6:00AM – I flopped out of bed after a terrible night’s sleep (two dogs, a cat, a husband and a toddler on a queen bed can make for a “fun” night of sleep) and readied myself for a day of gardening. My father and I made our way to the nearest Fred Meyer for their annual fuchsia sale. It was a wonderful 40 degrees, with partially cloudy skies. People were buzzing about, picking a few at a time and then moving on to plant them in their new pots. My father and I went about things a bit differently.
I started out with picking only a few at a time, carefully looking each fuchsia plant to see which would be the best. In the end, my father decided to speed things up by grabbing racks at a time (24 plants in each). With two carts full, we checked out and grabbed our old planters from the back of the Jeep to stand in line for dirt. The looks we got when we rolled up with 16 planters were priceless. If only they knew how many we had back at home we still had to fill. 192 fuchsias and 16 planters filled with dirt later, it was time to head back for a planting fest.
If you ever want a good workout, I highly recommend gardening, especially when there are 40 pots to be filled. It was exhausting. We fought with rain, wind and even hail as we carefully planted each one, only to have my father realize that we now had to go back and pinch all of the fuchsias.
This was the first time I had ever heard the term pinching off plants. At first I thought he was joking, because he had the grin he usually wears when he’s made a bad joke. After a bit of research, I now know exactly what he was talking about. If you want to have full bushy fuchsia baskets, you’ll want to pinch the end of the plant while it’s young. This will encourage it to branch out and become bushier. The more you know!
And now that the hail has finally decided to stop, I will be heading back out to begin the long task of pinching 192 fuchsia plants. Wish me luck!
It was a nice warm fall day in Northern California when I received the phone call no stay at home parent wants to hear from their significant other. My husband had received a notice of termination, effective immediately. I was at a loss. Desperately I tried to keep myself together in front of my toddler boy as I waited for the arrival of my depressed and mentally beaten down husband. We had no idea what to do. Just 24 hours earlier we were laughing and joking about how we could sell our newly built house, move back home to where our families were and live nearly debt free. I can tell you we weren’t expecting our words to actually come true.
I called my dad, with reality slowly sinking in, to let him know what had happened. Honestly I wasn’t expecting what he told me next. He suggested we sell our house and come take over his small farm so he could live his dream life with my mom at the ocean. My parents had just purchased their retirement home only two days before (which they hadn’t shared the news to us kids yet). How could we say no? It would be back in our home state, Washington, and near family; the perfect place to raise our son.
As soon as my husband came home I bombarded him with the news (I know, probably not the best way to go about it, especially when he’s just lost his job). I could tell he was struggling with the mix of emotions he was feeling. But I knew we didn’t have time to sit around. We had to act fast as Christmas was only a month away and selling our house would be quite difficult during that time. I contacted a realtor I had met in our neighborhood Facebook group and began the process of selling our house. Next began the packing process. We contacted Pods and they arranged for a unit to be sent to us right away. After a week of packing all day and night, we were ready to move and begin our new life on a fixer-upper farm.
As for our house in California, it sold with in 48 hours of being listed. Our realtors were the most amazing people we had ever met. They made our difficult time much less difficult.
So now we are living on the farm, and it is very much like the plot of one of my favorite video games, Harvest Moon. I hope you will all enjoy my tales as I try and figure out how to actually farm and fix up our “new” house.