Where in the world is Patti?

green cherry tomatoes Houston, Tx

green cherry tomatoes Houston, Tx (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know if anyone has been asking that or not, but I’m still here.  I have some good days, some bad days, but mostly I just have okay days.  This past Sunday I felt the best I’d felt in a long time (and that’s even with working a full day…make that a full, hectic day).  So I feel like there is at least some hope that I can manage this.

I woke up this morning at around sixish…didn’t have to work, but thought I’d throw some clothes on and step outside to do a little “gardening”.  Ha, I haven’t planted anything or even weeded the one bed I have outside my kitchen window, so you can imagine what a mess it was.  But I spent about half an hour pulling and cutting weeds…imagine my surprise when I discovered two volunteer tomato plants!  One of them is obviously a grape tomato plant as it has the clusters of tiny tomatoes growing.  I went inside and grabbed two tomato cages and used them to corral the little wildings.  I also have some coneflowers blooming that had been hidden in the weeds.

Finding the tomatoes and flowers encouraged me to do a little planting of my own.  Yes, it is kind of late to be planting most things, but I decided to plant some cucumber seeds in a couple of containers.  Hopefully I’ll manage to pick a few before fall gets here (doesn’t it seem strange to think about fall in July?).

The plants that managed to survive through some difficult growing conditions reminded me that we can do the same thing…life isn’t always easy and it doesn’t always go as we’ve planned.  But we can survive and make the best of whatever situation we find ourselves in.  I hope you’re having a day with the joy of discovering the unexpected!

Gardening? Not so much

I don’t know what’s happened to me this year, but I just haven’t been able to get motivated to do very much gardening.  I’ve got some tomato plants and a pepper plant growing, the lettuce is done what with the hot weather we had a week or so ago.  I just can’t seem to  convince myself to get out there and dig in the dirt.  Maybe I’ll just give the farmers market my business this summer.

Ooh…that reminds me, the little farmers market (as opposed to the huge, super-busy farmers market on Saturday mornings) starts this week on Tuesday afternoon/evening.  Just may have to meander on over there Tuesday and check out the offerings.  I guess, if I’m not going to do my own gardening this year, at least there are some local farmers who will be glad to do it for me…well, for the right price…

farmers market in B’town, 2011

And now it’s time for the weekend

2008 Calendars

2008 Calendars (Photo credit: Scott Ingram Photography)

Okay, I know it’s not really the weekend…really, I do.  But since we’ve changed over to a new 4 week rotation of our work schedule, I have a difficult time figuring out what day of the week it is.  I worked all weekend…will have to work 3 out of 4 weekends a month…had to work today too.  And now I have 2 days off.  Thank you, Chris for giving me two days off together…that makes all the difference.  But it sure does play mind games with me.  It just seems like tomorrow is Saturday since I have 2 days off…

Hey, you don’t have to tell me…I know I’m lucky to have a job when so many folks don’t.  And I do appreciate it…but you better believe I’m still in the market for a promotion to store manager…keep your fingers crossed for me, would you?

I’m planning to get outside early and do some work in my “garden”…how in the world can the weeds grow so fast?  (Hmm…blog idea, with pictures)  And I need to do a little housework (okay, really I need to do a lot of housework), and I want to run over to Sahara Mart to pick up a few things…I’ve simply got to get back to eating healthier and exercising…no time like the present for that, is there?

I also want to take a little time to relax, maybe read a bit on my Kindle…which I’m loving, by the way.  It’s probably about time to plan another vacation.  I’ve been thinking about going down to Nashville, TN…do a little research for my book maybe? We’ll see!

So I hope you have a peaceful, productive, pain-free day tomorrow…that’s my hope for all of us!

Peaceful gardening day

A scanned red tomato, along with leaves and fl...

A scanned red tomato, along with leaves and flowers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did manage to get outside and plant a few things today.  I planted the tomato and pepper plants I bought Friday.  So far, I’ve only planted a Patio Tomato and a Rutgers tomato plant, then 1 Cubanelle pepper plant.  I’ve planted the Cubanelles the past few years and had really good luck with them, very productive plants.  So we’ll see how this year goes.

I did pull some nice looking radishes today.  And I’m looking forward to having some lettuce in another couple of weeks.  Salad outside my back door!!  Yes!

I still need to buy either a grape or cherry tomato plant (funny how they named them, isn’t it?).  I usually grow one or two grape tomato plants and they  produce right up until that first heavy frost.  Have you noticed that tomatoes and corn taste best when you grow them yourself?  Or at least when you manage to eat them right after someone has harvested them.  I don’t really have the room to grow my own corn so I buy mine from a local farmer at the farmer’s market…still pretty darn good.

On another note, (but still food related) I’m starting this 5-day Live Below The Line challenge tomorrow.  It’s a project to bring awareness about extreme poverty…we have to spend less than $1.50 a day for food and drink, which is what a lot of people have to do day in and day out.  Wow!  And to think I bought a $1.49 bottle of tea the other day.  I’ve got my meals planned out, but it definitely won’t be easy.  I’ll keep you posted about how it goes…

Hands in the dirt today

That’s right.  I had the day off work…it was 80 degrees (seriously, it was)…and the only thing I had to do was run over to the doctor’s office for a blood draw…in and out in less than 10 minutes.  So I had plenty of time to enjoy the early summer-like weather.

I decided to get outside and get my hands a little dirty…planted some lettuce (leaf lettuce, a mixture of varieties) and some radishes.  Ah…it feels so good to be able to go outside without a coat or jacket.   I have to admit, I was a little sweaty by the time I came back inside…I mean, 80 degrees…that’s like June kind of weather here in central Indiana.  But at least I got my little garden started…

lettuce from 2011 garden

Hard to believe it’s already the middle of May…

..oh wait, it isn’t, is it?  Here in central Indiana it sure feels like it.  I think it topped off at about 77 degrees today…sunny..a light breeze.  Very pleasant.  Of course I had to work all day (have tomorrow off tho and it’s supposed to be even nicer tomorrow…is that possible?).  Customers were coming in wearing shorts and flip flops…this is still March, right?

don't these make you smile?

Time to start some seeds

Garden Strawberry

Garden Strawberry (Photo credit: jomilo75)

Okay, I know it’s just the first of March, but I’m anxious to get my hands dirty and plant some seeds.  I don’t have a greenhouse or sun room (don’t I wish…), but my spare bedroom gets a lot of sunshine so a big table directly in front of the window is the perfect place to start those tender seedlings.  But what should I plant?  Do I want to start some tomato plants or several varieties of peppers?  Do I want to start some herbs?  How about some flowers?  Why, yes…yes, I would like to grow all of the above.

Unfortunately, I have to kind of limit myself since I only have the patio outside my kitchen and a small bed under the window.  So I usually grow a few tomato plants and a couple of pots with peppers in them…always have to grow jalapenos to use in my salsa…just thinking about homemade salsa is making my mouth water.

I can definitely be thinking about starting lettuce outside…well, once this next little cold spell passes us…we might even get some snow tonight…yippee!  And of course, I’ll have to grow some spinach and radishes.  I have cilantro coming up outside right now…that stuff self sows like crazy.

Mixed lettuce and radishes from last spring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I look through the seed catalogs and want to try all of the new things, but I usually stick with the old tried and true veggies…what I know will grow well here.  Is that boring?  I think I’ll challenge myself to try something I’ve never grown before…not sure what that would be.  You know what I’ve never grown?  Strawberries.  Yep, my grandma had a huge strawberry patch when I was a kid.  Oh how I remember those days.  We had to help her pick them and she didn’t want us to eat any because she sold a lot of them.  Man, that’s just mean to a little kid.  Somehow I survived the cruelty though.  But yes, strawberries it is.  I know I won’t be able to grow a lot of them with my limited growing area, but even just a few would be pretty cool.

Are you already dreaming about your garden?

Vacation, writing, chores

pinterest nwf

pinterest nwf (Photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg)

I’m on a little bitty vacation right now.  I go back to work on Friday (weird, I know, but with the work schedule I keep, that’s the best way to do it), so I’ve got a few days to get a bit done, caught up on, started…

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve allowed myself to become quite the slacker with my writing…I think I can use this week to redevelop the daily writing habit.  I have to, it’s one of the things in my life that keeps me sane (or at least what passes for sane in my crazy life).

I’ve also been going through a lot of my “stuff”…funny, I’m pretty careful with what I buy any more, but still end up with several boxes/bags of items to pitch or donate.  How in the world does that happen?  Seriously, I go through things at least twice a year.  You wouldn’t think I would have much to get rid of after several years of doing this, would you?  But you’d be wrong with that assumption.  Right now, I have a bag of magazines  to donate (bingo ladies in my complex?), a couple of bags of books to take to the Friends of the Library tomorrow, and some clothes to take to Goodwill.  At least I’m pretty much past the stage of having knick knacks to get rid of.

Today’s focus is going to be the kitchen.  I did clean the oven yesterday.  It really didn’t need a lot of cleaning, just wiping out, so that was fairly easy.  But I want to pull everything out of the fridge and freezer, clean it completely, then reorganize it when I put it back…and I may just have to make up a big pot of veggie soup using frozen leftovers just to get rid of some of the little containers filling my freezer.  Then I want to pull all of the furniture out and do a good mopping.  I admit, I’m not the world’s best at that, only do a complete job of it a few times a year.  Usually leave the plant stands in front of the window and just reach under them.  But not today.  Today I’ll move everything and use the little steam cleaner and get it done right!

I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel so much better when my house is totally clean and organized.  Oh, I did clean off my desk yesterday…found $3 in expired ECBs from CVS.  Don’t think that didn’t make me mad!  Note to self, that’s why you immediately cut them from the receipt and put them in wallet in purse.  {Head slap}

So, I can’t promise I won’t spend any time at all on Pinterest (or Facebook) today, but I can promise that it won’t be the entire day!  What about you?   Got any plans for your Monday?

spring comes early this year

And what kind of crazy winter has this been?  Daffodils trying to bloom in early February?

New DIY gardening crafts

I’m a big fan of garden themed decor (think plants, birdhouses, birds, decorative pots…)  So I was thrilled to see some of the new garden themed products in our new expanded wood set…

multi dwelling birdhouse

 

kind of a cut out scroll work birdhouse

I will definitely be buying one of these for myself!
 

planter

 
I can just see this painted to match my decor.
 

rusted tin decor

 
How about this cute little watering can?
 

rusted tin birdhouse

 
Another birdhouse I’m just going to have to have…oh who am I kidding?  I’ll take one of everything!
 

 

It’s January and I’m thinking about…gardening

Okay, you’re right…I live in Indiana, it’s in the teens right now.  Not the most conducive weather for gardening unless maybe you have a greenhouse, which I don’t (would love to someday tho).  But those seed catalogues have been coming in the mail every few days and I can just sit there and drool over all of the different varieties of tomatoes or lettuce, look at the new (to me anyhow) seeds that are available, and dream about what all I would plant if I only had a real live garden with room for lots and lots of plants.

Instead, I have a small patio and one small bed where I can grow my veggies.  It’s surprising how much produce I’m able to get from that tiny area.  And there’s not a lot of weeding to do.  But then that’s offset by the daily watering, I suppose.

So I’ll continue to peruse the seed catalogs, trying the new lettuce here or the new pepper there and just make the best of what space I do have.  It may be bitterly cold outside today, but I’m dreaming of warmer days and a new spring garden.