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Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Generous Kid | Garden Bliss!


I have to share this photo,  my Ladybug and Carianne's Winnie, definite BFF's. They nap together at least once a day like this. They are snoozing on a brand new doggie bed, one of six donated to our rescue by Stevie's Furry Friends, Inc. Stevie Nelson is the ASPCA's "Kid Of The Year," and he has an awesome story. This six year old boy decided that for his birthday, rather than getting a gift, he wanted to do something to help rescue dogs. Stevie's Mom got into the project, and ended up raising funds and receiving many in-kind donations from pet product manufacturers to distribute to rescues! You can check out Stevie's website here. Our furkids are extremely grateful for the gift of these wonderfully soft and comfy brand new beds! Thank you so much, Stevie! 

I had the most fun day I've had in a long time this week! There is this amazing private nursery/greenhouse here in my neighborhood. Year before last, my son John took me there for some "happy plant time." I was struggling with every agonizing step back then, so I probably spent 15 minutes (which were heaven, nonetheless) there and gave up.  Last year, I couldn't walk at all in a place like that. Well, this year was different! I went all by myself and just got lost in the plants for a couple of hours. Got acquainted with the owner, and she gave me the grand tour. 

Photo credit to Jeff McCormack
I found some really interesting perennial plants. Have you ever heard of the "Mortgage Lifter" tomato? It's an heirloom, I had heard of it and added to my mental "wish list" to try someday. When the greenhouse lady told me she had them, I did the happy dance!! Supposedly they are 2# tomatoes. She was a great saleswoman – I ended up with a white just-over-cherry size tomato, a purple one, and a couple others. She also talked me into doing a mosquito repellent planter – lemon basil and citrus geranium. She swore she never has mosquitos on her porch with these. They're a huge problem here, and if it works it'll be amazing! Now to find a "puppy safe" spot to put it on the back patio! Macey the white german shepherd pup is so good, but still at that "eat anything" stage of course. She's getting so big, she's 25 pounds now!

Empress Wu Hosta, image source unknown.
I have such a plant wish list. At the top this year is an Empress Wu hosta. I have room for ginormous hostas here. I found one at that nursery for $20, I may have to go back and get it. I'm looking for hostas that are blue, blue/green/yellow combinations, and textured leaves. That's what I appear to be short on. I found my Krossa last year, and a nice Red October. Got butterfly bushes in white, pink and purple. I still need to get the Kaleidoscope, it's awesome. I had one at the farm but it didn't make it here.
Kaleidoscope Butterfly Bush.
Photo credit to "A Garden Place"
Today is veggie garden day. John turned over my new little space for me, and I have rhubarb, asparagus, and Yukon Gold potatoes to plant. Plus seed stuff - parsnips, turnips, corn, lettuce and some squash.  I have two large window box containers of herbs growing out front. The cilantro's beautiful, and the dill just came up. Not sure about the thyme yet. 

I have such a plant wish list. At the top this year is an Empress Wu hosta. I have room for ginormous hostas here. The Empress Wu is the largest hosta known in existence. The clump is around 5 feet around and of similar height.  I found one at that nursery for $20, I may have to go back and get it. I'm looking for hostas that are blue, blue/green/yellow combinations, and textured leaves. That's what I appear to be short on. I found my Krossa last year, and a nice Red October. Got butterfly bushes in white, pink and purple. I still need to get the Kaleidoscope, it's awesome. I had one at the farm but it didn't make it here.

Today is veggie garden day. John turned over my new little space for me, and I have rhubarb, asparagus, and Yukon Gold potatoes to plant. Plus seed stuff - parsnips, turnips, corn, lettuce and some squash.  I have two large window box containers of herbs growing out front. The cilantro's beautiful, and the dill just came up. Not sure about the thyme yet. 

We've gone from the 90's to the low 30's more than once in April. Yesterday was 90º and we're supposed to have a hard freeze next Monday night. Will this craziness never end?




Here's a pic I took last night you might enjoy. I bought this amazing hand painted candle holder when I was in the hospital last month. Last night I lit it up and it was throwing the prettiest shadow on the wall, I tried to capture it. 

Well my friends, I have to run and finish up stuff here so I can get outside. It's supposed to be 70º and gorgeous out. After spending yesterday as a "doctor" day, it will be a welcome change.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Out With The Bunnies, In With .... ???

Well, I've managed to exhaust my pastel cravings with all the Easter projects! You can check them out and get all the patterns here.


Right this minute, I'm putting together a facial/household scrubber pattern for this week's column. The key to success with these is the yarn or thread chosen. Obviously for facial you want one type that is very soft, and another type that gently exfoliates. The answer? Well, a two-sided scrubber, of course! Not only are they fast to crochet up, they're "Green-friendly" too! Those little cotton pads do add up in our landfills. 




Some of my Easter 2012 designs.
My "Out My Window" Garden on March 27th
It's very green outside too, I'm having new plants pop up every single day. It's always so exciting for me to see my old friends again. This will be the third summer for my plants here, I'm betting everything will be bigger and better than ever.  Ron bought a blueberry and blackberry plant, I picked up a Pink Lemonade blueberry and a red raspberry. I moved about 3 dozen strawberry plants from a bed in back yard to the out-my-window garden where the dogs will leave them be.  Maybe we'll have some real fruit this year, especially since I put stuff to prevent worms on the cherry tree! 



I had fun making this little "Mini Zen Garden" for myself out of a bunch of assorted glass pieces and shells I had lying around. Now to turn it into a solar fountain... ha ha. 


Raised Bed Full of Promising Things!
Not having so much success with the seed starting experiment outdoors, however. I think the nights are too chilly. So this morning I brought all the little seeds indoors. As long as I can keep Cari's puppy out of them, they should take off just fine. She has a name now, Macey. How cute! She's completely adorable and full of mischief, as every happy puppy should be. 


Had a very nice Easter dinner out with Cari, John had plans with his girlfriend but he did show up in time to have some strawberry shortcake here at home before it disappeared. There wasn't one scrap left.  Speaking of dessert, I had the most awesome thing at dinner. Orange cake with orange icing! It was so yummy and done just a bit on the tangy side, the way I like it. I'll have to make one of those sometime. 



Finally gave in and bought some Starbucks k-cups for my Keurig. And yes, it is just as good as what you get in their shops.  I need to get something that says "powered by coffee" or some such thing! I have been trying to convert to half-caff for my last cup of the day, usually about 1-2 a.m!!


Got some new clippers so all the Schnauzers are in for haircuts this month. I'm sure they'll be thrilled!


Well, off to do my household chores... wish I could train one of the dogs to dustmop! 

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