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Going Vertical...

This summer we jumped on the vertical garden bandwagon after seeing a cool low budget idea on Growing A Greener World on PBS. (Yay public television!) On the show they used a pallet garden to plant a salad garden in a small yard. I originally thought we would use ours for herbs, but ended up simply planting inexpensive flowers to test out the concept for this year. For this summer we have our vertical garden leaning up against the garage straight out from our back door. (It won't be able to live there permanently, maybe another year or two, due to the baby sand cherry bush that is planted just out of the right side of the frame in the photo below.) It has been such a joy to watch out little plants fill out and has added a much needed splash of color and life to our yard throughout this very dry for Iowa summer.

(If I have one criticism of our pallet garden, it's that it has been a pretty water intensive maintenance project...but then everything thing garden related this year has been water intensive!)

We've had several people who have driven by out house this summer comment on our new "tall planter thing". In fact one morning a couple of ladies that walk past our house each day ventured up into the yard while I was out watering to ask me a few questions. They commented that they were very much looking forward to watching it fill out through the summer. I love how gardening can do that...brings together community. This week has been sticky and the other morning while I was out watering I was surprised to see a big of fungus joining the party.

But even more surprising was the presence of another little visitor who was tucked down in the shade of the sweet potato vine...

Isn't he cute? It's was kinda one of those "look what happens when you stop to smell the roses" kinda of moments.

Simply perfect.



My Most Read Thoughts


Today while I sat in a classroom supervising students as they worked on their math assignments, I watched Lexi through the window enjoying time with her friends during recess. My heart smiled.

Those moments, moments of learning and carefree fun, those are the moments that SHOULD make up a school day. As a Mom, and an elementary school employee, my heart is breaking over the news and images coming out of Connecticut today. 
I send my kids off to school everyday without a second thought that they will return safely come day's end, just as I'm sure each one of those parents in Newtown did this morning.
Every day I walk into my school for work without a second thought to my personal safety, just as I'm sure each of those teachers, paras, custodians, sectretaries, etc in Newtown did this morning. 
Theories will be published. Evidence will be presented. Words will be exchanged about gun control and the need for change in our current culture of violence. I don't suspec…

DIY: Reusable Produce Bags

With Earth Day festivities gearing up for tomorrow, I thought I'd take a moment to post a short DIY tutorial on making your own reusable cloth produce bags. (Tutorial inspired by my favorite crafty mom blog, Crazy Mom Quilts. Produce bags inspired by running into my friend Laura at the grocery store while she was stuffing her produce into these.) This is my next step in the fight against the excessive use of plastic bags.

Our family has been making small environmentally minded changes in our daily lives over the past few years. We use reusable shopping bags. We've stopped buying/using Ziploc bags and plastic wrap. I'm trying to commute around town via bike more. I'm being more mindful about where the food we buy comes from and how it was produced. We more often hang our laundry on the line to dry in the spring and summer instead of just throwing it in the dryer. (Which is convenient at the moment since our dryer has decided to quit drying.) As we use up chemically clean…

Sunday Morning Silly...

Once in a while Dando's curiosity urges him to venture off the bookshelf so he check out other toys in the house.

I think he thinks Froggy is missing a few marbles.