January 2007

January 2007

Saturday, September 21, 2013

powdery mildew remedy

It's too late in the season for me to try this but I will definitely try it next year.  A natural remedy I read about today for powdery mildew is to mix 1 part milk with 9 parts water and spray your plants.  Repeat after each rainfall.  My zucchini and phlox plants get hit every year with powdery mildew and they look terrible.  Has anyone tried it?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Missing the monarchs

Has anyone had monarch butterflies in their gardens this year? I've only seen one - so sad.  I enjoy watching them flit around my butterfly bushes but there are  none to be seen this year.  I know there are studies being done to find out why they are missing.  I have a lot of milkweed in my yard, but if they can't find any between here and Mexico, then what good will it do?  I hope they can recover and come back next year.

Inspirational quote about faith from a monarch caterpillar.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Mystery plant - Is this Velvetleaf?

My friend's mother had this plant come up in her yard this year. It isn't anything she planted. I searched my North America Wildflower Guide and the closest plant I found is velvetleaf.  Is anyone familiar with that plant and does this look like it?  Is it common to just appear in your yard? Maybe the birds drop the seeds. I've never seen or heard of it before.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

recycled fabric wreath - Girl Scout craft

I came up with this craft project for my Girl Scout troop because they enjoy crafts but I needed them to discuss Bronze Award ideas and come up with a project while having a craft to work on at the same time.  I wasn't sure how well 10 yr-olds were at multi-tasking.  This project was easy enough for them to work on and think at the same time.
It starts with a plastic lid from a whipped cream container or coffee can - any size can be used.  Cut the inside away to leave an outside rim.

We had 50 strips of material cut to fill this rim - tulle, stiff lacy fabric, any stiff fabric or even strips cut from plastic shopping bags will work. My strips were about 8 inches long and about 3/4 inch wide. I wasn't very particular in making them all the same exact width.
Strips are tied onto the rim by folding each strip in half and slipping it under the rim with the folded end on inside.

Bring the cut ends over the top of the rim and through the loop of the material, then pull to make a knot.

Continue tying strips on rim until it's as full as you'd like.  The strips can be pushed together as you work to fit more on. 
This is the finished wreath - I used a scrap of shiny material to make the bow.
This wreath is a sample I made for the girls to see what different materials would look like.  Most of them chose to mix materials together.  The beige strips at the bottom are from a plastic grocery bag.



Saturday, February 2, 2013

It's the little things in life

It's the little things in life that count -
this is such a common statement.
It's true in so many ways - the little moments in life that might pass you by if you're not watching.  The smile of a baby, the purr of a kitten.  The brief scent of flowers on a summer's breeze or the smell of new fallen snow.  
We are all so busy in our lives, we don't stop to "smell the roses."  How many little moments pass us by without us noticing?  
I love noticing the little things in life, but I also love the little, miniature physical things you can buy or make.  Doll house furniture, miniature fairy gardens, anything little captures my attention.  
These little colanders were a Christmas gift from my daughter. She knows me so well.  I have them on my kitchen window sill where I take pleasure in seeing them every day.  I even use them!  They're great for rinsing a handful of strawberries, or grapes. Or to use as a tea strainer, or set tomatoes in to ripen.  I just love them!!
What little things in life do you enjoy? 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cold but beautiful morning in Oswego, NY

This morning was one of those snow-crunching, lung-burning, clear, sunny, and COLD mornings here in Oswego.  The temperature was -1 at my house, which was pretty warm compared to other communities. Lake Ontario keeps us "warm" in the winter and cool in the summer.  Fortunately, I had my camera in my purse today. On my way to work I couldn't help but make some detours to take some morning pictures.  The Varick Dam, on the Oswego River, was breathtaking. The sun had just come up and mist was rising off the river just below the falls.  
The pictures are beautiful but also a bit eerie looking.

It was so cold, the steam station started up today. The only time we see it running is in extreme cold or heat.  It was stunning against the gray-blue sky. You can see where the sky was darker out over the lake - behind the stacks, where there was a band of snow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

strange weather

3 weeks ago on Sunday we had about 2 ft. of snow and temperatures about 32 degrees. We had a nice sledding party - perfect winter day.
2 weeks ago on Sunday we had 60 degree weather. Snow melted and I was outdoors cleaning up matted down leaves that had blown into my yard this past fall.
This past Sunday, we had 30 degree temperatures but with wind gusts up to 60 mph.  Crazy, I tell ya!!  The wind blew over the outdoor cabinet I keep my flower pots in - many of which are clay pots from my grandfather's greenhouse.  I bet they are all smashed to pieces.  I have a cement block and a cement paving stone in the bottom of this cabinet to keep it from tipping over.  Guess that didn't work!! 
 The temperature has dropped to single digits and we have more snow today so I won't be going out anytime soon to check out the damage.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Re-purposed suitcase cold frame

Has anyone seen this use for old suitcases?  I saw it on the Backyard Diva facebook page.  How many old suitcases have you passed up for $1 at yard sales?  This didn't have instructions with the picture but I found the directions online at this site _ http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomandemma/sets/72157622462783382/with/3957266675/

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How do you survive a snowy winter?

Last year we had about 2 snowy days - very unusual for an area that normally receives about 200 inches of snow each season. So far, we've received about 24 inches.  So, what would you do - hibernate or play in the snow?  I'm tempted to hibernate but I know that leads me down the road to depression. A sledding party is what we need!  Sunday was the perfect day - temperature was about 35 degrees, a few snowflakes in the air.  We invaded my parents back yard, invited friends, built a fire (and a snowman), cooked hotdogs, drank hot cocoa.  (and then I went home and hibernated for night.)  I find that I survive winter better if I force myself to get out of the house (other than going to work.)  I get my groceries after supper, attend meetings, and play in the snow.  

I'm looking forward to this weekend. The weathermen are forecasting a January thaw - it may get up to 50 degrees.  I guarantee people will be out in shorts. Not me! But I will be out taking walks and soaking up some fresh air.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

January hibernation

Christmas trees and decorations are down, shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking - over. Now is the time of year to relax and work on winter-time hobbies. As my grandmother always said - January and February were her vacation times. There's no gardening to be done and no holidays to prepare for.  I spent November and December making wreaths for our tree farm. My niece apprenticed with me this year and did a great job. We took some of our wreaths to a craft show.
My current project is decorating an egg. My aunt was an egger - someone who decorates eggs. She passed away last year and I inherited her supplies. I've only had time to complete one egg. Regretfully it was after she passed. I took classes with her 40 years ago. She continued learning - I got married and had children!  Now I'm re-learning.  I'll post pictures as I progress.