Saturday, June 16, 2012

Running Blues

This morning my sister-in-law, Lakyn, and I went for a run around the neighborhood and it was brutal. I think we ran a solid 12-minute mile for the first mile, slowed it down a little more for a little bit and then I had to walk. We visited with a neighbor and then started up again. But I could only make it about 4 blocks and told Lakyn that that's all I had for today. We finished walking around the neighborhood and ended back at the house. A whopping total of 1.5 miles (I'm estimating, hopefully underestimating).

This is the start of my training for the November 2012 San Antonio rock'n'roll half-marathon that I'm planning to run with a friend. Good news is it can only get better from here.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Garden Love

I took these photos of the process of creating my garden with the intention of blogging about the process, so instead of a series of blogs you'll get the photo timeline version...kind of like the boxed dvd set of a TV series; no commercials, no waiting, just all at once satisfaction of knowing how it all happened :) Enjoy!

Starting seeds indoors to be ready to plant after the first frost (mid-late February):

I took a citizen gardener class with the Austin Sustainable Food Center and learned how to make these 4x4 planter boxes based off of Mel Bartholomew's book Square Foot Gardening. (March-ish)

And so it began: Here is our overgrown backyard

Building 4x4 beds, seven total for our backyard (day after and weekend after gardening class)

Then we lay overlapping cardboard boxes over the grass to solarize and kill it, preventing it from crowding into the garden (only moderately successful three months later).

We covered the cardboard with wood mulch, and it looked beautiful!!!

Obviously we filled the boxes with dirt and transplanted the seedlings following the square foot gardening model as best I could.

And lastly, I built trellises with string as the platform for the vining plants to climb.

That's all for now :) 

Hopefully I can get another blog post in (soon) about our recent harvests...very exciting!

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Extreme Home Makeover

Lots has happened since my last post in September, i.e. we became home-owners! We have a wonderful home on the Austin eastside near MLK and Airport blvd. We love it! It kind of reminds me of the Kenwood neighborhood that I lived in near USC; lots of socioeconomic and racial diversity. Hopefully, I will be better about chronicling our adventures and attempts to love our neighbors in our east-side community in order to share it with you all through this blog (especially those of you who don't hear from us on a regular basis).

We were SUPER blessed to find such a great home, in just the right neighborhood, with such a huge space (mainly the huge living room to host lots of people and three bedrooms is nice for a family we hope to have soon). It fits us so well and we still think it is odd that it is ours, but it is. And for this, we are thankful.

We didn't start out crazy with the house projects, but we've been busy. We started small by painting our living room (blue-gray) and our kitchen (green tea). Austin and his step-dad built us a dining table (it just needs a final wax coat). And Austin put up a pot and pan rack, cookbook rack, and magnetic knife strip up for me for Christmas. These were the projects we started out with.

With the new year, we're finding ourselves deep in the middle of other, much larger DIY home projects:
1. We're putting in hardwood floors! We, mainly Austin and a mix and match group of friends depending on who was available any given day, pulled up the laminate, measured out and cut the boards, and nailed them in one by one. I'm sure there was a step or two that I skipped in that description. Right now we are hoping to have the living room and entryway nailed in, sanded, and sealed by Monday...wish us luck :)


2. We've started a compost pile! Right now its literally a pile. Austin will fence it in with some posts and chicken wire by the weekend (somewhere while he's working on our floors :). It's been interesting setting aside compostable things and taking it out to the pile. We just bought our first shovel and we've only been at it for a week, but this is going to be awesome!

3. We are going to garden! Really the hope is to invite our neighbors and friends to garden with us in our backyard as a sort of community garden...we'll see how that pans out. Our backyard is overgrown, but we have high hopes for the soil underneath the weeds, looks better than clay and looks dark and earthy (super technical gardening terms, I know).

I've started little egg cartons for seedlings and will transplant as they grow. I'm slowly working on clearing out the weeds and tilling the ground, so that come March it'll be ready for me to put our seedlings into the ground.

These are the happenings at the casa de Evers...all works in progress.

We'll keep you posted :)