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Friday, May 28, 2010

The Potatoes

The potatoes are doing really well in the barrel. I don't have new pictures yet, but they have grown up past the top of the barrel. We have stopped adding soil to 3 of the barrels, and I started another barrel about a week & half ago. It is already time to add more soil to this barrel.

In the first 3 barrels, the potatoes are starting to bloom. My daddy always said that means they are making potatoes. I am really excited that this seems to be working so well.

I have planted a bush bean in each of the 3 barrels, I read that this keeps away the Colorado Potato Beetle. They haven't sprouted yet so I am not sure how that is going to work.

Last night I picked the last of the cherries from my little tree and I think I have enough for 2 pies. I will make one pie and can 1 quart of pie filling for later in the year. If I could find more cherries I would make more. I don't know anyone with cherry trees. There is a house down the road with one, but I don't know them...maybe I should introduce myself. Hi, I'm Mae and I want to pick your cherries. Do you think that would make a good first impression?

We are still trying to get our garden planted. We planted tomatoes and squash last night, but now it is raining again. Not sure when we'll be able to get back in the garden. Oh well, God is in control of the garden and He knows what we need. I will trust that it will be planted when it's planted and grow as He sees fit.

I hope you all have a great holiday weekend. Enjoy your families.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Potatoes in a Barrel

Here is a picture of our experiment this year:

This is after about 2 weeks.

I will post more pictures as they grow.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hanging Out

Almost every home we have lived in since we married has had a clothes line. The year before last we finally installed one at this house. Looking back, I remember when I first started hanging clothes out I had no idea how to keep the puckers that the pegs from being so noticeable. Over the years I have figured out a few ways that help. Here they are:

1. Hang t-shirts from the arm pits area
2. Hang button up shirts upside down at the seams.
3. Dish towels, towels, napkins, wash cloths, anything square from the corners
4. Sheets (I love line dried sheets) I fold in fourths and hang with the fold at the top.
5. Pillow cases get hung upside down.
6. I hang jeans from the waist with one peg at each front pocket,
7. Dress pants get hung folded along the creases of the legs the pegged at the waist.
8. Underwear gets hung just as you would wear them with a peg at each side.
9. Bras get one peg at the snap.
10. Rugs get one peg at each corner (if they are allowed to drape over the line you get a
crease where the line was.)
11. I have an umbrella clothes line so I always hang the underwear in the center of the line.
That way everybody doesn’t see them as they drive by or stop in.

When I take the clothes out of the washer, I shake them a little to separate them from each other, and place them in the laundry basket. When hanging them on the line I take them out of the basket and give them a good snap. This helps to shake out some of the wrinkles. Then hang them. Once they are dry, I un-peg them and give them another good snap (sometimes insects land on the clothes and this helps to remove them.) I usually fold them before I put them in the laundry basket, this also helps with wrinkles.

It is best to hang clothes out on a windy day, all the flapping around helps to soften them a little.

Line dried clothes are always stiffer, but towels and dish towels are so much more absorbent. Have you ever tried to dry a spill with a towel and it just smeared it around? You don’t usually get that with a line dried towel. It will really soak up a spill.

Other benefits of using a clothes line are:

It lowers your electric bill.
It helps your clothes last longer (the dryer is really harsh on elastic and all that lint you clean out of the lint trap are really fibers from your clothes.)
You get fresh air and sunshine while you are hanging them out and taking them in.
You also get a little bit of exercise.
I also get the joy of the peace and quiet of being outside with no noise except the occasional car passing by.

I only use my clothes line in the summer and usually only get to use it on the weekends, but with the weather we’ve been having lately, it’s hard to get them hung out at all because of the rain.

I have tried hanging them inside, but we just don’t have much space for that. If you can’t hang your clothes outside there are some really good accordion style clothes lines that will fit in front of a window, on a porch or patio.

Happy hanging!


Friday, May 14, 2010

More Free Stuff

I haven't added to this list in a while so here goes:

1 spam single
6 bars zest
colgate toothpaste
burts bees toothpaste
1 box Kashi Cereal
Dove shampoo
Dove conditioner
Planters Pnuts
tropicana oj
5 Gum
King Size Reeses Cup
ritz crackers
Cover Girl Makeup

Not bad, so far.

Homemade Lemonade

I have made homemade lemonade all my married life. During my married life (a hundred years ago) I cleaned house for a lady who had a nanny when she was growing up that use to make lemonade for her as a child. This lady told me how her nanny would make the lemonade and they would drink it and she just added more sugar on top of the lemons, added water and made more lemonade.

I don’t know why I never tried this while my kids were little, but last year I thought I’d give it a try. It made the best lemonade!! So I thought I’d share my recipe.

For 1 gallon of lemonade you need:

4 large lemons

1/2 cup sugar (you can substitute honey)

Wash lemons and roll on counter to soften (room temp lemons work best. Slice lemons in thick slices and place in the bottom of a 1 gallon pitcher (do not squeeze), pour sugar or honey on top of lemons and let sit for about 10 minutes. Add 4 cups hot water and stir until sugar or honey is dissolved. Fill pitcher with cool water. Refrigerate & enjoy.

Once that pitcher of lemonade is consumed, put the same amount of sugar/honey on top of the lemons and let it sit for another 10 minutes and repeat the remaining steps. The second pitcher is better than the first.

I have only reused the lemons once in this manner, but I think next time I might try for a third pitcher. I wouldn’t be wasting anything but a little sugar if it’s not good.

I haven’t tried this with stevia or other sweeteners. The sugar draws out the juice of the lemons as it sits on them. I know it is still a sugary drink, but it’s better than a lot of drinks that kids get.

This is also, an excellent way to stretch your dollars, and control what you give your children. You can work with the recipe until it meets your needs.

Enjoy a cool glass!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Garden Deals

This morning Greg had to be to work earlier than I did so after dropping him off at work I took the opportunity to stop in at Lowes. I was there on a mission. I was looking for marked down plants. If you've never shopped at the mark down section of your garden center, give it a try. You will be shocked at what you can get for a fraction of what you would pay for it normally.

Here is what I bought this morning:

3 Qt Azalea normally $9.98 paid $2.00
3 Qt Raspberry normally $9.98 paid $2.00
3 Qt Red Currant normally $9.98 paid $2.00
1 Qt Basil normally $7.20 paid $0.36
1 Qt Dill normally $7.20 paid $0.36
2.5 Qt Dianthus normally $12.00 paid $0.67
2.5 Qt Perennial normally $12.00 paid $0.67

I would never pay the normal price for any of these plants. It's just too rich for my blood.

Plus I bought some fertilizer for 5.98. My total spent was 14.88. I got all of those plants for $8.90!!

When shopping the clearance section of the garden center there are a few things to keep in mind.

Annuals only last for one year so if their bloom time is over there is no reason to purchase them. Some annuals will bloom all summer but an unhealthy plant may take the whole summer to revive. I don’t usually buy annuals.

Perennials come back each year so even if they have passed their bloom season for this year they should bloom again next year.

Fruits - You don’t usually want fruits to produce in the first year so you really aren’t loosing production time and they will offer you years of fresh fruit. If a distressed plant has fruit on it when you buy it it is better to prune the fruit off so that the energy of the plant can go into root production.

Herbs—I look specifically for herbs. They usually respond well to TLC and I cut them back to dry at the end of the season and have my own herbs all year.

I take these plants home and give them a good dose of liquid fertilizer. When I plant these plants I add some high phosphorus fertilizer in the bottom of the hole. Make sure they get plenty of water & feed every couple of weeks.

I am not a green thumb by any means but I have never been disappointed in the plants I have bought this way. I can’t even remember loosing one of them. I have paid a premium price for plants that have lasted only one season, if that long.

I think I might stop by every Thursday morning to check out the clearance section...I might even stop again on my way home tonight. They had so much to choose from and they workers were clearing out more racks as I left!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


It has been so long since I posted. We have been very busy. We made a trip to Georgia to see the fam. and had a wonderful time. I will tell you all about that when I get extra time.

Today we are going to Louisville to have lunch with Greg's mom and continue to clean out her house. They have moved into assisted living and we need to get the house cleaned out so it can be put on the market.

I want to tell you a little about an experiment we are doing this year. After much research we are attempting to grow potatoes in a barrel. So far it seems to be working. We are at the point of adding more dirt & compost for the first time. I will post pictures and instructions when I have more time. But in the mean time if you just type in "Growing potatoes in a barrel" plenty of pictures are on the web.

Have a blessed day.