Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring has Sprung...

So it's been awhile. I've been on Spring Break this week. And Sweet Pea had her birthday. All week-long festivities of it. I swear she was able to spread it out for what felt like forever!! But it was a happy birthday for her. Busy for Mommy and family, but it's worth it.

Because of the festivities, some travel, and a hectic work schedule crochet and everything else has been on hold.

George has been hibernating. I fed him and put him directly back in the refrigerator last week. This seems to have done him some good, though, as he is very happy and active this weekend. I'll make our normal batch of bread this weekend and call it good.

I've been crocheting very little. With the exception of the drive to my hubby's parents' house last week. I took that time to make some kitchen scrubbies. I hate sponges. I think they are dirty, smelly, and hard to keep clean. So I made these little scrubbies that work really, really well!! This is the pattern. I made it with some cotton yarn I purchased years and years ago and never knew what to do with it. The bumps on the scrubbie seem to work really well to get stuck on gunk off of the dishes and you can just throw them in the wash. So much better than sponges. And the pattern is super easy and fast. I've memorized it so well that I can make a scrubbie in about 20 minutes. I've made about 4 for our kitchen and 2 for my Mother-in-law. I'll keep making them until I run out of yarn. :)

The other big project I tackled while I was on Spring Break (my "break" was basically one day after the traveling, working... during break, and getting Sweet Pea's birthday stuff done) was to clean and organize the playroom. UGH! two and half hours later and it was finished. I can safely say that the child does NOT need anymore toys. Does NOT need any more art supplies, and the next person who gives us play-doh is going to get an earful from me. (Of play-doh that is....) It looks wonderful, though. So much better. And we're working on the kid to get in the habit of picking up her toys and putting them away as she finishes playing with them. (yeah....right.)

Yesterday was so nice out that we even got to go outside and play. Sweet Pea's swing-set and playhouse are open and ready for the summer. My dad got her a new glider swing for the set and we got her some plastic drums that attach to the swing-set. We will attach those today. With the nice weather I got to get out in the yard. I got the puppy-poop cleaned up, the sticks picked up, and my strawberry patch raked out. Everything seems to have survived this horrible winter. My apple tree is budding and both my blueberry bushes survived. The raspberries are....well I don't think you can kill raspberries.  As soon as it is a little nicer we will dig up the suckers from the raspberry patch and transplant them along our other fence. They are Sweet Pea's favorite food, so we can't have too many. (Famous last words.) Last summer we found some wild black raspberries in our yard and we are really hoping we can encourage those to spread, too. I think I was most surprised to see that my rhubarb lived. I really thought I killed it last year. 

I really can't wait to get out and clean up my garden and start planting. On the list to grow this year:
Tomatoes (Heirloom varieties.)
Red Bell Peppers
Black Beans

I'm going to have to go get some nitrogen rich fertilizer this year. I try and rotate my tomatoes every year, but with the black beans and cucumbers needing the fence to climb on, I'll need to plant the tomatoes where they were last year. I'll find some good fertilizer and it'll be fine. I hope. We have friends with pet bunnies, so I can get some bunny poop. Best fertilizer in the world.

The artichokes will go in pots as will any herbs we plant. So excited! I got canning supplies for Christmas so we are planning on canning jellies and pickles for sure. I also want to buy peaches, pears, and apples from the farmers markets to can fruit for Sweet Pea's lunches next year. She is a fruit bat, and I'm so tired of buying fruit cups for her.

We always freeze tomato sauce, and my hubby likes that better than canning so we'll continue to handle the tomatoes that way. I also want to try canning roasted red peppers. And maybe invest in a food dehydrator for sun-dried tomatoes and dried fruit.

Well, the sunlight and my back yard is calling me. I'm sure I have more puppy poop to pick up and my lavender plant needs to be uncovered before it smothers. So happy to be able to get outside!!

1 comment:

  1. We roast all our peppers, skin them, puree, and then freeze in individual size servings. One of my favorite things to do (with roasted pepper puree and with fresh basil puree) is to freeze it in ice cube trays, then store in big freezer bags. You can take as much or as little as you like, and it's fresh and nummy all winter. :) Black beans and artichokes! Jealous! One day I'll get that hardcore. LOL. I have a friend who does this AMAZING type of oven drying with her tomatoes, and marinates them in basalmic vinegar and spices... oh my gosh, to die for! Best way to use up all your end of year, pick them or let them die on the vine, type of tomatoes. :) And fruit can be frozen really easily too, I like it much better than canning... it makes it taste so much more fresh. Basically if given the option between canning and freezing, I always choose freezing. :)

    I used to try and rotate my crops, but I grow so many tomatoes and bell peppers every year... and you can't plant either one where the other one has been planted, for I think 8 years?, without having disease issues... so I gave up on rotation, and I just heavily fertilize with blood and bone meal, and fish emulsion (sp?). We've been good so far. :)