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garden panos from 2023

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Thankfulness, 2023 edition

I originally wrote this at the beginning of January, but was unable to upload a picture without using a third party software.  I'm thankful that seems to have been a temporary requirement.    Let's start the new year off with a tradition of thankfulness.  From the Thanksgiving chain in 2023: hymns my grandma sang thankful for loving family Zeph handwritten letters gardens good teammates Charlie Brown cartoons walks Brock Grandpa Caitlin falling leaves lasagna Noah wool Evie Eli Jaden Luke Mom good neighbors sky Kyla Avery God's grace Nana Italians Trung Hot Wheels wind through the leaves candy camp stool coffee carmelle apples Santa neighbors Zeph Jeremy steak & rice changing colors coffee & a book in the morning Karen's sense of humor my job time in prayer time to pray our nation grace old friends music health Christmas lights dinner with loved ones Sonya days off yarn God's love fall leaves pasta sandwiches our wonderful family crunchy leaves under foot be

reasons I knit

I haven't posted a lot of knitting on here in the last few years.  Not much to say about it but I still knit.   I knit because I love to create. I knit because I love sweaters. I knit because I grew up with a mom who is artistic beyond the acknowledgement she receives, and it's in my blood to do something creative. I knit because I love the good things God grows, like sheep and wool and muskox and cotton. I knit because I love colors. I knit because my boys wear what I knit. I knit because I like the rhythm. I knit because it has a beginning and an end, and they are achievable.  I knit because when my hands are busy, my mouth slows down, and it gives my brain a chance to make better decisions. I knit because I'm really, really good at it, and it's one of the few things that others acknowledge, and we all need that. I knit because I love to knit. I'm working on a colorful shawl in alpaca. 

drying dill

  As I was pulling dill from between my radishes and lettuce, I remembered that I wanted to dry more of my own herbs this year.  A little bit of my garden in my pantry all year; looking forward to harvesting a bunch of lemon thyme! 

spring garden eating - lettuce, radishes and lots of herbs

There went March, April, and most of May!   I'm already pulling arugula from the garden that's about to bolt, and eating through some lovely lettuce while it's in its prime.  Pictured above, arugula, lettuce Landis Winter, lettuce Rouge d'Hiver.  The string is for the square-foot flower garden this will eventually be; I planted these cold weather crops while I was waiting patiently for flower planting!   I love having my own lettuce for this Asian chicken lettuce wrap, below, ( original recipe here ).  We use chicken instead of veal and I definitely skip the cilantro, but it's a great recipe to use some garden goodies - green onions, lettuce, carrots, etc.  We used two fresh heads of green lettuce but I couldn't tell them apart once we were making food, and I definitely had a favorite!  So I will have to pull another two apart and figure it out.  I am thinking of starting more lettuce under a grow light and put them out in a shadier spot, now that warm weather i

getting through winter

As classes of all sorts get scheduled, rescheduled and postponed due to weather, and with the short days with less light, I often find January and February to be a forced pause.  Years like this convince me that I should get good at reading rain gauges and keeping track of the temperature.  It seems like we've had an usual amount of snow.  That should be good for our snow pack and seasonal runoff to fill creeks, lakes, basins, but we'll see what the spring brings.  In the meantime, I have been trying to tick off indoor chores and projects, and working on garden things.   We have started a handful of seedlings:  basil, foxgloves, verbascum, lavender, rosemary, onions and something new to us, naranjilla .  We have varying levels of success.  The naranjilla did take a long time to germinate; I think we used 11 seeds, and we currently have five seedlings, some a couple weeks older than others!  We're still 12-14 weeks out from planting and I really had my hands full last year -


I've said before  that I failed to appreciate marigolds growing up.  It's nice to have something that does so well in my garden, year after year, and draws butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.  I can't remember the last time I bought marigold seeds, these have been producing in my garden for so many seasons.  I love that they're such a rich red-orange-gold.  I might want another color this year, but I've got plenty of seeds for these!     Over Thanksgiving break, my middle kid deadheaded this whole bed and filled a bucket, so I have more than enough seeds to share this year!  I pulled a big handful apart and set them to dry on newspaper for a few days, and then put them in a jar until I had time to make a packet.   (you don't need the orange part, just the black and white)  I found a seed packet template here .  A blank template was all I needed; printed one, drew a simple outline of a marigold with fine pen, and copied it.  Each image was hand colored with