Living A Simplified Life!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Beans Beans The Musical Fruit

As some of you know from reading my blog entries from last summer, my first gardening attempt failed miserably. I was very devastated to think that just the few things I put out did not bare fruit.  I had a flat of tomatoes, that did produce a couple “itty bitty” tomatoes but then they fell of their vines or the birds got to them before they had a chance to grow big enough for me to enjoy.  The bell peppers and jalapeno peppers looked like they were going to do something. There were little flowers and then those changed to little pods and I was like an expectant mother, waiting for the birth of her child, thinking I would soon have some produce. Nothing happened, they wilted up and I got nothing!  My bright idea of trying to grow potatoes in a pillowcase (yep I read about it on the web) ended up a disaster also. The pumpkin seeds never even broke the ground! My pot of herbs withered and died. The only thing that grew was one jalapeno pepper plant where t I took a seed and shoved it into a flowerpot!  I actually got one whole pepper!

Therefore, you can imagine how excited I was today when I checked some pinto beans that I had shoved down into the dirt of three pots that are sitting on my kitchen window ledge!  I soaked the beans for a day before I planted them and then just shoved them down into the dirt. Then today, here are little green things poking up, little stems with what look like little green hats!  I hope that our cold weather will hurry up and vamoose on out of here so I can get them into the earth outside. 

I think I need to get a couple more pots loaded up with dirt and get some onions started. If I remember correctly those are another one of the veggies I need to start early.

Can you tell that I am determined to have a garden this year?  After going to the convenience store tonight to get gas, that was $3.18 a gallon on Wednesday and was $3.29 today, with rumors that it will be $4.00-$4.50 by tomorrow morning, I decided I needed to get some in the tank quickly.  Now granted, I do not drive far and I do not drive often, but I sure want some gas in the tank and not have to pay an arm and a leg for it, which I anticipate happening worse than it already has!  I totally expect us to see $5.00 a gallon by this summer.  Guess we shouldn’t gripe too much, those in foreign countries pay a lot more than we do, not only for gas but for other goods as well and I am not sure that their ratio of income to debts is any better than ours are. Therefore, I will count my blessings and hope that my garden is a success this year in order to take some of the strain off the old pocketbook.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bitten By The Spring Bug

I don't know about anyone else but I've been bitten by the "spring bug" and I've thrown open the windows to let the fresh air blow through the house. As a kid I used to laugh when I'd hear someone talk about doing their spring cleaning but I am long since over that because over the years I've come to appreciate the meaning of those words. You want to get in there and clean every nook and cranny, to  get out all the stale smells that accumulated in  your home from being closed up all winter long. The sun is shining and you want to open all the curtains and let it shine into your home,  the warm glow it creates as the beams of light come streaming across your freshly polished floor.

Many people go through an entire redecorating phase at this time of the year. Some will think about painting, be it one room or the entire house. Others will be adding light colored slipcovers to furniture, changing out throw pillows, getting out the light weight curtains and adding spring colored spreads to their beds.

Spring is a the beginning of life anew; be it the start of new grass and flowers growing, to that of the birth of farm animals, the return of the robins or domestic animals looking for a mate. We emerge from winter, wanting to shed all the extra layers of clothing and the heaviness of multiple blankets and comforters on our beds that kept us warm for the past few months. Spring is wanting to go out and dig in the dirt or run through mud puddles after a rainstorm and the clean fresh smells that the rain brought with it.

It is a good time to be cleaning out your closets and drawers, to give things to a charity, offer them to some one in need or have a garage sale and earn a few extra bucks.Now you can reorganize those closets and cabinets with ease.

I am so anxious to get busy with a paint brush it isn't funny. I have a large bookcase shelf unit that needs some repair work first and then a fresh coat of paint. Then I am bringing it indoors, putting it in my laundry room to become my pantry shelves. After that is done, I need to put a fresh coat of paint on the little country bench that sits on my front porch. 

What projects are you going to tackle?

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Last Hurrah!

Well, I truly think we now have had the last winter storm for this year.  At least I hope so! When parts of Oklahoma have the lowest low temperatures recorded in history, at 21 and 31 degrees BELOW ZERO, and two storms back to back, I certainly hope they are over.  There was just enough of a 24 hour break between where some people were brave enough to get out on slick, ice and snow covered streets to grab more supplies before the next round came through.

Now we start preparing for what could either be a rough spring with many outbreaks of tornadoes or a very quiet one with no tornadoes but lots of wildfires. Yes, I did say wildfires because even with all the snow we received the weather forecasters say we are still experiencing a drought.

With as much of the country being affected by our recent weather, not only in our country but world wide, my concern is for what has happened to all our crops. I am expecting to see food and gas prices going through the roof sky high!  Just one more reason to be sure to replenish those pantries as soon as possible.

I know that once it warms up a little bit more, probably in the next week or so, it will be time to start getting those early garden plants into the ground. It will also be time to do any repairs on my storm shelter so that it is ready to go once our spring tornado season is upon us. I am not going to be waiting until the last minute.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's Not Over Yet!

Well, I can tell you one thing, this last storm here in Oklahoma was enough to really test you on your preparedness for any and all conditions and make you aware that even though you think you have covered all your bases, you may not have done so!

We ended up with the worst blizzard I have seen since I moved here! It by far out-shadows the storm we had back in 2009 at Christmas time in my humble opinion. Granted we had ice covered trees, some areas did lose electricity for days and even weeks, but this storm seemed to be much colder! Luckily this time around people listened to the weathermen when they forecast this storm to have blowing snow with whiteout conditions, single digit temperatures and BELOW ZERO wind chills.  We had lots of warning that this one was on its way and stores stocked up with lots of supplies to meet the needs of their customers. Schools didn't wait till the very last minute to declare snow days and people stayed off the roads as directed when told there were very hazardous conditions.

Now we are facing drizzling rain with possible light flurries again tonight and then come Tuesday and Wednesday another round of very cold weather, possibly several more inches of snow and of course slick roads. What we have already hasn't had a chance to melt off, even though we had a warm day today which allowed some of the snow packed roads and walkways to melt a little bit. Many of the main roads have been cleared by snowplows now, over and above the normal snow route clearings but the subdivisions within many of the cities are still blanketed with hard snow and ice underneath.

People are frustrated because they can't get to work and they have lost wages and the kids are home from school and have cabin fever.  But I am so very thankful that everyone is using common sense and realizing that no job is worth losing your life over and it is better to have your children home and not out on slick icy roads!

So put on another pot of beans or more homemade chili, grab the movies and video games again and as we say here in Oklahoma "hunker down" for what we can only hope is the last hurrah's of winter and just know that spring is right around the corner.  Then we can all start complaining about tornado season.... what can I say, can't keep us "Okies" happy can you?