Friday, November 8, 2019

Indoor Gardening ~ The Meyer Lemon Tree

 Last spring I picked up a Meyer Lemon tree at the local garden center.  At the time it might have been a foot tall. Rather puny for the price.  I located it in a sunny spot on the patio and made sure it received adequate water throughout our long, hot summer.  It thrived out there and doubled, if not tripled, in size.
With the prospect of frost on the horizon, it was time to find a new home for it.  So, I hosed it off and gave it a thorough spray with insecticidal soap in an attempt to keep any creepy crawlers from coming in with it.
Next I located the sunniest window in the house and moved it to it's winter digs.

 Here it is near the bedroom window.
My new routine includes getting those shades up as soon as the sun shines in this direction.  Most mornings I give it a light misting of water to provide it with the humidity it likes.  While misting away I check it over to see if I see any cobwebs or bugs.
I'm hoping to keep it thriving inside until next spring when it can return to it's outdoor home.

Currently it looks content in it's new home.
The leaves are big and glossy green.
This isn't the first time I've overwintered a lemon tree.
You can read about the last attempt here.  That time it was covered in buds and I was pondering the right fertilizer for it.  I went to the garden center and asked for a recommendation.  They sent me on my way with citrus spikes.  Not long after popping the spike in the soil the plant turned brown and died.  In hindsight that spike was way too big for the potted plant.  It was better suited for an inground tree.  I tried taking the spike out and babying it but the damage was done.  RIP!  :/
After nurturing the plant along I had such high hopes for that first lemon. :(  Not to mention I felt so guilty for ending it's life like that.

So, this time I am determined to meet with success.
Because they do need fertilizer to produce those luscious lemons, I went to a different garden center and found this granular version.  Now I can have better control over how much it receives at each feeding.
I also found this fantastic article on the subject.  I am trying to follow her advice to a tee.
I'll keep you posted.  If you don't hear more about it, it might be best not to ask ;).
My fingers are crossed for lemon bars and lemonade next summer.


Please chime in if you have any experience with this topic.
Any advice is welcome.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Fall Preparations

There's nothing quite like the cooler fall temperatures to get me inspired to get things done.  First off was the closet.  One afternoon I spent several hours shifting my wardrobe from summer to fall/winter.  It was nice to have the time to address each item in there.  A few bags went to the thrift shop.  Summer clothes were washed (if necessary), shoes were dusted or wiped down, and things were tried on to assess whether the item was really comfortable and was something I was likely to wear.

 Our local extension agent put on a presentation for the garden club reminding us of what we should be doing in our gardens for the fall season.

 I went right home and got to work on his suggestions.

While planting my tulips I glanced down the side of the house looking toward the backyard and noticed the lilac Encore Azaleas blooming away.  Just beyond them a bit of fall color appears in the woods.

 Next it was time to put out another bird feeder.
🎜 feed the birds tuppence a bag
tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag
"feed the birds" that's what she cries
while overhead, her birds fill the skies 🎜

This one I filled with safflower seeds.  The extension agent said that squirrels don't like them.  Although, oddly enough we haven't had a problem with squirrels in this house.  Maybe they prefer to hang out in the woods.  Not sure, but I'm not complaining. 

 After getting the bird feeders filled I sat a minute and took in the leaf situation.  Before they all fall down, it's imperative to take in the color change from day to day.

 During the football game last weekend I sifted through a growing magazine pile.
I tore out a few interesting recipes and am pleased to say I even tried one of them ;D.

 In this case it was a Rachel Ray recipe for oatmeal made with apple cider.  Sauteed apples and toasted pecans topped it off and we both gave it two thumbs up!!

Another blanket was added to the bed.
At the end of the evening I can be found under those blankets with a book.  Incidentally, I am finding this one to be very engrossing.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Forgotten Bookmarks

In a recent post, Granny Marigold shared a book she had purchased called "Forgotten Bookmarks."  (A bookseller's collection of odd things lost between the pages).  If you didn't see her post, you can find it here.  It sounds like a fascinating book to me and one that made me think of one of my own odd finds.

With the number of books I have picked up at thrift shops through the years has come a fair amount of forgotten bookmarks.  Often they are airline ticket stubs or receipts.  Once in a while a pressed flower or grocery list.  There may have been a dollar bill along the way.  I'd have to say my most mysterious find showed up recently in this paleo cookbook.

Well, hello Humphrey.  What are you doing in there?
This black and white photograph intrigued me.
Obviously it is a very old picture of Humphrey Bogart.
Seemed a bit odd to find in a Paleo cookbook dated 2014.

When I turned it over and found this note, things got more mysterious.
Who is this person that goes to bed at 4:30 a.m?
Is Alison a male?  A dog, perhaps.
Was Chip able to save the day?  In the process I surely hope he didn't alarm Caroline.  That would not be good.
Wonder what Steve thought of this.  Perhaps he was the one to save the day.
I guess we shall never know how this mystery ended.  Hopefully it was on a happy note as I hate to think of Caroline waking up to bad news.

Have you stumbled across any forgotten bookmarks lately?

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

A Woodsy Walk & A Hint of Fall

You may remember in my last post there was a lot of complaining about the heat and humidity going on.
Something wonderful happened on Saturday.
Namely a 30 degree plummet in the temperature 
~~~ sigh ~~~
along with the drop in temps, that nasty old humidity blew outta' here too.
~~~ HOORAY ~~~
Time to lace up the tennies and traipse through the woods.

 Even though it is too early to see any change in the fall foliage, it's fun to see what changes have taken place since we last walked through the woods (most likely last spring).

 Pretty Berries

 Pops of Goldenrod

Speaking of goldenrod...
Did you happen to see the beautiful arrangement Mary at Home is Where The Boat Is created with it?  If not, see here.  She never ceases to amaze me with her many talents.

 Pretty Purple

I'm thinking this is a wild aster??
Have you heard of that phone app called PlantSnap?
Apparently you can snap a picture of the plant and it will identify it for you.  I did download the app awhile ago, but didn't complete the next steps to fully activate it.  Guess I'd better get with it as it sounds like a handy tool for these woodsy walks.

 Wonder if it could tell me more about that interesting moss growing on this tree trunk?

 This rock with the mossy top and one fern frond growing from it made me smile.  

It sure was wonderful to be back outside enjoying nature.
Definitely a more pleasant experience when one isn't melting and swatting at bugs.
In fact it was so nice I didn't want to go back in.
So, I didn't.
Instead I headed to Lowe's and purchased one of their pre-planted mum containers.  Prior to this the heat would have done them in before the fall breezes had a chance to blow.

How is fall shaping up in your neck of the woods?

Monday, September 30, 2019

Decorating for Fall ~ inside and out

I was hoping for something like a cool breeze or a dip in the humidity to inspire a fall decorating session.  I've given up on that notion only to pretend the A/C is really the autumn breeze I'm yearning for and set to work spreading autumn cheer in the house and garden.

Glad I didn't pass up this blue pumpkin at Home Goods the other day.  It plays nicely with the picture in the mirror.

I'm yearning to see pumpkin and mum displays in the garden, but our temperatures in the 90s would be less than ideal for their well-being.  For now I settled on a fall colored hanging basket coupled with the copper topped birdfeeder.

Back inside the table is ready for fall feasting.
As the days get shorter, the candle provides that warm glow which is always so welcome through the fall and winter months.

Heading back outside...
If you're wondering why we are hopping out and then back in, it's basically to keep from melting :).
Trust me, you don't want to stay out there too long unless you favor the humid heat.  As you may have guessed, I'm not a fan.

A pot of violas for the outdoor coffee table.

Back inside (thank you Mr. Carrier for inventing A/C) I spread a few touches around the kitchen.

A little vignette across from the kitchen sink.

Despite all of my grumblings, it is Fall and that makes me :).
After all, the worst of the heat is behind us now.
:) :):)

I was amazed to read that many areas of the west coast received record snowfalls.  Four feet in parts of Montana.  Wow!  Don't think I'd be ready for that quite yet, so perhaps I shall just ride out these last warm days and quit complaining.

Is that clapping I hear?

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Fun Family Times

Well, finally there is something blog worthy to report.
After waaaaay tooooo loooong, I hopped on an airplane and headed for home.
Although I've been gone for 20 years now, I think Michigan will always be home to me.

Of course a trip back home as autumn approaches calls for a visit to one of the places we miss the most.  The local cider mill.  And since calories don't count while on vacation, two donuts for me and four for Brett seemed like a wholesome lunch.  Certainly the apple cider took the healthy factor up a notch.

 ~ Gardenviews in Northville, MI ~

~ Sideways in Plymouth, MI ~

 Back in the day I loved to shop in the quaint little towns of Northville and Plymouth.
One day when we had a couple of hours to spare, we went to see how much the shopping situation had changed in the last 20 years.
I must say I was thrilled to see that two of my very favorite shops were still going strong.  I guess that speaks for itself.
Unfortunately I didn't have time to do much but look and be inspired.  That galvanized turkey tray above was HUGE and also gorgeous.

The purpose of the trip wasn't to shop.  It was for something much more exciting than that.
My brother and sister-in-law flew in from California and my sister and brother-in-law live in Michigan.  It was a three day family reunion.  It's been a very long time since we were all together.
We enjoyed getting caught up, meals together, games (finally learned how to play Mexican Train Dominoes), laughs, a walk through the local state park and a lot of reminiscing.

 All too soon it was time to head back to the airport.
Since it was necessary to eat something before boarding, we scouted the dining choices until we located another Michigan favorite.  Funny how when we lived there I rarely ate coney dogs, but as soon as they were no longer available, I began having occasional cravings.

I must admit they tasted a lot better than they look :).
Using the same logic as the cider mill meal, we felt the shared Greek salad cancelled out the hot dog factor.
Do you ever use this type of logic while vacationing?

"The love in our family flows strong and deep, leaving us memories to treasure and keep"  ~anonymous

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Simple Summer Pleasures

Last week was spent creating masterpieces on the front porch with our special little visitor.  Glad mommy took a picture as our thunderstorms today washed it all away.
The art session was followed by a visit to the ice cream truck that just happened to drive by at the right moment.  It was his first time enjoying this simple summertime pleasure and I was so happy to be a part of it.  

 Looking for an outdoor activity that would beat the heat, I introduced him to water balloons.  I suggested we start by tossing it back and forth.  He had other ideas :)

Didn't take long to learn how fun it could be to toss one or a few at grandpa.

 He had a lot of fun with the old camera grandpa gave him.
It was interesting to see what he chose to photograph.
Hummingbirds, bugs, people's rear ends and toys were all fair game.  Here his balancing tow truck took center stage.

Apparently he was working on photo composition too.
When grandma wanted to take a picture of him in his new outfit, she had to wait until the teddy bear was positioned just so.

One day we went school shopping.
After looking over the various backpack choices, he settled on Minecraft.
All too soon the week was over.
This week the backpack was put to use as he ventured off to his first day of first grade.
I know it won't be much longer until sidewalk chalk and water balloons won't be too exciting for him.  All the more reason to cherish these simple summer pleasures with him while I can.