Thursday, March 01, 2012


This has been a fun week. I haven't been feeling quite myself, but I can't complain of any real problems. I just get crampy and tired if I am on my feet the past two days so I am pretty much hanging out in my bedroom, watching TV and playing with the kids, reading books and magazines, etc. The kids are playing really well, and although they are doing a good job of making a mess big enough that I will likely never clean it up.... that's okay. At least they are behaving.

I've been trying to do things that will require little to no movement. I am not nauseous (except on rare occasions after I eat) so compared to previous pregnancies this is really great. But with both pregnancies I had thyroid problems in early pregnancy. With Ardyn's pregnancy they let me take synthroid, but the previous (with Marek) I was just told to "suffer" while they took blood every single week in Peoria to make sure it didn't get too out of control. I have a fairly good inkling that the strangeness I am feeling is a combo of the third month of pregnancy, crazy wild hormones (including the progesterone supplements that I have to take twice a day until I reach 10 weeks) and perhaps a bit of thyroid problems. I have gained one pound. So I am not complaining. As long as you don't come to visit me and expect to find me dressed, with my hair done, or a place to sit. There are also no spoons. But life's good.

I've been spending my time on Pinterest :) and just today finally got my laptop out instead of just using my phone. I wanted to organize my pinboards alphabetically and clean a few up, so I did that.

I've been working on starting seeds in my seed starter, which I haven't done for YEARS so I am happy to be back in that swing. When I was in high school I started to get very interested in landscaping and gardening. While living at Mom and Dad's, a neighboring farmer and good family friend told my dad that he had something for me. It was a HUGE Galvanized seed starting unit that had been in his barn and he just wanted it out and to get the space back. It's got four shelves and uses both 4 foot bulbs and regular lightbulb style bulbs on different tiers. My parents are obviously really cool parents because they allowed me, and helped me, to drag the thing home and put it in their basement and thats where I used their electricity to grow all kinds of plants, like the one year that I grew something crazy like three entire flats of tri-colored geraniums. For a while I collected various types of geraniums and searched greenhouses for new varieties and cool hybrids. I had scented, and bug repelling and all kinds of them.

When I moved to Wyanet the seed starter came too, but hasn't got used much here. The kids and I have got 5 flats started so far, for a staggering selection of chards, salad greens, lettuces, and flowering annuals and a few perennials. The goal is to not buy plants for the garden or the flowerboxes this year.... with the exception of the accent plants (spikes, asparagus ferns, etc) for the containers. So far it's been a fun experience for the kids. They love helping to fill the jiffy pots with jiffy mix and also watching peat pellets expand. Everything is germinating nicely.

I also decided to start some indoor vermicomposting in addition to the outdoor composter. That way we can compost all year long and have more rapidly developing compost. I will compost the yard waste and chicken and bunny poo outside, and compost the kitchen scraps inside. I decided to go ahead with this after I discovered these really nice and inexpensive directions for a do-it-yourself worm composter...

So I started that project and the worms are on order :) I had already read "Let It Rot" back in the days when I started composting (maybe Ardyn was 9 months old?) and then a couple of years later I had gotten REALLY Lucky to find a book on my wishlist "Worms Eat My Garbage" - for 50 cents at the local library booksale. I read all of that but then this morning I went ahead and read it again because I wanted to make sure I was prepared for what I was about to start.

Last week I finished my seed order from SandHill Preservation and I had yet to get that mailed, so I finished that up this morning too. I am extremely excited about growing heirloom tomatoes this year. I grew one variety last year because I started late and found a plant or two locally, but this year I hope that I can get them all started from seed and have several varieties. I watched a special on P Allen Smith last summer where went to Tomatofest where there was a tomato tasting and people came to a party to taste test heirloom tomatoes. I wrote down the winning varieties and will be trying at least two of them in the garden this year :)

I am itching to get outside. But I can't just yet, so I am using this lazy lounge time to prepare and plan :) It's working.

I am slowly (SLOWLY) Working on laundry. It has been not too bad, but up and down the steps and carrying big hampers is a bit much. I did three loads last night, and need to get started again today. The hampers are filling up faster than I can keep up!

I have a red plastic planter that I want to add our house number or something to, but I have yet to decide if I am going to attempt to paint on the planter (which probably won't last long with the plastic) or if I will just use the cricut and cut out letters from outdoor vinyl. The outdoor vinyl works wonderful on the mailbox (also plastic) and I did that more than two years ago and it's holding... so I am leaning that way. But I don't have any white vinyl laying around. I got the idea from this tiered planter, but I don't really want the tiered one I don't believe, so I will just make one big planter to put on the ledge by my front door, next to my red and white watering can with the ivy in it.

The best thing about summer is that we spend so much time outside and with the animals that I don't have so much to do inside the house. It's not trashed so easily :) The only time we come in is to bathe and sleep! Sometimes we even nap in the yard and hose off in the sink outside.

I also have about 12 cans saved and in the basement, ready to do this project.... to allow for some more space for planting on the fence. I bought the paint and just have to poke my drain and hanging holes and wait for a nice day to paint them. That should be fun :)

I am probably going to have plants coming out of my ears this spring, so all the extra planting space that I can get will be useful :) Plus these can be out of chicken and bunny reach if necessary.... which will be nice.

I am wondering if I can cram a cold frame (*from the windows we recycled and saved from our front porch) and a rain barrel, and maybe a living wreath into the spring as well? I recently came across and read "The Year Round Vegetable Gardener" and I absolutely devoured it. I read parts of it over and over and it inspired me greatly. I was so so sad when fall came and our lettuce and spinach and chard supply came to an end, and this year, that is SO not happening. :) I don't know if it will be cold frames or hoop houses or what yet, but I have ideas for both.

If I NEED to, I can even do this for my tomatoes this year....

Cover 5-gallon buckets with burlap and twine.... No More Redneck tomato planters :)

Well, this concludes my brain dump for the afternoon. Soon it will be naptime!

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