Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring... and Odds and Ends

It is beginning to look like spring may be here after all.  There really was some doubt, although not as much as for those poor people in the eastern US!  We have had warmer temps during the day although still below or around freezing at night and things are starting to bud and bloom.  Todays client was ill and I ended up with a spare afternoon so I'm catching up on this 'n' that.

Several years ago, before my Mother in Law passed away, she asked me if I wanted her "Gardening made Easy" book and the few cards she had purchased.  She offered it to me because the binder was purple and she had never ordered many cards.  Two years ago while doing the yard sale thing I found an estate sale and two of the books almost complete for $2 apiece!  I was pretty chuffed and took them both, when I got to the lady taking the money she said since this is the last day of the sale we advertised everything for half off!  I got them both for $2!  Yippee!  The information is very good and they are handy to have around.  I used them now and then.

Since we have been in this house and trying so many different things in a new climate that we are unused to, they have been a real help.  I had 3 of the binders and put together all the cards so that I only had one of each and filled 2 binders.  

Then I took the extra dividers and made some new pages for myself, and pulled out all the cards for the stuff I was planting, the stuff I wanted to plant, and the helpful hint cards for the things I wanted to learn or revisit and put it in the 3rd binder.  In the front I have my grid sheets and list all the current planting, including the things that have been here all along and I learn the names for!

I keep the previous years pages so I can watch my crop rotations without relying on my not so reliable memory!  I also have gone on the internet and looked up information on things I don't have a card for and put it in the book so that everything in the yard has a card or page with information about watering, pruning, fertilizing and harvesting and then overwintering.

So a couple of days ago I decided to see how much the set was worth.  Seems if you bought the cards in packs in the monthly order like they sold them you ended up spending over $375 for the whole set!  Okay now I'm really feeling like the yard sale queen for a little bit!

 A quick trip around the yard confirms springs arrival.  I am very pleased that after we cut off so much of the cherry tree we have blossoms!  We knew we had leaves but were not sure we would have fruit.  Now we just have to hope we don't get a hard freeze! 

They look like the spring background I'm using don't they?

 Also recovering from the butchering that I did with the electric hedge trimmer (so much fun!) are the honeysuckle near the house.  I haven't looked at the ones in the back yet as it is still muddy from the recent rains.

Hubby always has a big pot of wildflower mix that he grows near the front door.  It looks like he has a few volunteers this year!

It is time and we are getting ready for the onslaught that is coming.  However we will also be making time for a trip to see the kids and not just for Miss Lily's birthday now.  Our 'wild child' middle son has found a wonderful Christian girl who thinks he is awesome and they are in love and getting married.  Here is the happy couple...

Aren't they cute?!!  I'm thinking I may want to start baby blankets, do you think it's too soon?.....

Enjoy the changing of the season - whether you are winding down to winter or gearing up for summer!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I have been thinking about this post for awhile, it is important to me so I didn't want to just rant and send people away.  I didn't want to be terribly partisan and send people away.  I have come to the conclusion though that there is no way to do this and not be judgmental and I don't think I am going to apologize either!

I have been researching this information online for a couple of weeks.  There is a lot of silliness on the web, a lot of hype, some outright lies and I needed the truth.  This will be short and, I hope, to the point.

We, as women all over the world, need to be, at the very least, praying for the women who are currently living under Sharia law.  A speaker sort of challenged me to look into this and I was appalled at what I did not know.  I am shocked at how bad things are in the UK and other countries in Europe already.  I am embarrassed that this is starting to happen in the US and most women are keeping quiet. 

Female Genital Mutilation, honor killings, stoning women who are raped, taking kids from the mother if the father dies, women do not own property.  The list is longer than this, these are a few of the most egregious of the issues.  Where are the feminists?  Why are we worrying about who pays for birth control when this is going on in our country and we are having a hard time prosecuting these crimes?

Here are a couple of websites that have either information or links to women who are speaking out.  Read, research, send money, or do what I did, pass on the information so that we can pray for and maybe support the women who are living under oppression - the real kind, not the "if you open the door for me you are telling me I'm weak" kind.  Thanks, this is something that is really weighing on my mind as a prayer need and I appreciate being able to share it!

Women Living Under Muslim Law

Famafrique/ Islamic women and Religious Oppression.

Alliance of Iranian Women

Anne Marie Waters (activist)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monthly 9 for February

It is that time of the month again (no not that time of the month!) Time to stop and reflect and sort of collect our thoughts.  Did I accomplish my goals - did I remember to have goals!  Thanks to Linda over at Greenhaven  for hosting our little get together.  This has become one of my favorites to do, it feels like being a little accountable!  Do head over to Greenhaven and check out the other bloggers who participate!

Nourish -  Hubby and I are ready to make a few adjustments to our diets, we are both looking to lose a few pounds and take another step toward healthy eating.  We are doing this in a step process so that the thing we do now will become a habit and then we move on.  We are reducing carbs a little bit again and see how we feel.  I made a very satisfying chowder using cauliflower instead of potatoes, it made it into the recipe rotation. 

Prepare - Went through and inventoried the home canned goods from last summer.  We ran short on canned tomatoes but have some left in the frozen category.  This summer we will add a couple of tomato plants and plan on canning more plain sauce/juice.  That turned out to be the most handy stuff.

Reduce - See under create, re-using old patterns, I'm hoping I can make this work, I have lots of old patterns that I would like to be useful again.

Green - I finally tried a laundry soap recipe my daughter in law recommended and has used for quite awhile now, this is the  recipe from Budget 101 and I have used it twice, it made 2 quarts of soap and while mine did not have the goal of  'mayonnaise' consistency it was close (more like a frosting) I am happy now and we will see if it pans out over the long haul - but it felt good to get it done after all this time!
quart number one!

Grow - We are working toward the day the thermometer says we can plant and are getting all the yard areas in shape.  Sometimes that involves cutting things back - See this post for details and photos of my adventure with the electric hedge trimmer - which I found to be an awesome tool!

jacket front
Create - I am still in the putting together part of this project but it involved adjusting a pattern to make it larger.  So far so good, if this method works it will save me a lot of money on patterns as I have a ton of them but they are too small nowadays!  I could of course just lose weight but this is easier!!

Discover - We are making use of our U of I Extension course materials and are diligently studying them, we are going to implement at least 2 of the suggestions about seed starting material and putting them out in the pots in the raised bed under a cover and seeing how the cool weather crops do.

This is an example of the weirs that we will be replacing

Enhance - This month was the annual meeting of our irrigation water association that hasn't taken place in about 10 years!  It was a case of entrenched 'good ole boys' getting by and no one complaining or in some cases knowing that they should complain.  The result is that the system that delivers the water we all use for our yards etc. for flood irrigation is crumbling.  Hubby will be working to take out one of the cement 'headgates' that needs to be re-cemented and we have committed ourselves to be involved in the activities with an eye to perhaps being more involved in the running of the association in the future.  This is a fascinating process and was fun to meet all the people who live near us but not next door.  We are in an area of just under a half (us) to ten acre parcels, kind of a hodgepodge!

Enjoy - We are making plans to go to see the kids around Miss Lily's birthday, cannot believe she will be a year old in a couple of months!  Time really does fly doesn't it.  We will enjoy the chance to visit and cuddle and spoil her so we are already putting together things to take along!
we may need to go shopping!
Have a happy March!