Merlot Mudpies

Can a blog be about gardening, cancer, family, food and life all at the same time? Oh good.

Delicious January 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mary @ 11:56 pm
Tags: ,

This is my first post from the phone. Really. What on earth can’t I do on this thing?

Today was a fabulous day. It was sunny, clear, warm without being hot. Oh goodness I am SO ready for spring. To aid in abating some angst I dug in the dirt. Lots. What is it about digging that makes me feel so quiet inside? The whole process is just silent no matter what is going on around me.

And the soil. Oh, the soil. It’s delicious. Just the smell of its richness makes me imagine what is going to come out of it.

Today I started the worm bin (finally), planted Rosemary and parsley in pots, seeded three others for basil, chives and garlic chives, turned two beds with compost, manure and etc. and planted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and Chinese cabbage.

In my front boxes I have red lettuce, romain and arugala in one and asparagus, brown and red onions in another. I have one asparagus spear peaking through and one boldmonion peering out already.

Oh I love it. I just love it.

Now we are getting ready to start seeds. I’ll share my tomato list and other starts tomorrow.

One thing I want to grow again is purslane. I wonder where I can get it! It’s really considered a weed here. Perhaps it’s worth a trip up to Ivey ranch to see if any is growing that the gardeners there are willing to part with. Perhaps.

Rambly phone post complete. Now, bed.


The things we must have January 13, 2011

Filed under: christianity,Faith,grace,hope,rambling thoughts — Mary @ 12:02 pm

I was struck this morning in Genesis as I read the account of Jacob conspiring with his mother to steal Esau’s blessing.

Isaac promised Esau the blessing he knew God had reserved for Jacob (in spite of the order of the twins’ birth) because the old man thought he had to have some of the food Esau made from the wild game he hunted. He thought he loved the food so well…and yet his wife was able to deceive him with food from an entirely different source. So while the thought of the food ran him more strongly than his desire to honor God, he couldn’t even tell the difference in a counterfeit.

Man, I’ve so been there.

I think the things we must have, unless that thing is God, often deceive us. And it makes me stop and wonder, “What’s running me right now? Am I answering to God? Or am I answering to the things I think I must have?”

Perhaps some of why this stood out so strongly to me this week was David Fandey’s excellent sermon on Hebrews 6:13-20 on Sunday. Abraham was run by his desire for a son — God had promised him one! He believed and yet, he found it hard to rest in God’s perfect timing. In an effort to speed things up a bit, he took Sarah up on her offer of her slave girl to bear a son and he sired Ishmael…but as God made clear, Ishmael was not the son of His promise. So much heart ache and hurt resulted from that “workaround” to God’s seemingly slow movement. So often that’s the case.

But God DID come through in His perfect timing, and by the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, an Jacob, he blessed all the peoples of the earth because through that line came the Messiah — the Forever King!

God is faithful and his timing and his ways are perfect.

Lord…I believe! But help my unbelief.


You thought a roach motel was bad… January 12, 2011

Filed under: garden,Gardening,learning,Organic Gardening — Mary @ 12:06 am

How about a worm palace? I’ve got one!

So a cool tidbit of information for those of you in North County: Most likely, your city will subsidize the purchase of a worm bin for you. The Solona Center seems to be the place to go — I had about three people tell me about it when we began to plan our move and my experience there was a breeze. If you have proof that you live in San Diego County, you can purchase a bin for $40.00 cash or check.

I forgot to bring proof of my residency, but the cuteness of my children convinced them I had to be a good egg and they gave me mine for the $35.00 for Encinitas residents…Adorableness pays, my friends! (I also got a discount at the post office today because, I quote, “That is a sweet cute baby.” But that’s another story.)

Ahem…back to my worm bin.

I was excited to get my bin home

Then I started to read the instructions and got a little worried I was in over my head

But reason prevailed and finally, finally, I had the worm bin put together
(this was so pitifully easy…I really got confused before I needed to.)

Tomorrow morning I will go to Jan’s house. Jan is a lovely lady I stopped at Home Depot to ask about raspberries. This is something I love about gardeners. They love to share their excitement and help you get started. In conversation I mentioned that I was going to be getting a worm bin (not knowing she had one of her own). She immediately offered me worms. How’s that for some light introductory conversation? “Hey, I have worms! Want some?” However, given the fact that a pound of worms from a supplier is $25.00, I’m thrilled to take free worms!

I’ll post the introduction of our new little pets into their home tomorrow morning. I’ve already been instructed by Ryan to keep my worms to myself. So clearly he wants me to blog about them instead.


Keeping with the theme of things in my car… January 9, 2011

Filed under: garden,Gardening,Organic Gardening — Mary @ 11:43 pm

When my mom died we had grand schemes to offer her unused pots on craigslist or something, but we never did quite get around to it. I consider it providence because I’m so happy to have a good number of those pots here with me now in our new home. I really should start a category titled, “What I can fit in a 2001 Honda CR-V.” Man, I love this car. If not for the fact that we are at max capacity for seats with two small kids, I’d go right out and get another when this one eventually gives up the ghost. What’s in there, you ask?

  • a baby crib
  • a mattress
  • a jumperoo
  • a carnation crate (best kid’s planting box EVER)
  • 12 bricks (i’ll explain later)
  • two rocks i remember digging out of a river bed for my mother when she was on chemo (i think i’ve written about that, i’ll have to check.
  • about 12 giant pots
  • an herb box
  • Hmmm…I think there’s more that I’m forgetting but let’s just say pulling into my driveway was more of an adventure than usual and that my car kinda squeaks when it’s loaded super heavily. You learn something new every day!

    I now have pots large enough to plant my dwarf meyer lemon and dwarf lime trees for our front patio. I have pots for just about anything at all I don’t want to plant in the ground and more where those came from. Dad, my mother-in-law and I spent a happy hour cleaning them all off and loading them into my car.

    Eamonn, delighted with the Carnation crate, helped me turn soil in our two front planter boxes in exchange for a box full of soil and compost. As I scooped it around I asked, “Eamonn, did you know this soil is actually poop? Cow poop, actually.” His eyes got large and happy. What was this? Mom talking about poop?? Poop being openly discussed outside of the bathroom where normally all poop talk is imprisoned? A banner day! “Really? Gross….why??” I explained that it’s good for plants. And went on to explain, “And then worms will eat in it and they’ll poop it too…so it’s like double poop for our plants! Cool, huh?” He was an old hand at that part…darn PBS Kids for stealing my thunder. “Oh, yeah,” he said, just on the verge of sounded jaded at 4.5 years old, “worm poop is tooootally good for plants. I know all about that…”

    He spent five minutes dumping a full packet of sunflower seeds and carrot seeds into his box. Oh well, something’s bound to grow…right?

    In the meantime I’ve got my red, romain, and arugala starts in. I alternated with rows of seeds so we can work on having a continuous harvest. Now I have to figure out my other box which I think will contain asparagus, onions and garlic which I seem to recall should do well all planted together…I need to verify that.

    Pictures of all the “befores” to come along with my plans for both front and back planting areas along with desperate pleas for help with roses which I now have but have NO idea about. All I know is they’re horribly overgrown but wonderfully fragrant.

    And oh boy, wait until you see the baby in her jumparoo.


I stopped at Home Depot to buy a hose today…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mary @ 1:04 am

I’ve gone through one growing season without a garden plot and let me tell you…it stunk. I’m realizing now that I sort of just shut down my need for plants. I didn’t peruse seed catalogs, I didn’t wander plant stores, I didn’t even go to a farmer’s market. But we moved recently after adding one more little person to our family. Along with another room, I got two patios, a small yard, and 5…count ’em! 5 glorious garden boxes.

My seed list and my imagination are likely too big for the space I have…but darn if I won’t be cramming edible plants into every single corner I have and posting verbose raptures online to boot. Just watch.

My very sweet mother-in-law didn’t even cringe when, pushing our two carts out to my car, I began leaping in the air and clicking my heels. I’m BACK, baby, and my nails will be grittier than ever.


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