Category Archives: Humor

March 2017 in Spy Garden

I have been busy with a few things (you know…working full time, graduate school, kids…just a couple things! Ha!) and embracing spring by considering the season fresh, bright and energetic (instead of just “more busy”). (I’m all about a euphemism.) This means I am forced to be more organized. By nature I am more about spontaneity than preparation but planning does have its perks. Such as more free time for hobbies.

Painting in progress; light and bright!

Cheerful vibes

Checking out a gallery

One new thing I’ve started doing is making a general plan of dinners for each week. I notice this really helps avoid any produce being forgotten and spoiling. We’ve had a few delicious and super easy successes this week so just wanted to share. I am totally not a recipe person. (I feel they are too bossy.) So this is really just meant to be inspirational for trying new things in the name of the spring season!

Monday: Roasted chicken, spinach garbanzo cakes*, lemon garlic tahini dipping sauce

*A block of defrosted and drained frozen spinach mixed with a cup(ish) of garbanzo bean flour and a little water and then just cook like pancakes. I also added garlic but you could add any spice/combination of spices. These are delicious and were a big hit. I plan to make all different variations of these (you could use any vegetable too).

Tuesday: Wild caught salmon marinated with orange and thyme, baked sweet potato chips, orange slices

Wednesday: Pork Steaks, Peas

Thursday: Rabbit (Bun-Bun) Stew…Hahah just kidding. But seriously though I think our rabbits would be delicious. They eat all of our scraps of organic produce, fresh alfalfa hay…And just think, if we did raise rabbits for meat (and fur; hello ear muffs!) we would get to have way more rabbits as pets, which would mean greater variety of bunny photos…tutorials on hide tanning…it would certainly make for fresh blog content, right?

Adorable Dinner?

“Bunny TV”

Thursday (seriously): Carrot Lentil soup with ginger and garlic, Flat bread*, Quinoa cakes (eggs, quinoa, parmesean cooked up like pancakes or in the oven)

*Homemade bread on a weeknight you say?! Yes! Whole grain flours (I like a mix of garbanzo bean flour, ground flaxseed and coconut flour), water and a little oil and you are in business! Flat breads don’t have yeast so you don’t need to wait for the dough to rise; after kneading you just let the dough rest for ten minutes or so. Roll them out and they bake up in minutes in the oven or on a griddle. You can also add spices or seeds to these.

While I’m cooking dinner I also make our lunches for the following day (with the exception of Babyzilla who eats very nice snacks and lunches courtesy of the Forest School chef).

Here is her school’s menu from this week for even more easy meal ideas:

And check out the construction going on at Forest School; they are expanding!

In garden-food news, we started eggplants, tomatoes and peppers; several different varieties of each.

I didn’t buy any new seed packets this year (yet) as I was trying to use up the supply of seeds I already have. Some of the seed packets are a few years old so some may not germinate well but in my experience seeds are usually fine for several years past the packaged date.

Today in the garden I saw quite a few honeybees. We plant lots of herbs and flowers to attract bees.

One of two lilac bushes in the garden

Tulip (my favorite)

Thanks Nana and Pop for the basketball hoop; the kids are loving it!

Check out that purple!

Awesome, right?!

Before I go rest up for another busy energetic spring day, I want to share two awesome new blogs of old friends of mine from Wesleyan University.

The first is Boheme Voyage; the stories of a couple traveling around the world. The photos and writing are excellent and the food looks amazing (hello, more recipe/non-recipe ideas)! I especially love that she focuses on architecture…and plants!

Architecture in Hue, Vietnam by Ashley Trudeau

Vertical Garden in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Ashley Trudeau

So check it out! Here is the link again: Boheme Vogage

The second is Dr. Elizabeth Winter’s website. The design of her site is impeccable. She shares excellent and practical health advice on the blog and there is also great information on the other pages of the site. Here is an excerpt…

Unlike conventional Western medicine which focuses on disease, integrative medicine focuses on all the aspects of a patient’s life—physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and environmental—that contribute to a patient’s health and well-being. Science has unequivocally shown us there is a real and profound connection between the brain and the immune system and our emotional state and disease. When we ask, “How are you feeling today?” we really mean it, and we spend the time to explore your relationships, happiness, work environment and stress level, believing these all contribute to one’s health and overall wellness.

Whether we are talking about migraines, joint pain, infertility or constipation, we are talking about symptoms, all of which have an underlying cause. Often times in conventional Western medicine, symptoms are misinterpreted as diseases. Integrative medicine works to treat the underlying cause of your symptoms. In doing so, your underlying health status is improved overall.

Functional/integrative/environmental medicine is the field in which I plan to practice when I finish this excruciating invigorating doctorate program so I am especially interested in her site. Check it out! Here is the link again: Dr. Elizabeth Winter 

Hope you all have a wonderful Friday and are feeling energized by spring!

Shmita 2016

Celosia

Celosia

Someone told me 2016 was the shmita…

The sabbath year (shmita Hebrew: שמיטה‎‎, literally “release”) also called the sabbatical year or shvi’it (Hebrew: שביעית‎‎, literally “seventh”) is the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah for the Land of Israel,[1] and still observed in contemporary Judaism.

During shmita, the land is left to lie fallow and all agricultural activity, including plowing, planting, pruning and harvesting, is forbidden by halakha (Jewish law). Other cultivation techniques (such as watering, fertilizing, weeding, spraying, trimming and mowing) may be performed as a preventive measure only, not to improve the growth of trees or other plants. Additionally, any fruits which grow of their own accord are deemed hefker (ownerless) and may be picked by anyone. A variety of laws also apply to the sale, consumption and disposal of shmita produce. All debts, except those of foreigners, were to be remitted.[2]

Chapter 25 of the Book of Leviticus promises bountiful harvests to those who observe the shmita, and describes its observance as a test of religious faith. There is little notice of the observance of this year in Biblical history and it appears to have been much neglected. (source)

I say, bring back the shmita! We have (unintentionally) observed it this year and am so glad we allowed Spy Garden to rest.

Dexie in the garden

Dexie in the garden

Are you all enjoying this season? It has been very mild and warm here.

November 15, 2016

November 15, 2016

The leaves have been slow to change

The leaves have been slow to change

Bear sculpture near Spy Garden

Bear sculpture near Spy Garden

The invasive honeysuckles stay green until it gets very cold

The invasive honeysuckles stay green until it gets very cold

Today is November 15 and our basil is still green as can be. When the basil turns black you know the first frost has arrived and winter is coming! Woo! I really love winter. Winter is quite shmita-y; the perfect time for rest and reflection. The first frost is due this weekend.

What I am NOT schmita-ing is school; So. Much. School work. I am currently taking two courses; advanced pathophysiology and advanced pharmacology (studying to get my doctorate in nursing practice) so basically endless reading of bloated anthologies of all the possible things that go wrong in the human body and all the drugs we’ve created to fix these problems whilst creating new problems (#sideeffects).  I prefer the topic of health promotion/prevention and a nonpharmacological focus on wellness; but of course this stuff is good to know.

I wasn’t quite ready for Halloween to end at the beginning of November so took a little more time and refined the carved pumpkins:

Butkus as Bunnicula: Bunny bat dracula!

Butkus as Bunnicula: Bunny bat dracula!

A friend meeting Butkus

A friend meeting Butkus

Little Halloween boy of yore

Little Halloween boy of yore (~2006)

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I see a face

I see a face

Moles everywhere in the yard

Moles everywhere in the yard

Aunt Spy snuggling Butkus

Aunt Spy snuggling Butkus

Super excited to have a friend over!

Super excited to have a friend over!

At a cupcake decorating place

At a cupcake decorating place

At Forest School

At Forest School

Orange Truck

Orange Truck

Prepping for the superbowl

Prepping for the superbowl

Go Lancers!

Go Lancers!

Go Lancers!

Go Lancers!

The Battle for 109

The Battle for 109

Apparently they can be beat but it sure was close!

Apparently they can be beat but it sure was close!

Ughhhh! Too much purple! #Rivals

Ughhhh! Too much purple! #Rivals

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#7

#7

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#7

#7

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Game at Sunset

Game at Sunset

We had two great field goals ...the score was 12-16 until the last four minutes and they scored. So close!

We were ahead until about 4 minutes were left in the game!

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Little Fan

Little Fan

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Jr. Lancers 4/5th Grade 2016

Jr. Lancers 4th/5th Grade 2016

Fresh local pecans (from a coworker's yard)

Fresh local pecans (from a coworker’s yard)

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Squash blossoms in mid-November

Squash blossoms in mid-November

Knockout Rose bush

Knockout Rose bush

Blackberry Bloom

Blackberry Bloom

Checking out the supermoon

Checking out the supermoon

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Microscopic Moon Dust (Source; Dr. Gary Greenberg)

Microscopic Moon Dust (Source; Dr. Gary Greenberg)

And check out these cool microscopic views of grains of sand:

The Microscopic Photography of Dr. Gary Greenberg (source)

The Microscopic Photography of Dr. Gary Greenberg (source)

Happy November everyone! Please share in the comments what you think about the practice of a schmita year…Or the supermoon…Or those amazing microscopic photographs! Your comments are welcome and thanks for visiting Spy Garden!!

Happy Halloween 2016!

RRrraaaaghhhhh!

RRrraaaaghhhhh!

About to trick or treat

About to trick or treat

Keeping up with the boys...for HOURS!!!

Keeping up with the boys…for HOURS!!!

Candy!

Candy!

Scary!

Scary!

AhhhH! Moochie is possessed!

AhhhH! Moochie is possessed!

Checking out the loot!

Checking out the loot!

Kitty Jack-o-lantern

Kitty Jack-o-lantern

Butkus with a pumpkin of his likeness hahah

Butkus with a pumpkin of his likeness hahah

Bunny helper

Bunny helper

Enjoying the jack-o-lantern glow

Enjoying the jack-o-lantern glow

Halloween bunnies

Halloween bunnies

Puff Puff is on the left; his fur is quite matte. Bun Bun on the right, his snout is shorter and his fur is very shiny. In case you wanted to tell them apart. In other animal news…

Name to be announced

Name to be announced

!!!

!!!

Right?!

Right?!

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We visited Petco “Just to look, we’re absolutely NOT getting any more pets right now.” I was very easily worn down, “Mommy, you can take pictures of it!!!” SOLD! haha

This was another cool one.

This was another cool one. Very Halloween-y

 

And this one; Betta fish are the coolest!

And this one; Betta fish are the coolest!

Admiring our new addition

Admiring our new addition

Such a cute little stylish tank (only $15!)

Such a cute little stylish tank (only $15!)

The scares continued after Halloween! Three vaccines each: MooohHA HA!

The scares continued after Halloween! Three vaccines each: MooohHA HA!

10 seconds after getting them; not phased at all these ones! Properly vaccinated for kindergarden and sixth grade next year! Consider this your PSA for vaccinations!

10 seconds after getting them; not phased at all these ones! Not so much as a tear from Baby. Properly vaccinated for kindergarten and sixth grade next year! Consider this your PSA for vaccinations!

Owl painting

Owl painting

And we finally picked our pumpkin!

And we finally picked our pumpkin!

Musquee de Maroc success!

Musquee de Maroc success!

Hope you all had a very happy Halloween!