Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
when you can see yellow daffodils come into bloom. I have two right now and one is at the mailbox for the neighbors to see as they drive by with their heaters going full blast.
This has been a fairly productive week. Had purchased at a thrift shop a small chandelier which had an ugly, slightly dirty, antique gold finish on it. Now it is a nice off white with some beautiful pearl like dangles attached. One of my sons will hang it for me soon. The foyer is slated for the new home. I used spray paint and hung it up under my lean-to out back. (As I was throwing a piece of hemp rope up over the rafter, I had a thought that I hoped the neighbors weren't thinking I would use it for a personal agenda). Not so, got too much to look forward to in life. It does look right fine to me and I sneak a look every once in a while. It is on the hanging rod over the washing machine.
Yesterday I cleaned - no make that purged - one of the four file drawers I have. There are two file cabinets and the goal is to get rid of one. The metal one will stay and the other which is a DIY fake wood one will go. During my day care years I kept all sorts of things used for projects plus records for the business. So there is a lot of junk plus 'stuff' I seem to want to keep for 'future' re-reading or reference. If I had a dime for every time I went back and read them I would be broke.
Flattened and laid down a large cardboard box to kill out the grass in an area I want to plant some veggies this year. Then decided the space was not large enough and laid down a big square of plywood next to it. This should be big enough for this year. Then I will contemplate making another veggie bed.
Found this photo on a website forum mentioned by one of our members as a reference for raised garden beds. I really like this look. Of course Soaphouse has the best raised garden system I have seen to date. If you have not looked at her photos, do check them out. What a system they have going!
Received my butterfly weed from the live monarch foundation (LiveMonarch.com) and plan to get some of them started. They develop very slowly. If I find plants at the Farmers Market spring festival, I will buy one or two. Even the plants that are in my garden now just do take their time. So my garden really needs a lot of milkweed. Will plant/purchase more parsley to go with my fennel for the Swallowtails.
Above is a picture of the yellow swallowtail from a friends garden. The Swallowtail also has a black form.
I purchased a package of worm poo (can't remember what they called it) to use on my indoors plants. (Not the African Violets as yet) and I think it is doing a good job. You just sprinkle it around the soil and then whenever you water the plant gets fed. No smell, no mess just nice fertilizer. Will use it in my container plants this year and may try it in the veggie garden as well.
On a more personal level - I finally got in the groove with my weight loss. I have gained about 10 pounds since last summer and have been fighting to get it off but just halfheartedly. So this week has been the time to gain control of my love of sweet carbs. It is not a hard thing for me to lose some weight as I like all types of veggies and fruits.
And when you can have your choice of any meat then it should go well. Meat is not my big thing and I sometimes exchange it out with eggs/cheese. That means an omelet is a good thing. Portions are the best way to control your weight. We all over eat. Just think of our ancestors that worked in the fields. They didn't have food every two hours. They started working close to home before breakfast, then afterwards went to the fields. They would be brought a light lunch during the afternoon and then a good meal in the evening. You can bet they slept well at night also which is something modern man does do enough of. Sleep helps the body recover and processes our food intake. That is one reason you weigh less first thing in the morning. By mid morning/afternoon you will weigh a bit more.
Above is a picture of my Strawberry planter from this summer. That plant put down feeders all over the ground and is next to a bush type Blueberry plant. Hope to cover these plants so there will be some harvest for my family. Looking forward to spring. And by the way? Daylight Savings time is earlier this year - March 8th - But that does not mean we can start planting here. The rotation of the sun/earth determines the last freeze for our growing seasons. In my region of SC the last freeze can come in April. Typically I don't plant anything until after Easter and may not plant any tomatoes until after the first of May. Those plants put in later don't suffer viruses as the early planted tomatoes. It is the cool/warm, wet weather that causes the viruses to thrive.
Speaking of Strawberries, the grocery had them on sale this week and it is time for me to go wash and slice those tasty morsels and have a snack of fat free-sugar free instant pudding to go with them. Tastes better than it sounds, especially when you add those scrumptious berries.
More To Come Later
Just kind of hanging out this afternoon. I did see an Eastern Towhee this morning. Wish I had gotten a pictures. We see them this time of year. The first time I saw one I thought it was a brightly colored Robin. Not so just this beautiful bird. Look them up on the web and then you can hear the Towhee call at http://www.learnbirdsongs.com
. Then grab a glass and drink your tee heeeeee.
Enjoy these pictures nabbed from the internet.
The above Towhee may be one found in the lower south like Florida or lower Georgia. I think the eye color is the difference.
Saw a big flock of robins yesterday, turned my head a bit and saw what must have been hundreds of them on the golf course. A good sight it was too. Hopefully that is a good sign.
My Saucer Magnolia or Tulip Tree/Shrub is full of blooms hiding under their fuzzy outer coverings. I have never pruned it or cut it back and it rewards me every year with a bounty of pink blossoms. Truly splendid and I appreciate its beauty. This frozen weather will have left its mark I am sure. A mark we will not see until spring/summer or even in the next couple of years when we begin to wonder why this plant or that is not doing well or suddenly decided to depart from our world of gardens. When this happens you just dig out or cut down and have the pleasure of replacing it with a plant you didn't have space for or something new you want to try.
My neighbor just came over with two cyclamen plants she had rescued from one of the big box stores along with the little primrose she brought me a couple of weeks ago. We are hoping the primrose will hold out until spring and we can plant them or repot them outside. The hot house cyclamen does not live but a short while and it is difficult to try and keep them alive for long. I tried one time and decided it was not worth my trouble. I discovered the hardy Cyclamen and have them in my shade garden. It will be interesting to see if more than one of the ten I planted are going to produce plants. There is an area maybe 6 inches across that has a nice covering of leaves and it has bloomed. There was one other place that shot up a blossom but I have not seen any leaves. Typically they shoot up blossoms and after they die out the leaves come up. I like plants that have a surprise or two bred into them. Gives you something else to watch for in your gardens.
I bought an older chandelier a couple of years ago at a thrift shop with the thought of placing it in my foyer. It is not too large and should look fine there. It needs a cleaning before I spray paint it and then hang some crystals on it. There was a picture of one in an ad that I cut out much like the one I have and that is my goal for this project. Something pretty as you come in the door and something pretty for me to look at as I pass that way a hundred time a day.
The weather is still leading all of us on a merry chase. We have cooler weather today, maybe 40 of so then by next week it promises a temp of 70 degrees. So we all just hover, cover and keep looking out the window to see if it is yet time to turn the soil and plant our gardens.
More To Come Later
of a neighbor. This is done by a local church and this is the second one I have seen in the last few weeks. Most of the time it is done as a fundraiser.
These are some pix of the inch of snow we had on Tuesday. It still lingers in the deep shade but will be gone by this afternoon or tomorrow. Saw a couple of cute snowmen around town. And a couple of muddy kids that had tried sledding. An inch is not good for sledding.
Was so odd to look out the window and see the white of snow. I have a gut feeling it might not be the last snow of the season. Schools around here were closed for MLK day and then the snow and then they started 2 hours later on Wednesday. Obviously we are not geared for icy/snowy weather. I am not geared for COLD weather. Have only gone out when quite necessary. And one of those times was for a haircut.
The beauty shop we go to, where we have had the same hairdresser for over 20 years now, was bought out by another local shop owner in the last few months. The shop has needed a makeover for many years and boy did it ever get a new look. The owner had beauticians and brought them with him and the other beauticians stayed. So now there are 16 in all. More chairs, more stalls but quite nice. The name is Panache', the theme is mainly black and white with a hint of pink. They put in laminate wood floors, all new chairs and the look is classy. The owner acutally lived on my street more than 20 years and his daughter and my beauticians daughter played together as small children. Would not have recognized him on the street. Time changes us every one.
Our granddaughter that lives up the street has turned 15 today! She is such a beauty and a sweet girl. She has had an upper resp virus that finally sent her to the doctor. He gave her something to help get rid of the virus. Don't know what that was and didn't know there was such a thing. She finally went to school today and actually only missed part of the day Wednesday due to the 2 hours opening delay. I have been sending or taking her flowers since she was about 2 years old. So I best get out and purchase those before we celebrate later.
I taped the inaugural festivities and swearing in. Then had a good time skipping over about all the commentators had to say. What an awesome site, to see all those freezing people piled into that area. Many of you no doubt have strolled through that area on a trip to Washington DC while on vacation. You would have a better take on just how many people filled that area. One of my favorite camera shots was from the Lincoln Memorial straight through to the swearing in site. You could hardly see the site it was so far. And people so thick it just boggles the mind. And I did notice that it did not take long for all those people to clear out. That really surprised me. But it was so well organized and policed. Then looked through the tape I made of the balls. It was a shame that Michelle's dress was so long she had to keep pulling it up AND it kept her from really dancing with the President. And I could tell he likes to dance by watching his feet move. Made me wonder if her dress really was too long, or if she changed into shoes with a lower heal. Which I would have done if it were possible. Don't you know she was glad when she could finally get home and out of that dressy garb and into some comfy sweats, PJ's or jeans. I look forward to watching them as the next months and years go by. Those little girls will be savvy young ladies by the time this first term ends.
Going to go look for something to fix for lunch. I have had soup a couple of times this week and want something different today. Like I need it after getting on the scales this morning. Had not weighed in a couple of weeks. UGH!! Not a good number. Winter, sedentary lifestyle and loving food is not a good combination. Bring on SPRING!!
More To Come Later
has begun! I found some hard copy photos and super glued them on the front. Since my grandchildren are the flowers of my heart - two of them found their way to center stage.
Then there are sections for Perennials, Shade, Herb etc. and the White Garden has a page of its own. Especially since it will receive additions as the bed matures.
I will be placing actual photos of my plants as I go along. At least this project has been started which makes it easier to keep it up to date.
In looking at the old photos, I was able to take a walk down memory lane. Found several photos were numbered stage 1, 2 etc back in 2003 and 2004. Good thing I didn't keep that up, because I might be on stage 15 in 2008. The gardens are places of change. Changes that we don't mind making. This is a positive hobby all the way around, no mistakes, just pleasant natural changes for all gardeners. Dead plant - dig it up and make room for another, won't thrive - dig it up, put in a replacement and replant where it is happy. Win- Win for all.
More To Come Later
are doing great and they give my urge to garden a real satisfaction. So pretty to look at, easy to propagate with patience, and full of surprises.
Like this 'longneck', that I have just let it do its thing. Some violets will just grow and grow a stem and don't look purty a'tal. This one not only has some buds but it has had babies as well:
Then my good friend and neighbor came out into the cold to bring me these Primrose rescues from Lowes. She got some for herself as well as a Peace Lily and an Anthurium.
You can see that Mr Robin is protecting them from the cold - Or is he just waiting for Spring so he can hop out the door.
Here is an AV named 'Saturn'. It has not bloomed in a while, so he gets to sit out front with the others for a bit.
Then lasty here are two BiLo AV rescues from this summer. They are doing pretty well and that itty bitty AV seems to be OK. I found it in one of the store pots when I was transferring them to the AV pots.
Going to work on a project this afternoon. Have all the materials to start my album for documenting what plants I have. I save the tags from my plants and will print out photos of them as well. Then they will be put in order of types - house, annual, perennial, shrub etc. This is something I have wanted to do for years and with this extra cold weather, it gives me a window of opportunity to have a little fun.
More To Come Later
that were supposed to be in the earlier blog. Seems I am out of practice.
First the plants in the Seed bed - Money Plant/Silver Dollar Plant:
And those little bitty buds on the Jasmine were too small for pictures. Then there is the crazy mixed up Thanksgiving Cactus: I think this color is my favorite.
Here is the old nut grinder complete with pecans:
I wish my photos of the Creeping Rosemary were better. In the garden it is beautiful right now. The green is such a nice color with the blue of the flowers. And of course it stills has that wonderful scent:
So now you have the pictures to go with my blog.
More To Come Later
in a bit. I am like many of you - not being able to get outside causes me to think I don't have anything to say. Most of you know that is not true - I can type a mile a minute when I get started. Now whether you enjoy reading any of it is up to you. Kind of like TV - don't like the program? just change the channel. We used to do that with Radios as well? If any of you remember the old glass tube type that got so hot they could melt down a plastic case? Yes that actually happened to me. I was sick and wanted to listen to the radio that night, so I put it on the bed with me so I could turn it down real low. Don't know what woke me, but I smelled it and WOW that woke me up. That case had a melted spot for many a year. So don't slept with appliances of any kind. That's my moral tale for the day.
I checked my Jasmine and discovered it has - yellow buds. I am so happy about that. It has been in the ground for several years now and never bloomed. When I go out this afternoon I will take a pix if it has opened up any. The plants in the cold frame are holding their own and it has been pretty cold upon occasion. Like this weekend when the temps may dip into the teens. This is not unusual for our area in the months of Jan and Feb. I don't like it but living here beats the heck out of what many of you are living with right now. Saw where the northwest states will have day temps below freezing. Ouch, makes my whole self cringe.
The Silver Dollar plants in the seed bed are as happy as they can be. So excited to transplant them in Spring and enjoy watching it grow. This Lunaria is considered a plant that blooms the second year. But does that mean from the time it first sprouts? as in the seed bed now and then this summer being the second year? Will have some new Hollyhocks they year as well.
All three of the Knockout roses I moved have green growth. One of these plants and I can't remember which one it is, has a different style of growth. I noticed it last year as well. It doesn't look as vigorous as the other two but puts our plenty of roses. The red one at the mailbox (which is the fourth and first one) looks real good and I need to prune it back and now! I will be pruning my neighbors roses too. They have maybe 5/6 bushes. They don't ever look great but will put out some nice roses. I can remember how great my dad's roses looked growing up in WV. Much different climate from SC and it makes such a difference in the plant. I know there are some types of Peonies that will grow here but I doubt they would look like those lush bushes you see everywhere in WV. For some reason dad did not grow those.
Took a picture of my Thanksgiving cactus that didn't bloom then, but put out one flower before Christmas and now the Creamy one is beginning to bloom like crazy and it is January!
Made some Corn/Chicken Chowder today from a pre-packaged mix. One of those things you get at a craft show. I think it was a gift from someone. It is pretty good and it made a large batch which I will share with my son. The DIL made a mighty fine tasting soup this week which she shared. She is such a great young woman, I really do love her. Also put together a Bran muffin recipe made with bananas and pecans and splenda brown sugar. I just put the whole recipe into a loaf pan as I am lazy and didn't want to fool with that muffin tin. Remember when the cupcake/muffin pan really was made of tin? Mom's old loaf pan had so many dents in it. I still have her very old 'nut grinder' which according to Ebay is selling for about 5 bucks. Worth much more than that to me. I remember using that grinder as a young girl, so it really is a relic. I seem to remember it had a lid on it, but maybe not. It stays in my fridge most often with a few nuts left in it.
The seed box has been to Hawaii and on to California. Only 21 more members waiting and waiting and waiting including me. Hope each participant remembers to sign on and post when they receive it. So much fun.
More To Come Later
tuning in to our Clemson Extensions TV program 'Making It Grow" on line session. You can do a live chat there and get questions answered. Don't know why anyone couldn't tune in. Just go to www.mig.org on Tuesday nights beginning at 7pm EST and register. It is an instant register. So may see some of you chatting away?
Doing water aerobics at the Y did not happen this morning. I did not sleep well and when that alarm went off I forgot to do the snooze button and must have turned it off. Did go on my 30 minute walk however. You guys have to keep me honest now, to do my walking or my Y class. Will have to get up in the morning to meet a friend at her car repair shop to pick her up for the Y class. So it will be early to bed for me.
We got a bit more rain during the night and early morning, or I would have fired up the ole pick up and gotten a load of mulch today. Will wait another day or so and it is supposed to cool down some here. It has been in the 70's the past few days. Very nice weather for walking. It was a bit cool when I walked but it felt good.
I have seen several places in my walking where the Carolina Jessamine is beginning to bloom. I need to go out back and see if the vine I have is doing the same. I don't think mine is Carolina, though I did find a yellow bloom on it last year. Just can't remember when that was. I think mine is Confederate Jessamine, which I thought bloomed white. Oh well, one day it will surprise me and let me see it bloom in earnest.
There has been much talk about how to keep Poinsettias going through the winter. Don't think I have ever worried about them looking great after their big flush of color. I just try to keep them alive long enough to be planted outside. I did enjoy having one get about 4 feet tall one time and even begin to color just a little bit. Enough that it made me wish we had that wonderful long growing season that parts of Florida has. I have seen pictures of people standing under them they had gotten so big and the red bracts were fantastic.
I went by my sons house the other morning and that sweet tiny pup, Toby, always makes you feel you are the only person in the world. As I walked today I though how neat it would be to have him on a leash to walk with me. Maybe when he is older I will give it a try. I do not like to see dog owners hanging on for dear life while their pets literally pull them along. I want to have a dog that will walk with me, not try to out run me. There used to be an older lady (yes older than myself) that would let her dog pull ahead, give him more of the leash and then cross in front of her. I always worried that one day he would get tangled up in her legs and cause her to have a bad fall. So train your dog to take a walk with you and enjoy him.
This week Witt posted pictures of her beautiful eggs and Rascalsmama had pictures of her little goats. Wonder how I never ended up staying in the country and becoming a gardener? Just goes to show, we never know what we really want to do until we have done many things in life that give us a background on lots of possibilities. As a young girl and first married I lived in the country and really did enjoy it. Back then there were no malls or fast food places, so I did not miss the city life. There were school ballgames, picnics, lakes and the woods to explore and our own flower and veggie gardens. I remember the first time I ever used a hoe. It was in the garden of a real gardener - a lady in her 60's maybe (she seemed old to me at the time) , and I along with her daughter and grandson were helping her one morning. She finally came and directed me to another chore and took the hoe. I know it made her nervous to see me trying so hard to do the job correctly. I also remember distinctly being told not to get fertilizer on my face. I had on gloves but of course an itch or something made me put my gloved hand to my mouth. I am here to say fertilizer is not a good snack even in a pinch of fertilizer dust. You live and learn.
Have been working on my counted cross stitch picture. Am at the last edge of this picture but it will be some time yet before I finish the stitching itself. Then it will be time to do all the long outline stitch. So next winter/Christmas season I should have a nice piece to hang. An older friend of ours came by to visit one day and saw my handwork laying next to my chair. I learned he had been doing counted cross stitch for many years. He had let it go some years before as his eyes were bothering him and his wife was about to throw out all of his thread!! He said no and took it and put it in his shop. He said he just might take it out and try to do a little stitching again. Many of his work hangs in his home and I most likely have looked right at them and never thought that my friend Charlie (85 yrs young) had been the one to do the pictures.
More To Come Later
new start on self improvement. Walked 30 minutes this morning, it felt so good. So why don't I do it every day? Could be that bad word - LAZYiness. At least for me it is. When I think of how blessed I am and how I waste so much of myself each day I can only conclude that I am lazy and just a bit selfish? Or maybe a lot selfish with my time. So this new year, new day is a good way to begin to lose those particular bad habits.
Did work in the yard maybe an hour last week. Cleaned out some more of the dead and dying. Cut back the White Clematis that is growing in with the pink jewel of the White Garden. Found some nice buds in places and decided to pot them and place them in the cold frame with the Anget Trumpets, Dicleptera to see if they will survive and root. Discovered that almost all of the AG's have new growth. I don't remember this from years past, not like I am seeing now. There is a White Speedwell plant that just looks really good right now and the white Carnation plant is nice. The White Garden may do well this coming year. Realized this week I need to put some early bulbs in this bed so if I spy a good sale on some bulbs I will plant those. Most of the early bulbs have pushed up through the ground. In just a few weeks there will be bits of color in various areas. I have one of those big purple shamrocks that has never died down. This is the first full year for that one and I am surprised it is still blooming, so although it spreads like wild fire (it is in a pot) it is a good plant to have.
I am pleased with the garden this year, things grew very well on their own and most of the mulching was completed. Hoping to get the rest of the mulch down and perhaps on good days like we are having this week to start thinning out the fence line. That way when spring actually gets here I can relax and enjoy doing the transplanting.
I have never had much luck growing veggies. Again I think part of it is my lazy problem. It does take some keeping up to have a successful crop. However, I still think I will try some cukes, squash, green beans, tomatoes and butternut lettuce. I look to have an abundance of cherry type tomatoes from last years plants. Will have to make a plan for a place to put a garden bed and will be using a frame of some sort just to keep the plants from being right on the bare ground. Perhaps a planting medium like garden soil would work well. And some weed barrier to keep back the unwanted stuff. Red? isn't that the color that aids in production?
I think after I eat some lunch today I will winter sow some annual seeds. Did not get that area cleaned up like I wanted but it might work out OK in the long run. I just don't want to have to spend too many bucks on annual plants next year. And I do want the color, color, color that they bring plus the butterflies and hummers.
I still miss the hummingbirds, they were just so much fun last year. It may have been the addition of plants my neighbor planted. This was the first year she has really filled in her beds with all types of plants and the hummers just loved being in our yards. They are worth a few minutes or a few hours of entertainment.
More To Come Later
is my word for the day. I am playing around with the new Digital picture frame and cannot figure out how to get photos into it from my computer. I says it is there and I guess waiting for me to do my thing. I hate to tell it what I am ready to do to it.
The bug I had is gone now so I did get the little Christmas tree down and the decos I had put up. Still need to put away some fabric items but that is no big deal. And the poor reindeer are still out in the cold, so I will go now and get them put away.
Have a wonderful January 1st, 2009
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