Monday, July 29, 2013

The Kitchen Garden

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Since I've been cooking seasonally more often I've been going through fresh herbs like crazy. My friend pointed out that a little potted herb plant was no more than than a dollar or two higher in price than one of those little packets of fresh herbs at the grocery store. 

She made a pretty good case for a small kitchen garden on my window sill and I decided to give it an attempt even though I'm a pretty middle of the road gardener. I had to spend a little time planning it, though - I knew that my cat adores chewing on my houseplants and I'm completely out of shelf space that's out of reach of the cat to put the indoor herb garden because my other (non edible) plants are up there. 

Luckily I looked around on pinterest and found these really simple, inexpensive mini greenhouses which happened to be sold at Ikea - totally doable, if not the greatest quality. If the plants were contained in something they'd be out of the reach of my cat who luckily has no opposable thumbs and can't open a miniature greenhouse. 

JR and I drove down to Ikea, picked one of those tiny greenhouses up ($20), grabbed a couple of pots ($4), stopped at Home Depot for organic potting soil ($5), and finally ran to Whole Foods for some potted herbs, which to my delight were on sale for two dollars a piece! I had to pick through some pretty sad looking plants to find some that looked like it would last the week, and I'm still not sure about the Basil, but I found four that looked okay: Parsley, Oregano, Basil, and Mint ($8).

JR and I drilled two or three holes in the zinc wanna-be pots I picked up from Ikea for drainage, loosened up the roots of the plants, and stuck them in the pots with some new soil. Then I put them in the tiny greenhouse. I've already used some of the oregano for my home made pizza last night and I have mint and orange slices in my water right now.  This project came out under $40.00 so I just have to use it...ten times...to make it pay for itself. I hope I can keep the plants alive that long! Wish me luck!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Sweetness - Part I

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Things take practice - that's what I've learned this summer. I recently started horseback riding because I really just wanted to be a beginner at something, to remember what it was like to have absolutely zero knowledge of something and yet be expected to do things while muddling your way through them to the goal. 

I like tackling new things in community with others, too. I like the process of meeting people and figuring out where they are coming from, what you can teach them and what they have to teach you. Horseback riding is like that - not only do you meet a horse, get to know it, earn it's trust, learn it's commands, and figure out how to partner with it, you learn how to listen to your trainer as she's asking you to do things you've never thought you could do, working through your mistakes, and more importantly, your fears. 

Thanks to Jessica blogging has been collaborative this summer, too. It's become a bigger process, and welcoming someone into a happy project I've been working on for a very long time has been a joyful experience. Jessica takes gorgeous pictures and I am so proud of her work and of her dedication to the art of photography, but beyond that she's an excellent teacher, a fantastic brainstormer, and is always willing to answer questions about how to up the ante on my pictures, especially since I feel like I've plateaued in the last year or so with the quality of my own pictures. 

Working with someone else inspires me to get out there and work on what I love, to dig out things I haven't worn in a long time, and to try something again, to look at it in a new light. I think everything I'm wearing has been blogged before but never like this.

Honestly, I used to be terrified of collaboration. I was always the girl in school that would take on the entirety of the group project, terrified I would get something less than an A. Over the years, tI've learned to let collaboration be about learning and making mistakes. I've come to grips with letting others teach me. I've slowly opened up by trying to be less shy or more welcoming. In real life I feel that I come off a little standoffish...mostly because I'm somewhat nervous about things because I'm so afraid what I'm doing will fail if I don't make it go just so or people get too close. I've worked hard on that but I still have a long way to go! 

This summer I have learned and am learning so much - new writing styles, horsemanship, how too cook, photography basics. Out of curiosity, have you learned or are learning? Who is teaching it to you? 

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It goes without saying that all of these pictures were done by Jessica Triggs. 
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The Hair and Makeup was done by me. I used MAC pigments on my eyes and MAC's Russian Red on my lips. (This is, in my opinion, the best shade of red for redheads!) 
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The shirt is vintage, repaired quickly before the shoot after sitting under my bed for almost three years. The scarf and shoes are vintage, too. The shorts are by the talented Anna Allen. 

Monday, July 08, 2013

Farm Scenes and a Word of Advice

There is something to learn from everyone, that I know is true. 

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I used to work with this man when I was restoring antique textiles who I learned so much from simply from saying good morning to and asking how his morning was every day.

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"Every day above ground is a good day!" he would exclaim honestly as we filed in to start our days of quiet, solitary work. 

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It's easy to learn gratitude from someone with that sort of relentlessly positive attitude. Thank you, friend, for teaching me the glory of morning and the worth of work. With that approach to life how could I possibly ever lose?

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(More pictures from the farm, as shot by Jessica Triggs!)

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Fourth of July in Small Town, Western America

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We went away for the long holiday weekend, down to a cabin in the mountains above a tiny little town  that seemed to be populated by people from Texas and Oklahoma and their giant RVs. For the first time in a very long time I had absolutely no cell phone reception, no internet, no computer. 

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Bliss!

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I sat on the back porch of the cabin and watched the rainstorms roll in. I slept and rested. I read several books. I even started writing a story. We went out for dinners at little western cafes, took a jeep up a mountain to an alpine lake along a narrow old mining road from the 1900s, stopping to look at old cabins and wreckage from the claims there. 

Left without the distraction of the internet, of phone calls, even of music and noise, I was able to center, regroup, spend time with family, and celebrate the United States of America. 

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Monday, July 01, 2013

Barbour on the Farm

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I had a few wishes for my riding gear bag - sturdy, classic, something that would match both my riding gear and my every day wear. When Barbour offered to send me this bag I knew immediately I'd be putting it to good use back and forth from work to the barn to my house. It fits everything I need for riding in it - sunscreen, my boots and clothes, my helmet, and anything else - with style and class.   It's even a bit horse proof because when we brought it out onto the field the horses knew they needed to inspect it and promptly slobbered all over it. 

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Jess and I took a little drive out to L's farm one evening and Jess brought her camera and generously snapped these gorgeous shots of Henry and I. She is so amazing! Thanks to Jess and L for taking these pictures and lending me the farm for the evening!

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Pearls: Gifted Vintage
Shirt: Caslon
Breaches: TuffRider
Half Chaps: Dublin
Shoes: Ariat
Bag: c/o Barbour

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