30 May 2008

Be The One

Finger + Light . Kiaya Mouer

Tim over at Fantastic Distraction recently challenged his readers to write about the power of music. He recalled the first time he truly listened to U2's With Or Without You and the power of that song when he hears it today to take him back some 21 years as if it were just yesterday.

One of my new favorite bands is the British indie-pop outfit The Ting Tings. I actually just heard their song Be The One earlier this morning. The power of this 2 minute 58 second gem lies in it's ability to take you somewhere else -- someplace that you're not necessarily "allowed" to go. Like for me it takes me out of my desk chair for a walk across the Walnut Street Bridge on this absolutely beautiful and amazing Spring day. Hope it takes you for a ride, too!

The Ting Tings . Be The One (follow link to MP3)

19 May 2008

In The Garden

I had a busy day on Saturday. After digging up the grass from a large section of our backyard and erecting a fence....

Just kidding! In all seriousness, we were blessed to "inherit" a nice-sized garden when we purchased our first home earlier this year. It came complete with a pre-planted bed of asparagus, a fence (stainless steel no less), plant "cages" and 3 compost/mulching bins. Oddly enough, the garden didn't really figure into our decision to buy. I mean, it was the dead of winter and I saw it as an oversized eyesore that I would probably cut in half when I had the chance. But then my wife got all excited about planting veggies and some wildflowers. Somehow, in the mysterious inter-workings of a marriage (albeit with only 1.5 months under our belts), the excitement spread to me! Now don't get me wrong, it is (and will be) Angie's garden, but she lets me work in it!

The next thing I know, we're buying seeds, a pot of herbs at the HCS Auction, tomato and pepper plants, a few gardening tools to supplement the used ones we brought from the previous owners of our house, talking to friends, family and scoping the Internet for ideas and techniques. Even memories of my childhood sprung to life as I recalled the nearly 1/2 acre garden my dad and grandfather used to manage every year -- not so much the sowing and harvesting part, but rather the rotten tomato wars with my brother, cousin and neighborhood kids part!

But I'm losing focus here...back to Saturday. Angie's brother had come earlier in the week and hand-tilled the two major beds we would be planting. This was a huge help! The forecast for Saturday was calling for rain, but the good Lord had other ideas and we were able to get out there just before Noon. Our first task was to dig up the weeds that had welcomed the spring sun and rain. We got em at the root to dissuade their future growth. After refueling at lunch, we came back in full force and tilled some good looking compost into the soil of our beds (see pic below).

Then we placed the black plastic back over the beds and sowed the plants (tomato and pepper) and seeds (cucumbers, zucchini, romaine and iceberg). We also sowed a patch of wildflowers to add a bit of color to the garden. And that pretty much ended our day, the visual proof of which appears below.

Not only did I discover muscles that had previously been unknown to me, I have this great sense of appreciation for the legacy left behind by the previous owners -- the amount of time, work and money they invested to get the garden to its current state just blows my mind. I also learned, again, about a phenomenon that a friend describes as "she's always right" -- so thanks Ang for getting excited about the garden. And then there's the whole "eating what you grow" thing -- I can't wait to eat a slice of that first tomato! I'm sure there will be many "lessons" to follow.

And like our harvest, I hope to share them with you.