operation compost



Get yourself a bin. Preferably wood or a material that will breathe (this will cut down on the stink). I'm grateful to a friend who gave me this perfect wood box. It's about 3' by 1.5'. In the winter months it is recommended to use plastic bins.


Add organic matter. By organic I mean anything that came out of the dirt with the exception of egg shells.


Give yourself a hug.


Let it stew and do it's thing. Trust me...it will.


Add it to your veggie garden, flower beds, or pots.

helpful hints:

-keep portions small. if you are going to throw a whole potato in there then break it up first with your spade.

- add some dirt (this also keeps the stink down)

- turn it every once in a while. i'm imaging that in the summer months it needs to be turned more often. i've been turning mine every few weeks since november.

- add equal parts yard clippings on top of the kitchen scraps. i.e., dried leaves, grass clippings, twigs, sawdust, straw, oh - even ashes from your fireplace - booya!

- add water as needed or cover (use a tarp) to keep water out as needed. it should be dark and moist to the touch, but not sopping wet. if you are using a lot of kitchen scraps then you shouldn't need to add too much water as the water content in scraps is already high.

- if you can place a container under it to catch extra water or moisture, do it! then use that in combo with the watering for your houseplants.

- it's ready to use when it smells like rich dirt. you know, like a freshly opened bag of potting soil.

- never put fat, oil, or meat in it. this will attract vermin. shudder. i hate that word.

- boost it up a little by adding some fertilizer to it like blood meal.

oh, and if it happens to spontaneously combust then you did something very very wrong. :)

for more info go here.

or here.



this girl.

there is something about her.

she drives me crazy.

ask her if she is a monkey, a bear, a girl, a baby, or even a puppy and she'll say,
"no...i'm a mom."

she adds y onto the end of most of her words. its a shoe-sy, sock-y, milk-y, bike-y, zip-py.

she falls on her face because her mind and upper body are often moving 10x faster then her little legs can go.

she is kind and affectionate, but so feisty and naughty.

changing her outfit at least 7 times a day and refusing to wear a jacket out.

maybe with being the middle child she is just making herself more known. you know, stamping her territory.

but then again, it's probably just



one word.

Easy came home the other day with a sort of announcement.

He claimed that he finally found a word to describe me.

You ready?

Dun dun dun...


I like it. I think it's a great word. Thanks Honey. Industrious makes me feel good in my bones. Really I'm just glad he didn't say deranged.

And I agree that in today, it fits.

This nature in me has been planning projects. I.e., dragging various images to my desktop in the instance that I get the time or motivation to make a version of my own.

Because the biggest thing I have going on is moving dirt.


Lots of it.



These little guys are starting to sprout and will need home soon.
(Yeah, I started them in muffin tins. I know, how industrious, right?)


And because I've had my stupid chickens pooping in the garden bed the last few months they had to be moved too.

Which wasn't too hard with my girly work gloves and hot pants (that I should not be wearing to work in).


My compost has been brewing for months now and I can't wait to use it.

For some reason though I don't think stickers break down.

Anyway, if you garden, you should compost. I'm amazed at the amount or organic matter that used to go down the disposal or in the trash which now will go back into the ground. Yum. And if you think composting is gross and stinky then I invite you to come and smell mine. It seriously smells good. Earthy good.


We got these off the curb outside Blondie's preschool and are making lemonade today.

Oh, how I love January in AZ!


...reminds me of turtle.

I'm making halibut tonight for dinner. This is new territory for me.

I have nothing to worry about though. Fortunately my girls like fish and one thing that I love about Easy is that he loves good food. I love good food too and have been blessed with the knack to prepare it well.

We will eat almost anything together and generally have no fear about trying something new like the time we had frog legs together in Windsor, Canada.

Which reminds me of turtle.

After we were married we spent a little time traveling the country doing lighting resets in Lowe's stores for work. It was the perfect job for us two newlyweds. We flew to random cities, worked together all day, hung out all night, drove rental cars, stayed in hotels, and ate out a lot.

We would go to church in random wards every Sunday and secretly hope that a kind soul in the congregation would invite us over for dinner so we wouldn't have to eat out. Believe it or not, we were dying for a home cooked meal.

But in Louisiana, we were unaware of what we were really secretly wishing for.

A kind young mom happened to invite us over and we thought that we had really scored. She was pretty and had a domestic look about her. Anyway, a home cooked meal is nice no matter what the chef looks like. Right?

It was when she told us how we were in for a real "Louisiana treat" that I got nervous. Then she proceeded, "My uncle is making turtle."

Turtle? Do people really eat turtle? No. No. They don't. They shouldn't. I had a pet turtle as a teenager and would have never thought to eat one.

We walked up to the house and sure enough her uncle (the cook) struts out: Big belly, holey wife-beater, cross eyed, toothless.

So we ate turtle.

And burnt rice.

And it was bad. Really bad.

What is the worst thing you have ever eaten?
Please don't say you have had turtle too.


little nothings


I have little to post about.

And the problem with posting consistently is that you feel the need to post. Like it's just expected of you.

And if you don't, you will get a phone call...or two.

. . .

We lost 21% of the students from Block II. It was weird having 10 new ones in class last night.

My baby girl refused her bottle while I was at class. I'm worried that she will keep refusing it. I mean, the girls gonna get hungry, right? She's got to take it at some point.

My 2 year old drives me crazy.

My 4 year old talks a LOT.

E will be 30 in about a month. THIRTY! I'm happy for him. Thirty sounds good.

The postpartum hairs on my head are falling out everywhere.

The other day Blondes was in tumbling class and I thought that the teacher was being a little unfair to her. I hated seeing her feelings hurt and prayed that she would be able to keep it together. It made me sick to me stomach knowing just how often this will happen in her life.

Last night we had a wicked storm. Amanda and I (we carpool together) ran from class to the parking lot in horizontal rain while dodging cars and giant ankle deep puddles. When we finally got to the car we sat and laughed like a couple of kids. Completely soaked. It felt good.




block III starts tomorrow.

i feel like i've had a good break.
i have enjoyed this family of mine.

it has rained all week.
the desert has soaked it up.
the cacti are fat. (isn't cacti plural for cactus?)
it smells good.
all has been revived.

i admit i have had a bad attitude about nursing school.
block II was rough on me.
and my peers.
really rough - as we won't be seeing many of them again.

i'm excited for a fresh start.
mmmm. fresh starts.
a new binder.
an unmarked syllabus.
new instructors.

block III: pediatrics, ob, and a little med/surg.
i'm excited to work with mothers.
and little ones.

for years E and i have prayed about our plan.
when i got into school we felt it was an answer.
we were so grateful.

i've decided that my bad attitude shows ingratitude.
and i don't want to seem ungrateful.

so i'm ready for my fresh start.
ready to be revived again.
to get fat on knowledge.

i'm on my way to becoming a nurse.
and from now on...
i promise to have more of a smile on my face about it.


the gardiner's take camelback

on the trail we met a guy who hikes up camelback mountain
4 times a day.
everyday but sunday.

he is intense.

i was going up and he was coming down.
i was coming down and he was going up.
i was still coming down and he passed me.

so i had to stop him before i convinced myself that i was seeing things.

he wears knee braces, gloves, and carries water on his hip

oh, and he is also 75.


music: lasso by phoenix (i know, how appropriate)


on her bum.


i'm up to my eyes in cloth diapers.

and I like it.
i feel like I'm doing something good.
for my baby.
and for me.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

we all learned about it as kids.


i'm going to be honest with you though.
i hate doing laundry.
and dirty diaper laundry is stinky.
even if your baby is breastfed.
even if it's just pee.

you have to have the right soap.
you have to know about your water.
there is a system.
wash at least 3 times before using.
rinse cold.
wash hot.


they get more absorbent with time.
but these are not like your momma's diapers.
they are soft.
they are snappy.
they are cute.
they adjust to grow with your baby.

and I like that.

it's a familiarity thing.
then a confidence thing.

and if you watch my baby.
i promise to leave you with disposables.


oh no.

something happened...

Photobucket Photobucket

my baby got big.


i'm heartbroken.




This weekend we headed up to Cave Creek to check out the balloon festival - as well as grab some dinner.

It was chilly.
And my new moccasins don't insulate too well.

We ooh-ed and ahh-ed along with the crowd.
Over the giant balloons filled with hot air.

And we grubbed on some really-freaking-good hot dogs.

Little Roo stayed warm with me in my pouch.

Oh there she is!


Of course, this was all before we headed home.

And before a crazy woman decided to run Easy off the road as we were walking to our car.

And before, unfortunately, with the 2 older girls in arms - his first reflex was to smack the back of her SUV.

The next thing we know bam!

An evil demon was unleashed!

This was before she jumped out of her car and went on and on. It was amazing really - she went so far as to verbally and physically assault our car, yell profanity in front of our wee ones, and threaten to fight us (she claimed she had no idea he was there).
We were absolutely shocked.

All before we spent the rest of the evening with friends playing this and laughing our faces off.


The End.

next up: hays is enters the cloth diaper world. watch out fools!


i'm watching a girlfriend's two little girls today.
this house is saturated in estrogen.
they are all watching a little Dora so I finally feel like I have a second to breathe.


my new moccasins came!
i love them.
thanks babe!

i am thinking of doing cloth diapers.
i've been reading up on it this morning after easy sent me an email:

What if we...started doing cloth diapers: http://www.wildflowerdiapers.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=1840&idcategory=334 A girl at work does it and says its great.

more for budget reasons then anything,
but also because there is this little hippie in me.
she wants to help keep the earth clean.
(you know her. she is the one who has chickens, doesn't shampoo her hair, composts, gardens,
uses glass bottles, saves her babies umbilical cord stumps, births babies without an epidural and would enjoy communal living with all her friends - i know you want to too! 2020? what do you say?)


this month i have been working on getting organized.
so far i have done all my kitchen cabinets, the office closet, and started on the girls' clothing and closet.
it's an undertaking, but has to be done before i start school again on the 20th.
i have also been freeing up space on my computer which means i get to go through all my old photos:


isn't she pretty?
9 months is my favorite baby age.
that is when these were taken.

uh oh.
i've been caught.
little girls are begging for a snack.



Oh it hurts!

i'm loving this time i have. i'm trying to take advantage of these free days with my girls and nights with easy.

little roo had her two month well check yesterday. the following was concluded:

  1. i have tall children
  2. i hate it when they are given shots
  3. gigi has some pretty powerful lungs

she is so happy though and we all love her.

i started dinner early and made the biggest mistake in cooking that you can possibly make and feel like an idiot for it.

can you guess what that is?

i was making this. which is super good!

and after i was done blending and pureeing peppers, onions, and garlic i looked in the mirror and happened to wipe the mascara that had lost it's way during the onion chopping.

burning! burning! burning!

bloody hell!

my eyes were on fire. fire balls!

and when i tried to open them it felt like the fire was sizzling my retina.

water. soap. wash. more water!

more fire! i'm swearing now and screaming. still can't open them. i'm imaging my face puffing up and never being able to see again.

more washing. more blinking. get it out!

after a few agonizing minutes it starts to cool and the world is somewhat good again.


for the rest of the day/night i could still feel the effects. like i had been crying for days.

the girls and i discussed what had happened:

but why did you touch them, mom?
why does it burn?
i don't want pepper in my eyes!
can you see?
see me?

#1 rule:

Don't touch your face or eyes after handling peppers.



crazy stairs and big holes in the earth

this is when we are happiest -
easy and i on the road with our three little birdies strapped in the back.
i read him novels.
he consumes a lot of jerky.

i take pictures.
we eat at local diners
and drag the girls around pointing at this and telling them not to touch that.

i love it.

we kicked off 2010 with a little trip to Bisbee - an old mining town that has transformed into a funky hippy town.

it is so close to the border you can practically smell the carne asada.

e has been wanting to go and he finally convinced me to join him.











gigi's day


one of my goals for the new year is to smile more.
it shouldn't be hard since i have this little roo around.


my mother knitted her little dress.
it is beautiful.


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