Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter Everyone!

Hello again friends! Today has been a spectacular day with my family. We ate too much, hunted a bunch of eggs, visited my mom, ate candy, and enjoyed eachothers company.

 Our festivities started yesterday with the coloring of some eggs. I laid out an old blanket in our kitchen floor, gathered all of our supplies and colored many eggs.

 Here is my youngest daughter, Faith holding up one of the eggs she colored.

 Dip, look, dip, look. The kiddos did a wonderful job creating such colorful eggs.

 Here is my wonderful hubby and our darling pup Tinkerbell. He is her favorite human.

 My four kiddos. Front from Left..Eddie age 7 and Sj age 5. Back from Left...Faith age 10 and Hope age 11.

My hubby and I hid all of the eggs, real and plastic, and sent the kiddos off to find them all.

 Eddie is counting how many he has. Faith waves to the camera.

 Sj running out of the picture because he has spotted an egg. Eddie searches around my garden beds.

 Look, Sj foun an egg hidden in my Peonies.

 Can you see the egg hidden in this rose bush. This egg was the last one the kiddos found. It was hidden very well in plain sight :P

 Eddie has found an egg. Hope holds up her bag to see how many she has found.

 Give us hints, Eddie and Sj say.

 Sj has found the money egg. He won 2 dollars.

 My hubby and I. I love him so much.

I hope your day has been as good as ours. Here is a Happy Easter from my family to yours. Be Blessed!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Projects, Spud Buds, n more.

Hello again friends. Sure is a sunny day today but it isn't that warm. Only 50 degrees at the moment and windy. I am happy to have the sunshine because it is so much easier to be happy when the sun is shining.

I have been spending my morning cleaning. I did take a break though. I have been having a hard time dealing with our loss as you all know. Well it was mainly because her presence is no longer with us. I couldn't see her. I had a cute picture on my phone of Shorty and Tinkerbell laying on a fluffy purple pillow with frogs on it. They claimed this pillow as theirs. So I took my sd card out of my phone and put it in the adapter, took it to my local Rite Aid and used the photo kiosk to print off that picture of my pups. I then went to my local dollar store and bought a little silver frame to put it in. The picture now holds a special spot on my fireplace and my heart feels better now because I can see her! It was a win-win.

Now for the reason of this blog post. I had gotten away from crocheting. As a matter of fact, I hadn't been on the attic24 blog or on ravelry in over a month. SHAME ON ME! Crochet calms me down and helps me heal so I picked it up again and started crocheting like a mad woman.

 The first project here is my son Eddie's granny stripe blanket. His favorite color is red so I made sure at least two shades were in it. I am making it out of Red Heart Super Saver and the yellow is Caron one pound in Sunflower (i think :) )
 Here are the colors up close. The funny thing is, as I was picking out colors (mostly from my stash) I was thinking man this is going to be one funky looking blanket. But you know what, I love the way it looks. The colors just seem to mesh together well. My son has been hounding me to get it finished so he can have his blanket since his brother, Sj has the one I made that was using blues, creams and browns. (Sj's favorite color is blue)

 My next project is going to be a granny sqauare blanket for my living room. My hubby bought me 4 fabulous colors of Caron Simply Soft yarn. My living room is a mish mash of furniture mostly given to us. The furniture is hunter green and blue. I made burgundy curtains out of king size bed sheets for the two big windows framing my couch. This blanket will be used to bring all of the colors together. I may even buy more so I can make some pillows :). I only have one problem with this yarn though. It is very soft and shiny and slippery. If you don't weave in your ends carefully, they will slip right out of your work.

 I am also working on my 3rd Lucy bag. This one is more toned down than my hippy one I made to begin with. I also plan on lining this one.....
 With this fabric. I dunno if you can see it very well but it has sewing machines and birds Oh I just love it. I found it at my local grocery store which just happens to sell yarn and quilting supplies and such. I fell in love with this fabric and knew I had to use it.

 Here you can see the two together. I know it is going to look smashing! I can't wait to see it all together..Although I am not too sure how to make the lining or sewing it on ...ect.. I guess I will figure it out.

My final picture is of my spud buds. I have been watching these potatoes since I put them in this tub in Mid March. They are just taking off. There are now 8 or so buds poking their heads through the soil. Makes me very happy.

I also got a start (kind of stole it from a bush near my alley :) ) of a lilac bush. I walked by the bush and said..Oh my that smells so heavenly. I looked up on how to get a start and went back and found the shoots I needed. It has good strong roots and I really hope it takes off and thrives.

Ok I know I said my final picture earlier but I had to add a few pictures to so you all.

Tis is the picture from my phone I had printed off of my pups. Shorty is the black and white on on the left and Tinkerbell is the brown and black one on the right.

 Here you can see the finished project on my fireplace. I feel so much better now that I can see her again. She isn't physically here but I can see her and it makes me happy.

Now Finally...again lol....this is my lilac start I just planted. I need to mulch and to stake it. Keep your fingers crossed that it makes it! I really love the smell of lilacs.

Well that is definately it. I have to go swap laundry around and finish the lilac. Thank you all so very much for continuing to read my blog. I appreciate all of you and all of your comments so much!
Until we meet again, Be Blessed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Hello my wonderful friends. I want to do a quick post to say "THANK YOU" for your kind comments. I know most of you want to read blogs and be inspired and uplifted because this is what I like. Things have been so difficult the past few days I feel like I'm in a gloom. The weather is cooperating as well because we have had little sunshine and lots of rain; over 8 inches.

However, I do have some nice blog posts planned as soon as the gloom outside wears off and I can take some pictures of some crochet projects I am working on. I haven't crocheted in a while because I have been planning, planting, and tending to my garden. I felt like a part of me wasn't being fulfilled so I picked up my hooks and instantly felt better. It has also calmed me down and helped me to cope with the loss of Shorty.

It has been 3 days since she has passed way. Each day gets better and I have moments of emotions. It seems everything I do has a memory tied to her. Most are happy memories like her growling and barking at the vacuum cleaner. Jumping up and nipping my hand if I am standing and ignoring her in front of me, and feeling her and Tinkerbell lying beside me asleep as I play online, read, watch tv. My daughter said it best when she said it feels like someone is missing. That is how big Shorty's personality was.

Also, my car has been vandalized. I got in it to take the kids to school yesterday moring because it was raining and they couldn't walk. Someone had stolen the cd player right out of my car. It sits right in front of my house, under a street light. Brave souls. I guess when it rains it pours, right?

Any whoo...I really did want to thank all of you for you comments. They all helped me to feel better. I hope you continue to read my blog because I promise it won't be gloomy all of the time. It is inspired of my life though and earnest. We all know life isn't always sunny.

Thank you , thank you, thank you all again! Be Blessed.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shorty :(

 I am sorry to have to post another very sad post in such a short period of time but we lost one of our dogs today. Her name was Shorty. She turned 1 year old on Feb 1st. She was very fiesty, full of life, and was very curious. She loved to be cuddled and just loved to chase our other dog Tinkerbell and the kids around.

 As you can see from this picture, we got her when she was a teeny tiny puppy. We were her 4th home. No one seemed to want her. She was a sweetheart, I couldn't imagine why not.

 She loved the kids very much. I would find her at night snuggled under the blankets with one of the four kids.

 Today, when we got home from trying to go fishing (too much flooding to do it) I let her and Tinkerbell out to go potty. Today she decided to run across our road to the neighbors house. When the kids went to get her, she ran out into the busy main road through our town where she was hit in the head with a bumper of a car. She came to my middle daughter Faith (who was the only kid to see the whole thing take place and who is taking it the worse) when she called and I met them at the corner because I heard Faith scream and the dog yelp when it happened.

I am sure Shorty had a bad head injury because of the symptoms she was presenting with. She lived for an hour after she was hit. I held her nearly the whole time. My hubby took over for me when she began to seizure and have trouble breathing. I couldn't watch her gasping. I had seen unhealthy newborn kittens do the same thing and I new it wasn't pretty. I think I cried the whole hour praying for God to end her suffering as the vets were nowhere to be found. My hubby held her until she passed. All 6 of us cried our hearts out.

She was wrapped in the blanket she was wrapped up in when we got her and buried in a nice spot in our back yard. She has a big rock headstone and I planted blooming hyacinth on her grave. I told her a million times while holding her that I love her and I am sorry for not putting her on her chain or lead. I take full responsibility for her death. I just hope she knows how much she is loved in my family. My kiddos have finally stopped crying even though I cannot. They have moments of sadness which I know will increase at bedtime. Our other dog Tinkerbell is looking for Shorty and is now lying beside me. I hope she will be ok.

Please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers, especially my children. This is their first true vision of death from cause to effect. Thank you all for reading my blog. It is wonderful to have such good friends out there.
Until next time friends, be blessed.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Update- Garden and life

Good morning my wonderful friends. Thank you very much for your comments on my last post. I have been very busy in my garden getting it ready, caring for, and planting. I have a nice peeling sunburn to prove it :). The weather here for the past few days has been great for garden tending. Warm, sunny. But it will end today. Going to be cooler (in the 60s) and rainy all weekend.

How bout I show you what I have been doing.

 I live in a small old town in Ohio USA. There are some older homes in the city which have huge yards but my yard is very small. As a matter of fact, my house takes up most of my tiny lot. That is why I chose square foot gardening. The concept is you can produce as much as row gardening by using this method with less space, less waste of resources (seeds, fertilizer, water), and less work. The start up costs for the materials: boxes, soil, grids, trellises can be a little pricey but you will make up for it the first growing season. Last year was my first season and I only planted one full box and half of the next. I had tons of tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupes, peppers. This year I planned better and I am sure I will grow enough food to eat, can/freeze, and donate to our local food pantry.

The above picture is looking at my garden area from my front yard. My front yard faces the west, this area faces South. As you can see, I have my beds mulched around, some marigolds planted around them (marigolds are natural pest repellents), and I have my trellises made.

 This is the a close up picture of my last bed. You can see the trellis is made up of 3/4 inch pvc pipe and elbows. It is attached to the bed by brackets and screws. The grid on the trellis is made of a medium grade nylon rope.

 Above you can see my blackberry plants. The one on the left is a little sick right now. He had too much water.  Both of my blackberry bushes are Triple Crown Thornless blackberries. They do not need a pollinator.
 Here is my raspberry bush. It is a Williamette raspberry. It does have thorn and also does not need a pollinator. They seem very happy in this bed.

 This picture shows two trash cans. The forward one is my compost can. The further back one is my rain can.

 Here is my beds all lined up looking from my back yard toward the front yard. I am very lucky because I have a gazebo just steps away from my garden. I can sit in there and watch the plants grow.

 The gazebo. I have snapdragons planted in front of it here. BUT I also have gladiolus corms planted. They are the red white and blue variety. I am sure later on they will look stunning around this gazebo.

 Here is the whole thing. I want to plant a bush or tree or something on the right hand side for some privacy. I also want to get some bamboo shades for it as well that can be drawn when the sun is too hot or when the neighbors are outside.

 Here is my bareroot strawberry plants in their hanging planter. This is the first time I have ever tried to grow strawberries this way. They are starting to turn green though so I hope I get tons of strawberries this year.

 Can you see? I have a potato plant coming up in my potato tub. Makes me happy to see things sprouting!

Half of my dining room table has been taken over by plants. I have Rosemary and lavender here.

 These cups have tomato, eggplant, and chive plants I have started. They were transplanted into cups yesterday.

 Mint is very invasive from underground so I opted to put it in a pot instead. I cant wait to have mint tea.

The plants left in this tray are Jalapeno, bell pepper, and sage. There are still a couple of eggplant seedlings emerging. They love the sunlight in this south facing window.

There you have my garden at a glance. I still want to add some things to it to make it a paradise. Add a swing and some benches. Maybe a solar powered fountain. I know I will continue to add to it as the season progresses and I catch stuff on sale.

Here are some very helpful links that I have been using and the information has been priceless:
Square Foot Gardening Website - the forums have great info and are free
Square Foot Gardening book - This book is a couple hour read and breaks down the concept and process of building your garden. It is so easy. I have talked to 70 year old men doing this type of gardening and loving it even though they have farmed or row gardened all their life. If you start this type of garden please get the book. It has wonderful information on seed start dates and planting.
Average frost dates - here is a great website for all my US followers to find your average Last/First frost dates
Garden Girl- She has an urban garden that produces well. She has videos and tons of info available.
Average frost dates for UK
Square foot Garden in action. Start with video 1. It shows her square foot garden from beginning to end. Great info!

I hope you all buy the book and start your own garden. Most people just start one 4x4x6 garden. You can do one that is 2 feet wide but no more than you can reach. All of my garden beds are 4 feet wide, 8 feet long, and 8 inches deep. I can grow anything I want in them. The key is to start small. See how much you grow and expand if you want to grow more. Once again, the book is wonderful!

Oh and to recap what I will be growing this year is: red onion, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, Jalapeno pepper, chives, sage, basil, rosemary, lavender, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, mint, lettuce, broccoli, carrot, garden bean, squash, corn, cilantro, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, okra, and dill.

I will see how much I produce this year and I will adjust for next year if I need to.

I hope you all enjoy your day. Thank you for stopping by!
Be blessed y'all

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Garden and ideas

Hello my wonderful friends from all over the world! It is very late here but I just could not sleep because I have been meaning to do this blog post for a while now and just haven't done it.

As you all know I love to do many things. I love to crochet, to cook, to read, and I love to grow things. I have a goal in mind for my little spot of land here. I would love to have tons of fresh herbs and edibles growing all around me. I have a pretty large family and our grocery bills are very high so gardening/freezing/canning will help reduce our grocery bills drastically.

Now before I get started with pictures, I want to share with you what I do. For most of my edibles, I plant a Square Foot Garden. A square foot garden is made out of raised garden beds usually 4 feet wide by 4 feet long. You can make them as long as you wish but only 4 feet wide because you can easily reach the middle. It would take a while to explain it all here so here is a website that will explain it all better than I can. Also, there is a book which explains it all and is a handy reference guide. I love this book and this method and this is my 2nd year of this gardening.

Now on to the good stuff.

 The picture above isn't of my garden but I wanted to show these lovely signs of spring and warm weather to come. These grassy looking plants are mystery lilies. The grass peeks through early spring and will eventually die. Then out of no where a lily will grow and bloom. I have also planted more lily bulbs in this bed to even it out a bit.

 Ah here you go...this is my first garden bed on the sunny side of my house. It is 4 foot by 8 foot and are 8 inches deep. As you can see it is divided up into squares. This is where the square foot garden comes in. You plant the plants or sow the seeds in these cells. This bed will have starting with the first row on the left going back towards the next bed: 4 tomato plants (1 in each of 1st 4 squares) and 8 cucumber plants (2 in each of next 4 squares). I will build a trellis on this side of the raised bed for the tomatoes and cucumbers to grow up. Row 2 will have: 4 Jalapeno plants (1 each of first 4 squares) and bell peppers (1 each next 4 squares). Row 3 will be the same as row 2. Row 4 (closest to chain link fence) will have dill in the first 5 squares (1 per square) and chives in last 3 squares (4 per square). That is all for bed 1. I hope I am not confusing anyone..please check out links for better understanding)
 Raised bed 2. It is built and divided the same as the first. Starting with the left row: squash in the first 2 squares (1 plant each), bush beans in the next 3 squares (9 plants each square), and corn in the last 3 squares (4 plants each square). Row 2: Squash in the first 2 squares (1 plant each square), okra in the next 3 squares (1 plant each square), and corn in the last 3 squares (4 plants each square). Row 3: Squash in first 2 squares ( 1 plant each), okra next 3 squares ( 1 plant each), and corn in last 3 squares (4 plants each). Row 4: lettuce in first 4 squares ( 4 plants each) and cilantro in last 4 squares (1 plant each). This bed will also have a trellis on the 1st row to support the beans.
 This is my 3rd bed. Left row: Cantaloupe in first 4 squares ( 1 plant each) and watermelon in last 4 squares (1 plant each) this will have a trellis as well to support the vines and fruits) Row 2: Sage (1 plant) in first square, Basil (1 plant) in second square, eggplant in next 3 squares (1 plant each) and broccoli in next 3 squares (1 plant each). The 3rd row will be the same as the 2nd. Row 4: Carrots in first 5 squares (16 plants each square) and onions in the last 3 squares ( 9 plants each)
 Here is a shot of my onions in the top row. Can you see them? I also have my broccoli and lettuce planted as they are cool weather plants.
 I found this great washtub in the basement when we moved into this house. It is perfect for growing potatoes in. I think these are yellow potatoes.

 This picture is of a flower bed on the sunny side of my house. There are two rose plants already here planted by a previous inhabitant of the house. They are gorgeous when they bloom. So in this spot I want to plant 2 blackberry bushes and 1 red raspberry bush. Of course there will be something for them to vine on once they reach that stage (if I ever get around to buying the plants.)
 On the left side of my garden beds right along my house, these peonys are a welcome sign of spring. They are the sorbet ones. They have huge pink flowers that are yellow in the middle. I love them.

 Ok this is a problem for me. The 2 pictures above are of flower beds on either sides of my front steps. I cannot grow anything here so far. You see there are two trees in front of my house and the top photo, once the leaves come in, the bed is completely shaded all day long. On the bottom picture, it gets sunlight in the evenings. So things will grow in the bed on the bottom picture fairly well and everything seems to die in the bed on the top picture. I really want to put hydrangeas here (blue ones) but I dunno if they will thrive. Any of you out there have any ideas what would be good here?
 Oh yeah, I forgot about my strawberry grower is like a topsy turvy. I bought it last year and didn't use it so this year I want to make sure to plant strawberries in here. I will also have mint in containers as well. MMM...sounds like a yummy dessert if you ask me.
 This is an idea picture. I think I am going to plant tulips around this part of my gazebo. I think they will look lovely in bloom. Of course they will have to be different colors.
Finally, In the bare spot (corner of fence) I want to plant a dwarf Japanese maple. They are absolutely gorgeous and they have a slow growth rate. It will add some privacy from my neighbors!

I am sorry for this being such a long and probably boring post but I just had to share what I am doing in my non bloggy time! I will be sure to post pictures of progress made on my garden beds. Please check out the book and website. Anyone can grow a garden in these beds. It is super easy. Also, I don't use the Mel's mix soil because I cannot find big bags of vermiculite anywhere and the little ones are way too expensive for me to use in my beds so I bought some organic garden soil. It works just fine!

Ok I will quit rambling now. I hope you have enjoyed this post and until we meet blessed.