Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hubby's Afghan

Here is Hubby's afghan that I made for him after the holiday season. He's been sleeping scrunched up under one I made 30-some odd years ago. He deserved a nicer one and one he can stretch out under.
Hubby's Afghan
It is hard to see, but it's a Jacob's Ladder pattern. He wanted it all in the variegated color, but I told him my eyes would get the best of me if I did. So I made it in black and variegated. It turned out really well.

Sometimes you just can't tolerate looking at graphics for too long. Some colors are hard on the eyes, too. I made a baby afghan in the Jacob's Ladder pattern for a friend shortly after high school graduation MANY moons ago. I made it in a pretty yellow since we didn't know if the baby would be a boy or a girl. Bad choice of color on my part! I had headaches while I worked on it since the yellow was so bright. I really loved the color, but it didn't love my eyes. I had never been so relieved to get rid of an afghan before. All said, it was a really pretty afghan and the Mom loved it.

Now it's my turn to have a new afghan. I'll be posting on that one when it is finished. I'm working on it, but the details will need to be refined a bit.

Take care...until next time.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Gardening for Food

Ever since we've been married, we've been putting in a food garden every year. It all started with a couple of tomato plants and a couple of jalapeno plants. Our first garden gave us the biggest and best tomatos we've ever had. I also had so many jalapenos from two plants that I had to either freeze or can them. Here is another glimpse of what we have going this year.
Strawberry Patch - before weeding
Here is the strawberry patch before the second weeding. We have about 300 plants total among this and the raised beds. We have Ozark Beauty plants and they are everbearers. However, our weather in SC is too hot for them to bear as much as they are supposed to. But this year we've had a bang-up crop of berries. We've had two bearings and a third smaller bearing is coming up. We ate most of the berries and the birds and slugs had some too. I have enough berries in the freezer to make about 8 pints of jam. That is a favorite thing for me to eat with my homemade biscuits and a cup of freshly-brewed coffee. Yummmmm. Back to gardening.
Strawberry Patch - after weeding
Here are some of the lovely plants growing in the Back 40 garden.
Zucchini and Summer (Crookneck) Squash

Pattypan Squash
We finally got zucchini to grow. We had six summer squash plants last year and just three made it this year. One or two zucchini and two Pattypan plants. I guess the zucchini makes up for not having so any summer and pattypan squash this year. If you've never eaten Pattypan squash, you'd really love it because it is a nice fresh flavored squash. It is best eaten when the fruit is about 6" in diameter or the green tinge has just gone off of the white skin. If it grows too big, you have to peel it to eat it. The skin becomes very hard.
Cherry and Grape Tomatos
Cherry tomatos on the top right and grape tomatos on bottom left. We have eight plants of cherry tomatos and two plants of grape tomatos. Our other tomatos are a mixture of Mortgage Lifter and Better Boy plants. They are all doing well but we are having a few problems. Blossom end rot and rust. We've pulled about six plants already. We probably should pull at least two more with rust, but they have nice tomatos growing on them. I don't know how that will affect anything, but we have to be careful not to touch other plants when we've pulled leaves from the rusty plants. Don't compost rusted leaves. That's not good for the next round of tomato plants.
Beans (squash to the left)
Here are our green, pole and speckled beans. They are all bearing well, right now. It is so wonderful to have fresh veggies on the table. They taste so good! I will have to freeze some of the green beans. They are really producing.

Now, all of these plants can be planted again in our zone beginning in July. We've never done a second planting, but we will this year. Then we'll figure out our fall crop for the winter growing season. It's three season gardening down here.
Herbs and Nursery Garden
I love my fresh herbs. This is what I have growing this year. Garlic chives in the front right and oregano behind it. The small patch in the middle is thyme and basil is the large-leaved things behind that. Dill is the ferny stuff you see to the back left. My nursery items are a very small strawberry plant which grew to a massive plant with babies. Little pieces of sedum (variegated and green) and a lantana plant that I didn't think would amount to much. I'm considering one whole box of herbs for next year and one for the nursery items.

Well, I have dinner to make and a lot of housework to do. You betcha we're having green beans for dinner tonight!

Take care.

Campfire Night

Since Hubby and I live way out in the hinterlands, we can have campfires as long as they are under control and the SC Forestry Service doesn't have a 'no burn' warning out. 
One of Our Dietz Lanterns

For us, this is a really relaxing form of recreation. Then, again, we're old farts and it doesn't take much to amuse us. LOL. We really love discussing the day's goings on and what we're planning to do in the near future. Sometimes we'll talk until 10 or 11 pm as the night goes quickly when we're having this much fun.

We set out our lanterns around the campfire and picnic table. They really make the whole experience nice. We bought these little babies from Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio. No. We didn't go there, but that is one of my bucket list items to do. They have a really nice website and they will send out a catalog if you request one. They cater to the Amish and those who choose a rustic or off-grid lifestyle. Maybe this summer, when we visit relatives in PA, I may be able to get Hubby to make a side trip.
Trixie Getting Ready for Campfire Night
This night, rather than having our own campfire by ourselves, we were having company! The little neighbor girls have been coming over to play in our sand pile and we invited them and their parents to our campfire.

I bought marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate bars to make S'mores. That was a hit even for the adults! I also made a huge bowl of buttered popcorn with our air popper. Yum! The night flew quickly. The little girls tried to tell ghost stories and other tall tales. We got a kick out of them. We all talked until about 10 pm when the neighbor mentioned the time.

I think we all had a good night. The dogs were great with all of the loving they were getting. The little girls were hanging on their necks and giving them hugs and petting. I think the company wore them out because they were really good dogs and fell fast asleep when we got into the house.

May all of your campfire nights be filled with enjoyment!

Memorial Day Camping

Well, we decided to take a trip to a local campground to see how our new truck pulls a heavy load. Hubby's truck strained pulling loads so I got a 'big girl truck'. Now we can go camping again! Yay!
Camper with Big Girl Truck
This was a really nice campground in Lexington, SC. It was called The Barnyard Campground. No. It really wasn't a barnyard. It was really nice and clean and reasonably priced. We were within walking distance of a lot of things like a roller rink, a grocery store, several restaurants and business. And...
a really big flea market! Woo hoo! One of my favorite things to do was within a block of our camper. We didn't buy much but we got a good look at what they had. This was a very clean flea market. I was really surprised. This one was great!

Take care. Happy camping.