Never get involved in a land war in Asia…

One of the best things about living out here in suburbia is the SPACE.  We have a lovely spacious yard.  Now, my husband and I disagree about what should fill that space.  My husband is in LOVE with his lawn.  Even in mid August, we have a lush green outside carpet.  I admit, it is nice to look at, and even nicer on the bare feet, but not very useful for anything else. Several years ago, I voted for a swimming pool, but I was vetoed in favor of the sprinkler system.  My next request was a garden.  My husband looked at me cross-eyed.  Tear up even a small section of his beautiful park? Initially, he suggested one of those upside-down hanging gardens.  I agreed to try it out, and it was a dismal failure.  I’m still not sure what we did wrong, but trust me, it was nothing like “as seen on TV.” Is anything…ever?

I realize I’m making my husband sound stingy with his lawn, but in his defense, I’m not always the best at follow-thru with my little pet projects. The following year, I restated my commitment to home-grown veggies and suggested a small raised bed garden. He was still dubious, but then I informed him that if I was successful, it would mean fresh, homemade salsa for him.  Bingo!  My husband graciously agreed to give up a small parcel of his green gold.  I quickly went shopping for the seeds and accompanying gear.

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I picked out a greenhouse box with these little peat pellets.  You soak the pellets in water and they expand to form perfect little seed homes.  Because of the promise of homemade salsa, I planted tomatoes, Habaneros, and jalapenos.  I put the lid on the box, placed it in a sunny window and volia….plants!

These babies stayed inside until about mid-May when it was time to be moved to their new home in the great outdoors.

We found one of those kits with particle boards.  It’s basically a 3.5x7ft garden in a box….snap sides together, lay on grass, cover exposed grass with newspaper, and fill with soil.  Easy peasy.

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This worked great for our first attempt as amateur gardening.  We harvested a somewhat successful crop of tomatoes and a few handfuls of peppers.  We created some mighty nice salsa and some pepper infused vodka for bloody mary’s.  Yum.





My salsa recipe is pretty basic. We like it pretty spicy though, so be careful. 

  • 3-4 large tomatoes, diced (seeds removed if you prefer)
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped 
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (you can leave this out, sometimes I do)
  • 3-4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced (when you remove the seeds, you remove most of the heat)
  • 1-2 Habanero peppers, seeded and minced (you may want to wear gloves when you chop the peppers)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice or white vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix and enjoy!


Embracing autumn

I am a Christmas girl.  Every year at this time, I get so excited about the upcoming Christmas holidays.  It seems that my decorations go up earlier and earlier.


This year, I decided to try to embrace autumn instead of racing towards winter.  Although I could probably trim several homes for Christmas, my Thanksgiving decor is seriously lacking.  I began searching online and came across this wreath from Williams Sonoma.


I don’t know about you, but I don’t have $100 to spend on a wreath that will decorate my door for maybe 2 months.

I decided to try to create my version of the fall wreath.  My next stop was Michael’s.  The grape-vine wreath worked very well because of its inherent natural quality.  I didn’t have to worry about covering it completely like you would with a foam ring.  I used a smaller number of pumpkins and gourds.  After experimenting with several different placements, I ended up going with an asymmetrical style.  Finally, I chose the green ribbon for a bigger pop than the original brown ribbon.

Here is my wreath.  I apologize for the glare in the photo.


I am very happy with my finished product.  With trimmings like this, the wait for Christmas isn’t really so bad.