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...

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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!

My Little Dreamboat

I'm sitting in my sweet little home, with a cup of coffee, homework done (and done well, which is quite an improvement this semester), heater on, and a sleeping pup under my feet. I'm in heaven. The only thing missing is Damir, but I think if he was here in this moment I just might burst.

Odin is such a love, it's hard to articulate. He is a sweet, happy, smart little guy who loves people more than any dog I've ever seen. So I thought I'd share a few things I've learned and loved during this puppy stage... before it's over and we've got a grown up icie. Because as hard and demanding as this stage is, his little puppyisms slay me dead, most days.

  • Sleep has never felt so good. I'm happy to be entering the stage where the little guy can hold it throughout the night. Last night we slept from 11pm to 6am straight! Way to go, Odin.
  • On that note, pee isn't really that gross.
  • Puppy dreams are the funniest things ever. The little barks and twitches are my favorite.
  • Dying to take this little guy on walks all over the neighborhood. He'll get his third set of vaccinations on Friday and then we have a little more freedom.
  • Odin has been much better about meeting bigger dogs this week, which is great. At first he was a little nervous, but he's got a couple of buddies now that he seems to really like.
  • Puppy energy is no joke. 
  • Neither is puppy chewing. Everything is fair game.
  • Can't wait until he and my parents' cats work out some sort of agreement. So far, they're staying far away from him.
  • He seems pretty good with the chickens. Not overly interested in them, but once in a while he wants to play with them. 
  • At 3 months he's learning to heel, stay down, and has started some very very beginning work on retrieve. He's a smart pup.
  • That said, he is totally not okay with being alone. So we need to curb any potential separation anxiety ASAP. We're working on it...
  • This guy loves water. LOVES IT. Drinking it, playing in it, biting it, playing in the rain....
  • I hope the way he greets people stays forever. He gives the best, warmest welcomes to people who come over. It's like he couldn't possibly get any happier to see you, and he physically doesn't know what to do about it so his tail wags a million miles an hour and then he flops on his back for a belly rub. It's a wonderful thing.

There will be much more of Ody Bear on this blog. Damir and I are just so happy with the animal-filled life we are creating. They really do make us better people. 

Birthday Weekend

Damir and I celebrated our birthdays over the weekend — we had a dinner for him on Friday and a brunch for me on Sunday. Of course I'm way to preoccupied these days to pull out my real camera, or even my phone for that matter, so all I have is this pretty shot of our brunch setup, but it was quite special. Brunch might be my new favorite way to celebrate birthdays.

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We had some of our closest friends come over for coffee, mimosas, pastries, and eggs from our girls. We sat on my parents' porch with a sweet puppy sleeping nearby and enjoyed this beautiful bay area weather we have while we still can.

Damir left last night for a 1-month training trip in Europe and I have a series of exams over the next 3 weeks (including a microbiology exam in a few hours) so I'll be plenty busy while he's gone studying and raising the cute little pup currently sprawled out on his doggy bed enjoying a morning nap that I wish I could partake in. I miss Damir, as usual, but life is pretty sweet these days so I can't complain.

Hope you all have a solid week.