a handful of thoughts to share in case you are cuddled up and in the mood to read. This blog post will be like my favorite outfits: Nothing matches, but it all feels right.
001 My friend Christina at Little Sprouts Learning is a genius. This past week she shared a natural solution for repelling the dreaded squash bugs: white radishes! Also this week I was reminded that starting a squash crop earlier than usual can give the vines a jump on their enemies’ life cycles. This strategy is simple, and it could give a bigger overall yield for the summer; we just have to have some late frost protection plans in our back pockets.
002 Next week is Mardi Gras, and depending on how social plans shake out I might bake our King Cake this weekend. Rather than pull ideas from the internet, I decided to lean comfortably on a recipe from a little book I snagged a few years ago in the actual French Quarter, at my favorite used book store. King Cake is lot more like a yeast bread than cake, which means it might scratch this sourdough craving I can’t kick. Also? I am a lot better at baking bread than cake, as the following photo demonstrates:
003 Is it watermelon season yet? If not, can everyone please stop posting watermelon photos online? And can the grocery stores please stop selling cubes of the red fruit in plastic boxes for one million dollars, even though they probably taste like chewy tap water? Ok cool. On a happier note, I have ordered some fancy watermelon seeds for a new patch this year, wahoo!!
004 I want you to come see some improvements we are making to the farm! One visual treat is the east exterior side of the big barn, the side you see just as you pull your car up and around the gravel driveway:
It’s a happy work in progress, and I love it! The mural, hand painted by my favorite white collar-hobby farming-renaissance man, has been here a while, but we recently added that red “W” up top and have started rearranging a collection of miscellaneous signs, hubcaps, and license plates. Soon, those two plastic trough planters will be overflowing with sunflowers, cosmos, and maybe hollyhocks and trailing SPV, and the ground below will be crawling with fruit. This is where I’ll grow watermelons and a pumpkin patch this year. My thinking is that, compared to the front field, this area between the house and the horses gets a lot more daily foot traffic, so the deer are less likely to sneak in and rob us and I am less likely to forget to do the weeding and watering. Bam.
005 My husband started a Keto diet on January second, and I have a lot of feelings about it, ha. Since March is “National Nutrition Month,” I will save my thoughts for a post then. Until then, light a candle for me. (I am kidding, it’s fine. But seriously. Send haaaaalllp.)
006 Unrelated, or perhaps very related, I have continued on the fitness path of trading lots of miles each week for lifting (baby) weights), and I feel surprisingly great. It’s funny how you have to convince yourself that running less is totally allowed. I am ever so slowly shedding some fat and feeling stronger and leaner, head to toe. What’s even more exciting is that my aerobic fitness is improving, too. I grab faster intervals when I decide to, run more consistent tempo workouts, and finish virtually every run with energy to spare. Zero plantar pain and better endurance, both very good side effects. The slow, slight fat loss is just a bonus so far. I attribute healthier, happier feet to building stronger hips and lower abs. This makes all the difference to mileage goals, for me: Should I eventually commit to a marathon, I could not increase volume much with blistered heels and and screaming plantar. So, for the foreseeable future, baby weights a few times per week will stay in rotation with those glorious, refreshing miles. This has all been really good mental conditioning, too, this constant sense of missing out on how all my running friends are preparing. (Boston and OKC races are right around the corner!)
007 Winter is making a few unwelcome encores around here, but it’s still February, after all, and even an early spring should not be expected until sometime in March. We consciously grab hold of and enjoy every warm, gorgeous afternoon with which we are gifted, and we try to make really good use of the cold, grey days in between, complaining as little as our worn out, heat-loving spirits will allow. Soon enough, as last weekend demonstrated, we will be outside working so long and so exhaustively that this hibernation season will seem far off again and quite foreign. (February always seems so bizarre while we are in it and so far away once we escape. And it’s so short! Weird.) Oh, and how’s this for God having a sense of humor? This morning as we listened to another bitter cold weather forecast and tried to guess its duration, I flipped open my devotional and read this scripture from Acts 1:7, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power.” Ha! OK, ok, I get it. We can do zero to affect the weather, and there are greater things at play here. So we might as well just smile and make the most of it!
008 It’s Pisces season, okay? Spring is just so close. Let’s embrace a little magic and fluidity, and let’s welcome our intuition to the fling. What fling? The spring fling, of course.
Despite all the intensity of Pisces season, it’s also one of the most romantic and glamorous times of the year.mindbodygreen
009 Please go read my friend Katie’s blog update on her garden. She and her husband work together in their Oklahoma City backyard to cultivate a space for flowers, culinary wealth, artwork, chickens and fresh eggs, grandchildren, and gobs of romance. They sound a lot like us, minus the grandchildren, ha! And we hope to accept their sweet dinner invitation soon!
010 What if the entire shade garden could be a spacious, concentric salad garden? All lettuces and kales, radishes, maybe some peas and… What else? Nasturtiums? Pansies? Cabbage! I want lots of food here to mix with the perennial coral bells, azaleas, and hydrangeas. The last couple of summers I accidentally grew too many tall sun lovers near the edge, so they not only visually blocked most of the expanse; they also leaned over dramatically to find the light. It was fun for a while, but it made mowing weird. And it eventually was just… confusing.
011 Have you read the Eckhart Tolle book, The Power of Now? My sister Ang recommended it to me, and I crave some discussion. So good. And much needed in my life. Thanks lady!!
That is it for my headline collection today, unless perhaps you are into discussing pregnancy scares for women in their mid forties? No? Ok, carry on. Have the loveliest evening possible! And don’t hate the cold too much. It really is almost over. Remember we are counting it all joy!! All of it!
“Even when the sky is heavily overcast,
the sun hasn’t disappeared.
It’s still there on the other side of the clouds.”