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Moving house!

05. 22. 2018

I haven’t posted on this site in a good while, but for anyone who’s still following along I’m moving all these posts and future ones to a new home at fretzesontheloose.com.

Come join me there!

-s

Gardening in the Time of a Cool Wet American Summer

09. 14. 2015

This was a year for rain. June was wet and cool for much of the month and I couldn’t even get things planted until much later than I like to. I forwent the walls o’ water this year because laziness and it ended up being a complete blessing. People who planted in May saw their entire gardens washed away by rain and hail. Early June when I finally got everything planted here’s what it looked like:

June 10th

June 10

Compare that to the pictures I took in June a few years ago and you can see how behind things were this year. Nevertheless, like I said things grew as they do and now I again have a small jungle.

September 14

September 14

Thus far we’ve had good tomatoes, squash, eggplant, broccoli, a few peppers, basil, tomatillos & carrots, but NOTHING like last year where I just didn’t know what to do with all the produce. I’m not sure if I’ll have enough to can this year, but the big Roma plants haven’t ripened yet and as they’re determinant tomatoes they all ripen at the same time so I might be able to make a few batches for sauce over winter.

This year the kids had their own little plot in the front which they were responsible for choosing, planting and caring for over the year. They’ve done a good job with it and it was delightful to see them full of pride when they would wrest carrots from the ground or check on the peppers for just the right redness to eat!

It’s getting colder now and I’m watching temperatures near daily-soon will be a frost where I will have to pick everything or try and use sheets to cover the plants for a night.

I’m sad that next year with the travels I won’t have a garden. It’ll be the first time in several years. I’ve realized that the garden gives me a sense of real seasonality. From the moment I first plant in the ground, usually mid March, winter is over for me and I no longer want to go snowboarding even though there’s plenty of snow in the mountains. And somewhere around October when the mornings are cool with just a bit of bite, I realize that summer’s really over and I stop wanting to do anything with the garden and let it fall into decay. The rhythm of life and seasons which is so settled for me here will be turned upside down starting next summer, and while there’s an excitement to that and a knowledge of growth, there’s also a wistful feeling of missing what is normal and standard and regular and familiar.

tomatillo, bright in the morning sun

tomatillo, bright in the morning sun

DSC00057

aerial view of tomatillo

brightness in the green

brightness in the green

Preparing for lift off

09. 3. 2015

It’s time to start really thinking about the trip for next year.  I mean really, really thinking about it.

Which induces not only excitement and happiness and gratitude and amazement and also complete paralyzing anxiety and panic.  As wonderful as I know the trip will be, it also just feels SO BIG to think about. There’s all the big things to think about–what do we do with the house, the cars, school, safety, money, where we will go–and then when I’m done worrying about that I start to think about all the little things. Things such as what to pack and what we’re going to eat and will we have cell phones and is it okay for me to bring mascara on this trip? Or does that make me a bad traveler? Or just one who looks a bit better in pictures?

Some of the big things-we’d like to rent the house out, though haven’t entirely ruled out selling it, we’ll be selling one of the cars and probably having a friend keep the other. School is a bit trickier but with some combination of online math/science and using the trip itself for social studies, history and reading/writing I think it’ll be manageable.

 As far as where we’ll go, I’ve gotten a stack of books from the library to start researching the first leg of the trip, which will be Japan and Southeast Asia. I’m thinking to start in Japan, then fly down to Vietnam and explore the peninsula. I’m not sure about visiting China, but it all depends on how much time we have and how much anyone who’s been there convinces me we HAVE to go. The second leg depends on whether Eric gets the Fulbright Scholarship he’s applied for in Timisoara, Romania or not. If so we’ll be there from perhaps October through December, and likely do some exploring of Eastern Europe at that time. If not then we’ll likely do longer stops in East Asia. December/January ideally we’d spend 3-4 weeks in India, then in February we’d head to Ireland where Eric is teaching a Study Abroad program near Dublin. During or after that time we’ll travel in Western Europe. Nothing of course has been set in stone, and if there’s someplace that you tell me we MUST go to, we can change our trip.

Overall we’re planning a slow travel type of a trip, where we find a rental for 1-2 weeks in a place and then do day trips from there instead of moving every day. I’ve been reading some family travel blogs and this seems to be what works best especially when traveling with kids. It also gives us the ability to have a more relaxing down day in the week where we plan the week, do homework, etc.

I’d like to be better about documenting this trip, so my goal is to start writing on at least a weekly basis to get in the habit of doing so. It’s surprisingly easy to find time NOT to write, as those of you who write well know, and I hope that by making it a priority now it’s easier to continue when we’re on the road. 

So here we begin!