Monday, March 28, 2016

Re-Using, Just Because I Can

     Today I marked off another to do item. Chicken Chick got a beautiful chandelier from one of her Grandmother's for her Birthday last year. It has been sitting for 6 months waiting to be hung, but us unwell old folks never got around to it.
     After looking around in our attic I found an old floor lamp from the 40's that I hadn't used in years. It was one of those with a milk glass shade around a big bulb in the center & three smaller bulbs around it. I had made a cloth shade for it & it sat in out front room for a few years. As with most other things it at some point  it ended up being put upstairs.
  I had an idea if I took it apart, undid all the wiring & tweaked it a bit it might be able to be the base to the chandelier.
    When my Husband see's me dragging an armload of stuff out to the shop he knows it's time to drop what he's doing (he's really good at this) & let me tell him my vision. With a little work we had it figured out.
 The shade went on one of my ceiling fans & the light sockets will be rewired & fitted with Edison bulbs & made into a table lamp. I'll figure out something to do with the milk glass shade someday. Now, finally, when Chicken Chick gets home from school she'll see her lamp & finally be able to use it. Now I'm in the mood to create something else. Going to go dig in the attic. I better warn Jim that he's going to have to clear me a spot in the shop that I can work in.

Easter 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Growing Herbs Indoors

4 No-Fail Indoor Herbs (and How to Grow Them)


Perhaps you've had the same dream as I have: Outside, there's snow on the ground and a windchill of negative it-doesn't-even-matter-anymore, but inside the kitchen is redolent with the scent of fresh aromatics from your home garden. Bright, peppery basil is perched on the windowsill, while lavender wafts from its planter. Juicy, ripe tomatoes hang languidly from the vine on the counter, and the citrus tree has just bloomed.
Oh, if only that were true. Sadly, more often than not, a plant's native environment just can't be recreated indoors. There are, however, some exceptions to the rule.
It is possible to grow herbs indoors, even during winter, without the delicate leaves flickering and fading into a wilted little tendril with the first blush of cold. It's all a matter of selection — knowing which herbs to reach for to keep your kitchen fragrant and flavorful — and what to do to keep them that way.
Tender-leaved herbs like basil, chervil, or cilantro may be too fussy to sustain the challenges of indoor heating and cooling, variable daylight hours, and lack of humidity. Instead of the lacy filigree of these leaves, opt for robust and sturdy plants that are more structural and can withstand fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and sunlight. Here are some rules of (green) thumb for growing herbs indoors, and four hearty herbs to get you started.

How to Grow Herbs Indoors

Growing your indoor herb garden can be a snap, as long as you keep three key factors in mind: light, temperature, and moisture.

Let There Be Light

As we all know, plants depend on light to survive. They also depend on light to create flavor. A lack of adequate sunlight will dramatically reduce the flavor of your herbs. For novice gardeners out there, you may taste that your plant isn't doing well before you see it. Ideally, you want to place herbs in a window that will receive at least six hours of sunlight a day. If that's not possible in your space, consider adding a grow light or placing the herbs next to a fluorescent bulb to boost light exposure.

Keep Your Plants Warm

Next, make sure the area where your herbs will be living will stay within the temperature range of 65°F to 75°F. If you live in a Northern climate, remember that placement near windows can be quite a bit colder than the cozy 72°F thermostat in high winter. Make sure to place your leafy friends where they will be warm enough.

Don't Overwater

Finally, and probably most importantly, is the issue of moisture. The majority of herbs will need to become adequately dry (but not dry out!) between waterings to avoid root rot. Start by selecting a pot that has appropriate drainage holes (at least one large hole) on the bottom. I like using unglazed clay pots for herbs, as they will also help to ensure moisture doesn't get trapped in the container.
In general, you want to water your herb when the surface of the soil is dry to the touch (but if you pressed down into the soil you would feel moisture). Mist your herbs once a week if your air is dry, but also make sure your herbs receive plenty of air circulation so that the moisture doesn't turn into powdery mildew or rot.

4 Hearty Herbs to Grow Indoors

1. Rosemary

Hailing from the Mediterraean, Rosemary gets its name from the Latin for "dew of the sea." And while you need not live in Santorini in order to grow your own Rosemary, it's wise to consider its native provenance when recreating its living conditions. Rosemary likes lots of sunlight (six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day), and it likes to be watered, but not wet. Make sure to water your plant only when the top soil surface is dry, and allow for plenty of drainage in your pot to avoid root rot.
Sunlight: Bright, direct; six to eight hours a day.
Water: When the top of the soil is dry to the touch; do not overwater.
Watch for: Powdery mildew, root rot, indoor pests.

2. Thyme

One of the easiest herbs to grow, this hearty evergreen has been cultivated since the ancient Greeks used its sweet-smelling leaves in bathing rituals. In the culinary world, it is a central ingredient to both herbs de Provence and za'atar. When growing thyme, it is most important to keep drainage in mind. Thyme is more drought-resistant than most herbs, so as a result is extra sensitive to overwatering.
Sunlight: Bright, direct; six hours a day.
Water: When the top of the soil is dry to the touch.
Watch for: Whiteflies, mealy bugs.

3. Chives

A culinary wunderkind, chives add grassy brightness to almost any dish — like garlic, but sweeter, or like onions but greener. And they happen to be fantastically simple to grow, too. Chives prefer a moist environment; water twice a week. When trimming chives for cooking, make sure to leave at least two inches above the root.
Sunlight: Bright sun; at least four hours a day.
Water: Twice a week.
Watch for: Yellow tips mean inadequate light.

4. Mint

Impatient growers will be generously rewarded by mint, as it is terrifically prolific. Make sure to keep mint in its own pot, in a container with a wide surface, and at a distance from other potted herbs, as it is a "runner." Its exuberance can make it a kind of garden gangster, taking over neighboring territories. And be sure to experiment with different varieties — there are over 600, all with slightly different flavors to choose from!
Sunlight: Bright sun; at least six hours a day.
Water: When the top of the soil is dry to the touch.
Watch for: Pinch off flowers as they appear, and thin the leaves regularly.
(Image credits: Abbye ChurchillGeraldine Campbell)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Post Surgery For Hubby

Hubby is home from surgery #2 in 2 mts. Mine was in Nov. & believe me, we can't wait till spring. We are both on the mend & hoping that we will have more energy than we did this last year. Getting older does have it's perks, but mostly it's a pain. Being so active & then not being able to keep up is very hard & it will quickly remind you that you are no longer a spring chicken. I hope by this weekend I can get out & start getting the garden ready. These warm days that we have had are making me ready to dig in the dirt. I am also going to try something new this year. I actually bought a kit to make wine. I have made wine for years, but never from a kit. I'll post the progress as I go along. It will still only come out to about $3 a bottle. I will try to get it started in a week or two.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Sun Doing Her Job

                                      I'm ready for the weekend.I love letting the sun do her thing.

BE AWARE! Spiders!

                          I have been bitten by a Brown Recluse. Be aware!


Thursday, March 10, 2016

My Girl reads the Cat In The Hat

  I have to do some Mom bragging on my 6 yr old. Today she went to the pre school she attended last year  (the most amazing school ever!) & she read a Cat In The Hat book to 7 different classes. We were treated so warmly & these wonderful Teacher's who were so a part of our lives were so happy to see Little Chicken Chick & so impressed with her reading.I miss every one of these wonderful Women & Men. They have no idea how much we appreciate & love them!