A Year’s Worth of Garlic, part deux


Last summer, I harvested some lovely garlic from my garden, and we have been eating it pretty much all winter. We have not had to buy it at all, and we still have several heads- it may not get us all the way to July, but it will be darn close.
We also planted more- I saved out the best cloves to plant, and also bought some hardneck garlic to try. I would link to that post, but can’t figure out how...can someone please teach me how to use link within in WordPress?   ooh, somebody did- thank you!

Hardneck garlic has a bonus- it sends up a flowering stem called a scape, and they can be thrown into soup, or sliced for stir fries. Or smoothies…nah, maybe not smoothies. The scapes will fill a gap with garlic flavor after all the heads of garlic from last year will have sprouted and gotten mushy.
I planted it last fall when the soil was still warm, and lo and behold, it has come up. It has been pretty much the only part of the garden I have watered this spring. It has been super dry, and I probably should be watering my young trees right now…

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Checked off to do list: back window


Once you cut a groove into it, the acrylic becomes pretty easy to snap. The directions say use your thumbs, but it was easier on my hands to bite off chunks with my Vise-grips.

Armed with my new dollar store tape measure, I decided to tackle a project that had been marinating for a long time. A few years ago during a wind storm, the door that leads from the garage to the back yard slammed shut and the glass broke.  I cleaned up the broken glass pretty much immediately- I had little kids crawling around, after all (ooh, the fact that I say they were crawling around makes it seem like this window has been broken for more than a “few” years…) So, cleaned up the glass, scraped out the putty, bought a sheet of acrylic to replace the glass, and a handy dandy little tool for cutting the acrylic and then…waited. Procrastinated. Can’t explain why- once the glass was cleaned up it didn’t seem urgent anymore, and I thought it would take a long time.

Well, it didn’t. Not really.

We had a beautiful sunny afternoon when I didn’t really have anything else to do, so I got out the tape measure and measured. Once.

You can probably see where this is going.

I laid out the acrylic, measured out my lines, and clamped a metal straight-edge down. The special acrylic cutting tool calls for cutting along the line until the groove is 1/16th on an inch deep. The sound drove the neighbor’s dog crazy- this high pitched squeal that had to be repeated many many times. There might be an easier way to cut plastic- I honestly didn’t do much research about it.

Once I got it scored and snapped, I took it over the the window opening, and discovered it was 1/2 inch too big.

It was a nice sunny day, though. DH and the kids were on a bike ride, and I had no where to be, really, other than enjoying the sunshine in my backyard, so, I measured again, marked it clamped it and cut it.  This time it was just right. I popped it into the frame, popped it out, put in some caulk and nailed the trim back on.

Look, now the shiny window reflects the mess in the yard... I'll get right on that.

One project down…

Bloom Day- Welcome Back Topside, Persephone!


I love these flowers! Even if they weren't the first thing blooming, only thing blooming, right now, I would still love them.

Technically, as both my children are fond of pointing out, it isn’t spring until the equinox, but it sure feels like Spring. Like Hades has lost his grip on his lovely wife, and she has moved back in with Mom.

Only two things blooming in my zone 5 yard right now, Iris Reticulata, also known as dwarf iris, and crocus. I looked for squill, which I have mixed in the with lawn, but didn’t find any, so either it didn’t survive, or it will bloom later.

I wonder why the yellow crocus seem to bloom earlier than the purple?

Inside, we have blooms on the lemon tree, or it might be lime…I lost the tags, and I know I have one of each the same age, but can’t remember which is which. I’ll pollinate it with a watercolor brush, and hopefully when it bears fruit, I’ll remember to put a label on it.

Lemon or lime?

The Lost Tape Measure


In my quest to become handy, I have made a list of projects, many that have been simmering for a while, and I have thought about first steps.For several, the first step would be: “measure the opening.”
Yeah. About that.
I do have a battery operated, automatically retractable measuring tape. Which I have misplaced. I think it is in the garage?
I have another 25′ one, my favorite, which I have accused the Boy of losing.
The Boy likes to measure stuff- when he was littler, we would read animal encyclopedias together, and it was worlds different from reading with the Girl. With her, we would snuggle with a story, and predict what might happen, and find the rhyming words, and talk about the characters. With the Boy, we would read a little fact box next to a picture of say, a Siberian tiger. Then he would hop off my lap, hand me one end of the measuring tape and walk backward until he got to however many feet. The Siberian tiger sticks in my memory, because it was too big for the living room. This isn’t a technique they taught me in teacher school, the kid just came up with it on his own.

Obviously too big for the living room. Photo from Tiger-pictures.net

That year at Christmas, he asked for a 100′ measuring tape. I asked him what he would measure with it, and he answered, “mostly blue whales.”
Oh. I see.
We didn’t get him one, and I wish we had, because then maybe mine wouldn’t be in a snowbank, or in the bottom of a toybox, or who knows where. We looked in all the usual places.
So, the last time I was at the dollar store, I went ahead and bought a new measuring tape, so that I can measure stuff so that I can work on the projects on my list.
And then wouldn’t you know it, when I opened up the junk drawer in the kitchen, there was my favorite measuring tape. Put away. It’s not really where it goes, but it was put away…

The Bathroom Remodel?


I vividly  remember reading this book when I was a kid about a man who buys new shoe strings, then sees how shabby his shoes look in comparison. So, he gets new shoes. Then his suit looks terrible. So he buys new clothes, and gets into his shabby car to drive home, and winds up buying a new car, and a new house. Maybe a new wife- I don’t remember the ending. Anyway, he changes his whole life because of one tiny thing.

That is what I am afraid of with our basement bathroom.

It is terrible.

I took the curtains down to wash, and realized the window frames are corroding there in the wall. In scrubbing the mold off the walls, I have scrubbed the paint off, but repainting means making a decision about the pink tiles that are popping off the walls, and the floor tile that is peeling up. And the shower stall. And the basin- actually, the basin isn’t so bad.

Last week, the drain got clogged, and water started leaking out of We started showering upstairs, where the pressure is terrible.

 

 

The curtains were the “new shoe strings” in this little parable, but beyond new shoe strings, the bathroom really does need work… a lot of work.

People with bathroom remodel experience- what’s next? How much can I do myself? What resources should I go to? Does anyone else remember that book, or what it is called?

You can grow this- microgreens


mmmm...microgreens

Yuppie chow. Rabbit Food. Microgreens. All the same thing- bags of tiny salad mix work out to 20 bucks a pound, but really, you can grow this, right now, on your kitchen counter.
I got a packet of seeds at the store- Botanical Interests is a local company. Their “mild mix” has beet, red cabbage, kohlrabi, pak choi and swiss chard in it. The sprouts are supposed to emerge in 5-10 days, and the leaves are ready to pick in around 25 days, once they get 1-2 inches tall.
You can cut them, toss into a salad or onto a sandwich, and the plants keep growing there in the pot. A few days later, there is enough for another salad- theoretically.
I put them into a 6″pot on the kitchen counter- they don’t need much light until they sprout, and once they sprout, I’ll move them to where they’ll get more light. There is enough in the package for a whole flat, but I don’t want to give up that much space for it. It suits me better to get a pot going now, then start another in a few weeks, that way as the first pot is petering out, the new one is coming into production.  As the weather gets warmer, I can grow this same mix outside as well. So can you- you can grow this.

I scattered the seeds thinly on moist soil, and I gently spray it twice a day with the kitchen sink sprayer.

Becoming Handy


I’ve been crafty, now I want to become handy- I have a list, and some goals… I’m working on it.

There are a lot of little things on the list, like the drain plug lifter handle on both basins in the main bathroom. Then there are big things, like the gutters that still drip and the squirrels in the attic. Maybe we should outsource the squirrels. They frighten me.

My first step when learning new things is always getting books about it. I am not a person who can jump in and try something without endless research first.

I hit the library for some home improvement books, and found a strange mixture-a  memoir about moving a cottage to be an addition to a house on Cape Cod, a collection of tips and tricks culled from the pages of Fine Homebuilding magazine, and a book about home repair for cheaters. They are now overdue at the library, and I still haven’t fixed anything. Sigh. Being handy is harder than I thought.

This is the toilet that still runs. Sigh...