Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cajun Crab Boil

Sunday night we go to Austin to drop off Austen (named after a friend, not the city). Austen was working during most of Spring Break, when Brian was visiting. Austen and Brian decide they want some bonding time. Hence, the drive to Austin.We arrive later than we intended..because, well..Austen was still working.

We go out for boba tea.

Angee is trying to study, so we decide to clear the apartment for a bit. Over tea we discuss The Graduate School Contest.

Brian and Michael are having a contest to see who will get a graduate degree first. It appears Michael will win. (by one semester?)..Then Brian pulls the age card. Well..it depends..are we going by soonest date..or youngest? Because, actually? Austen is going to be hangin' with me in my imaging class..so..he wins! The fact that visiting a class hardly qualifies as actually receiving an MA or PHD seems to be irrelevant. The boys agree. Austen wins!

We make a grocery store run. (wouldn't want to STARVE the college students)..when Angee says..the best part of my job is we get free hospital food...I mean up to $8, every time we work...and Brian says So..did you want to go to the grocery store?

Then? Big B and I know that we have, indeed, been starving the college students.

Finally, at almost 10 pm.,We eat. I don't know how Big B and I could have forgotten college time..

Here is the Cajun Crab Boil..before we devour it...and OOPS. We accidentally destroy the coffee table! Apparently spice and steam do not do well with varnish. Sorry guys!

Big B, Cody and I arrive back in Bandera around 1 a.m. ..It is nice to have Brian and Angee live nearby.

Weekly Menu (dinners only)

Monday grilled sandwiches (with choice of swiss cheese, goat cheese, ham, berries and marmalade) and seasoned potatoes
Tuesday spinach raviolli, sliced fruit, ciabatta bread
Wednesday panini with grilled eggplant and mazarella, roasted red pepper soup
Thursday lasagna, spinach salad, french bread, brownies
Friday roast, wild rice, mushrooms with garlic
Saturday leftovers
Sunday Easter Barbecue! Peasant Soup, gazpacho, brisket, turkey legs, chips and dip, etc.

All are welcome.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Owning Our Learning

Several years ago, when Cody was in Scouts, he was asked to create a chart of the hierarchy in his school. Once completed he would earn a badge...and at the ripe old age of 9, Cody LOVED badges.

We thought about it for awhile. We had no superintendent, no principal, no school board, etc. In the end, Cody's chart looked something like this.

U.S. Constitution
(allowing freedom of education)
/ \
Me and Family
(working together to discern what I want to learn and how to go about it)
Educational Approaches
(so many to choose from..what will work for me?)
(friends, family, museums, books, tutors, life)

Cody thought this was a ridiculously long list..until he saw the list of his schooled peers.

He was mortified to see that his friends were listed UNDER the resources of their schools. In other words..they were at the bottom of the list.

This list was pivotal for my children to recognize that they had the power in their own learning...and that having that power was a gift..and sometimes that gift is a little scary.

For instance, there is always my own yearly panic. Because I grew up with more traditional learning..and it is so much easier to have a checklist of things learned or "needed to learn". And, while Cody and Brian embraced this newly discovered power, Austen was terrified. For years, he just said. I don't want to decide..anything. YOU decide!!!

And so we would. Whatever his brothers were doing..we'd plug him in.

We ask him to do yoga, nature walks and nature journals. He would say Aww (with a grin) and comply.
We ask him to draw pictures of stories from Greek Myths. He would say Aww (with a grin) and comply.
Finally, he asked for more structure..but could we please tell him what to do. So for 1 1/2 years we said. Read for two hours, write (or copy) an essay and do something mathematical. He said Aww (with a grin)..you know the story.

Somewhere along the way, Austen began coming into his own.

Now? This young man is creating his own path in territory his brothers wouldn't have dared. Because..truth be told..once they got to high school? Cody and Brian wanted (needed?) the security of a more structured co-operative or tutors outside our home for the higher maths and sciences. Austen? Trusts us to meet all his needs here. Yikes!

So now we enter the second year of our small little high-school co-op.

This past month, our teens realized that the year was starting to wrap up. It was time to think about what they wanted to do during co-op next year.

I would like to introduce you to our "Board of Directors". (Okay..we're missing Angela)

Pictured are Devin, Austen and Amanda..(and myself..but I'm not on the Board)

It has been fascinating to watch these guys in action! For 2-3 weeks..they throw out possibilities. Great Books? Math? Junior Achievement?

Language..what language? Devin wants German. Austen wants French. Angela thinks in Texas they should learn Spanish..Mandy says..well..how about sign language? Does that work?

hey all agree that sign language is the way to go for co-op. They can learn Spanish in life..and order Rosetta Stone for anything else and study on their own.

hey make a conscious choice to put off studying lit and comp during co-op for another year..so they can hold eachother accountable in Algebra and Geometry.

The debates continue week after week..and in the meantime, they continue playing with hydraulic systems, helping eachother work through algebra books and playing Apples to Apples.

Finally? They tell the parents. This is what we want.

So here is the list:

Quelf..because it's an awesome game and we want some new games..we'll give you a list of more games later.

Gyrocopter parts (kit?) and to finish the Milestones in Science time-line and experiment kit on rainy days or when we are waiting for miscellaneous parts to come in. We'll call it physics.

Someone to teach us: art
(want to learn a different style..but the boys may still continue with Veronica as well, while the girls return to music lessons (piano), fashion design and sign language.

More Saxon Math Books..preferably enough for each of us so we don't have to keep sharing. We'll call it Algebra and Geometry. We just mainly want to hold each-other accountable..because none of us like to do it...well..we sort-of like it, actually.

So there we have it. We take the list, and tell them we think this is reasonable. They are all working summer jobs. They may have to help us with the purchase of the gyrocopter parts. We will start the search for someone to teach them fashion design and sign language. But otherwise
we will continue co-op next year.

And Austen? He says Aww.(with a big grin)..and puts the list on my desk.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Emptying Oursleves

I have this addiction to labels.

I don't care to label other people..just myself and those closest to me. I want to put myself in a box so I can have some rules. (you know..rules to break) and in creating my own labels, I keep a hold on something. I refuse to be empty. Why? Because empty means room for other things. Empty means lack of control...and when things around me are completely out of control, (Kids health, etc) I want something to grasp onto.

When the kids were younger we were a Catholic School Family. Yeah...well..that didn't last long.

Then? We were homeschooling family. But that was not enough. I needed to know what type of home schoolers were we? Were we un schoolers, eclectic, school-at-homers, Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, Montessori? I wanted a label! We settled on Waldorf-Inspired Unschoolers. There. I had given us some parameters.

Then there's our co-op. Riverside Homeschool Initiative. What type of Initiative? We can't just say we're a co-op. We want to be honest for transcripts and stuff. So what do the families agree on? We are a Waldorf-Inspired Democratic Homeschool Cooperative. Now really? Are colleges really going to look at that? Probably not.

Then there was what type of parents are we? Are we authoritative? No way. Authoritarian? Nope. Permissive?...maybe?

Aha. Attachment parenting. I didn't even know there was such a term until Brian was almost 11. I was so relieved to know there was a parenting style that almost fit us. Better than that, this label I previously didn't know existed.. fit us well. We "wore"our children. We have a family bed. We home school.

Then? Last year a nine-year old boy is found riding a subway in New York and the birth of "Free-Range Kids" began. This threw me off. Well..we let our kids do all these things. But we're attachment parents.

Can you be Attachment Parents and have Free Range Kids? Does that even make sense?

I decide to confer with Big B.

We had quietly stepped over bodies of anonymous Austen friends. You know, those bulky teenage bodies buried in blankets. These bodies were camping in our yard and had mysteriously transported themselves to the living room floor during the night. These bodies smelled of camp-fire and gasoline.

I hand Big B a cup of coffee and whisper: Do you think our kids are Free Range?

Big B: You mean like the Chickens?

Me: Well, yeah.

ig B: Hmm..we just stepped over three boys who smell like fire and spent half the night beating eachother with sticks. Cody and Mason are currently boarding a fishing boat in a storm. Yes. I would say they are "Free Range Kids".

Me: They weren't sticks. They're sticks with foam..they are lairing..or larping..or whatever they call it.
(Big B raises eyebrow and grins).Okay..they were beating each other with sticks.

Big B: ..and they had a blast. So what does it matter what you call it?

It just does. Because if they are free-range kids. Does that make us
Slow Parents?..and if we're Slow Parents are we still attachment parenting?

Big B: You're a dork, you know that? Where is Austen right now?

Me: In our bed. He said he was cold and jumped in while you were in the shower.

Big B: So we have a 15 year old chicken in our bed and you are asking us if we attachment parent? (another grin) Your going into a speed wobble. ..and why is this important?

and I know he is right. It is not important. It is down-right silly, but it is a way to avoid just letting things be.

When I was in college (the first time around), I spent the end of my sophomore year and part of of my junior year constantly listening to the hurt of those around me. I also celebrated in their joys. Basically, I immersed myself in other people. Let's face it, I like people. I am a very social creature at heart.

I immersed myself so much, that my room-mate pulled me aside and said, "Stop. Refill. You're going to be like an empty refrigerator. There will be nothing left." ..and she was right. I knew she was right. I also knew that without being "empty" I couldn't really listen. I chose to ignore my roommate. I lost myself along the way.

When I had my own family (less than a year later), I found myself constantly fighting for some me time. I knew it was important to recharge..but sometimes, I become so busy recharging..thinking of myself. That my world-view takes a paradigm shift with me at it's center.

Also not healthy.

So this struggle goes on. I know I need to empty myself to listen to those around me. To offer that healing space for others..but geez, I think so highly of myself sometimes. It's just so hard to let go. Bottom line? I can't do it. Not by myself.

I listen to learn. (because I like to learn) but that is still very self-involved. Still about me. I have been thinking about how to do this emptying when we receive a handout at our last Kairos team-building.

I would like to share some of this here:

Offering A Healing Space (from Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life.)

To pay attention to others with the desire to make them the center and to make their interests our own is a real form of self-empting, since to be able to receive others into our intimate inner space we must be empty. That is why listening is so difficult. It means moving away from the center of attention and inviting others into that space.

From experience we know how healing such an invitation can be. When someone listens to us with real concentration and expresses sincere care for our struggles and our pains, we feel that something very deep is happening to us. Slowly, fears melt away, tensions dissolve, anxieties retreat, and we discover that we carry within us something we can trust and offer as a gift to others. The simple experience of being valuable and important to someone else has a tremendous recreative power.

If we have been given such an experience, we have received a precious kind of knowledge......Every time we pay attention we become emptier, and the more empty we are the more healing space we can offer. And the more we see others being healed, the more we will be able to understand that it is not thorugh us but through Christ in us that this healing takes place.

When I first read this I thought.."this is it." This is what I knew somewhere deep down when Tami was telling me I can't be an empty fridge. She was both right and wrong. Good grief..it's only taken me nearly 20 years to understand it!


The tricky part. To make it habit. This emptying of myself. To let go of my silly labels. To truly empty myself.

To enjoy the journey.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break?

I am sitting here, typing away on a blog because?

Because reality has hit and I am panicking!

As my family takes this week to play, I am realizing just how much stuff I have neglected in the past month!

I have been so busy sitting in doctors offices (still averaging 4 visits a week..it is insane, this sitting in offices all the time) and trying to occupy myself outside of Odyssey, that I forgot the stuff I had to do.

Our garden? Still in the process of making boxes. We decided to block off half of the current garden area from the chickens, instead of starting all over again. My deck is still full of sprouting zucchini's, sunflowers and green beans.

My Great-Books? Still plodding along. Enjoying this, actually.

Our new Mediterranean Diet? Still in trial and error. Everyone is still taking turns cooking This week?
Monday- leftover tortellini and steaks..tacos from Taco Cabana
Tuesday- nachos (Big B is cooking)
Wednesday - eggplant parmigiana, sausage and tomatoes
Thursday- baked salmon, wild-rice, salad (Austen cooks)
Friday - make your own pizza
Saturday - mason cooks..don't know yet.
Sunday-Cody cooks..don't know yet.

Still on a role. We are now down to three book-shelves in our home. THAT is truly amazing.

Now for the stuff I haven't done.
1. Finish my books, and write a paper (2?) for my parish ministry training program
2. laundry
3. Start and finish my driver's ed online
4. laundry
5. Go to the TDC training for Kairos
6. laundry
7. Order the cookies from SYSCO for Kairos
9. finish the mentoring paperwork for the Club.
10. laundry

Why do we have so much laundry?

These are things that need to plod through during Spring Break?

My kids? They are having fun!

Brian and Angee are in SA for the Break. They came up to Bandera this weekend. Hung out for Micheal's graduation/birthday barbecue...and restrained their nerdiness by NOT giving him lots of pie since it was Pi-day. They, did, however, make sure we all knew about Pi-day. They are spending most of the break visiting their families and playing Ultimate Frisbee. (in theory the non-tackling version..but I hear rumors otherwise). Brian did go back to kerataconous specialist to have one of his lenses re-adjusted.

Cody and Mason? They are deep-sea fishing as we speak. They are both spending time hanging out with friends, the beach..and I believe Cody is ice-skating with friends when he returns.

Austen? work. He is still working at the water-park, and OMing with his team. We did treat ourselves to a movie last night. Austen and I saw The Green Zone. We both enjoyed it...and I believe he is planning to join Cody and teens at the ice-skating rink in SA.

Signing off, to read, write and rotate laundry.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Survey Says..

We have been taking polls all week during meals.

Our primary participants have been Mason, Austen, Cody, Devin, Big B, and Me. We have occasionally been joined by Michael and Pam, Ricci and Sandy and the co-op kids as well.

Survey Says...

Favorite Wine? (because this is the funnest survey) It was unanimous -Twin Oaks Sweet Red Wine.

Favorite breakfast? the boys seemed to gravitate to yogurt (with fruit) and toast and jelly.

Favorite lunch? The pitas were ditched in favor of the Greek wraps with pb, honey and granola. Also? Boiled eggs.

Favorite snack? apples with caramel, honey-flavored peanuts.

Favorite dinner? Home-made pizza (okay..from the Chef Boyardee Box) of course!. ..followed closely by Fish in Crazy Water (except for our vegetarian) who stuck to baked zucchini and mixed greens. Also a favorite the tomatoes (specifically the tomatoes) in the Ratatouille.

Favorite dessert? chocolate cheese cake...(except for our non-chocolate eater..also our non-meat eater). He says? Yogurt.

Favorite conversation? I believe soccer prevailed. Followed closely by car-repairs, upcoming wedding plans (for Michael and Pam) , SAT's, girls (specific girls, actually) and summer jobs..or lack thereof..

Signing off to eat dinner on the deck;)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Mediterranean Diet, OM and the Garden


Wow is all I can think to say in order to express the past 48 or so hours. It seems like it has been a lifetime since my last post. (What 3 days ago?)

Shortly after retrieving the missing hand for our OM team last week, I returned home to pick up Austen for a pottery lesson. He was s-i-c-k. Migraine coming on. Long story short..within 2 hours he was in the local ER and did not know who we were.

As far as anyone can make out, he became dehydrated the day before. (Work, OM, hot-tub)..His RBC counts are currently out-of-control. Austen (like Big B and Brian-Scott) has thalessemia minor. It is a blood disorder that often runs in people of Mediterranean heritage. Similar to sickle-cell..but a little different.

In Austen's case, by the time we had taken him to the ER, he had vision disturbance, altered mental state, migraine galore. Think diabetic whose blood levels are skyrocketing. This led to a grand-mal seizure. (Not thalesemia related..but because he has a history of epilepsy)

In Big B's family, thalessemia is primarily treated by diet. Occasional hospitalizations are needed. Occasional blood transfusions are done, but in the scope of thalessemia patients..the De Mariano's (Big B's family) blood counts are usually pretty controlled.

We have not been paying attention to this diet at all.

So Big B stayed home with Austen. His teams (yes both of them) did GREAT without him;). Austen called us at the competition every few hours to get an update. (2 of our Club teams will go onto State..the other two are already making plans for next year)

Big B let Austen (gasp) break into our Kairos cookies..and the two of them decided to pitch a tent and camp-out around a camp-fire in the back yard. They spent the weekend commiserating since a) They both missed the tournament b) Austen is processing that he will be unable to get his driver's permit and c) they are both accepting that a slew of doctors appointments and a return to anti-seizure meds. for Austen will be inevitable.

Once we returned from our Odyssey venture. I had some time to re-research the thalessemia info. How do I control this with diet? I know what the De Mariano's do. We have just been negligent. But what else? We have one picky vegetarian. 3 family members with thalessemia and one with ulcerative colitis. We keep ending up with someone in hospitals. I HAVE to spend more time on really planning our meals. (which anyone who knows me, knows how ridiculous this is..the kitchen is NOT my forte')

I revisit the Mediterranean Food Alliances site. I realize that the Mediterranean Food Pyramid and the Vegetarian Food Pyramid are not that different. I also realize that to say we are on a Mediterranean Diet seems silly , since there are over 16 countries with very different food choices that make-up the Mediterranean Region.

Big B and I discuss how to readjust our lifestyle to more healthy living for all of us. We decide to give the Mediterranean Diet a try (but not too strict..after all..we live in S.Texas and host barbecues all the time). We decided to stick primarily to Southern Italian and Greek food, since that is what the taste-buds in our home seem to like.

Big B and I also realize that many of the vegetables needed are the ones we are currently growing on the deck (waiting to be put in our organic garden) right now. Right now, our sunflowers, marigolds (not to be eaten but placed in garden boxes) are sprouting..along with the cucumbers, squashes, zucchinis and beans. Isn't that convenient!

We start to throw out all the junk in the house...and replace them with healthier alternatives.

For drinks we cut out the sodas and gatorades. We are keeping water, tea (hot and iced),water, coffee (teas and coffee's are actually important for those who have thalessemia), water, 100% juices, water and a glass or two of red wine for dinner. (The kids like this wine part)

Our breakfast choices are from yogurt, boiled eggs, whole-wheat toast with jam, hot cereal with nuts and raisins and fruit.

Our lunch choices are from various wraps, pitas, salads and leftovers...with an ongoing selection of fruits and nuts.

Dinner? This week's menu is (I haven't done this in a long time)
Monday:lasagna with ciabatta bread, green beans and salad
Tuesday: baked pasta with zucchini, greens served with olive oil and lemon
Wednesday: fish in crazy water, steamed potatoes, roasted zucchini
Thursday(Austen cooks):ratatouille, fruit salad, french bread
Friday: Minestrone soup, garlic bread sticks, cucumbers and carrots with feta
Saturday: ? Mason cooks..whatever Mason feels like cooking
Sunday: barbecued steak, veggie burgers and twice-baked potatoes.
( It's Micheal's birthday/graduation from college bash!)

All for now. Need to run some errands before Austen and I hang out in the doctor's office again. Hope to upload some pics from the weekend soon.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Boys and Girls Club meets Odyssey of the Mind

The past few days I have spent my morning in prayer. (centering prayer, meditation, whatever you want to call it). I have prayed for every kid, coach, judge, parent and driver involved with our Odyssey of the Mind teams.

This praying has reminded me of the beauty of each of these kiddoes. It has helped me be less spastic. Most of all, it has shown me what a gift I have been given. The gift of sharing this alternate universe (the Club meets OM universe) with families I may otherwise, never get to know.

I was recently awarded a beautiful blogger award (which I have no idea how to show or pass on by the way) from sardine mama at sardinesinacan.blogspot.com

I was awarded, not so much, for my impressive writing style;)..as my craziness in coaching 4 Odyssey of the Mind teams. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Coaching too many OM teams..and why I keep coming back.

First I want to clarify. I am the education coordinator for a Boys and Girls Club. We are sending 4 teams. I coach spontaneous to all 4 teams and oversee them all. But I am only coaching or assistant coaching 3 of them. So..not as crazy as it may seem. I have been lucky to have some volunteers step forward to coach our junior high team.

Now to truly appreciate the beauty of Boys and Girls Club meets OM you need to know what both the Club and OM is.

The Boys and Girls Club is a community center who primarily serve disadvantaged youth from the ages of 6-18. Our annual membership is $10 a year. We scholarship some of our families. I live in the rural Tx. Hill Country. Meaning..of the kids on my OM teams..70% live below the poverty level.

Yes..their parents/parent/relative work. Sometimes two or three jobs. These kids are latch-key kids by necessity. These parents are the nurses aids, the dishwashers, the wait-staff the bartenders, the ranch hands. Our families are used to going for periods of time without water or electric. Some are occasionally homeless. Locating the next meal is on the minds of many.

Our families not below the poverty level are often from foster-homes. Some of our families are migrant workers. Quite a few of our kids are born in prison. They are raised by other family members. A few simply have medical or physical disabilities. About 10% of our Club kids we refer to as our "milk and cookie kids". They add a nice balance to the mix.

Every one of these kids has at least one (if not more) family or foster-family member that deeply cares about them. If not..we would never see them at the Club. We try to partner closely with these families and help them deal with the life circumstances that come their way...and I am humbled by many of these kids and their families.

Now..take these kids. Many who are ghost kids or fighters as a matter of survival..and introduce them to Odyssey of the Mind.

Wow..what a spicy group!

We have a lot of fun. We have a lot of tears. We have a lot of panic, which can quickly degenerate into cuss words. We learn new methods of relating. We have a lot of hugs.

I see kids reach beyond the perceived barriers of their immediate environment. I see families proud of their children who are often overlooked. I see little miracles happen all around me.

It is holy.

In Greek..hiero..(holy) means different. This is interesting considering our current Western understanding of the word holy. But it's original form meant different. Synagogues were considered holy because they were different.

One of my favorite songs is titled "holy ground"..the lyrics go something like "This is holy ground; we're standing on holy ground..." I challenge you to substitute the word "holy" with the word "different". This is how I feel about my time with these kids and OM.

It is different ground..we're standing on different ground...and I feel privileged to be a part of this strange combination of Worlds.

Does this mean OM solves these kids problems? No.

Does this mean our Club kids blow the more traditional teams away? No way. We hold our own... usually. Sometimes we do awesome..like world finals awesome. Sometimes we just tank and bottom out. We learn from our mistakes.

Does this mean I am going to be scrambling around this morning looking for vampire teeth, lab coats and a missing rubber hand? Absolutely!

One of the other coaches from another team put it best. I think her words were "Don't underestimate these Club kids..they need a longer learning curve than ours (wealthy school district kids), but once they get it..there is no stopping them!"

And she is right.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Our Organic Gardening Venture

Warning: If you are not interested in gardening. Don't bother to read this entry.

Over the years, the boys and I have succeeded and f-a-i-l-e-d (with a big fat F) in a series of gardening projects. When we first moved to Bandera it was shortly after a flood. The soil was rich with nutrients. The weather co-operated..and we paid attention to our garden.

The Hot Sauce Garden..was it's name. For almost 2 years..we grew and canned tomatoes, onions, pepper and cilantro from our Hot Sauce Garden.
Then? We started neglecting our garden for things like basketball, roller-hockey, gymnastics and karate.

We decided to quit killing plants and deserted the project.

A few years later we tried a raised bed garden on another piece of property. Each boy picked a raised bed and grew what they wanted.

Brian attempted corn and zucchini. The corn was eaten by ants. The zucchini was MONSTER sized.

Austen grew onions and yes..more MONSTER zucchini...and Cody?

Cody grew cotton. For two years he grew cotton. The cotton somehow mysteriously took over the other boxes. (We suspect it was an elf)..and then he abandoned the cotton to start harvesting stickers burrs in his room. (For his enemies)

By now..we had once again abandoned the time and effort for effective gardening.

Each year since then, I have made half-hearted attempts at gardening. The deer and chickens have been grateful. I have fed them well. No human has reaped the benefits of my meager attempts.

So here we are in that Odyssey of the Mind time of year..when I need to find a project to keep me busy. And? I will be home full-time in a few months and can actually maintain the garden.

I do not sit and meditate well. I think as I spend a year on reflecting and discerning..gardening may be more practical for me on many levels. Besides, as Big B pointed out, I need something to keep me from meddling in the kids affairs. Big B offers to help in creating a raised bed garden in another area of the yard..that will be protected from wildlife and free-range chickens by (gasp) a fence!

I have spent a few weeks planning. (yet another new idea..this developing a plan thing).

First is location. We have recently planted a variety of fruit trees along our fence line. I would like to have the garden in range of the fruit trees. I would like to see the garden from our deck and I would like the kids to be able to wander through the garden.

Aha..we will plant the garden around the kids trampoline. (yes..the boys still use our trampoline frequently) This way... the boys can "bounce in the garden." Hee hee..I think I'm funny. How cool is that?

I would really like to have an effective organic garden. I have decided to start with 3 raised beds that are 12 ft. X 4 ft. wide. I am building the beds this week!

I research on compatible plants..and try to match that with realistic taste-buds in our house.

So this is it. Our tentative plan.

African Marigolds in all boxes to help with unwanted pests.

Box 1: Basil- beans, cabbage, marigolds, peppers and tomatoes
Box 2: Chamomile- mint, onion, squash and zucchini.
Box 3: Cucumbers- broccoli, lettuce, marigold, sunflowers..and possibly more tomatoes. (Depends on space still available)

We are not brave enough to start with more than 3 boxes. If we managed to survive the summer..we will add 3 more for the Fall.

I have been interrupted by a trailer delivery for Odyssey projects. Signing off for now.

Grilled-cheese chick.