Tag Archives: gardening

Sunrise, Sunset

Standard
Yellow Wildflowers - Awake 2

.

These sweet wildflowers are growing in some sandy soil right outside our back porch door.

I remember scattering quite a few wildflower seeds there last year, and these are the only ones that have really thrived. They open wide and happy in the warmth of the day, and then close tightly when the air is chilly:

Yellow Wildflowers - Awake

.

Yellow Wildflowers - Awake 3

.

Yellow Wildflowers - Asleep

.

Breakfast scramble at Tiffany’s, transplanting aspens, and using up the teff

Standard

Today, I slept way in (of course), read Among Others for about an hour,  and then made a breakfast scramble. Wasn’t really impressed with it this time, but then I’ve been feeling a little weird about food all weekend, anyway.

During brunch, we watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which, if you can believe, I had never seen before.

As soon as hubby left with the kids to drive them back, I went out back to tackle the yard. It’s needed mowing for quite some time now, and I wanted to make sure to do it one last time before the winter hits. I hate to look out the kitchen winter all winter and see it all disheveled. Funny, I can let it go for  a month in the summer, but just knowing that I can’t mow it if I want to because it’s too cold or wet bothers me. Plus, the neighbor’s aspen had shot up about a dozen runners into our yard and they had grown quite a bit.

Since we’ve never been able to afford much landscaping at this house, and I’ve even shamefully bought trees before and then felt intimidated by the daunting task of digging through rock and never got around to planting them, I decide to dig up a few of the Aspen starts and replant them around the yard. I transplanted 5 or so of them, and left a few where they were. I really have no idea if they’ll survive (I have the opposite of a green thumb), but I’ve always heard that fall is a good time to plant trees. I figure if I water them for a few weeks or until it gets biting cold, that a few might take. Our lot has always been a struggle—the ground is full of large rocks and boulders that are very close to the surface—and before being cleared, only junipers and sage type brush grew here. Most of the neighbors who have trees either inherited a juniper, or used a combo of jack hammer and raised beds to plant their deciduous trees. We’ve never had the money to do that. Still, I cringe all of the time thinking how large even the smallest tree could have been after 10 years.

I managed to get several hours of reading in today, which is great! In fact, I stayed away from the laptop all weekend except for my nightly blog posts. I need that sometimes.

This evening I finally used up some of the teff that I bought at Bob’s Red Mill. I found this recipe for teff muffins and modified it as follows. They turned out pretty good, with a mild sweet taste and a tiny little crunch from some of the teff seeds that weren’t fully ground.

Oct 17—Please note: I’ve modified the recipe section of this post to accommodate the preferences of the original recipe author. Please see The Picky Vegan for the original recipe.

Teff Muffins

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup teff flour {I first had to grind up my teff seeds in the Vitamix—I used the dry container for this, but probably the regular container would have done the trick as well.}
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup tapioca starch {I actually had this on hand—one bag has lasted a long time in the fridge}
  • 1½ tsp baking powder {I had just used the last of the baking powder, so I subbed approximately 1 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 cup of soy yogurt per tsp of baking powder, which is a trick I found on another website.}
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 T ground flax seeds plus 6 T water, whipped with a fork, or other egg replacer
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • 1-2 T almond butter or other nut butter {I can’t believe I forgot to put this into the original post—the dabs of peanut butter really hit the spot!}

Mix the flax, water, and apple sauce; set aside. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the wet to the dry, mix until just combined. Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin pan (I like to use a mini-muffin pan). Put a dab of nut butter on the top of each one. (You could also mix the peanut butter in with the other wet ingredients). Bake at 400° for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or fork comes clean when poked into the center of one.

A Natural Disconnect

Standard

A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus – Week 17

Nature. This week as you contemplate nature, think of all it has to teach us. Think of how it provides for us. But move beyond that to realize you are a beautiful creation of nature as well. Move beyond the thought of nature only being outside of us. What is the nature of your Self? How can you be more in tune with your inherent nature? How can you allow your beautiful self to just be? How can you be in a state of allowing? How can you inherently shine?

I feel very disconnected from nature lately (and from my natural self). I’m barely spending any time outside and I’m letting my work and family responsibilities overwhelm me. Every time I look outside at my garden which never got off the ground this year, and I think of the days I used to spend hiking, birding, and traveling, I feel disappointment, disconnection, and even shame, for not doing what I love to do. It was so much easier when 1. It was just me, and 2. There was money and time to spare—for taking days off for hikes, volunteering, travelling, supplies.

It feels like I have so much less time this summer. Last summer I went mountain biking, did yoga (in the beginning, anyway), grew a garden, painted a house, hung out with my hubby and animals, and worked. This summer I’ve… worked on the radio show, hung out with my step-kids, hubby, and animals, and worked. What’s missing? Nature, outdoor exercise, time to myself, time for contemplation, time away from the computer, non-stressful work. I need to find ways to resolve this before I lose myself.

What I *should* be doing

Standard

Sometimes I just need a long weekend to check out and do nothing but re-henna my hair while getting a little sun (a little too much on my legs—oops—was careful to sunscreen my face, but not my haven’t-seen-the-sun-much-this-year legs), watch the odd documentary, and catch up on some reading, while for the most part staying the hell away from the laptop.

I still manage to beat myself up a little, though. Do you ever feel guilty for taking it easy? I should be working on my garden, I should be hiking, I should be making a grocery budget, I should be birding, I should be mountain biking, I should be working on the radio show, I should be looking at those training materials, I should be cleaning the house, I should be leafleting, I should be finding a yoga studio, I should be blogging, I should be figuring out a way to take a vacation someday or do some traveling again, I should be figuring out a way to make some extra money, I should be calling my Dad, I should be calling up that old friend, I should be reading that book, I should be writing, I should be taking Ruby to the dog park, I should be finding us a new bank, I should be… {fill in the blank}!

I’ve heard those voices this weekend, but so far I’ve been able to acknowledge them and then let them go. I do believe that I need time once in a while for my mind to reset and regroup. {But even knowing that I need down-time, I still feel guilty about taking it—we all hear stories about the most “successful” people who only sleep 4 hours a day and are constantly creating and building fabulous things.} What is the secret to success, or creativity, and which should I work towards? What is the truth that I’m looking for? What do I want from this life? Will I find it in bursts of frenetic activity punctuated by rare moments of doing (almost) nothing? Somehow I have a hunch, that if I find it at all, it will be during the latter time.

Good Saturday

Standard

Good Saturday. Spent most of the day away from the computer (except for looking at a few cooking tips, and then watching Hulu while baking). Slept way in, hung out with my Dad a little. (We went garage saling and found a great white elephant for the family Xmas get together—and we spent less than $1 total, since we’re both broke).

Finally finished Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey and finished mowing the lawns (first mow of the year, was very long and thick and had to be done in batches over a few days). Since it has basically just turned summer-ish here after a very long winter and then a very long snowy/rainy spring, and is not even very warm yet, and since I wasn’t feeling very good over the last few months, my garden beds are in a state of serious neglect. But I got a good chunk weeded, and if I do a little every day I should be able to buy some starts after the next paycheck and hopefully still plant a few things from seed that we can harvest in the fall like carrots, squash, beans, peas, etc. Even though I intended to start way earlier this year, I think I probably got started this late last year, and I was still able to grow quite a few veggies. I also turned on and tested the sprinklers. They survived yet another winter and are in about the same shape as last year—they need adjusting as always, but do an adequate job.

After the yard work, I turned to some baking. Made some Blueberry Lemon Millet Corn Muffins from Scatter Vegan Sweets, and Molasses Cake Bars from 500 Vegan Recipes. I got to use the Vitamix to make millet flour and oat flour, which is fun. The muffins (well, I made a pan) turned out yummy in spite of being made from bird seed (millet)—I don’t think they would have been nearly as good without the blueberries. The bars (which I made in a loaf pan), turned out a little strange—they are very molasses-y and cake-like, but not at all bar-like. But I like molasses, and I’m sure I’ll eat them all eventually.