Thursday, May 24, 2012

'Secret Garden'

Yesterday Beth, my youngest daughter, had Sod delivered to her home for her front and back yards. She has been working feverishly for the past week getting the yards ready for the instant gratification of having a lawn.
Beth is a hard worker, a really hard worker. When she finished with the Sod, she called me to tell me she had several pieces left over, and would I be interested in giving them a "home". Sod can't survive more than 24 hours without being set in the dirt and watered.  I said "yes, of course".

It all happened in such a hurry I did not get any before pictures, but the little strip of dirt and weeds that was  between the back porch and my little garden now has green grass....

I am so excited! 
It needs to be watered for 20 minutes 3 times per day. In 2 weeks we can walk on it. What a huge difference just a little grass makes. My little garden is separated from the big grass area by a huge Honeysuckle bush growing on the garden fence. The Honeysuckle was planted before the big grass area on the other side, so it creates a barrier between the main part of the back yard and the little garden. It wasn't intentional, but just so happened to end up that way.  We've talked many times about tearing it out, but the truth is, I love my little garden. For the first 10 years living out here, it was all the garden I had. Instead, what I am trying to create is a "Secret Garden" for myself and the Grand Babies. This Fall we are planning on building a little wooden cottage next to the garden area. Small enough to be a "play-house" but also large enough to be a "big girl room" too.

 'The Secret Garden' is one of my favorite movies.
The spell was broken. My uncle learned to laugh, and I learned to cry. The secret garden is always open now. Open, and awake, and alive. If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden. 
-Mary Lennox-

The Girasole Lady

Monday, May 21, 2012


Saturday, I sold my car, a VW Bug. Long ago I dreamed of having a VW Bug, way before becoming a wife and mother. In 2007 I traded in my Ford Ranger for the new Bug. The first few weeks I had my new Bug I loved it.

Quickly after that I realized how much I desperately missed my Ranger. I had taken for granted all the times I had plenty of hauling room, you know like when you go to Costco to pick up a few things and end up coming home with a new kitchen table. Unique garage sale finds that were simply too big to fit inside of the Bug.

For now I am without a car, although I have Caveman's old blue truck to drive in the meantime. However, I would only drive it if necessary due to "Old Blue" being very finicky, at times, even a little unpredictable. The possibility of being stranded in town somewhere is way worse than being stuck at home.

I was amused by the reactions from a few friends:
"You don't have a car! What are you going to do?"
"I can't believe you can do without a car"
"I would die without my car"

My response:
"I'm going to be home, a lot" (means I will be getting way more done at home)
"I will manage fine without a car, I've been through worse"
"Die? I hardly think so. Again, I've been through worse"

I would like to mention that, more than likely, the reason this is really ok, is being currently I do not work outside of my home and Farm. I also have 3 grown daughters with vehicle's, should the need arise. It's not all that dismal.
However, I am not in a financial situation to purchase another car, at least not right now. In time I will have another vehicle, but for a while I'm going to enjoy the financial freedom of NOT owning a car. My Bug needed new tires, badly, and the registration was coming up for renewal in July. I took good care of my Bug while I had it, now it has a new driveway to nest in.

Having a car is a material possession, something I'm not deeply attached to in the first place. Sure I "love" my home, and the things inside my home, but the items will never "love" me in return. They will never make me "happy", the happiness my home gives me comes from family and friends that share it with me, the memories made here are kept in our hearts, where they remain safe inside.

We all have our "Junk", yes, even Girasole Farm.

I'm not afraid to admit that I am less than perfect.
                                                                            The Girasole Lady                                                                                      

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Garden Planting Time

The wind blew over my Delphiniums last week, so I cut them off at the broken spot and brought them in the house. 

As much as I like to garden,  my thumb turns brown once I'm inside, I'm terrible at keeping house plants alive. Last year, Kristina gave me an Orchid for Mother's Day. I set the Orchid on the window sill, and provided watered from time to time. I was simply anticipating another indoor plant demise. 
Well... I'm not sure how this bloomed again this year! 

I'm clueless when it comes to Orchids, really. This beautiful bloom, at first, had inspired me to take better care of the Orchid. Then my common sense took over and decided it better to just keep on neglecting the poor plant, if for nothing else, fear of certain fatality. 
Red Rose from the roses down by the road. 

Texas Amaryllis blooming in the garden. 

Two miniature Lavender plants planted in old buckets. 

We're getting ready to plant the vegetable garden in the next week. Once again, I am using Renee's Garden Seeds. I've had great success with her seeds, and have been using them for a few years now. 
This year I bought all the seeds from Orchard Supply, instead of ordering online. 
I just happened to be in OSH and picked them up while I was there. 

Here's the SUMMER MENU:
Tomatoes, of course. 
Early Bicolor  CORN
Dark Green Raven ZUCCHINI
Persian Baby Green Finger CUCUMBERS 
Crimson Crunch RADISHES
French Baby CARROTS

We'll also be adding some new things to the garden this year: 
Tricolor Circus CARROTS
French Baby LEEKS 
Baby Pixie CABBAGE 
mixture of Indian Corn- Rattlesnake Beans- and Sugar Pie Pumpkins. 

Soon I'll be spending the cool morning hours outside tending to the garden. 

This Summer I will plan on doing the trial run of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I was planning to do it last year, but quickly abandoned the idea when Mia was born and life turned into tragedy for a while. 
Look at her now...She's healthy, happy and beautiful. 
and so is Laci... I love my grandbabies so very, very much, in case you couldn't tell. 
I'm so excited to share the Garden with Laci and Mia this Summer. On this day we (Grammy, Mommy, and Auntie Kristina) happened to be sitting on a blanket under the Maple Tree. Yes- Laci has dirt on her face, it's just happens, along with messy wild hair, when you're a Country Girl.....
The Girasole Lady

Sunday, May 6, 2012


RANDOM- it's what I'm feeling right now.
Apparently I'm not able to focus on just one thing.
I love blogging, and I love reading other blogs. It's inspiring, interesting, and fun.
Several of the blogs I follow focus on particular things, like farming, gardening, quilting, sewing, photography, decorating, painting, and.... I think you get the picture.
Me... I'm all over the place. In the beginning Girasole Farm was meant to focus on farming, particularly Community Supported Agriculture. I soon realized I couldn't just put that out as the only thing I do, because... well, it just wouldn't be me. Sure, it's a big part of my life, but certainly not all.
I love farming and gardening, but I also love about a gazillion other things.

 For a LONG time I have been reading about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, I first heard about this paint at Miss Mustard Seed blog. When I went to Roses and Rust Vintage Fair last month, I happened upon a booth actually demonstrating the paint. I was so excited! I was even more excited to learn that a wonderful gal, Melony, carried the Chalk Paint in her booth, Well Worn, located in Chico at 8th & Main Antiques.              

Yes indeed, I hurried myself right on over there to get the paint and wax. I have the perfect dresser for this paint. I can hardly wait to get started.
I'm also planning on using some to make a Farmer's Market sign. This project idea comes from 
She also has a great tutorial on making "Old" Signs

I'm ready...

I made a Journal this week...
I'm a Stampin UP!  Demonstrator. I'm fairly new at stamping and paper crafting. I hosted my first Stampin UP! workshop last November, and have been hooked ever since. If you're interested and/or would like to learn more about Stampin UP!  please feel free to contact me. It's really fun and I'd be happy to share.

 Then there's two horses and a horse barn. 
Riding Arena (not too much of that going on these days)
The Eucalyptus trees were not intentionally planted here by the arena, they just volunteered. 
They even picked a perfect spot! 

The Egg Basket is filling in nicely. 

Succulents are interesting...   

The orchard is coming along too.
I fertilized all the trees right before the last rain. 

There will be Apples and Cherries too. 

The Tomatoes are getting ready in the Green House to be put into the Summer garden. 

                   This is where we plant the Summer garden. 
The sun is setting, which means it's time to head on out to the barn and feed the horses. 
Who knows what random things will happen this week.
1. Sign?
2. Apron?
The Girasole Lady
p.s. I almost forgot.... I've been searching for a full size apron pattern that I like and is functional, but have been unsuccessful. 
At 4 o'clock this morning, I wasn't able to sleep, but came up with a great idea in my head. Jumped out of bed at 5AM to sketch it out in paper. I'm going to try my hardest to get going on that this week as well.