Enjoying Life

Awaiting Springs ArrivalOver here in C-Town (Cleveland, OH) at this time of year, we take it one day at a time as you just never know what the weather will be like.  For instance, yesterday morning, I happened to look outside and it was a white out, now this morning it’s full sun.  It’s still cold, around 34 degrees, but each day that passes, we know that we’re closer to better weather and closer to flip flop time!  I just had to have a little fun and run out in the snow with my flip flops on in the hopes that I could make all the snow go away!

SNOWFALL 3-13-13

BEAUTIFUL NIGHT

We have already started our seeds a few weeks ago for our garden and have been faithfully watering them every day while they soak up the warmth from our grow lights in the basement.  We love watching something that we planted pop up out of the dirt as some of the seeds were so small that I had to use tweezers just to pick them up and place them in small hole I made in the seed tray.  Our neighbor planted just two Juliet Tomato plants in his garden and he ended up reaping the rewards of probably over a thousand Juliet Tomatoes that he shared with his family.  We could not believe that just two plants produced so many tomatoes, so we have started a few Juliet’s in our seed tray and pray that we can get the same results.

JULIET TOMATOES 3-14-13

FLAT DUTCH CABBAGE 3-14-13

CONDENSATION IN SEED TRAYS

We had good luck last year with our Flat Dutch Cabbage, so we planted 18 seeds and are watching them pop up out of the dirt in the seed tray!  We planted these for Daddy’s Mom so she can make stuffed cabbage!  We also started red and green peppers, and Big Boy Tomato plants too.  A lot of our other seeds won’t be started indoors and will be planted directly into the garden like our leaf lettuce and zucchini, but we will start our cucumbers indoors a few weeks before the end of May, or before our last frost date.  I know one thing for sure, that if you walked into our laundry room (that is also used to store all of our eBay inventory) you would be greeted by some of our Halloween props just hanging around, like our life-sized skeletons that watch over our little seedlings.

SKELETONS IN THE BASEMENT

Nikita and Bella

Nikita and Bella definitely know that the weather is changing as they are hearing & seeing more wildlife these days.  The words “Big Doggies” get the dogs running to the front windows only to see all of the deer that we have running around the neighborhood.  When it is nap time for Nikita, nothing disturbs her, but Bella hears everything and alerts us when the Big Doggies are around the house, or in some cases, walking down the sidewalk which makes me laugh every time I see it.  We even saw our first Robin the other morning, which means that Spring is very near!

NIKITA IN SUN 3-14-13

NIKITA CLOSEUP 3-14-13

NIKITA 3-14-13

NIKITA SITTING 3-14-13

Nikita was posing for me in the sun this morning and I just had to capture how beautiful she is with some photographs.  I love the many faces that she has when she looks around the neighborhood, so intense, so intelligent, so cuddly!  Since the sun is out today, we headed on over to the park and took a nice walk and enjoyed the sun while it’s here, and I am sure that nap time will soon be here.

Nap Time

When Gardening is just a dream…for now

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The new year has just arrived, we’re covered in snow from head to toe, and we anxiously await the gardening season, as the 2013 garden catalogs start arriving in the mail.  Every time I head outside to the backyard with the dogs, I stand there in the cold waiting for them to (ya know), and I look at our snow covered raised garden bed.  Our garden bed is completely covered in snow, as sad as it may be, but I hear it calling me from under all that cold white stuff.  Our strawberries are buried under the safe bed of straw we laid before the cold hit us, and we hope that they will produce for us this year.  We planted them last year and knew that they would not produce in their first year, but they grew big and strong through the growing season, so we hope they have a good chance at coming back.  

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We know that we have not had much snow for our season up until the day after Christmas, when we got hit badly many many days in a row, and we know that we will not see our last bit of snow either, as this season seems to last so long.  And, when we get up to that day called Ground Hog’s Day, we always know that the outcome will always be “six more weeks of winter”, as that is always the case.

Nonetheless, day dreaming of gardening is huge with all gardeners as we sit and wait for the weather to start clearing up, the soil starting to thaw, and that last report of a frost warning to arrive for our growing zone.  But, before all of that happens, most gardeners start their seeds indoors.  Since I am chomping at the bit to watch our little seeds starting to emerge from the soil under the warm grow lights, I planted a few Romaine Seeds yesterday in a Figi water bottle.  I cut the top off of the bottle and filled it with our good garden soil and dropped in a couple of Romaine Seeds and covered them up nicely.  Now I wait.  The seed pack said it would take at least 10 days for germination, but I am watching the top of the soil every time I walk by the water bottle!  LOL  

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Last year, we had some of our plants not do that well, like our beans, zucchini, and cucumbers, but this year we will correct those issues to ensure our plants will produce.  We knew our beans were in trouble from the start, but we kept hoping that they would produce.  As for our zucchini, we would have had an abundance of them if it were not for the damn chipmunks who ate the seeds (while in the dirt), or the chewed the plants when they sprouted a little.  But this year, we are going to fix that issue by placing water bottles over the spot we plant the seed so the chipmunks can’t eat them.  (you just take small water bottles and cut the bottom of the bottle off and then remove the cap so air can get in)

Sifting through our Burpee catalog and other gardening catalogs surely makes a gardener drool, as they dream of the day when they can walk out to their garden and pick some fresh vegetables for dinner, and can enjoy a nice salad with home grown tomatoes & cucs! Ah, the joys of summer are only a few months away, but being able to wait for its arrival, is another thing.  I just can’t personally wait for the days when I can walk outside in flip flops again – gosh, I miss that a lot.  It’s going to be a long winter, bummer.  

What are you going to plant in your garden this year?  

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Bikinis, Sprouts & Hair Stiffy’s

This time of year, we all “wonder” if we can fit into our bathing suits, and the dread begins.  Man, should I have eaten that last piece of cheesecake, potato chips, or ice cream?  So, yesterday, I tried on my bikini to see if it fits.  Does this bathing suit make me look fat?  I think it is just all of my hair that is puffing it out, as I do have lots of hair.  I might have to start shaving my legs now to get rid of that winter stubble and get ready for shorts season.  The every day shaving ritual begins, and the knee nicks will start to appear.  Summer is soon to be here! 

I love playing dress up, except I hate wearing anything on my head!  I’ve got lots of neat tank tops to wear this summer and I heard Mommy talking about some new summer bandanas and some hair clips for me.  Hair clips?  What are those?  I have never wore a hair clip before.  What does it do to my hair?

So, today is Wednesday, day 4 for our little seeds.  We are amazed on how quick some of our seeds are emerging from the soil, so if you are planting your own seeds, make sure you use the best starter soil you can, as our Burpee soil is working well.  So far, in four days we have cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage and our giant California Zinnia’s sprouting.  Daddy & Mommy took a bet as to what they thought was going to sprout first, and they were both wrong, but they are extremely excited about how well the cucumbers are growing.  If only we could do a time-lapse on the seeds as that would be something really interesting to see. 

Here’s our little sprouts for the day: