Monday, August 22, 2016

Oh Deer. Gardening in Texas

Well we've moved from the fertile land of Kentucky to my home state of barrenness, Texas. Land to a million pests, the biggest being deer.

The good news? They hate herbs! So that's what I've been growing and it's the only thing that's safe.

Also, the fig tree that was here has given us many figs - a fun new fruit for the boys. Again, though, the deer eat any of the lower ones.

Inside the gate where the dogs are, however, my brother and I grew about 100 cucumbers and pickled! I was surprised that the cucumbers didn't mind the heat and grew straight through July.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I May Never Arrive, but I'm Here

Looking back an old post, there was a time when I didn't consider myself a gardener. And the truth is, I'm not a green thumb. And I'm not organized and I wasn't ever a 'baby person', but GUESS WHAT???
I'm awesome with little people, my home and my life have never been more organized and I can make things grow. From seed. In pots. Inside. I AM A GARDENER! So I may not be a master gardener. I may not ever be a fairy from Fern Gully and be able to breathe on a seed and make it sprout, but gosh dang it, I'm still here and I'm going to keep on cultivating.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Lessons in Laundry

This is how we prepare our outfits for all four boys every week. The kids pick and make their own outfits.  Then we put them in bins and they pick them out and get themselves dressed thoughout the week.  No mess, no stress! We do this once or twice a week.

Products to Grow Your Own Kinder Garden

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Young seedlings are so fragile and temperamental. You do your best to give them the best start you can. The right type of soil, not too acidic or basic - though every species has different needs.  Enough water, but not too much. Some sun, but not too much sun. They have to be hardened, but gently. You don't want them to go into shock. And then we have to decide when it's time to repot or if it's still to early. Too early and their little roots can't take the move, but you don't want to stunt growth by limiting the root's movement either.

As a family we have been contemplating a move, a repotting. As our family grows and the boys have different needs, we've been trying to decide to if a move to Austin would be right for us - more family, more educational opportunities, more cultural opportunities and a more cohesive Jewish community that includes a Modern Orthodox synagogue that seems just right for us. It seems like a no brainer...but our young family is just not ready to be repotted. A series of obstacles (mostly revolving around Dad's work situation) have shown us that it's just not time to move back to the friendly state.

Kentucky is fertile soil for our little seedlings. It's comfortable and safe. It's economical and we've made good friends who are supportive and kind. Our little house still has room for our roots and we're not too cramped yet. We still think a move back to Austin is in our future. If we want our seedlings to grow, they'll need to be repotted, but it's not that time yet.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Time to Prune

As winter sets in, it's time to inspect our bushes and trees for potential pruning opportunities. Pruning revitalizes the plants - allowing it's future leaves to make more energy, allowing more flowers and therefore more fruit, but you don't prune a little tree, do you? No, in it's first years you allow the little ones to take root first. You let them be creative with their branches and you don't over correct.  Our three year old is not unlike a young tree. We have never cut his hair. We have done our utmost to protect him from the difficulties of growing up. We relent to more snuggles, more time to play, as much food as he wants. And now it's time to prune. When we clip his hair for the first time, we aren't harming him, but we will begin the lifelong process of helping him to improve himself. We'll have higher expectations of him. He'll begin to understand the importance of becoming a responsible and productive person.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

I Support the War on Christmas

We visited our local PUBLIC elementary two days ago to discuss some academic testing for our oldest son. I know this is going to sound dramatic, but this is how I felt - the Christmasy feeling in the school was  offensive. I was shocked by the 20 foot Christmas tree in the lobby, the tinsel and ribbons decking the halls and the four or five smaller trees adorned with ornaments on the counter in the front office. Are my tax dollars paying for this nonsense? Is this the norm here in Kentucky?

Apparently it's all perfectly legal. According to the ADL, Christmas trees are considered ' Seasonal decorations' and are not necessarily a Christian thing. I could maybe get behind this if it was just an Evergreen type tree without the ridiculous decorations or if the tree were a more modest size and joined with a menorah and other religion's current holidays, but there was not a Dreidel to be seen. And we looked.

I'm not saying you can't have Christmas tree in your private place of business, worship or home. By all means, say "Merry Christmas" to whomever you like. But my Jewish children to not need to be blasted by your religious celebration at public school where I pay my taxes.

Yet another reason why I will do my best to continue to homeschool my guys for a while longer.