Monday, May 18, 2009

I heart spring!

Spring is the best season of the year. It is time to get outside and play in the dirt.

The vegetables we planted outside over the last few weeks are doing well. We have about 12 tomato plants, 3 tomatillos and 6 pepper plants out so far. We already got 2 Haba
ñeros off the plant we saved from last year. They are hot little monsters.

This year I am going to try a new technique for some of our tomato plants. I am going to create those upside down planters from old Hawaiian Punch 1.5 gallon containers. Hopefully the wind won't just tear the vines apart. I will post a picture as soon as I have one completed.

The strawberries are not doing so well. I think the sun is just too harsh for them. The same goes for the raspberries and the blackberries. Today I found some currant, jostaberry and gooseberry plants that are supposed to do well in our climate. I think I might pick up a couple of those and see how they do. I would love to be able to make jams and jellies with fruit from our garden. The cherry trees are doing great. We have a ton of fruit on them.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Weather is Beautiful!

I have more pictures of the cakes I made for the baby shower. These are my monkey cupcakes. They look a bit silly were delicious. I thought they actually looked a bit more like bears but everyone else liked them.

I have also gotten some new plants. I started two small cactus and succulent gardens. I found these great pots at the thrift store for only a couple dollars and had to get them. They are perfect for a cactus garden because of their southwestern style. I collected some of the cacti a few weeks ago from area around our house where they grow wild.

Finally, the weather is beautiful! The hawthorn trees are blooming and they are gorgeous! This is a picture of the blossoms on our tree in our front yard.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Baby Shower!

Our friends Alicia and Ben are pregnant with triplets! Tomorrow I am having a baby shower for Alicia. I am making green shile stew, meatball sandwiches, cupcakes and the cake. The theme for the shower is jungle/safari. Here is the cake I made.

I will try to get pictures of the monkey cupcakes up later tonight.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Beautiful Bonsai

Sorry I have not posted in while. I have been very busy getting ready for spring planting. I will try to post some updated photos of the strawberries soon.

I tried to learn Bonsai when I was a kid and it failed miserably. Even though I was completely unsuccessful, I always wanted to try it again. Than, a few weeks ago, I found a book on Bonsai at the thrift store. I decided that I should stop putting it off and just do it. I went to our local nursery and asked if they had Bonsai trees. The owner took me to see all the trees they had. When I told him that I actually wanted to learn how to make and care for them not just take home a little tree, he became very excited, told me to hold on and ran off. He came back with a box full of trees, soil and pots. We went up to the front of the store and he gave me a Bonsai training lesson right there on the checkout counter. He showed me how to choose an appropriate pot, pick the correct soil for the tree, wire branches, properly prune the roots, leaves and branches, etc. It was great!!

Here are some pictures of the trees that I have potted so far.

This tree will have either a cascade or semi cascade form when it is finished.

This tree will be an informal upright.

This tree just looks cool. It will not have any of the traditional Japanese forms.

This is just a group of small fig trees with a pretty piece of blue calcite.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Strawberries and Rhubarb

Last week, while Brian's mom, sister and step-dad were here, we built a raised garden bed. It was a lot of work, but it looks great! It measures 5' x 6'8" Today I planted rhubarb and 30 strawberry plants. I still have a little space left. I am not quit sure what I am going to plant there yet.

The flower pot is about 8" around for scale.

This is the bed after planting. The strawberries are the very small green plants on the left part of the bed. The rhubarb is planted in the back right corner. The front right section is still empty.

This is a cherry blossom that is just opening. They are beautiful and have a very subtle sweet scent.

Here is my little helper! He sat on the edge of the bed with me while I was planting. Of course, as soon as I got up to take a picture of him sitting there, he moved to the pillow.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Brian's mom got me a new SD card reader thing. Now I can post pictures!

Here is the new bedroom decorating scheme.

Here is the apple butter!

Brian's family is here so I have to run. I will post more after company leaves.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Apple Butter!

I made 4 pints of spiced apple butter! I used ground cloves, ground cardamom, ground cinnamon and ground allspice. Delicious!

I also finished with the master bedroom decorating. I love the color combination!

My USB SD card reader isn't working. I have to get a new one and then I will post pictures of the latest projects.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I spent most of yesterday canning. I have this great book called "The Complete Book of Year Round Small Batch Preserving." It is great for me because I have very limited storage space. I made pickled Jalapeños with garlic. There are 1 1/2 pints extra spicy with Habañeros and 2 pints of regular. Brian will love them (as he sits there with tears pouring down his face while eating them.) I also made 3 pints of Tomatillo salsa. It is absolutely delicious. Right now I have apple butter on the stove and the house smells wonderful.

I finished decorating the office and moved on to the master bedroom. I decided to use red, white and pale blue. The red a pale blue make a great contrast and the white keeps it from becoming to tacky. It does not necessarily look patriotic because the blue shades are too light. I crocheted one valence and am working on the second. I bought a cheap white lamp at Big Lots and then spray painted it bright cherry red. It looks awesome. I found a cute little pale blue lamp at the thrift store and I added a red and white gingham shade. I also made a light blue duvet cover for our quilt. I bought white fabric, sewed the duvet and then died it with RIT die. I am actually surprised how well it turned out. I will try to put pictures up in the next few days.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Projects, Projects, Projects!!!!!!

I started redecorating my house on Wednesday night! My first project was the office. I got some sheets at the thrift store and started sewing. So far I have made a slip-cover for our futon mattress, a covered cushion for the chest in the office and a pillowcase.

Here is the curtain I made for the kitchen door. I think the pattern is a bit much, but it makes it feel like spring. The second picture is a close up of the fabric.

Now I am going to start working on the valences and other pillowcases.

Valence 1 Complete!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Hello! It has been a while. We were very busy with CUP and company. Then we started our outdoor spring garden prep work. It is going great. We have dug a big 7' diameter hole for our raised bed. Right now our compost pile is spread in the bottom of it. Tomorrow our new 124 gallon composter will arrive in the mail and then I will not have to turn the compost pile with a shovel anymore!

I have started a lot more seeds. So far I have planted:

  1. Red, yellow, orange and purple Sweet Bell Peppers
  2. Jamaican Red Scotch Bonnets (x-hot)
  3. Thai Dragon Hot Peppers
  4. Caribbean Red Chili Peppers
  5. Serrano Chilis
  6. Cascabella Chili Peppers
  7. Ancho Chili Peppers (hot)
  8. Long Thin Cayenne Peppers
  9. Yellow Sweet Banana Peppers
  10. Anaheim Chili Peppers
  11. Poblanos
  12. Jalapeños
  13. Sweet Million Red Cherry Tomatoes
  14. Sunsugar - golden cherry tomatoes
  15. Yellow Pear Cherry Tomatoes
  16. Early Girl Tomatoes
  17. Jelly Bean - grape type tomatoes
  18. Jubilee - yellow tomatoes
  19. Red Cherry Tomatoes, Large Fruited
  20. Roma Tomatoes
  21. Tomatillos
  22. Early Prolific Yellow Straightneck Summer Squash
  23. Black Zucchini
I still have a lot more to plant. I saved the seeds from the butternut squash we are having for dinner tonight. Hopefully we will actually get a squash plant from them. I still have to plant:

  1. Sweet Italian Basil
  2. Big Top Carrots
  3. Sweet Treat Hybrid Carrots
  4. Red Cored Chantenay Carrots
  5. Lavendar
  6. Leaf Lettuce Mix
  7. Orange Scotch Bonnets
The strawberry plants are growing very well. At this rate I will have strawberries on the plants before it is time to transplant them. I hope they are ok. I have 10 Sequoia Strawberry plants growing in the living room and 25 Ogallala Strawberries in the mail.
Time to go turn the compost pile... Then I think I will knit for a while.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Appliances!

I tried to post this a while ago but the pictures would not load. Hooray for new appliances! The pictures make the color look a little pink, they are actually a nice red color.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This weekend

The green chili stew was great last week. The pecan pie had a little to much going on. I liked it but Brian didn't. I should skip the cardamom in the crust next time. I also made a Lemon-Lavender pound cake and it was marvelous. I think I am going to experiment more with lavender.

This weekend was a bit on the busy side. Brian was finishing everything for the conference this week and I was busy with spring cleaning. The house looks very good. I am redecorating my kitchen. I bought new appliances. I bought a new red toaster over, microwave and coffee pot. They should arrive in the mail sometime next week.

My Wilton cake decorating class still has not started. I hope it starts soon.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ahhh! Food!

I went to the thrift store today and found another of the Frugal Gourmet books by Jeff Smith. This one is titled "The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American." I am going to make green chili and pork stew from my new book tonight for dinner. It also has a section for Southern cooking. I think I will make Pecan pie for dessert.

The plants are doing great. I got some more seeds in the mail yesterday. I can't wait to plant them!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Not much today

I am still feeling sick. I think I need to rest some more.

I read up on organic gardening today. I am working on plans for our raised garden beds. I think I am going to put a couple in the front yard as well as the back.

More tomorrow. I am going to go to bed and read Calvin and Hobbes.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Go Me!

I did my first electrical installation all by myself. Yay!!! I put up a light fixture by our back door. (I actually got it to work.) The best part is that it was only $6 at the thrift store!

Feeling Better!!!

Today I am feeling much better!

The tomatoes and tomatillos are over 3" tall. I will have to thin them soon. I always hate that part. The peppers have finally germinated and are about 1" tall. I tried an experiment this year. I put a heating pad under the little greenhouses to keep them warm. There was a remarkable difference between last year and this year. The tomatoes and tomatillos were sprouted in 3 days and the tomatoes in about 6 days. I had to take the tomatoes off because they were growing too fast =o)

On a happy note...

Tonight I start my Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1 at Michaels. I am so excited! I want to be ready to make the most amazing cake for Alicia's babies shower. Yes, "babies" shower...triplets!!!

On a not so happy note...
I also have to start my spring cleaning today because we are getting company next weekend. (The cleaning is the not so happy part.)

And to be completely random, here is my favorite picture from my honeymoon. Well, one of my favorites.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Still Sick...

We are both still sick...

Saturday, February 28, 2009


We're both sick... =o(

Friday, February 27, 2009

And so it begins...

I never thought I would start blogging, but I wanted an easy way to show my family my life after I moved across the continent. Here goes...

I planted my first tray of seeds for this years' vegetable garden on Monday morning and they have already begun germinating. The tomatoes and tomatillos are over 1" tall! I also have cascabella chiles and serrano chiles in this flat, but they tend to take a bit longer to start growing.

Today I am going to go shopping for organic vegetable potting soil and garden soil. I want to plant some elephant garlic and my asparagus crowns. (Hopefully the Comcast guy will actually show up so I can go out.) I am also going to start planning my plots for our vegetable garden. Hooray for diagrams!