March 18, 2020

More Important Than Plants & Gardening!

I don't think I've ever written about anything other than things related to the garden but I'm going to deviate from that this one time. Next week we will get back into the dirt. 😉

Many of you, like Bill and I, are sheltered in place right now. We are healthy and hope to stay that way. We loaded up on groceries and had them delivered to our home. Other than checking on my homebound mom, I don't plan to leave the house and yard.

I have asked my women's home prayer group to join me this Saturday from 8:30 - 10:00 (anytime you can pray will work) and let's seek God's help for our world, our country, our communities and our families. Please use this powerful promise is 2nd Chronicles as a starting place:

2 Chronicles 7:14 King James Version (KJV)

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
I would love for you to post a comment here as God begins to answer our prayers.

March 16, 2020

Spring Is Here!

Not only am I sick and tired of gloomy wet weather but now I'm "sheltering in place" to keep my old bones from getting sick! I pray all of you will get through this coronavirus scare as healthy you were when it started. If it will ever stop raining, Grandson Tad and I are going to rake up all the leaves we didn't get around to in the fall. 😏

With that in mind, Let's think happy thoughts of sunny weather, spring flowers and packets of seeds to plant.

Wren's Nest
My spring flowers are popping up all over the place - some in places they were not growing last year. Birds are busy building nests ... Miss Wren has a big messy nest in the corner of our porch roof.  Below are a few pictures of what's blooming and some links to other "spring" posts.

Next week I'll talk about what's happening in the greenhouse right now.

Sweet William
Two-tone Daffodil

Garden Path
Coral Bells
Hen Bit
                                                       Bi-Color Spirea Buds

Other Posts you might like:  Hardy Camillia  

A Penny Pinching Tip, Camellias Are Easier Than You Might Think

February 23, 2020

Growing up in The Nineteen Fifties

It was a spring-like day today, Sunday too, so we raked and burned leaves this afternoon and roasted hotdogs over the chimenea fire. Actually, I roasted hotdogs and we both ate them. 

Image result for chicken clip artI asked Bill if he remembered the story of The Little Red Hen. I was feeling a little like that little chicken at the time. Bill didn't remember the story and that precipitated a conversation of just what did we remember about growing up. The following are a few of the flashbacks we came up with. 
 Maybe this will take you back in time too.

Bill remembers his little red peddle car, playing cowboys, Saturday movies (my mother would not let me go to those...(Mama was way too protective!)  Bill was about ready for a Sunday nap and not much interested in going down memory lane with me but the whole thing got me to thinking.

penny candy - Here I am looking at all of the candy deciding what I should get.   
I grew up in the 1950s, my earliest memories are when we lived in Sheffield, Ala (now known as Muscle Shoales) There was a little store about a block from our house and sometimes Mama would go there for something and I would get a nickel to spend on penny candy. For 5 pennies could get a hot cinnamon jawbreaker, a peanut stick, a peppermint stick, or other "penny" candies. If I wanted to blow the whole nickel, I could have a Baby Ruth Candy Bar.  

Mama and her friends liked to go "shopping". We had a McLellan's Five and Dime store in our town and if I was good, I got 15 cents to spend there. It was always hard to decide between a new paper doll book or a coloring book. I loved the movie star paper dolls. There was Bette Grabel, Doris Day, Shirley Temple or maybe Marilyn Monroe. I loved cutting out the paper outfits and dressing up the dolls.
We moved several blocks away when I was six. We bought a new bigger house and there were kids on both sides of us. We played cowboys and cops and robbers. My little friend and I were always the robbers because the boys were older and we didn't get a choice. I remember one time they locked us in the washroom (a room outside the house where the washing machine dryer back then. We all hung our clothes on a clothesline outside) I don't remember who let us out but I think the boys got into trouble over that one. 

I got my first bike when we lived there and it took me a year to learn how to ride it. I was scared I would fall! The boys next door finally got tired of watching me push it around and taught me how to ride. We had much fun with our bikes. There was an alley next to my house and it was the perfect place to ride. Our street was too busy to be safe.

 As I said above, my mother was very protective of me...honestly, she was too protective but I managed to survive anyway. She would not let me go to the Saturday movies with all the other kids. For some reason she let me go once. It was a Hopalong Cassidy film and I had a great time. I have no idea what caused her to let me go but she never did it again. Mama and Daddy would sometimes take me to the movies at night. I remember seeing The Greatest Show on Earth and all of us kids played "circus" for weeks after that one. A swing set can become a terrific trapeze with a little imagination.

"Kick the Can" was a fun neighborhood game too. It's a wonder we survived that one. I remember getting a pretty nasty cut from a jagged can top.

 Of course, "dress up" was a favorite with the girls. We would dress up in old curtains and play like we were movie stars or singers. Our front porch was the stage and we would sing all the popular songs of the day from our top step theater. Sometimes we played "wedding" or "flower shop". We would dress up in old lace curtains and make bouquets from the blooms on Mama's flowering shrubs. I guess that may be where my love of flowers and plants got its start.

  We walked home from school every day. It was only a few blocks and there were sidewalks all the way. One afternoon we decided to take a short cut through a vacant lot. The grass was about waist high and there was a little path through the tall grass. About halfway across the lot, we scared a huge black snake and it chased us all the way across to the other side! Talk about scared! I'm not sure if we or the snake was the most afraid but I promise you we never took that short cut again!

I probably could write another book about childhood adventures. Heck, maybe I will, but in the meantime, I'd love to read about your favorite or most funny childhood stories. Was your mama as protective as mine? Post a comment below and share it with us all.  

February 14, 2020

My Cure for the Winter Doldrums...

I am one of those people who get the blues when the weather is dreary. S.A.D. Syndrome visits me nearly every winter in spite of the florescent lights and big windows. I have the best cure for greenhouse!

The following are a few pictures I took last week when I went out there to clean up and plant a few seeds. I wanted some early lettuce and a tomato or two.

Bear in mind that my greenhouse is small. It's 8 X 18 feet but that's just about all that would fit in our backyard since we have a big art studio that takes up quite a bit of the space back there. I bought it from Morton's Horticultural in McMinnville, TN. They delivered it and set it up as part of the purchase price. Here is a link to an old blog post about that here: My Greenhouse Adventure.

Anyway, last week the little sunny greenhouse was just what I needed to lift the winter doldrums and remind me that spring will be here before we know it.
Inside the greenhouse

 As you can see the Christmas and Easter Cactus, as well as other hanging baskets, are happy and in the next picture a mixed pot that otherwise would have succumbed to the frost by now. I'll refresh it a little in the spring and pop it back into the yard.

Meyer Lemon Tree

Myer Lemons are the best! I have this wonderful little Lemon tree that produces at least two crops of the biggest and juiciest lemons ever! I've already harvested the Christmas crop and as you can see, it's blooming again. I have to use an artist's paintbrush to pollinate it because I really don't want bees in the greenhouse..LOL! 

 I can never bring myself to toss the poinsettias. So the greenhouse is a good place until they totally lose all the red leaves. I usually compost them in late's less painful when all those leaves turn green. 

Sweet Bay Tree and babies

I have had this Sweet Bay tree for many years. It was in a tiny pot when I first got it. I keep it pruned to fit into this big storage tub that has drain holes drilled into the bottom. All these plants are moved outside after the danger of frost is over. I use the Bay leaves all year in many of our favorite dishes. Salmon steaks are wonderful if they are grilled on a bed of whole Bay leaves. Last year I pruned the tree and had so many branches that I gave them to my local fresh market..she passed them along for free to her customers. We made a lot of folks happy! :-) As you can see from the babies in the small pots, Bay trees are easy to root.

So if you have space and can afford a greenhouse, I highly recommend having one. If not, plan a visit to a local greenhouse and get an early spring fix! 

February 7, 2020

Tomatoes in the Greenhouse

I am writing this on February 3rd. We have had spring-like weather for several days now. I'm pretty sure we will get a freeze soon. After all, it is still winter. I've had cabin fever so I decided to plant some veggie seeds in big pots in the greenhouse.

They may not do worth a hoot but I enjoyed the day of warm sun and dirty fingernails! I planted Cherokee Purple tomato seeds in a five-gallon pot, Lettuce, and spinach in 3-gallon pots. The greenhouse is heated so it doesn't freeze at night. Honestly, I've planted seeds in February before but they were started for planting outside after the last frost. I've never actually grown tomatoes for fruit inside. See these posts: Starting Herbs and Heirloom Seeds, Winter sowing and My Greenhouse in Winter.  it works I will definitely do it again next year. Grocery store tomatoes are just not the same as homegrown. The greens will probably be fine, they like cool weather anyway.

I'll report how this turns out in a few weeks. 

February 3, 2020

A Jesus Quandary

Image result for free church  clipartWell, maybe I should call it a church quandary.  I need your help! This definitely has nothing to do with gardening.

My whole life has been a series of religious changes (for lack of a better word). My mama talked to me about Jesus from the day I was born. I accepted Him as my Savior at the age of eight. I remember after I told Mama I wanted to be baptized, she took me to talk to our preacher. He explained to me about being saved and baptized and joining the church. I came home with Jesus and a kitten. The pastor's cat had babies and I took a beautiful black and white fluffy kitten home with me. 😀

That began my journey. I have been on and off the path for years. I was a rather rebellious teen. Probably because mama was so fearful of what I might get into so I had more restrictions than most of my friends. I broke most of the rules! One day I'm going to paint the picture that I see in my mind when I think of those years. It's me about to jump off a very high cliff and Jesus is standing behind me, holding onto my hand and keeping me from falling.  No telling what I would have gotten into if I had not had a solid Biblical background.

I have been Southern Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Charismatic and back to Baptist again. My Christian life has always been a series of changes. My life, in general, has always included physical change. I have lived in 3 states, moved ten times, and gone to no telling how many different churches. We won't even talk about marriage!

We have been out of church for a few months. Bill had surgery and serious health issues and we were not able to attend church for quite a while last fall and this winter. We got pretty interested in TV preachers. Our favorite is Allen Jackson at World Outreach  Church. We attended a local non-denominational church nearby before Bill had surgery.  I really liked it...Bill is noncommittal.

I don't know what to do. He sleeps through our old church, He stays awake at the church I'd like to join. Again, a spiritual change for me. I'm used to it but I married a man who hates change. I have dragged Bill kicking and screaming into many new adventures. He has always been happy once we reach our destination or have gotten settled into a new routine.

My oldest son and his girlfriend have just joined the church I would like to attend full time. This is so good ... Josh had been out of church for a while and they really like the preacher and people where we too have visited quite a bit. I think we could talk Zack (my younger son) into coming too. I am ready for this change but I'm not so sure about Bill.

I need your comments - advice...What should I do? Stay home and watch TV preachers, go back to our old church and watch Bill sleep through the sermons or follow my heart and drag Bill along with me???