Monday, March 31, 2008

an hour for the planet


Did any of you participate in Earth Hour Saturday night? We turned off, unplugged and tuned out for the planet and in doing so decided it would be a positive thing to do on a weekly basis, especially since we enjoyed it so much. Being in the silence for an hour without the hum of electronics in the background or the need or ability to do anything that required substantial lighting was quite pleasant.

So, when elements in time suggested this to readers, I was in. If you'd like to know more or wish to join in the "hour for the planet" challenge, click on the photo above for a direct link.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

growing challenge 3-27-08

As I write, husband Coop is upstairs setting up the growing area. I was hoping the weather would be nice enough to allow me to do the seed planting outside, but so far it has been cold and damp for the most part. So I will do the job inside, which probably makes as much if not more sense anyhow. Then everything will be in its pace and there will be no need to transfer trays when I am finished.

I was hoping to get an earlier start, but unforeseen events occurred. I still have sufficient time. We don’t normally plant until the end of May anyhow. Since my daughter isn’t capable quite yet to start her own seedlings I am growing extra for her so she’ll be able to plant a garden this spring. So, the proposed number and type of plants to start are as follows. The number in parenthesis is what goes to my daughter out of each lot.

Tomatoes:

24 Brandywine (12)

24 Purple Russian (12)

12 Duggin White Beefsteak (6)

12 Green Sausage (6)

Peppers:

12 Tam JalapeƱos (6)

6 Hungarian Hot

12 Romanian Hot

12 King of the North Sweet

All other veggies will be sown directly in the garden.

Organic soil has been purchased and I have a mix of pots and trays. Between what I have on hand and my daughter contributed I should have ample supplies and be good to go. By my next growing challenge post, the seeds will have been planted!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

the past few days

I am home today now, catching up on my stuff and sleep. Tuesday my daughter went to the hospital. Friday she came home, diagnosed with c. diff, a bacterial infection in the intestine. Today she learned she has Listeriosis, also. She is on antibiotics for the c. diff. She begins another medication on Monday for the Listeriosis. (Maybe if we had socialized medical care in this country she would still be in the hospital where she should be). She could have died…again. So close so many times over the past few years. I named her Rainbow Tree Girl awhile back. I told her today she is now “Super” Rainbow Tree Girl.

Tom is home with her for the weekend. Her dad and I will drive down again tomorrow evening to stay, so she is not alone during the day while Tom works. I wish they were closer at hand for everyone’s sake.

My blog posts (the growing challenge and tech free challenge) are on hold. Starting my seedlings is on hold, too, but I will get to those next week. First things first.

When it’s a matter pertaining to the health and well being of those we love the most, the support of others mean a lot. Any light, positive vibes, thoughts or prayers for Kandice’s return to health and well being are most welcome.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Growing Challenge

I received the remainder (and majority) of my seeds this week from rare seeds. They were out of the lemon summer squash I ordered, dang! Otherwise the order was complete.


My seed savers order came a week or so ago. They subbed the blue jade corn I ordered for black Aztec. Odds are I won’t plant it because I only ordered the blue jade for its uniqueness. It’s a miniature heirloom variety I was planning on growing in containers. We don’t generally raise corn because of the space it takes up for the yield produced and despite the fact that I love good corn, it doesn’t agree with me at all.

Now that I have ordered from seed savers and rare seeds for the first time, here are my observations.

Seed Savers was quicker to ship by about a week. I also love their informative seed packets. Each packet describes the product, how long until harvest and how long for seeds if applicable as in the case of cilantro. The packets give good planting instructions as well as seed saving instructions.

Rare Seeds included a free gift of sunflower seeds and lemon cucumber seeds in lieu of slow shipping time, which was very nice of them. And they refunded my money (in cash!) for the out of stock item. I was only somewhat disappointed in their packets which give no information aside from the seed name, quantity, lot number and price. This doesn’t rally pose a problem for those familiar with planting and spacing. However, for the novice gardener who might depend on this information being handy at planting time, this might pose an inconvenience. Just my thoughts on that. I know that I personally like to reference the seed packets for days to maturity, vegetable size, etc. Seed Savers gives the same basic info on the packet as they do in their catalog. I like that!


tech free day

Yesterday was my first technology free day. I was successful for the greatest share of the day. In the process I managed to accomplish a few things such as


Catching up on laundry

Finishing up a crochet project

Finishing up a clay project

Working on a blanket project for charity

Working on meals for the rest of this week, such as cooking a pot of black beans for chili, cooking up some venison for a “beef” and noodles dish, and cutting up and oven frying a chicken.


I also had time to sweep (not vacuum) the bare floors, go through my new garden seeds, visit with a friend, clean out the fridge and organize my storage container cupboard. Actually, I think there is more but that is the gist of it. We also played cards with friends last night as opposed to watching TV, although Coop, who was not participating in my tech free day, did turn the tube on late last night.

All in all I did ok, so maybe next week it will be easier to avoid my computer. :)

Running the Numbers-an Americn self-portrait

"This series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics...This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society...The underlying desire is to emphasize the role of the individual in a society that increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming."

read more | digg story

Monday, March 10, 2008

snowy aftermath

Coop after clearing a path from the garage door

We were fortunate in having no power outages over the past weekend during the storm. We didn't get the high winds and drifting reported in other areas of the state Saturday and Sunday either, just lots of snow...about 18-20" of it.


(yes, we're those folks who leave the patio furniture out all year round.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Birth Day Memories


Thirty six years ago, at approximately 9:30 AM on Thursday, March 9th, 1972 I had just given birth to a 9 pound baby boy. It was a quick labor, only about six hours, but a tough delivery. He was a big baby and after a spinal I had no feeling from the waist down, so that made my efforts almost futile. But into the world he came with ten fingers and ten toes and a head of thick, long, black, wild hair. I was 16, naive and ill prepared to be a mom, but there I was. The following Sunday they let me leave the hospital with a baby in my arms.

As the years passed my son grew into a fine young man despite circumstances and my irresponsible ways. He progressed through school admirably and at age fifteen began working evenings and summers. Determined to go to college despite our inability to finance schooling, he earned a half tuition scholarship in his senior year of high school. Guy graduated high school with awards, honors and that scholarship, and with the help of grants and loans he was able to pursue his college education. Through his college years Guy worked to support himself and seldom asked for help of any kind. The day of Guys college graduation his first career employment was confirmed. He was on his way.

I often think back to the day Guy left home for college and how I found myself sitting at the top of the stairway in this very house, near his bedroom door, crying. I knew he would never be coming home again for good, and I missed him already and my heart was broken despite my hopes for his dreams. I was frightened for him…my boy had gone off to the big city and no one would “be there” for him. He was really on his own.

My son grew up though turmoil and hard times, determined, brave and focused on his goals. No one has ever made me as proud of their accomplishments as my son. Now as a dad to three beautiful boys, he has his priorities in the proper order again.

I wish things had been different and I had given more of myself as he was growing up. But I can’t go back and change that, I can only move forward...and I think we both have. He always tells me, “We grew up together, Mom” and he is right, even though I think he really grew up first. In the process I have learned a lot. Most of all, my children and grandchildren have taught me more about unconditional love than I could have ever known otherwise. They are the greatest blessing in my life, one I hope I never, ever take for granted.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

it's a good day if you're a snow lovin' dog











Shadow loves the snow. Unfortunately his favorite place to lay in the snow is here in the middle of our country road. Fortunately for him, our traffic is minimal and today, virtually nonexistent.










This is my dog Shadow, happily trotting up (what is usually) the sidewalk after I told him to get the heck out of the road. He said, "What Mom!? Heheheheh, what did you say, you have a goodie for me?!"















and this is a disappointed and slightly disgruntled Shadow after he realized Mom didn't have a goodie for him.

Rethinking Autism: Scientists Reconsidering What They Thought They Knew

"...a small but growing cadre of neuropsychological researchers...are taking a fresh look at the nature of autism itself. The condition, they say, shouldn't be thought of as a disease to be eradicated. It may be that the autistic brain is not defective but simply different-- an example of the variety of human development."

(I hope you'll take time to read this fascinating article.)

read more | digg story

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

ice ice baby


This morning we woke up to ice, ice and more ice as well as downed limbs strewn about here and there. The woods across the field took on a ghostly appearance due to the ice covering the tree tops. It was decidedly a good day for staying in and making a pot full of stuffed peppers, the last of those I’d frozen whole for stuffing from last year’s garden… comfort food on a wintry day.



Despite the freezing rain throughout the day Tuesday, we were able to get out and cast our votes. I really debated with myself about it because of the weather, but by afternoon I decided I shouldn’t pass up the opportunity. It is still one of the rights we have as Americans and I reminded myself of our past and how women fought for that right.

Lately I feel as if time has slowed as we endure the last vestiges of old man winter. It has been a long one, with what seems like more snow and cold than we’ve experienced in many a winter. Although anxious for spring, perhaps it is the season reminding me that soon life will be bustling with busyness from dawn to dusk. Perhaps it is telling me to savor these days of calm and solitude and to enjoy the simple pleasures of home and hearth.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Southern breeze
What a tease,
You make us yearn for more…

But all the while,
We reconcile,
You are worth waiting for.

Spring
picture by owlwytch

I jotted down that little rhyme yesterday as the southern winds taunted us by bringing temperatures into the mid 60’s. The snow has melted, the creeks have risen but this morning it seems we are back to winter, with glassy patios and walkways shimmering in the predawn glow of the security light.

A package of seeds arrived in yesterday’s mail, testimony that spring really is around the corner…just a little longer (sigh).

I’ve seen the red winged blackbirds
and heard the Robin sing,
and know full well the harbingers
indicative of Spring.

Yet, each year I grow anxious
when the season’s near at hand,
to see the greening of the grass,
and growth upon the land.

But, like the earth herself,
patient I must become,
for spring cannot be fully born
until the winter’s done.

Well, there you have another little rhyme that “sprang” forth from my mind just as I was writing this blog post. I will busy myself with household duties today while dreaming of garden and flowers and green.

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