Monday, August 31, 2009

Peeling Tomatoes

Both of my grandmothers died before I turned 21, and sometimes I wish I had been less of a petulant teenager and actually paid attention. I feel like some part of my history was lost when I compare it to people I know who are 40 and still have grandparents around to learn from.

I remember my grandma Marie standing in her kitchen peeling tomatoes. The water boiling on the stove and her just peeling and peeling. Bushels of tomatoes. The whole back half of my grandparents land was a huge garden. Growing and preserving was something that you did because if you didn't, you wouldn't eat. We pickled beans, beets, watermelon rinds, cucumbers. We made jams and jellies. I cannot think about the end of summer without thinking about putting things away for winter.

Having a garden this year has made me so happy. To even be able to provide a little of my family's food has brought me incredible joy. So far though I've been a little hesitant to really do much in the world of preserving. Despite having a chest freezer, I've opted to give away our excess tomatoes. I've been afraid of the peeling.

I know my grandmother learned to peel a tomato from Julia Child, but not actually owning her cookbook, all I could remember was that the tomatoes were hot, and my grandmother's hands were red. I'm pretty sure now it was just the tomato juice. It turns out that it is incredibly easy. Boil exactly 10 seconds (I have learned from her book, if she says exactly she means it). Peel from the top. I added a cold water bath to make it easier for me. I used a pasta fetcher thing to take them in and out of the water. I now have just over two quarts of peeled and quartered tomatoes. Now all I need to do is go buy some jars and make to make tomato jam.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Little Tomato Lover

Dear Universe,

I would like to thank you for giving me a child who loves raw tomatoes. I know she may change her mind, but right now her asking for something that I actually managed to grow myself makes me really really happy. I think she's going through another growth spurt (based on her eating everything in site) and the tomatoes have got to be helping at least a little.


A. Sprout

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I will always be a fat girl.

I've been wondering if I was leaving my girls behind, what with all of this healthy living and loss of a toddler (cannot even believe that what I've lost is more than what my daughter weighs) on my part. I've been worried that I was abandoning a group that has been good to me.

Fat girls bond over limit clothing choices, Lane Bryant not making a-line skirts (pencil skirts not flattering people), big boobs, discrimination for our size and how much we hate being where we are. We encourage each other to leave the club behind. Nothing beats going in to your favorite fat girl store and realizing little there fits any more and having the sales people who have seen your progress cheer you on. Skinny girls may criticize your food choices or your cellulite, but fat girls love you for who you are, in good times and in bad.

I've realized I'm not leaving them however. No matter how much weight I lose, no matter how shapely my calves are (and they're looking good), I won't forget where I've been. I will look past a person's size to see who they really are and I will speak out when others don't. I will share what I've gone through, because everyone should know that anyone can do it. Even if I never lost another pound, I know that I've accomplished so much.

Apparently I've been glowing lately. People at work have commented about my weight loss. The woman at the Gap who saw me just a few weeks ago trying on the new fits of jeans and being disappointed that they didn't fit, saw me today own a pair of khaki's. She and I shared tips for healthy meals and encouraged each other. Knowing that how I'm feeling on the inside shows on the outside is just one more push to keep going. The other thing that helps is everyone's encouragement here. I've never been one for meetings, but I have always felt at home in a digital world. It doesn't surprise me that this is the place that has helped it all finally work for me. I want to thank everyone who encourages me. You make me not want to let you down, and I know that I would not be losing weight if it weren't for the Shredheads, Julie, Christina and everyone else. Thank you, really, I mean it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

20 Pounds Down, 65 to Go

Beginning of March, pre 30 Day Shred.

Today, 20 pounds lighter.

Pre 30 Day Shred

Today, 20 pounds lighter and continuing onward.

What a difference 20 pounds makes. That makes 35 since I started losing weight, and 65 to go.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I had it coming...

If you aren't careful, toddler constipation can totally sneak up on you. I'd been lucky this far that we hadn't had any real issues. Eighteen months of breastfeeding and a kid who loves veggies had me far too complacent. Really, if I had been paying attention, I would have caught the signs.

Potty training masked the fact that our normally regular girl was no longer regular. While she was regular in her irregularity, I should have known. Then there was the eating. So far she has taken after her father's side of the family's ability to eat large quantities and still stay trim. In fact, with my eating less, she could eat as much if not more than I do. So when she recently slowed down her eating, a lot, I just figure she was finally acting like a normal toddler. I was enjoying having leftovers from dinner to take to work. Lastly, there was her horrible mood, all the damn time. She was always cranky, irritable, and stubborn. Which seems to be exactly the way anyone else in our house gets when they haven't gone enough.

By the time we figured out what was going on, it was too late. No amount of prunes and pears was going to change the fact that she needed to get rid of what was bugging her. Last Thursday was by far the worst. If it were not for the amazing Rita Arens and her book Sleep Is for the Weak I wouldn't have been nearly brave enough to do what needed to be done when she ran out of energy to finish things. Three times. (If you haven't read that book you should. Most of it is short enough to fit an essay or three into the little bits of me time you get)

It took days for things to finally clear up. We are now requiring veggies be eaten before anything, milk is being withheld until we have progress, and there will be a prune a day with breakfast. (she calls them donuts, I don't argue) I do not EVER want to go through that again.

The only thing we are struggling with still is that she isn't too keen on drinking water as much as she should. Another thing we've never had an issue with. I'm not fond of giving her juice, but to get fluids in her, I might have to resort to it. Any bright ideas? Also, favorite preschooler water bottle? We had planned on going Sigg, but given recent news, I don't feel any reason to support that kind of trickery. Maybe a new water bottle with help get interested in water again.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I am a changed woman! (sort of)

First, some things you need to know:

1. My over eating happens when I'm stressed. Without a doubt, that is the part that is hardest for me to control.

2. I've been on the happy pills for a little over two weeks. I may start to notice some effects now, but by no means have they totally kicked in.

3. I've been relatively faithful in journaling my food for over two weeks. I take one day a week off so I don't have to care where I go out to eat, and I took off a couple off days for my birthday so I could eat some damn cake. So far, I've managed to lose over five pounds by exercising more and eating better.

Today was a massively stressful day. I have now joined that club of parents that no one tells you about when you're childless. That club for parents of a majorly, painfully, maybe hemorrhoid causing constipated toddler. I was up part of the night and ended up coming in to work two hours late because of it. I am also in the middle of a major release at work. Never fails to cause some kind of drama that I need to respond to on top of little sleep and being late.

This would have been the perfect excuse for me to eat like a pig before. Not huge portions, just all of that happy comfort food that isn't remotely good for you. Burritos, ice cream, pasta salad with mayo dressing. Today I had every intention of letting lose and eating what I wanted. I went off in search of something really really bad. But then, I couldn't do it. I couldn't just pig out. None of the bad stuff sounded good. Eating a lot sounded horrible.

I'm apparently a changed woman. I ended up getting a light pasta salad (vinaigrette) and a small, mayo free sandwich (which I only at half of, the rest for dinner) so still not awesome, but certainly not the kind of food I would have gotten before. I did get myself a sweet treat, but I took all day to eat it and gave some of it away.

Who knew? I certainly didn't. Now I'm off to risk getting soaked just because I need to exercise.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Is it Tuesday already?

I've lost 5.6 pounds in the last two weeks. I'm now closer to 200 than 250. Woo hoo! I am a mere 27 pounds away from being merely overweight and not obese. Double woo hoo!! Hoping to get there by Christmas so I can justify asking for Gap giftcards from everyone.

I've been breaking in two pairs of shoes, I have three more to go. I have feet covered in blisters and Band-Aids. In case you are wondering, Hello Kitty Band-Aids (Care Bears work too) are the best for padding the blister, but not getting stuck and bunching up and falling off when wearing leather shoes without stocking or socks. Hannah Montana and Pooh are not good enough.

Having my pants shortened was so worth it. Hello cute flats with more pants options.

Speaking of feet, M's toes are nearly peeking off the end of her sandals. Thank goodness it is nearly the end of the warm weather. I'm going to try to hold out another two weeks, since I have at least one pair of actual shoes a size larger, and then take her shoe shopping. At this rate, she'll be in adult size shoes by the time she's in Kindergarten. Are kids like puppies where they grow in to their feet?

It was chilly this morning, like fall chilly, and I was scrambling to find a sweater for M. Maybe I should get those out and make sure they're available.

I went through my closet on Sunday and found three more pairs of pants that fit me now. I have more in the next size down, but I think that is as small as I have. The jeans I have that are smaller, will not work. I had horrid taste in washes as little as 5 years ago. Eeegads.

We want to be able to go and enjoy some of the end of summer activities around here, but M's potty issues had threatened to get in the way. I ordered a Potette today. I hope she'll go in it. Would you all hope a little for me. I need cheese curds and a Pronto Pup.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

End of the Summer

Since M is in daycare, and I am working full time, summer doesn't have quite the meaning it did when I was a kid. I can see things being different when M is older and the school year means more. For us, it is just about enjoying the (finally) warm weather before it is gone too soon.
For discovering giant mushrooms that sprouted overnight in the back yard.

For marveling in giant bumble bees that are feeding on the wild snapdragons I let take over the back corner of the yard. (who may have been later killed by the dog)

For sitting in the sun eating the last peas from the garden. (the 90 degree weather finally sun burned them to death)

And watching a tiny ant crawl all over mom's Crocs, while still holding on to your peas.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Tomatoes are Ripening! The Tomatoes are Ripening!

The warm weather the last week has caused my tomatoes to wake up. All of a sudden I have three or four ripe tomatoes every day. I also realized that I have a problem.

I have a wall of tomatoes. They are huge, leaning in to the fence, and there are tomatoes all of the place in side that lush greenery. There is also what is left of my poor inadequate tomato cages.

I'm going to have to bring a headlamp, flashlight, or some other light source down in there to find them and navigate getting them out of the tomato cages. Not that I'll mind of course, I'd do anything for my home grown tomatoes.

So far most of them have been eaten straight or put in to salsa. I'm really enjoying that the tomatoes, onions and jalapenos all have come out of my garden. The cilantro grew too fast for the tomatoes, so I've been getting that from my favorite herb pusher at the farmer's market, Dehn's garden.

Next on my list is caprese salad. I still have yet to find a good fresh mozzarella here in Minnesota. Those two years in NY living in the same building as the Fratelli Ravioli store that made the stuff on site have me spoiled. I have thought about trying to make it myself, but that scares me just a little. I'll also have to get some basil from Dehn's tomorrow. Apparently basil cares about crop rotation and soil quality. Who knew?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fried Sprout Brain

Adjusting to the anti-depressants is taking time (woah, so not prepared to feel like I was on speed), and that combined with some really deep posts has left feeling inadequate if I write anything less deep. So instead, I'm just going to ramble and see if it clears out everything. Right now I'm feeling a little toasted around the edges.

For my birthday I got A to agree to get me some jewelry. Part of my new found confidence in myself (which got another boost by seeing official 30 pounds weight loss at the OB/GYN's office yesterday) means I'm wearing jewelry more. I got just stunning earings from Momomatic and Velma at the BlogHer swap meet, but no necklaces that really did anything for me. So, A got me this from Sudlow, and I'm still looking for another item or two.

Any Etsy sellers you really like? I'm taking suggestions. Has to be better than just browsing.

I went through the trouble of getting a couple of pairs of pants hemmed (which I have never ever done before) because I realized that lifting very heavy computers while wearing high heels is a VERY bad idea. It makes it hard to lift right, and my ballance is all screwed up. I pick them up tomorrow. The seamstress who is doing it comes reccomended, but she's quirky. For some reason that makes me trust her more.

There is a lot of weight loss happening with the few women on my floor at work (it is IT, we're outnumbered). We're all encouraging eachother, sharing tips, and best of all, handing down clothes. It feels good knowing that something you may have rarely worn is going to get used. Also, it feels good to have them out of the house, knowing that you won't just revert back to your old ways because you have stuff you can wear.

Tonight, M said I didn't love her. Two is hard. I hope I make it out of Two alive.

I really am starting to think that weighing less than 200, and even the ultimate goal of 155 is doable. I saw my OBGYN yesterday and she who knows my recent weight history best, was impressed and encouraging. Take that weight loss drugs, I don't need you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mirrors and Self Image

Yesterday I read this amazing post from Julie @ The Mom Slant (formerly MotherGooseMouse, you really should go check out her new site) and it really got me thinking.

As an adult, I have never purchased, nor installed, a full length mirror. Unless it came with the apartment, I have never seemed to need to see all of me at once. Which may explain a little of how I got where I currently am. Well, maybe not, but you never know.

In my office building, in addition to the bathroom mirror that makes me look amazing, there is also a large bank of mirrors on the first floor. I don't go there very often, choosing to enter the building via skyway instead. Today though I found myself walking past the mirrors and taking a good look at myself. I realized that since the last time I paid any attention, a lot had changed.

I liked what I saw.

Other people may see the flabby tummy, the sagging boobs (though I hope I have a good enough bra they don't see that), the recovering stretch marks. I see the thirty pounds I lost. Five to ten pounds on someone with twenty to lose can seem like a lot, but it is hard to see when you have one hundred to lose. Thirty you can see.

My face is thinner, my neck more graceful again, I think I may have lost a chin (I hope). I see somebody worth investing in. I'm putting an effort in to my work clothes (hard when you need to be professional and still crawl under desks). It is time to care enough about how I look to be willing to look at myself in the mirror every morning. It is time to see when the clothes are getting baggy and I need to get new ones that fit better. It is time to see all of the chins go away. It is time to enjoy the gray hair I've earned. It is time to give a damn.

Now I just have to find somewhere to put it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Birthdays, tornadoes and fresh salsa

My birthday on Friday was overall a good day. A relatively slow day at work in the morning, and an afternoon trying to nap and finally giving up and going to buy myself shoes. I had every intention of trying to find some cute low heeled shoes for work. (all of my pants are just enough enough I can't wear flats with them) Instead I got two new pairs of flats and I need to take my pants to a tailor to get them hemmed. Good thing I got that extra pair of jeans.

After dinner it was out to my favorite neighborhood restaurant, (locals would be wise to try it out) which may also be my only neighborhood restaurant. I should mention them here every day because of how much I love them. Not only for the most delectable Reuben made with large slabs of home made corned beef, but also because they have the most respectable children's menu I have ever seen. Grilled chicken, grilled cheese (with high end cheddar), or a burger, all child portioned with either green beans or peas, fresh fruit & french fries. They bring the fruit first and have always left of the fries for me. Too bad M didn't finish much while she was having a potty emergency. I ended up eating my cake alone while A took her home to go potty. I walked back in a drizzle, but the quiet was nice.

Saturday we had a child Dr. emergency that turned out to be a slight waste of 25 bucks, but maybe not in that it came with some good advice. I will refrain from blogging about it for her future embarassment and the search terms that it could create.

After that drama, my dad came over to babysit so I could drag A to a chick flick. We saw Julie & Julia. Good movie, the blog aspect was interesting, but mostly it left me wanting to go out and buy all of Julia Child's DVD's and watch them and cook. Also, I need to improve my knife skills.

I thought I was in for a relaxing evening, but a tornado had other ideas. It seems to have not touched down near here, but the hook was just to the north of us. We woke up M, contained the dog, and headed for the basement. By far the most frightening storm we've had in recent memory. Especially since if they come in from that direction there next stop is the BIL & SIL's house. Fortunately it passed by them as well.

Finally today M and I braved the Minneapolis Farmer's market for fresh veggies for the week. We left with a head of broccoli the size of a oversize dinner plate, lots of Michigan blueberries, cucmbers, tomatoes and other assorted veggies. I've already made fridge pickles and roasted poblanos for chili rellenos laster in the week. There should be one legitimately ripe tomato out of my garden soon, but that just isn't enough. I bought four more and now I'm off to spend the rest of M's nap making salsa.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Weapon of Choice

I've heard about this phase from other parents. The phase after potty training when your child learns to use their bodily functions as a weapon. The three year old who pees in her pants when she isn't happy with the clothes she is wearing. The child who refuses to poop in anything but their pull-up. Eventually, I knew that M would achieve mastery of her own body enough to use it against me.

I fear it has only just begun. Each night we put M to bed at 7 in the vain home that she falls asleep quickly and the gets something close to the recommended 11 or so hours. Each night she plays in her bed, having in depth discussions about who's side of the bed is who's with her stuffed animals. We had been letting her read in bed until we found the corners chewed off of one of her favorite books one morning. Apparently it was just that good. Eventually she would fall asleep without issue. However, she has found a new way to get out of falling asleep.

Virtually every night, starting from 20 minutes after bedtime until nearly 9 o'clock she announces when she's peed in her pull-up. She isn't crying wolf either, she really pees. In fact she can do it every 20 minutes for two hours if she really wants to. Sometimes, for good measure, she poops. Each time, she demands a new pull-up. Her record, $2.55 worth of pull-ups in a single night. (that would be five of them) Oh yes, I've figured out the cost. I'd take it out of her college fund if she had one.

Initially when she started this she wasn't completely reliable on the potty and I was willing to give a little. I wanted to encourage her to want to be dry. Now I'm debating just letting her stay wet. Maybe letting her stew in it so to speak would encourage her to let us know she needs to use the potty. Of course, if she pooped, I'd change it. While I realize that will just keep us her loyal servants, at least she wouldn't be costing me. Better yet, maybe she would nighttime potty train.

If I put a potty in her room (the door is open with a gate to keep the dog out) will she just spend her night peeing in it and still not sleeping? If she can't see us (she can see me in the office from her room) or hear us (we can read books) will it keep her from being tempted to stay awake? Do they make toddler treadmills so I can just wear her out after dinner? Make daycare shorten her nap (which may happen some when she moves to pre-school this fall). Should we move her bedtime later and just accept she doesn't need as much sleep? Does anyone have a spare crystal ball

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Confessions of a fat girl.

I am sitting in my office, having had a rough day caused by a visit to the Dr. Well, and a toddler. When does TWO not have an effect on my day.

I have in my office a prescription for a weight loss pill. Not the nice newer one that has less side effects, because that one costs a whopping 138/month and I just don't have that kind of change laying around. This is a prescription for Phentermine. Well, not a prescription, I actually shelled out the 30 bucks for the pills themselves.

I'm still not sure if I want to take it. I can't find any information on it written by women I would seem to care anything about. I'm terrified of screwing with my already screwed up brain just to move this whole weight loss thing more forward. I'm writing about it here because someone needs to.

I am tempted. I am tempted because I am slow in losing weight (though every month since last October I have lost at least something). I am tempted because I snack out of control some days. Sure, meals may be healthy, but this window between 2 and 4 it all goes to hell. I am tempted because I live in a house with a person who is not the best influence on my eating. Not that I blame him, he just doesn't make it easy some days.

I also have in my house a bottle of antidepressants. I really should have kept track of which ones made me fidget to bad I wore a hole in my sheets with my feet (scratchy heels?). I'm pretty sure it is not that one.

I'm scared as hell about not being able to do this without the serious intervention. Have I mentioned that?

Today the nutritionist confirmed what I already knew. I know how to eat right. I just lose it on the execution. She did give me some good info that will help sorting out the labels and brands to find the best choice. She also gave me a new online tool that should replace the WW site and spits out all kinds of awesome graphs and charts and makes my geek side silly happy.

For now though, I think the pills stay in that drawer, high up in the book shelf. They say it can form habits and with a family history like mine, for now, I don't feel like risking it.

I did the 30 Day Shred tonight. My arms shook so bad I had a hard time drinking a glass of water when I was done. Today I added up my calories on the new site (will share if I end up really loving it) and I came in right where I should. I can do this. I can make this work. Just me and the bottle of antidepressants.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dr. Fatty and Getting Back on the Shred

Tomorrow I go back to my new Endocrinologist (we shall call him Dr. Fatty since he specializes in treating the obese, which I am). It is not an appointment I am looking forward to. It also includes a meeting with a nutritionist. A meeting I need to bring my "doesn't love my healthy cooking" husband to.

Dr. Fatty and I exchanged emails shortly before BlogHer because my wonderful insurance denied two of the prescriptions he gave me. The first being for something to block the type of hormone that causes me to look like Teen Wolf. Apparently since it is an off label application of a prostate shrinker they think as a woman I just don't need it. It sort of makes me want to mail photos of me un-medicated after having not waxed for three months to them until they give it to me. I did ask him about laser removal to resolve the issue so he dropped the bomb on me that it would just keep coming back. Awesome. I'll be joining the sideshow as the bearded lady as soon as I hit menopause for sure now.

The second comes with a lot more emotional baggage. It was a prescription for a weight loss drug. While I have been (very slowly) successful in my weight loss since I weaned M back in October (18 months I nursed her, it is World Breastfeeding Week, supporting a nursing mom), it really wouldn't hurt me at all to kick it up and get to a healthy weight a little bit faster.

We didn't talk a lot about my diet but he knows that I know how to eat the right stuff, and I'm sure he knows what I didn't say. I don't always get it right. I can eat a sensible breakfast, a decent lunch, plan for a great dinner, and it all falls apart somewhere right after lunch to around 3 PM. No lunch ever seems big enough to hold off the snackies. Then there is the stress eating. I don't even want to think about what I was eating right before BlogHer what with the sick kid and impending social disaster. All of it relates to my emotional health on some level. So when they denied my prescription for the latest and greatest weight loss drug, I had a nice sigh of relief. Then I asked for an anti-depressant instead.

Which he sort of hedged around.

I'm not looking forward to having to say to someone with years and years of schooling that I'm not too keen about taking a stimulant that has been known to have less than great side effects (the not as new drug that my insurance will cover or I can pay for myself). Instead I'd like to balance my brain chemistry and see if that makes working out more effective (instead of making me so tired I want to cry all day) and helps me eat less.

Think happy courage thoughts for me tomorrow maybe?

I will at least be able to go in to the appointment knowing that I will be back on the Shredded saddle again this month. I enjoyed my time off. The biking was fun, but they did tear apart my whole trail right when I thought I was nearly over my near accident. So I need to get back in to something a little more intense than my gossiping walks with Kristen. Just to keep me in line, I've got a partner for the month.

Oh, and if you're ever wondering what kind of motivation could make me want to subject myself to Jillian Michaels again, seeing how hot Kristen Chase and the rest of the Shredheads looked at BlogHer should keep me going down to a size 12 at least.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

On tomato cages and string bean girls

I am fairly certain that if I were to contrive some sturdy and substantial device to contain my tomatoes next year that I would be blessed with midget plants that produce one tomato each. It is like betting on the Kentucky Derby winner to take the Preakness. Sure, sometimes there is a Triple Crown winner, but that is like once every 40 years. Trying to buy clothing ahead for the exceptionally tall child is right up in there as well.

I get the feeling that Target is about to start rolling out the red velvet holiday dresses in another week and I'm still stuck guessing what size pants M is going to be wearing in another month. It is like a cruel guessing game with your wallet somewhere in the middle. Last year she was wearing her Halloween shirt in January because she slowed down when the weather got cooler. That was after a late summer growth spurt had me nearly cutting the sleeves off shirts when all I could find were snowflake turtlenecks in late August.

This year I'm hedging my bets a little differently. M spent most of her summer in shirts that were slightly too big and unless she develops a pituitary disorder in the next month, I think I'm good for the rest of the warm weather. Also, god bless the the adjustable waist and capris. For fall, I'm banking on her new love of dresses and buying her leggings to go with them. Worst case, her mastery of pants on, pants off is at a point where she can wear jeans again, and we all know how cute rolled up jeans are.

Also new this year, but I think working to my advantage, she's growing out of the toddler sizes. My MIL showed up a couple of weeks ago with *gasp* little girl sized clothing. I expected her to swim in it, but in reality, it is just a little big. In brands that tend to shrink, as well as outerwear, I see us venturing over to the other side of the brightly lit big box for things that come without T's on the ends of the sizes.

That isn't to say that I don't love my string bean in all of her lanky glory. It reminds me on a regular basis that she will not always be small and to enjoy her while she's still fits in my lap. She can already wrap her legs around me when she insists on a full "big hugs" and I wouldn't have it any other way.

On a side note: We have eaten our first tomato from the garden. The bottom half was rotten, the top half tasted amazing. There is hope yet, though they have all torn their tomato cages out of the ground. If I am not blogging about by Wednesday, look for me in the tomatoes.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

When the gardener is away...

It is Saturday, and after having been out of town or dealing with family in town nearly every weekend for the last month, we're taking a weekend to just relax and do stuff together, as a family. Since I'm feeling a bit intellectually drained after everything I wrote earlier in the week, I thought I would share some garden pictures. It had a lot of time to grow while I was gone.

That is a six foot tall privacy fence that my tomatoes are next to. Yes, you read that right. Six foot tall tomatoes. Yet not a single ripe one in the bunch. I have however had to take a small bucket of blossom end rot ones off. Ask me how I feel about that, I dare you.

It rained before bed last night, and there isn't much of a sign of it anymore, except on my kale plant. Right there, in the middle of the plant.

This is a volunteer sunflower. It grew below the bird feeder that we put in front of M's window. I had these visions of huge sunflowers growing up like an exterior curtain, so I just let them go. Little did I know that with the dry weather they would all end up tiny. This one is about a foot tall.

These are my tiny Brussels sprouts. They make me really happy.