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Rain: The Automatic Watering System

August 29th, 2006 at 10:25 am

Finally, my gardens are getting a bit of a drink.......other than me leaving the hose out overnight. I have no idea how many days it's been since a rain here in the Pacific NW; too many in my opinion.

Todays fine mist can't really be called rain, but it is a nice break from the string of 80+ days we have been having.

Although everything is enjoying the cool damp change, some things are not benefiting from being watered from above. Flowers are drooping, some plants I had not staked are now spreading out to become ground covers and the last of the roses are dropping their petals as they become full of water.

I have discovered I'm such a lazy gardener; any excuse & I'll try to skip out on my regular gardening chores... Todays excuse: Too wet! The most I got done is to pick the cucumbers and check for ripe tomatoes.

Zucchini Status Report

August 6th, 2006 at 06:43 pm

You know all the jokes about zucchini...and the instructions to leave them on strangers porches, ring their doorbell & run... Smile

Well, I'm almost to that point again this year. I go along great for a few weeks in early summer, picking the tiny little veggies to chop and eat fresh in green salads and anxiously await the time when I let one get big enough to slice & fry for the yummiest of appetizers.....and then it hits.

I've somehow missed a couple veggies on my ONE plant and I've now got 2 that are a great size to stuff with sausage & onions and call "Zucchini Dinner Boats" and 2 more that are approaching the size of baseball bats.

What to do? Put Zucchini in the cake! Yes, that's right. It makes a delicious addition to dessert, however I confess I don't tell many people here what's IN the cake!



I've included the recipe here, just in case there might be one or two of you who have let your zucchini plant get away from you again this summer!

Zucchini Chocolate Cake
(one 13 X 9 inch cake)

1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk

2 1/2 cups unsifted flour
4 Tablespoons baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves

2 cups finely diced zucchini (Be sure to chop, NOT shred this)

1/3 cup chocolate chips

Cream margarine, oil & sugar. Add eggs, vanilla & buttermilk. Beat with electric mixer until well blended.

Sift dry ingredients together & add to batter. Beat until well blened, then stir in zucchini

Pour batter into greased & floured 9 X 13 pan. Sprinkle top with chocolate chips. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 40 -45 minutes or until it tests done.

Saving Money By Gardening??

August 4th, 2006 at 05:21 pm

With the day I've had.......heck with the last couple weeks, I could stand a few hours of intensive therapy sessions. But, instead.....I headed to my garden for a bit of meditative weeding!

Digging in the dirt is FREE, compared to paying a therapist to listen to me whine & complain about my current situation. Plus, I can see actual progress here, I get fresh air and exercise and I also brought in FREE veggies for dinner.

So, another benefit chalked up for those of us who put in gardens. Frugal Gardening as Therapy. Works for me.



No Spending as a Habit

July 31st, 2006 at 07:27 pm

As a matter of course now, there was no spending again today. With my change in work status, (30 days today) I decided to really tighten up on everything until I could figure out how much I was able to make. Still can't tell what the money in aspect is going to look like, too early to guess too.....need to give my ads probably 6 months to be accurate.

So, no spending it is. I can do this. I've done it before out of necessity, and later on by choice for different reasons each time. So, nothing new. Spending money is truly what is out of character for me. It does show me I have all I need, and then some. Blessed indeed here and more than content.

All meals out of the garden and freezer these days. Yummy home made burgers this evening with a fresh salad and steamed new green beans. Add to that; most of the condiments for the burgers were home canned too, or fresh from the garden. Again, I'm stumped when I continue to run into people that don't garden, never have and don't want to. Even when they complain about the price of groceries they won't entertain the option of planting anything themselves.... Seems like one of those simple solutions to a problem to me!

Worked in the yard today and set up a free to me bird bath in a new garden. Looks great......now it just needs some plants. Will keep an eye out on freecycle for something suitable, or put in a wanted post next Sat.

Last day of the month, I think I've done what I'm supposed to have done re; the part time job and their data base. The only time I find out any info is when I've done something wrong, or omitted something....... There are no directions, or templates to follow. What a silly way to run a business. I know if I've done something outside the lines, I'll get an email tomorrow.........I'm saving the emails, making myself my own procedure book of sorts.

Goals related to $$$ for August

#1 had better be, get the rental RENTED.
#2 continue building the sewing business
#3 send emails to local home schooling groups, advertising the sewing and knitting (thanks to a fellow blogger here for that tip & reminder)
#4 shop and purchase the supplies for the projects the Navy man is going to be taking on this fall.

I would be thrilled if I get that short list completed......

Square Foot Gardening Escapes Boundaries

July 26th, 2006 at 08:20 pm

OK, it wasn't a true square foot gardening plan, with a grid and all. But, it was close, in that it is a very small area, bordered by sidewalk & driveway on 3 sides and gravel parking area on the 4th side.

I took old sod out, prepared the soil by adding many wheelbarrows of compost (OK, I had one of the kids do it!!!) and then I started by just setting in a couple of the perinneals I had brought from the old house.

Then, spring arrived and it was time to think veggies. With no where else to put the flowers, I set in the zuchinni plants, put in a couple rows of bush beans, added in a row (now 2)of sugar peas and everything was coming along just fine for awhile. I had extra space & picked up a couple dozen onion sets and they filled up any extra space around the edges. Oh, and don't forget the flower seeds I put in on the end of the whole affair, Cosmos and sweet peas.......now beginning to look more like a hedge, lovely......but quite substantial.

Lately, it is hard to find any soil. Plants have run amuck. I can still reach in and harvest most everything (the beans are going to be interesting) and it is really easy to keep it all watered and weeded. Vines are beginning to creep out on the sidewalks....

I think I do this on purpose, I have always loved gardens that seem to be overflowing. I'm happy with this one, just wish it was bigger now!

I'm posting a picture, in an attempt to show that it doesn't take a BIG garden to grow a garden. There has been much discussion on Flash's blog re; my initial question "why doesn't everyone grow a garden??"..... this is an attempt to address one concern that was raised. Not enough room.



My area is approx 10' X 10', right outside my front door. It was the easiest piece of ground to clear when we moved in last fall. Definately a lazy persons garden, it takes me a minute or so every couple days to pull a weed that has the nerve to come up.......about 15 minutes a day to water, or no time if I just let the hose drip slowly overnight. Can't tell how long it took me to plant the whole thing as it's been a work in progress, but it can't be 2 hours total.

And, if you don't have 10' square to work with........notice the planters behind the garden? They are each my 'salad' containers, planted with mixed greens and bush peas. They would fit on a deck or porch and you could have fresh salads all summer.

Hopefully, this can help some of you cross not enough space or time off your list of excuses!!! If not, let me know here.

Still thinking on the lack of confidence as a reason not to garden........Ideas forthcoming!

In the meantime, check out the sister site from Saving Advice, at
www.frugalgardening.com

How to Make a Cucumber Unhealthy

July 25th, 2006 at 08:17 am

How, you say, could I do that? Taking that perfectly beautiful, crisp, home grown cucumber and make it less than a perfect food???

Well, I confess. One of my 'have to' treats is a sandwich made with a fresh cucumber........on white bread with mayo........and a liberal dousing of fresh cracked pepper.

It just doesn't taste the same on whole grain bread. Even homemade. Sorry. Since it will only take me a couple sandwiches to get this out of my system, I'm going to ignore any health conscious suggestions to alter my summer treat and just go for broke.

I noticed there was a good sized cucumber, hiding under the bush beans (that have sort of gone nuts) when I walked the dog this AM. I hadn't even started to check the cucumbers, but will now include them in my daily checks out front.

Note to room mate person: Buy ingredients for salad dressings. We do go through lots of dressings and dips during our gardens prolific times here. Favorite is still my version of ranch, comes out to be more of a yogurt/peppercorn sort of event.
Totally yummy.

Will try to come up with a healthy stir fry from the garden to make up for my not so healthy lunch......... Smile


My 10' X 10' Garden

July 22nd, 2006 at 04:54 pm

I was lazy this past spring. Being new to this house & yard, I only prepped a little patch of ground for garden space.

I had brought some plants with me from the old house, so in they went....... People gave me starts from their yards, so I stuck them in the same piece of ground. I bought some perinneal seeds online (cheap) and stirred the seeds in the same area....

Then, it was time to put in some veggies....and into the same place they went. Bush beans next to the cosmos which I had never planted before.....who knew they got so huge?? More sugar snap peas since we always seem to use them up before they make it to the kitchen....and 2 huge packets of onion sets for a stunning border. Certainly I could squeeze some radishes in somewhere too...and now I've got 4 little spots of radishes in different stages.

Had to have a couple zucchini plants since we're all hooked on fried zuch. slices and then there are the strawberry plants we were given....

The garden has jumped it's boundaries a bit and I did get another little strip of ground cleared out for the squash.....but the deal is; a garden doesn't have to be huge to fit in bunches of plants.

I'm sure planting flowers and veggies together benefits both, as well as it makes for a much more interesting gargen patch. I've heard that the flowers bring beneficial insects to your garden....and also help to insure polinization of your veggies. Whatever the experts say, I'm loving having my beans next to my cosmos!!!

Flash & I were 'talking' about why is it more people don't garden??? Between her coupons and the coupon train I have jumped on here........and my garden.......we sure aren't paying full price for anything these days and we're definately eating better too. I will have to ponder the question further as I enjoy my gardens' bounty again this evening! Smile

Another No Spend Day

July 19th, 2006 at 07:35 pm

Fairly easy to rack up the no spend days when I work at home. Easy too, when I know there is no extra money coming in yet. The dollars are all numbered and accounted for these days.........and there certainly aren't a surplus yet.

I've got a big cushion and several financial 'safety nets' in place in case I get in a pickle. (like my other place not being rented or something) But, I'm not spending a dime at this point until I can assess how much money comes in each month.

Good thing I'm used to not spending. Shopping of any kind isn't a vice of mine. Comes natural to be on the deep end of frugal!

Veggie dinner out of the garden again tonight. What a treat. Free & better than any store or restaurant food. Just can't beat this.

I've met all of the Naval contingent now....which is nice, as I'll know some people at the ceremony tomorrow. The RV is moved in, parked and leveled. Mr Navy won't be living here until after his family all returns to CA in 10 days, but we managed to get the back forty all cleaned up & ready for him, just in time too, I was still picking up when he drove in.

He wants to build himself a work bench in the garage, so he can have all his tools out & have a place to work on his projects during the year. I'm just getting way too excited about the prospect of all the things he points to and says he's going to handle! He must REALLY not want to live on base, if working here is a better deal. Smile

Glorious Light at the End of the Tunnel

June 24th, 2006 at 03:33 pm

Yes, there is an end to my foster parenting. I now have the schedule for the week....not a good schedule but I have something to work with.

Monday, he will be back with helpers & a moving truck..........need to have him almost packed. He will leave with the truck Monday night.... Returning by bus on Tues and staying with me til Friday night. I'm holding back a cars worth of his stuff, so he will be comfortable here during the week......... this is a kid that has to save all the bread tabs, pop tabs, bottle caps, empty water bottles.....and surround himself with them. So, I'm not looking forward to a week without his own bed, his own TV, and on and on.......... but, he will be moving out by Friday night!! Thank you Jesus!!

Somehow, I need to finish the customers sewing orders I have this week too....My machines are back from their overnight in the shop & run so smooth now... Waiting til tomorrow before I get to work on projects. Most important is a sequined blazer for the horse show woman this coming week end.

One kiddo this week end, my super easy guy too. Feels like a vacation already.

Just did my moms hair, so she can go to the ocean a week......and am dog sitting her best friends dog so she can go too. So far, her dog & mine are doing just fine.

A no spend day.........other than personal energy. I've been up since 5, and busy the entire time. Can't wait til I can go to bed!

Just got a notice I "won" something on Freecycle today........a planter of some sort, so I'm off later this evening to pick that up. Thinking it might work well for one of my moms free plants for her birthday next month.

We're having a bit of hot for us weather here in WA........supposed to hit 90 the news said, but we're only 73 here at my place so far. Heading out to water the gardens and walk the new dog.

Gardened All Day

June 22nd, 2006 at 07:58 pm

Exhausted. But, a good kind. I paid for the delivery of a truck load of extremely good composted soil for the gardens today. For some reason, the autistic kiddo decided spreading compost was just the ticket today. He just kept going and going. We finished a couple beds and then the horse shoe man drove up, so the dirt lost it's charm.

As we got to watch the horses get their pedicures, I got to remind myself again, It's Not My Money!!!! So glad I didn't get a horse........I can get the experiences here at no cost to me. After my kiddo moves out, I can even go riding with the 'horse lady'. Too fun!

I did put in an hour or so on the new part time job. Love it still. I can see some meetings on the horizon, things that I might not be able to get away with my 'uniform' of jeans & a shirt with my birkenstocks. If I can get busy & start walking (again, after the kiddo moves) there are plenty of appropriate clothes in my closet. Working at home & not going anywhere are a nasty recipe for me.
A trip to the local thrift store might be warranted as a back up plan.


Need vs. Want.........again.

June 21st, 2006 at 08:41 am

It's that age old question, "do I need this, or do I just want it?"

Since I started sewing again for others....and am trying to build up a little business here, my sewing machine situation has risen to a NEED. I thought I could limp along with what I had picked up through Craigs list, but it has become apparent, I can't.

I called around yesterday & found a local repair person that has agreed to work on my machines in one day, so I can get right back to work here. Nice. One only needs to be given a regular maint. check, as it is the antique Viking machine I got for $50.00. It hasn't sewed for years, & I'm having a time convincing it to come out of retirement! The other is my serger that I have so many arguments with. If they have a rebuilt serger I'll just pick up another one; if not, he can overhaul this old one again.

I know the purchase and repairs on both of these will fall into the catagory of Pays for Itself. I can get it to move to the Makes Money catagory too, without much work. Love expenses like this one actually.

Even tho I really WANT a new sewing machine (or 2 or 3) I know I don't need them. Continuing to baby the ones I have is the way to go, just like my old van. I do NEED the machines I have to work without a hitch however, so there is money to be spent this week. The plan is to have someone else take the machines in to the shop today with a long note from me........and then I'll pick them up tomorrow or Friday, depending on timing here.

I also made a decision to buy more compost. Fine line on this expense, Need or Want. Hmmmm I want to continue gardening, I want the house & yard to look nice.......... I have been picking up van loads of free plants & putting out the word I'll take more; but planting them is such a waste without great soil. And, I'm all out. So, this expense sort of shimmied over to the need column here too. A truckload of compost is being delivered tomorrow morning! (we'll smell like a dairy farm for awhile) I just wasn't willing to put all the work into the garden, without having great dirt to work with.

Both of these Needs/Wants, Wants/Needs are going to end up being helpful to the bottom line here. I think that is the criteria for me; when looking at the long haul, is the expense going to pay off? Coupled with some serious shopping tactics, I can pay both of these bills this week, knowing they were both good decisions.

A Free, Free Day

June 19th, 2006 at 06:03 pm

What a day. Should qualify for two days, it seems like it has been forever since I got up and tackled the morning shift here.

Just 2 boys today, but still cooked like a short order cook for the morning shift.
Exchanged my fabric for bulbs early on today (have those in the ground and half potted to share with my mom next month for her birthday!)

Then, shovels and boxes loaded I headed for my freecycle plant share lady....and WOW, I came back with every container I had; just stuffed with plants. I don't use the back seat in my van, so there is only the middle seat in........and the rest of the room was totally filled with plants. Some I know what they are, others are mysteries still. Her gardens were amazing for only being 10 years old.

I have spent the afternoon digging, planting and watering in a vans worth of plants here. I did pot up a couple more hunks of things to use with the fresia bulbs for my moms birthday the 2nd week in July. By then, they should look pretty nice & have recovered from being moved.

That's a good tip for any of you gardeners.......be thinking of what you can divide & pot up all the time. Have a couple things potted & set out in your gardens, so you can bring them in and get ready for gifting if necessary.

Contrary1, editor
www.frugalgardening.com

Fabric for Fresia

June 19th, 2006 at 07:13 am

Yes, it's another Freecycle morning here at my place. I advertised for plants again on Sat (the only day we can post WANTED's in our little group) and I've got several responses.

The first one also said they would like my extra sewing room stuff I had posted, so we're trading.........(not usually the way freecycle works) She gets fabric, thread and notions that were extras for me and I get fresia bulbs that she didn't need.

I can't wait. I've never had fresia in my gardens before. Have to do some research to see where they need to be planted.

As soon as the trade off happens, I'm off to another garden with my shovel in hand. This person offered to share whatever she had!! Too fun. I get to meet another local gardener, she gets to thin her things out and my garden grows!

I'll post pictures of the treasures & see if I get another mystery picture like I did yesterday. (still hoping someone recognizes the photo that showed up in my entry. Japanese gardens?? Anyone???)

Berries.............3rd try on the picture

June 18th, 2006 at 09:50 am

Let's just add this to my last entry....in place of the mystery gardener picture.


First Fruits in my Garden

June 13th, 2006 at 03:02 pm

Yumminess. The first strawberries are ripe. We had to share some with the birds I'm sure, but today we all got to pick & eat one! Totally delicious, and so worth the effort to keep the patch weeded & watered. (remembering to thank the person who gave us the plants!!!) Free food! Just can't beat that.

Also picking the first radishes today, they will jazz up the leaf lettuce we've been enjoying now for at least a week. Nothing like handfuls of this on a sandwich! Not exactly free, but the seed packets are about a dollar each and they will continue producing all the lettuce & radishes we can eat here for a few more weeks. I've got another planting in already and have seeds to continue through the growing season.

I can't imagine why everyone doesn't have some sort of veggie garden planted! Too much fun to have frugal food and get great (free) exercise at the same time.

Gardening Away From Home

June 10th, 2006 at 09:48 pm

Yes, I'm at my moms' again, helping in her gardens while mine are busily getting ahead of me.

I have a good time here, since every little thing seems to make a BIG difference in the yard. The property has been rented out for 2 years, and has sort of gone back to the wild... Plenty of room for improvement!

I dug around in the back 40 and found a couple stepping stones my dad had made with extra cement from projects (ever the frugal guy he was). I set them into the gardens so mom can use them and think of dad. Looks good too.

Tomorrows plan, weather permitting.....more gardening. Working my way around the front of the house, trimming back about 7 years of neglect. Not sure I'm going to be able to keep up here as well as my place.... I'm trying to put things in that require absolutely NO care, so I'm not making more work for myself.

What To Call......... Free 'Shopping'

June 10th, 2006 at 10:06 am

I can't come up with a name for what I did this AM. I had appointments with a couple people as well as a stop at the recycle plant for our county......

Everything I picked up was free. So, it really isn't shopping....but what is it exactly? Certainly better than yard sales, as there was no money spent!

I got the back of my van full of paint, not exactly the color I was remembering it was, this seems darker. But, when something is FREE, it is amazing just how fast I can change my mind! Smile This is exactly the color I want to paint my house. At least, I'm going to paint a sample swatch somewhere, and look at it for a bit. If it is really too dark, I'll mix some white into the whole batch. I also picked up a big bucket of white........as well as a great green to give some life to my bedroom.

I had a response re; my Wanted post for sheet rock, so stopped and picked up a couple half sheets. Now, I just need to collect the tape & mud stuff, as well as figure out how to texture the patches when they are finished. When this project is done, I'll head back to town and get some more of the FREE paint to liven up this all white place I bought.

Picked up my FREE plants too....... 2 huge sacks of Iris; plenty to share a bag with my mom this week end.

Heading to the garden, to get busy! No kids for almost 2 hours, an infrequent luxury for me!

Freecycle Fanatic

June 10th, 2006 at 07:00 am

I'm just hooked. Today I'm squeezing in another Freecycle pick up.....more free plants from the person I met with last week. One hook up can turn into a regular connection with gardeners. We've all got plants to share once we get started. Todays gift is to be Iris!

Our local Freecycle group only allows Wanted posts on Saturdays, so today I'm asking for sheetrock and any supplies to do some repairs/patching with. Hoping to have a stash of free items for my Navy guy to repair the holes in my walls here when he gets here. I'm in the process of removing an old intercom system from this house, so each room will be left with a small hole by the door.......... Oh, so attractive.

I've got one more stop when I'm at the free plant house........it is near our county recycling offices. They give away great paint, and I'm hoping to load the van with 5 gallon buckets of my favorite blue/gray color. I've got housepainting on my list this summer & there is no better way than with FREE paint!

Off for a day of no spending, other than the gas to get back & forth.

It's a Freecycle Kind of Day

June 8th, 2006 at 01:42 pm

Freecycle......it's my kind of 'shopping'. I unloaded my new desk I had picked up last week & is it ever great. I think it is going to work to streamline my office area. I haven't shopped for office furniture for a few years, but this thing must be over $500. Very nice.......and totally free.

Today, I picked up a couple boxes of iris, as well as a handful of perinneals in pots. Again, a freecycle item! Since this person was a gardener, I left them some of my squash starts, they said they hadn't found any yet.......So, it turned out to be a nice trade. Think there is more coming from this connection too.......they have asked me to stop by again Sat, as they are digging up more plants & dividing.

Also picked up a big box of picture frames and bulletin boards from another freecycler.......I am planning to use the frames for some of my calligraphy pieces for gift this coming year. Again: Free!

So, a little gas and about an hours time gives me many dollars worth of goods. And, it's so much more fun than any other kind of shopping to me. Garage sales run a close second!

feeling more sane

June 4th, 2006 at 10:09 pm

I'm gathering up my brain cells after a horrid week end with the autistic one. Have escaped for some R & R at my moms house........No phone, no cooking, it must be heaven.

We've got our TO DO list pretty packed again, but it is all different stuff than I would be doing at home, so it is a break.

I'm giving my mom a perm tomorrow AM. I've been doing this for her since I could barely reach the top of her head when she was sitting down. She really wanted to save some money!!!! To teach me how to do her hair ...I must have been about 6??? we figure. Anyway, it has been decades now, and I'm pretty good at it these days. I should figure out how much money she has saved over the years! Smile Too bad she never learned how to cut my hair, now that would have been a deal.

We're off to the thrift stores again tomorrow afternoon, mom got a bunch of bargains last week end and she is anxious to try again. We're searching for some odd things to put in her new gardens...... Garden art sorts of stuff.

We're using my entertainment book and planning to go out to dinner tomorrow night... just haven't decided where yet. Then, Tuesday, we have an appt with the financial advisors at our bank, to discuss where she should/could put the procedes from the 2 lots she just sold.

If the weather cooperates, a little gardening is on the agenda too, hoping to set up a tiny water feature for her. If so, I've got my camera & will post pics. She is pretty wow-ed when it comes to seeing any of her garden on line. Too fun!

Going to continue to take total advantage of my break.....don't need to be back home and at work til Wed noon. (I do need to get a jacket cut out and basted while here....a customer is coming for a fitting right away on Thurs morning.)

Accidental Gardening

June 3rd, 2006 at 09:30 am

I've been trying to figure out a mysterious happening in my front yard now for a couple days......and finally, this morning, I had one of those AH HA moments. Ended up being one of those situations where it was something I had actually done, didn't realize it and it's turning out to be a good thing.

My front yard at the new place was not even close to a yard........so I ended up having fill dumped in front all winter. Finally got the dozer out and got it all graded, tilled and such. Before my dozer friend left, I had asked him to help with a HUGE favor....a horribly icky job. The previous owners had 2 black plastic earth machine things in the front yard....and I wanted them gone. With the dozer, my friend tipped them over, scooped up the crud and put at the edge of the new graded area. He tilled the stuff under and then graded it again, so the mess was all cleaned up.... What a friend, this was a nasty job.

Anyway.........I've got the best crop of cucumber vines now starting up in that area. Can you say salad & veggies for free all season?? A pleasant surprise for sure. It looks like that is all that's going to come up, but how nice??

I would never have got the grass seed in this season anyway, so a front yard of cucumber vines sounds just perfect!!

Shameless Plug Here..........

June 1st, 2006 at 09:14 pm

Since Jeffrey requested interested members to assist with sister sites, I've been having a great time with the site pertaining to frugal gardening.

Because gardening is such a visual art, and since I just moved to a new place with virtually NO gardens worth a picture.........I'm advertising for some help here! I've been placing the following ad on Craigs list, but thought I'd run it past everyone here too.

_______________________________________
Want to share pictures of your gardens on line? www.frugalgardening.com is accepting pics right now for our new garden photo of the week feature.

Anything related to gardening qualifies~ but I’m especially interested in gardens created with hard work and creativity rather than those that had big budgets & a team of gardeners.

We need pictures of gardens, or individual flowers………..water features or garden art, even the container garden on your deck.

Here’s your chance to share your creations with others, just email photos & descriptions if you like to:

Info@savingadvice.com and they will be added to the website in the order they are received.

Check back often to view the new info going up each week and to see when your garden shots go “Live”.

____________________________

The site also has an area for garden tips, which is at this point, just one lonely tip from Flash. I know there are others here that are gardeners, how about sharing some of your wisdom with the rest of us???

And, finally..........if any of you have ideas of articles we should be including, please let me know. I work so much better with a plan!! Smile

Me, At a Store............

May 29th, 2006 at 10:43 pm

Yes, I went shopping, at a real store, not a thrift store, or garage sale. Spent actual money too, not a g/c. I had to meet my week end kiddos mom and as the schedule went, we were hours early. So, not being near my home, we headed to a store with a garden dept & I picked up some more veggie starts I didn't have.

Since shopping isn't a vice for me, I had a hard time wasting enough time in the store & we ended up almost an hour early at the pre appointed meet up site. (I had already taken said kiddo for a walk at the track)

I always have a tablet & writing utensil with me, so I spent the hour writing a couple articles and ideas for articles for www.frugalgardening.com Better use of time than staying in the store, in my opinion.

I was amazed at the stuff for sale in the store. Not sure when the last time was that I was in something that qualified as a store......definately last year. Been years, plural, since I've done anything close to a mall. Felt like I was wandering in another country.

I'm spending one more night at my moms, then heading home in the AM. Stopping on the way to pick up a load of chicken wire (thanks Freecycle) and then getting my much needed haircut. (my first new sewing customer is a hair stylist, so I'm going to her......needing to remember to thank her, she has already sent referrals my way!!)

Still Gardening Here

May 19th, 2006 at 08:47 am

I'm spending any bit of time I can scrape up in the gardens. Trying to get more of the veggies in, before it is really too late to bother with here.

It's a nice cool day today, so I can work longer without passing out!! But, having to fit my stuff in between kid stuff......Not always the best.

Still have peas & beans to get in and 2 more of the tomatoes to plant. Haven't been able to sneak away to get more veggie starts, so may have to pass on them. Foo.

Feeling better about my rental....but will continue to inquire as to the extent of their licensing problem. Wondering if this is the time to approach them about some part time work??

Listed a couple boxes of books on Half.com last night. Decided I can do them quicker one at a time instead of the multiple listing bit. For some reason, that way just takes me forever. I'm all ready for the flood of sales now! HA......... Let's see if I can sell 2 a month! That would be a new record.

I'm starting to list some odd ball things on Craigs list...we'll see how I do. This weeks offering; A wedding dress, train & veil. Found stashed in one of the storage units at auction. Getting some practice with my camera, that's for sure.

Heat Wave Hits WA State

May 15th, 2006 at 11:01 am

I know there are those of you experiencing weather in the 80's regularly......however, for us here in the western part of WA state, this is really unusual. Supposed to hit 84 where I am today. I fade fast at 75.

So, I was up at the crack of dawn this AM, have the laundry out and some of my new veggie garden planted. Wanted to come in when it started to get past warm for me.

I just need to remember to water again this evening, so my new seeds don't crisp up and die before they get a chance to provide the table with fresh produce here. Added onions, several kinds of lettuce, radishes, zuchinni's and cucumbers today. I'm so bad at keeping track of expenses for projects like this, but I can't imagine I'll have over $50.00 by the time I get it all in. Some of the seeds for todays work party were from last year, I finally uncovered them in the garden shed.

It's a no spend day here. I'm cooking once & tossing an extra meal in the freezer too.

Sold a book on half.com. I'm holding at selling one a month now..... Thinking seriously about taking a grouping of them down and posting on Amazon. The sale today went to a book store back east, which tells me I really had a low price on it.

Since yesterdays post about telecommunication expenses.......I really started the morning off aiming to switch to dial up. However, when I checked to see the price of phone service after dropping the cable modem, I wasn't going to save at all. Plus, (naturally) the cable co. gave me 6 months at a promo price, so now I'm cheaper than if I had switched to dial up.
Dropping the cable box in my kiddos room would only cut $5.00 from the bill, so I'm leaving that. When we rent out that room, we would most likely need to add the cable back in then, and of course there would be a hook up fee.

August is the renewal date for our cell phones; I will look into the pre paid minutes bit then. We only use them a couple times a week at the most, always have tons of time left, so we're really paying through the nose for this convenience.

Off to brew a pitcher of iced tea for the afternoon.

the promise of a garden

May 2nd, 2006 at 10:38 am

My first seeds put directly into the garden are up! I went away for 2 days and here they are...........same theory as a watched pot I think. I watched for sprouts daily and nothing. Left for 2 days and everything has popped up through the surface.

Lettuce in 2 big container gardens on the front porch sidewalk area.......looking great. Soon we will have salads on the cheap. Considering the seeds for the lettuce were under a dollar.....a very good value. I resisted planting the whole packet at once, my usual behavior.......and only put in 2 containers of greens. Will repeat in a couple weeks, for a longer period of fresh greens.

The tomato seedlings indoors are starting to look like plants, I'm going to purchase starts also, as I'm not confident these are going to be mature soon enough to produce much. Our growing season here in WA is pretty darned short. The squash seedlings are going to need planting within 2 weeks, this is new to me too........I've always bought starts for my veggie garden. Going the cheap to free route this year, I started my own from seeds I was going to toss into the compost pile. (feeling very frugal here)

And, my grass seed has also come up. Can't wait til all the patches are repaired......the lawn looks so bad with the big dirt patches.

Started the morning off with 2 loads of laundry hung outside, hot water tanks off, dinner just ready to be re heated.
A no spend day here......easy since I work here at home. Researching free or low cost online programs here, since working on moms dial up over the week end, I can't justify the cable modem here.... Way too spendy & nothing I do needs to happen faster.

a week end off.......unheard of

May 1st, 2006 at 06:56 am

I've escaped to my moms again this week end. (getting better at this dial up bit here too!) Smile

She has been doing all the cooking, as she knows I hate it. When I'm working, it seems that is all I do. So, nice break here.

I did bring one of my week end kiddos with me, but he is a gem of a young man & loves coming to "grandmas". Plus he is alot of help. We worked outside most of the day yesterday & made great progress. It is fun to work in someone elses yard that actually has plants!!! Since the place has been a rental for 2 years, there is plenty to do. Even if the renter was a grandson, he just never got into taking care of anything. We designated an area to concentrate on and I think we're going to be able to finish that up this morning.... Nice to be able to help mom out too.

I've patched up the dings in her new walls.....she had things painted, then had the floors re finished. Will touch up all my spots prior to leaving today too. We can really see the difference our week end sessions have here... Nice.

Just gas to get here as money out this week end. And, the planned for free plants are ready to load up to take home. Nice bonus!

Hard to believe it is May already....time seems to be zooming by. I attempted to get my credit report today, following the Daily Tip...but the combination of dial up, and me not remembering I had an account apparently, left me without anything but a message saying I needed to pick a new log in name. So, I'll try that again when I get home. I know the credit report has errors on it this time, as I've heard about them from my mortgage folks. I have the OK for the re fi if I want to do it, and we had to get the credit report for that. So, I guess the goal needs to be .....get this stuff cleared up. It is the same stuff that came up last fall, I thought we had it taken care of then. Nope. Here it is again.

Other May goals:
1) Persist with advertising for new business....even tho it feels awful spending money & not bringing in any yet
2) continue advertising to rent space or a room
3) Tie room mate person up so she will sit down and meet with me re; household expenses & her share.
4) get the big veggie garden in and on it's way to providing much of our food through summer & on into fall.

Autistic Free Weekend Planned

April 28th, 2006 at 10:40 am

I just got back from taking my autistic kiddo to his mom.....he will be gone until Monday afternoon. Even the trip back home in traffic (44 miles) was relaxing! I'm already soaking up the quiet at my house. It's hard to know how exhausted I am until he is gone and I can feel myself shutting down.

Heading to my moms again this week end. Hoping to get to many of the items on my TO DO list for her place. She had rented her house out for 2 years, so there is plenty that got ignored during that time. Lots to do. Sunshine expected here, so we should be able to make a difference to her yard. I'm also going to be fixing some gouges in her new walls.......movers (read Grand sons) weren't very careful. Then, I'll touch up the paint job.... This is the same house I lived in from 6th grade til I got out of high school......it feels odd to be the one maintaining it now. But, it is feeling great to get it in shape again too.

I spent $40.00 on gas today..but that will be it for the weekend. I can go a long time without spending money here!

Blossoms on my free strawberry plants already!! I'm planning on bringing home another van full of free plants from moms on Monday... Gardening on the Cheap!!

No Spend Days Stack Up

April 27th, 2006 at 08:45 am

Racking up another No Spend Day here today. When you put a couple of them in a week.........and then at least a weeks worth of them each month, it really makes a BIG difference. Seems like a little thing, but.........as people here are mentioning often, it's the little things that add up to major changes; in numbers or in habits.

No gas used, no errands to run, not even an appointment on the calendar here at home. So.........my day stretches out for me to use as I see fit.

I'm soaking up the quiet here this AM.....yesterday afternoon and evening was nasty here. My kiddo had a mini meltdown......lasting a few hours, low intensity ...but I'm pooped. So, my choice today is to rest up for this afternoon when he gets back from school. Just when I think I'll miss the paycheck, we have a day like yesterday!

I had another person stop by last night (during the nastiness) to see about renting space to store his boat for a year. Not much money.....but something. He didn't strike me as a sure thing, maybe I just wasn't paying close enough attention, but he seemed shorter on brain cells than I did.

My tenant/room mate person.........never know what to call her, she is more like an old child that I need to keep working with... Anyway, she was complaining about her bedroom yesterday & how it is so full of paperwork and a total disaster. (I have for years offered to assist her with setting up a file system, she has brought home more file cabinets, file boxes, actual file folders and all the extras one would ever possibly wanta to set up a system). I offered again, she said today........I told her it was good I was sitting down... And, then asked what time?? Morning to her can be anything before dinner. It's almost 9, she has been up once and has gone back to bed, so I'm not optimistic about getting a start on this project today. I thought it would be a great time to figure out what she can do re; the finances here at the house.... She really has no idea how much money she has to work with each month. I can only guess at this point too.

I've got blossoms on my free strawberry plants! A few things are really starting to take off in the garden, maybe I'll have something to look at besides flat ground and gravel one of these days!

My Betty Crocker Impression

April 23rd, 2006 at 05:17 pm

I did my best impression of Betty Crocker all weekend & I'm ready to hang up my apron (If I wore one!!) With the 3 boys here, I barely had time to get cleaned up before the next meal had to be started. As long as their plates are full, they really don't care what they eat......so it is an easy (if non ending) gig. Doesn't help that I hate to cook!

I snuck out this afternoon, while a burrito bake was in the oven......and planted flower seeds I bought on line. Hoping to get out this evening & get everything a light drink, mostly to keep the trio of kittens out of the flower beds.

Got a commitment from one of the boys family to continue using me for respite as long as we both live here he said! Sounds like a permanent thing to me. Now, If I could just get them to use me every weekend instead of every other...

No spending day.........wouldn't have been time! Smile


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