Friday, February 26, 2010

seed time

The seed catalogs have been out for a while.  I only get one or two, but when I saw the price of seeds had gone up 100% or more this year, I pushed them aside.   Since then, I've decided I should look for non-hybrid varieties that I can save seed from year-to-year.   I found this place  and really liked it.  Completely organic, mostly non-hybrid, and some heritage varieties.  They don't have a huge selection, but I have a postage-stamp sized garden.  I ordered 5 or 6 packs and got good, very quick service at a good price.

When I first moved into my townhouse, I planted a big English-style flower garden.  I reduced the size of the plot a few years ago, and over the years droughts, hard winters and short-lived perennials left holes.  That's where I plant, mixing flowers, veggies, and lots of herbs.  Herbs can be tucked in almost anywhere and are so easy to grow - not to mention the difference it makes in cooking.  Fresh, or (in the winter) home-dried herbs have SO much more flavor that the grocery store varieties.  For those, I buy local, already started plants in pots. 

This year I want to try growing potatoes in a tub, and utilizing my deck stairs for more pots.  For varieties that need to be staked - the railing makes an automatic stake to tie to.   I bought a drying variety of paste tomato and want to try sun-drying some.  My deck gets incredibly hot in the afternoon, so it seems like a possibility.     

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I'm not one of those streamlined, no-clutter people.  I have to have things around me that I consider beautiful and love to look at.  I have some things I collect on purpose, and some things I backed into - until I realized I had enough of them I should admit they were a collection.

Years ago, I started collecting sterling teaspoons in flea markets.  Just one of a kind, never with the intention of accumulating a set.  In fact, I think their beauty is diminished when duplicated so many times on a table.    
I looked for ones that were old ( a few of mine are over 100 years old)  more elaborate patterns, and especially ones with hand-engraving.  Even if it's not my name or inital, hand-engraving is so beautiful, and rare now.  I never spent much - I don't think ever more than $12.  I gave a few away as gifts when they had the name or initial of the person on it. One person loves hers and talks about it to this day - the other looked at me like I was nuts. (shrugs)  When I had enough to fill one of those spoon racks you hang on the wall, I quit.  They are harder to find now, and with the price of silver now, no longer inexpensive. 

I also collect pretty china plates. Again, only one of each (although I have a few "Blue Willow).  I hang them on the wall as art, and in plate stands to put a dash of color or pattern in a room.

I have a couple of antiques, but mostly they are found at places like Home Goods (one of my favorite stores)  There is no theme of pattern or color - just what I think is pretty, or would make a nice seasonal decoration. 

I recently found this blog,  Little Red House.   I love her photographs, and she collects many of the things I love too.  Her style is waaay more formal than mine, but I'm loving reading her blog.

I was given a couple of creamers that had belonged to a great-great Aunt.  The cat knocked the sugar bowl off the shelf, leaving the creamer....I bought a few more over time, some porcelain and flowery, some pottery - hand-thrown or yellow ware....yeah, it's a collection.  

I have stacks of cotton tea towels.....a few 'sheepy' items..... now that the rabbits have come, I had to get some bunnie-themed stuff.....  More books than will fit on my two tall bookcases.....We won't even talk about my spindles, niddy-noddies, and other spinning paraphernalia....but those are working tools right? 

Oh $^@%!!!!     It's no wonder my house is such a mess.  There may be a 'hoarders' intervention any minute!!!     But, somehow I suspect I'm not alone.  What do you collect?     

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Introducing the family

I've barely mentioned my 'family' of four cats.  All are rescues - one out of a parking lot where she was dumped as a baby, and the other three from shelters. 

I should start with the one who has been here the longest, but she has been camera-shy.  Instead, the photo is of Yoshi, the youngest.  I had two cats and my Sheltie, Smudge, until a year ago when Smudge died of Lymphoma.  The house seemed empty without him.  I did some serious examination of my age, activity level, living circumstances, and decided cats were a more reasonable pet for me than another dog.  So, I went to a no-kill animal shelter in Woodford County, and among the many, many cats they had were 5 or 6 half-grown kittens in a cage that looked like it was meant for a Parrot.    The littlest one, a male named Ricky, came home with me and was re-named Yoshi.  After looking at 'him' for a while, I got a little suspicious, and when we went to the vet for 'his' first visit, found that 'he' was a 'she!!!!"   Yoshi was not very socialized, and took a while to warm up to me.  She is still a little skittish at times, and loves to rough-house with my only male kitty.  She is the first to jump in the bed with me at night to snuggle, though!