Category Archives: gardening

Yarn Give away

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On All Free Crochet you can enter to win three skeins of Magenta(ish) Stitch.Rock.Love Sheep(ish) Vickie Howell Yarn for Caron!  Click this Link to learn more about it and enter and bookmark the site so you can go back to enter every day until June 6th.  I love to crochet and don’t have much money to spend since I”m not working so I would love to win.

It has been rainy here which is good for washing away pollen but bad for gardening.  I really want to get my seedlings planted.  I am glad that I didn’t put them out already though because the rain would have ruined them.  We had a nice week of sun just before the rain so I thought about it.  My husband and my boys have been helping to clean up in the yard and get the grass raked and the gardens cleaned up.  It looks a lot better than before.  I have started some miniature morning glories, sweet peas and another vining flower that I hadn’t seen before and they are growing great and trying to tangle together.  I can’t wait to get them planted where I want them so they can vine away.

I used toilet paper rolls to plant my seeds in this year and it works great!  You just flatten them and then open and flatten again so they have 4 creases – making a square.  Then you snip with scissors on the creases only about 1/2 inch.  I used a pair of fiskars deckled scissors so that the edges are bumpy and hold better.  Then you fold the flaps just like you do to close the top of a box – folding one side and then the next going around until you get to the last one and tuck in the corner so it stays closed.  If it slicks up some like a pyramid just push down gently and it inverts so that the pyramid is inside – that is actually better and keeps it from coming open.  I used a milk carton turned on it’s side with the top side cut off to put the toilet paper rolls in.  That keeps them standing up and you can keep water in the bottom of the milk carton to keep the rolls wet.   When you are ready to plant just plant the rolls and all and they disintegrate.  They work better than the little pots you buy at the store to do the same thing.  It just takes a little bit of time to get the toilet paper rolls ready but it cost me nothing.

When I get a chance I’ll take a picture.

My eyeballs are still burning.  I can’t decide if it’s getting better or I’m just getting used to it.  I can’t wait until my new glasses come in.  Starting next month I will really need them because I’ll be taxi mom again.  The dark glasses will really help when I drive.  I have actually been told not to drive until I get them so I’m listening.  I don’t want to cause an accident.

A new day

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The sun is starting to shine here and the snow is melted.  I think this is the first year of my life I didn’t go out and crunch the frozen puddles in the early mornings of spring.  I love to do that.   This year it seemed like spring would never come and then suddenly I realized it had come and went.  I have a lot of bad days but I try not to dwell on that so I’m not going to talk about that here.

This time of year I usually have my kitchen covered with seedlings but I just have a little strawberry container that I planted some dill in.  It is only a couple inches tall right now.  I can’t close the top anymore and they are reaching for he light.  There is just something magical to me in planting a seed and watching a small plant emerge.  I like to plant lettuce, mixed greens, radish, and peas when it’s warm enough outside and when they are ready I can go out and pick myself a salad.  I planted asparagus last year but I don’t know if it made it through the winter.  I can’t wait to find out.  All of the flowers in my front yard are perennials so I don’t have to do much for them.

I started working on my family tree again.  I started several years back and couldn’t get anymore information.  I started thinking about it again and realized I better get going on it before it is lost forever.  So many people in my family are old and some people in my family have cancer.  I lost one of my uncles in March.  I think that is what got me started on this.  Well, I found out that my son Riley was born on his great, great, great grandfathers birthday.  They were born 130 years apart.  I think that is pretty neat.  Plus, when I got on ancestry.com I found someone else that has my same great grandfather.  His Grandmother is my grandfather’s sister.  He had a picture of my grandfather when he was younger and even had a picture of my great grandfather.  I’ve never seen a picture of my great grandfather and the only pictures I’d seen of my grandfather were from when he was really old.  My grandfather died before I was even born.  Another person had a picture of my great grandparents from the other side of the family.  I was able to verify with my aunts that it is really them.   I feel like I found buried treasures.

Well I will try to post more often than never for a while.

 

I’m still alive

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I have been in a hole…. a dark one.  That happens from time to time.  I’ll be tripping along through life full of optimism and trying to fill my days the best I can and then the ground falls out from under me and I find myself sitting in the dark with no drive to get up.  I am constantly reading anything that can encourage me but sometimes it just feels like I’m looking at people through glass store fronts and don’t have what it takes to get the happiness they have.  I feel so poor and dejected but I know that it is just a feeling and not reality.  It is depression.

I have had an increase in aches and pains lately which seems to contradict the beautiful sunshine that has been spilling in my windows.  Spring is coming and I have been waiting impatiently for it but since I have been so immobile because of the pain I have lost a lot of muscle tone.  My muscles are all tight and weak.  In an attempt to find something to motivate myself I called the Cooperative Extension at the University to inquire about gardening classes.  This is something I am passionate about.  I was disappointed to find that the master gardener class was already filled but I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to keep up anyway.  They did tell me about a class being taught by one of the master gardeners and they said if I called “right away” I might be able to get in.  It was only $10 to secure a spot but the class had already reached its limit.  I must have sounded desperate because they told me if I came the next day with the $10 I could attend.  I did.  When I walked in she said, “Are you Donna?”.  I told her I was and she said, “good because you’re the last one I’m taking”.   I was so relieved and excited.  This is a lecture type class which is perfect since I can just listen and take notes and then use what information I need to improve my little garden.  That way I can make sure I don’t get in over my head.  My goal is to grow enough veggies for myself and for a little extra.  I want to take some to the Rescue Mission.

The only problem is I have a hard time sitting for the 2 hours.  My back starts to ache and I have to get up and move around.  The room is crowded and there isn’t much room (the chairs are packed together so everyone is elbow to elbow) and I don’t want to leave the room and miss anything.  The class is once a week for 8 classes and it is about half way through.  Every time I go to a class I come home in such pain I end up taking a stronger medication that knocks me out.  The pain continues through the next day too and it takes a lot out of me. I talked to my doctor and she checked me out.  She said some of my muscles are very tight and “balled up”.  She recommended massage and told me I needed to stretch and exercise – specifically yoga and some cardio type exercise.  I have found the huge exercise ball I have very helpful with this.  I lay over it (with it under my back) and stretch my arms to the floor.  This stretches that muscle that screams at me during the classes.  I did make it to church the Sunday before last but only for the first hour.  I couldn’t stay for Sunday School or anything else.  I was in such agony that I was shaking and didn’t want to get to the point where I couldn’t drive myself back home.  I’m glad the drive is a short one.

Exercising isn’t easy for me but I know I have to do it to get stronger.  Tonight is another class and hopefully this one will be easier for me.  Last time I took a small pillow to sit on and that helped.  It is just awkward taking a pillow to class.  Oh well, it isn’t like I’m a teenager anymore.  I have met a really nice couple there that I usually sit with.  I’m so glad to have met them even though I don’t know them very well.  I sit by the older man and we occasionally we find something to chuckle about.  He usually saves me a seat by putting his coffee on it and I’m grateful for that small gesture of friendship.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading these days.  That is actually ALL I want to do.  I just read two books that I had already read but couldn’t remember.  I guess I’ll never run out of things to read now that I’m getting older and apparently senile.  I loved the Blossom Street Series but when I was reading it before I was frustrated because I got the books out of order and then I found out there was a short story that tied into the story line that was part of a book called, “More Than Words: Volume 2”.  This is a book about real women who have made a difference in the lives of others and it is comprised of several short stories by well known women writers.  It appears to be an annual publication.  Volume 2 contained a story called “What Amanda Wants” which is about a teen-aged girl who found out her cancer had come back just before her senior year of high school.  She tied it in with the Blossom Street story and it took off right where the second book left off.  It is a very touching story and reminds me why I HATE short stories.  It never fails – if they are good they are always TOO short.  I love this series written by Debbie Macomber because it is about friends.  I think that is what I am missing right now.

Now I am going to finish reading that book of short stories which has 4 more stories.  I have also decided to read the Bible from front to back.  I’ve always planned to do that but have never made it.  It is funny how I always seem to pick up something “new” even from passages I’ve read several times before.   I am currently still in Genesis but I hope to make it much further than last time.   I am also reading a book on Tatting that I had started several months ago.  I love tatting but I haven’t made anything in a long while.  I picked that book up and found myself eager to try some of the ideas in the book.  This book is an older one that talks about even older techniques.  I love how they show ideas that very old and hope people will revitalize them.  I especially love learning about crafts that women did ages ago and learning how to do them.  Women used to make their own clothes and decorate them with special touches of lace they made themselves.  This book called “Tatting Techniques” by Elgiva Nicholls has really inspired me.  My library really wants it back though and I better hurry up and finish it.

Well, I plan on coming back tomorrow and the next day….  I think I need to write and exercise my “bean” too.

Sleeping Beauty

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Today was a little bit shaky. I wasn’t feeling so hot and I slept until 4pm! What the hay??? I had stuff planned. I was planning to go to a watercolor painting lesson at 3pm but I guess I needed my beauty sleep. I did go to the gardening class. Today was the first class and I am so excited to learn more about gardening and starting plants from seeds. I had a hard time sitting on a hard chair for 2 hours but I wanted to learn as much as possible. I was fiercely taking notes and trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible because I want to put it into action very soon. I had my first vegetable garden 2 years ago with store bought plants and they turned out great for the most part. I was working at that time so I didn’t have enough time to spend in the garden so I know it could have been better. I really wanted to start my own plants from seeds but when I tried that last year I didn’t have much success. So now I hope to learn how to start my own seeds and grow myself a salad bar! I also want to donate some food to the Rescue Mission (homeless shelter). My first thought was to help the food bank but they only take non-perishables. That is okay though because this group was so excited to get my call that they said they would even unload everything for me.

Anyway, after I got out of that class I went to Michael’s to buy so new goodies. I was really after some more pens to doodle with since that has become my new obsession. I usually like to have things in sets but there are so many kinds of pens available. I’ve found I like to buy them individually. It was a great day to go though because they had this rack of 12×12 scrapbook paper on clearance. It wasn’t all ugly stuff either. I love it! I snatched up a nice little stack of it. It even rang up way cheaper than what it was said it was. Most of them were only 14 cents each and well worth it.

After I got home I watched American Idol since I had that taping and voted for HeeJun Han! I also downloaded the song he sang. I love it that they have them all on itunes!  There are so many talented people on this show.  I wish more than one could win.  It is so hard to pick a favorite out of this group.  Shannon didn’t do as well as I’d hoped but I love her anyway.  I know she has an amazing voice and I would love to have an album by her AND HeeJun of course.

Okay, Today’s blog prompt is

Would you rather have more blog readers or more blog comments?

Well, is that a tricky question or what?  I would love to have more blog readers and I know I have some awesome readers who don’t always comment but I do like getting those comments.  Many people just click the “like” button and that is good too.  I guess I would say more readers because I’m going to write what I write no matter what anyone thinks.  I don’t really write for anyone but myself anyway and I had this blog for years when probably no one read it.  Feedback is great but not really necessary.  I know if people are reading they must not mind my writing.  I don’t usually look at the stats page but now they have that little thing at the top of the page all the time so it catches my eye.  So by that I know when people are reading but like I said, even if no one were reading I would still post.  Writing is very therapeutic.

Valentine’s Day

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My husband asked for Valentine’s Day off and they gave him Tuesday and Wednesday off too.  We were going to do all kinds of fun stuff today and he ended up having to go to work.  I was so bummed but I still had a good day and we still have tomorrow.  My husband told me to go make an appointment to get my nails done…. all of them.  He told me about a new place he saw that had a sign advertising a special deal on a manicure and pedicure.  I couldn’t believe it when he told me – $32 for both.  Here in Alaska prices are higher and it usually cost that much for one.  I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised!  The man was very nice and I enjoyed talking to him while I was there.  They have great massage chairs and I was in heaven!  He was also really excellent at massage.  I have never had that great a pedicure!  He took extra time since there was no one waiting.  Then he did my nails (I don’t do artificial nails) and he did a great job!  My hands are so soft!  I love being pampered.

My husband finally called me when I was finished up and I went to pick him up and we went to lunch at the Thai House!  That is my favorite!  He told me to call and make a hair appointment for tomorrow and we are going to do our running around town then.  Hopefully work will not ruin our day again!

It was a beautiful day too.  It has warmed up to around 30 above F and it was sunny and beautiful.  I didn’t have any pain from the cold today.  Hopefully the cold weather is over for this year.

I called the Cooperative Extension office at the University and got some info on growing garlic and composting.  I also found out about a gardening class that I’m going to sign up for tomorrow.  I want to learn how to grow plants from seeds and have a vegetable and herb garden.   I tried that last year but didn’t have a lot of success.

I hope everyone had a happy Valentine’s Day or just a good Tuesday.