Container Gardening · Daily Living · The Blog

I have babies!

Teeny tiny baby worms! I have no idea why they moved to the lid, but it made them easy to video 🙂 lol I am so excited. I sent the video to my son, at college. He’s a very tolerant kid! I’m setting up some clean bedding but now I am afraid to change it out because the babies are too little. Ahhh the hassles of mommyhood.

 

I should also be getting my 6, 90 qt clear bins for winter gardening. I have 6 big bags of composting potting soil and will be laying the bag on the lid, slicing it open, and planting lettuce and collards and kale and swiss chard, then putting the bin on top to protect the baby plants from frost and snow and cold temps. Since we are in Zone 8, this should work.

One day I made fig jam and strawberry-balsamic jam. Good stuff.

I’ve found a worsted weight yarn sock pattern to give to a couple of friends who’d like to learn to knit socks. Simple and fast. I started another pair to give as a gift for Christmas. I also sent my adopted niece a fair isle hat with kitty’s on it and finished another one with robots for my son. G took his hat, off to college with him. Another finished hat has cars and busses and words. I have an assortment of yarn coming. to practice colorwork with. All the hats and scarves and ear warmers and hand warmers found a home with a local charity. I filled out a form to volunteer 2 weeks ago and haven’t heard a word. I really need to have something to keep my mind busy. My hands are busy, but I have more ideas than physical ability. Oh yeah, the blue hats were sent to my grandsons. And I got my hair cut.

 

 

I got fitted for my teeth – an upper plate, and a partial lower plate. Can’t wait to get them. And I guess this is it for tonight.

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Getting ready for the winter

The worms are in a bedroom and I’m just about ready to strain the castings for the first time. I’ve not been the best worm mommy but you know…only 4 or 5 try to run away at night, so they aren’t suffering too badly. Today I fed them dryer lint and gave them a quart of water sprinkled over the top. I’ve also decided to cut up a few ugly scobys to add in the bin. lol Most days, it’s still laugh or cry around here, so you’ll have to excuse my funky humor.

The cat decided to knock over my grow lights back in October. I went ahead and took down the indoor plant trays. I’m finally getting around to replacing the bulbs. I have a second worm bin coming and the clear bins for winter gardening.

I’m so glad I have these things to occupy my time. I’ve made a couple of really cute knit hats, found a place to donate them AND signed up to volunteer but haven’t heard back from administration. I want to add, OF COURSE. No one cares how much people need each other. The kiddo is doing well in college. I got the money to get my upper teeth. The highlight of the month!

Hubby is staying in bed more and more. Leaves me really missing companionship. Sigh… life chugs right on though.

Daily Living · The Blog

The Tale (maybe called TMI)

I just watched a movie called The Tale. with Laura Dern. The story told,  is my exact experience. Almost word for word. The girl in the movie was 13. I was 9. I always felt what happened to me was my fault,  even into my 30’s. I just buried it. How can abuse like this happen to children? Yeah, we get over things – but they shape how we look at people and how we feel and there is a chasm of disconnect all life long. It shadows a person and keeps one separate and isolated. I wonder how we really heal from sexual abuse – I mean, more than just being able to look at it and talk about it – I used to think that THAT was healing, but not really. It never goes away. The movie brought out the manipulation that happens; how the child is brought into the act and convinced to participate. The lie swallows her and cajoles her into believing she loves the abuser.  The SECRET becomes her cleft of protection from the sickness, the shame, and the anger projected on the people involved. There was a family unit that was sick and an un-mother who is angry as well. She blames the girl because she lied and the child cringes from that blame and points out the signs that were ignored. Someone should have known and saved her. YEARS after, the whole situation makes the woman STILL stand alone because mom failed to protect her … and there is so much guilt. So much guilt. It’s always the mother who is looked at and accused.

There is nothing that can be fixed, except the silence of the secret. Confrontation can’t be avoided.

Big breath.

I wonder if we can ever FACE the monster in the room – and shut it down and choke it out. The moment I wrote this last line, the VINE came to my mind.
I’m thinking of the way a vine can come in and do just that – choke out a root and take over. And another growth is established. Just planting something else, a tree, or bush or flowers or anything besides a vine won’t work. Only a vine can take over like that.

And the Bible says

John 15:1
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

John 15:5
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

And all of a sudden, I realized that there IS healing and that God is good and Jesus really is our savior in every sense.

 

Daily Living · The Blog

It’s been a while…

Sorry about that.

Things got a bit hectic with G going off to college. Change is a hard thing in a house with a stroke survivor. Then we had the almost category 4 hurricane to get through – it missed us, praise God! And now I am undoing the preps I made. So much water! In jugs, jars, 32-gallon garbage cans – lol we prepared. All it did was lightly rain on us for 6.5 days. No flooding. No high winds. Just rain. Hubby had crying jags because the Internet was out for 4 days. When he’d cry, the dogs would go off barking at him. It was awful for all of us. I did catch up on my Bible group’s reading plan.

And that’s it for now. I’m not feeling the blog at the moment but will work on that, too.

Container Gardening · Daily Living · The Blog

Just a little bit of ordinary

[Today was uneventful. It rained and stayed cool enough I was able to leave the front door open. I straightened up a bit and watched the finale of The 12 Monkeys. I knit on a sock a bit. It’s finally to the point I can begin the gusset. This is a boring pair of socks.]

I have to laugh at myself because it’s what I do. Every day is uneventful and simple and ordinary and I LOVE IT that way. Life could have been a whole lot worse after hubby’s stroke. It’s still very difficult for him, but it’s manageable.

My last kiddo is leaving for college come Thursday. I am struggling not to be a weepy mess and rain on his achievement. North Carolina Chapel Hill is ranked number 4 for Public National Universities in the whole country and he has a paid for education on his plate. Not a shabby deal at all. I really am proud of him and I am really going to miss him.

We have had weeks of gray skies, high heat, and rain. My tower is no longer impressive. I couldn’t keep DE on the plants to deter insects and tiny white w/black speckled caterpillers have drilled holes in all the young cucumbers. Hornworms have attacked the tomatoes, but I’m dealing with those. This may be my trial garden so I know what I am doing come next spring. There will definitely be a tower for greens and lettuce, I may even plant corn to support tomatoes in the top, squash midway, and cucumbers at the bottom because they vine and need the shade of the zucchinis. I was thinking of running netting from the top of the barrel, out, and staking it to hold up the squash, and letting the cukes do their thing around the base. I will plan for plastic fencing around the 3 towers to keep the dogs away 🙂 I’m going to draw out my ideas so I can do it right next spring.

I’ve had to re-pot the herbs I started out in quart jars. The babies grew heavy roots, FAST.  Since I last wrote, I’ve propagated rosemary, wandering jew, and am working yet again, on a piece of elderberry bush for a friend. I picked up several baby houseplants from Piggly Wiggly. There’s one each of a prayer plant, heartleaf philodendron, a cathedral bells (air plant), a spider plant, several hens and chicks in one pot, an aloe vera, and a rubber plant. With the indoor ones I already had, there are now 29 kinds with repeats of several.  That doesn’t count the vegetables in planters under grow lights – collards, spinach, chard, green onions, radishes, ginger, baby bokchoi, kale… and something I’m sure I’ve forgotten.

The worms have settled nicely into their 17-gallon bin. I had a gnat problem which has been dealt with. I cut the legs off a pair of jeans with a busted zipper, split them lengthwise, and laid them over the top of the paper and food and bedding. Gnats, gone. Hubby started putting his banana peels and used napkins into my compost bucket on the counter and it got super wet and I cannot bear to open the lid again lol. I do believe THAT container is a goner.  I now keep a 2-gallon bag in the freezer into which I put the vege scraps. When it’s time to use them, freezing is supposed to break stuff down and give the worms a good start. Now I can add coffee grounds and tea bags and all the good stuff without the stink. There are answers for everything when you are looking for them 🙂

Things to be careful of – the cat bites the dumb cane plant which seems to numb her tongue. She does it once a day, regardless. She will climb into the bin of potting soil and lay on it if I step away for ANY reason. She has also knocked newly potted plants off dresser tops and the soil with amendments like charcoal, have stained the cream colored carpet. GRRRR… When the remake of the movie “That Darn Cat” is made, I’m taking Kissy for a screen test. She’s as ornery as they come. And, she barks!

 

 

 

 

 

Container Gardening · Daily Living

So enjoying my new hobbies

All my life I have kept long twist ties. Don’t ask me why – I have lost the root memory. HOWEVER – this morning I used one! lol, I couldn’t wait on being able to afford a tomato cage to support my cucumbers, so I used 3, 4-ft metal fence posts (which I had), and tied the tops together with that twist tie! No picture yet because I forgot to take one while the leaves were gorgeous after the rain, but as soon as the plants discover their supports, I promise I will post an update! There are blooms on everything. I do believe the tomatoes are a titch spindly because the cukes were blocking their sun. well, that is fixed.

I’ve had my hands in the dirt, a shower, and NOW it’s coffee time. I’ve been enjoying pictures of my daughter and granddaughter from Hawaii. Sara is visiting her mama from Georgia! I can see she’s shorter than I thought. There is something very much my daughter about her. ❤ She’s beautiful. I can’t wait to know her one day. 

The houseplants are looking amazing.

I have to share a funny thing… we’ve been discussing the benefits of CBD oil (and hemp vs weed), and I got a tiny packet in the mail today from someone. It had seeds in it! No note, just 10 seeds. It would be totally like this person to send me seeds for pot. I stressed over this for 6 hrs and finally got in touch with her. She sent me wisteria seeds. Gotta love people for so many reasons! She’d gotten them for me for my birthday and it took this long for them to arrive. Back when she ordered them, we’d been discussing trying bonsai with wisteria.

The worms have settled in. I’ve realized that we will need bigger buckets for them based on our scraps. I’m going to use some 35-gallon Sterilite bins and move them to the top of the basement steps.

Oh yeah, I heard back from the nice people at Kombucha Kamp. They said my scoby has an overabundance of yeast – no mold. It can affect the way it tastes. Yeast is usually white to pale beige, not orange to brownish like this is. It’s up to me what to do about it. I can throw it out and start again, or use it then possibly start another batch and see what happens. Well, it tastes so good I do believe I’ll try another batch 🙂 when this one is done of course! Reading up on yeast, the humidity could be a factor, too many plants, where I set it to brew, etc. Well, I imagine we will typically have yeasty kombucha because I am not culling my plants! lol Gotta go with the flow, right? Especially since it’s an energy thing. ❤

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Container Gardening · Daily Living

Everything changes everyday

I woke up to find my biggest dog on my bed. I practically threatened my husband a few months ago because he had fed the dog so much he was too fat to walk or climb stairs. I’m not kidding, I was afraid we’d have to put him down his arthritis had gotten so bad. It’s been months that the dogs have been on a diet – and lately, Rory has been ok climbing stairs and running in the yard again. I am so happy for him. To get up on the bed though is HUGE. I was singing O HAPPY DAY! Later, he was running and caught a fledgling thrasher. I wanted to fuss him out, but he ate it – it’s what animals do and I know it. I just didn’t like it. He’s hungry now that he can move around.

The worms have settled in and seem to like their home. The vertical garden is looking wonderful, too. I’ve got my seedlings under a nice light indoors because the birds were grabbing them in a swoop and run. Today’s chore is to make another tower and set up my herb garden mason jars.

Projects are in flux. As plants grow, they get moved. As space is freed, new ones arrive. My gramma used to say “life is about change.” She set me up to expect it!

I’m letting go of the idea that we will be leaving this place. 2 yrs ago, I promised Steve we could sell it if he’d work and overcome his stroke. He cries constantly how he hates it here. It’s not the mountains. He hates the people and the street we live on. Ugh. I tried to ignore him. Now I tell him to stop it. This is MY house and I LOVE it.

 

 

Container Gardening · Daily Living

Herbs and worms

 

The garden is never finished without herbs. I ordered these for teas and cooking. Here’s the list that will reside inside in my mason jar garden. Maybe not the geranium and Vicks plants, but the others will start there …

  • Bay Laurel 
  • Eucalyptus 
  • Rose Geranium 
  • Pineapple Mint
  • Greek Oregano
  • Passion Fruit
  • Scullcap 
  • Strawberry Climbing Plant
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Vicks Plant
  • Yerba Buena
  • Zaatar  

The plan is to nail boards across the kitchen windows and clamp the jars to them. It’s time to get all of this in gear. If I can’t get the boards, the jars will work by themselves.

I also started the worm bucket today for composting. I finished drilling holes in the bucket and caulking the screen on the lid 2 days ago. Today I layered the shredded paper, kitchen scraps, and organic soil so it can start getting ready for the worm shipment. I’m so excited and I really need to have something to tend, indoors and out.

I took down the kitchen table which is an old metal based thing someone gave me. G and I will move it to the basement, set it up, and who knows, I may keep things growing through the winter. I’ll have to figure out the lighting, but if people can grow pot in a basement, I’m sure I can figure out growing spinach. lol

I took out a small loan from the bank this month so I could get a few things for the home, pay for dental work, and buy new clothes for the kiddo. My son is heading off to college in August. He needs a good send off. He’s been my steady hand since his dad’s stroke. His life has been delayed too. I figure I need to lay plans to do things by myself – that includes making the things I use, more accessible – it sure will take some getting used to.

So let’s see what pictures I can share today. I’ve got the new seedlings, the jars and bands, and a selfie. Gotta do a selfie sometimes, right? lol TTYL!

 

 

Container Gardening

Dead Ants

… dead ants… dead ants… dead ants-dead ants-dead ants … dead annnts… deadantsdeadants. You got me? lol Dead and gone. Equal parts Borax (laundry aide), white sugar, and enough honey to moisten by stirring. I put it on the ant hill which happened to be at the base of my vertical garden and partially underneath – I have dogs so this made putting the mixture out convenient (under the barrel). Borax will make your pets ill. There is NO ant activity this morning! I also cut a small slit into an empty water bottle after adding the same mixture to it and laid it on its side. Victory!

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This morning, my worm bucket is made. I had scrap screen, 2 buckets, a lid, and caulk. So the order is up to you.

  • I drilled holes in the lid.
  • Next, I drilled holes in the bottom of one 5-gallon bucket, cut two circles of screening using a.) the bottom as a measure, and b.) the top as a measure.
  • I did not caulk the screen I laid into the bottom of the bucket in place.
  • I DID use plenty of waterproof adhesive caulk to hold the lid circle in place.
  • It’s drying/curing in the sunshine.
  • Another bucket has water setting to evaporate the chlorine from it so that I can wet my shredded paper in it for the bedding.

Everything is looking so good. Later, I will begin a second vertical barrel using the smaller hole saw. I started plants on Saturday and some are already up. I figure I have a couple of days before I need it done. My friend’s hydroponic garden tower is looking lovely too. I’m excited for both of us!

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Container Gardening · Daily Living

Don’t mess with me . . . ants

It’s a brand new day and already my foot’s in my mouth. He teased, I teased back, and as I came in the room, his head’s hanging. What’s wrong? “I don’t like being talked to like that.” I can’t win. I guess our last 3 yrs don’t translate to banter well. Stroke’s suck in the biggest way possible.
 
On another note, ANTS. All over where I put the tower. We shall trap them ‘my precious’, we shall kill them. LOL, I was so careful to choose a spot without ants. Well, there’s another bullet for the list. Sugar and borax … there is always a plan. I’m only sharing so much space with nasty ants. (I mixed equal parts of Borax and sugar and a bit of honey to moisten it, then put the mixture under the barrel.) Can you hear my maniacal laugh? I just know some wonderful, ambitious little creature will run some back to the Queen!