right now

right now

Feb 4, 2011

that's the plan, anyways...

My seeds are all in, and I'm ready to reveal the lineup for 2011!  I did well on the $$ front, but could have saved more money if I didn't have an attack of Heirloom-itis, you know - the sickness that makes you say things like "....I'm just gonna try this one other variety of this..."!  (all are heirloom varieties unless noted)


  • Dill                           stash
  • Cilantro                    stash
  • Genovese Basil        stash
  • Lettuce Leaf Basil   Baker Creek
  • Common Chives      Baker Creek
  • Fennel                       stash
  • Oregano                    stash & Botanical Interests
  • Marjoram                 Botanical Interests
  • Thyme                      stash
  • Giant Parsley           stash


  • Olympia spinach                                 stash
  • Malabar spinach                                  stash
  • Tango Lettuce                                     stash
  • Green Salad Bowl lettuce                   stash
  • Mignonette Bronze heading lettuce   Baker Creek
  • Mizuna greens                                     stash
  • Verte D'Etampes  mache'                   Baker Creek
  • Wrinkled Crinkled cress                    Baker Creek


  • Oregon Sugar Pod II      stash
  • Cascadia Snap               Botanical Interests


  • Golden Wax                           stash
  • Scarlet Runner                       stash
  • Dragon's Tongue                    stash
  • Contender Buff Valentine     Botanical Interests
  • Yard Long beans                    stash
  • Chinese Red Noodle beans    Baker Creek
  • Beer Friend edamame            stash


  • Piricicaba broccoli                         stash
  • Early Purple Sprouting broccoli    Baker Creek


  • Japanese Climbing cucumbers       stash
  • Parisian Pickling cucumbers          stash
  • Solly Beiler cucumbers                  Baker Creek

Carrots  (I giggle every time I say things like cosmic purple stash and Purple Haze stash)!!!

  • Cosmic Purple            stash
  • Purple Haze                stash
  • Little Finger                stash
  • Danvers Half Long     Botanical Interests


  • Purple of Romagna   stash

*unknown variety, saved seed from last year


  • Quadrato d'Asti Rosso bell              stash
  • Jimmy Nardello Italian bell            Baker Creek
  • Jalapeno Gigante  hot                      stash  (yeah, I know.....!)
  • Fish Hot                                            stash
  • Poblano Ancho hot                          Botanical Interests
  • Italian Peperoncini sweet/hot          Baker Creek
  • Sigaretto de Bergamo sweet/hot     Baker Creek


  • Brandywine   stash,                                        Baker Creek
  • Burpee Long Keeper (heirloom variety!)      Baker Creek
  • Hillbilly Flame                                               Baker Creek
  • Yellow Pear                                                    stash
  • Amish Paste                                                   Baker Creek
  • 4th of July (hybrid)                                        stash
  • Orange Wellington (hybrid)                          stash
  • Jake Gyllenhaal - remember that one?  :)     stash

Eggplant (see note)

  • Purple Rain                                                    stash


  • Winter Butternut Waltham                   Botanical Interests
  • Hokkaido                                               stash
  • Gourmet Pie Mix pumpkin (hybrid)     stash
  • Ornamental gourds                                stash

shallots, onions, garlic, scallions were purchased at local feed store and are in the beds now - unsure about potatoes right now...

*new vegetable for this year is squash, I am going to learn to like it!  Missing this year is cauliflower, heading broccoli (too many worms), & radishes (don't like them!)

**note to those who don't like eggplant - I don't much care for it either other than the beautiful blooms BUT... it makes a great trap crop for tomato pests, it's beautiful in the perennial beds, one of the uses I have found is that I bake it and then blend it into my canned tomato sauces, adding creaminess and nutrition without affecting the flavor of the sauce.  New this year... check out the eggplant section of the Baker Creek catalog for a recipe for "Eggplant CAKE"... lmao... that was funny enough to make me want to try it again!

** If anything is listed as "stash" and you want to know the source, just ask, I know where it came from if you are looking for it.  I just wanted to differentiate between what I purchased and what I already had on hand.

Happy Planning, y'all!

Feb 3, 2011

note to self?

Spotted today while cleaning the kids' room...

Apparently Loch made himself a "Notes" board, below

There was one note taped on it...

p.s.  hey Loch, I bet Finn doesn't like you, either!  

(I might add that they share a room LOL!)

Feb 2, 2011

Warning: Enablers at Work!

What do we have here?  Darn enablers up to more mischief!  Thanks to blogger friend Alison at Whatever it Needs to Be... I came home to these goodies in the mailbox!  I can't wait to spend some time with this, I've been thinking about it since I started knitting of course!  As soon as I opened the package I was hit with a lovely raw wool scent that immediately reminded me of being a kid.  My dad's barn jacket and gloves always smelled just like this, if you've been around sheep at all you know what I'm talking about, divine!  I'm in the process of packing up a package of garden seeds for you, Alison!
Alison has her hands in lots of stuff.  She's raising a family, doing it on a budget, she's into jewelry and metal work as well as spinning and dyeing fiber.  She also has an Etsy shop, Daisy Cat Jewelry for her goodies, check it out - enablers unite!

Speaking of enablers, I spent the morning on my continued quest for a new sewing machine.  I want it to do EVERYTHING but I want a good deal.... is that too much to ask for LOL?!  Two more nameless blogger enablers (can you guess who?) are on the email hot-list for my incessant questions!  Thanks, ladies, I'm getting close... (for those that don't know, I tend to research everything to death!)

As if I needed more catalogs to flip through this time of year... now it's sewing machines!

On arriving home, more mail - my first internet order of fabric.  I couldn't resist, I took advantage of a coupon for becoming a "fan" on Facebook, and the coupon was good on sale and clearance fabrics, too. No, these aren't for the same project - rather I just chose a few that "spoke" to me for future inspiration.  Yes that's right... fabric with no machine yet  :(

Library this week:  sewing for me and scat for the boys LOL

I forgot to include a photo of the pizza the other night, first time using the specialty flour:

Time for the monthly Subaru Love photo... this is hubby's Subaru.  It's full of 6 closet doors and other random maintenance junk for the rental property, I could have fit twice this much in there if I wanted.... Subaru Love

Saved this one for last:

That is gauge is working perfectly!  Just a fluke though, it's supposed to be in the 30's tonight and 30's tomorrow, and I couldn't really even enjoy it since it rained all day, but I did get to break out my flip flops!

Jan 31, 2011

why, thank you!

Judy at My Freezer is Full is under the impression that I handled hubby's deployment and blogging throughout with style!  That means I succeeded in snowing all you fellow blogger friends LOL, since it was truly hellish!  If you haven't checked Judy's blog out, definitely schedule a visit, she has made a long awaited jump to a piece of property in Iowa they can call their own homestead and is busy doing all kinds of things from digging new gardens, adding fruit trees, herbs and restoring native plantings to being active in the community and remodeling - all while raising teenagers and working full time, check her out! 

Part of the deal is that I am to share 10 things you may or may not know about me.  Most of you know I am a Type A gal with a penchant for over-organization and borderline OCD, so with that one out of the way, here we go:

1.  I can get by fine with 5-6 hours of sleep.  Much more than that and I will be a groggy unproductive person.  I also hate naps.  I think they are a waste of time and I feel horrible and have a headache if I take one!

2.  My kids are a direct result of modern medicine and experimental surgical techniques, long story short I was born with two, count them, TWO - uteruses... this went undiagnosed until I was about 32 years old, kinda cool, huh?  As a result, at the age of 40 with two little guys, I am one of the "old" moms.

3.  Even as a teenager, I loved hanging out with my mom.  Mom, did you know that?  I should have told you that earlier.  She's always been able to be my best friend while still maintaining "mom status".

4.  I pretty much flunked out of college and quit after a year.  Funny thing is that when I went back as an adult I maintained a 3.85 GPA and loved it!  Amazing what a little maturity will do sometimes.

5.  I was in the Navy before I married and had kids and loved it.

6.  My head is full of useless information about the physics of underwater sound, sound propagation, nuclear submarine design and schematics.  I can tell you how the polar ice cap affects how sound transits underwater and locate a Soviet submarine under there - but I can't quite figure out how to operate my sewing machine.

7.  I worked for many years as an office manager/personal assistant/Girl Friday to a highly competent but extremely scatterbrained veterinarian.  The pay was horrible, but I loved it!  My organizational talent was put to good use and I got to deal with animals instead of people.  Not lucrative, but I went to work early every day and went home happy every night.

8.  One of my biggest fears is financial insecurity.  I'd rather have a dependable, low income than an higher income filled with uncertainty any day of the week.  It's why hubby is still in the military.  I think if it wasn't for me, he would have made the leap long ago and be raising my kids mountain-man style, a bunch of survivalist wierdos fishing and hunting for food and he'd never miss anything.  I'm all for doing that, but I want him to get that military retirement check and health care for life first.

9.  I was always picked last in elementary school for team stuff.  I've never been interested in team sports, was a marching band geek who played bass clarinet, and had bad skin.  I wasn't "pretty", I think I was more "hardy" (haha) - and now that I'm 40 I'm okay with that, and realize that I don't  need or even want everyone to like me.  Let's face it: it's not as if I like everybody I meet...

10.  I am outgoing and social, but am very choosy with who I share my true friendship with.  I am trying to change that about myself, but it's difficult since I don't get out much and it's not really the kids' or hubby's fault for not giving me the time - I honestly like my family and prefer to spend my time with them!

Now it's time to pass on the award!  It's hard to choose one blogger since I "choose" to read all of you every day for good reason.  But I am going give this award to Jane at Hard Work Homestead.  I am fairly new to following her but every time she pops up on my reader I'm anxious to see what they are up to!  Not only is she gardening and preserving like most of us, she posts on animals, about steps towards becoming sustainable off grid, making soaps, butter, pantry preparedness and all things homestead, and here's the hook... she does it for real, not because it's trendy.  I know I'll be a longtime reader, go check her out!

Jan 30, 2011

ugly photos of dead stuff!

Original title, huh?  The following photos are terrible, I'll admit - they're either dead, brown or unflattering, but we're all about the honest garden here!  Temps rose to 50ยบ yesterday so we were able to get outside and WORK!  There was frost on the ground until about 11 am, but as soon as that winter sun lit up the yard we were out in a flash.  Even with the early darkness this time of year, we were able to get about 3-4 hours of chores done before the temps started falling quickly again.  It felt so good to be out there, even if it was just for clean up.

I'm one of those people that doesn't rake my leaves in the fall or trim my ornamentals back, I leave it all instead as insulation since we have a lack of snow, and to give the wildlife cover and dead seedheads if they need it.  It was all about cleaning up yesterday, hacking perennials down and burning the twiggy stuff that won't compost.  I also started raking leaves, since they DO need to be up before soggy wet Spring hits, so my emerging plants don't rot.

This might be one of the worst photos of us ever - why is hubby holding a full grown dog LOL?  My son took a full 2 minutes to take this photo, that might be why we look like this.  Check out the green fenced area behind us, that's my asparagus bed!  Ok, stop laughing now!  Yes, I dug it all out by hand last year and planted, then when faced with actual gardening and harvesting later in the season with no hubby around to help, I gave up.  He says he's going in there to "fix it" for me, we'll see...

Gee, what an attractive "Wildlife Habitat"... haha!  It won't be long, things are already popping up under the leaves so we cleaned this area up.  It contains ornamental grasses, sage, fennel, catmint, oregano, parsley, sedum, verbena, butterfly weed and a few others I can't ever remember until they show up every year.

Northern gardeners get ready to boo, hiss and throw things... I'm about to complain about all the dead stuff I had to cut off all the mum clumps.  Those little green mounds below are some of my mums, already showing growth from the base and ready to soak up some sun.  I have about 20 clumps of mums all in burgundy & orange.

More booing & hissing... below I had to prune one of my rosemary hedges... I know, I better enjoy it before I move back north!

I never get tired of seeing the wonder of my plants coming back year after year.  Below is oregano!

By the day's end it was down to the upper 30's again so soup sounded fantastic to our cold hands.  Can you believe this? - I couldn't find lentils at Trader Joe's!  I specifically went there because I figured they would have them for sure, but nope.  Instead, I used orzo.... 

We spent the whole day next door in the rental unit replacing closet doors, cleaning, and other maintenance, and after our little dinner break now are headed back over to finish up by flushing the water heater and installing a light fixture.  While not much "fun" was had this weekend, it sure feels good to have gotten some fresh air, chores done, and have a new tenant moving in this week.

BTW, hubby is making pizza right now with his new flour and is having a heckuva time, apparently it's a bit harder to work with than his standard dough, I'm sure it's a learning curve and he'll get used to it in no time.  We didn't do the homemade mozzarella tonight since we've been next door all day, but next time we make pizza I'll post on that & I'm sure hubby will have his new flour groove on!