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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Photo-A-Day ~ Day 27

Day 27


The kitties got a new toy. I think they like it... maybe it just drives them nuts because it looks like a bird flying when you wave it around.



Spot and Spooks. Our other yellow tabby, Yeller was killed last week. This little guy shares the same family tree but is very jumpy and cautious, hence the name, Spooks. The toy brings him out of hiding and then I am able to hold him for a bit..

Photo-A-Day ~ Day 26

Day 26


My bed is my quiet place. When I need to veg out and put some distance between me and the world, this is where I can escape. I snuggle down into a pile of quilts and one of my books.

Photo-A-Day ~ Day 25

Day 25

On Your Bedside Table

Mostly books! I love to read and try to read for a few minutes each night.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Photo-A-Day ~ Day 24

 Day 24


Wouldn't you know it. The day I am looking for a great cloud to photograph for my Photo-A-Day, we have a completely, absolutely cloudless day! So here are two of my favorite past captures.

Photo-A-Day ~ Day 23

Day 23

A Word (or two!)

One of the  terms I am learning from fiber guild workshops. Meaning the various types of weaving on any given loom or device.

Photo-A-Day ~ Day 22

Day 22

Makes You Smile

Crafting makes me smile. I love hand making things and love learning new ways to do it. I slip into my own world when crafting or creating. It's a place I love going to. This is my first experience weaving on a triangle loom. I LOVE IT! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Photo-A-Day ~ 02-21-13

Day 21


A full cup o' Joe to get the day started! I don't top it with whipped cream everyday, but every once in awhile, it's a neat treat!

Propagating Japanese Red Maple Trees

Propagating Japanese Red Maple trees is an exercise in patience. It is a several months long process beginning with delicately collecting the seeds from the tree in November (possibly October depending on your hardiness zone). I have seen where others do this will some variations, including putting them into a peat/sand mixture and storing at room temperature for the 90 days before moving them to the fridge for 70 days. This is simply how I have done it and in my climate, it works for me. I get my seeds from a tree in my Mother-In-Law's front yard. You want to get them when they are no longer green, but still clinging to the tree. It's a fine line here.. I have to try to time my collection so I get them when they are ready, but before the wind rips them from the branches and hurls them to the heavens. It is near impossible to find them on the ground once the wind begins to blow because the helicopter seeds fly away!  
So you collect as many seeds as you can in October or November. You climate will have a say in that. Just watch for them to not be the reddish green. They will be brownish in color. Gently pluck them from the tree and put them into an envelope or plastic baggie. Then put them in cool dark place away from extreme changes in temperature. I have utility room with cabinets and one of them is my "seed cabinet" where I store all my seeds each year. Once you've collected them you can pretty much for get about them for a few months. Depending on when it begins to warm up in your area, will determine when you begin the process of stratifying your seeds. This is the process of tricking them into thinking they have endured a cold winter. For me, I try to start this process in early to mid February so they are sprouting in May. You basically figure when you want to be planting, then count back 3 months, giving you your start time. 
I started mine on February 20 (about a week later than I like) 

Begin by taking the seeds out of the bag and start breaking of the "helicopter" or wing. I just use my thumb nail and finger to snap them off.

After you have snapped off all the wings, drop the seeds into a bowl of warm to hot water. You don't have to boil it or anything. From the faucet is fine, just run it as hot as it will go.  This step serves to soften the outer coating of the seed so moisture can penetrate and germination can begin.

Now just leave it to sit for 24 hours. 

After the 24 hours.......

Instead of the peat and sand mixture I have read about, I use good soil and I mix in some coffee grounds and eggshells for an extra boost. It a trick I use in my outdoor garden as well and it has yielded great results for me.
I mixed up this and it was about 3 cups, so I mixed another 4 cups. I like to have the bag about half full of soil.

It's nothing fancy. I just mix the grounds in good and crush up the egg shells into small bits. Be careful. They can be very sharp and can cut like glass. You may find it easier to to put the shells on a cutting board or  in a bag and use a rolling pin to break them up.

Once mixed well I transfer the soil mixture to a gallon size ziplock-style bag.
Some of the seeds are still floating after 24 hours and some are not. I don't throw any of them out. If they don't sprout it's just more organic material to feed the soil   :) 

I just scoop them out of the bowl with my hand or use a mesh colander and then put them in the bag with the soil.

After adding the seeds to the soil, seal the bag and gently knead it or turn it over several times in your hands, being careful not to puncture it or force the top open.  Moisten the soil, but don't soak it. You can use a spray bottle to it or like me, use the sprayer at the sink.  After moistening it, seal it again and roll it a few times to distribute the moisture.

Using a knife poke about four slits across the top of the bag, below the zipper top. This is to prevent excess moisture from forming and mildewing the seeds and the soil.

Place the bag in the fridge. Don't put it near the bottom or all the way to the back where it might risk freezing. I put mine on the front of the top shelf. I check it periodically just to monitor the moisture and gently turn it over to keep the soil from getting too packed down.


I'll update in May when it's time to sow the seeds and begin growing some trees!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Photo-A-Day ~ 02-20-13

Day 20

Where You Stood.......

On the front walk. The sun was setting with fabulous color again tonight so I stood here and took several shots of it as well as the moon.
Like my shlumpy  go-to slip on?  :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Brain Pause..

I stepped outside while dinner was simmering and when I looked up, my brain just stopped. I stopped running lists in my head, stopped worry about the little things that had made me crazy today.. I just stopped to breath. A beautiful sunset will do it to me every time.....

Photo-A-Day ~ 02-19-13

Day 19

I Am.....

Making dinner! 
Homemade spaghetti for my guys tonight! I love making this for a couple of reasons... first is because the little guy loves it so much and I will never ever forget the day I was sitting at the lunch table at school with him and for my lunch that day I had taken the left overs from the night before. When he saw what I had he wanted some on his plate and as I was putting it on his plate he loudly announce to all the school mates sitting around us that they were missing out because this was THE BEST spaghetti in the whole world!  I mean my heart just about burst! 
Another reason I love making it is because it is one of those dishes that literally saves me money over buying the jars of sauce, and there is plenty for me to have lunch the next day or freeze for later. 

Photo-A-Day ~ 02-18-13

Day 18

Something you don't like...

This is but one food item I don't like.. and one of the few actually in my pantry at the moment. It is mearly waiting for the trip to my mother-in-law's house.  All things considered, compared to Mr Grumpy, I am really easy going with my likes in the food department, but I do not like "krout", brussel sprouts, artichokes... I used to not like spinach but now I love it raw on salads (never cooked though), so there may be hope yet that one day my taste will change again... but I seriously doubt it where krout is concerned!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Photo-A-Day ~ 02-17-13

Day 17

In Your Hand...

My Peppermint Room and Linen Spray. It's almost gone and I have been contemplating how to reproduce it.

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Photo-A-Day ~ 02-16-13

Day 16


I don't know about perfect,but I am fascinated by clouds and on this day it started out cloudy and looking like we would get rain. At one point in the afternoon I looked out and the sun was peeking out everything was brightening up. Five minutes later the hubs looked out the window and it was blowing snow! We had a brief  "blizzard" where the snow was really coming down and blowing hard, but only lasted a few minutes. Once it was gone, I had this neat split view of the weather and the day was perfect, if a little chilly once again.

Photo-A-Day ~ 02-15-13

Day 15

Inside Your Fridge

Friday, February 15, 2013

Photo-A-Day ~ 02-14-13

Day 14

Love Is...

I got to have lunch with my honey the day  before and then was pleasantly surprised late Wednesday/early Thursday with beautiful roses! The was able to have lunch together again on Valentine's Day. It's something that rarely happens so it was very nice.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Midnight Strolls

     I am probably a little strange off normal. I like to walk to our mailbox  after dark... WAY after dark. Like midnight. Or 2 AM if Mr. Insomnia is paying me a visit. As much as I like daylight, I like night time just as much. I wish I didn't HAVE to sleep! And all bets are off if there are thunderstorms with cloud to ground lightening! I love watching and trying to get photos of lightening. Thankfully we live in a rural area or my nighttime jaunts might attract the kind of people that might carry me off for a night in the pokey. Our house is up on a hill so it is a nice little walk to the mailbox. You can make it whatever kind of walk you want, but it usually is dependent on the weather. Freezing weather makes it a VERY quick trip! Usually cold and light rain don't deter me. I just wear my rain jacket or a heavier coat, scarf hat and mittens. If it's a clear night the stars look like they are close enough to touch. Meteor showers are a great show from the driveway. The night sounds are as soothing as a lullaby. Birds cheeping, dogs barking, cats sometimes screech, owls hoot, coyotes howl. On foggy nights or when there is snow on the ground the sounds are muted and muffled. It is not unusual for "going to get the mail" to turn into a 30 minute excursion. Even longer if I happen to see something I want to photograph. Mr. Frown and the Jester sometimes forget I've even left the house and are surprised when I walk back through the door! 
     The other night I stepped out "to get the mail" and discovered our entire area had been enveloped in a thick fog. Just the kind of thing to excite me! I got the mail and ran back to the house for my tri-pod. The light was playing through the branches of a tree and I couldn't resist. 


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Photo-A-Day ~ 02-12-13

Day 12

Where You Ate What You Had For Lunch

Another day at home having some leftovers from last nights dinner - some rice and field peas with water.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Photo-A-Day ~ 02-11-13

Day 11


Our Entrance. 

Photo-A-Day ~ 02-10-13

Day 10

3 O' Clock

It was a lazy rainy Sunday and we didn't do anything, so 3 O' Clock was just a moment on the clock around here. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Photo-A-Day ~ 02-09-13

Day 9

Guilty Pleasure

 I love Ghirardelli and Heath and a recent addition to the fav list is Lindor. One of my absolute favorites is Ferrero Roche. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Photo-A-Day ~ 02-07-13

Day 7
My Name

A project I made many years ago when I was in high school. A combination of stained, burned and painted wood.

The whole thing.

Photo-A-Day ~ 02-06-13


Another twofer! Our kitties have thick, soft fur and love to nuzzle with us!