Saturday, December 31, 2016

Bulbs, Forcing,and The Sewing Machine

Hyacinths that I hope grow full sized but they've only had 12 weeks rooting in the cold not 16. Lets see what happens.

In spite of the cold on the porch the paperwhites know it's time  and started developing roots. I planted most in sterile seed starting mix and the last few in water.

All the other bulbs were planted outdoors except these and the ones I kept to force, one amaryllis, and 2 packages of narcissus I'll plant at my parents grave.

Would be nice to have all the containers clean but that won't be happening today. I'm not starting seeds so.

I use anything permeable including newspaper and weed cloth which is on the porch. Don't want to go out and cut any so a napkin will do to prevent soil from coming out but still allow the water to drain when I water the pot.

All 10 tulips didn't fit although I could have squeezed them in. They should be well rooted by spring on the porch.



Haven't sewn in years and the last time I used my machine I couldn't get the tension correctly adjusted. FInally I'll get around to making chair cushions for the settee on the porch. It's been so long since I bought the fabric that I don't like the color. Maybe a trip to the fabric store is in the near future. Thought about going today but I won't behave so I'll wait for another day.

It's been a long time. I have to figure out how to get the bobbin case out. 

The inside needs to be cleaned out. It's a little dusty. I have a small brush to do that.

Remembered how to take it out and take the foot off.

How am I supposed to find anything!

Cutting wheels. Stopped using this when I sliced myself one day but they're excellent for cutting straight edges.

My cutting board and mat. 

Thread not where it should be.

I'll practice on a piece of old patch.

Different foots to use such as a zipper foot when putting on a zipper. That's the metal one on the left.

It's been so long I can't remember what sized needle to use. These are all one size but I have others.

Fabric I picked a couple of years ago but would like something else. I do have other fabric, just have to look through it.

Going to do a straight stitch so I'll set it to number 5.

Tension still not adjusted correctly. After everything I realized my bobbin has a metal case. That's why it isn't working correctly. Now I have to find the case.

I need to go get more cording. Cording makes a nice professional trim. When I get my bobbin together and tension correct I'll show you the end product. The fabric was already put on the chair and cut to fit. The settee has rounded edges so although I've always bought square cushions from the store, the only way to get ones that fit the chair is to make my own. I love to sew but there's only so much time in a day. I love making curtain, pillows, and clothing. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Lets sit a while and talk. I'd like to be sitting there now. It'll be spring soon. Taken at Longwood Gardens last spring. My daughter suggested I started blogging about 4 years ago. I'm amazed that I continued and more so, that I would share anything about myself and my life on social media for anyone in the world to see because I'm a private person. It's been therapeutic for me to look back in pictures and words at how life changed during this time and progressed. I've experienced great loss in the death of both parents in the past 2 years, a pet, and things such as changes in health and adjustments in how these changes have caused me to rethink how to do things differently. Growing older as each year passes, I'm still discontent as to whether to bloom where I'm planted or move to a setting that I think suits who I am more completely. A wooded area with a small amount of land, not too much to take care of and not too far out of the city. When I go to the suburbs I can't imagine having to travel the tiny narrow roads possibly snow and ice covered to get to work nor having to need a generator when the power goes out. And they do lose power frequently. Some areas also have a lot of flooding and I can't imagine losing my possessions over and over.

My daughter tells me that I'm not old. Fifty three isn't ninety, but the body does change with each passing year starting with birth. I believe that you move the body or it dies. It's not healthy for the body to be sedentary. Our heart is not only an organ that pumps and circulates blood and oxygen but a muscle and it needs to be worked like other muscles in our body. Walking and scheduled exercise used to be a part of my day until arthritis said, "I'm here." Waking up and getting out of bed and moving effortlessly is sometimes I took for granted and never thought about because it was normal for me, like most people who don't spend their days thinking about how lucky  they are to be well physically until things change.

My vision has changed since I've gotten older and now instead of picking up a book and just reading require reading glasses, I love books and can't imagine anything that would prevent me from reading. Don't require prescription glasses and hopefully I never will. So far over the counter reading ones are fine and also recommended by the eye doctor when I had my yearly check. Expensive prescribed glasses weren't recommended. Although I'm a registered nurse, I hate going for checkups and tests. To me, it's a violation of privacy but part of life if I and you plan to continue to lead our best life and prevent and manage some of the unplanned changes life can bring. Who wants to be diagnosed with cancer or another medical condition in it's end stage? Something that can be treated or prevented and life can continue. If you don't go for physicals and recommended blood work and tests you don't know what can be going on in your body. Of course some things aren't found even with preventive test until there's a problem.

I love plants, flowers, nature, the sun and the beautiful things God created for our enjoyment. I truly do believe that the earth declares the glory of God. Journaling my thoughts may be helpful for me. It'll also be a record for my daughter when I'm no longer here to read and continue to experience the essence of her mother. Will I share everything? Of course not. I don't choose to share everything on social media but I believe I can journal and share some of who I am, my life experiences, and thoughts. Maybe you'll join me in my continuing journey.

I was born in the Northeast part of the United States in an urban area. If you read my gardening blog you know where that is. I love the city I live in but not some of the decline and lack of respect for others and  our neighborhoods that take place. One of my pet peeves is throwing trash on the ground. Why do people do this, liter the city? I stopped for coffee before work this week. The lady in the car ahead of me ordered tea as she took the tea bag from the cup and dropped it out the window to the ground. What? Not only the tea bag but when she pulled off she opened the car door and threw a bottle on the ground. It broke my heart. No I'm not being dramatic it really upset my whole day. I prayed about as I do many things in the hopes that these types of things don't upset my day and thoughts. We can't control the actions of others but, what do we do? Why do people have to move to communities where this type of behavior is not allowed? I'll move on.

I grew up in a home with married loving parents both who grew up in the south and migrated to the north as many blacks did during that time. A time called the great migration. My grandparents on my father's side lived on their own land surrounded by acres of woods and tall pines in the country. The town is still small with a tiny population. I remember my grandmother having an outhouse and later indoor plumbing. Wild turkeys and all types of other wildlife inhabit  the woods. My grandparents grew their own sugar cane and made syrup. My father rarely ate syrup while I was growing up and told me it was because he ate so much as a child. My sister loved the country but not me. As a child I was used to the comforts of the city such as air conditioning in August and not being bitten by fire ants. Gnats were another thing.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Merry Christmas

My Christmas was beautiful spending time with family. Hope your's was also. Today was a beautiful 64 degrees and a day to be outdoors. Bulb planting day for me. The last before spring at least outdoors. Inside, spring abounds.
Started Christmas Eve placing flowers on our parents resting place.

Now to make more arrangements for the table, bathroom, and my bedroom. Hyacinths brought inside. Most in the kitchen window and some others in the living room. 

Set the table. Dinner in the oven keeping warm.


We love paella and my brother fixes it for us every Christmas.

Chelsey my brother's dog always comes. She's getting old I think around 16.

Second flower stalk on amaryllis starting to open and possibly a seed pod again this year. I'll see what happens.

My paperwhites suddenly started to root when I moved them to another spot out of the way for Christmas. So I learned to follow directions and place them in a spot with  less light while they root since this seems to have triggered all of the ones to finally root except one that immediately rooted months ago. It's tall. No vodka or gin added to shorten the growth and it has two blooms which I haven't noticed in other paperwhites. I'm waiting for it to bloom and smell the aroma.

Beautiful today.

Bulbs planted and grass seeds put down. What? My sister said you know you don't plant grass seeds in winter. Okay but I put them down. Lets see if I get more grass this spring.

Callie and I sat on the porch enjoying the spring like weather.

All the bulbs planted except a small amount to force.

Time to start some seeds.

Bulbs left to force including tulips, crocus, narcissus, paperwhites, and amaryllis.

Still reading and enjoying this book and his blog.

Soon to be replaced by seedlings.

Bromelid pups planted about a week ago, not root yet when checked today.

Sat outside on the porch till the sun started going down and temperatures started to drop. Time for a fire, hot bath, and some reading and television watching.