Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Birthday to my Garden!

In March of 2012 (spring break), my husband Mark and I put in my garden! I have thoroughly enjoyed having a place to work that is safe from cats and deer!

This spring break I planted most of my seeds. In order to save seeds (I usually use them for several years!) I plant each seed in its own little hole, instead of broadcasting the seeds and thinning the seedlings. I use a chopstick to make the holes, drop in the seeds, then water the area. The water carries loose soil into the hole, filling it. The tomatoes and peppers were started earlier and are in my neighbor's greenhouse.

I dampen the soil and use a chopstick to make a hole.

I put individual seeds in each hole then water.
The water carries soil into the hole, planting the seed!

My daughter gave me a soil test kit for my birthday so I have been testing soil in various areas. It seems my soil still needs some work. I don't want to go out and spend a lot of money on bags of various products to amend the soil. I want to approach it from an economical, natural angle. It will take longer to get the soil in shape, but I will enjoy the research and work needed to do so.  

This soil test is from one area that obviously needs amending!

About a week after I planted everything, we had a freeze for three consecutive nights. I used plastic cups and bee hive boxes to protect my sprouts. Most of them survived, and it is early enough to replace those that didn't.

Cups over small seedlings to keep them from freezing
Bee hive boxes with inner covers to protect plants from freezing
Last year, during the school year, I would water in the evening. This year I am trying to get up early enough to water in the morning! I use an outdoor light to illuminate the area. I find I enjoy the early morning solitude. There isn't even traffic noise -- just animals and the wind!
Early morning watering
I can't wait to see what this new year holds for me and my garden! I'll pick up my bees on April 13th!! Come back and visit my bees and my Garden of Blessings!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Knitwit: Sock Story

I'm a doer and I have trouble sitting still. Watching a movie, even reading, is hard for me. I fidget, wiggle, stand, sit, and walk around. It is very distracting to everyone, especially me!  So every Sunday I try to have a knitting or crochet project going during church. This keeps my hands occupied and helps me focus. Since socks are one of these projects, I call them Sunday socks!!
I had made socks in the past but was intrigued by a book showing a method of knitting two socks at one time using circular needles. One Sunday about six weeks ago, I started my new project!
At first I was quite clumsy! I kept twisting the cable, getting confused about which sock I was working on and "laddering" when I went from one needle to the next! To keep track of which sock was which, I attached pink and blue yarn markers. Now the socks had names: the blue was Adam (he came first!) and the pink was Eve! Soon I worked through all these difficulties and my socks were on their way!!
The book I used and the beginning of my socks.
The number one advantage of this method was that when you were done you had TWO finished socks! Another benefit was that I didn't have to make detailed notes when I wanted to stray from the pattern. Since I knitted the socks simultaneously, I just changed the same thing in the sock's mate immediately after I knitted it in the original sock!
While I would not recommend this process to a new knitter, one who is experienced in knitting, particularly knitting socks, will find it fun and rewarding!
Finished Sunday socks!
 Happy knitting!!!