About Me

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Concord, California, United States
I am a sometimes-writer, everyday mama, creative failure and experimental cook. I am interested in living a beautiful life, spending time with my family and making things that I can feel proud of. When I'm by myself I'm usually outside. Don't bother calling because chances are that I didn't bring my cell phone because I couldn't find it. If you see me walking, it's because I lost my keys and if you see me with only one child... I'm probably in big trouble.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Backyard Oasis!

I am so excited!  My yard is really coming together.  I spent yesterday doing so much planting in my garden.  I removed flowers and planted fruits and vegetables!

Yesterday I went through a list of edibles that we're growing here and was sort of happily overwhelmed by everything that we are raising to eat.  Some of it was well established long before we arrived and some of it is by my own determination (and the lost lives of many snails by way of egg shell undoing.  May they rest in peace).  Yesterday, through the help of my friend Mathew, I discovered that one of our mystery trees is a cherry tree.

Here's what we've got:

One Orange Tree
Two lemon Trees
Two Peach Trees
One mystery (probably plum) tree
One cherry tree
One fig tree
One rosemary bush
One giant peppermint patch
Summer Squash
Yellow Pepper
Green Peppers
Jalapeño Peppers

Crazy! right?

We ended up getting a little pool for the girls and setting up a tent in the backyard for them to use as a temporary playhouse (until we build our own). We set up a conversation set near our outdoor fireplace and grabbed a giant umbrella to use as shade.  I picture so many wonderful summer evenings spent out there.  I even got a much nicer grill than I had planned on.  I don't have pictures of it yet because it's currently in the back of our minivan waiting to be set up.

Here is Lila outside by the little pool last night.  It's small, but they'll be able to come home from the big pool this summer, grab their barbies and splash around while I'm making dinner.  I dream of having a big pool someday, but for now, this will do.

 Unfortunately, the umbrella base here was pretty cheap, like, $10 at Target.  It wouldn't hold the umbrella up, so we had to bite the bank bullet and buy a more sturdy base made of granite.  It shouldn't go anywhere.  You can sort of see the corner of the new base in the picture below.

I can't wait to have our chimney cleaned so that we can start using this fireplace.

I just envision sitting outside on a warm night, in my pj's, with a glass of wine and a friend.  Maybe some music.  Or, by my self, with a book.
Like our little patio set, I think that we'll probably have this for many years.

It really makes my yard seem so inviting!

This is the tent!

I set up the kids barbie houses inside.  I think that I'll also put in a little kitchen and grab a few little chairs and a table for them.

We set this up in the shadiest part of the yard.  I like the idea of spending full days outside with refuse from the heat and sun.  San Francisco isn't hot, but we live in the east bay and it get VERY hot here.  Most people don't' realize how drastic the temperature change is.  Because we live so close to the city it seems like we'd have identical weather here, but we do not.  For instance, it was almost 90 degrees here the other day but when Jay got off the train in the city and walked to work, it was 65 degrees in San Francisco.

I know that a lot of people love the weather in the city, but I'm not one of them.  I like my summers hot!

I wish that I had a picture of my grill to show you, but like I said, it's in the back of my van!  Hopefully, it will be set up today because I plan on bbqing tonight!

Look!  This is a cherry from my cherry tree!

I am waiting to see if they darken. Mathew thinks that they may already be ripe!  I am not daring enough to try one!

These are my tomato plants.  I moved them from their pot and planted the tomatoes and even staked them!  I am going to buy little jail cells to put around them so that they can climb and grow and become prolific beefy, heavy tomatoes.  My friend Mathew says that each tomato can be over a pound.

This just seems like a patch of dirt, but beneath it I have planted five cloves of garlic!  Apparently, it is so easy to grow garlic.  You just take the bulb that you have at home and separate it.  Then you plant the pieces.  Come Fall, you pick it and have all the garlic you need to make a nice big pot of sauce (please note that the residual New Jersey in me has to fight not to call my tomato sauce "gravy" because I know that anyone who is not in the tristate or from Italy wouldn't know what I was talking about).

On the left (where the soil is dark) I have made mounds that are actually far more sizable than they appear to be in this picture.  That's where I have planted my watermelon seeds.  I am SO excited to grow watermelon this year.

Toward the right of this picture is summer squash.  I realize now that I didn't give them enough room to grow.  Hopefully they'll still thrive and produce squash.

This is my first time growing vegetables and I think that spacing has been my biggest obstacle.

Live and learn.

I have to stop writing now.

I just heard a bird screaming outside and in my gut I know that Sherbert has claimed another life.