Sunday, June 21, 2015

Attracting pollinators...

Not only did I plant a ton of vegetables this year, but I also added a lot of flowers to my edible landscape. After all, we need the bees and butterflies to come and pollinate all those lovely fruits and veggies!

In the Spring, the sweet peas and nasturtiums were in bloom.

There were also foxgloves which had reseeded themselves from last year.

And there is always some sort of lavender in the garden.

And then the squashes started to flower. Bees galore on these!

This year I planted some milkweed, both the golden and the red. Since I decided to plant them a little later than normal, I bought started plants from the garden shop. Now I have some seeds for next year too. I have not yet seen any monarchs but there are other butterflies fluttering by in the garden now and then.

My digiplexis (cross between foxglove/digitalis and isoplexis) also came back this year. I thought it had died off for sure last year but I guess it also reseeded itself. At least I have one nice plant of it still.

And I planted some borage, which is supposed to be a major bee attractor. My garden has a lot of bees so maybe it worked!

If you haven't taken a look at these three of my favorite You Tube garden channels, head over to:  

Late Bloomer Urban Organic Garden Show with Kaye Kittrell
CaliKim29 Garden and Home DIY
and then fix a cup of tea and sit back to have a look at my one of my favorite British gardeners, Alys Fowler:
Edible Garden

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A quiet anniversary passed...

The other day marked the anniversary of my retirement. One whole year already! Where did the time go?

And now time to start thinking about my second year of retirement... a few new things happening, some same old stuff happening and the wish -- or dream -- of some other things happening finally. Lemme 'splain...

I'll start with the old stuff cause it is easier to list (and yet apparently harder to do):
1. My house is still a mess. I thought by now it would be decluttered and more organized and cleaned up. Still working on that one.
2. My garden is growing great, although now with the more severe watering restrictions it is going to be harder to keep things growing. But we have been eating from it already so that is a good thing!
Some of the things we are eating lately...


Beet greens:


And several zucchini and yellow squashes. The tomatoes are starting to get bigger and the little ones are starting to turn red. One of these days I need to go out and take some updated photos of everything that is surviving the awful heat that has come upon us in a rush.

For the new, I guess the biggest is the decision to take yoga to the next level. I signed up for teacher training at It's All Yoga. Not primarily to teach but to expand yoga for myself and see where this journey leads me. I have heard it changes you... I look forward to seeing how. I will write more of this decision later and through the process which starts on August 1.

For the wish/dream of other things happening... I am still trying to figure out what I am meant to be doing in my retirement. I read a lot of blogs and most people said it might take a year or two (or more) to figure it all out and that is fine with me.  I am finding my days pretty full as it is doing stuff out in the garden, catching up on a ton of blogs and other online stuff I had been neglecting, visiting with friends (retired teacher friends and others -- love to go out to lunch!), reading, and actually for a while doing nothing. I know the doing nothing part will wear off but it is fun for a while. I do a little volunteer work at the Food Bank and will be doing some with Women's Wisdom Art, and I had been talking to my local librarian about working with a "reading to seniors" program similar to one I used to do in San Francisco probably 35 years ago and there isn't one here. She said I should start one. I don't think I want that much responsibility.

Some things I am still thinking about doing:

  • I think I still want to learn to play a musical instrument like the ukulele or fiddle. Or maybe just relearn how to play my guitar.
  • I want to start folk dancing again. I just have to get off my butt and go. I tend towards the lazy especially at night.
  • I want to get back to doing some art and quilting. I still have a mountain of fabrics to work my way through!
  • I want to learn more about preserving and fermenting foods. I have gotten some books and will take a workshop here and there. Mostly I want all my fruits and veggies to be so plentiful I can start! Maybe I will practice on store-bought for now to get the processes down.
  • And generally I want to be more self-reliant on my own resources for food and living. That includes growing, preserving, making foods that I don't make these days but know how to and love (like my own pasta and breads). That means sewing my own clothing and finally settling into my own more free-form style now that I don't have to dress for anyone else's benefit. And writing more, about all this and anything that crosses my mind.

I may have some busy days ahead!