Monday, December 19, 2011

She Cooks!

Sunday afternoon, we were all in the living room and Daughter #1 says, "I think I'll make dinner tonight."  Someone, we think it was Daugher #2 spouted off with, "What, spaghetti?".  You should know that Daughter #1 is a master at spaghetti, I'm pretty sure she'd make it everyday for two out of three meals if you let her.  I thought it was a brilliant idea, and asked if she needed to make a trip to the store for her plan.  She did, so we got together and braved the Sunday afternoon crowd at HEB.  I asked her before we left what she had in mind, but she wanted to wait until we got in the car to tell me so no one else wouledhear.  Once in the car, she described baked ziti.  That happens to be something all of us enjoy, and still pretty close to her spaghetti comfort zone.  While at the store, she decided on cookies too, but we haven't seen those yet. 

We got home and she went right to work.  I helped a little bit with the draining of the meat and pasta since both made for heavy pots, but she did the majority of the work on her own. 

We all agreed that she did a fabulous job, and I couldn't be more proud of her!  I can't promise, but I'll be surprised if I don't come home to freshly baked cookies today since she didn't get to them last night...yummy! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Succulent Birdhouse

After seeing another friend's succulent birdhouse, it was only natural that I needed one for myself as well.  It just so happened that my mother's birthday was coming up, so I ordered one for both of us.  Mine arrived a week ago and I adore it!!

I ordered them from The Succulent Perch.  You can find her on Facebook or email her at for a catalogue and order form.  They make a really nice gift and are definitely out of the norm.  She takes care to try and include succulents that do well in your area as well as will send detailed care instructions.  She also includes a list of what succulents are used in your birdhouse.  That was pretty smashing for someone like myself who loves details.

After getting a quick shower with the kitchen sink sprayer, mine perked up quite nice from the travel and is enjoying her spot on the kitchen table.  In the spring I'll move her outside, but for now she'll enjoy the light from the back window.  I'm looking forward to watching it fill in, and since succulents are good about doing that I shouldn't have to wait long!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Protecting the Greenhouse

What you ask does the greenhouse need protected from?

From Thing One...

...and Thing Two

What did they do this time?  The heathens chewed off a window flap and the mesh window and then had a feast on my succulents. 

Their entrance is taped up now, but they snapped a few branches of my 'Red Bird' Cactus and the non-variegated Jacob's Ladder...they're really the same thing, but one's variegated and the other's not.

My Kalanchoe 'Fantastic' is minus a few babies that were growing at her base.  We won't discuss the nice fat leaves that got chopped.

This one made me the most irritated.  They were cuttings that a blogger friend sent me that were doing quite well until they got plucked and thrashed about!  I think I salvaged most of them, now to just wait and see. 

The didn't eat any of the Kalanchoe 'Pink Butterfly', but they did snap one of the branches in half.  This is my most finicky Kalanchoe and they really need to leave her alone!

There was more damage, but the pictures didn't come out like they should. 

They're coming very close to being strung up by their not so little necks if they don't knock it off!

I thought about what to do while out Christmas shopping with my oldest and decided on fencing it off.  A quick call to my friend who lives across the street and it was settled...we'd build a fence around it when we both got home. 

The trip to Home Depot proved to be less expensive that I'd originally thought and the guy that helped me was a great help in getting me exactly what I needed without any overkill.  I think he felt sorry for me when I explained what I was doing and why. 

My youngest helped me get the posts where we wanted them and then covered up the damaged window.  Needless to say, that window won't be getting opened.  We also have an issue with this awful post from the phone company next to the greenhouse.  They've been working on it and some nincompoop left a ton of exposed wires, one that the dogs helped cut in half, so I decided to just fence off the whole space.  Amy got home just as I was bringing the fencing back, and we got right to work.  She taught me how to use a post pusher's amazing how easy things work when you do them right!

The cinder blocks help hold the covering down so the wind doesn't pick them up.  It's also come in handy to to keep out heathens.  It's classy I know, but the upturned laundry basket is covering the electrical outlet post that is there for the pool and my heater.  If they don't see it, they're less likely to want it.  I can untie and fold back the fence to get in and out.  Thankfully I don't go out everyday unless it's cold and I have the heater or lamp on.  

This should keep the heathens out and keep me a little more sane!  I'm not so sure how happy my husband will be tomorrow when he gets home from the deer lease, but sometimes a girl's got to do what a girl's to do! 

 Everything is tucked back in and we should be able to keep it this way.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Garden Gate Series - Pattie Hill

I have been looking at these books at my local Half Price books for years.  I finally picked up the first one and when I finally started reading it, it was another one of those mad dashes to try and find the other two. 

The series begins with Like a Well Watered Garden.  Mibby Garret is doing good to get out of bed and stumble through the day after unexpectedly loosing her husband in a bicycle accident just six months earlier.  It's not until she realizes that the only thing to eat in the house is Kool-Aid and crackers that she decides somethings got to give.  Mibby loves gardening and is a garden designer.  In the midst of continuing the kitchen remodel that she began with her husband and trying to keep her finances above water, Mibby begins to get back into life.  A mysterious stranger's arrival threatens to unravel it all.

In book two, Always Green, Mibby continues to struggle through her new role as single parent to a now teenage son as well as her struggling business.  The opportunity for romance trickles in, but Mibby isn't convinced that there's a man out there measures up to her deceased husband.  Between pesky clients and house emergencies, Mibby's life is far from boring.

Book three, In Every Flower, would be a give away for the other two if I told you about it, so I won't.  It is just as enjoyable as the previous two, so I'd really suggest getting your hands on all three to prevent any mad searches. 

My favorite part of these books aside from the whole storyline was how author Patti Hill begins each chapter.  Each chapter number is a date in her garden journal. 

July 20
Patchy clouds raised the humidity but that's all.  Tough year to keep potted plants happy.  Next year, add polymer granules to the soil.  Good news; pincushions and butterfly flowers blooming well in the heat.  yay!

There were bits of gardening dispersed throughout all three books and that just made it all the more enjoyable of a series. 

Like a Watered Garden: A Novel (Garden Gates)Always Green (Garden Gates)In Every Flower: A Novel (Garden Gates)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Puppies in the Greenhouse

Saturday started off just a tiny bit stressful.  It was raining and so I only let the puppies out just to eat and do their business before putting them back in their kennel so I could go back to sleep.  They did incredibly well at that and I was able to get another two hours of sleep in.  About 9 a.m., I was putting the ornaments on the tree, looked out the back window and realized that the zipper door was up on the greenhouse.  Thinking that I knew I had shut it, I walked out and the closer I got I knew something was up.   It had stopped raining so they were of course running around sloshing around in the mud and water.  They both followed me into the greenhouse and that's when I lost it.  Somehow, these two terrors; gone were my little angels, unzipped the door and then busted through the mesh window.  I had left one window up for ventilation, and it was definitely letting air flow through at that point!

The trampled the Palmer Sedum and made it to the back of the crushing things that were in their way to their prize.  I've decided that certain succulents must put out more appealing smells because they bypassed a lot to get to the one in the back.  And out of that pot, they only dug up the one.

The Sanseveria's took a nice hit too.

Needless to say, I sprayed the Boundary stuff all around the greenhouse and put bricks at the bottom of the door's zippers to keep them out.  They got a pretty good tongue lashing too.  They're lucky that I didn't catch them doing it or they'd have been in bigger trouble.

It's gonna be a long winter!