quejimenez Dream. || Found this little reminder in my desk of who I really am. I love; I dream. After a difficult few weeks of poeming, getting discouraged on the path, forced stillness/quiet away from social media (and reading over 800 pages of poetry), what a welcomed sign from my younger self to love this life and keep dreaming. Writing is a long journey--at times painful, deeply solitary, and melancholy. What ever it is you find yourself writing through, or to...may you love yourself and your words on the journey. May you not just dream, but catch those dreams too! I'm not just a dreamer...I'm a dream catcher! Happy Monday Beautiful People...have a blessed week! 1d

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quejimenez 15 Years Mr. & Mrs. || This weekend we celebrated fifteen years of us. And we couldn't be more happy than spending the weekend cooking & eating good vegan food, playing board games with the kids, laughing and hugging, and reflecting on some of our favorite memories as a couple and family. Not a typical, romantic anniversary weekend, but it is authentic and real for us. This is what marriage and real love is--the 'everyday' is filled with joy, contentment, and love because we are together, the four of us, appreciating the blessing of our family. I cannot begin to express how grateful I am, how blessed I feel, how much love and joy is my heart for my husband and the family we've built. It really doesn't get any better than this. Marry your best friend and build love off of your friendship...no matter what life gives you, you'll always have love, joy, and friendship. || I'm off to eat cinnamon rolls and cuddle with my Mr. 2d

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quejimenez Sorting Seeds. || Procrastinating, too. I've been incredibly busy with homework (poem writing, poem editing, reading &reviewing books), and helping the kids adjust to middle school. Somehow I've managed to make some gardening choices in the midst of it all, which included buying tons of seeds. I think I bought about 60-70 new varieties, and just over 50 of them were just delivered. I keep putting my poetry book down and thumbing through the seeds, daydreaming about the new garden. The varieties are all so intriguing. I'm most excited about the carrots, though I know they'll be hard to grow here, and the beets, turnips, and rutabagas. I'm regretting I didn't add fava beans. I'm still so new to growing from seed and also fall/winter growing that I bought a lot of different varieties. It will take a lot of trial and error to figure out what will grow well here in our warm, dry fall and winters. Like Northerners struggle with frost, I struggle with heat. What is fall/winter gardening like for you? What are you growing, and what varieties are your favorites? 5d
  •   fedricka I need you to move up here and help me!! 5d
  •   fedricka Oooh can't wait to see how the rutabagas look! 5d
  •   socialmolecules So exciting!!! I can't wait to see how they all turn out! 5d
  •   gardennerd247 Sweet Peas & Snow Peas to eat raw in the garden, Brussells Sprouts to steam, Celery and Romaine! 5d
  •   fuoriborgo cabbage and artichokes, perennial herbs, italian parsley and chard (yearly). happy gardening! 5d
  •   maineviews I live in Maine so our season is just about winding down. Right now harvesting a magnificent crop of heirloom tomatoes (yes i overdid it again & i love it) ..... sweet basil, summer savory, cilantro & other herbs will soon be picked for drying. The sweet scent of autumn in new england. Here fall & winter are for dreaming & scheming about next year. I'm a bit envious of folks who can enjoy the garden all year! 5d
  •   quejimenez @boba_fettucini Oh, that's promising, we're close neighbors! When did you plant and did you direct sow or transplant? @fedricka Right! I wish we could too!! We need to get on our FaceTime date! I'm excited about them too, I remember living turnips as a kid when my Granma put them in turnip greens...so I bet they'll be good too! @socialmolecules Isn't seed starting the most exciting?! Winter growing is tricky here, but I'm excited to try. @gardennerd247 So far I'm growing all that too. I cannot wait for the peas and Brussels sprouts! Have you started your seeds? And how do you keep your garden cool in the winter? That's the biggest problem I have here in Riverside. @fuoriborgo Good list! I have cabbage on my list, in fact lots. We love the stuff! Parsley grows well here...I have some artichoke plants too that sort of grows year round. You have chard year round?...cool! @maineviews I always go overboard with tomatoes and squash, but we eat it all and give away a lot, so never regret it. Have you seen @jenny_grows feed? She lives in Maine I believe and grows into the colder weather. It is quite possible for you to grow year round with some protecting. There's some great books...Four Season Harvest is a good one. I bet with a bit of protecting you can do it. 2d

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quejimenez Today's Work. || The Fireplace (and other painting, prepping to lay kitchen floors). At first I wanted to retile and rebuild the mantel. As I researched design ideas, and started curating some dream looks I started to think I should try and transform what we have first. Why waste materials, energy if simple refinishing can give me a new look too? I don't want to be wasteful and would like to keep things simple when possible. Turns out I can paint the tile, spray paint the metal surround, and of course paint the wood mantel and wall. Instead of installing a tile floor surround, we'll take the wood floors all the way to the wall for a clean look. Fingers crossed I can pull a new look together. 1w

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quejimenez Currently. || Settling in for the night, with E watching football, and me switching between checking the kids' schoolwork for the day and reading Jane's oeuvre. During commercials I read them beautiful poems I come across, like "November Calf," a sweet poem chronicling the birth of a calf. It has been a difficult week of writing for me. With homeschooling beginning again, new middle school rules, and some lofty writing challenges I've self-imposed, I can't hear my voice. I need to settle my mind, and dig into poetry that salves the everyday aches and pains. I hope, if you are a writer, a poet, you are also an avid reader. The best writers are the best readers. (73 pages into 343) 2w

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quejimenez Collecting Yellow. || Early this morning Autumn whispered in my ear, "Go gather little one." An ash tree watched from the east, hugging a hidden nest of humming birds, as i wished to climb into the cloudy marine layer, of morning, and crows swung from a dated palm. What of Autumn can i taste if i am not hungry enough to chew yellow from peach, apricot, pomegranate leaves willing to lie and lick the Earth till Autumn falls in a red swath like menses. || Leaves: Apricot, Peach, Pomegranate; Petals: Sunflower, Black Eyed Susan; Flowers: Helenium. 2w

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quejimenez Simple Living. || "I long for a simple life. Little social media, more hearty conversations, silent mornings to write, cooking & dancing for hours in the kitchen, time to paint, weave, quilt again. Living in tune with life's seasons. Nurturing, being nurtured, letting go of what is spent. Living deliberately. " || New Blog Post up: "Living in Season With Life: Beginning My Journey into a Sustainable, Simple Life." It has some personal stories, some of my deep thoughts about letting go and living in tune with Nature. Link in profile. 2w

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quejimenez Tiny Red, Plum, Rose & Green Tomatoes/Tomatillos. || Dinner making (chili over basmati rice & cornbread), and I couldn't help but take a minute to photograph these beautiful cherry tomatoes and tomatillos. The colors remind me of beautiful lipstick and fancy cars. || Heirloom tomatoes: Grape tomatoes, Indigo Rose, Purple tomatillos, and standard cherry tomatoes and tomatillos too. 2w

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quejimenez 6th Grade! || One of the best things about homeschooling is having wonderful first days of school. We've been to the park to meet our new teacher, meet new friends, and just had lunch with Papi. Heading to get dinner, school supplies, then home! 2w

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quejimenez Transition. || Today the kids become middle scholars. This weekend we had discussions about them staying home alone. Last night I stayed up till 5am, wondering what type of writing career I want to create for myself. I haven't been daring my heart greatly and acting out of courage that I can be who I want to be. It gets scary. When you hold big dreams. I decided I was going to show-up, get into the arena, fight every day. The first step is showing up to my studio, and sitting in the uncomfortable chair. I'm greeted with warm, red glowing sunlight, and Granma's red, white, pink afghan. I always felt so loved in her bed when she tucked it under my chin. Being sick was never painful with her love. Having the afghan near today, I'm reminded love, like all energy, is never destroyed. It just changes form. And fear, a false energy of the mind, is easily rooted out, crushed, with action and love for what ails. || Happy Tuesday Beautiful People. Be good to yourself and your dreams. 2w

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quejimenez Meditating. || A little nighttime restoration for my mind, body. E has made me rest and restore after all the work we did this weekend. My shoulder, flanks, core, and hamstring muscles are fatigued and sore. The greatest challenge for me is resting, sitting still. I've napped, read, collected petals, weeded a bit, wrote a bit, and played with petals. I'm so grateful for a husband who values how I use my energy, and treat my body. I don't know I would ever stop without his nurturing. || I hope you've found some time to nurture your body, mind. May we greet Autumn with whole hearts & bodies filled with love, compassion--for ourselves as well as others! Happy September! 2w

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quejimenez We're pooped. || Two of the three beds we raised. So. Much. Work. We need one to finish this row, and two more in the large section of the garden. In the end we'll have eight raised beds for food. With our clayey soil, I'm finding we get much better yields and work less with raised beds. It took a good 6-7 years of amending and working the soil to make this strip rich and highly fertile. The raised beds were almost instantly fertile with heavy amending. I have an idea of adapting the permaculture idea, raised beds for food surrounded by in ground, perennial plants mimicking the 7 layers of a 'food forest.' I'm not sure it'll work, but I believe I'm headed in the right direction. Albeit, very tiredly dragging my feet tonight. 2w

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quejimenez Building. || We've been at it about four hours. Clearing new paths, beds, slowly leveling each block before we put them in place. The goal is to install four raised beds, the footprint and clearing for two is done. We'll hold off on one at the far end of the bed--a few squash plants have caught a second wind and started producing fruit again and a volunteer tomatillo has taken off; it's full of flowers and vigor. The last bed is on the North of our home. Since it's two-stories the shade is heavy. I used to think nothing would/could grow here, but a shift in my thinking has me betting this will grow the best food. I can create a mini microclimate that isn't as harsh as the rest of the garden under full, triple-digit sun. We'll see. Can't help but try. 2w
  •   damika12345 2w
  •   ravengina I really enjoy these posts. I look forward to having a space to have a garden/food. Just awesome :-) 2w
  •   fedricka Putting in work! Geesh! 2w
  •   suburban_homestead How do you like the blocks @quejimenez ? I use untreated Home Depot lumber for beds but am always tempted by the cinder blocks. 2w
  •   quejimenez @damika12345 Thanks! @ravengina Thank you! I always hope it will help someone or inspire someone. I never want to be the one who hoards knowledge. You will love gardening! @fedricka Yes! We are so ready to have free weekends, but it seems like that is not an option for the rest of the year. 😕 On the plus, I'm getting tons if exercise and drinking gallons of water. @suburban_homestead I love them. I honestly can't see a disadvantage. They don't weather, they allow infinite designs, they are cheap, they help warm and hold heat in the soil, they allow you to sit and walk on them, and they don't look bad--especially when you top them with bricks. Perhaps the only downside is they're heavy. But we raised five large beds for about $180. It would cost us so much more to do the same with wood and the wood would eventually need replacing. The cinder blocks also lend themselves to covers/hoops, etc. I imagine you could build a greenhouse like structure. We've built an outdoor couch that is nice and comfy. I would highly recommend. Perhaps try a small one and see how you like it before committing your whole growing space. 2w
  •   thegardenvoyeur This is what I want to try next w blocks. Looking back, anything you adjust? 4d

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quejimenez Twilight Fruit. || This time of the summer season the heat has really zapped the life out of the plants. Production wanes, and dry leaves abound. This is always the point where I struggle the most, watching plants I've nurtured, cared for reach the end of their lives. I always become morose, mournful. And then I remember the lessons gardening has taught me over the past 14 years--every life has a season, a time, and an end. When my Granma flew away in 2010, it was the garden that nursed me back to myself. I learned how to cherish life, nurture and receive nurturing, and how to say goodbye with gratitude. Each season and life holds a lifetime, a beginning, an ending. I nurture, I'm nurtured, and then I let go with gratitude. Knowing this process, I am always most grateful when a plant gives fruit at the twilight of it's life. I can't help but remember Granma telling me, "Mama loves you." || Plant: Rosa Bianca Eggplant 2w

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quejimenez Clearing. || I've been knee deep in crabgrass, melon vines, mud, and sun. My arms are burning, and itchy from the plants slanging and lashing themselves around me. Do you know how hard it is to find an ant crawling on your arm when you're the same red-brown of them? You feel their legs, but they crawl so fast, and my tanned arms hide them too well. Clearing this bed was emotionally painful, but I had to realize the season, the bed got away from me. No matter how many sunny days we still have ahead, I won't grow the fruit I want, or the fruit to justify hoarding the space. So, we're prepping for Fall/Winter a bit early. More soon. 2w

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quejimenez 190 Cinder blocks. || 3 trips to @homedepot, 38 back and forth trips from car to back yard = 6 new raised beds. Long, hot, tiring day for me and the tall, skinny guy. 2w

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quejimenez Six Scratchy Straw Bales. || We have to make some serious adjustments to our garden, so we are taking the opportunity to build an adjusted food forest, built on permaculture/sustainability principles. Where do you start such an undertaking? Building the soil with organic matter. We went to a local feed & seed (in unspeakable heat) and bought 6 bales of straw, and a few bags of wood chips. We're building about 7 new raised beds and thought about a bale a bed. I think we over estimated. There is straw everywhere and it is so scratchy and ouchy. I have straw splinters all over. This is so far from what we planned for this long, four-day weekend, but we're adjusting. This seems to be the year of never-ending house projects. I'm looking on the bright side, and taking every opportunity to learn and become a can-do sufficient woman. 3w
  •   gardennerd247 Details on your food forest adventure, please! 3w
  •   feedyourheaddd the straw goes quickly i had four five months ago and needed more two months ago. the worms love it. 3w
  •   livegently Your honesty and openess is so beautiful! Im sure this is some hard work, but through your choice of words I was able to sense how much you really enjoyed this time....although the moment may have been a bit ochy! ;) Life is just so beautifully balanced like that! Love to you! 3w
  •   fuoriborgo i made my own straw this spring (cutting grass with my sickle before it went to seed), it took days to cut, weeks to dry, and i used it up in the garden in no time at all! 3w
  •   jenny_grows Straw settles fast! But unlike you, I have months of snow blanket and lots of rain to help it along. 3w
  •   quejimenez @gardennerd247 Sure thing! I'm planning on blogging/documenting the process. It is the best way of keeping a gardener's journal now days. Well, along with IG. @feedyourheaddd Oh, that's so good to know! We want lots and lots of worms. @livegently Thanks Sis! Yes, I've learned this year life is a process of surrendering and constantly starting, beginning, finishing where you are. The more we fight what we're handed the tougher the road, the less peace we hold. So much love back to you! @fuoriborgo Great idea! When I prune back my lemongrass, which is a beast, I use the clippings to mulch the strawberry bed. The smell is out of this world! But it is so great to put nutrients back into the earth and complete the cycle. @jenny_grows Right, we're so dry here it will take some time, unless I can coax the worms to work! I can't wait to see how it will enrich the soil. We have hard clayey soil. In some places it is like cement. I do a lot of amending to bring it to fertility. 2w
  •   lettuceevolve This changed my life! 2w

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quejimenez Morning Light. || Almost there. We are almost done with renovating the kitchen. The wait, the sore muscles, the "no free weekends or week nights" had started to wear on me. Grad school work continues, homeschooling begins next week, teaching my fiction class begins a week later, the garden needs to be prepped for Autumn/Winter, and there is that blog I dream of updating daily. I was frustrated with the weight of it all this past weekend. The never ending train of work, aches/pains, the something is always being neglected. But this morning, after another late night of work, I found peace in the morning light. I can see how far we've come. I'm reminded I didn't want a perfect, "show" kitchen. I wanted a clean, airy, bright space to make good food for my family, to cook and watch the garden while I work out poems and novel details in my mind, a place to dance (because I dance a lot while cooking, no really, it's like this thing with me). This morning I see I'm almost there. Floors, more wall organization, a range hood, art/photography, knobs on the cabinets and baseboards, and we are there. In the meantime, I'm going to remember to be a bit more kind to my and E's bodies. To go on neighborhood walks, cook pies and other homey meals, and dance like crazy on that ugly linoleum floor. 3w

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quejimenez Peach Pie. || What better way to celebrate my father's life. I think he would have enjoyed the taste of summer giving way to fall. Summer peaches, warm autumn spices, a hint of vanilla and apple. The house smells like a loving celebration. 3w

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quejimenez Happy Born Day Daddy! || Wherever you are, enjoying ether, I hope you remember your short 26 years on earth and know you were and still are so very loved. || Is not my daddy and grandmother the most beautiful pair? I see my son in that handsome, little rascal, and see my daughter in my grandmother. My, how beautiful is she! Miss them two greatly. 3w
  •   quejimenez @1countrylovinmomma Thank you! Yes, we do! So sorry for your loss. It is a large hole that never gets filled. Hope you have the solace of sweet memories to salve your heart. 3w
  •   quejimenez @she_beat LMBO! Yes!! Those stories too! The last thing he said to me was how much he love her and how good she took care of him. And yes, we need to have operation, steal photos! lol I'm trying to work on our family tree, but finding Granma's information is so hard. Aunt Karen said There is a whole family tree on the Clark's, but I can't locate it. Do you know Kermit? on Grandma's side? 3w
  •   she_beat Yea I need love like grandma and grandpa . That love that last forever ♡♡ I remember hearing the name but I dont remember who he is @quejimenez 3w
  •   fedricka @quejimenez no didn't get a chance to. We went semi camping with one of Emilio's coworkers this past weekend 3w
  •   quejimenez @she_beat He's a cousin on Grandma's side. I think he is the one who organizes all the family reunions and stuff. Or did. I'm not sure either. Aunt Karen just told me that he has done all the work of tracing the Clark family. I'm determined to map our family all the way back. But yes, their love was pure magic! You will have it. 3w
  •   quejimenez @fedricka Okay...don't know why I thought I had missed a call while we were working. I must have dreamt it. My psyche telling me we're due for a convo. Did you all feel the quake? Hope all is well for you all. 3w
  •   she_beat Ohhh ok now I remember but I dont remember his face 3w
  •   quejimenez @she_beat I've gotta track him down. lol 3w

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