Thursday, May 20, 2010

Garden Progress: 5.20.2010

The gardens have been getting some healthy rain lately so I had to wait to get some new photos! Dh and I built a trellis for the lemon cucumbers to grow up from PVC and twine that we had on hand. You can't really see the twine grid in the photo.

6 tomato plants went into the old bed that's surround with the crazy onions and tiny carrots coming up.

Here's a closeup, on the right bed is a tomato plant, onions and carrots(that you can't see yet!)
On the left you see the edge of the trellis where the cucumbers are planted, a row of radishes in the front and the other tiny green things are the lettuce. The lettuce is growing so much slower than the spinach!

On the left is the spinach, they are growing really fast and starting to sprout the second set of leaves, in the front is more radishes including the part of the row that was dug up, my probably a neighborhood squirrel. The 2 plants under the trellis are yellow squash.

I'm seeing so many gardens so much further along, but we are in the north and we just had hopefully our last frost last week!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Budget Addition

Yes, this is a budget addition thanks to a very short grocery budget this week.

My wonderful husband has recently decided he links tuna. I think it was that he has never tried it before! Now that I can buy and make things with tuna, canned tuna that is, my mom shared a few recipes that she makes.

Today I made another batch of cold tuna pasta. The basic proportion is 1 can of tuna to 1 cup of elbow macaroni. Measure the cup when the pasta is dry before you cook it. It's as simple as cooking the pasta, draining it (and I rinse it off to cool it off so I can eat the pasta sooner), mixing it with a drained can of tuna. The other ingredients to mix in are all to your own taste - diced sweet pickles, diced celery, mayo(I do not like mayo so I use miracle whip type salad dressing) and just a touch of yellow mustard.

I made a few modifications today. I added 2 tablespoons of milk to add a little more creamy-ness, although I think I could have added more. Also, we didn't have any celery so I made 2 different batches, one with fresh chives from our garden and the other for Dh with green onions(the white and the tops). He will probably make his hotter by adding hot sauce to it when he eats.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Growing Spinach

I have failed over and over again at growing spinach and lettuce but I'm trying again!

I wanted to share the simplest explanation of how to grow spinach that I found on the Hidden Valley website. The biggest thing that has caused me to fail previously are planting too late when it's already getting too hot. I think I finally got them planted early enough as they are growing like weeds in the cool weather!

(from the Hidden Valley website)
Grow your own

Spinach is fairly easy to grow, and it’s delicious fresh. The key is that it likes cool weather.
Plant spinach in early spring; it can resist mild frost. Spinach likes sunlight but not heat, so you might choose a location that gets shade for part or all of the afternoon.
Keep the soil moist, but not wet. You can spread grass clippings from your lawn around it, and that will also give it more organic material.
You can harvest spinach as soon as it looks big enough to eat. Pick leaves from the outside of the plant, because the inner leaves will keep growing and you can pick them later.
The spinach plant will eventually “bolt” — grow a long central stem, with seeds. Pull it up at this point, and use the leaves. The stem is too tough to eat. But your own fresh leaves, washed and eaten right away, are the most delicious spinach you'll ever have.
Find more tips at

Friday, May 14, 2010

A sleepy puppy

It's funny to me to see a little dog sleeping like this instead of a large greyhound. But it warms my heart to know that our little guest was happy enough here during his stay to make himself right at home.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cheap Treats!

When I'm done with a jar of peanut butter instead of scraping every last bit out, I take the label off the jar and give it to our greyhound. This is by far his favorite treat and it's cheap!! When he's done the jar it's licked completely clean and he's a happy boy!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Garden Progress: 5.6.2010

The weather has been so beautiful, everything is green and growing!

We picked up these chairs at Ace Hardware and they are really comfortable! We've never had any chairs to relax in outside and these are perfect to have in the backyard to relax in while L and the pups play.

Happy to see my columbine have made it up again. These have traveled many miles from seeds we got from my Grandma's old house.

Onto the garden progress, onions are going crazy! I planted a row of carrots in the first bed and lettuce, spinach and radishes in the second bed.

This is the other new bed that we built this year, it's right by the garage along the driveway, very convenient to get to. The green pot is our hearty chives! The first year we planted the chives we left the pot out in the winter, through all of the snow and we were surprised when they came back again the next spring!(we hadn't done our research on chives!) The 2 square pots(who also received a spray paint makeover that I talked about a few days ago) are an experiment of how well they will do in a pot. The one with the trellis has our sugar snap peas in it and the other has our jalapeƱo pepper plant.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday: Portobellopixie Saturday Market Skirt

I was able to get back to the sewing machine, FINALLY!! It took me a few days but I made a skirt for L from Portobellopixie. Not a tutorial, but it is a free pattern for her Saturday Market Skirt that you can download on her blog!

Look on the right side under Free Projects!

After making this skirt, I really want to get the whole book now! I did make a modification, I made the waist just plain old elastic, much easier than a drawstring for a 3 year old!

The skirt is stylish, yet comfortable enough to play soccer barefoot in the backyard!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Flower Pot Spruce-up

We were getting a little tired of our hodge podge of flower pots, all different sizes and colors, but we don't have the budget to buy new ones. We picked up a couple pots at a garage sale too and of course they didn't match any of our previous pots.

Before: Old cracked plastic pots.
I had painted the rim of the right pot and used duct tape to fix a crack in the pot before I took the photo.

After some duct tape and Rustoleum hammered finish spray paint:

We planted this one with cilantro and found it a sunny home by our rhododendron bushes

This one still needs dirt, a plant or flowers and a new home.