A Garden Beginning and the Feeling of Spring

A few days ago it felt like spring properly arrived at our place. The week previous we went out and started getting some of the supplies we will need to get the garden going for the year. Now, all we really need is the soil to fill our pots. It is still quite chilly outside, much too chilly for planting outdoors just yet, but we were able to get a couple of things done inside. More specifically, our tomatoes were started.

It was decided after the tomato failures of the past two years that we would do things differently this year. In both 2012 and 2013 I purchased a seedling from a local garden center and planted it in the largest pot I own. Both years I ranĀ into watering and drainage issues (though at opposite ends of the spectrum) and ended up killing off my tomatoes. Based on previous experiences, we decided for this year we would find a variety of tomato that is well-suited to our climate and growing in containers and start from seed. We also decided to make some drainage holes in the tomato pot to help with the drainage issues we have encountered in the past. To this end, some peat starter pots were purchased along with a couple small dishes for them to sit in.

The variety of tomato we chose is called “Sub Arctic Plenty” and is an early variety that was actually developed in Canada and for our climate here. It produces a small fruit, a bit larger than a cherry tomato. I have high hopes for it this year with the changes we have made.

On Monday after work I filled up three of our new little peat pots with soil and planted our tomato seeds. It was a great feeling to finally set planting in motion for this year. It was very satisfying. Last year at this time I already had everything planted and had seedlings showing their cute little leaves. I am getting a little antsy to start things growing this year, and the prolonged colder weather certainly hasn’t helped.

Tomatoes Planted - All in a Row

Tomatoes Planted – All in a Row

So I now have three little peat pots with tomato seeds in them on my living room windowsill and I am impatiently waiting for sprouts! I can’t wait to see them, and for the rest of the planting to begin.

At It Again… Or not, Depending

I have been SUPER dropping the ball on the blog of late.

I’ve been dealing with a whole lot of life-things lately and the blog, unfortunately, just hasn’t been a priority. I even visited the idea of going on a hiatus from blogging for awhile, but have decided against it. Though it has kind of happened anyway, I guess. I am hoping to get back on board with blogging more regularly over the next little while. I am also entertaining making a few changes in how I run things around the blog as well. I’m not exactly sure what this means just yet, but there will definitely be some significant changes.

I have a lot of blog post ideas floating around in my head these days and I amĀ hoping to be at it again regularly very soon.

Thanks for being patient and sticking with me.

Self-Portrait-a-Month: February/March

Look at this… Projects already falling to the wayside. It’s not intentional, I promise. February was a busy and very hectic month and it was suddenly just gone. Things are back on track for the month of March, and hopefully things went be going off the rails again anytime soon.

On to the self-portrait-a-month project… I know I said I wouldn’t post the standard cell phone “selfies” you see everywhere – mostly because they turn out terribly whenever I try. For March though, I am posting one because, shockingly, it isn’t half bad!

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I took this the Sunday morning just past before heading off to my Grandma’s 70th birthday gathering/dinner. (Awesome, right? And she is in remission from breast cancer too. She’s an amazing woman and I love her to death.) Anyway, this picture was well over an hour in the making… Blame it on having too much hair and forgetting how to put on makeup (because I wear it so infrequently).

For the first time in ages though, I am happy with how a “selfie” turned out. Maybe it’s a milestone in building up my confidence and self-esteem. I won’t argue!

Irrationally Optimistic Thoughts of Spring

It’s been an unusually cold and snowy winter here this year and it had taken its toll. Mid-March is seeing people growing moody and generally in unpleasant moods as everyone is becoming such of winter at this point.

It was a rather pleasant surprise earlier this week when the temperatures warmed up above freezing and we got to experience a little bit if spring that is to come. Spirits were rising. Everyone was generally happier. I was even in a great mood. Spring for me means more daylight and more sunlight which means less of a daily struggle with my SAD. I went out on the balcony to start to figure out things for the garden those days. I was so happy spring was on its way. That was…until Wednesday.

In one day, things went from this:

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To this (and no, I wasn’t going to go out in the freezing cold to get a decent picture if I didn’t have to):

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Warnings were out the day previous but no one put much thought to them. However the snow hit and the temperatures dropped again and we are right back where we were – in the throes of deep winter once again.

This winter is driving me crazy. It seriously needs to end. What is this?! Two days of warmish spring-like weather and then BAM! Back to winter and all the snow and frigid temperatures that go with it. NOT COOL, Mother Nature, NOT COOL.

Garden Plans 2014

It is early March and I officially started planning the balcony garden a couple of weeks ago. I have most of my herbs selected for this season and am finalizing my veggies. I will be growing more flowers from the beginning rather than as an after thought like they were the past year, aside from those couple of pansies.

So far this year, it’s shaping up to look like this:

FLOWERS

  • swiss giant pansies
  • black-eyed pennies
  • (possibly) ragged ladies

These will be planted in small pots and a couple window boxes.

HERBS

  • classic basil
  • sage
  • oregano
  • chives
  • parsley (possibly two varieties)
  • thyme

These will be planted in clay pots as in past years.

VEGETABLES (or fruit as the case may be)

  • tomatoes (in large pot)
  • onions (x 2 window planters)
  • romaine lettuce
  • buttercrunch lettuce
  • one more container (TBD)

I’m looking forward to the growing season, but it is still winter and until then I have the planning to keep me content while the snow remains. It is still looking a lot like winter outside and I’m not at all sure when it will finally end. Planning the garden keeps me optimistic. I think the garden is going to be bigger, greener, and better this year than it was in the past. I have seeds for just about everything this year… looks like I just need some thyme and whatever TBD veggie I decide I will grow this year. I will likely be starting a few things indoors in the next little while. I am looking forward to spring and getting back outside again.

It’s hard to believe that in a few short months my bare balcony will be beautiful and green again.

Bird of Hope… Versions 1.0 & 2.0

This is a bit of an interesting situation I have gotten myself into with this seemingly simple project. It is small, yes but simple, not so much.

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It is actually very close to being on par with the vintage colt in terms of difficulty. I made the mistake initially of trying to stitch it on black. Bad idea, especially since lighting is not exactly great in the apartment in winter. I’ve made a few mistakes. Not so many that I want to stop, but enough to significantly slow me down – which is a problem since it was supposed to be a Christmas gift! I’m taking a new approach to this one rather than giving up or getting angry over having to pull stitches over and over again. I decided this time I would start it over again on a different fabric and finish the original one in black at a much more leisurely pace. The new one is on a light blue fabric – 14ct vs 16ct and it is going much more smoothly. Hopefully it will continue to be such.

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I think it is going to be beautiful when it is finished. Both of them will be for that matter. I can’t wait to gift it.

So This is Pretty Exciting

I have had this for a couple of weeks now but I have been fangirling over it ever since…

I now have a TARDIS coffee mug!

I have a TARDIS coffee mug!

Jay got this for me as a part of my birthday present – a couple weeks early. I will be writing about the rest of my birthday festivities just as soon as I have time to go over the photos and edit them.