Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Planting a Garden for Polinators

All of my garden beds are mostly fruits and vegetables. I went nuts this spring and planted 19 tomato plants; we are on the brink of eating gazpacho for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We have cucumbers, melons, peppers, and herbs. 

But last fall my 11 year old helped me pick out some flowers to intersperse around the veggies, and she really appreciated the look (she's into the aesthetics of things). I did as well. It added color, attracted bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and just made gardening that much more enjoyable. 

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Whoops! Nine Steps to Fixing a Hole in Drywall

 Has this ever happened to you? 

Two of your kids are running around the house, totally hyped up on child-like energy, playing whatever game makes sense in their heads. Then one of them tries to close the door, the other one pushes against it, and like two gladiators covered in dust and sweat, they push and push. And the one on the inside of the door decides to step back and let the door fly open, defying the springy door stop to catch the door and causing the door knob to tap the drywall with enough force to create diamonds out of coal. 

No? It's just me? 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Building on to an Existing Bookcase

 When my family and I moved nine years ago, we had several friends help us with the move. A few of my friends commented on the number of books that we owned, especially when the books had to go up the stairs to the top-of-the-stairs bookcase. That bookcase quickly became overcrowded with additional books, and our bookcase became too small. 

Monday, February 21, 2022

Expanding the Orchard

Remember in Back to the Future when Doc was talking about Old Man Peabody having a crazy dream of breeding pine trees? While the breeding trees part is a little weird, it's kind of like my dream, except instead of pine trees, I have a dream of having fruit trees as far as the eye can see. 

I have written before about cutting down oleanders annually to add fruit trees. I started with 11 oleanders in my backyard, and to date have removed seven of them - only four more to go. Each on has been replaced with some sort of fruit producing tree or bush. This past month was no exception. 

In the fall, I placed an order for some fruit trees through The Urban Farm. This is a wonderful resource for anybody looking to expand their backyard garden, but it is especially beneficial for those who live in the Phoenix-area, as they have an annual fruit tree event where you can buy trees and bushes grown specifically for the Phoenix climate. The one drawback is that the trees are quite affordable, so I ended up buying more than I was ready to plant. This meant that I had to spend extra time preparing the spaces, expanding the irrigation system, and getting the soil ready for my trees. But I also learned a lot from The Urban Farm about feeding my trees, taking care of them, and helping them thrive in the climate I'm in. 

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Sour Cream Lemon Pound Cake

One of the first things I learned to bake was pound cake. Then, when we moved into a house with a massive lemon tree, I started looking for ways to use up our lemons. It was natural that I would combine my love of pound cake with a plethora of lemons. This is another recipe that has become a favorite because we're constantly looking for ways to use our lemons, and this also makes a great treat to share with coworkers.

Prep time - 30 minutes

Bake time - 1 hour

Yield - 1 loaf (one serving. Just kidding. Not really)


- 1 stick of butter, room temperature* (set out the night before)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature*
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (3 large lemons)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
A grater for zesting lemons
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 Tablespoons sour cream, room temperature*
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract