Saturday, May 23, 2015

This is Spring?

     We've had a couple of frost warnings this week that we pretty much crossed our fingers and ignored but the warning for Friday night was too strong and Jeff decided to cover the garden.  Now that isn't as easy as it sounds since our garden is about a dozen 4x4' boxes.  We started by putting plastic over one box and stapling it around.  Jeff put the plastic over the next 2 boxes and before he cut it I asked why not leave it and put something between the boxes to keep the critters from trying to run through?  That sounded pretty good to Jeff so that's what we did.  We ran out of staples about then, too, so Jeff filled  the rest of the boxes with leaves, covering the plants...most of which were small and covered up
easily.  I took the strawberry baskets down and put them in the garage and put a large garbage bag over my big old geranium.  The temperature went down to about 30 over night, glad we did it!  Now Jeff has the job of getting the leaves out of the boxes...again!
       Friday Fanny and I went over to Jeff's for a little while.  He's been working on a neighbor's PC, trying to get it to recognize a disc or dvd.  It's suppose to but won't.  The guy got it at a local 2nd hand shop for about $150 and has a large screen with a great picture and sound...even came with a gaming keyboard that is underlit!  Jeff's got a couple of more ideas to try before he gives it back.
   We decided to go to the Dollar Tree and on the way over saw a sign for a garage sale in my old neighborhood (Dewey Ave & Smith St).  Boy, has the neighborhood changed!  The gas station on the corner where we use to get Popsicles was gone and the houses around it looked empty and run down.  And there was only 1 house on the other side of the street!  I remember when the Italian store/bakery burnt down but I didn't know the rest of the block was gone, too.  I loved the smell of the fresh bread in that store but hated the sight of the eels and tripe in the showcase!  The house  (235 Dewey Ave) where we lived on the entire first floor now has 3 or 4 apartments in it!  I don't think I know anyone who still lives around there anymore.  Most of the people my age have moved and a lot of their parents had passed away.  But I have to admit that the sidewalks look a lot better than when we lived there and I had roller skates fastened to my sneakers and large bandages on my knees.  I wonder how long my parents would have stayed there if the landlady hadn't come downstairs one day and told them that her grandson was willing to pay her $86 a month for the apartment if they weren't (they weren't), and that's how we ended up out here in the little house in the little woods.  

note:  This pc booted up without a problem for 2 days in a row!  I don't know what Jeff did to it this time but it worked!!  Hope it lasts. Got to set up the bread machine.  We're having a family dinner today (my cousin Ed and Jeff's sister Sherry).  It's warmer than it's been...back in the 70's...and sunny, but I think we'll eat inside...no bugs!  Sun., 5/24/15; 10am  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Then again

    Fanny and I had a rough night last night.  There were scattered thunderstorms with winds and I had left many windows open including both the windows in my bedroom.  The chimes were ringing...such a soothing sound I think but Fanny does not agree.  Around 3:30am she woke up and started going from room to room, unable to settle down.  A quick trip outside didn't help.  She kept getting on and off the bed, hiding under it and panting causing the whole bed to shake.  I got her walking leash and tried to keep her next to the bed... if not on it...just not under it.  No way, she responded.  Finally I gave up, unleashed her and she dove under the bed but this time not leaning against it.  Eventually we both fell back to sleep... around 4:30am.  When I woke up she was on the foot of the bed with her back to me...clearly I had done something wrong.  This morning I noticed that the one rain barrel that had been filling properly had fallen over sometime during the night.  It had been nearly full, too!  Could this have started Fanny's restlessness?  She seemed very interested in it this afternoon when Jeff righted the stand and set the barrel back in place...this time making sure it was level.  (The spout is mangled but still works with the help of a pair of pliers to open and close it.) 
    Jeff keeps telling me Fanny is my dog but if the 3 of us are together, she prefers his company.  Today when he was working on getting my PC to cooperate again Fanny wanted to go out but would not go with me.  Jeff had to stop what he was doing and take her outside.  (Of course, part of that may be because I put her on the lead and he lets her run loose.)  He eventually got the PC to work and I got to watch AcornTV tonight. He just called a few
minutes ago to see if the PC was still working and Fanny came running to lick the phone...it was on speaker and she heard his voice.  She will come and sit with me if I'm watching something on AcornTV on the computer if she wakes up from a nap in Jeff's chair and finds that I'm not sitting in mine watching TV but prefers sleeping in a chair to sleeping on the floor. (Can't blame her!)  Tonight I watched an old Midsomer Murders that featured Jim Carter...Carson the butler on Downton Abbey...as a young, good-looking stud!  For those of you who aren't familiar with it, AcornTV is a British streaming service that costs about $10 a month.  It has many BBC shows...mysteries, comedies, documentaries and dramas...new and old.  I replaced my cable tv subscription with it and enjoy it very much.  I get to pick what I want to watch and when, and can stop and start the show as necessary.  And no commercials!
   I can't believe this coming Monday is Memorial Day...there's an entire week of May after it!  I don't remember that happening before!  It's too early for flowers to be planted in the cemeteries...we had a frost warning this week and have frost warnings for tomorrow night and for Friday night!  I checked my father's and my cousins' graves yesterday and their veteran's seals and American flags were there so I don't feel too bad about waiting awhile before putting the flowers.  Everyone will just have to understand.  Hope our garden continues to thrive... 
my 8-yr old geranium has been moved outdoors to the deck and in the week or so it's been out there, it's started to fill out.  Can't believe it continues to thrive and blossom so beautifully...thanks, Joanie O'Grady.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Spring Chores


 Jeff's been busy cleaning the gutters and setting up the rain barrels.  Of course, it hasn't really rained since he did it, but he's ready when it does!
He read...on-line... about a new version of 'compost tea' so he decided to try it.  It's more like instant tea...just put a couple of handfuls of compost in a bucket and add water. 
He let them sit over night in the garage and them watered the garden...and used what was on the bottom as mulch. This smells as much as the regular compost tea does but the "teabags" have to dry out before he makes a batch of that.  He did hook up the aerator...and it's bubbling away in the teabin.
                                 The potato boxes love any attention they get.  After the compost mulch, Jeff  'hilled' them with leaves and it seemed the plants grew a couple of inches overnight.  He's got several different kinds

of potatoes started and hopefully we'll get a nice
harvest.  Jeff also put in a variety of peppers and he just started buying flats of sweet corn.  He finally found some pole beans and planted those last night.  The flower rockets in the top steps of the corner boxes are doing well, too. Can't wait until they flower!

    The fashion show in Cooperstown had great results for us.  The model took home the bracelet she wore because her grandmother bought it for her, the shop 'paid her' for modeling with a gift of the shrug...which made her happy... and another woman who had been at the show came into the shop and bought another shrug and the sundress it was shown with.  That's 2 sold shrugs for me, l sundress for Sharon and the bracelet for Anita.  I guess we'll do the show again next year!
   My PC is totally dead leaving me with my net book which has a screwed up caps lock key and faulty punctuation...and no audio.  At least I can read emails!  So I'm at the library writing this entry. Guess I'll be doing this once or twice a week for a month or two or until I get a new PC.  Oh, well, life, huh?!?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ah, Spring!

Every spring I can't wait until the Trillium blossom.    When we first moved here 52 years ago I think there were 1 or 2 plants.  Over the years the patch has increased and spread...around the corner of the house...trying to stay in the sunshine?  Trillium was a protected plant...don't know if it's still on the endangered list.  The hummingbirds, bees and butterflies enjoy the flowers.
   
   Jeff's got the garden boxes about 2/3's planted and now is the exciting time...going out there to see what has sprouted!  You can barely see the lettuce in this photo.  I've got the tops of the corner boxes planted with flower seeds and they've sprouted, too!

  I worked in the shop in Cooperstown on Saturday while Jeff and Fanny were busy in the garden.  Jeff even transplanted the petunias into the flower box by our sitting area (I want to get more) and the strawberry plants into hanging baskets which he put in the old lilac tree there.  It seems the lilacs all opened overnight!   This one is 'lilac' and the ones in the backyard are deep purple.  We use to have a white one but it's no more.  The apple tree has started to blossom, too.  Only a few buds have opened...and not very close together.  There are more and I'm going to wait...with my fingers crossed...until they open hoping they'll make a great photo!
   For several years the shop was invited to participate in a yearly fashion show in Cooperstown but since we had to provide our own models and children tend to grow, our models out-grew us and we had to stop doing it.  This year we were invited 
again, but since we still don't have any models, it looked like we'd have to decline until one of the organizers offered the services of her granddaughter and suddenly we were back in the show.  One of Sharon Gibbons' sundresses and a shrug of mine will be featured in Wednesday's show along with child appropriate jewelry by Anita Tobler...all available at Cooper Country, 2 Doubleday Court, Cooperstown.  We're open 10am-5pm, 7 days a week. Hope someone takes some photos! Hope this generates some sales, too!  So far this month all I've sold is a baby hat and a pair of baby socks.  And I need a new PC...opps, and batteries for the camera!






Tuesday, May 5, 2015

More Spring Time

      The weather continues to be fantastic and we've been spending a lot of time outdoors, planting the garden and just sitting there talking.  We even had lunch outside today!!   I planted the "Flower Rockets*" in the top levels of 3 of the corner boxes Sunday morning.  The one closest to my bedroom window is suppose to be a 'fragrant mix' and the other 2 are zinnas and painted daisys...bright color mixes.  Hope the bees and butterflies like them!  They were a birthday gift from a friend. Wally from next door stopped over a couple of times and told us about going to the Turning Stone for the big televised fight.  Not our kind of thing but to each his own.  
   Today Jeff put up the new flag holder on the garage.  We'll see tonight if it turns on the motion light.  A couple of hummingbirds tried to visit today, too, but were disappointed to find our feeders empty.  It's early for the hummers to be around so I hadn't gotten the liquid feed yet.  That's on the top of my list for tomorrow morning!  #2 is a new coco mat for a hanging pot so I can plant the strawberry plants Jeff got me for my birthday.  He's got the potatoes, onions, garlic, beans and lettuce planted.  It's a little early to put pepper plants outside and the greenhouse still needs to be re-covered so Jeff's got me in charge of the 2 flats of transplants sitting in the tv room in front of a window. 
   I love making bread with the machine I got at that garage sale!  I put the ingredients together after lunch today for a loaf of Italian bread and 3 1/2 hrs later...here it is!  And, boy, is it good!  Jeff's waiting for whole wheat bread but I'm waiting for him to buy molasses for the compost bin so I can 'borrow' some from him!  I thought these loaves were big but they don't last as long as a store-bought loaf of bread.  Toast, sandwiches...even PBJ tastes great on this bread!
.

*Flower Rockets are pre-planted biodegradable mats that come rolled up.  You dig a hole and plant the bomb.  Water it 2x a day until it sprouts and as needed.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Spring is Here!


 Jeff's been wanting to try out a Mantis tiller so he rented one this morning.  It seems to work well in the boxes but the ground between the boxes...in the rows...is too hard for it to do much good.  We'll have to stay with the 'old fashion' method there...
pitch fork and spade!  Jeff's got some pepper plants he wants to put in and Fanny's decided to try plant a dog biscuit.  Don't know if it will grow...or even be there when she checks it again.  I'm sure there are plenty of critters who will be willing to dig it up for her!  Last night a few...which ones I don't know, I wasn't going outside to investigate... woke her up around midnight.  Fanny sat up in bed to look out the window and growled while the hair on the back of her neck stood up (so did mine!).  She carried on for about 10 minutes, even barking a little.  (She's so brave when she's inside and it's outside!) Finally she went back to sleep...but I stayed a wake for awhile longer...just making sure it was gone.

My Baby Hat Display
 I worked in the shop in Cooperstown yesterday and while the day was pleasant it was very slow in the shop.  I had 3 sales all day...none of them mine!  Two shop members came in and the man from the store next door so there were people to talk to.  I managed to bring yarn to do baby socks but the wrong needles and yarn and needles for socks for me but no pattern, so I had the day off from knitting.  My right hand was thankful.  It looks like a Vulcan salute most of the time now because of the way...and amount of time...I knit.
Thankfully it hurts only in the morning and 10 minutes of washing dishes helps.  My MD has suggested PT but it doesn't hurt that much and as long as hot water helps I can't see it.  "Live long and prosper".





Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Spring at the Little House in the Little Woods

Under Construction
The annual bird's nest is under construction just above our door at the little house in the little woods.  The bird...it may be a tufted titmouse...got the thing started before I noticed.  I tried to get a photo of the occupant while it was sitting in the lilac bush next to the house but he flew away when the dog came outside.  I'll have to carry my camera with me every time I go to the door and try to get his photo and post it!  This will be the 5th or 6th year that a nest has been built in that location.  We had an 'Uncle Sam' flag holder underneath it who's flapping flag helped keep scavengers away from the nest but it fell this winter and is beyond repair.  Have to start looking for something to hang there...the spot looks empty.  Maybe I'll even try to paint around it this year instead of waiting until the birds leave!
   Jeff showed me what wintered in the garden boxes this year.  These are carrots he found in a box in the front garden and there are onions and garlic in
those boxes, too. And in the back there are red cabbage growing nicely under leaves in the big boxes.  I think we're going to skip planting tomatoes and cucumbers this year.  The blight always gets the tomatoes before we do...and that seems a lot of work for very little harvest...and we got a large harvest of cukes last year and have enough pickles to last several years.  Beans and greens, and potatoes head our list right now.
Garage Sale Finds
   We went to a couple of garage sales Saturday and I got a Welbilt Bread Machine for $5...without the booklet so I've been searching the internet for one.  Jeff recommended YouTube and I found videos galore and copied a couple of recipes (bookmarking those sites, of course) and plan on trying my luck at machine bread.  I also got an electric tea kettle...for $.25, (I wear them out quickly) and Jeff got an old-fashioned double-boiler for $.50.  He's going to use it to melt wax to take fire-starters and candles.   Maybe my pots and pans will last a little longer.