Friday, November 20, 2015

The Rush

It's that time when it's now or never. The last minute preparation for Thanksgiving. Sometimes a good idea doesn't seem so well planned when you go to the supermarket with a little less than a week before the holiday and surprise, everyone had the same idea. Go get your groceries before next week; didn't work. The market was packed and some sale items that I specifically went for were sold out for today. Customer service was closed. What do you mean closed at this time of day? No rain checks for what I want so maybe...I'll get up real early in the morning and get to the market before anyone else. That didn't work for me today. Maybe not a good idea. 

I'm still preparing for the holiday. Still cleaning, yes. This type of cleaning can only happen a few time a year or I would have no life or time to do anything else. A lot has already been done. Hanging curtains except for my bedroom which always seems to be last. Is it that way with you too? The room no one should be going into always seems to come last but it's the most important room for me. The day after a major family event is an important time for me. When the last guest leaves my holiday really starts. I can sit down, relax and take it all in. Expecting lots of family and cooking all the food doesn't usually allow me time to really enjoy the day until everyone leaves. After all the food not sent home with family is put away, I can get comfortable, probably eat because I eat little when entertaining; reflect on the day and how blessed I am, and think about whether they're any Black friday deals I need to go look at. 

I'm usually a online shopper but my sister loves going out and we've gotten in the habit of going out to catch ridiculously priced deals. One year my lap top and a desk top for mom. Mostly simple household items like 600 count sheets at dirt cheap prices if you can find any in the store. It's nice though not to even leave the house and get everything you wanted. No televisions for me though. At least not yet. I still have one older model that's still working well so no need for a flat screen. If I don't shop, fresh sheets and a clean room with pretty bedding await me. There's nothing like fresh clean sheets, my lap top, seed catalogues, Kindle, and more books and magazines than I can read after a long day. As I said before in another post, why do we do this to ourselves. All the cleaning and cooking for one day. I love it.

Image Christmas trees out for the last 2 weeks. I laughed 2 weeks ago when at Home Depot. Wouldn't want one. It's a while till Christmas. It would be dead, dead, dead long before Christmas unless it was displayed in a cool room. I don't have that type of luxury in my small house. 

It's looking dried out already. Every year I say I'll order Wiltproof. There's still time.
My cactus don't have this many blooms. I was envious. Mine may be dead. I walk pass them every day still sitting on my porch in November a week from December. Our weather has not been really cold but fluctuating every day from the 70's, 60,s and lower. Today in the 50's and cooler for the next few days.

Can you believe it's only after 4:00 and the moon is out! Have to hit the supermarket early then go on another day for those things I always forget. There's always something I forget and it's better to get it now and not when I start cooking and realize an ingredient is missing.
Meet Callie. She's our new member of the family. We went to an adopt a pet day last Sunday and she made sure someone took her home. She was showing out and made sure to reach her hand out of her crate to greet my daughter. Its was over then. She only wanted her. She's beautiful. Two years old and gave birth to kitten during  the summer and actually was very ill. She was taken care of by a foster parent and when well, taken to the pet shop for adoption. So now, she's in her forever home and has adjusted well as if she's lived her all the time. Since loosing my Joy after 17 years last February, I didn't think I'd ever get another pet but here she is. I'm still mourning Joy.

She loves her bed unlike my previous, Joy and her toys. Joy loved our beds and the furniture.

She's a beautiful girl and I'm pleased to be able to give her a home. I still have a lot to do. Wax the floors. Clean the oven and refrigerator to prepare it for all the food. Hang a towel rack correctly in the bathroom that fell. That's what took me to Home Depot after work; getting a stud finder so the towel rack will be secured properly and not fall down again. Wash glasses and plates and put them in a plastic bag till Wednesday night when I set the table and cover it. I've done a good job of decluttering the past month but books and magazine always accumulate in the living room near where I sit. There are still plants on the porch that need to come inside; still more grocery items on my list that I left in the car today so that didn't help; decluttering my bedroom, hanging curtains, and putting down a rug I bought from Walmart months ago; and finally preping anything I can ahead of time such as shredding the cheese for mac and cheese; making bread and cornbread for the stuffing as I let it sit a few days before using it for the stuffing; making fresh cranberry sauce; bringing in wood for the fire if it's cool enough for a fire on Thanksgiving as it's been so warm; and a lot of little small things. I have pies, cakes, and some items that I'll start next week and make myself do something each day after work. On Tuesday, dust and vacuum  corners of the living room and dining room as a cat is in the house again. And on Thursday morning get the vacuum with the hose attachment an do any touch up and try not to forget getting fresh flowers on Tuesday. The flowers by Wednesday will be picked over. It's a busy time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Saturday In the Yard

And they'll continue to fall. I'll hopefully get to it this weekend so I can plant my bulbs. 

The squirrels proved me right.
They ripped the frost cover and tear up the vegetables several times a week. I may not get any lettuce. It's the smallest and most delicate.

They looked even better today. Many of the blooms had opened. Nothing makes me happier than white daisy like flowers although it's a mum.

Something in the soil is eating the cabbage leaves.

There's a big hole dug in the container and the whole hosta is gone!
Some fresh herbs for Thanksgiving.

Shasta daisy planted out front.
It's time to get them planted.

For paperwhites as soon as I clean them.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Weekend

The saying, no rest for the weary certainly reflects my weekend so far and it's only Saturday. My day started at 6:30 am after the sun rose raking and sweeping the hundreds of leaves covering the sidewalk, flower bed and ivy. Three perennials, daisies, cone flower, and a sedum were finally planted. Plants in the flower bed are still green as is the purple sweet potato vine in the sidewalk planter. Maybe I'll get a potato from it to save for spring when I pull it up. The remainder of the coleus was pulled.

Next was spraying the house plants on the porch. Where they'll go who knows but I'll make room as always. Lets look at what the house plants inside have been doing. One of these weekends I'm going to re pot several and change some of the pots to give them more visual appeal. I'm avoiding what's next, house cleaning. If I do it now, maybe I can actually enjoy the holidays with only light cleaning. Why do I put myself through this every year? You know you want you home a certain way when family comes, at least I do.

Two plants live on the mantel and do well there with only light from a table lamp at night and filtered light through the window during the day. They'll soon be moved to make way for garland.  Maybe I'll do some fresh garland this year I haven't decided.
The zivia paper whites are growing. Whether they'll make it till Thanksgiving; don't think so but we'll see.
I've already killed one red aglaonema. This is  the second and a section seems to look suspicious like it's going to die. At Christmas I move it but sitting under the table lamp killed the last one. Moving it may have also been the reason as many plants don't like to be moved.
The colors are beautiful. It sometimes blooms. I try to buy houseplants with little requirements and don't need bright direct light.
Foxtail fern. I loves fern especially maidenhair but I've killed several although that won't stop me from buying them. It was brought in from the porch 2 weeks ago and surprisingly all the needles haven't fallen off yet.
The cactus and jasmine shared a space this summer on the porch. I know, why is the foil still on it?
This cactus is years old but still small. It's never bloomed again since after the year purchased. So I actually listened to what I've read and kept it outside all summer and it's still on the porch. All the house plants were spray today to prepare them for bringing inside. I was thrilled when I saw the blooms and that a cold period and shorter days actually worked. There's another larger one that so far show no signs of blooming. It was beautiful when I bought it but it may boom later in the winter. I'll see.

No signs of blooms yet on the jasmine. I bought it last winter and have managed to keep it alive. A cool place in the house will have to be found for her. I believe they like a cool environment.
My mother' palm. The only plant taken from her home after her death that has live. On the kitchen window seal and it's been happy here. They seem to be slow growers. I'm happy it's still alive.
One of many pothos plants that my mom gave me over the years.
ZZ plant from Home Depot during the week. Spray today before I bring it inside. The plants I bring from the porch inside will be put in plastic bags for a while. Although I've sprayed them a period of isolation may help as they transition to inside.

This is the second year and time to re pot. The soil looks depleted and pot too small. It grows well in the bedroom window.
Okay, don't talk about  the dracena. There is a tray with pebbles under it to provide humidity but doesn't seem to be working, lol. I'm going to trim and freshen her up.
This needs to be transplanted and get proper support to stand straight.
That's another pothos from mom also. When she came from her house the leaves were twice the size. Every one fell off. Now some I starting to grow larger again.
I can't remember the name of her but she's also in the same family as the red aglaonema.
My terrarium for which I need to learn more about taking care of them because the fern inside is nearly dead. I'll have to remove the dead parts and see if it'll grow back out. An environment under glass is not always easy to keep alive.
Alocasia Polly. Some of the leaves are dying now but I'm not alarmed as they may go dormant and come back out in the spring. It's done real well and grew over the summer. Some of the leaves were huge.
The supposedly easy clivia manatra. No bloom since the first year from the Philadelphia flower Show. It's certainly hardy because as I showed you 2 years ago it wasn't doing well and when I pulled it up there were no roots just leaves. It's survived but I read that it needs a certain amount of leaves to bloom and also needs dark and a cold period which I haven't given it.
On to the bathroom window. Putting up winter curtains is another day.
Geraniums that have lost their variegation. They were larger and healthier. I pulled them up to see the roots and saw a plug. I hate plants grown as plugs because unless you take the loose they don't do well over the long term. At least not for me. Maybe some fertilizer would help maybe it's lacking some type of nutrients.
In the bathroom window. Four plants are there, 2 crown of thorns that bloomed all winter and summer, the orchid, and the geranium.
Sad mini orchard. I'll put something else in with it later and actually try to take care of it.

Pothos from my father's room. It's done well here.
I may separate these.
I changed the kitchen curtains last week. From Target. Time to do some cleaning.
I like the wheat pattern.
It's work preparing for company during the holiday. Things in the kitchen get greasy and dusty. Everything was washed including the cabinets, wall, and maybe next week the stove and refrigerator. The yellow canisters were given to me by my mother when I moved into this house and the blue ones from coworkers when I was married. At the time blue was the theme in the kitchen. It's now green and toffee.
Do you think young people know what a rolling pin is?
Again a gift from mom years ago.
It's time for some brunch since there was no breakfast. Do you eat grits? I love them. Yes I eat Quaker's but I like others also but I like the old fashioned ones that take longer to cook. It would be nice to have some fresh ground ones. That's a plan to look for some.
I collect bowels. These are over my mantel and haven't been washed in  I don't know when. This is why I stay out the thrift shops. All the little things have to be washed.
I also collect cookie jars. My mother bought the Noah's Ark on the end. At some time collecting has to stop or you won't be able to get in the house. I can't resist a vintage bowel.
I love blue glass wear but I also won't be buying any more ball mason jars even though they seem to now have a new color every year. My daughter likes to drink out of them.
Does your dining room table look like this? It'll look better. I had to clean off some things in the dining room and I'll put everything back.
I did clean it off.
And now, I'm going to do what she's doing after a bath and dinner. I'll share the yard tomorrow.