Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dig this!

I had been debating putting in a garden in our backyard and last weekend I decided to go for it. Our landlord asked that we put the garden outside the fence so when I noticed the remnants of a parking spot (two cement strips with 3' of ground between them) I decided it provided the perfect outline for a flower bed. Initially I started my digging with a hand trowel, since it's the only shovel we own ... I did not get very far that way! The next day I borrowed an actual shovel from props storage at work which was much more effective.
Over the course of a few days I peeled off the top layer of grass and set it aside on a tarp, then continued digging down to about 8"-12". Then I broke up the grass clumps, collected some leaves and a few bags of coffee grounds from Starbucks (they'll give you big bags of grounds for free if you ask! Many have a little basket marked "grounds for your garden" near the counter, you don't even have to buy a cup of coffee to get them.) and started layers. Grass/leaves/coffee, dirt, grass/leaves/coffee, dirt ... I tried to shred the grass up well but I'm sure I'll have to weed out a few errant patches along the way. At this point I have not added any extra fertilizer, the goal is cheap and natural, but I may change my mind once I see how things grow.
Here's the patch!! We got some heavy rain last night so I'm glad I got it done yesterday. The rain really helped soak it back down. I lined the edged with some leftover campfire wood, rocks, and chunks of pots that didn't make it through the winter.

Due to the experimental nature of my project and the questionable soil quality I decided planting seedlings, rather than seeds, is probably the best bet. I plotted out my little cutting garden last night and set to starting some seeds indoors!
Some of these were started a couple weeks ago, some earlier this week, and a bunch today. I'd been setting them in various windows of the house but then read an article online saying that a standard fluorescent light works almost as well as a grow light and provides a lot more for a plant than a window. Curious, I put a few seeds on the kitchen counter and left the light on overnight ... it was like magic!! I purposely chose seeds that sprout quickly but still, to see my bachelor buttons and zinnas break the surface after 2 days was thrilling!

Half of our kitchen counter is now taken over by bachelor buttons, zinnias, snapdragons, calendula, stasis, bells of Ireland, and some veggie starts that will live in pots. (After all the random junk I found in the soil while digging the plot I sure don't want to eat anything that grows there, at least not until we've conditioned it for a few years.) These are mostly cooler weather plants so they'll be ready to go outside in just a few weeks. Next weekend I'll probably plant the remainder of the rannunculus bulbs on the border of the plot before it gets too warm for them to start.

Stay tuned for more gardening adventures!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Checking off the list

Today FH and I met with our caterer to finalize the menu and talk a little about set-up. Really, it was more of a "yeah, we still want what we said we want 4 months ago" meeting, but at least I can check it off my Knot checklist. (It's okay, I only like the Knot ironically. But they do have one of the most all-inclusive planning checklists so that is helpful.)

I also called the cupcake place to find out how much notice they need for an order of 12-13 dozen cupcakes and they said, I kid you not, 1 or 2 days. I love these people! Then I said, well, it's for a Saturday and for a wedding but we don't want any special colors or anything, just your normal flavors. To which they responded, oh, well, then maybe call like 2 weeks in advance. Ha ha! Screw you knot checklist who said I needed to order a cake 2 months ago! I do think we'll place the cupcake order in the next month or so, just to have it done with, but it made my day that they were so laid back. One of the big reasons we went with cupcakes!

Invites will go out at the end of next week, which is causing me no end of distraction. They're all addressed, stamped, and inserted in their envelopes. Paranoia keeps me from sealing them yet, just in case, but aaaahhh! It will be hard, I think, to shove 50 hours of my life into a mailbox and let it go into the world. Sigh.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's Greek to Me!

I think we've settled on a rehearsal dinner venue, the Greek Islands Restaurant in Downtown Indianapolis. It's one of the few resaurants we've actually been to since moving the Indy and man, was it good! We've got a meeting set up for early April to talk about menus and such, but it seems like they're able to work in our price range and are accustomed to groups of this size (around 30-35 people.)

For those of your whose tastes run on the conservative side, don't worry, I think you'll find Greek food very accessible. It's kind of like Italian but without the tomato sauce, rice instead of pasta, and feta cheese instead of mozzarella. But the flavors are generally mild (not spicy) and the food is light and fresh. Ideal for a summer evening.

Good thing it's lunch time because now I'm hungry!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cake by the Cup

Well, after much debate, I think we've decided on wedding cupcakes from the delightful, local cupcake bakery, The Flying Cupcake.

We're thinking of doing 2 dozen each of 6 flavors, every one of them delicious and decadent! Check out the site today and vote for your favorite flavor in our comments. Time for me to get cracking on some cupcake stands!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Operation Green Thumb Begins

Well, spring is nearly sprung here in the mid-west and I took advantage of the sunshine and moderate temps today to do a little gardening. FH and I hit the nearest Lowe's earlier in the week to pick up some seed starting mix, potting soil and calla lily bulbs ... and since we were there anyway I also grabbed some anemones, sweet peas, and snapdragons. Oh, and a packet of "Cutting Mix" seeds. I'd ordered some ranunculus bulbs earlier in the year as well.

While I will be happy if these flowers simply grow at all, I harbor secret hopes that I will be able to use them for the wedding. This being a grand experiment of sorts, I've started two of the callas indoors and have one more to start in a few week; I potted up 4 of the 20 ranunculus outdoors since they like cool weather to start, and will probably start a few more every two weeks for the next 6-8 weeks; I started half the sweet peas and snapdragons indoors and sowed the other half outside; the anemones should be good to go outside so I threw a few in a pot and used the rest to make borders around a few little beds that are already in the yard. Chances are the anemones will bloom too early but they should be pretty and I could use more practice arranging anyway, right?

Don't worry, I know that it's a gamble to count on using flowers I've grown for the wedding and I won't be devastated if it doesn't work out, however, it would be so delightful if all I had to do was pick up a few dozen white roses to fill out lovely backyard bouquets!

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Day Off

Since I had a couple personal days to use I decided to play hooky from work today!

I spent a good chunk of time this weekend working on invitations and earlier this afternoon I headed over to the good ole post office to have one of them weighed. Fortunately they do, indeed, come in under one ounce, which means they only need one first-class stamp. Hooray!

Also, I had the nice postal man check out one of the RSVP postcards, just to be sure it will go through on it's own (instead of needing an envelope) and he declared it A-okay. I wanted to play it safe, however, so I put one in the mail to see if it arrives.

While I was at the post office I picked up stamps for the invitation envelopes. FH and I pondered our stamp possibilities over the weekend. We considered the ubiquitous "wedding hearts" or the other heart stamp but hearts just aren't our thing. We also thought about "Celebrate", which seemed quite appropriate. In the end we settled on Sunflowers, which look great with the chocolate brown envelopes. You know your wedding is eating your brain when things like "which stamp should we use?" become the subject of deep thought and conversation...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Less than 100 days ...

Yesterday I realized that it was 99 days until the wedding. That's right, we're in the double-digit countdown. More frighteningly, invitations are scheduled to go out at the end of March ... and it's now March! Holy Moley! I guess it really is time to get on the ball about the final details, like booking a rehearsal dinner, figuring out cake (we're back to the cupcake plan), developing a music playlist, and choosing something for FH to wear.

It helps that it's 70 degrees and sunny here today and that it's my first day off in a couple weeks. My winter wedding malaise is fading away and I'm finally excited about polishing off the to-do list. My real-life malaise (aka, the flu that hit me last weekend) is also fading and, while I'm not up for a brisk jog anytime soon, I did manage to do some puttering around the backyard, preparing our pots for this year's gardening. Okay, enough of this sitting in front of the computer, I'm heading back outside to get me some more spring air!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Problem With Good Ideas ...

... is that other people come up with them first!

I emailed the nice folks at the Duckpin Bowling place and it turns out that both sets of lanes have already been completely booked for private parties on June 12. Apparently people book the place up to one year in advance. Since the Fountain Square Theatre right next door hosts a lot of weddings I wouldn't doubt that some other lucky folks came up with the duckpin rehearsal dinner idea long before us. D'oh!

In other unpleasantness, I have some sort of horrible cold/flu/infection that has had me on the couch with a 102+ fever the last two days. Which is really unfortunate since it's tech for the biggest show of the year (so work is very, very busy.) Sigh. Sometimes life just tells you to sit down and take a break, whether or not you want to!

So it's back to the rehearsal dinner drawing board. I think it's likely we'll still look down in Fountain Square. It's such a fun, funky neighborhood with lots of little, local restaurants. Plus, I think we can get a lot more for our money by moving out of downtown.