Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

No matter how you feel about any of the conflicts that we are involved in currently or in the past. We need to remember the sacrifice that has been made by American Men and Women! They have gone to fight willingly or forced to go into battle. Either way the price they have paid is immeasurable. Whether they died on the battle field or lived on to face the nightmares of war. They all need to be honored!

Gotta Run,

Sunday, May 30, 2010

In, Out and my thoughts

We have been so busy here on the citystead.... LOL! Sorry no pictures this post just and update. I now have a rain barrel set up in front of the house. No rain so far but it is suppose to come tomorrow afternoon. I had to plant zucchini where the beans were eaten and I planted sugar baby watermelons where the corn didn't grow. I just hated the thought of those areas going bare for the season. I also had to go and get more pickling cucumbers to plant as something has been enjoying them. Grim bought me a composter yesterday as he was tired of looking at the grass clippings in behind the garage. My evil plan worked... LOL! Thanks Honey! Grim strung new line for the grapes to climb, I pounded stakes for the tomatoes, got all the mint into pots, horehound and oregano are also potted.

The strawberries that didn't look like much last year and very early in the spring have been producing like crazy. I have already had to pick 3 times and gotten almost a quart jar full each time. We have only lost a few to birds and mouses, so I am not complaining. Last year the few that ripened were eaten by the birds. I was able to get one bowl of strawberries for myself so far. It's hard keeping the monsters out of them.... *smiles* I added a little sugar and heavy cream.....Oh, it tasted like heaven! I am going to make an angel food cake and take the rest of the heavy cream (make whipped cream) and the strawberries to make the best shortcake ever!!!

I finally planted the camomile plants. I didn't know they are annuals.... Serves me right for not checking that out before! So I am hoping that they flower. I might have waited to long to get them in the ground. Oh, well have to wait and see. The onions and heirloom tomato I planted up front are growing like gang busters. Fluffy is growing like crazy. Since on of his parents is a flop ear, we think he inherited the floppy ears as well. So far only on of them has flopped over and if that is the case then he is even more cute if that is possible with one up and one down.

Almost forgot the potatoes are getting ready to bloom. I guess getting them into the ground at the proper time really does the trick. Last year I didn't get blooms until july and then they had blossom drop because of the heat.

Grim and I went to see Robin Hood. Now I have heard people say that Russell Crowe is to old to be convincing. Well, my thoughts are that Robin went off to the crusades as a young man, then was imprisoned for well on 10 years and then had to make his way back to England..... That puts him at the proper age in my opinion. Loved it! There was a line in the movie that really struck me though. It is when he is being told that the deer are off limits because they all belong to the king, he says that how can a man survive if he is not allowed to fend for himself. That got me thinking.... I know not a good thing... LOL! But how can we survive when our food source is held just above our heads by the new monarchy ie; Monsanto's and the like. Don't people remember let them eat cake! But alas I guess they don't, because if they did we wouldn't be in shape we are in with our current food situation. I got into a discussion with someone yesterday and they said that it was to expensive to eat right. I shook my head and said that it isn't if you eat the proper amount, your not wasteful and your not over eating so you can afford to eat right. With that argument stopped they then turned to I just don't have time to eat right.... To bad for them! Like I have said in the past I may not be doing everything right all the time but I am trying to change a lifetime of bad choices with little steps. I fail miserably sometimes, but it is when I get it right that makes for a better me.

With that said I am going to go out and enjoy the yard we worked so hard to make nice for today!

Gotta Run,

Friday, May 21, 2010

Busy Week

It has been another very busy week. Grim and I went to the farmers market and got the rest of the plants to put in the ground. I will try again from seed next year! But I got peppers (hot Peter, ancho, habenero, hungairan and sweet green, red & yellow), beefsteak and grape tomatoes, eggplant (classic & little finger), a little more broccoli, a few more lettuces, some celery, pickeling cucumbers and bush cucumbers and dill. I also got anise to plant.

If your like me, then you never heard of peter peppers before. Since I got some to plant in the garden I thought that I should look up what type and what the growing instructions are. Plus, see if there are any recipes for them. And what do you know I found tons.
  1. Naughty peppers by Alice B. Yeager
  2. Peter Peppers
  3. Pictures of Peter Peppers
  4. How to Grow Peppers | Garden Guides
  5. Great Resource | Hot Pepper Kingdom
And here is information on Anise. I know very little other then the licorice flavor.
  1. Anise - Wikipedia
  4. What is Anise Extract
  5. Anise Oil Use |
  6. The Herbal Resource
I am so happy that I waited for the stawberry that I took a picture of to fully ripen. When it was time to pick I discovered a total of 3. So Grim, Mouthy and I each got to enjoy a sun warmed strawberry just like Mother nature intended. The potatoes are growing hugely. By getting them in the ground earlier, they have had a better chance this year over last. I still have to plant the zucchini and the sugar baby watermelons. But before I do I need to get 2 more tires. I have no more room in the main garden so I have to expand out. Hopefully, this weekend I will get them planted. It is suppose to rain today and tomorrow. Then be nice on Sunday. Have to wait and see.

Gotta Run,

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend Recap

We went out to price the sod and blocks. And came to the conclusion that the amount of blocks we were going to use was going to cost way to much. So we opted to use more sod. Then I priced it.... Whoa! That is way more money then I remember it being. So we drove out to two different sod farms. The first one didn't have any and didn't know when they would be able to cut more, because of the rain. Off to the second one. They had the 35 rolls of sod we needed and local honey as well. The guy even tossed in two extra rolls for us. We used all but 5 rolls of it in the back yard. I have a bald space in the boulevard in front of the house that I can use the rest at.
This whole area use to be dirt with a few sprigs of grass. It looks so different now!

Then Saturday and Sunday we held a yard sale. We didn't do awful but we didn't do great either. Not complaining because I was able to take the money we did make and get a new umbrella for the patio table and a cushion for my wicker chair and also a new soaking hose. We are planning on getting more stuff out and having another one in a couple of weeks. I will be putting out video games, board games and video's. I'm fairly sure that it will be the right time for that as school will be getting out soon around here and the kids will be board. My kids have already played these games so much they don't even want to look at them anymore. I will be keeping monopoly and payday. We all love those!

I was out in the garden for a hot second on Sunday and guess what I found. One almost completely red stawberry! EEEEEE! I am so happy this will be the first out of our patch! I am so happy. I was telling Grim that if we didn't get anything this year I would pull all the plants and use the plot for something else. Now I don't have to. I think that I am just the most impatient gardener ever. We are suppose to get rain for the next three days. I really need to get out there and plant the tomato plants. Oh, just remembered I need to go and buy stakes for them. Shoot! The stakes can wait the tomatoes really need to get in the ground. Plus this week I need to go and buy the rest of my plants. None of the seedlings made it this year. I don't understand what I did wrong. But a grow light was purchased for next years seedlings. So I will worry about it then.
Not much more to report from the weekend!

Gotta Run,

Friday, May 14, 2010

My thoughts

Urban Farm asks the question in the Summer edition "Can City Farming Make You Happy?". I love having the ability to plant seedlings that will one day in a few months help to sustain my family. The apple tree that I planted will provide for future generations even if I am no longer at this location. Being able to lessen my impact on the world from a postage stamp size space is an amazing feeling. Of course there is the downside, nosy neighbors, city ordinances and being land locked. But back to the question, does it make me happy? The answer is yes. It may surprise you to hear that since I am always talking about the future and the property of my tomorrows. For the mean time I am learning skills that will help me once we do move. When the idea of bring chickens home won't mean I will get fined or worse they take my birds because it is against the law. And picking up bees at the post office won't seem so foreign. I will happily remain here learning, doing, experiencing and sharing! Plus, here everything is done on a very small scale. I don't get overwhelmed and quit.

Now on to one of the small scale things.... LOL! Drum Roll Please!
Here is Fluffy!!
We don't know if it is a boy or girl. It is a fawn and gray, fuzzy, squiggly little bundle of cuteness!

While I was at the market yesterday, I picked up two chamomile plants, one orange mint (yes, another mint plant) and a horehound plant. Grim was like what is the horehound for? So I told him that I can make a cough syrup with it. And being the studious person that I am here are a couple links for different applications using horehound. Cough syrup, wound care, candy and cold relief can be found here at, as well as a ton of information regarding the herb. Here is another site Grass Jelly & Catnip that offers a recipe for horehound candy, along with some practical information.

I am off to measure the area that we want to make a patio, so I know how many blocks to buy. Then what is left I will be placing my order for the sod. I think I am only going to need 10 rolls of the stuff. But it is best to cook the early worm.... no wait that's not it cut the silver lining without measuring first.... LOL! I need a plan of action! Have a great day!

Gotta Run,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


This is probably the kewlest thing I have seen for Urban Gardeners! It is called window farming. "Window Farms are vertical, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield edible window gardens built using low-impact or recycled local materials." Quote taken directly from the Window Farms site, which you can go there by clicking here.
I found out about it by checking out Ashley English's blog Small Measure. The blog talking about it can be found here. I am just amazed at the ingenuity of this project. I have a square foot garden that most of you have seen pictures of, but this I am going to try. I have 3 windows that have southern exposure and are perfect for this. Plus, I will be able to grow greens for the bunny in the window in the kids room. I just love double duty items.

We will be picking up our newest addition after school today. I don't know who is more excited me or the monsters. We got a cage and bedding and food and a water bottle and food dish last night. Grim and the monsters set it all up. So I will have pictures very soon of Fluffy the Bunny! On a funny side note..... Grim and I went to Kroger last night. In the freezer section they are selling frozen rabbit for $5 a pound. Grim couldn't believe that there really is a market for rabbit meat and we can raise them to butcher and sell. So I will be getting meat rabbits when we get property. But, like I said before there are two types of animals here, pets and food. If it has a name then it is a pet and will not be eaten, so Fluffy is safe!

I would love to get out into my garden but it is so wet out there, I'm sure I would sink 6" into the mud. I have Roma's, pineapple and apple mint, oregano and 2 citronella scented geraniums to plant yet. I poked my head out the window yesterday in between the rain drops and what did I see the peas, pole beans and the bush beans are up. The kohlrabi and the broccoli seem to be looking ok. The lettuce looks a little water logged *smiles*, the strawberries will need to be cover soon as I don't want to share with the birds. Most of the sunflower seeds have come up but there are few bald spots that need to be re-seeded. My rhubarb has decided to flower. They are very pretty smelling flowers, but when I asked them at the nursery why it is flowering, no one could tell me. Then by the time I found on line that your suppose to pull those stalks clean out, I think it is too late. Once the rain stops I will see what I can do to salvage a summer crop.

That is about it for today.
Gotta Run,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Newest Addition or I must me crazy!

As you can see from the title there are some more changes coming our way. Picky monster was chosen to be one of the recipients of a baby bunny. The rabbits that are in the science lab had a kit of 5. Picky is hoping that she will be able to get one of the brown ones. I told her that she can name it, as it will be a pet and nothing more..... (well, a fetilizer machine) but nothing else! So she has decided on the name Fluffy. I think that is a respectable name for a rabbit. I have a picture that was sent to us of the babies.

Since things have been growing like crazy here, I thought I would share one of my favorite pictures of this year so far. It is the chive patch with the frog to guide your way!

Here is the apple tree I planted. It looks a lot better now that it has time to acclimate to the new surrounding.

I also wanted to show off a couple of the Gerber daisies that I got for Mothers day. I got them early and they are already in the ground. Its a good thing to, it is gray and rainy today!

Gotta Run,