The Summer Harvest

This year was our first year of harvesting from our own vegetable and fruit plots.  

Overall it’s been a brilliant year for growing things and we will be planning our beds for next year with a few tweaks.  Here was the summary of half the crop. I’ll post the rest another day.

Carrots – in our raised beds and grown close together we had a lovely yield of little carrots and are still using them. Taken us from July to probably November by sowing them in 2/3 weekly batches.  Carrot Mokum.

Tomatoes – we grew a type called Gardeners Delight, but they weren’t as delightful as I’d hoped. They grew too big before ripening, but we did get a good crop and made pasta sauce and chutney from the remaining green ones. I grew these in our greenhouses and leftover plants in an outside bed that became free when the leeks failed to grow (Mr G was in charge of those).  The outside ones were a bit of a disaster, growing too late and not ripening.  The greenhouse tomatoes were watered and therefore tended fairly regularly but the outside ones were neglected and became very bush like. 

  
This is me digging over the courgette beds and the tomatoes are in the background.

I’ll pick another kind of tomato next year.

Whilst on the subject of courgettes, they did very well, but often rotted whilst still growing.  I need to google this a bit and find a solution but we harvested about 10 good courgettes in the end so very happy with that.  I haven’t decided whether to grown them again next year. They take up a lot of space for what they produce but I do like courgettes.

I spent the weekend just gone, digging up the courgettes and tomatoes and preparing the bed for next year.  Need to head to the horse field next door to get some manure too.

I also tried to collect as many apples as I could from the tree that fell done.  We hope to right her again, but need to work out how to do it.

I’ll leave you with a pic of the 7year old and 4year old saving a worm from the chickens.  Although I requested it.  They would have happily dangled it over their beaks.  

  

Being Kind to your Husband

I recently saw some one quote this:

“The only thing you should compete for in a marriage is who can be the kindest”.

It’s a lovely sentiment and it initially made me feel very guilty because I don’t think I’m very kind to my husband.  I am on his case a fair bit (and bite my tongue a bit too……..so I could be a lot worse) about things around the house.

With the quote in my head yesterday and with both of us at home, I found quite a few occasions where I had a moment to think about whether I should be kind or not and you know what…….I wasn’t.  I’ll tell you why.

If being kind means I have to put all the recycling out for the millionth time from the counter where it was discarded by him, I’m not doing it.  I will place it in the middle of the floor to make a point.  It’s just another job I end up doing that should be shared.

If being kind means I then put away EVERYONE’S clothes that he has taken off the airer and left in a big ole pile on our bed, then I’m not doing it.  It’s not just mine.  I washed it all and hung it up.  It took over a week to be taken down – the job is half done. I’m not doing it.

If being kind means I have to move his ipad to a rather bizarre location :) because he’s just dumped it on a counter that gets used all the time, then I’m going to do it.

I’m not the cleaner, I’m not the sorter, I’m not the finder, I’m not the housekeeper and I’m not going to accept it.

However — if being kind means I compliment a good job painting the living room, I’m in!  If it means making a cup of tea when he’s been stuck in his office for over an hour, I’m in!  If it means helping out with the children on a morning he’s in charge to give him an extra 10 minutes sitting down when it’s the third day in a row in charge, I’m in!

I can be kind.

I just won’t be a pushover.

cooking

The Memory Box bias

One of the unwritten rules to being a parent is the one where you become a vessel for your children’s memories.  As they get older they start retaining some of their own, but they will forget a lot of them, and anything under 5 it’s unlikely to be remembered.

Of course they will always claim they remember, when in actual fact it’s been a “story” in the family and repeated to them so many times they mistake the retelling as their own memory. Inevitable really.

The other thing I do (and I know many parents do) is I keep a memory box for my children.  Every few years I go through it again and whittle it down because with the passing of years and the accumulation of more things, you can be more flippant with what you keep and don’t keep.

Up until now these boxes have been cobbled together from all sorts of delivery boxes and I recently bought two big plastic tubs so I can keep everything together.

So here are the two boxes.  The one on the left is my 7 year old daughters and the one on the right is my 4 year old son.

memory boxes

You will have noticed that one is substantially fuller than the other one, in fact, more full than what befits a 3 year age gap.

I feel so bad.

Daughter’s box is completely full.

So, now I’m going to reel off a few excuses as to why.

Firstly, I think I may have another little box somewhere with the 4 year olds birth cards.  I must. Surely. Secondly, he’s only just started drawing stuff by himself.  The 7 year old was doing that from the age of 2 and was producing at least 10 pieces of artwork a day from the age of 4 until she was 6.

Thirdly, I think I’m a rubbish mum.

I’m sharing this because unfortunately my son is suffering from 2nd child syndrome.  Apart from swimming he has no other clubs or after school activities, he never goes to theatre shows with us, let’s face it, he’s neglected.

I’ll need to make a concerted effort to try and fix this wrong and start adding to the poor boy’s memory box quick smart.  Otherwise there may be no doubt in his eyes when the question gets asked “who’s your favourite, mummy?”

Oops.

Shades of Grey

It’s taken a year but we are finally ready to consider painting our living room.

It’s currently painted in an antique ivory (I know this because I have bought a sample pot in this colour and it has disappeared on the wall) and with a feature wall and an old chimney breast in a very deep red.

However I have this cream sofa in the room

and these two armchairs at the other end of the room.

homebase armchair 1homebase armchair 2

and whilst Antique Ivory would go perfectly fine with the 2 armchairs, our cream/beige carpet and the cream sofa may just melt away if I paint the other end ivory.

So I’m thinking grey.  MrG is slightly distressed at the idea of grey so I’m going as light as I possibly can to keep him on side.

I love this grey

Grey wall 2

but I fear he’ll think it’s too dark.

This one might work.

grey wall 1

but I think this one goes too light.

grey wall 3

You may think I’m being very pedantic about this.  However, we have always gone white/ivory with our wall colours so this is really pushing it out.

I’m hoping to have a sort of oatmeal coloured curtains too and they sit alongside the two armchairs.

Of course, the biggest hurdle we have here is that I’m colourblind, so there is a distinct possibility I’m mashing up too many colours.

What do you think?  Do you like grey?