My Secret Garden

{nearly} Wordless Wednesday: Iris in the Morning

Iris in the Morning
No edits, no filters, no iPhone, it's all Iris.

ALTERNATE BLOG POST TITLE:  Reason why I rushed out the front door early this morning and nearly beaned myself into unconsciousness (pro tip: check to make sure the storm door is actually unlocked!) I wanted to get this shot before the raindrops evaporated -- I blame all you more-expert-like photographers out there AND Instagr.am!

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

Freshly-Brewed Elsewhere:  I am very honored to be working with Hallmark as a Life is a Special Occasion featured blogger, which allows me the opportunity to share personal stories, insights and inspirations in enjoying simple every day moments.  This month,  I'm sharing my celebrity crush(es) and how my LOVE for vampires runs deep.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Better Start Hoping for Rainy Days, B*tch

Veggie Garden 1

Growing up, my parents always grew their own vegetables in the summertime.  We lived with my grandmother before I started grade school and she had a vegetable garden. 

Later, my father would build a greenhouse in our backyard, using plumbing pipes and sheets of plastic film salvaged from an abandoned work site (or believed to be abandoned, anyway) which would one day play center stage for make believe expeditions to Egypt and China, late night bug hunts and marathons of hide-and-go-seek.

Veggie Garden 2
My parents surprised us with plotting out and planting our first vegetable garden, a few weeks after my husband, Garth (not his real name) and I moved into this (not yet full) house and did so, on the sly, while we were both at work.

"Our grandchildren are going to need a place to play."

We've been on many, many lovely expeditions since then and adopted several frogs, hundreds of worms and scores of other less invasive creepy-crawlies over the years and, well, I can't imagine a summer without digging in the dirt.

Veggie Garden 3
"Yes, but your back can't handle it anymore."

My husband suggested perhaps I should NOT plant a vegetable garden, this year (stupid busted up back) and we went to the mats...or, raised beds...on whether or not I would be able to handle worrying about...you know...one more thing.

"But, I love digging in the dirt."

Ripping out weeds by their roots, burying a spade deep into the earth, digging out my frustrations and casting them away with every rock and stone -- it's cheaper than therapy, I tell ya'.

This Full House Veggie Garden Planted
It took me ALL day -- what once would  have been only a few short hours of work -- and, trust me when I tell you it is certainly NOT the most beautiful vegetable garden you will ever see...especially, in this part of Jersey...DAMMIT!

Busted up back or not...yesterday...I made roughly 6 yards of dirt MY B*TCH and, well, I swear you could STILL hear her laughing.

Turns out she is a bit of a sadist, the b*tch.

"So, I see you're still insisting on growing a vegetable garden then."

YES!  Aaaaand, I guess we better start hoping for rainy days...you know...so maybe I can get some housework done...or NOT!

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Perfection is So Over-Weeded

My friend Diana wrote a wonderful blog post on the acceptance of messes (feeling pride in tending to her less than perfect garden) and, well, for me, hers is such a timely story.

Tomatoes 2

My parents always kept a vegetable garden.  Growing up in an urban area, surrounded by ironworks, factories, several blocks of shared housing, warranting little more than a quick glance, before the traffic light changes, we were one of the few families to do so, in our neighborhood, anyway.

Eggplants and Red Cucumbers 2

Still, their vegetables were always so beautiful and, my kids spent hours playing in their green house, when they were little.

Small as it was, our backyard became an oasis and, from the moment you walked through the rose arbor, you'd forget your troubles, become deaf to all the noise outside the garden gate and, well, it was REAL nice to feel privy to that sort of peace, even for just a little while.

Eggplants and Red Cucumbers 2
Then, my husband Garth (not his real name) and I began looking for a house and, as small (and full) as it is, right now, I am very, very thankful for our REAL big backyard, too.

My parents surprised us, that first year, by planting a vegetable garden, while we were away (I forget where, or why) and, well, life was good. 

18 years, 4 kids, 3 cats, 1 Doofus-Dawg and a myriad of OTHER things that I just don't even want to, you know, think about, right now (maybe later) and the garden, well, this is the first summer I have considered “not dealing with it,” either and, you know what?

TFH Vegetable Garden 2

I did, anyway.  Because, as small and overcrowded with weeds as my vegetable garden is, right now, I could not imagine a summer without being able to go outside and, you know, dig in the dirt.

Aaaaand, in the process, perhaps even weed out my mommy brain, just a little, you know?

TFH Grapes 2
Thanks SO MUCH for the reminder, Diana.

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

And if you voz to zee my Iriz...

Pardon me, while I tap into my Hungarian roots, here, but I love this time of year, minus the wet.

DSCN5172Some of my favorite flowers are blooming, RIGHT NOW, most of which we adopted from my parent's garden, before selling the house they spent 30+ years, rebuilding, literally, from the ground up.

It was just too much for them.

After 7 years of successfully negotiating dozens of hurdles that life continues to throw at them, my parents are still making beautiful things happen, in the dirt.

It's in their blood.

I've read that there are over 200 varieties of Iris (Irises?) but, that pretty little thing, there on your left, grows right outside our front door and, well, it just makes me smile...BIGTIME.

Aaaaand, that, right there, izzzzz a verrrrry gut ting!

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

D'oh, There's a Deer in My Garden, Dear Maria, Dear Maria!

VargaMaria
This is my paternal great-grandmother, Maria, in Hungary.  My father spent many childhood summers, giving up his "city boy ways," living the "simple country life," with Maria (his mother had him late in life and, apparently, he was a handful!) and, according to my father, it was anything and everything...but, simple!

Still, as tough as Maria's life was, my father insists that she was the sweetest, kindest, most gentlest person on earth.

Unlike, her great-granddaughter (that would be me!) who is about ready to snare her some Bambi!

Exhibit a deer tracks Exhibit A:  Deer tracks (post-sprinkler) this morning.

No, I don't want to hurt Bambi (much) but, gardening is HARD work and, all of a sudden, after 17 years of fighting with aphids, hornworms and garden slugs (oh my!) NOW it seems like we've got deer!

Exhibit b hopey's prized cabbageExhibit B:  Hopey's prized-cabbage (she was growing to win a $1000 scholarship) beheaded!

Not just any deer (mind you) but, ravenous-militant-vegetable-swiping-giant-moose-of-an-animal that carries away an entire head of cabbage!?!?

Exhibit c tomato plants chewedExhibit C:  Tops of tomato plants chewed!

I went out to pick some tomatoes a few weekends ago and...OMG...where have ALL of my tomatoes gone?

Exhibit d chewed parsleyExhibit D:  What was my parsley!

I know...so, we've got deer...no BIG deal, right?

Exhibit e motion detectorExhibit E:  WTH is it?

All I kept thinking was...this is MY garden (DAGNABIT!) and WWMD (what would Maria do?) no question about it -- I HAVE TO DEFEND IT!  So, Garth (not his real name) installed this sweet little motion detector smack dab in the middle of my Concord grape vine! 

Just like Maria's (see picture at top of post) minus the motion detector, I mean.

Exhibit f new growth Exhibit F:  New growth!!!

Yes, Maria is probably ROIHGL (rolling over in her grave laughing) bless her squishy little heart!

Exhibit g tomato flowers Exhibit G: Aaaand, we have tomato flowers!

But, when in Jersey...you know...and, combined with my new bontanically-based insecticidal soap (email me and I'll let you know which) it seems to be working.

Exhibit g eggplant Exhibit H: The vegetable bed that lived

Oh, and no, we are NOT crucifying anyone - that's just the clothes line that Garth (not his real name) rigged up by the pool, so that the kids can hang up their wet towels, which, unfortunately, they do NOT use...DAGNABIT!

[sound of crickets chirping]

Morale of the Story:  Deer do NOT like eggplant.

Stupid urban/suburban sprawl!

© 2010 This Full House Blog - All Rights Reserved.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

NWF Be Out There Challenge: Day 4 - Here Comes the Sun (dah-duh-dah-dah)

Sun Peeks Through

DAY 1 of our spring break/challenge was a total RainFAIL!  Then, Day 2 and it was time to send out for an Ark

[wipes feet]

Moving on.

I'm scheduled to work at the gym, this afternoon (stupid braces, dumb college fund) but, I left the camera home, with my kids and, well, it'll be interesting to see what they come up with.

Doofus Ready for Walkies

Yesterday, I decided to allow my 2 oldest girls to sleep in (as if, I could wake them, or I had any other choice) and took Doofus-Dawg for a walk.

Glen and Hope Ready for Walkies

Having spent the last 3 days home, alone, with 2 very cranky teenagers (trust me on this one) my 2 youngest were more than happy to tag along!

A Puddle Runs Through It

"Let's go and visit the waterfall!"

When they were little-er (yes, it's a word!) we would take pre-nap walks into the next neighborhood and visit "the waterfall."

Waterfall Used to Look Bigger

"It used to look a whole lot bigger."

Still, there's something really cool about the water...even if it's simply rushing over an embankment...no matter how old you are, I think.

Creek

Not to mention, the moss-lined creek running through our little corner of the suburbs, in Jersey; who'da thunk, right?

Hope and Onion Grass

Aaaand, there was lots and lots of onion grass!

Onion Soup

Good thing, because the fairies, who live under "the waterfall," just LOVE onion soup; or, so I'm told.

Glen Still Believes in Fairies

Even though he would NEVER admit it (out loud) Glen still believes in flower fairies -- yes, he does -- especially, when exploring the woods behind our house, or hunting for fire flies in the summertime and most especially whenever his little sister is around.

Glen Lending a Helping Hand

We spent the rest of the morning, enjoying the playground at Glen's school and, yeah, it was a little muddy.

Hope and Playground Tunnel

Still, it's sorta nice to have the pre-commuters' tunnel...all...to...ourselves...and, when you're 8 and 11, being able to jump, run and even shout at each other, without being hollered at, well, life was good.

Fairy Soup

Until, someone gets a little too close to the fairy soup.

Hope Found a Puddle

Accidentally falls into said soup (yes, she's my daughter alright!)

Hope's Wet Butt Face

Aaaaand...well, then even this Mom knows that it's pretty much time to go home. 

Jersey Girl with Attitude

"Wait, take another picture!"

No, it may not have been a day in Disney World (seriously, we are perhaps the only family, in Jersey, who has NOT had breakfast with a princess, yet) but, it's nice to know that even a simple walk through our neighborhood, during a rather rainy spring break, can become, you know, totally blog-worthy.

Now take your kids and GET OUT (heh) also, you can visit the NWF site for ideas on what you can do to get these kids outside...besides, promising them a trip to Disney...I mean!

[FWIW:  I'm a Founding Mother of NWF's Be Out There program - just helping families (like mine) get their kids outside and enjoy nature, more - no payment was received for this blog post.]

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© 2010 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Wordless Wednesday
Ladybug Crossing

Day 83 - Ladybug Crossing

Cross-posted to our 365 Days microblog project -- where I'm taking a self-imposed timeout, every day, to post wordless (you're welcome!)

Check out the Official Wordless Wednesday HQ
Tag, you're it:   

Also, got some freshly-brewed crafty handmade stuff over at my shopping blog:  Klutz Fashion Origami

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© 2010 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.