Monthly Archives: February 2012

Blueberries starting!!

Enough said


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I found these in my yard over the weekend. So beautiful! The Jack-n-Pulpit is a very special plant and reminds me of MN-Canada border when canoeing in the Spring.



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First Asparagus!!

I cut our first asparagus today. Only a few stalks but they will be tossed in with spinach into our pasta tonight. Yum!




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Early tomatoes

I planted a few tomatoes today, already started organic heirlooms. Old German, Valencia, and Better Boy. Who names these varietals anyway?


There are very few things that compare to the sheet pleasure of going barefoot in the garden, warm dirt combing through my hands, the smell of warm tomato plants around me, and the warm setting sun on my back. For added measure I planted Basil along side the tomatoes. It is probably folklore that the basil keeps the tomato plants disease free. No matter, aside from the sheer convenience of usually picking them together anyway, the smell of warm ripe tomatoes in the vine combined with Basil is divine!

The garden is doing well. I have been eating baby spinach and baby kale as they are growing in tight clumps so I’m attempting the thin by eating.





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Spring is here!

Our blossoms are blooming now! feb bring these flowers and I think it is a Japanese maple. Beautiful! The promise of something beautiful is on its way!




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Water overflow

This is old news but I wanted it documented in my house journal here. Our laundry overflowed one night for no apparent reason. The loads up to it and in the weeks proceeding it have not. The drain pipe might be tricky…anyway one night at 11:30 it flooded our garage which contained all of our stuff from move in. About 70% of the wet boxes contained books. Not cool. I spent the next several hours moving boxes into a room then the next couple days setting up bookcases and organizing all of them to dry out. Fortunately I got to them right away as only a few have apparent water damage.


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Arbor gate dog run

This is an area of the side of the house that was open & empty. Now holds an arbor with gate and beautiful potted plants that can bloom & fill the arbor. The ferns help provide beauty but also a deterrent to Brodhi who jumped the 3 foot fence one day with the right motivation. The ferns were not there then but now seem to keep him in.

This area serves as the dog run and they have access all day via the doggie door. Not bad. They are allowed into the rest of the yard when I can supervise.





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Petal pink star jasmine

I smelled them before I saw them. A cloud of heavy syrup so thick you could spread it on your waffle. Like a dog in a cartoon, I followed the wispy scent trail through the local nursery (Floras) to these jasmine plants.  I saw the ridiculous amount of flowers on these plants with only a few token leaves protruding out from the heavy buds.  There were only 3 plants. I snatched up 2 and put them on my wagon before even looking at the price tag. The bonus is they are affordable! Before leaving Flora’s I found 2 pots that were suitable for these plants and headed home.  Even though home is only 1/2 mile away, the two towers of jasmine filled my hot car with olfactory sunshine.

I love orchids and really enjoy a blooming tree, but outside of that I am not a flower lover. Mom would toil for hours in the hot sun planting hundreds of bulbs, they would flower with a gaudy show only to disappear a short time later.  It takes work to plant anything and I have felt that my appreciation is lacking for flowers with only serve the bees.  After all that work I want something that I can eat or that will last a while. Orchid flowers can last 6-12 weeks and one orchid produces one of my favorite things: vanilla.  Garden veggies can produce beautiful flowers like the artichoke, tomato, and even the  subtle bean plant can produce a surprisingly beautiful delicate flower. Then after the flower comes great food and this drives me to put in the work.

But there is something about jasmine that is different. It’s smell travels and it sneaks up in places you don’t expect. It reminds me of when I have stepped in dog poo…except pleasant of course.  But it is the same sequence…what is that smell? where is it coming from? then instead of disgust you find yourself  sniffing flowers near you (nope, not that one…) and so on until you find it. It has a heavy honey clean scent, one that I can’t get enough of in the garden yet wouldn’t want to wear as perfume.

I looked up their bloom times and it says:

Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Mid Winter

Now this is my kind of flower! It is a bonus that it has evergreen leaves. It has been used in aromatherapy going all the way back  to 4500BC. Referred to as “Queen of the Night,” jasmine blossoms are often gathered at night  by moonlight when their scent is strongest. It can also be very invasive, so I will be enjoying it in all it’s glory on this trellis from it’s pots. I think everyone should get a jasmine plant for their house/deck/yard/garden.  They grow in full sun or heavy shade and can stay in pots. The nice thing with pots is that you can move them inside when the weather gets too cold for those of you living in places that freeze. Who wouldn’t love a jasmine plant wrapped around a stake in the corner of the living room in a cold wintery day?

Other people are moved by this little flower as well:

  : “…and Jasmine, your very notes turn these dry pastures into verdant plains of solace when the work of straying mission collects and finds its peace on hilltops…”
Thomas Moore: ““Plants that wake when others sleep / Timid jasmine buds that keep / Their fragrance to themselves all day / But when the sunlight dies away / Let the delicious secret out / To every breeze that roams about.”
M. T. C. Cronin  : “star jasmine caught like a miniature swimmer in the blue glass bowl of the sky asking all the other flowers why they have dropped their petals..the star jasmine will not sit and joins the nervous creeper on the fences doodle-edge and freezes the drunk cat with its stark white scent…my nose is quite simply, in love”






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Easy wall face-lift

I used the same technique on the walls as I did the table and only one coat of paint. Old floorboards were used as walls in my office- so they are terrible to look at and plus are marred, dirty, and water stained. Tissue paper and paint avoids primer and patching.  We will redo the whole wall later at some point, but this gives it a fresh new look in about an hour.





During: I put paint on the wall, place tissue paper, and roll more paint over. Repeat.


It is still wet here.  You can vary the wrinkles by how you place the tissue paper on the wall.


Here is the final product in use.  I would put another coat if I was doing this somewhere else in the house, and if there was to be a lot of traffic around it I would highly recommend a topcoat/sealer. I love it.



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Desk face-lift

So it started with a Friday night, a bottle of wine and some homemade pizza.

A new job starting on Monday means I need to have functional home office up and running. This work table that is about 6×4 feet has been serving as my work desk but has terrible top.  Metal, marred, stained, ugly. Time for a face lift:


White latex zero VOC and tissue paper as base layer


Textured top!


Followed by craft latex paint.  I had no plan I just started painting…


then added accents…


the white faux overlay to lighten a bit…


topped with a no odor, eco friendly polyurethane made from whey

I tried to find something like it locally but after going to 3 stores and people looking at me like I was crazy for wanting a product that did not off-gas for the next few weeks, I went on-line to find this Vermont Naturals product. I love it! It dries in 2 hours and despite having a paper coating it covered it quite well with 3 coats. I have been sliding things around on the desk and spilled coffee and it seems to be doing quite well.



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