Tomatoes Love the Windows

These little trays of tomato seedlings are going crazy in the picture windows of my studio.  I’ve got more varieties to get started and I’ve got to make the time to do it.  I check them several times a day.  It looks like we’re having good luck so far with the seedling process.

TomatoFlatThere are 4 flats and only 2 of the cells didn’t work out.  Sorry for the fuzzy picture.  I just can’t seem to hold a camera still….not even my phone camera.

SherylSigRedFinal2

Ain’t Life Grand !!!!

Yes, it is.  We’ve been sort of tied up working on some things for Chris and just got back from the Alexandria area after a visit with him.  We attended his annual IEP at Pinecrest yesterday.  There will be some changes coming and I’ll let you know more about them later.

We got home today and since I’ve been itching to do some fishing (Yes I LOVE to fish) Don bailed the water out of the yellow pond boat and we piddled around the pond for an hour or so.

It just doesn’t get much better than being able to walk out the back door, hop into the boat and fish in your own pond.

DonFishing400x

Most of the time he was rowing me around because the trolling motor wouldn't cooperate.  He's such a good hubby don't you think?

Most of the time he was rowing me around because the trolling motor wouldn’t cooperate. He’s such a good hubby don’t you think?

The very most fun of the little adventure was when I caught this!

It's my first fish of the year:  a Crappie aka White Perch

It’s my first fish of the year: a Crappie aka White Perch

SherylSigRedFinal2

Tiny Peek at Spring

I’ve been watching those tomato flats like a hawk and until today, it looked like nothing was going on.  I just decided to move them back inside and place them in the picture windows in my studio where it’s warmer.  That should be better for germination.

This is what I found.

Tiny little tomato babies

Tiny little tomato babies

I think I need to make a run to Dollar Tree to get more disposable aluminum baking pans.  They make great holders for the flats.

I’m so excited.

SherylSigRedFinal2

Yummy Tomatoes

are in our future.  I told you about all the seeds I ordered (they are all organic/non-GMO) and tonight I got some of them planted in trays.

Tomato Seed TraysThere are 36 cells with 3 seeds planted per cell.  You have to plant more than one because of germination rates.  I have 6 different varieties planted.  That will give me 6 of each.  You really should thin out the weaker plants from each cell but if they’re good, strong plants, I don’t throw them out.

Here’s what I’ve got planted so far:

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange:

San Marzano

Costoluto Florentino

Long Keeper

Homestead

Burpee:

Steak Sandwich Hybrid

Brandywine Pink

I’ve got several other varieties that I will plant. Planting several different kinds will help me find the ones I really like and want to plant again.

It’s just the right time to get them started here as you need to start about 6 weeks from your last frost date.  Our last frost date is usually around April 1st.

Don says he can’t see what I’m going to do with all these tomatoes.  Well, Vanessa, Faith, and Mother live in the dairy barn and they like tomatoes also.  The main reason is that I want enough to freeze/can for us to use instead of buying them.

I think he’s decided against making my rain gutter garden as big as I need it for tomatoes.  He told me to just so what I did in the fall but do it in the big garden.  I followed Judy’s instructions and they were the most beautiful tomato plants I’ve ever grown.  And they had gorgeous, large tomatoes but the early frost got them.

SherylSigRedFinal2

Thanks for the Help

I want to say thank you to those who took the time to answer my plea for Medicare advice.  After reading all of your notes and calling our doc’s office, I checked several ones his office recommended.  We finally decided to go Medicare Part B with AARP Supplemental and I think we’ll be satisfied. Just negotiating the different options for supplement coverage is intimidating.

After reading your notes, one struck a chord with me and convinced me that we needed the best supplement we can afford so we went with what’s called “Plan F”.  It only take a few days of hospitalization for severe illness to completely wipe a family out.  We may need to squeeze dollars from some where else but I’ll feel better about it.

We also got a separate Part D policy to cover his medications.  You really have to be careful about that one.  You need to make sure the company you are interested in covers all the medications you take.

Don is horrified that insurance is so expensive because Weyerhaeuser bore most of the insurance cost for us.  He says you can only afford to pay so much for insurance and he’s right in a way.  But…..you can’t afford to not have insurance.

Since I’m not quite old enough for Medicare I got insurance through the government marketplace.  I don’t care for the way this whole deal came about but I do have to admit that I’m grateful for the assistance I will get to pay for my insurance.  I am also grateful that I can get quality insurance even though I have had cancer.

Thanks again to all of you.

SherylSigRedFinal2

Radishes

No broccoli on the rain gutter garden scene so I grabbed 3 buckets to plant radishes in.  That was last week.  We’ve gotten some rain since then and yesterday I had this.

I can't wait!

I can’t wait!

Radishes2015bFresh radishes from the garden are so good.  Don had planted some in the big garden earlier but they’ve come and gone so it was time to plant more.

I found a better picture of the float valve at the end of the rain gutters so I thought I’d share it with you.

Gutter System ends

SherylSigRedFinal2

New Project Anyone?

I’ve been on a quilting hiatus for quite some time now and I realize that I haven’t offered my readers much hope that I’ll ever return to it.  I’ve been working on the blog a bit….doing some editing, etc.  Some patterns that were previously offered have now been removed.  Christmas Town Sampler and NYD Mystery 2013 patterns are no longer available.  They had been up much too long anyway.

I’m going to add a pattern to “Freebies From the Almost Swamp”.  I worked mine up in feedsacks but it would be cute in any theme.  Click on the quilt button below for the pattern (only the button on top….the others are not linked).  Just remember that I do not send patterns directly.  It’s up to you to get your own copy.

BricksBarsFS button

Here are a few different colorings of the pattern.

BricksBarsPkDot2BricksBarsGreenDotBricksBarsYellowPrint

BricksBarsBlueDot

I’m lining up a pattern for you that I will introduce later.  It’s one I designed when I was working a travel nurse assignment.  I made the quilt but never wrote up the pattern so you all will be the first to get to make one.  Enjoy!

SherylSigRedFinal2

Pears

I could have sworn that I posted about the pear cuttings I took last summer but I can’t seem to find it so I guess I didn’t.  The worst part is that it looks like I deleted the photo I wanted to share with you.

I went to a pine needle basket get together with Tootie and friends at Hammond Regional Arts last summer.  It was the very end of pear season and near the center, there are 2 eating pear tree’s on street right of way property.  I guess you’re wondering why I called them eating pears.  There are some pears that are hard and are best suited for preserves, baking, etc.  Some pears are better suited for eating.  They will get nice and soft whereas the others remain hard.

Ok….yes, I did.  I rustled some cuttings from those trees and even though I’ve been told it’s very difficult to root pear cuttings.  I had to try.  A few months after doing my usual propagation method, one of the stalks had a tiny, little white bloom on the end of it.  Technically, it would have been best to snip the bloom off in order for the stalk to put it’s energy into rooting and growing.

I’ve moved these little cuttings around the outside of the house to the inside of the studio and back outside multiple times through the weather changes.  About a week ago, I moved them inside again when we were having freezing temps.  A few days ago I moved them to the back porch.  Well-traveled little buggers aren’t they?

It was worth it!

It's got new growth!

It’s got new growth!

Not only does the one stalk have new leaves showing, there are several stalk tips that are swollen, pink and ready to leaf out.  I am so excited!  Granted, I may not be on earth when they finally bear fruit, but this is so rewarding.

I’ve got lots of baby fig trees that I rooted from different cuttings.  Some are Brown Turkey, some are Celeste, and one is an LSU Gold.  We’re going to have one heck of a fig orchard!  Nothing like wonderful, soft, juicy delectable fresh off the tree figs.

Tootie makes the most delicious fig wine.  Maybe I can talk her into teaching me how to do it.

One more note….I’ve got asparagus coming up in their raised bed.  Sorry.  I can’t show you a pic of the first one to show itself.  I ate it and the next one too.

SherylSigRedFinal2

I Love Cats

My friend Susan loved cats.  Her DH Ernie loves cats and still takes care for their rescue kitties.  It seems that everywhere I go, I see cats in some form.  Many times they’re real, live cats.  Sometimes they’re decor.

One of our favorite restaurants in Alexandria, LA is Cajun Landing.  We’ve been there several times but we’ve always gone straight to our table with no waiting.  The last time we had to wait about 15 minutes so I had time to look at things in the lobby.  Guess what I had missed?  The most adorable cat silhouettes perched on door frames!

Just adorable!

Just adorable!

I just love this next one.

Entirely too cute.

Entirely too cute.

Susan, Denise, and I go way back as far as being “found” friends on the WWW.  Judy L. and Wanda B. came along not too long afterward.  We’ve traveled to Arkansas for quilting get-togethers several times.  We were always so comfortable with each other.  It was like we had always known each other.  Friends like that are very hard to find.  I’ve felt much closer to them than I have with a lot of my local friends.  We always had time for each other.

Denise is hosting a BOM specially designed to honor our dearest friend Susan.  You probably recall that we lost her last year on Memorial Day to a lengthy fight with cancer.  I encourage you to take a look at the project.  It looks super easy and will be a lovely reminder of the wonderful woman who inspired the design.  Denise, you get big Kudo’s for this pattern.

I’m going to try to make one in batiks because Susan loved them.  She also loved Thirties prints, and Red and Black.  What do you think you use?

It’s perfect and it made me remember the silhouettes I took pics of at Cajun Landing.

Now for a pic of one of my real, live kitties here’s a pic of Molly Mae perched on top of a cornice in our living room.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s a tiny picture but it’s all I have.

SherylSigRedFinal2

How Fast Does This Stuff Grow?

I sure wish I had some time-lapse photography on this little Red Passiflora that I propagated from my mother plant (bought at Garden World in Abilene, TX).  I swear you can almost watch it grow.

This little darling was propagated in the fall by bending down a vine into the soil in a different pot.  It rooted within a week.  I donated two plants I had rooted this way to our MG fall plant auction.  Here’s what the bloom looks like on an adult plant.

Possibly "Lady Margaret"

“Lady Margaret”

Compare mine to this one at Dave’s World

The reason I’m wondering how fast they really grow is that I had this small plant since fall.

Day One inside my studio in the window sill of one of the picture windows.

Day One inside my studio in the window sill of one of the picture windows.

Compare the size of this picture to the next picture which shows the same plant at Day Two in the window.  Notice the new leaves and the height of the vine.

Day Two

Day Two

OK….now.  Here is Day Three in the window.  Same plant.  Same window.  The window has a southern exposure.

Day Three

Day Three

Holy Moly!  That vine goes all the way to the top of the picture.

Not only do they grow very quickly.  They reproduce themselves by runners just as quickly.  I pulled my purple passiflora out of the ground last year and I’m still pulling up new babies in the yard!  This is why I recommend that people who want to grow them do so in large pots on a solid surface.

Not to worry.  I’ve got several new ones coming along in pots so I’ll still have my purple one also.

The Passiflora is a fabulous plant to have if you love butterflies as it is the host plant for the Gulf Frittilary butterfly.  It is their preferred source of food and where the adults lay their eggs.  It’s a science experiment with beauty.

The purple variety I have will over-winter just fine outside.  The red is a little more picky about cold weather but my little one did just fine outside through some low 20’s temps but I brought it inside anyway to give it a kickstart.

I also have the mother plant inside and I’ll take a picture and start recording the days in the window to see how quickly it sprouts back out.  (I haphazardly tried to kill it by forgetting it needed water)

If you live in my area and would like to have a plant, I’ll gladly give you one.  Just send me a note and we’ll make arrangements.  I can’t promise to send you one….because as Becky knows….I’m extremely forgetful about such things.  :-)

SherylSigRedFinal2

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