Rainy Day Gardening, Strawberry Beds, and Baking With Kids

The kids were still asleep. The rain was starting to slack off. What to do? Head outside to get in a bit of gardening, of course. What else would one do on a morning like this?

“Laundry,” says the husband who is not here right now, and did not get all his laundry into the hamper on the day I did our laundry.

“Well, sure,” says the loving wife, “I could do that. However, if I garden first laundry could be started when I come back in to make breakfast.” And so out of the house she goes.

First I went to the neighbors to collect cardboard they put out on the curb for the trash pickup today. (Did I mention it was raining? Thankfully it seems they put these out this morning so they were only a bit damp and not already falling apart wet.) Once I had a stack in my garage I grabbed my hooded jacket, in case it started raining again, and my gardening gloves. These boxes were destined for the foundation to a small, east facing, side garden. My next load of woodchips will be deposited here and I really needed to get the foundation in place for that process to happen smoothly. (Read: so I can drive up, take the containers out of the car, and dump them immediately.)

There were already cardboard boxes here from previous collectioning efforts; they were not laid out so much as tossed in the general area. As we have had storms and wind wood destined for a future fire was stacked on top to hold them in place. Unstacking the wood I set out to flatted and arrange the boxes.

Boxes with straight edges were oriented such as to form the border along the back and front sides. Other variously shaped cardboard were layered within this boundary to help create as flat of a surface as could be reached. These are old cardboard boxes after all, perfectly flat is not the goal.

Two large boxes were saved for the end, being used as a cover to help hold all the other boxes in place. The pieces of future firewood were placed back on top to ensure no blowing away in the upcoming rain storm. (I was beginning to hear thunder in the distance.)

With that job finished, a broom was grabbed and put to work on the front porch. Nothing major was needed, but a general sweeping and cobweb removal was in order.

The front door mat is greatly faded as this part gets full southern exposure most of the year. The mat itself was in okay shape, but the colors were more “black with splotches of faded ???” rather than the lovely design it was when first placed there. It could have been added to the trash till I realized it would be perfect to go under the trash can when it was brought back from the curb. This would keep it out of mud, make it easier to move, and … the flower bed will reach there eventually so killing grass right now is not an issue. To the end of the newly formed layers of cardboard it went.

For breakfast, I wanted to make muffins using cans of pumpkin from the pantry. My online search yielded this supper easy recipe. I added in ground up almonds, as I wanted a bit more protein than 3g otherwise contributed. (I was typing up this post when both kids awoke and come into the kitchen. The motivation of helping got them dressed faster than usual.)

As I had already ground up the almonds … this seems like a game of dominos… I decided to continue baking, making Black Walnut Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies found on page 60 of my favorite cookie cookbook, a bridal shower gift from a wonderful friend. This was killing two birds with one stone – I have just a dab of buttermilk left in the fridge, which I will substitute for the water and powered buttermilk called for in the recipe.

This picture is of a raised strawberry at a local feed and grain store. It caught my attention as being something I could locate in areas where there is no soil, or which needs something more visually interesting. I liked the side tables to sit a bowl or tools on while you pick or plant.