Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Well, it appears as though spring came and went with the blink of an eye. I actually really love winter, unlike my fellow midwesterners. Maybe it's because I grew up in Texas where winter doesn't really exist. I completely immerse myself in the (non)activities of winter that I forget how much I LOVE spring. Warming myself up in the crisp air by raking leaves, getting my hands dirty again, planning the garden and seeing where plants have migrated around the yard, what plants are coming back, what ones are not. It really is the best. After a couple of excellent storms, the yard now looks completely different than the pictures below. I'll share those pics later. 
Happy outdoors weather!

Naked Ladies! 

We had a scare of a hard frost and I covered everything up with sheets. 
It was laborious but I think it was worth it. 

We pile our compost when it's ready to be used under the magnolia tree in the front yard. 

Bleeding Heart. 

Lilac bud with rain barrel in the background.

Bella on her perch looking out the window.

2 sided compost bin

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I missed you!

Holy cow! Hi! I'm gonna blog again!

We are now in the thick of fall, which I love. This summer was fantastic. It never really got too hot (well maybe for a minute) and my garden flourished like never before. A few sunflowers volunteered and ended up being the stars of the garden at 25 feet tall. The kittens now love to be pet, whereas before we had a hard time even getting close to them without them running off. I visited my sister in Chicago and had a swell time estate sale shopping and hanging with Hadley. We spent a week at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri with my whole family. And had an awesome time, as always, at our 12th year at Winfield. Life is good. Really good.

Here's a smattering of photos from the last few months. My next blogposts will be more focused! I'm baaaaackkk.

Me and Hadley in matching outfits at an estate sale.

Maters. Lots and lots of maters.

Holly Golightly and Chi chi snuggling.

My own personal jungle.

Oh yea, we rescued a baby squirrel and took it to Operation Wildlife. Note to anyone who finds any abandoned wildlife: you are not supposed to feed them. Do not follow my lead - this picture was just too darn cute to not share. 

Big Cedar Lodge

My father and Hadley on the boat.

My adventurous mother was not afraid to tube!

Early morning kayak session with Chris on Table Rock Lake.

Our Winfield family.

Our final dinner at Winfield.

My (pregnant) sister came to visit!

Atop the Oread Hotel with Chris and my seester. Gorgeous view.

My garden. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

oh, you betcha! (make sure you say it in a Minnesota accent)

I've been really lucky in my 8 years working at The Merc that I've gotten to travel a lot. I've been to the International Herbal Symposium in Massachusetts, 5 times to the Medicines from the Earth Conference in Black Mountain, North Carolina and 4 times to the National Co-op Grocers Association Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. This year I decided to get a one-way ticket to the conference in Minnesota, spend 4 days working and then Chris would drive up (10 hours!) and meet me and we would spend the rest of the weekend exploring Minneapolis and drive back to KS together. It was such a good idea! We had a ball! 

First of all the conference was incredible. I'm really proud to work in the co-op world with a network of people all over the country who stand behind the same causes that I do. It was great to have us all in one place to talk shop and listen to some really incredible speakers, such as, the founder of the Just Label It campaign (the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms).

Chris showed up on Friday afternoon and we jammed packed the weekend! We went to the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Mill City Museum and Farmers Market, and Sea Salt. Oh yea, and it was Pride weekend! We went to the Pride festival and the parade. It was incredible. There were more than 300,000 people at the parade and festival!!!

After we left Minneapolis, we drove to Rochester, MN where a friend of ours grew up. She happened to be visiting! Her folks are master gardeners so I was eager to see the place. It blew us away! Stone paths, baby goats and donkeys, chickens, bees, a pond with a waterfall. Their very own Eden. We ended up spending the night there and getting up early to get on the road toward Decorah, Iowa.

I've wanted to go to Decorah for years! Seed Savers Exchange is there. There mission is to conserve and promote America's culturally diverse but endangered food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants. Not only do I have a strong connection because I use their seeds in my own garden, but my very good friend, Tracy, grew up there on the farm. Her parents started Seed Savers back in the 70's. What a crazy connection! So, Tracy's mom, Diane, met us there and gave us a tour of her garden and then Lou, who I order seeds for The Merc from, met us and toured us around the rest of the farm. It's such an amazing place! I'll just let the photos explain...

What an awesome trip!!!

Dinner at the 112 Eatery

The Farmers Market was tucked between those buildings 
right next to the raging river.

Love is the Law in Minnesota!

Our favorite artist, Egon Schiele

Kendra, the queen of the gorgeous snack tray!

A grotto built by Kendra's folks.

Baby goat and Edith

View of the goat field and pergola from on top of the grotto.

 A gardener's Mecca!

The Seed Bank!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Our Forever Home

Gosh, where do I begin? 5 years ago Chris and I miraculously found the house of our dreams. Since then, we've put a lot of work into it and each day fall more and more in love with it. We call it "our forever home." Two weeks after we bought our house, a man came into my work and said, "I have your blueprints." Turns out our house is something special. It was built in 1952 by Bob Hess. It's what you would call "mid-century modern." There are quite a few of Bob's houses around Lawrence but he has a particular affection towards ours. So when he came into town from California to receive an award at the KU School of Architecture for being the oldest living alumnus, the Lawrence Modern group asked if we would host a small event for people to see our house, meet Bob and have a little presentation on the nuances of the design of our house. We couldn't pass up the opportunity and spent the weeks prior to the event touching up paint, cleaning windows, getting the yard ready and so on. We wanted everything to look as great as possible. It was a gorgeous day and we were able to open the windows and have snacks outside. Hearing Bob talk about our house and picturing it being designed and built over 60 years ago is really a special thing. Thanks to Tom Harper and Bill Steele for making this wonderful day possible! 

This area was supposed to be a badminton court!