Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day!

Sleet, freezing rain, ice and snow have brought schools, businesses and most normal activity to a halt the last couple of days. With no work or school for husband, daughter and I, we vegged out inside yesterday, avoiding the nastiness outdoors. But today the sun made a nice showing and we ventured out to play a bit.
We each took a spin on the 4-wheeler...what a blast sliding and spinning through the snow! We tried to attach a
sled to the back, but it didn't work, which is likely for the best anyway...a trip to the emergency room wasn't in my plans for today.

Clia the shop-kitty ventured outdoors to soak up some sunshine and say hello.

I wandered to the garden...what a difference from now to last July!

And I found the flower bed bunny up to her ears in the fluffy white stuff. The Sweet William and Wild Strawberries are tucked in beneath the snow next to her, protected for now from the icy winds.

What a sweet day, a brief respite from the hustle-bustle of our daily lives..
.tomorrow, back to our regularly scheduled program.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wire wrapping

Artsy college-freshman daughter talked me into taking a jewelry-making class with her last weekend. The results are the two copper-wrapped blue stones in the photo.
She wrapped the big rectangle and I fumbled my way around the darker piece (with her help!). She wrapped the smaller pale one at home after the class, and has another one in progress. And, you can see she already has a nice selection of other stones, some purchased and others she polished in her rock tumbler. She has had a fascination with rocks and stones since she was very small, making this a natural outlet for her. I'm looking forward to where her creativity will take her...and the pieces I might get a chance to wear from time to time!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Seed swapping - A new addiction!

What better way to pass the time during the bitter, gray cold of January than to get a jumpstart on this year's garden, by gathering seed. Especially fun is seed-swapping - I'm like a kid when the mail comes and I find a packet from a seed swap!

I traded seed for the first time last year and now I'm hooked.

I participate in 2 sites for gardeners and have had great luck making trades. I've shared seed with 10 trading partners and am thrilled with the new seed I've received:

Flowers - nasturtium, foxglove, lobelia, violas and the one I'm most excited about, Teddy Bear Sunflowers.

Herbs - oregano, lavender, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, chamomile.

Veggies/fruits - pac choi, sugar snap peas, kale, escarole, salad burnet, aragula, tomatoes and watermelon.

I don't really NEED anymore...but if you're reading this and interested in a swap, I'm open to more trades! I have available:
*Heirlooms purchased from Baker Creek in 2008: Bloody Butcher tomatoes,Chadwick Cherry tomatoes, Plum Lemon tomatoes, Waltham 29 Broccoli, Love-lies-bleeding amaranth, Five-color Silverbeet Swiss Chard, and Lemon squash (summer).
*Also seed I saved in 2008: dill, cilantro, morning glories, lemon basil, and komatsuna.

I'm interested in spinach, heirloom tomatoes, herbs, melons, and flowers....just let me know!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kitchen corner decor

It was an unexpected find, like most of those type of finds, discovered at a yard sale. I had an idea of what it might be, but wasn't really sure. This piece of ornate black iron looked old, and victorian, and with the $1 price tag, I knew I 'needed' it! When I got it home I realized coming up with a bracket to attach it to the wall, that really looked appropriate, was going to be a challenge. So I set it aside and tried to imagine the 'right' look. And to my amazement happened across a black, ornate iron bracket at another yard sale just a few weeks later. Of course, when I got it home, it was close, but not quite right. Enter husband + tools! He did a bit of grinding, bending and painting and voila! It is just a hair off from looking perfect - that's close enough for me!
I love the way it looks. Oh, and the kerosene lamp was a gift from my daughter - maybe 8-9 years ago.

I may have to do some rearranging in that corner, but I love all the pieces....the doorknob key rack, the iron plate holder, the brown drip plate, and the brown pie plate on the bottom - all from yard sales. The yellow platter was a pass-down from a dear friend that I see only once or twice a year now.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A beautiful beginning - 2009

Today was G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!
And so what if it is the 2nd instead of Jan. 1?
I'm ignoring yesterday - today was much better!
The sun was shining, the breeze was mild, and I spent hours outdoors. It was perfect!

These luscious hot-pink flowers were a gift from my boss this holiday season. I just learned today, thanks to a website I found (, that this is Cyclamen.
I'm disappointed they won't survive planting in my area, but with a little effort, maybe I can keep this as a houseplant with a little outdoor-time in the summer.

In addition to seeking an answer to the what-kind-of plant mystery, I tied up my Wisteria that had fallen over, mulched the kitchen garden beds with chopped leaves my son had dropped off from his yard and re-potted some aloe that had outgrown its last pot. The odds of many more January days in the 60s is pretty unlikely, so I made the most of it.
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