I love growing edibles. The past few years I’ve had a small vegetable garden and last year I added an herb garden. I am not great at weeding or watering and usually everything gets out of control but it’s so thrilling to walk out in my backyard and pick something that I can use for dinner. I’ve become accustomed to starting from scratch every spring, so I was thrilled to see that my rosemary and thyme had come through the winter quite nicely with absolutely no attention from me (besides a bit of weed pulling last weekend).

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I mean seriously, look at how much smaller the rosemary was last year!

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Last year I had spicy globe basil and I wasn’t crazy about it, so this year I went for just regular ‘ol plain basil. So excited about my pesto prospects!

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New this year: cilantro, parsley, oregano, and chives.

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The whole herb garden gets dappled sunlight all day so I’m honestly kind of surprised that it’s done so well.

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My mint overwintered nicely as well, though in its minty way it’s migrated to the perimeter of the pot. I’ve got two strawberry plants that my sister gave me right next to it. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time and money setting up a garden this year so the only other thing I’m growing is cherry tomatoes (Jack loves them). I put one of them in the pot with the mint. Should be interesting.

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The other three tomatoes are in containers nearby–two in a galvanized pail and one in a paper bag planter. I just put one paper grocery bag inside the other and rolled the sides down until they were the right height, then filled it with soil. We’ll see how it works!

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This is why all of my tomatoes are in makeshift containers. My old veggie spot is completely overrun with weeds and half-dead grass. I pulled off the wooden frame last weekend but haven’t figured out how to knock the grass down to ground level.

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Even though I’m not growing as many veggies this year I’m so excited. I feel like herbs are so versatile and low maintenance–if they’re in a good spot you can really just ignore them and yet they’re always there when you need them. There’s no pressure to harvest at the right point like fruit and veggies and fresh herbs are so expensive in stores that it’s super cost effective to grow them at home. I need some recipes to use up all that rosemary!

My undergraduate studies took me through a wide range of the social sciences and liberal arts. I was an English major with a concentration in Secondary Ed, but I took sociology classes every chance I got and I even took five semesters of German (guten Tag!). Anyway, in one of my sociology classes I learned about the broken windows theory of criminology. It’s controversial and I’m not sure I agree with its implications, but the gist of it is that petty crime and disorder create an atmosphere conducive to more serious crime. One broken window that doesn’t get fixed leads to more broken windows, which leads to a sense that nobody really cares and that it’s okay to treat the neighborhood and the people who live in it with disrespect. This theory is great when it motivates people to clean up blighted neighborhoods, not so great when cops start cracking down on petty crime in the hopes that it’ll scare away the big fish (but that’s just my opinion). Anyway, I broke this pane of glass on our front door on Christmas Eve as we were rushing out of the house. We taped some cardboard up over it and figured we’d deal with it after the holidays.

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Super classy.

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We put off fixing it for three months and in that time:

  • our washing machine broke
  • our new washing machine broke and we waited more than a month for the part to repair it
  • our pipes froze and sprung a leak
  • unrelated to the freeze, the pipe that drains from our kitchen sink corroded and the plumber had to cut away a section of our exterior to replace the whole operation (which was really peculiarly installed and prone to clogs, so it’s much better now but that didn’t make it any easier to drop $700 on something we can’t even see)

The good news is that this is a part of the house that nobody ever sees. I actually had to walk around to the alley and between two fences to get here. Literally nobody can see this unless they are in this difficult-to-access spot on purpose. The bad news is that the plumber just temporarily put everything back in place and it’s up to us to actually repair the siding.

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Two different types of siding meet just a few feet away from here. Note additional chaos: weeds and filth (algae? mildew?). And I see another spot of messed up siding over there in the corner.

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Old houses are so charming and full of character, but you’ve got to stay on top of them. One neglected problem can quickly snowball, just like disorder in a troubled neighborhood. Things seem to have been getting away from us lately and to distract ourselves from the expensive new roof that’s looming in our future we decided to finally tackle the front door. It was actually so much cheaper and easier than we’d anticipated! The glass was only about $4 and cut to size for free at Lowe’s. Not pictured: a hammer to help us use the flathead screwdriver as a chisel and remove old nails.

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Step one: use a utility knife to score the paint over the moldings. This is about as far as Nick got before I kicked him out and took over.

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Next, I used a screwdriver and a hammer to gently, carefully chisel the very old wood molding loose. I tried not to let it get too torn up but a certain amount of damage was inevitable. I’m pretty sure these doors are original to the house and thus nearly a century old.

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The nails holding them in stayed in the frame even after I’d tugged the moldings free. I waited until I had all the moldings and glass out to use the claw of my hammer to pull them.

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Bam. Moldings gone and we could carefully remove the broken glass. This was surprisingly satisfying.

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I could lie and say that I popped my new glass in and replaced the moldings and it was so easy! But actually even though I’d told the lady at Lowe’s “Well, I measured the opening to be six and a quarter by twelve and a quarter but it probably needs to be a little bigger to fit properly,” it turns out I should’ve been more specific because she cut it to exactly 6.25″x12.25″ and it was too small. I had to go back to Lowe’s but luckily they let me return it with no problem and I was back home in no time with a new piece. This time I asked them to cut it to 6.75″ by 12.75″ and it fit so perfectly that I had to carefully coax it into the frame, diligently removing any splinters or scraps that stood in its way.

Also, a piece of molding near the bottom right had always been missing (disguised previously with paint on the glass) so Nick cut a tiny piece of scrap beadboard to length and it was just right. I used some caulk and my brad gun to carefully tack all the molding to the frame and then filled all the gaps and cracks with caulk.

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After the caulk had dried I touched up the paint (luckily I just painted this door last summer) and still had the paint on hand). Now it looks not good as new, but old and charming and not broken.

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So, now that my front door no longer screams DISREPAIR maybe the rest of the house will get its act together? We’re working on the kitchen currently but next is fixing up the deck, then cleaning and repairing the siding, replacing the roof (gulp), and hopefully if things go well repainting the exterior trim. Home ownership is bittersweet.

I see silver trays and platters at thrift stores and estate sales all the time, but lately I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for one that’s a little bit larger than average, with ornate handles for dramatic effect. Like this:

life in the fun lane

In the Fun Lane

I think it would look so great hung over my stove. Like this:

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Country Living

So pretty, right? In my kitchen the stove is directly across from the only window in the room, so I think that a large silver platter hung there would be perfect to reflect light and add a little glam. Isn’t that spot just calling out for something?

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I’ve been hunting for several weeks and haven’t found one yet! I did bring home one tray, but it didn’t have handles and was just not glamorous enough. I’m looking for something 18″-24″ wide so that rules out eBay and Etsy (the shipping would be pretty high). I think I need to stop being so lazy on weekend mornings and step up my estate sale game! If you’re local and see something like this give me a holler.

How was your weekend, my lovelies? Mine flew by. I barely left the house, which is how I like it. We ate lunch and dinner on the back deck on Saturday–I am really loving the patio umbrella I bought rather impulsively last year. I got a few things done, too. Nothing lifechanging, but I will have a few things to share this week! Have a good one, yall.

Hello, friends. This week has flown by! I’ve got a couple of projects on deck this weekend that I can’t wait to finish and share with you next week, but in the meantime here are some links that caught my eye this week:

Homemade Thin Mints | Averie Cooks

Does Teaching Kids To Get ‘Gritty’ Help Them Get Ahead? | NPR

Pic of the Week | The Bitter Lemon

Old Mens T-shirt Sewn Into Women’s Dolman Tee | Trash to Couture

I Choose Slow | Nesting Place

Ask a Clean Person: It’s Time to Talk About Your Floors | The Hairpin

Have a fabulous weekend, y’all. I’ll be sitting outside if it’s sunny, watching Scandal if it’s raining. Just kidding, I’ll be chasing after a toddler and nailing stuff together during naptime. But I’ll sure feel happy while I’m doing it because IT’S SPRING!