Friday, September 10, 2010

Potting Up the Fig Cuttings


With my trusty little two-dollar-battery-cover-keeps-falling-off calculator, I deduced that the fig cuttings had enjoyed quite enough hibernation and were ready to emerge from winter break.

I love the internet. You can find a 100 experts on one subject who will tell you 100 different ways to do something, and 900 non-experts who pose as experts, copying and pasting the same instructions on 900 different sites.

Here's one that looked plausible.

Great! I can do that! I have gobs of stored, 4-inch pots in my shelves of the tool shed, and a lovely heavy-duty platter on which I can place them for handy packing around the house as they get in the way first in one place and then the other.

Wonder of wonders. The pots are not there. Maybe I was thinking of 3-inch pots. Ah well, no matter. I can make do with those.

Then, catastrophe. My beloved, cherished, sturdy, HUGE, had-it-since-I-don't-know-when and have-no-idea-where-I-got-it-either ugly platter is missing. I mean completely gone! Those kinds of things are too big to just get up and walk away. I'd have heard it clattering across the floor!

Either someone has clandestinely stolen it, or I transported heavily laden dishes of hot food to a potluck somewhere and somehow managed to forget "my precious". (Pathetic sobbing)

I don't know if I can get over this.

On to replacement technology. Big ugly plastic bowls. I knew I bought them for some reason.

I sing to the branches, so they believe it is spring...

"The hills are alive with the sound of music..."
"I love Paris in the springtime..."
"Here comes Peter Cottontail..."

I take them out gently and carefully.

Then I cut them to little bits.

And bury them.

And your little friends, too!

Now fully buried and placed in a light room, above 70 degrees. Treat them as you would vampires. Very carefully, and without direct sunlight.

Gardeners; always burying things they love.

Then I enjoyed Yom Teruah and played with photography all day. Very non-productive, but good for the soul!



Thursday, September 9, 2010

Beady Sidewalks


I finally succumbed to a beady dress. Not just a regular beady dress of which I already have a decent evening gown belonging in that category, but a 'chesty' beady dress.

I said I would not do it, as they are so front heavy that, well, you know.

But I was in need of a dress that was
a) cool
b) happy
C) on sale and
D) right there in front of my face as I was rushing to the checkout stand.

So I got two.

This is one of those generic dresses that probably three truckloads were sold in every town of 10,000 people or less, so I have to mind my P's and Q's when I wear it. That is, if I care that day.

The funny thing about getting older, is that I honestly care less and less. I'm more likely to laugh hysterically and probably quite inappropriately.

Anyhow, the sad thing is, they need to be washed. And that flies in the face of one of my other clothing rules.
A) nothing that needs to be ironed
B) nothing that requires hand-washing.

With a congratulatory pat on my own back, I found a way to wash them.

I turned them inside out,

pinned the tar out of them,
(Oddly enough, that brings all sorts of pictures into my head.)

and ran them through the "hand wash" cycle

with a big pool of water for a cushion.

Some of the beads are not exactly in the place they used to be, but after cocking my head to the side, I pronounced it charming, and went on about my day.

In case any readers were hanging by a thread, wondering how the project at my mom and dad's house was progressing, here is their new sidewalk.

Just so long as there is room for a chair and a nice cold glass of carbonated poison, I'm happy.

Not shabby at all!



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Celery, Ginger, and Tomato Starts for Winter.


Yesterday, while Michael did schoolwork,

I bore refreshment to the parched grass around the house, via a battered hose and less-than-efficient sprinkler.

I have also been wanting to start ginger roots for the longest time. When I went to to juice my morning beverage, consisting of 3 apples, 2 lemons, a head of celery, and head of dark leafy greens, and a chunk of ginger root, the opportunity presented itself perfectly.

Look at this piece of ginger root, just begging to grow.

Being a little short on posh pots, I grabbed some plastic cups and gave them place of their own, to grow, to nurture, to be beautiful.

After I marked the cups and covered them, they went right next to my lemon seeds, in the sunny kitchen window.

Now, I had some celery. I have tried on a couple of occasions to grow celery from seed. I knew it would be a failure, but I wanted the learning experience to at least get to know it a little. This time I'm also trying something I've wanted to do for a while; grow them from a base which came from the store.

They may have been in the fridge too long, so these were not the best subjects for the test. But if they don't work out, more heads will be coming along.

I am also going to give growing tomatoes indoors, over the winter, a shot. I pinched some cuttings from a variety of plants in the garden last week. I would like to have renewable tomato plants each year, rather than having to buy new ones all the time.

I realize the biggest drawback will be the lack of heat, but even if I don't get fruit from them, I will have plants from which to take cuttings and starts for next spring. These are Roma, yellow pear, and cherry.

It's just about time to take the fig cuttings out of the fridge. So a trip to town to pick up a bag of potting soil is in the works today.

With Yom Teruah (Rosh Ha'Shannah), a birthday party, Bible study, and errands to do this afternoon and evening, we have got our hands full getting all our ducks in a row this morning.

If you are interested in hearing about the Lord's festival of Rosh Ha'Shannah, try this link.

Someone think of a tagline for me while I scurry off to get the house in sparkling order!



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rings, Tables, Citrus Seeds.


Yesterday we decided to tackle several things that were cluttering our home.

I wanted to try to grow some citrus house plants. They are so pretty, and a friend of mine even gets lemons twice a year from hers, which we all enjoy so much as her lemonade.

I brought out oranges, lemons, limes, and tangerines. Only to discover what I should have known in the first place, if I'd thought about beforehand. Only the lemons had seeds!

I will have to buy key limes, and some oranges and tangerines with seeds. Then I'll have a whole orchard in a planter. For now, I've lemon seeds in soil.

The next project was the gymnastics rings we had purchased for Michael's workouts earlier this year. It is one of those projects that we just didn't have the tools or the right set up to do, so figuring out HOW to go about it has been a challenge that we kept putting off.

But I am good and tired of them laying on the porch so, necessity being the mother of invention, we decided to do SOMEthing, come Hell or high water.

The original plan was to bolt this board 16 feet above ground, in between two perfectly spaced trees in the woods.

Finding two perfectly spaced trees is harder than you might think.

And 16 feet up them is higher than you might at first think, using either an extension ladder, nailing stairs up a trunk, or climbing.

We finally decided we were not going to find just the right set of trees. We also do not quite need 16 feet yet, and likely won't until it was time to redo the board anyhow. So probably 14 or 15 feet will do.

We also altered our original plan from a bolt system to a lashing system. So we'll use this rope, to lash the board across a couple of trees in a different area than we'd been planning on for a while. But we are going to need help to do it. Michael called his friends who think they can come over to help sometime this week.

The rope for lashing.

The eye bolts for attaching chain to the horizontal board.

The chains will have a quick release clip on the bottoms so Michael can take the straps and rings off whenever he needs to get them out of the weather.

The next project was continuing work on the table. We needed to exchange the formica top for the oak top I had glued back together the other day.

I will miss this feature of leaves and extensions, I dearly love those. But I have no leaves to fit in the new oak top. Here is the bottom of the table, with the sliders, and the separated leg frames.

Some of the legs were wobbly, so we tightened them. I later discovered this was unnecessary. The legs must be loose to place the framework on the new top, then re-tightened.

We removed twelve screws from the frame, and each slider had about 6 or 8 screws. I kept those for use with future furniture building.

The wonderful, used drill I bought at the yard sale a few months ago. Cords in the way, yes, but you never need a battery!

And we actually did most of the work with a hand screwdriver, as the power drill was too bulky to fit near enough to the screws.

It's all apart and ready to be screwed onto the oak top.

I didn't want to scratch the surface, so we worked on it on the carpet. Michael is removing the support boards that came with the top.

The part that I glued back on was outside the framework. That is not good. So we turned the frame 45 degrees so the corner would at least be underneath the glued piece. That is still not good enough so, on our next trip to town, we'll pick up some lumber and find a way to add strength and support to the underneath side of the table. Then we should be able to begin refinishing.

It was warm yesterday, but the nights have been cooling off a lot, so our swim was a little chilly. We forewent heading over for another get together for target shooting, and stayed home to rest. Michael has been needing it.

And I got 8 or 9 hours of sleep last night. I think I just heard a very hot place freeze over.



Monday, September 6, 2010

A Week In the Life


Done playing catchup with this entry. Today is going to be an outdoor work day, so I want to get on it pretty quick.

Sunday we finally met at the new location for our fellowship. Last week was filled with work days there to get it in shape.

The big showroom windows were covered with paint. Hi, Georgia!

This took a lot of paint and a lot of people.

The young men worked on a little last minute construction.

Among other things... I cleaned windows.

We've got chairs!

Looking good!

I brought my camera, but after church on Sunday I forgot to get it out, so I've got not pics of the finished product yet. Hopefully this week.

Before church, we had to get a window washing job done. The sky through the domed archway.

I'm not even going to try to set any goals today. Not doing that is a little frustrating to someone like me who is very goal oriented, but life has been so crazy busy lately that setting them and not getting them done is leading only to disappointment. So we'll just start working and see what happens!

I have the windows open, and the air is actually a bit cold. I'll still take it as we've been closed up in here for far too long.

Fresh air and blue skies!



Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cast Call and Party! - August 31, 2010


We are all so excited about the two productions coming up. There will be rehearsals and productions all the way through January. But on this day was the cast call for The King and I. With so many friends getting parts, we just had to have a Cast Party.

We attended the cast call at the theater in the evening.

She called up each group so all could see who got the parts. The kids were so cute. There are a lot of kids in this one.

We helped measure everyone for costuming before heading out to the party.

Can you ask for a nicer front porch?

Or back porch?

We are heading down for target shooting practice. Our concealed carry permit class is in a week, I believe, and some of the ladies are not very comfortable with shooting, so we figured this was a good time to practice.

The weather was amazing.

Girls just wanna have fun!

And wear ballet slippers with their cammo pants.

We never did get to this.

The police officer helps his mom.

Donna goes for it, too.

I'm taking it easy, enjoying the cool grass and peaceful surroundings. In between handgun fire, anyway.

I'm not the only one.

All the young people went, Michael waited til last. He did really well.

He got 8 out of 9 shots, so he's ready to go.

Look out!

Then we went in for food, games, and visiting. I have no photos of the best part of the evening, sitting outside on the porch swing with my gal pals, talking and looking at the stars, feeling the cool breezes blow.

But the kids played a new game, Ultimate Spoons. The spoons were in the other room. We decided to make it even more fun by hiding them when they left.

The new basement was a blast and that bed was too comfy. I felt like Goldilocks, having a hard time getting back upstairs from relaxing.