Saturday, February 28, 2015

Eggs and seedlings

Cass and I spent a bit of the morning outside tidying up the chicken coop, putting some nesting materials in the nesting boxes, and also carrying some hay down to the goats.

Two days ago, Cass shared the amazing news that there were eggs in the coop again!  Yay!!!!!  I'm always happy and excited at the time of year when the chickens start laying again.  It means that the daylight is getting longer, and the fried eggs will be tasting better! :D

The sunshine today was a very, very welcome sight!  The temps continue to be cold, cold, cold!  And anyone watching national weather lately knows that much of the nation is battling snow and cold, so... there's no point lingering on this topic.

Although, I'd LOVE to be one of my plants in the greenhouse right now!  
We're three weeks into our seeds/seedlings, and they have never done better. Between the toasty warm greenhouse, and the new grow-lights purchased this year, everything is doing superbly well.

I've been transplanting seedlings from germination plugs into small containers on-and-off since last week.  But I'm running out of containers due to the over-planting it appears I've done.  Ha! ;)
FIL left a stack of papers after his visit two weekends ago, so I pulled up a bookmarked YouTube video on DIY seed pots, and I spent the morning doing some origami.  I watched a variety of DIY options, and tried a couple of the others, but this one simply seemed sturdier.

When I started the basil two weeks ago, it was an after-thought.  It actually only became a thought when I was tossing out the bathroom garbage and saw two toilet-paper rolls.  I cut them in half, tossed in some starting-soil and sprinkled some seeds on top.

Now.... time to give them more room!

This tray now holds some basil, parsley, marigolds and convolvulus (Morning Glory).  A lot of the literature I've read about Parsley mentions how difficult it is to germinate.  ??  It didn't seem all that tough (or long) to me.  My Rosemary seeds haven't germinated yet;  but I'm remaining patient.  There's enough other green goin' on in there that's keepin' me happy happy happy.

These marigolds and convolvulus were from my first planting three weeks ago and are doing excellent with 14-15 hours of grow-light everyday.  Unfortunately, they've been moved out from under the grow lights to make room for some tomato transplants.  I guess I can only wait to see how they do in only 10-11 hours of natural light now, on the top shelf of our new mini-greenhouse.

Yuppers.  TWINS !! :D  Our older one (right) was a gift from my parents..... five (?) years ago.  After some hemming-n-hawing, and a little bit of online searching, it's twin was purchased and arrived on Wednesday.  

And oh boy!  The lettuce that was planted last Sunday is ready for transplanting too.  **shrug**  I've never done lettuce inside, so I don't know if this 'germination box' is deep enough to simply keep them in the tray rather than go through the process of replanting them. (??)  

And just to the right of the lettuce box -- GARLIC!  While shopping last Sunday morning, in addition to some 'good' garlic bulbs, I brought home one bulb that (most likely) no one else was going to pick;  it seemed that every clove was starting to sprout.  So..... why not?!?  I've never done garlic.  I don't know if this garlic is "safe" for Wisconsin.  But....holy cow!  It's jumping out of the lil' containers I threw them in.  They TOO are ready for larger containers!

And even with two mini-greenhouses, I'm starting to run out of shelving space :D  

Reason to smile #368:  My three week old tomato seedlings!!!  I definitely chalk up their progress to the grow lights.  And now, the younger tomato seedlings are joining them under the lights (paper pots pictured front).

No quilting today, but tomorrow I'll have to spend some time on my quilting frame.  MIL handed three baby quilts to me when they visited two weeks ago, but I never found the ambition last weekend.  Time will quickly run out, so I really just need to buckle down tomorrow.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Crochet Along (Part 2) & Transplanting seedlings

This past week has been extremely quiet on any crafty front.  Zero quilting or sewing has been completed, and only three (of 20) of the Part 2 Crochet Along mystery units have been made.

Instead, most of my free time this weekend has been spent with our mini-greenhouse.

The initial seeds from two weeks ago are coming up nicely and were transplanted into small cell units to live out the next few weeks.  
So many new things being tried this year.  First off -- we're I'm starting WAY WAY earlier than ever before.  Many new seeds are on my docket, including a Strawberry Popcorn seed (pictured above - day 7).

I just tried out a new method of germinating today, too.  After reading up on germination trays and seed transplanting for growing in pots, I scrounged around the house and found an inexpensive setup that should work out okay for a germination tray.  The bottom of a JCPenny's box and an old cookie sheet have been repurposed to act as a tray for a little bed of lettuce starter.  **shrug**  It holds dirt so far :D

I knew I had things on my to-do list this weekend, but, I truthfully didn't really care mind if I didn't get to them.  ie:  grading papers.  Sorry, but, I wanted the weekend off.   I have some quilting projects that direly need my attention sooner than later, but it was SOOOOOO cold in the basement.  
Therefore, I took my time transplanting all the 2-week old seedlings and prettied up the mini-greenhouse.  It's officially full.  I guess it's a good thing I ordered a new mini-greenhouse, due to arrive on Tuesday :D

This plant is looking much much better now that I took the time to remove the aloe vera plant that was crowding it.    Can anyone enlighten me on the name??
Please imagine this lil' pot FILLED with not one, not two, not three, not even four, but FIVE aloe vera plants.  It was LONG LONG overdue for repotting.

This was the smallest of the five, and it looks so sickly.  All of them had started to yellow.  I received the planter from my MIL..... five (?) years ago.  I think at the time, there were only two aloe plants present, in addition to a beautiful strand of that other plant.  

Never having had an aloe vera plant, I sat down today and did some self-educating on how aloe plants grow and propagate.  It's truly amazing the power of education we have at our dispersal via the Internet!

Sunny's house (Candace's goldfish from her birthday) was also given a cleaning, so he was allowed to swim around our pitcher for a lil' bit.  

And as always, trying to fit in time for family and fun is often attempted, but not always followed through on.  However, last night, the two youngest and I headed to the roller skating rink in a town 20 miles south while the oldest went skiing with a friend.  Paul finished up his shift yesterday and now has a few days off :D

Monday, February 16, 2015

3-day weekend

Where does the time fly to?  Truly.
Thankfully, we are enjoying a 3-day weekend due to President's Day (our Winter break day).  Even Paul has the day off.  We're toggling with ideas on how to spend the day;  skiing, sledding, skating... Nothing has jumped in the lead yet (although the puppy dog eyes keep saying skiing!)

Ms. Caitlyn started working on a lil' quilt project for her upcoming DI competition.  

I am was making great progress on the 20 Granny Squares which are the expectation for the first week's clue of Yarnspirations/Crochet Crowd's crochet-along. 
While making some Beef Barley vegetable soup yesterday, the madolin wasn't able to distinguish between my finger and the carrot I was slicing.

Paul was around to bandage me up;  and with no medical tape handy, duct-tape came to the rescue.  I wonder if fingertips grow back.   For now, that fingertip will remain bandaged, and I'll try my best crocheting using my middle-finger tip;  slow-going right now :\

The seeds are 7 days old and germinating nicely!  This is the first year we're using grow-lights; 3 of them, each 2' long.  I would love to invest in another 3, but there's only so much that can be spent on projects that 'save money,' right??? ;) LOL

No exaggeration here, but... every time I walk by the lil' greenhouse, I smile and peek in on them, often on the lookout for any new sproutings.

Candace and I couldn't resist starting some MORE seeds!!!  
Another 36  flower seeds were planted and we await not-so-patiently for them to germinate.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

We've got GREEN!

Day #3, and we have GREEN!
Some of the flower seeds I planted on Sunday have germinated!
Additionally, the broccoli and lemongrass have broken through the dirt.
:D  Exciting.

No tomatoes yet, though.  They take a few more days to germinate.

That's all.  Carry on :D

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Piano, Basketball, Quilting and Planting. Precious moments!

Friday night, the girls 'fighting' over practice time
Saturday tournaments for both Cassie and Caitlyn
Sunday morning working on tidying up some blocks
Sunday mid-morning shopping spree at Walmart -- the SEEDS SECTION is in full swing!

Yes, folks!  I DID buy some seedling supplies and planted.  This is the EARLIEST I've ever planted seeds!

Despite being 14, Cass is stil okay with being a 'twin' with Mom on dress-up days at school

My band of wack-a-doodles!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

More RSC '15, other scraps, and Caitlyn's BB

For whatever reason, Paul's alarm went off at 4:30 this morning rather than 5:00.  He stayed in bed, snoozing away, but after a few minutes, I decided to get up.  Why not, right?!?!  The day was WIDE OPEN for anything.  It's amazing how different it is mentally on a Sunday vs. any other day of the week.  

Once he walked out the door at 5:40 a.m. heading off to work, it was downstairs for me.  I will give Deb credit for the task of making up two whole new pink RSC connector blocks instead of just fixing up the 9-patch center of my last boo-boo ones.  Ah heck... we all have oodles of scraps, right?  When lookin in my drawer of 1.5" scraps, you can't even tell I made up another 2 pink blocks!  LOL.

For the rest of the morning until noon, I tackled loads and loads of bonus blue/neutral triangles that have been collecting for the past couple of years.

The blue/neutral block was inspired by a pic I saw during a random search over Christmas vacation;  sadly, I don't have any linky information on it :(  The other ones, with the splash of red, were initially made for Judy's 2014 January Scrappy T block, and then I've extended that scrappiness by piecing 9-patch and/or crumb centers rather than using a big ol' 3.5" square.  I have 20 total blocks made (10 each).  I really don't know how many more I'll make;   my pile of blue/neutral bonus tris are finally dwindling.

As for schoolwork, I was able to complete a decent amount of it between games yesterday during Caitlyn's BB tournament.  Seeing the girls progress from beginning-to-end of the season is always fun and amazing to witness.  They have one more tournament next weekend to wrap up their season;  Cassie, however, continues to compete until the end of February.

Happy Sunday everyone!
Here's to another week.

FEBRUARY!  Spring is nearing day by day.... ;)