Tag Archives: gardening

So glad the weekend is almost here!

Well, we’ve officially spent the first week in our new place. We are much happier here, obviously and are so glad that the bulk of the moving process is behind us now. We’ve still got cleaning to do at the old place and we are trying to nail down a walk though appointment time with the slumloards but all in all the craziest part is over now.

During the week N had a meeting with some higher ups about his future at the station. Remember how this job was supposed to be an anchoring/ reporting gig? Since moving here his anchor time has been minimal (it’s happen once) so he was eager to hear what they had planned for him and his future.

It looks like they are hoping to have him around and are grooming him to fill some big shoes in about 3-5 years. This means buying a home was absolutely the right decision to make and that we truly will be able to stay here for a good amount of time. Yay for following the gut instinct.

Knowing you can truly settle in and build a life for yourself is amazing. We’ve got our “bun in the oven”, a home of our own and his career going in the right direction so we are super fortunate and are so grateful to have arrived at this stage in life. It’s been a long and grueling journey and it will continue to have up’s and downs I am sure but what more could you ask for? We are pleased with everything, obviously.

I’ve been getting bursts of energy and then major spells of fatigue so I am gardening and unpacking when I’ve got the energy. The weather is warming up and the plants are springing to life, I am enjoying this very much.

Also, the animals are adjusting much better these days it seems. They still act up now and then and need to be reminded of the rules but the overly obnoxious stuff in the middle of the night has stopped. This is a relief.

Other random musings:

I just saw a commercial about birth defects and Paxil so I googled it for more info and am just floored. “Babies exposed to Paxil early in pregnancy may have a higher risk of major birth defects, according to a new study.”

I already don’t have much faith in our drug saftey testing process here in the USA. This is why I’ve refused the RhoGam shot during pregnancy and am doing my research on vaccinations right now.

This whole Paxil development is just added proof that we approve and distribute way too many drugs to people before we fully understand the effects and risks of the drug. It’s irresponsible and scary. We really can’t trust that all approved drugs and procedures are safe for us.

I need a washer bad!! We are doing laundry at the old place till the end of the month because our new place doesn’t have a washer in it already. Ideally we would love an energy star, front loading washer but there is no way we can afford one right now. Shoot we can barely scrap $100 together to go towards the purchase of a used one.

Not having a washer is stressing me out a bit and I don’t really know when and if we’ll get one. I’ve been looking at craigslist for them but am so worried that I’ll end up with one that is crap and our money will have been wasted.

Also, the external hard drive we used to back up all the PC files and financial stuff (a Seagate Free Agent External Drive) is now dead.. Or at least the USB portion of the drive is acting wonky.It worked at the old place but somehow in moving the computer it’s become damaged and is not longer recognized by the computer.

I am stressing because I need to balance the accounts and work the budget before this weekend so I know how much money we have for groceries but all the data is on that drive that I can’t access.

I am going to go work in the garden a bit now to counter all the things I currently have to stress about, LOL. Hopefully you have a pleasant weekend in your neck of the woods. We are so ready to chill and get some slow progress made on the new place.

The Mesker Zoo and cat poo…

There is cat poo behind the front door again, thanks a bunch Hailey! She has been pooing back there for a week, for nothing other than the enjoyment of pissing me off. Both the cat boxes are clean and I have been scrubbing the poo area to get the smell out like every day.

I am thinking about just setting her free outside that way she can poo anywhere she wants. Anyone want a carpet pooing cat? Just kidding.

Enough about the cat poo. We are supposed to get some rain tonight here in Evansville. For the last few weeks we have heard nothing but whining about how dry and hot the weather has been. Every night when I switch on the news to see N’s report I hear about how hot and dry it was again today.

We think it has been just fine weather, minus the blood sucking mosquitoes. It has been much like Phoenix, AZ weather- hot and dry (but not nearly as hot as Phoenix). We are used to hot and dry and now that we have a house with AC (unlike Flagstaff, AZ) no heat or humidity is too unbearable for us.

Yesterday we went to the Mesker Evansville Zoo yesterday and had fun checking it all out. There were so many great animal exhibits and plants to view. Our favorite was the Amazonia exhibit because it was so beautifully landscaped and it allowed for great access to the animals.

After visiting the Amazonia exhibit I was really wondering how all the tropical plants can survive in this climate. The zoo had so many cannas, elephant ear and other tropical plants that shouldn’t be able to live year round here. So many businesses and homes in the Evansville area also have these same tropical plants everywhere so how is this possible?

According to the national gardening association our USDA zone for Evansville is Zone: 6A so plants that can’t handle cold winters shouldn’t be growing here. Unless everyone rushes out and digs them up and stores them during the cold weather.

Now these tropical plants are EVERYWHERE here in Evansville and I just can’t imagine that everyone runs out and digs them up before the first frost. That is just too much work and hassle and I just don’t believe that is what people actually do.

Well I better get going now. N has been anticipating seeing the fall decor go up and I have been putting it off for a while now. Over the weekend we visited Rural King and snagged some clearance mums to make our doorstep too like fall. Now I need to dig out the rest of the fall decor and get things decorated!

Don't hesitate to finger your flowers or shake them! Ha…

I know, strange headline huh? It’s for real though, I have tomatoes growing inside my home. They are in a window box and are a result of some cuttings we took. The tomato plants began flowering and we would “finger the flowers” or gently shake them to pollinate them since bees and humming birds are not in my house feeding from the flowers as they normally would outdoors.

Lots of plants require polination before they can set fruit, without pollination fruit will not set.

One of every three bites you take comes from a plant pollinated by wild pollinators.

Our tomatoes have been especially slow to set fruit this summer. Many are concerned about the dramatic decrease in the bee population because bees are our natural pollinators. Slow setting fruit has been linked to the decrease in bee population.

Tomatoes and Zucchini are our favorite, easiest vegetables to grow here in Flagstaff, AZ and we were looking forward to enjoying some fresh grown vegetables before we move. We weren’t sure if our plants would set fruit before we leave and this has been a bummer for us.

So, noticing the small developing fruit on my indoor and outdoor tomatoes today was super exciting for me. We also have some zucchini fruit setting right now. Woho our plants were pollinated! I would like to think that fingering and shaking the flowers has helped in the fruit development and I can’t wait for some fresh vegetables!

Oh and thanks to the bloggy giveaway I won a $10.00 starbuks gift card from The Adventures of Me. We are telling all our family and friends to buy us starbucks and walmart gift cards as going away presents.

We plan to use them to buy food and liquid crack (starbucks) while we are on the way to Indiana. Plus we have T-Mobile internet access at starbucks locations so we will be buying coffee while we blog and check our emails anyway. This $10.00 gift card is going to help us buy 2 free coffee drinks, yay!

If you feel inclined to contribute a few dollars to help us during the move:

Here are some more of my garden photos, have a great weekend!

My lemon cucumber plant sets fruit
My lemon cucumber plant sets fruit
My tomato plant sets fruit
My tomato plant sets fruit
My zucchini plant sets fruit
My zucchini plant sets fruit

Birthday photos shared!

I promised to post some photos from my birthday and I try to live up to my promises! Since I got plants galore you will be subjected to a slew of bulb information and photos but don’t run away yet! We also have some adorable baby photos and some yummy fondue photos to share.

First, I compiled a list of the plants I got, plugged them in to my Dave’s Garden Journal with photos so I could remember what got planted where in a few months. It’s so easy to forget what you have and where you put it when you have a garden addiction like I do!

Here is my niece who came with my mom to stay with us for my birthday. She is the most well behaved baby I have ever been around and she loves the camera!

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Here we are at Wupatki National Monument inside one of the ruins. I wasn’t quite ready for the photo to be taken (as you can see) but it’s still priceless.

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Here is a photo of us eating fondue on my birthday. It was yummy and so much fun!

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We took my mother and niece out to Grand Falls for fun, we of course got a group photo of us in front of the waterfall.

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And here are the photos I took of my newly sprouted crocus. They have surfaced in a variety of colors and locations. We are really enjoying their progress and beauty and thought you might also.

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Woho… The crocus are in bloom!

Yellow Crocus

That means gardening fun is about to begin for us! The crocus blooms are a beautiful yellow and are quite cheerful. They are kind of short, like they were planted too deep but it still so great to see them even if they are short.

Do you have any early spring bulbs that are blooming yet? I hope so because I am dying for spring time!

box-of-personal-information.jpgSo, now that the ice is melting and the bulbs are blooming we are able to get into the large box of crap that was left behind by the people who lived here before us. Guess what we found? Personal documents and credit cards, can you believe that?

Teeni was just talking about how we all need to take steps to protect our personal information and then I find some poor schmucks personal information and a credit card just sitting in a box outside (that was buried in the snow) by the front door of the home we are renting.

Be responsible with your personal information guys! Shred documents that you no longer need so that nobody can obtain your info.. That way you are protected.

Once while we were living in an apartment complex we found a complete computer sitting by the trash can. We grabbed it thinking we could use parts off of it and realized it still had all this personal information on it.

The computer actually belonged to the apartment complex manager. It had the tenants personal information on it, rental contracts, notices etc.. We reported it and were furious.

Folks, if the personal information you are responsible for (yours or someone else’s) mistakenly gets into the wrong hands lives can be ruined. Be responsible and be careful!

Growing Canna (red futurity)

We just bought several Canna ‘Red Futurity’ roots/rhizomes that we are planting in N’s office. These are very tropical looking and require warmth so we figured they would be a perfect fit in that room. They came packaged with Caladium bulbs and a few elephant ear bulbs.

We plan to plant our Cannas in a large pot that will remain indoors in that room, we may also plant a Caladium bulb with the Canna rhizomes or we may plant some cloeus with the Cannas.

Cannas come in a variety of colors and sizes, some grow up to 7 feet tall. Their blooms and leaves are very tropical looking and they are absolutely beautiful. Specifically Canna ‘Red Futurity’ needs to be protected from frost. It can be grown grow outdoors in zones 8 and higher, in colder zones it must be moved inside or dug up and stored through the frosty winter months.

This Canna will grow to about 3- 3 1/2 feet tall and does best in full sun but will tolerate part shade. Soil must be well drained or you risk root/ rhizome rotting. Like most tropical bulbs if you want to plant these outdoors you must do so in the spring after the last frost, they will bloom in summer and will need to be dug up and stored in the fall before the first frost (unless you live in zone 8 or higher).

The Canna ‘Red Futurity’ is distinguished by it’s dark burgundy leaves and it’s stunning red flowers that just stand out against the dark burgundy background.


Growing Calla Lilies

calla-lily.jpgI just rescued some potted calla lilies from the grocery store. They were in the discount section where we often find perfectly good plants that just need the right care. These particular calla lilies were forced to bloom for valentines day, since their blooming period had passed they were being discarded.

The great thing about bulbs, tubers and corms is that they usually will re-flower year after year when given the right growing conditions and care. Specifically calla lilies are grown from tubers and bloom in late spring and are considered “perennial bulbs” that will return year after year.

They are hardy in zones 9 & 10 and can be left in the ground between blooming seasons, in all other zones they will need to be dug up, dried and stored during the winter. Calla lilies don’t do well in frosty conditions and will often fail to return the next season if exposed to freezing temperatures.

The great thing about Calla lilies is that they can be grown as a houseplant easily. As houseplants they should be given a 2 to 3 month rest period without moisture once they bloom. Flowers will fade and can be cut back but the leaves will remain green until you reduce the amount of water given. Reducing the water after flowering will initate the 2 to 3 month rest period. After this time has passed they should be repotted and lightly watered until new growth appears.

If you prefer to grow your calla lilies outdoors you can start your in indoors in later winter and transplant them outdoors after your last frost in the spring, the calla lilies will grow and bloom through spring, summer and even fall but will need to be dug up, divided and stored during the winter if you aren’t in zones 9 or 10.

I can't wait for spring! Need to garden, bad!

About this time every year I am overcome by the urge to begin gardening again. Unfortunately I cannot because there is still snow on the ground and the soil is still hardened by the frost. Like many other gardeners I fill this time with plans for my garden, I start thinking about what I need to plant, what is still in the ground and what new stuff I will buy.

I have been specifically told not to buy any plants or bulbs till after my birthday (which is march 20th), I think I’ll be getting some gardening goodies! Anyway, I am taking an inventory of all I have going right now and I have been wanting to make up a handy cheat sheet for myself with my plants needs and care information that way I am reminded of what I need to do and I don’t kill some of my more tender bulbs & plants.

I had some lovely Dahlias growing during the summer and I am just now realizing that I forgot to dig all of them up before the frost came… They are ruined now! So, obviously I need some reminders about my gardening and maybe I can share my cheat sheet with you here if you want.

I am wondering what kind of gardening you do (if any), what hardiness zone are you in and what is your favorite plant?

Sparaxis (harlequin flowers)

Sparaxis BulbSparaxis is also know as the harlequin flower. It has a “sword shaped” leaf and very pretty mixed colored flowers. These are said to do poorly when exposed to temperatures below 28 degrees F and they do require mulch or some protective bedding where they are planted.

Sparaxis should be kept relatively dry during it’s dormant period, watering should increase once growth surfaces. This bulb flowers in mid to late spring and does best in full sun-partial shade. I also found out that these can be used for xeriscaping because they are really drought-tolerant (don’t over water these). This plant will spread freely via the seedlings. This is also a good container plant and makes a very pretty cut flower.

People have said that this plant grows fast and gets very tall. If you plant these close together it will prevent them from bending and breaking or you can group these with a similar but strong stemmed plant, or provide stakes and tie the stems to them.

I can’t wait for mine to bloom!

Specific plant info:
Blooms from summer to spring, low water needs, drought tolerant, full afternoon sun, plant in the fall.

Our new home (a photo blog)

We moved into our new place just a little over a week ago and we are finally settling in! Our new place offers more privacy, flexibility and a section of dirt to plant in. We are enjoying our new place allot despite the annoying move.

Awhile back I posted a blog about how pets seem to choose us rather than us choosing them. Well that theory is still proving true today!! Two days ago Nathan and I took a trip to the mailbox and on the way back waked by a cat that Nathan had seen in our back patio area this morning. He told me that he had thought one of our cats had gotten out since this cat looked almost identical to our cat. Anyway we discuss the cat and walk back to our place and notice this random cat following behind us! We stop several yards away from our place, pet the cat for a while and then go on our way home. We thought the cat had stopped following us so we hurried inside and shut the door. The cat was clearly somebody’s since he was well fed and groomed nicely. Anyway we laugh about the coincidence of the cat looking exactly like ours. About 5 min later we hear meowing outside our front window. We go over and see what is happening and our cats are peering out at this other cat who is waiting outside and meowing like crazy. This dang cat found our house and was crying outside, we cannot have another cat so we are sad and feel bad about keeping this strange cat outside (I know we are suckers). Anyway we did not take the cat in and haven’t seen him since then, I did snap a few pictures though!!

 

More cats in the window

The other thing I wanted to share was that I harvested my first ever home grown potatoes this morning!! Back in April I decided to try an experiment with some sprouted potatoes that we re in the pantry. Four months later I have a handful of baby potatoes and I am pretty surprised!! They are small and I am not quite sure if it is because the container was too small or if I needed to let them grow more.. Regardless I am happy!! I have nine of my own home grown potatoes so I did something right!

I am excited to try planning them in the ground instead of cat litter bins (which is what I have been doing to recycle and to have more containers to plant in). All my other plants also seem pretty happy with the move.. All I all it is a nice day!