Friday, May 29, 2009

A "budding" gardener

I admit it:
I kill plants. I'm not proud of it, b
ut I acknowledge it. Case in point: Once, in college we bought a mini "ornamental grass kit:"The idea being we were going to have the coolest and calmest dorm room ever (!) and we needed this. It's grass, like from a lawn.

I killed it.

However, I love the ideal of growing our own food for a lot of reasons. So, I soldier on, trying desperately to be a "gardener." Last year, I got ZERO tomatoes from my plants (someone else kept eating them....and I think it was grey and fuzzy). But, I did have good luck with lettuce plants, until we went on vacation and the whole thing went to heck.

This year, I'm dreaming big. I figure the more plants I have in the ground, the more likely some of them will make it, right?

Here's what I have so far:Broccoli Plants (been in the ground for 3 weeks)

Tomatoes (little ones started from seeds, big ones bought at the market last week)
The little ones planted 3 weeks ago, the big ones last week

Spinach-started from seeds, had about 12. Ended up with 4 after 3 weeks in the ground

Cucumber plants. Bought from the market, in the ground 1 week. Pickles anyone?

Yellow squash (Mom has zucchini variety, we're planning on splitting each).
Bought at the market, planted last week.

More tomato plants from the market. Hope I get a lot of tomatoes to freeze!

In case you wanted more evidence of my "Brown Thumb:"

Hibiscus plant my ex-landlady gave me. Kept it alive all one winter, then one summer. Then, this winter, I killed it. D-E-D. Dead. It's been outside for 3 weeks in an attempt to revive because I love it's yellow flowers with red insides: But it's dead. May it rest in peace.

Parsley plant from the market a couple of weeks ago. Didn't get a chance to plant it. Also, apparently, I didn't get a chance to water it. Dead.

I have found recently that I talk to my plants. I think I have always done this, but I just noticed it as maybe something a little odd. Does anyone else talk to their plants, encourage them, praise them for growing, etc? Maybe it's time I had kids, I don't know. I talk to the fish too.....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May Reflections

May is always such a busy month. I'm so glad it's followed by June, which is much more relaxed (I hope). At least work will be less crammed full of special events.

Maybe then I'll have the time for things like: sewing (skirt in progress... the sewing machine I got from Mom has NO bobbins, and I haven't had time to get to the store to get some); beading (still have to find/order beads for a bridal necklace I'm making-good thing the weddin
g's in November); baking (would like to get some dough in the freezer for the hot months); practicing clarinet and piano ( I really miss them); working on my stack of "to read" books (hopefully on a lawn chair); and maybe experimenting with canning (strawberry jam is my favorite...can't wait to pick some!).

We also want to get in some spontaneous camping trips, some hiking, and we have a trip to North Carolina planned!
On the bright side, this spring we have not moved, with no plans to do so in the near future! I have moved every spring since college-that's every spring since 2002! I'm ready for a break. Mike, who's moved nearly that often, is too. Also, my poor brother (who helps us move with his truck) can catch a break!

My garden is looking least it was last evening, I didn't look at it tonight (it was dark when I got home from work). This is a good sign-maybe the wild critters will hold off the snacking until Friday evening when I can get a chance to put up the fence!
I apologize for all the mundane rants/information, but I need to let it out somewhere, and it seems better to do it here where people have the option of not reading, then cornering a friend or loved one to hear it all....


e May, Hello sweet June!

A photo thought for today:
Mike really loves the hillside at Mom's house....

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...May 25th, 2009

Outside my window... Calm evening/night

I am thinking... about the future

I am thankful for... opportunity

From the kitchen... Grilled Salmon

I am wearing... Grey Sweatpants, pink t-shirt from last autumn's kayak event

I am reading... Jitterbug Perfume (still...)

I am hoping... that my garden doesn't get eaten by *visitors* again this year...

I am creating... a fence for my garden (see above)

I am praying... that some present uncertainties get resolved

Around the house... some creepy noises.......

One of my favorite things... sunshine

A few plans for the rest of the week... rehearsal, work, awesome band to see Friday night, maybe camping next weekend?

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

The view from Mom's back door...just gorgeous!

Check out ~The Simple Woman's Daybook~ for more simple thoughts!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


The weather this week was gorgeous! I went for a picnic and walk on Tuesday:
Last night we had a cookout; I had an *accident* with the ketchup bottle:

Finally, I have to share some yard sale *bargains* from this season already!

Mike bought this serger at a sale across the street for $5:
My Dad and I stopped at a sale today, and there was this:

A Vera Bradley (real McCoy here, not a knockoff) bucket tote in Java Blue, suggested retail: $59

....for $20!

Have a safe and happy long weekend!

Monday, May 18, 2009

~The Simple Woman's Daybook~

I stumbled across this today, being that I'm home from work and avoiding spring cleaning, and it spoke to me. Here goes my first "Simple Woman's Daybook" entry:

FOR TODAY (Monday, May 18, 2009)...
Outside my window... my neighbor's garden with some beautiful reddish-pink flowers
I am nice it is not to be at work
I am thankful for...having a comfortable life when others have so little
From the kitchen...Pasta salad with tomato-basil dressing, olives, artichokes and tomatoes.
I am wearing...still PJs...I am about to shower...really...
I am creating...a skirt later, if i get my sewing machine.
I am the car dealer to work out some "problems" with my car.
I am reading..."Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins
I am hoping...that my mom gets to keep her job.
I am hearing...silence.
Around the house...Working on spring cleaning..2 more rooms to go!
One of my favorite things...local asparagus is now ready!
A few plans for the rest of the week: finish spring cleaning, teach a guitar lesson, make another necklace, finish my skirt project.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing...
The fabric for the skirt I am trying to create...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Unexpected Kitchen Harmony

I got the rare pleasure of being able to cook all day today. At the farmer's market this morning, I bought some locally grown baby mushrooms. I sauteed them up and made a creamy sauce with some pasta for lunch:
I also bought some locally grown asparagus. I blanched it and froze it for later this summer on the grill. Then, I caramelized onions to use this week for quick suppers:

I used the ends of the asparagus to make a dip for snacking: Roasted asparagus and garlic with artichoke hearts. No photo, because the color was a little funny (I over-roasted the asparagus).

Since we are having friends in and out all w
eekend, I also made awesome chocolate chip cookies:

Supper was beef kabobs and grilled asparagus, grilled in the rain.

Also stuffed tomatoes from the market today:

I was planning on hiking with a friend, but an amazing rain/thunderstorm ruined our plans (that's the street in front of my house!):
I was bummed to miss out on a hike, but it was an unexpected treat to be able to cook all day.

Finally, a couple of photos from a night out with friends last night:

(They laughed at me when I took this but that ceiling fan was rotating, and I wanted to see what it would look like...especially with the fog machine on)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Since I got my new camera for my birthday in October, I love to take interesting photos. I wanted to take this opportunity to share some with you, starting with this one I took on the way to work this morning: (note the "dependable"'s on the back of a tow truck)

The Mary statue and her tulips in our backyard

One pink tulip

Flowers at Beaver Lake

A daffodil at Beaver Lake

Inside a tulip in our backyard. This might be the one a spider built a web in.

Curvy tree at Beaver Lake.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Roadside Gold

I'll admit it: I love finding stuff. In the basements and attics of family and friends, or on the side of the road, I love the excitement of finding something neat in an unexpected place. I love that these things have a story that goes with them. Here are some of our best "roadside gold:" finds that are not from people we know, but are found as we go about our daily routines.I found this next to the dumpster of the apartment complex I lived in in Binghamton. It held our TV for 3 years before we got our new one.

Recently we've had some excellent finds:

These were on the side of James street one sunny Sunday afternoon! The books are a carrier for bottles of wine!

I saw this rattan elephant plant stand on my way home from work one day. I drove past it again before picking it up. She's a little well-loved, but with a little hot glue, she looks great in our living room!

This bench I found last week. With a little wood glue and maybe some paint and another 1 by 2, I think it'll be great next to our back door! It had a partner, but it was in too many pieces to take.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


As I wander through this life, I find more and more things to write down; for myself, or for others, just to have them written somewhere. I've never been a journal keeper, but maybe it's time in my life to chronicle projects, ideas, memories, whatever. I hope someone finds this interesting enough to read.

To start, yesterday afternoon I was home and a terrific thunderstorm rolled in. After the storm was spent, the sky over our garage was amazing-half the sky was black and stormy, the other half was sunshiney:

I also want to use this blog to keep track of interesting recipe ideas I come up with. Last night for supper I made "Taco Pie" I used defrosted pie crust and filled it with taco-seasoned ground beef, cooked spinach, sour cream, cream cheese, pepper jack cheese, salsa, and fresh tomatoes. Delicious! I wish I had a photo to post. Oh well.