A few words for this week...

"Do a little more each day than you think you can." — Lowell Thomas

"Fuck luck"

"You are what you do, not what you say you'll do."

"Humor. Skill. Wit. Sex appeal. That order." — Robert Redford

"You attract the right things when you have a sense of who you are." — Amy Poehler

"You are allowed to be alive. You are allowed to be somebody different. You are allowed to not say goodbye to anybody or explain a single thing to anyone, ever." — Augusten Burroughs

[Photo by Andrew Knapp]

I wish I felt compelled to share more...

I really do... 

But as it turns out, now that things have picked up for me a bit, I just can't seem to justify sitting in front of my computer more than I already need to. But finally here I am this evening and I can tell you this much... I'm really happy and satisfied at this moment. I have my husband home (at least for now), my sweet teething puppy who has brought more joy to all of our lives than we thought possible, my 6 awesome chickadees (though poor Francesca seems to have developed a case of sour crop that I can't seem to get rid of - we're still trying), my family, friends, my school, and this amazing lab opportunity. In the moments when I'm not studying or trying to learn everything I can for lab or forcing a chicken to vomit in my shower or helping Damir put in new planter boxes in our garden (yep, we followed through with that one) or training odin or frantically trying to catch up on chores or remember how to cook, I just try to sit and relax. Those moments of relaxation are few and far between these days and I gotta tell you, I love it. A lot. This is what I was looking for the past 5 years... this feeling, right here.

So yeah. Things are good. Really good. I mean even our red russian kale plant suddenly sprouted up out of nowhere and started producing big beautiful leaves. And our tangerine tree which hasn't blossomed in 4 years is covered in blossoms. And the limes from our tree are getting bigger and juicier. That's gotta be a sign. Have the tides shifted over here or something? Am I jinxing it all by saying that? Maybe, but I don't really care, because I want to be appreciative of all of this good fortune.

I'm incredibly thankful this Sunday evening. I'm going to go fold the mountain of laundry on our bed and hug my man and happily fall asleep.

Happy Easter!

i like these things

Here are a few images and words that caught my eye on tumblr. More and more I'm finding that space as a huge source of motivation and stimulation...

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

1 // I'm having trouble taking my mind off of warm weather, salt water, and summer adventures. 

2 // This is advice that I REALLY need to remember and repeat to myself. I should get it tattooed on my arm or something.

3 // I feel you, doggy. I do. 

4 // I am really digging this sky blue bedding and netting. This is like a dream room of mine.

5 // There is so much power in thinking like this.

6 // Like I said, I'm having trouble keeping my mind off of all things summer. I learned while I was in London for the olympics that summers mean endless bottles of rose. Looking forward to that. 

The state of my garden... if you can even call it a garden

I'm going to show you something I'm really ashamed of...

This is the current state of my beloved garden. Remember how it used to look? It's depressing. Even Odin is vastly unimpressed as you can see. I actually have avoided walking past it or looking at it for the past several months. After our fall garden failed miserably due to every pest imaginable, I felt pretty disheartened. The soil seems to be so terrible, even though we have been trying to work on it to make it richer, and now we can tell that some critter has been digging through the soil eating all the roots of our vegetables because you literally sink into the soil if you try to walk on it. The poor garden also got battered by some mean storms. There are branches and strips of eucalyptus bark everywhere.

And yet, in my avoidance, I managed to completely miss the fact that despite everything, some things had sprung back to life in recent weeks. Our artichoke plant is growing and looking better than ever. Even the garlic we planted shot up suddenly and is looking pretty good despite the fact that it hasn't been nurtured at all. The parsley I planted last Summer is finally growing, and growing well, and so is my peppermint plant. The blueberry bush has new leaves, and the tangerine tree that was destroyed by the deer has its first fruit ever! 

My alpine strawberries are blossoming and one of my chard plants survived a brutal attack of leaf miners last fall. When I walk past the front of my house, I get a whiff of lime blossom and jasmine and it's awesome.

I'm starting to get excited about all of this again and I'm about ready to get everything set up for planting again. I planned out what we're going to try to grow this season, and Damir and I have decided to build raised beds with wire mesh underneath to deter burrowing pests, and use PVC pipe to create raised covers to protect from flying and crawling pests. We're going to put a birdhouse on the other side of the house and hang old CDs to reflect light to scare them away from the garden. I already transplanted a few chamomile plants and some kale plants to a sunnier area to try to get them producing better. I know both Damir and I have a lot on our plates with the puppy, the chickens, and our respective career paths that are rather intense, but I still think we can grow a productive and healthy garden if we plan properly and invest time regularly (and believe me when I say, I need more of a reason to get outside -- perfect way to take a break from the books).

I'm planning to document the garden process here again this year in hopes that my desire to fill this blog with photos of bright, beautiful vegetables will keep me motivated while I train my puppy, keep my chickens, love on my husband, and do well in school (totally doable... all of it)

Odin is excited. Can't you tell?

Oops.

So here's the thing — I am completely swamped with classes and puppy raising which consists mostly of cleaning up pee, poop, and trying desperately to get him not to destroy everything in sight  (we lost a swiss ball this morning - sad), among a few other things. But that explains why I've neglected this sad sad blog. And neglected my friends. And family. And myself (I'm the definition of a hot mess). Yeah, weekly exams and the fact that I literally cannot get anything less than an A in these classes just take priority over everything else, including working out, doing my hair, laundry, etc. But I'm sorry to those of you who have reached out and I've been too frantic to be able to remember how to work a phone or shoot off an email or write a blog post. Starting today I'm trying to be better... except I have an organic chemistry midterm next week, so be patient with me. :)

Here are some puppy pics in hopes that you'll forgive me...

Ok that last pic is my new favorite green smoothie recipe that I wanted to share. It tastes like a tropical vacation and I'll take what I can get these days. Blend up 1/2 banana, 2 cups spinach, frozen pineapple, coconut water, almond milk, flax and chia seeds, and lastly... 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. SO GOOD. Also my skin seems to improve every time I start putting it in my smoothies or coffee. And I'm okay with that. Like really okay with it.

See... I'm already getting better here!