Viewing PAgirl60's Garden Diary: January, February, March 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
BRRRR........38 degrees and very windy at 4:50 pm. Expected overnite low of 18 degrees!!!!
What a change in only a matter of a few days. The forecast for the rest of the week is chilly temps with a few nights and mornings in the teens to 20's. The first thing I thought was, "What should I do about my winter sown containers with growing sprouts?" I have about 30 containers. Drag them into the garage? Into the house? Nah. I'm gonna pretty much let 'em tough it out. They are WINTER SOWN. They are mostly hardy annuals, and a few perennials. They will survive if they are meant to. And I think the majority will. And I have plenty of seeds left to sow if I have to. But ... I did break them up into 3 groups and covered them with old blankets to offer them a little protection.
I never did any indoor seed sowing before (I really don't have the room) but this year I'm going to try indoor sowing a few things. Sweet Peas, Morning Glory, and Moonflowers. I had grown MG and MF last year (direct sowed outside in June) but it was really already too late by then. They both did grow, but I only got a few MG flowers (in October) and NO Moonflowers at all. The first week of April I'm going to start both MG and MF seeds in peat pots INSIDE. When they germinate, I'll move them either to a small table in front of my sliding glass door in the kitchen or put them on a shelf in the garage. The shelf is opposite a window where the sun shines in all afternoon. In 6 weeks or so (middle to end of May), hopefully, I'll have decent sized plants I can harden off and plant outside.
As for Sweet Peas, I had recently bought some Sweet Pea seeds (vining type), and according to the package, they are supposed to be Spring bloomers that like cool temps. Normally our Springs last till about mid June. Hubby recently put a new trellis up on the front of the house for me, so I figured I'd give sweet peas a try! I planted some in peat peat pots 2 days ago, covered them with plastic wrap, and placed them on top of my water heater. I would have preferred putting them on top of the fridge, but Bob likes to perch up there. I was afraid he might knock the pots onto the floor. When they germinate, I'll put them into the garage by the window for awhile. I will try to get them hardened off and planted outside as soon as they're big enough.
Now, if the weather would just co-operate. ....
Friday, March 23, 2012
Living in the Mountains ...50 degrees and sunny at 7:30 am. Expected high of 70 degrees. Overnite low of 47 degrees.
Yesterday I had a lot of errands to do, but did manage to get some time in puttering around outside in the yard. I applied some granular fertilizer to my front garden bed and also mixed in some sand to make drainage a little better. The soil seems to hold too much moisture. One of my oriental poppies looks like it might be suffering from root rot and I'm hoping adding the sand might help. I also fed the shrubs (burning bush, boxwoods, and UNKNOWN shrub- it was here when we moved in, but no tag ) as well as the bulbs planted underneath the tree in the front yard.
I've been leaving the tops off my wintersown containers during the day for the past week. It's nice to see all those little green sprouts. Everyday there seems to be something new coming up. The newbies yesterday were some purple coneflower, dwarf snapdragons, rose campion, and green garden peas making their first appearance. I also noticed some shirley poppies sprouting in my flower pots planted with crocus. I had sprinkled some in about a week ago just for the heck of it. Unfortunately, this wonderfully warm, summer-like weather is going to end starting tomorrow. It's going to get a LOT cooler with some rain is on the way. And some morning temps in the 30's for the beginning of next week. BRRR! Actually, this will be what is TYPICALLY March weather. But it's supposed to rebound back into the high 60's again by the end of next week.
Yesterday in my travels I was driving south, and about 20 minutes from my house, I passed a row of bright yellow forsythias in full bloom! As I kept driving I saw blooming crocus and daffodils and even noticed a definate greening on some of the trees. I couldn't help but feel a little jealous. The lower lying areas start their SPRING about 3-4 weeks earlier than the mountain areas do. My crocus are just starting to bloom and my daffodils don't even have buds yet.
But up here you'll hear people say, "So, when do you think we're gonna have our next snowstorm?" LOL
Monday, March 19, 2012
Tomorrow is the FIRST DAY OF SPRING69 degrees and clear at 7:07 pm. Expected overnite low of 47 degrees.
It hit 73 degrees here today! It's supposed to be in the mid 70's for the rest of the week. The weekend will bring a cold front and a little rain, but the temps are supposed to be still a little above average even through the following week. Amazing.
I have more winter sown seeds a popping. Today it is Rudbeckia. In the last couple of days it's been dianthus, California Poppies, asters, baby's breath, and lettuce. The official First Day of Spring is tomorrow, but we've had snowstorms in March and April in the past. If that happens I'll have to bring the more tender "babies" into the garage.
BOB is just loving this weather. He stays out all day long. Today I saw him standing guard over a bunch of rocks near the back deck of the house. I just had to see what he was looking at. I saw somthing scamper out and then run right back under the rocks when BOB pounced. Thought it was a mouse, but it was a mole. Either way I hate 'em! And BOB is a very good mouser. He's always bringing "presents" to the back door for hubby and me. He continued to stand guard for a while longer, but then got bored, I guess, and he went running off into the woods behind the house. For anyone who might not know, BOB's full name is SPONGE BOB SQUARE PANTS. We adopted him from the neighbors when they moved this past October. He's about 9 months old now. Recently we decided to change his name to BIG BOB DIRTY PANTS because he must be rolling around in mud or something. He's always DIRTY! LOL
My hubby went back to work tonight. He had been out on Worker's Comp for about a month. He injured his hip and banged up his fingers. He went back at "Light Duty". He called me earlier and told me that they have him doing paperwork and some computer work. Definately not the norm for him considering he works in the maintenance department. BUT ... he is very good at detailed things like paperwork and can do easy things on a computer. Anyway, he has one more MRI to go for (his back) and he's still going to PT twice a week. Just got to take each day as it comes.
*** NEWS FLASH*** In my front garden, little nubs from 2 Bleeding Hearts and from 1 Astilbe has been sighted! And I've got something coming up in the very corner of the front garden, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS!!!!
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Busy Day ...57 degrees and clear at 9:00 pm. Expected overnite low of 46 degrees.
What a busy day! In the morning, while my hubby was in the garage cutting lumber and hanging shelves on the walls, my stepson was doing some outside painting. He worked mainly on the back deck putting a light chocolate color solid stain (the same color as the rest of the deck) on my potting table work area and also on my built in plant stands. While he was doing that I started on the Wishing Well in the yard. Using the same stain, I put a fresh coat on the well body and the scalloped roof. I painted the outside trim white. I still have to paint the top inside supports (going to make them white) and I'm thinking of adding a little more white trim along the top of the well. If I don't like it, I can always paint it brown.
After lunch my neighor's little girl, Kelly, came over to help me in the front garden. She's only 9, so I'm only going to have her help me do little things around the yard. Today, I had her picking medium size pieces of gravel out of my flower bed (tossed in by the snowblower from the stone driveway) and putting them into a bucket. It took awhile cause it was very tedious and there were a LOT of stones in the garden. She worked for about and hour and I gave her three dollars. She was very happy! And so was I. I hate doing stuff like that. LOL While she had been doing that, I was digging out some of the heavy fill dirt that I had foolishly dumped into the little flower bed under the tree in the front of the house in the Fall. Have to get some topsoil or compost to put in there.
After dinner, hubby and I went to Lowe's and we bought 3 holly bushes, 2 Blue Princesses and 1 Blue Prince to plant in front of the house as foundation plantings. It will look kind of sparse for a couple of years until the hollies start to grow and spread, but I'll tuck in some annuals or some perennials that stay small here and there to fill in the gaps. We still want to also get some forsythias to put in other areas around the property.
Ah, I just love Spring. :>)
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Happy St. Patrick\'s Day56 degrees at 8:30 pm and clear. Expected overnite low of 45 degrees.
Today was another sunny, mild, beautiful day. I started the day by making pancakes for breakfast for me and hubby and then he went out to run some errands. While he was gone I began preparing ... dinner. Since we were having company coming at 4 this afternoon for an early dinner, I started putting together my corned beef and cabbage. I decided to put everything into my crockpot. That way I wouldn't have to watch the pot and I could go play in the dirt for awhile. I knew that the cabbage might be a little soggy after cooking so long, but ... "hey", I'm the cook!
Anyway, I headed outside to the back deck to bask in the sunshine. I opened the tops on all my winter sown containers, gave a little water to the ones that needed a drink, and checked on the overall progress. Lots of little sprouts in my WS combo cottage garden flowerpot. My pot of WS California and Mixed colors Poppies are starting to push up through the soil, and I've got a container of WS baby's breath sprouting all over. Good signs. I also checked on my 2 direct sown flower boxes - garden peas and lettuce - but nothing yet. Still too early.
I then walked to the front of the house to check my front garden bed. I could see that the soil was drying out a bit now since the temps had warmed. My Oriental Poppies, a few of my shastas, some asters, and my scabiosa are all standing up a little straighter. I don't think my bleeding hearts or astilbes made it. Don't see any sign of them. :>(
I've got daffodil and some crocus tips (the squirrels obviously didn't get all the crocus) getting greener and taller under the tree in the front of the house. On the deck by the front door, the flower pots planted in the Fall with daffodils, windflowers, and crocus are all growing nicely. Should see crocus blooms pretty soon. The daffs have a ways to go yet. I've also got some pots on the side of the house with windflowers and daffs that are also growing nicely. Don't expect blooms for a while yet. For the heck of it, I sprinkled some Shirley poppy seeds into all the pots . Maybe the poppies will take over when the all the bulbs are finished blooming.
IA few days ago I had taken my 2 pots of mums and my pot of catnip that had been in the garage all winter and relocated them to the back of the house along the foundation wall. They get morning sun there and they seem to be doing ok. In a week or so I'm going to take some small clumps of mums and plant them in the front garden bed and see how they do there. There will be dappled sun and shade in that garden from about 12 -5. If they do ok, there will be nice color in the garden in the Fall. The pot of catnip I'll put on a rail on the back deck. So far BOB doesn't bother it all.
I have a bit of a dilema. I had completely forgotten about the peony roots I bought in Walmart about 2 weeks ago. I had put them in the computer room under the little desk where we keep our bills, papers, pens etc. I discovered them last night and found that they had started to sprout! Well, I did some quick researching online and took what I thought would be the best course of action. I took the roots out of the package and put them into a bucket of cool water and soaked the overnite. Since I hadn't prepared a spot for them in the ground outside, I filled up 2 large pots with soil mix, added some bonemeal to the pots, and then wet the soil down until it was moist, but not soggy. I took the roots from the bucket and planted each one shallowly into a pot, barely covering the "eyes" with soil. There isn't much foliage, but it is visible above the soil line. I then lightly watered the pots and tucked them into a shady corner of the back deck. The instructions on the package that the Peony roots came in said NOT TO WATER them until new growth begins to show to discourage ROOT ROT. I don't know about that. I don't want the pot to dry out either. I'll keep an eye on the pots and water if I think it's necessary. I'm hoping the Peonies will do all right, grow new foilage and strong roots, and be hardy enough to transplant into the ground in very late Summer, early Fall. We'll see ...
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I saw an Eagle today ...68 degrees and partly sunny at 6:50 pm. Expected overnite low of 39 degrees.
Today was another beautiful day. Sunny and in the 60's. Yesterday I planted my garden peas and lettuce. And today I made a trellis for the peas with wood barb-be-cue skewers and fishing line. I really don't know if it's going to work. It's kinda flimsy. But who knows?
Yesterday and today I was picking gravel from the driveway out of my front flowerbed. I think the larger stones got kicked up by the snowblower right into the bed. Snowblower? Yeah, we did use it ... twice I think. While I was doing that I noticed that more and more perennials are popping up in the flowerbed even though it's really early for some of them. It's got to be the warm weather we are having. From what I heard on the news/weather report, this warm weather pattern is supposed to continue for another 2 weeks at the least. I'll DEFINATELY take it. :>))
Today hubby had an appointment for an MRI of his hip. As we were driving along, about a mile from our house, I saw a Bald Eagle land on the top of a half dead tree right on a busy main road. I have seen Eagles before up here in the mountains, but not where we live. There was no mistaking that pure white feathered head. They are just BEAUTIFUL.
Sunday, March 11, 201257 degrees and clear at 7:11 pm. Expected overnite low of 36 degrees.
What a gloriously beautiful day! Spent a lot of time outdoors today. Early this morning my hubby finished sanding down an old, beat up milkcan that the neighbor( who had moved in October) had given us. After brushing off all the dust, my hubby painted the can with white exterior paint. After it dried he touched up a few areas that he couldn't get with a brush with a can of white spray paint. It looks great! I'm going to look for some pretty decals to decorate it with. Since there is no top for it, I think I will put a small pot of some kind of flowers where the lid would sit.
While he was doing that, I scrubbed down 2 flower boxes with a bleach/water solution and then rinsed them really well. I left them out on the back deck to dry. Tomorrow I plan on sowing some peas in one, and lettuce seeds in the other. I'm soaking some seeds for the peas in water overnight on my kitchen counter. I also checked my pot of mini roses that I have sitting in front of the sliding glass door in the kitchen. I have some new leaves pushing out on one rose. No new growth on the other 2 yet, but the stems are nice and green and healthy looking.
After I finished checking the min roses, I checked my WS containers and watered the ones that were getting dry. Then I watered my flower pots (the ones that I had potted up in the Fall with bulbs) and also watered the pots that had overwintered along the foundation along the southeast side of the house. I noticed I have windflowers and violas coming up in two of those pots. I also have 2 pots of rooted forsythia cuttings over there.
Moving along, I walked to the front of the house and began pulling away some of the leaf mulch from my front flower bed. The soil seemed really wet underneath. The temps here for the week are supposed to be in the 60's, so at least now the soil will have a chance to dry out some.
Then it was straighten out the garage time. Hubby tackled his tools and his assorted collection of odd pieces of cut lumber, and I started sorting out my gardening ... STUFF. My gardening stuff was kind of ALL OVER the garage, but the shelves where I stored my pots, plastic containers, and garden chatchkies was a real mess. I threw out a lot of the plastic containers. I really didn't need them since I'm done with my winter sowing.
BUT, I like to do some late Spring, early Summer sowing. That's why I kept the 2 large seedling flats (the kind that starter plants come in) for when I later start my seeds for zinnias, cosmos, mexican sunflowers, marigolds and such. I know they're easy to direct sow, but I find that if I start them in in seed flats and let them get to a good size, I have less trouble with Slugs than if I directly seeded them into my flower garden. Anyway, I did throw out a lot of other stuff and things are a lot more orderly now.
We were almost finished when I noticed the wood trellis tucked away in a corner of the garage. We had bought it last year but never put it up anywhere. Well ... you know what that means. : >} So ... it is now fastened to a spot on the front of the house near the front door. I don't know what I want to put on it, but I'll definately find SOMETHING. He He He !
I have to say I really felt good about what my hubby and I accomplished today. :>))
Oh, and I even got a bit of a sunburn on my face!
Friday, March 9, 2012
Bought more seeds37 degrees at 3:22 pm. Expected overnite low of 19 degrees.
Crazy weather ... again. Yesterday was lovely, mild and breezy. Overnite the wind was whipping, the temps dropped, and this morning it was 30 degrees with a dusting of snow on the ground. Saturday is supposed to be a bit warmer and then ...... drum roll!!!!! 60's later next week! Yay!
I've been picking up packs of seeds in my travels the last few days. Dollar stores, drug stores, hardware stores, and Walmart were calling my name. :>))) At ACE hardware I bought more Forget Me Nots seeds at 3 packs for a dollar. I was looking for Ornamental Grass seeds and also bought a pack of Pony Tails. They looked nice, but I am so disappointed. I looked them up online, and they are hardy only to zone 7. :>(
In Walmart I bought Shirley Poppy & Gaillardia, small packs for 50 cents and 20 cents. I only needed a little for pots.
And in Walmart ... I think, I bought vegetable seeds! I'm gonna try them in pots. They're all Burpee. I bought Simpson Elite Lettuce, Dark Seeded Early Perfection Peas, and Cucumber seeds - Picklebush. I'm going to put the lettuce & peas in window boxes. But I think I will use a very large pot for the cukes. I'll start the peas and lettuce beginning of April and start the cucumbers in mid May.
I have more seeds than I'll ever use (LOL) but I just want to experiment and see what happens!
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Feels like Spring ...55 degrees and sunny at 3:50 pm. Expected overnite low of 37 degrees.
What a beautiful, sunny day. Got outside today and checked out the flowerbeds to see what might be peeking out from underneath the leaf mulch. Found some green on the oriental poppies, shastas, rudbeckia, and scabiosa. Really surprised the scabiosa wintered over. Don't see anything so far for my bleeding hearts. Hope I didn't lose them. :>(
The daffodils, crocus, and windflowers are all coming up in the pots I had put together in the Fall. They look really good compared to the daffodils I had planted in the small garden under the tree in front of the house. I think the ones I planted in the garden by the tree were being suffocated by the heavy, cement-like dirt that I added from the pile of Fill dirt that was delivered in the Fall. The Fill was for leveling out low areas around the property. It had been an afterthought to add some of it to the flowerbed. Anyway, was able today to rake it right off the top of the GOOD soil. The daffs are all coming up, but they look more white than green. But I think they will be all right. Sprinkled and raked in a little bonemeal and watered them.
I then walked around, and with a rake, worked the soil around the bases of a few trees and small bushes. Gave them all a shot of bonemeal, raked it in, and then gave them all a good, long drink of water, too. About a week ago, I had tossed out some poppy seeds here and there. We really haven't had any rain since then, only a 2 inch coating of snow that didn't last long. So, I watered those areas today as well.
I checked my winter sown containers and found that I just have a couple of bachelor buttons sprouting. Being in the mountains it's a lot colder up here. Things don't really start GROWING here for about another 3-4 weeks. In the lowlands, daffodils are up about 6 inches or are already in bloom in some places. Have to keep in mind, that although today was in the 50's, our last frost date here is around May 15th.
I noticed the other day that the local nurseries and Home Depot have Forsythia bushes for sale. I took some cuttings from a friend last summer and they overwintered in pots. So, I'll have tiny bushes to plant when it gets a bit warmer. I also picked up some veggie seeds to try in pots this year.
Burpee Dark Seeded Early Perfection Peas
Burpee Picklebush Cucumbers
Burpee Simpson Elite Lettuce
I can start the peas and lettuce early, but will have to wait on the cukes awhile. I am also thinking about starting some Ornamental Grass from seeds.
I am REALLY DOING A LOT OF EXPERIMENTING this year, but I'm really looking forward to it! :>))
Thursday, March 1, 201234 degrees and cloudy at 5:30 pm. Expected overnite low of 28 degrees.
Still crazy weather here. Yesterday light snow began falling about 10 in the morning and by noon it was turning to sleet and freezing rain. According to the weather report in the morning, there was supposed to be a changeover from snow to sleet, but not until late afternoon. I guess Mother Nature didn't hear the report. LOL
Anyway, hubby and I were coming back from his PT appointment which ended at noon and the roads were getting very icy. We were driving north up the hill in Mt Pocono on Route 611 and everyone was driving like snails. But someone going south down the hill was obviously going too fast. This person, driving a big Mercedes SUV, spun out and the truck was going down the hill sideways. I don't really know what happened after we got further up the hill, but we saw later on the local news that the driver got into a fight with a police officer and 2 paramedics who had arrived on the scene.
As we continued along we saw another driver in an SUV, also heading south down the hill, almost take out a telephone pole. Then as we neared home, about 200 feet from the entrance to our development, we spied another large SUV also going south that had rolled over. A police car was just pulling up as we turned into our development. The strange thing about all this is that all 3 vehicles we had seen were all SUV'S, each one was black, and all were heading south. I wonder if they were all out-of-staters? Being locals, we are USED to driving in this type of weather up in the mountains. And you just crawl along if you have to. Or you stay home if you can. I was very happy when we walked into our house, though.
Very early this morning there was ice coating everything. But later the temps began to rise and the ice began melting. The warmer temps made it foggy, but the roads were good. I don't know about tonight. It's supposed to be in the upper 20's and things will probably freeze up again. But tomorrow's supposed to be pretty nice, rain Saturday, and clear weather Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. And by the middle of next week ... temps in the 50's!
I am SO ready for SPRING ....
Monday, February 27, 2012
Beautiful Day44 degrees and clear at 7:45 pm. Expected overnite low of 26 degrees.
Beautiful day! Sunshine, blue skies and temps in the mid 40's. Did a little running around today. Hubby had his first physical therapy visit. Walked out hurting more than when he walked in! I certainly can sympathize. Back in 2010 I had to go for PT for quite awhile for a back injury. I needed an ice pack when I left. It did get better after awhile. Anyway, hubby will be going for PT 3 times a week for about 4-6 weeks. He has follow-up visits with the hand specialist and the Ortho doc beginning of next week. He's coming along.
I spent some this afternoon ... outside. Since the bulb pots I had in the garage were sprouting up a storm, I decided to drag them outside. I put them along the side of the house with the other pots that have been outside all winter. Crocus and Daffodils planted outside are coming up about this time, so I'm pretty sure the pots I put outside today will be fine.. For the next week highs are going to be in the 40's. Except for Wednesday, maybe a rain/snow mix is expected that day. Par for the course. Here in the Poconos we usually get some snow in March and April anyway.
I also took some corn poppy seeds, rose campion, california poppy, and some coneflower seeds and did a little direct sowing. First, I took a rake and roughed up some dirt patches near my mailbox and also out on top of a berm about 25 feet from the road. I took the seeds mixed them with sand in a small bucket and tossed them out over the raked areas. I patted the areas gently with my foot to set the seed, then scooped up some handfuls of snow from nearby grassy areas and sprinkled it all over the seeded areas. I probably put too much seed down, but I just couldn't help myself. Spring Fever made me do it!!! he he he
Friday, February 24, 2012
Strange Weather ...35 degrees and light rain at 6:20 pm. Expected overnite low of 27 degrees.
What a strange 24 hour period. Yesterday it was predicted that our area would have a mix of snow and freezing rain overnite with little or no snow accumulation. Well, I got up this morning to about 4 inches of snow on the ground with a coating of ice underneath. It was also very foggy with light rain. For the rest of the day it remained dreary and rainy, but the temps rose and a lot of the snow melted. Even heard a couple of rumbles of thunder this afternoon. Tonite the rain is supposed to stop. It's supposed to, get very windy, and a lot colder. At least through Saturday and Sunday. Then another warm up into the high 40's during next week. Mother Nature must be in one of her "moods". LOL
Last night I decided to transplant my 4 remaining mini roses ( I lost another one) into a 17 inch pot. Following the directions I had found on a thread on the GardenWeb forum, I pruned them up a bit and then carefully removed them one by one from their 6 inch pot. Then I took them and placed them into a bucket filled with warm water, deep enough to just cover the roots. While they were soaking, I began filling up the larger pot with potting mix ...with a little sand and bonemeal mixed in. I didn't pre-moisten it. Then I scooped out a hole for each mini.
I have to say, I was amazed at how LONG the ROOTS were on these little plants when I took them out of the bucket of water. Carefully, I spread the roots out on each plant as I placed it into a hole in the new pot. I covered each plant with soil and gently tapped the soil into place at the base of the plant. I DIDN'T water the plants as per the directions on the GW thread. The directions had stated to wait 12-24 hours to let whatever water was in the roots leach into the dry soil first. Then I set the pot on a thin layer of gravel I had placed in the separate flower pot saucer. I gave the plants a quick spritz of water from the spray bottle and put the flower pot on the kitchen table near the window.
Well, they were still alive this morning! The cats had left them alone and they hadn't died of thirst overnite. LOL I did move the pot though. I put the pot on the kitchen floor near the sliding glass door where the minis would get a lot more light for a good part of the day. The pot is far enough away from the door to keep it safe from chills or drafts. I gave the minis some water late this afternoon and spritzed them again. And ... the cats are STILL leaving the pot alone. Hopefully, in 3-4 weeks there will be new growth. If they do survive, they will be moved outside when the weather gets warmer.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Doing Better ...45 degrees at 3:00 pm and sunny. Expected overnite low of 33 degrees.
Well, hubby went to see the Ortho doctor yesterday afternoon. Nothing broken with the hip, but there is some nerve damage. The doc was very thorough and very nice. He prescibed different pain meds and gave hubby a script for physical therapy for 4-6 weeks at 3 X a week. Hubby starts PT this coming Monday. He also won't be returning to work for at least a month, and the Ortho doc gave him a form stating so. Hubby will be seeing both the Ortho Doc and the Hand Doc for a follow up in 2 weeks. He doesn't have to go back to the first Comp doctor since he's now being treated by the two specialists. After PT is finished a determination will be made as to what kind of work hubby will be able to do when he does return to work.
Hubby is feeling a bit better. There still pain in the hip, but as long as he takes it easy walking things aren't too bad. The fingers still hurt but not as bad. Sometimes cortisone injections can take a few days to start to work. Just have to wait and see what happens when he goes back to see the Hand Doc.
Not much going on in the garden. Since the temps have been in the 40's the past few days, at least the snow we had is finally melting. I checked my winter sown containers today and found that a few of them were drying out a bit. I watered them well and closed up the covers again. The temps are supposed to dip back down again this weekend.
The combination pots of daffodils, crocus, and windflowers that have been in the garage all winter are all sprouting. I think I may take them outside the first week of March and put them in a shady spot at first. Once they've acclimated for a few days, then I'll move them to a sunnier location.
The hyacinths that I got for Valentine's day are now in full bloom and the scent in the house is heavenly. :>)))
My 6 inch pot of mini roses is still hanging in there One plant died, but the other 5 look pretty good. I snipped off the flowers as they faded and I've been picking off any wilting buds and dead, dried leaves that form. I've been watering the pot about every 2 days and also placed the pot onto a tray of gravel to provide more humidity for the plants. I also did some research on mini roses and very soon I'm going to transplant 3 of the mini roses into one large 18" pot. The little roses will then have plenty of room to stretch their little roots. And hopefully GROW. The 2 remaining roses I think I might pot up separately into 8 inchs pots. The only drawback is I will have to keep the pots in the house until it's warm enough to bring them outside. Mid April or thereabouts. I'm crossing my fingers ....
Monday, February 20, 2012
NOT HAVING A GOOD TIME ...36 degrees and sunny at 2:45 pm. Expected overnite low of 20 degrees.
Things took a nosedive for hubby and me this past Thursday. He fell at work. He tripped over the wheel of a swivel chair and crashed into some cabinets before landing on his hip on the floor. He dislocated his ring finger on his right hand and banged up his thumb on his left hand. He hurt his left knee and bruised his right hip. He was taken from his job to the ER of our local hospital where they checked him over and took X-Rays. What a mess! Needless to say, he filed a Worker's Comp claim. On Friday afternoon he went to see a WC doctor. After checking him out, the doc gave him a script for pain meds and set him up with a hand specialist for today, Monday. And also Hubby has to go back next Friday for a follow-up with the comp doctor. Oh, but the story doesn't end there.
On Friday hubby had been prescribed PERCOCET by the comp doc and on Saturday he very quickly discovered he could not tolerate it AT ALL! Around 5 o'clock he took 1 percocet pill, and about 15 minutes after he had taken it (with food) he began having stomach pains. Very bad stomach pains. Then came cold sweats, and then the vomiting began ... for hours. By 2 am Sunday morning, he was in an ambulance on his way back to the hospital. He was severely dehydrated and disorientated. The hospital ran blood work and hooked him up to an IV to pump him with fluids. They also gave him something for the nausea. By 6 am he was cleared to go home. The stomach pains, nausea, and vomiting had stopped (thank God) and for a good part of the rest of Sunday, we slept (I had been up all night with hubby too). By Sunday nite hubby was drinking water and managed to get a little jello into him. But he said he felt like someone had beat him with a bat. He ached all over. His hip was killing him and his fingers throbbed with pain.
Today, Monday, hubby went to see the hand specialist and he took X-Rays of hubby's hands. The doctor said hubby had tendon damage in his two fingers and decided to give him cortisone injections. Painful! Painful! I have never seen my husband cry, but there were tears in his eyes when the doctor gave him the injections. He has to see him again in 2 weeks. And tomorrow, Tuesday, hubby is going to see and Ortho Doc for his hip pain.
You know what the real kicker is, though? The Comp doctor said hubby can go back to work right away, but with RESTRICTIONS. OCCASIONAL standing, sitting, and walking are ok. But no bending or squatting and no lifting anything over 10 pounds. HUH? Hubby works in a MAINTENANCE department and does all those things on a regular basis. How exactly do you "occasionally" walk, sit, or stand?" Right now he has difficulty walking and can't manipulate his fingers too well. Comp doctors are nuts! Today hubby retained an attorney (we have used before) in case things really get "crazy".
Things are going to be very interesting for the next few weeks ....
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Strange stuff falling from the sky37 degrees and snowing. Expected overnite low of 30 degrees.
Flurries ... well, these "flurries" have been going on all day. We have about 3 inches of "flurries" on the ground.Sure looks like snow to me.
Bob is outside somewhere. I guess he likes the snow. Go figure.
All my little winter sown seed containers are outside on my back deck covered with snow.
Gee, I've used the word "snow" in every sentence. Gee what else can I use the word "snow" with?
I'm good at this. I bet I could get a job on "Sesame Street" teaching kids about "snow".
I need a ... nap.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Happy Valentine\'s Day36 degrees and clear at 7:04 pm. Expected overnite low of 29 degrees.
Today is Valentine's Day, it's also me and my hubby's wedding anniversary. Hubby and I had a nice day. Didn't go anywhere, had a nice early dinner (about 1:30). I made a nice oven stuffer roaster, chicken flavored rice, and fresh asparagus. Asparagus is such a weird vegetable, but it's so yummy. Hubby left for work about 3 as usual, and I spent the next few hours playing with "dirt". I wintersowed some garlic chives, coreopsis, and blue flax. I'm just about out of potting soil now. Probably will pick some up over the weekend.
For a Valentine's Day/Wedding anniversary gift, hubby gave me a box of chocolates and flowers. Well, I didn't really get flowers ...today. I actually picked out my own "flowers" this past Sunday. We had been at the supermarket and I had chosen a 6" pot of pink mini roses and two small pots of hyancinths with one budding bulb in each. I don't have any idea what color these hyacinths will be, so it will be a surprise! After they finish blooming I'll plant them outside.
Now the mini roses are a whole different enchilada! I've only had a mini rose bush once ... and killed it. But I have a friend who planted one in front of her house years ago and it's almost 4 feet high and blooms like gangbusters. If she could do it, so could I ! So I did some research. A LOT OF RESEARCH.
For one, I discovered I have 6 little rose bushes in this little 6" pot! Crammed in together like that, they will definately NOT be HAPPY. MR do not really make good houseplants. They are fussy when they are inside. They need lots of sun, can develop spider mite problems, need humidity, and the list goes on. For most people, housebound mini roses usually just CROAK.
Roses ... any kind of roses want to be OUTSIDE in the SUN. They also love water and fertilizer and like a lot of room to grow! I just hope I can keep these alive long enough to be able to move them outside. I could separate them all now and pot them up individually giving them more room. Or I could let them finish blooming and then pot them up.
I think I'm gonna let them finish blooming first. Hopefully, I'll get 2-3 weeks out of them. Then I'll divide them, pot them, and let them sulk. After being transplanted, they won't do much for a couple of weeks.. As long as they stay alive, I've got a shot. At first, I'll keep them in the house and see how they do. If they don't seem happy, I'll move them into the garage. If they make it, hopefully, by April they can start to spend some time outside. Then I'll figure out what I'm going to do with them.
Roses ... I never knew a flower could have an "attitude".
Monday, February 13, 2012
Not Much Doin'29 degrees and partly cloudy at 11:12 pm. Expected overnite low of 21 degrees.
Nothing really happening in the garden. Every day for the past 4-5 days, we've had either light snow or snow showers on and off. Right now all the grassy areas are covered with about 3 inches of snow. Today we had a break. It was rather nice ... clear skies and sun for a good part of the day and temps in the mid 30's. Tomorrow is supposed to be even nicer! But ... there's always a "but" ... Wednesday it's a mix of snow/sleet/rain. Blah! But it is February and the winter hasn't been bad at all.
This afternoon I went outside with some stale bread (few remaining slices at the very bottom of the bag) and tore them into pieces and tossed them out on the snow for the birds, deer, squirrels - whatever might show up. I then walked around to the side of the house to see how my pots stashed against the foundation wall were doing. Even though there is no roof overhang there, the pots had no snow on them at all. I checked them and felt that they were moist. I guess whatever snow was on them had melted when the sun hit them. Hmmn ... I'll have to make a notation somewhere that this area might be a very dry area for any kind of future planting.
Oh, one last thought. At 5:00 o'clock it's STILL light outside. THAT makes me VERY happy. :>)))
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
I'm Motivated35 degrees and very cloudy at 6:30 pm. Expected overnite low of 19.
Today was a pretty ordinary day. Did pretty normal stuff. In the morning made breakfast for hubby and me, cleaned up the dishes, cleaned the cat litter, and did a small load of wash. Doing wash was not really planned, but somehow I wound up with globs of dried oatmeal all over my robe. Later, I sorted bills, balanced the checkbook (yay), and cut up some milk containers for winter sowing. I don't usually use milk containers for winter sowing, but lately they have been accruing since I started drinking more milk.
For about 2 weeks now I've been basically trying to eat healthier. I'm having more dairy products like fat free milk, low fat yogurts and low fat cheezes (when I can find them). I'm eating more salads, fruits, vegetables and whole grain breads, rice, and pasta. I don't eat a lot of red meat - steak is a special treat - but I like chicken and fish. And I still eat eggs.
For the longest time I drank diet sodas and crystal lite drinks, but stopped them completely. I mainly wanted to get away from artifical sweetners. It may sound crazy, but now I add one teaspoon of regular sugar to coffee or tea. "Got to have my morning cup of coffee and my nightly cup of green tea." I mostly drink water during the day now, and I also make sure I get 2 glasses of milk in during the day. I kind of went off my new routine a bit this past weekend, but got right back into it on Sunday. Oh, and another reason for trying to eat better is I want to be NICE to my LIVER. I had gallbladder surgery in 2008, and because I no longer have a gallbladder, my liver has to work a lot harder now.
I don't smoke ... did for only a short amount of time when I was a kid. So I'm good there. And I'm getting started on moving this body more. I've got back issues (herniated discs) so I have to be careful. I've started some low impact aerobics (got an old Richard Simmons dvd) that I do in a modifed form. Once March rolls around I want to start walking outside on days when it's nice.
I haven't felt this motivated in a long time. I hope I can stick with it!
Monday, February 6, 2012
I\'m Still Here ...38 degrees and clear at 9:30 pm. Expected overnite low of 24 degrees.
I haven't written anything for days! Heck, I'm in February now. It's not that I haven't been lurking here on DG. Just got caught up with other stuff, I guess.
My hubby and my 2 stepsons took me out for dinner to celebrate my birthday this past Saturday. (Today is actually my BD, but we celebrated Saturday). Went to Texas Roadhouse. They have great steaks! I also had this razzberry ice tea with vodka drink that came in this huge goblet glass. My usual drink is just a glass of wine, but I wanted something fruity and different. This was different ... and a LOT of it. I couldn't even finish it.
Maybe it would have been better if I had finished it.
I should have seen it coming, but I didn't. A group of singing and clapping waiters and waitresses made a BEELINE for our table. I wanted to crawl under the table. They sang and clapped their hearts out. YeeHaw! They also wheeled over this little horse thing with a saddle. You want this 61 year old broad to do WHAT? Sit on it? NO WAY! Not in this lifetime ....
I was never so happy to see a group of people say "Happy Birthday" and then quickly scamper away.
Sunday was quiet. Did a little grocery shopping ... pretty necessary when there's no milk or bread in the house.
This morning my hubby was up before me and got the coffee started. Then a little while later he came back into the bedroom and handed me a small box. He had bought me a watch for my birthday! The one I had crapped out on me about 2 months ago and I really missed not having it. What a sweetie!!!
All in all, I did have a very nice birthday weekend. YEEHAW!!
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Last day of January ...48 degrees and cloudy at 10:10 pm. Expected overnite low of 35.
Today was a pretty nice day. The temps were in the mid 40's, but it was a little windy which made it feel cooler.
This afternoon I managed to get a little more winter sowing done. Today I WS:
So far I have 14 containers out on the back deck, a mix of annuals and perennials. I still have a small amount of perennials seeds left to winter sow and I'll try and get them done very soon.
I also have annuals like zinnias, mexican sunflowers, marigolds etc., but I won't WS those until probably late April. We stay pretty cold here and a late Spring frost could easily wipe them out if I WS them too early. Besides, it will give me time to go and scope out the new seed selections that are slowly trickling into stores now. Walmart and Kmart got some in recently, but they seem to be the "SAMO ... SAMO" seeds. Haven't seen any yet in Home Depot, Lowes, or the Dollar stores in my neck of the woods. And the local nurseries won't be opening for another month or so.
My favorite place to go is a large garden center in Dunmore, PA called Jerry's For All Seasons. Early March should probably be the right time to visit. They sell nice, healthy plants ... great selections of seeds, and great garden decor. Even if I don't buy anything (which is rare) It's still a great place to just spend time browsing. : >)))
Boy, do I have Spring Fever!!!
Monday, January 30, 2012
Eyeglasses ... paints... and Bob27 degrees at 6:22 pm and cloudy. Expected overnite low of 23 degrees.
It wasn't a very busy weekend. Didn't really do too much on Saturday cause hubby was really very tired. He works a 4-12 shift during the week and come Saturday he's usually really beat. We just kind of putzed around the house.
On Sunday we took a ride to the Mall and just walked around looking at stuff on sale and we went to Sears Optical to check out a special on eyeglasses - 2 pairs for $99 including progressives. My glasse are fiine, but hubby's lenses were terribly scratched up. He did find a frame he liked and bought the special. The price got bumped up to $200 for 2 pairs because he upgraded to polycarbonate lenses. They are shatter resistent. He did get a good deal, but eyeglasses are still WAY overpriced. They should be ready within 2 weeks. I hope he'll be happy with them.
On the way back home we stopped into AC Moore Craft Store. I had gotten a gift certificate for Christmas and wanted to pick up a few things. I bought a 3 pack of liner paint brushes, 5 small bottles of acrylic paint, and a wind chime. The windchime is a metal, bronze colored smiling sun face with tubular chimes. We hung it up when we got home. It has a nice sound to it when the wind blows.
Today I got to use my new brushes and paints. I have a pretty garden fairy that was showing some wear and tear from this past summer, so I touched her up with a little bit of paint to make her look as good as new. I still have a colorful little birdbath and some short trellises to touchup. I had purposely bought the paint colors I was going to need, but forgot to get a sunny yellow for the birdbath. Maybe Wednesday. Tomorrow is supposed to be a lot warmer than today, so I would rather do a little more wintersowing.
I was watching Bob this afternoon as he sat on top of the woodpile in the yard. He was watching a squirrel up in a tree. I could almost see the wheels turning. I do believe he was trying to figure a way he could jump from the woodpile onto the tree, but the tree was too far away. The squirrel just sat up in the tree laughing ... I mean, chattering at him. Poor Bob.
Check out the picture of Bob and Dixie. She's on the couch and he's on the coffee table.
Friday, January 27, 201242 degrees and windy and cloudy. Expected overnite low of 24 degrees.
Most of today the weather was quite nice, partly sunny and in the high 40's. I wish the rest of the Winter could be like it was today.
Didn't do much today. Ran some errands in the morning and in the afternoon did a bit of Winter Sowing (See Winter Sowing Blog). I have a nice little collection of plastic containers and flower pots on the back deck started now. I keep working on them, a little at a time.
"Bob" is getting big and he also seems to be calming down quite a bit. He's more behaved and now his new favorite spot is the top of the refrigerator. When I walk by he'll "talk" to me and sometimes we'll have running "conversations."
You didn't know I could speak "cat ...onese"? :-}}
Thursday, January 26, 2012
My Garden Drawing ... Ha Ha Ha ... Head Palm!30 degrees and foggy. Expected overnite low? I don't know. The jury's out on this one. The temps are predicted to RISE through the night.
I decided to make a rough sketch of my front garden. I DID NOT use graph paper ... just improvised. Since my garden is shaped like a big half circle, I took a round dinner plate and traced a half moon outline on a piece of computer printout paper and used the edge of a book to make the flat edged side. Didn't even need a ruler. Neat, huh? So easy a monkey could do it Then I started to add my existing plants.
In the middle I placed my tallest border of bleeding hearts, astilbes, and shasta daisies. Then I filled in the entire edge that rings the whole garden with alyssum. Those I'm sure of. I couldn't quite remember where the Oriental Poppy REALLY was, so I stuck it where I thought it might be. I have some daylilies in there, but can't remember where? So, I left them out of the drawing. I put the Scabiosa (pincushion flowers) where I'm pretty sure they are and then started ADDING SPOTS FOR this year's winter sown stuff.
Yes, I'm going to weave columbines around the perennials in the middle of the garden. Place some Black Eyed Susans (Rudibeckia) and purple coneflowers around there, too. Forget-Me-Nots? Hmmn ... I'll put them behind the alyssum all the way around. Maybe add one more perennial (thinking Zagreb Coreopsis) behind the Forget-Me-Nots to kind of blend in with the BES and Cones. What an explosion of color there will be come late Spring through Summer!
Then again ... probably not. Hits forehead with palm. Almost ALL WINTERSOWN PERENNIALS DO NOT BLOOM THEIR FIRST YEAR. Forming strong roots and growing stems and leaves is all the little seedlings care about in their first year. My poor established perennials BH, astilbe, and shastas will just have to bloom their heads off all by themselves this year ... at least until I can tuck some colorful annuals in ... here and there. I had planned to WS some anyway, but mostly for the flowerpots on my back deck.
But there will be enough to go round :-))
check out my garden drawing below. I think a monkey could have done a BETTER job.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
I Had A Smile On My Face Today38 degrees and cloudy at 3:22 pm. Expected overnite low of 24 degrees.
Well, I winter sowed some seeds today.
Forget Me Nots
Gaillardia - Grandiflora Mixed Colors
Oriental Poppy Mix
California Poppy Sunset Mix
Columbine NOID - Pink & Cream
Black Eyed Susans - NOID - got the seeds from a friend's garden
Things got off to a bit of a rocky start. The potting soil that I had stored in the garage had partially froze. I chipped at it with garden tools and a screwdriver to loosen the soil. Then I filled up a large bucket with the soil and brought it into the kitchen. I let it "SIT" for awhile to let it warm up. Once warmed I mixed in some sand, added water to lightly moisten the mix, and then started filling my containers with it.
I was "very good" about not overseeding the containers. Most of the seeds were VERY tiny, so I mixed a little sand with the those seeds and sprinkled them sparingly on the surface. Then I lightly patted the top of the soil to insure a good seed to soil contact. The BES and the Gaillardia seeds were slightly larger, so I pushed them about 1/4 inch into the soil and lightly covered them with soil. Then I misted all the containers, put in the individual name/date markers, closed up the containers and put them outside on the back deck.
I still have more different seeds to still sow, but there's no rush. February is still fine for WS perennials. Hardy and half hardy annuals can wait even longer.
Working with soil and seeds today made me ... smile. :>))
Monday, January 23, 2012
Sort of ... ?41 degrees, light rain and foggy at 10:00 pm. Expected overnite low of 32 degrees.
Today was a quiet day. Didn't go anywhere. Washed clothes, changed the sheets on the bed, and vaccumed. Was going to WS some seeds, but decided against it. It's been raining all day and I'd rather put the finished containers out on the back deck on a dry day. Maybe tomorrow since it's supposed to be nice.
I did get some other things accomplished tonight. I sat down and added up the totals on all the receipts we kept for things we bought since we moved into the house. WOW! Amazing how things can add up. I'm hoping some of it's tax deductible. I also cleaned out the JUNK drawer in the kitchen. It was getting so stuffed with "stuff" that the drawer would get jammed. Over the next few days I think I'll start on rearranging things in my kitchen cabinets and tackle the food pantry.
I'm sort of "on a roll", I guess?
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Busy weekend ...19 degrees and cloudy at 6:35 pm. Expected overnite low of 15 degrees. We have about 6 inches of snow on the ground from Saturday's snowfall.
Whew! Busy busy this past weekend. Friday we took a ride to the new Lowe's and bought some stuff. Had a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase or more. We bought wood shelving, brackets, and a lamp fixture for the dining room. The old fixture had candelabra type lights that faced the ceiling. (was already in the house). There were no shades or anything to cover the bulbs. It really didn't provide enough light and the glare was terrible. We had priced shades when we first moved in, but the average price was about $8 a piece and we would have needed 6 of them. The new one we bought is larger with 5 regular lights with glass shades. With this fixture the light is reflected down. Nothing elaborate, not expensive, but nice. Hubby put it up Saturday. What a difference! Plenty of light now!
The shelving we bought was to restructure 3 bedroom closets. The existing closets are small and typical One shelf across the top and a rod across the width of the closet to hang clothes. Today we worked on the closets. In two of the closets we tore out the rods and shelves, Put in 2 rods creating a double tier to hang clothes and put in two shelves. One short shelf is for shoes and the higher shelf is to store things that we don't use on a regular basis. With the other closet we made one short tier to hang clothes and put in three shelves ( varying heights) above for storage. It's amazing how much wasted space there was!
We still have to restructure the hall closet. Our water heater is in it and takes up half the closet. Why it was done that way, we don't know. Awhile ago, we actually put in a wall mounted hanging coat rack on the wall behind our front door. The only things in the hall closet are 2 thin spring jackets and a wicker basket on the floor to store winter hats, gloves, scarves etc. On the shelf above (which is TOO high) we have a couple of baseball caps and my straw gardening hat. Also have a broom and ironing board in there too. Ahh, another project in the near future.
Almost forgot, we had also been in Walmart on Saturday and picked up a toy for the cats. It's a round, two tiered plastic ring that houses 2 balls that spin when the ring is moved. One of the balls makes a chirping sound like a bird! On the top of the toy is a clump of brightly colored feathers to also spark a cat's interest. It's really a COOL toy. Bob really likes it and it keeps him occupied for quite a while. At first I thought the "chirping" was going to get on my nerves, but it didn't. Makes me think "Spring".
As a matter of fact when we left the house this morning I heard birds chirping. :>))
Friday, January 20, 2012
Bob was BBAADD!!!!20 degrees and cloudy at 4:45 pm. Expected overnite low of 15 degrees.
The snow is coming! Anywhere from 4-8 inches from after midnight tonight through early afternoon tomorrow. Oh well, it IS the 20th of January.
To get to the subject of this blog ... Bob wrecked havoc in the house at about 12:30 am today. I was lying in bed watching an old movie on tv when I heard CRASH ... BOOM ... BANG! When jumped out of bed and ran into the living room ... What a mess! Bob had obviously jumped up on my curio cabinet and sent everything on top of it flying!
My pretty new flowerpot that I had recently bought lay in pieces all over the floor along with the Paperwhites that were in the pot. There was potting soil all over the carpet and a glass picture frame was lying under the table. I yelled at Bob and he took off down the hall and into the computer room to hide. I cleaned up the mess, stuck the paperwhites (now with only ONE flower bud intact) into another pot, and I was able to salvage the picture frame (It had only come apart and was not broken). I was VERY tempted to go find Bob and throw him outside, but didn't. It was snowing outside and there was about 2 inches down already. That's the ONLY thing that saved his a**. When my hubby got home from work about a half hour later, I told him what had happened and he was ALL FOR throwing Bob outside for the rest of the night. As ticked off as I still was, the 'softie" in me wouldn't let him ... then.
But first first thing this morning when I got up, I DID throw Bob outside to let him freeze his little butt off for awhile.
Anyway, later today I went to Walmart to pick up a few things and wandered into the Garden Dept. They are just getting started with stocking the shelves with gardening supplies. They did have the SEED rack stocked though. They didn't have very much in the way of perennial seeds. I wanted Coreopsis seeds, but all they had was some kind of mixed color variety. I'm partial to the yellow. I'm hoping they get more in. I was also looking for any leftover amaryllis or paperwhites kits, but they had none. I did see amaryllis kits in Shoprite the other day. I have to remember to pick one up while they're still available. I like having something FLOWERING inside the house this time of year.
I hope to start putting some WS containers together this weekend. At least the perennials ... shasta alaska daisy, oriental poppy, black eyed susans, and coneflowers. I also want to directly WS some red poppies, bachelor buttons, tall snaps, and baby's breath together into a large pot and see how it turns out. It would be a really pretty combo if it's successful :>))
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Our Trip to Florida ...43 degrees and light rain at 8:50 pm. Expected overnite now of 24 degrees.
Got back from Sarasota, Florida yesterday. It was a short vacation but a nice one. The weather was sunny, a little windy, and in the upper 60's to low 70's. Our first day there we visted the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. What a beautiful place! The greenhouse had some of the most gorgeous orchids! A lot of other exotic flowers and plants, too. There was a Bonsai Garden, A Koi Pond, a Bamboo Garden, and many beautiful trees, and flowers. That evening we had dinner with my son, DIL, and the grandkids.
The next day we headed to Siesta Key Beach - Rated the #1 Beach in the USA. Just beautiful. Later that same day we headed down to Venice and the Venice Pier. Very pretty there, too We had lunch and then walked around the town for awhile. Our last day there we had enough time in the morning to do a little souvenir shopping. It was a very relaxing few days - UNTIL we got to the airport for the trip home to PA.
When we had gone to Siesta Key, I had decided I wanted to take some beach sand home with us. At home I had a glass bowl filled with pretty seashells and thought adding the sand would be a nice touch. So I filled up a small baggy with sand and put it into my suitcase. I thought it was a good idea, but SECURITY didn't think so. Security scanned our luggage again, physically went through our suitcases, and also ran a chemical test on the bag of beach sand. After what seemed like an eternity (probably 15 minutes) we were allowed to proceed to the gate. Boy, did we get "looks" from other people while all this had been going on. What an experience ....
Anyway, I posted some photos from the trip. :-) 1st one is a Bonsai
Thursday, January 12, 2012
January will finally be kicking in ...36 degrees at 4:50 pm with lite rain and fog. Expected overnite low of 28 degrees. Very cold weather for the weekend with snow squalls and snow showers predicated.
Welcome to January! A frigid blast is headed our way. I'm just gonna keep thinking Spring!
A new Lowe's in our area iis having their grand opening next Wednesday ... I think. Sort of. Maybe. Actually, they opened today but to Contractors only. And then the local TV station said they they will be opening their doors to the regular public tomorrow (Friday) ????? But the local newspaper says their opening is next Wednesday. Then to further add to the confusion, received a coupon that came in the mail for 10% off to celebrate their grand opening - on Wednesday? Damn. I'm really confused. Well, I'll get there when I get there ....
To change the subject ....
For about 2 weeks now I have been eating healthier. Less carbs, more fruit, and added yogurt. I have stomach issues and the yogurt really does seem to help. I'm already a big water drinker, so no change there. I did feel a little bit guilty about what I ate yesterday. I had 2 pieces of cake at our monthly Seniors get together. I am not denying myself things like cake or cookies occasionally, but one piece would have sufficed. Got to work on self control more.
My paperwhites are getting taller and greener and I think the buds are starting to show already. I'm still watering with the alcohol/water mix (I mixed it and its in an old 20 oz soda bottle under my kitchen sink). I really can't tell yet if it's having any effect on the height of the growing flower stalks. I did notice that even though there a no flowers yet, I can already detect a sweet fragrance coming from the plants. I wish now that I had bought more.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Strange Winter so far and New Plan37 degrees and very overcast at 4:20 pm. Expected overnite low of 26 degrees.
It sure does look like rain or snow right now even though it's not in the forecast for today. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Supposed to start out as rain tomorrow afternoon and maybe end up as snow on Thursday.
This has been one STRANGE winter so far. I've read blogs and posts from some folks here at DG and GardenWeb where their daffodils and tulips are up and some of their trees are leafing out. I don't see any of my Fall planted bulbs sprouting outside, but I have one pot of bulbs (Oriental Lilies - I found the plant maker I had misplaced ) in the garage sprouting ... again. The bulbs started sprouting about a month ago and I just piled more soil on top of the pot. And now the tips are peeking through again. I also have 2 mums hanging on with some green leaves and a very healthy looking catnip plant. Just gonna leave them all alone. Let Nature do her thing ....
I'm going to get some help in the garden this Spring and Summer! My neighbor's little girl, Kelly, is going to be helping me. She's going to help me by planting out some of the seedlings I'll have from wintersowing. Nothing too difficult. It will be an ongoing process. I'll also have her do a little weeding. She's only 9, but she seems really excited. And I will pay her for her efforts! My KNEES and BACK will be very thankful :-))
A while ago, I had been thinking about starting a wildflower garden, but have decided against it. Physically there's a lot of prep work that I really wouldn't be able to do. The two herniated discs in my back became the deciding factor. I have played in the dirt since I was a little girl, and I love it too much to give it up So I HAVE to set limits for myself. Flowerpots on the deck I can handle. Keep the flower beds on a small scale. Perennials fill out spaces, less planting. We have a lot of trees, lot of roots, lot of rocks on our property. And a small grassy area in the back. Don't need a mower, just a weedwhacker. We plan on planting some shrubs along the foundation in the front of the house. Thinking holly or barberry. Easy to maintain. Yeah, I think it'll work!
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Pampering, seeds ...my dirty, filthy animal, and NO booze for the plants46 degrees and clear at 6:50 pm. Expected overnite low of 26 degrees.
What a beautiful day! In the 50's, woo hoo! It felt more like a day in March than a day in early January.
I went for a pedicure and a manicure today. It felt good to get pampered. The last time I went for a P & M was sometime in the Summer. My fingernails I pretty much take care of on a regular basis by myself. The only thing I really can't do too well are my cuticles. My feet are a different story. I do a half assed job of cutting my own toenails, but I do it as needed. But I either cut them too short or they look uneven. After awhile it's TIME to go to the nail salon. But it's definately worth it. The foot massage alone is worth the price! Ahhh ....
The columbine seeds I had ordered on ebay came today! Yay! Since the seeds need a cold period to break their dormancy, I'm going to try germinating them in two different ways. I'm going to take one half and WS them, probably by the end of January. Then at the beginning of April I'll pot up the other half, slip it in a baggie, and leave it in the fridge for 3-5 weeks. By then it will be May and the pot will go outside. According the package, the seeds should germinate in about 3 weeks. There won't be any flowers (pink & cream combo) til next year, but hopefully I'll have strong, healthy babies growing all summer. I also got a freebee with my order, a packet of perennial Blue Flax. Nice touch, but in researching, I think the flowers will be tall and WEEDY looking. Sort of like Bachelor Buttons. BB are cute but tend to flop over in heavy rain. They might work in a sunny wildflower garden. I'll have to think on it.
Bob is NOT a kitten, Bob is a PIG. Let me explain. These last few days have been much warmer and really nice, so Bob's been staying out pretty much all day. Yesterday, he brought me a "present" and left it by the back door. A mouse - eeewww! I know he's doing what cats do, but ugh! But that does not make him a PIG. This is what makes him a PIG! Today he came to the back door wanting to come in and he was covered in dirt! I mean COVERED. He must be constantly crawling in and out of the groundhog den under our back deck. He came in a little while ago and I rubbed him with a used bath towel to get some of the dirt off. Now he's sleeping the little beast! He'll sleep for awhile and then want to go back out again. I really think he is going to be an OUTSIDE cat. He shows up ONLY when he's hungry and ONLY wants to come in at night when it's cold. He really prefers to be OUT! I think come Spring, I will have to come up with a new plan concerning him.
My Paperwhites are growing very nicely. The tips are up and green. I am doing an experiment on them. On reading about growing them indoors, I came across an article about watering them with a mixture of water and alcohol (rubbing alcohol or booze) to prevent them from getting tall and lanky. It has to do with alcohol content and ratio percentages yada, yada, yada. To make a long story short, I decided to water the bulbs with a 10-1 water to rubbing alcohol ratio mixture. I WILL NOT waste vodka, tequila, or any other DRINKABLE alcoholic beverage on a PLANT! Anyway, if the paperwhites don't croak, they hopefully will be SHORTER when they bloom.
If it works, I might just try it on my Cosmos seedlings this summer. I really don't want leafy, hairy 8 foot giants that don't bloom!!
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Not much doing today either ,,,16 degrees and cloudy at 5:13 pm. Expected overnite low of 5 degrees.
Boy, was it cold today! Wasn't out for very long and couldn't wait to get back to the house.
Didn't do much today. Got caught up on the laundry and cleaned the fridge. At least there was nothing growing in some plastic container that got pushed to the back of the fridge.
As far as gardening, they built a new LOWE'S in Mt. Pocono and it should be opening soon. It's going to be so nice to have a big garden center nearby. I still will buy some things from the few local nurseries we have, but a big box store nearby will be so convenient and cheaper for garden tools, potting mix and stuff like that. And I love strolling through the garden department just to look at all the colorful flowers.
I can't wait until Spring!
Monday, January 2, 2012
While I was cleaning up ...24 degrees and light snow at 6:37 pm. Expected overnite low of 13 degrees.
It was a lot colder today and will be even colder the next few days.
Finished taking the Christmas tree down. Nice to have my living room back again. The tree was right in front of the living room window and really took up a lot of space. Imagine if we celebrated other Holidays by decorating the inside of our homes with equally large decorations. How about a 6 foot Easter Bunny in the front window? Or Giant Leprechauns? Firecrackers? Big Red Valentine Hearts? Jeesh .....
In the gardening department ... Bob, our cat, has recently been coming in from outside with dirt all over him. I didn't know where it was coming from until TODAY. I went out into the back yard this afternoon just to think about planting ideas, and I spied Bob peeking out of a rather large hole under the deck. When I walked closer to it, he saw me and crawled out and greeted me. From the looks of the hole, I'd bet money a groundhog dug it out. I don't know if groundhogs here are hibernating yet. It hasn't really been all that cold. If the two haven't already met, it's going to be some surprise when they do!I
I finally got around to potting up my Paperwhites today. I bought a kit in Walmart awhile ago and had forgotten about it until I was putting things away today and saw the box on the shelf in the hall closet. When I opened the box, I saw that the bulbs had started to SPROUT! I DEFINATELY had better get them planted was my first thought. I watered the soil mix thingy and put the bulbs in the pot when the pellet had expanded and the soil had loosened. Being that the grow pot was made of just plain ugly green plastic, I looked for something a little bit more attractive I could slip the container into. Viola! The pretty ceramic pot with the orange flowers I had bought yesterday was exactly the right size! Right now the pot is sitting on top of my curio cabinet. By the middle of February I should have flowers ... right in time for Valentine's Day! :>))
Sunday, January 1, 2011
Start of a New Year ...38 degrees and cloudy at 7:00 pm. Expected overnite low of 24 degrees.
This is my first blog entry for the new year of 2012.
Today was a quiet day. We did stay awake to see the ball drop on NYE and then went to bed somewhere around 1:30 am. Got up late and ate a quick bite and decided to go do a little shopping.
SALES! SALES! SALES! Checked out Walmart for half priced Christmas stuff, but everything seemed pretty well picked over. Took a ride to TJ Max. Interesting stuff there. Hubby bought a pair of ski snow pants to wear for hunting. They should keep him really warm. Right now it's bow season again. I bought a hard boiled egg slicer. Why? I don't know. Impulse buy, I guess. I did pick up a really cute little ceramic flower pot though. Sort of a cream color with bright orange flowers painted on the outside. Think I'll plant a little ivy in it and keep it in the house. I wish they'd had it in a larger size. It would have looked great planted with California poppies.
Started to take the Christmas stuff down. Why is it that the boxes that all decorations were stored in seem to be too small when you are packing them back up to put them away?
Oh, one last thing. I just know that as soon as all the boxes have been packed and dragged up to the attic and put away - I'm going to find SOMETHING ... an ornament ... bow ... SOMETHING ... either under the couch, behind the curio cabinet, or mixed in with the cat toys. I JUST KNOW IT!
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