Deuce Cities Henhouse

Finn’s 6th Birthday


Guys, I may have been a little MIA this week. We’ve been busy celebrating the birthday of our young man, Finn. He’s six now you guys, that’s super old.

If you’ve been coming around this blog for awhile now you probably already know that Finn shares a birthday with his good buddy, Elsa, who turned 5 yesterday (also super old). Elsa and Finn have grown up together, they are the oldest kids of all our friends and thankfully they enjoy each others company because their parents hang out together all of the times. I babysat Elsa (daily) for a couple years, and she has practically become a member of our family. Anyways, Elsa totally skipped school yesterday and spent the day with Finn (so badass at 5). It was pretty awesome.

The kids started the day in a sweet royal-blanket-play-fort that somebody’s mom (a-hem) set up for them in the backyard. Pretend coffee and raisins anyone? These kids really know how to party.

We followed it up by a trip to the MOA (aka the mall of ‘merica) for Burger King and rides, because there is an indoor theme park inside of the mall! You guys, two words, “Mirror Maze”. It’s not part of Nickelodeon Universe, only the true heads know where to find it. Look for it the next time you are at the mall, you won’t regret it.

Later in the afternoon we made ice cream, set up a chill party scene in the backyard, lost a few balloons (don’t ask) and got prepared for a majorly awesome party by stuffing ourselves with the best frozen pizza in town, heggies. Super tyte.

Then there was the party, which all the neighborhood kids attended (ages 1-13). There were Doritoz given as presents (Grandma knows what her kids like), buck-wild lightsaber battles, more balloons and really intense and highly illegal Wisconsin-style sparklers.

It was an awesome birthday. I’m glad those kids let me be apart of it. Now to get ready for Gus’ b-day, T-minus 12 days.

Easy Cake Decorating - Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting and Chocolate Chips!

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in Elsa, Finn, Kids, My Life

Gardening Basics : Dividing Perennials


Yo, Friends! Did you know that you can divide perennials? It actually often helps to keep your perennials healthy and has the added benefit of making new plants! I recently went through my garden and split off a chunk of my perennials for my good pal Nicole (aka Colz). She recently dug up a section of her yard to make a sunny perennial border garden – she needed some plants to help fill it in. I told her to come on over! I had some perennials that were getting big and in need of a good splittin’.

I have to tell you that I am not some all knower of everything garden, but I know a bit. I’ve split my perennials quite a few times, to fill in garden beds. Most of my my perennials have been divided from my mom’s garden and in the last few years I have done lots of splitting to help fill in my flower beds.

When I divide plants I begin by digging out the clump I want to divide. You don’t want to start right at the base of the plant, dig out from the base a good 8-12″. I use my big garden shovel and slowly begin to cut down through the soil and the pry upwards loosening the root system. Continue digging and prying around the circumference of the plant. The method is about 50% digging and 50% actual prying. I broke my shovel last week on an insanely oversized hosta. It takes a bit of muscle depending on the root system of the plant. Before you know it the plant will gently pop out of the ground.

TIP
Divide your plants on a cooler gray day to avoid undue stress from the heat and the sun.

 


Once you have the clump out of the soil, remove it from the garden. I usually have a small drop cloth that I move around the yard with me just to keep the lawn tidy and whatnot. I set the plant on the drop cloth and begin to divide the plant by looking for naturally grown sections. Check out the photo above. You can see how this heuchera has three naturally occurring sections. All of these can be divided to make new plants. I didn’t literally divide the plant in half either. I took a small section from the back and then divided that. This way I still had a decent sized plant to place back in my garden.

Sometimes you’ll run into a stubborn root system, it’s not always easy to separate those bad boys. You really need to put some muscle into it. Like all your muscles, especially when diving hostas. I have a tool that has a sharp edge (it’s like a knife shovel) I use it when I run into really tricky root systems.


Prepare your divisions for replanting by putting them in a container and packing them in fresh soil, this is especially important if you aren’t able to get to planting them the same day. Keep them well watered. When replanting make sure to amend the soil with compost and plant them to the same depth that they were in before.


There are some perennial ground covers like lamium and stonecrop that have very shallow root systems. In this case you don’t need to dig the entire thing out, just pop a chunk out of the ground and replant.

Perennials such as peony and iris like to be planted and divided in the fall, but most things can be divided as long as the plant appears to be healthy and strong. Do a bit of research before diving right in.

Better Homes and Gardens put a nice list together of how often you can divide certain perennials – you can see it below. Check out this great article for even more tips!

Leave These Be:
Baptisia
Bleeding heart (Dicentra)
Butterfly weed (Asclepias)
Christmas rose (Helleborus)
Gas plant (Dictamnus)
Lavender (Lavandula)
Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale)
Peony (Paeonia)

 

Divide Only Every 3-4 Years
Astilbe
Bee balm (Monarda)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
Daylily (Hemerocallis)
Hosta
Phlox
Purple coneflower (Echinacea)
Siberian iris (Iris sibirica)

 

Divide Only Every 2-3 Years
Aster
Blanket flower (Gaillardia)
Clustered bellflowers (Campanula glomerata)
Coreopsis
Lamb’s ears (Stachys)
Yarrow (Achillea)
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in gardening, Outdoor

Summer Living Room

Dark Teal Living Room with Black and White Accents
What up people? Not much around here. I’ve been chatting about gardens for a solid three months now, I think I finally got it out of my system. I mean, I’m still going to be outside whenever I can during the summer, but for the first time in months I’m finally becoming able to focus on what’s happening inside.

I’ve really been digging the look of my living room lately. In the summertime we get to enjoy this lush backdrop of grape vines through the windows that are growing on my neighbors house. It’s so pretty, and I miss it so much when it gets all dumb and decides to not be green in the winter. Besides the changing of the seasons and what not, there has been one big change in the living room that I was too embarrassed to share with you earlier. I’m still not actually sharing photos of it because it was ugly and gross, just take my word for it.

During Christmas we moved the furniture around so that we could place the tree in front of the window. The TV got moved to the opposite wall, and after the tree came down the boys voted for the TV to stay in it’s new place. They said it made everything seem “roomier.” I was never a big fan of the new arrangement, when you entered the room you came face-to-face with our TV. Whatever, I decided to be a team player and live with it for a bit, and a bit turned into six months.

After ignoring the new arrangement for months I couldn’t take it’s uncoolness any longer. We recently got cable after being perfectly happy with our chromecast and antenna combo because my husband has a new-weird-side-job writing about sports for Rolling Stone (fer real, you should read it – it’s funny). He needed to get the cable to have access to the ESPN and stuff. Anyway, that meant that I got to move the furniture back last week so that the TV could be close to the cable outlet, and now I like my living room again. I can’t believe I lived with it that way for so long, but there were so many other distractions like finishing the makeover in the upstair sunroom, gardening and fixing up the outside that I just forgot about it. Never again.

Dark Teal Living Room with Black and White Accents

Dark Teal Living Room with Black and White Accents

Dark Teal Living Room with Black and White Accents

Dark Teal Living Room with Black and White Accents

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in Around the House, Living Room

Puddle Stompin’


Oh man! It downpoured for 15 minutes late yesterday afternoon, and as soon as the rain was over the kids went out to splash in some puddles. Typically they like to truck through the puddles at a million miles an hour trying to make as much sweet spray as they can. They like me to take videos of them so they can see how cool it/they look(s).

So I obliged, I ran inside to get my phone because that’s how I take videos (duh). I used to use my camera to capture moments, but now I use my always-at-the-ready phone. Isn’t that so lame? I mean it’s good in a pinch, but I’ve really come to rely on it.

Sitting on my desk was my phone and my camera, guess which one I grabbed – I bet you can already tell by these pics. I used my camera! I love all these photos I took of them puddle stompin’ – I realized I would really like to try and get my camera out in the action a bit more.


Aren’t these kids getting so big? They are going to be six and three this month and I wish I would have taken the time to document more of the last year on my real camera.

It’s on. I’m going to do better!

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in Finn, Gus, My Life

Spicy Brasied Beet & Turnip Greens Recipe
Hey Guys! Hope you all had a super great weekend. We had a great time hanging with buddies and seeing a show at the zoo – that’s right – the zoo, we are getting old.

This recipe is a really great one if you’re looking to use up your leftover turnip, beet or even radish greens. I had a lot of tops from the beets and turnips we received in this weeks CSA box. I didn’t want to just throw them out, but looking at all those greens and thinking about eating them all seemed daunting. Wilting the greens and breaking them down was a good and delicious way to get them in my stomach!

If I made this again I’d probably go a bit lighter on the red chilis and oil, but that’s just me. It might be perfectly peeñty for you. Here it is:

   
 

Spicy Braised Beet & Turnip Greens
Recipe from Driftless Organics

Ingredients:

▼ 1 bunch beet greens, coarsely chopped
▼ 1 bunch turnip greens, coarsely chopped
▼ 4 scallions, diced
▼ 3 garlic scapes, diced
▼ 3 tbsp olive oil
▼ 1 tablespoon red chile flakes
▼ Salt to taste
▼ Pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan, saute scallions, garlic scapes, a sprinkle of salt, and chile flakes in oil over medium heat. After a few minutes, add all of the greens, toss to incorporate all ingredients, and cover pan with lid. Once greens are wilted, remove lid.


Cook greens until tender, about 8 minutes leaving the lid off for the last 2 minutes. Serve immediately, using tongs to transfer greens onto plates. Drizzle with more olive oil if you’re into that sort of thing.
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in Eats