Thursday, June 4, 2015

Rosemaries [and] Baby

Funny story.

At the beginning of my first pregnancy, someone gave me a cactus. The instructions were simple: Twice a month, I was to put an ice cube in the pot, on top of the soil. It would melt and provide all the water the little prickly plant needed.

Simple enough, right?

I killed it. Two weeks before Miss Eight was born.

Fast forward two weeks and three days, and I am home, by myself  with my newborn for the first time.  I'm holding this beautiful, perfect, sleeping baby girl, and all I could think about was that cactus.

Because I thought: I can't even keep a cactus alive! Whose idea was it to put me in charge of a human being?!

Luckily, babies prove to be a lot more hardy than cacti. Hashtag, PraiseTheLord.

But my brown thumb never really improved. I'm not even sure I have a brown thumb, because that would imply something earthy. I have, like, a neon blue polka-dot thumb.

Until today.

Do you know what I did, people? I successfully rooted TWO herb cuttings. 

What, what?!?!

This mint was part of my first ever homestead barter.

I traded some lambs ear and got a mint cutting, which I promptly forgot about and left in my car, sitting in a cup of water. Thankfully, my car acted like a green house, and the sturdy little plant rooted in just a few days. I stuck it in some dirt, and here it grows, almost six week later.

But this baby...

This one I'm REALLY proud of.

This was cut off a Rosemary bush that belongs to the PreacherMan's grandmother. The plant is strong and beautiful and just begging to be propagated. But there's one thing I know about Rosemary (or any green thing, really): if it can be killed, I will be the one to do it. 

So I babied these cuttings. The day I got them home, I shaved the "bark" and leaves off the bottom three inches, and I put them in a glass jar full of room temperature water. Then I stuck it in the kitchen window, which receives the best morning sun.

I have NO idea if any of that was right (except I did read somewhere to shave off the bark, I think).

I changed out the water every couple days, and wiped the stems of any "slime" that might have formed. 

A week went by.

Two weeks.

Three weeks.

When we left for the beach last Thursday, there was nary a root, and the leaves were starting to shed and feel brittle.

I knew I had killed it and was preparing myself to dry it for later use.

So imagine my surprise when we returned from the beach to find these beauties floating in the water!

Lovely, delicate, NEW roots!

I'm letting them grow a couple more days in the water, and then I plan on potting them. Again, I have NO idea if that's the right thing to do, but I'm hoping a lot of prayer and a little luck will yield me some vibrant, fragrant rosemary by the end of summer.

Happy planting, y'all! 

*Edited to Add: I recently found out that rosemary roots best when it's a smaller cutting (think: 3-5 inches). So if these babies survive the planting, you better believe I'll be trying again with smaller, greener cuttings. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Happy June 1, Everybody!

Well, it's June 1, and summer is in full swing. Miss Six was up bright and early, singing at the top of her lungs and waking up the neighborhood. Miss Eight stayed in her bed until 9am, reading and watching the chickens out her window. Miss Priss (who will soon be Miss Two) has torn the playroom apart. And Mr Little Man is having a blast watching all his sisters and chewing on his hands. And me? I'm reheating my first cup of coffee for the third time.

So let's catch up on life and get a glimpse of what's to come, shall we?

1. Miss Six and Miss Eight graduated Kindergarten and 2nd Grade, respectively. Homeschool decisions are still up in the air. What we know is this: Miss Eight will definitely homeschool. She thrives in the homeschool environments and is self-motivated enough that both she and I feel confident she'll do great! All is undecided about Miss Six. She is my extroverted child, and LOVES the socializing aspect of school. We will see how the summer goes and make decisions accordingly. But honestly... it's great to know we have the options. We love their school. And we love having them home. And that's a comforting thought.

2. The chicken coop and run are 95% complete. Updates coming soon! Yay!

3. As part of our journey to embrace the homesteading lifestyle, and return to all things natural, I've decided to become an essential oil Wellness Advocate. I LOVE learning about all the oils and how they can benefit our family. I'm thinking we might take one post a week just to talk about oily things and how awesome they are. What say ye?

4. We decided to focus on animals (aka chickens) this year and start the garden next year. But, as part of preparation for next year's garden, we will begin our "Lasagna Garden" within the next month. Don't know what a Lasagna Garden is? No worries! We will learn the process together! In the meantime, I sure am enjoying our morning strolls with the babies through my granddaddy's garden.

5. The wild blackberries are just starting to ripen. This makes me happy.

Miss Eight, cutting the weeds away from the wild blackberries so she can reach them better.

Here's to green, Georgia summer and sunshine and early, crazy mornings and nap time and lemon water and swinging on the swing set.

Happy June 1!