Sunday, March 11, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
There it is all in. Chicken manure, compost, seeds and seedlings all planted.
Six hours straight. My shoulders are burnt and I am filthy.
Sprout, grow I can't wait.
Heading to the tub for a long hot soak and a good scrubbing.
It calls me this time of year. This is the best time of year for a garden in our part of the state. Everything is bursting. Every morning when I open the drapes, I am called out to walk around and see what else might be blooming.
I hurry to get some chores done indoors so I can head out for a bit in the garden. Weeds pulled here. Plants tucked in there. All the while the heady scent of the orange blossoms intoxicates me. Keeps me out in the yard when I should be in putting another load in the washer.
I plan to spend the entire weekend focused on getting the veggie garden out front all planted. Compost and chicken manure await to be mixed in. I already have tomatoes in. Some bought, some volunteers that come up from tomatoes that dropped last year.
I shall have dirt under my nails and will probably get a little sunburned but oh how I will be doing what I love most. I always feel so much better when I have all my veggies planted. Knowing I am on my way to homegrown organic produce. I am determined to grow more this year than last year.
Now to convince hubby to let me get three chickens. That is what our city allows. We have the perfect spot behind our garage. They would be sheltered there and the dogs would not disturb them. Hmm. I see his favorite meal coming soon and then I shall pounce and convince him it is in our best interest to add some more chaos to this place. Organized chaos but oh those fresh eggs. My hubby has been working day and night the last couple of days so I doing his lawn mowing chores today. Did the back yesterday and will do the front today. Great workout and I love the results. Will someone make my bed though? Guess I have to do that first.
Show and Tell Sat.
Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Friday, March 9, 2012
As with all projects around here progress is slow on my desire to get this little nook set up as a little office space for me. I am making slow progress though. Of course my budget is close to zero so I am trying to use what I have. I moved all my little angel figures to the top shelf and found a little wire letter basket and file holder in a cupboard collecting dust.
So here was the before. It is an improvement. The printer was moved to the girls room as they use it all the time and had the room for it.
I hated how the internet boxes were falling all over so I took an old wooden box and corralled them.
Looks neater already.
Here was my inspiration photo. I do have lots of storage in my desk so I do not need to buy a hanging unit as pictured. I did find some cheap hanging organizers at Target that will work for the paperwork I need to keep at hand.
Now to just get the hubs to hang them this weekend. Still to do: Corral and hide the cords and wires and get a new lampshade.
Show and Tell Friday
Thursday, March 8, 2012
There are so many folks out there starting to make their own cleaning supplies these days and that makes me so happy. At least we know what we are spraying all over our counters and bathrooms. Less chemicals and so much cheaper than buying the store products.
1. Rubbing Alcohol
My absolute favorite homemade all purpose cleaner is plain old rubbing alcohol. I use it diluted in a spray bottle for my everyday cleaner and glass/window cleaner. It works better than anything else I have tried. Just mix 1/3 part alcohol and 2/3 water in a spray bottle. Use it on counters, my kitchen floor, windows, mirrors. Works wonderfully. I used to use vinegar a lot until I tried the alcohol and it just works so well I use it for everything.
You can see how I use it to clean the blinds in my kitchen here.
I do use vinegar 1/4 c. in a half bucket of warm water for my wood floors. I just make sure I do not get the floors very wet. Ring out the rags very well.
You can clean drains with baking soda and vinegar. Pour 1/4 c. baking soda in the drain. Follow with a cup of vinegar. Let set about 15 minutes and then follow with a pain of hot boiling water. My pipes and drains seem to keep clear with regular cleaning with this solution.
3. Baking Soda
I also use baking soda to scour things I don't want to use regular cleanser on. Places where you prepare food, cleaning my crockpots, etc. I just keep this handy sprinkle container full of it in my kitchen.
I use it in my oven. My daughter is very sensitive to chemicals in the house so I cannot use oven cleaner. So at night I will put a wet paste of baking soda and water on areas of my oven that have baked on gunk. The next day I come in with my wet scouring sponge and scrub off.
You can use baking soda to clean hair brushes and combs. Just put 4 Tbl. mixed in a bowl of hot water. Soak brushes for about 15 minutes and then rinse clean with warm water.
4. Laundry Soap
Because of my daughter's sensitivities I started making my own laundry soap years ago. It works great and I figure I spend less than $15 a year on detergent. Here is the recipe for my homemade laundry soap .
I spend very little now on my cleaning supplies. That is a good thing.
Time Travel Thursday
A Glimpse Inside
Home Sweet Home
Feathered Nest Friday
Show and Tell Friday
Sat. Night Special
Bowl Full of Lemons
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Our sunny weather has turned cold and windy today. It is dreary outside but my kitchen table is sunny with the help of daffodils from the yard and lemons from our tree.
The older I get the more I love yellow. I have always loved it and have had yellow rooms and even a yellow floral couch that my husband has never forgiven me for. He is tolerant of my tastes in decor but that couch pushed his limits. We lived with if for years so I guess it wasn't too bad.
These are the sweet gifts my blogging friends gave me Saturday for my birthday. Truly generous in spirit and friendship. I feel so blessed to have met these women through blogging.
They know me so well and chose things that I would have chose for myself. Thanks Shelly, Debbie and Patty.
My goal at the end of last summer was to try and grow as much produce as I can from my small yard. My main veg garden is in our front yard but we have one very sunny spot in the backyard with soil that is very compacted and full of roots. I decided to move some of the pots I normally would have flowers in and plant some veggies. Did some research and found folks that had some real luck with the sugar baby watermelons grown in pots. I am trying it out. I have the room to let them ramble in the planter but they needed some good soil so the pot will do for that. We also planted spinach and Swiss chard in the pots.
A few flowers in the front will help pretty meet practicality.
My pots normally by the fire pit will hold herbs now instead of flowers.
Still working. So in my small city yard we will grow tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, kale, Swiss chard, water melon, spinach, lettuce, cilantro, celery, bok choy and lots of herbs.
Cozy Home Scenes
Tues. Garden Party
Crystal and Co.
Lil' Suburban Homestead
Monday, March 5, 2012
I like to have something flowering in my yard at all times. I of course would love to just spend whatever and fill every pot, but I am trying to make some constructive changes in the way I garden.
Every year I re-plant quite a few pots on my back patio. This year I am doing things a little different. I want to grow more food in pots and less flowers. If I am going to spend the money, I want it to be on something we can eat if at all possible.
But there will always be room for the just plain beautiful like the ranunculu above. My jasmine is blooming right below my bedroom window so I love to keep the window open all night to smell the wonderful fragrance.
This fountain has become a planter. The pump was taken out and used to replace a broken one in the front yard. I chose succulents because this wall gets very hot and they don't require as much watering.
The benefit is these will grow for years and you don't have to replant every season. Tomorrow I will share the more practical changes I have made for what's more beautiful than a vine ripened tomato or cucumber ready for your supper salad.
Between Naps on the Porch
Bowl Full of Lemons
Sunday, March 4, 2012
I had the best time with my blogging girlies yesterday. I was pooped when I got home. I want to show you all the cute things they gave me for my b-day but I haven't even got a cup of coffee in me yet so I will just show you some vintage goodies I picked up in our shopping yesterday.
I am really loving old Thermos type decanters and have a small collection started.
Shelly took us to all sorts of places and had a quick eye to scope out what each of us liked to collect. It was like having your own vintage personal shopper. I know Patty and Debbie know exactly what I am talking about. It was a riot.
The tray with the glads and the old red wire dish drainer were two of my faves. We missed our other shopping buddy Kris as she was sick and had to stay home. We missed you Kris!!
A Delightsome Life
Boogie Board Cottage
The House in the Roses
A Stroll Thru Life
Sat. Night Special
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Ha! That is my motto on birthdays. My family gave me some of my birthday gifts a little early. Fine with me. (I'm a kid about such things.)
Loved this garden sign. Perfectly describes what I do when stressed. Otherwise I would eat cookies. Which of course I already do.
A perfect spring candle. How nice the colors all match.
We all have to get older and have a birthday every year so you might as well enjoy it and enjoy the goodies.
A Stroll Thru Life
Friday, March 2, 2012
If you remember my word for the year, organization, then you will see that I am actually working on my goals. I spend so much time in the kitchen that I have been really studying ways to cook, organize and even move more efficiently in the kitchen. I decided to do away with some of the cute stuff on the counters and put the items I am always reaching for on a tray next to the stove.
One of the baskets for example is labeled baking. When myself or one of the kids is baking we can just grab that basket instead of fishing around for the ingredients needed.
Probably my number one time saver is meal planning. I make a menu out each week. This way I know what to shop for. I make the grocery list at the same time. Then it is out of my head because it is on paper. I know my ingredients are here because I bought them from my list I made when menu planning. I have summer meals and winter meals and rotate based on what is in the freezer.
Another step I try to do is to only do something once to use multiple times later. If you are chopping something like onions, chop a whole bunch. We all use these in so many recipes.
Then divide into freezable containers to use later. You can do this with shredded cheese. I will shred a whole bowl and zip up in a large bag to use for the week. If they start to get old then toss in the freezer. It still melts wonderfully from the freezer. Don't throw anything away. Food is too expensive.
I learned the next trip from Rachel Ray a few years ago and always use it. Keep a trash bowl on the counter when cooking. Toss garbage and peels, whatever in this bowl and then when cleaning up you just make one trip to the trashcan. Keeps the counter cleared up to and then put the bowl in the dishwasher when you are done.
Keep a bowl or your sink ready with hot soapy water. Toss dishes in as you are preparing a meal and wash up when you have a minute or two. Feels so good to finish cooking and not have a pile of dirty dishes to deal with.
Show and Tell Friday
Friday Blog Hop
Home and Family Friday
Weekend Whatever Party
Milk and Cuddles
Bowl Full of lemons