8 years ago today…..

My dad turned 78.  It was Thanksgiving Day.  He passed away that morning.  I cannot believe it was 8 years ago today.  We went ahead with our dinner as my oldest daughter’s boyfriend’s family had come from the Bay Area to meet us and spend Thanksgiving.  I treasure the time we had with the Barlow family that Thanksgiving and the wonderful memories.  They were a comfort to me that day and helped me to realize that life truly does go on.

Tuesday Garden Party, September 6, 2011….Happy Birthday DH!

Wow I have been away so long.  3 weeks in South Carolina…the hurricane just missed us, then getting back and having so much to do!  DH watered  and my 82-year-old mother came over and deadheaded along with my sweet BF neighbor who greeted me when I got home with the yummiest oreo cupcakes.

I am overall disappointedwith the performance of our garden….well I should say the tomatoes.  In invested so much in them after attending a seminar this year really hoping, but let’s face it, here in Humboldt, on the coast, it is just darn hard to grow tomatoes without a greenhouse.

Getting back into the swing of things includes today is DH’s birthday along with his precolonoscopy day.  He did not plan that very well.  I spent a fair amoun of time ouside and probably need to pick more zucchini.  I think I will go check. 

In the meantime, here is what awaited me when I got home:



It’s Monday, what and where am I reading?

I am very lucky in that  a cyber friend (a friend you met on the internet and have not necessarily met in person) sent me The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo” and the second one in the series too.  So that is what I am reading.   I did not realize until recently that the author Stieg Larsson died before these books were published.  It is really too bad he did not see what a phenomenon these books have become.  Everyone says they are really good.  I am just getting started, but feel very lucky I did not have to wait in line at the library (I am too cheap to buy books!).  Thanks Theresa! 

So I guess I am reading in Sweden!

Tuesday Garden Party


I am a bit embarrassed to say this is it for my garden this week:

These were 3/$1.00 at Rite-Aid.  I have other seeds that all need to be started soon.

Oh wait, DH pulled this out the other night from our garden:

Isn’t it cute?  I grated it into a salad.  These were from seeds from 2006!  Only 2 came up and survived.  But hey at least I know they take no care after planting.  Notice the carrot seed packet above.   

Life has been a bit overwhelming the past few weeks.  Partly my own fault.  I had a great time making these for an art show on Saturday that my daughter’s photos were in:

I am continuing my organizing and sewing projects too.  I think I need to read up on everyone else’s links to get myself motivated.  It has been cold and clear and I did end up watering this morning my daffodils and my so cute primroses from last week.  Rain is coming this weekend, a good time to get my seeds started inside.  I will plan to do it then, in fact I am going to go write it in my planner, you know, commit to it!

Happy gardening everyone!

Tuesday Garden Party

Aahh it’s Tuesday!  This weekend we had rain on Saturday briefly followed by more sun.  My husband decided to mow the lawn, but the lawnmower would not start.  We hauled it into the back of the truck and headed for http://millerfarmsnursery.com/ .  I said I would go too, acting like the good wife.  Once the lawnmower was installed in the service department, I said, “Let’s go look at the garden shop”.   It was pretty sparse, still early in the season, but found these beautiful primroses:

Yes that is a pumpkin there!  I have a bunch of nice pots from my elderly neighbor who moved to Minnesota to be near her son and daughter-in-law.  I got busy right away:

I put them out at the end of the driveway in the side yard on the display shelf also from my ex-neighbor (who is my total inspiration going into the second half of my life).

Please ignore the weeds, especially the one growing between the driveway and the border (I have fibromyalgia and cannot do as much as I would like)!  Here are some closeups:

Aren’t they pretty?  They had bright pink too, but I figured DH would be more likely to be enthusiastic if I picked these.  In other orange/ flower news, yesterday DH brought home Birds of Paradise:

I know I need to trim them, but I just wanted to stick them in water quick!  He also was given these by the same customer:

I made some into fresh squeezed OJ this morning and fed my DH along with this:

This is a recipe from http://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Italian-Simple-Delicious-Recipes/dp/1400052580/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1296574667&sr=1-1

I forgot fontina cheese, so I substituted Kraft Mexican mix…haha.  I added spinach and 2 pieces of cooked bacon too.  It was yummy!  I used 3 eggs and 4 egg whites to make it a little bit lower in Power Points.  I need to put it in the recipe calculator at Weight Watchers to get the exact number.

The weather has been beautiful and my daffodils are about 4 inches high.  It won’t be long until they bloom! 

I am gardening for the first time in many years, but this year over winter my spinach, kale, arugula, turnips and lettuce all have survived and are producing.  We have a temperate climate here in Humboldt County so we can grow lots through the winter.  We are lucky!

Tuesday Garden Party, January 4, 2010

Sunday was a beautiful day here in Humboldt and when we arrived home from breakfast with our friends, I told DH I thought he should mow the lawn and prune the rosebushes.  He started to complain and as we turned the corner, our neighbor was out mowing his lawn.  We pulled in to our driveway, he but the motor and came over to talk to DH as I got my granddaughter out of the car and into the house.  A few minutes later he was getting the lawnmower out and proceeded to work all day in our yard.  Before he trimmed back all our plants, roses and flowers he did manage to cut a few. 

Here they are in my windowseal along with a few others:

The Kalanchoe and little mum are both from the same neighbors.  They are a young couple whose parents both live out of state.  We tend to “watch over them” and they are quite generous in their thanks.

This paperwhite is also from Amy next door, and I bought myself the Amarylis this year.  It is just about ready to bloom.

I have not ordered from seed catalogs as we have just started gardening again, now that the kids are grown and we are not traveling every weekend here or there, chasing around the sporting events that kept us busy for so many years.

I am looking at an Oregon Cottage (http://www.anoregoncottage.com/2011/01/tuesday-garden-party-favorite-garden.html) picks for seed catalogs and am thinking of calling and requesting a couple!

New Year 2011-New Intentions

It’s January 3rd, right?  Well this should tell you something about me that I am just now listing my resolutions or intentions….

1.  Read more.  My goal is 26 books this year.  I love all types of books and completed my first of 2011 this morning, Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand.  I started it New Years Day.  Mmm…. now that I think about maybe that is why I have not posted my goals.  It was a good read.  I want to also mention the book I finished New Years Eve since it was such a good one.  Good Grief by Lolly Winston.  Both were definitely female books, both were even maybe a little predictable.  I read to be entertained mostly with a little thought provoking thrown in, and maybe even to educate myself once in a while.

2.  Lose 15 pounds by July 3rd.  I vow not to be the fat sister at this family wedding!

3.  Complete at least 5 quilts.  One for each of us “girls”.  That is myself, my 3 daughters and my granddaughter, who needs a new quilt from grandma.  I would also love to make one for each of my sisters, but that may be pushing it.  I made 3 quilts last year for my elderly mother, MIL and elderly neighbor who moved so far away to Minneapolis after her husband of about 50 years passed away this year. 

4.  Intend to take my medications each day and follow through with exercise as it is so important for my fibromyalgia diagnosis.  Continue to attend my pain group and participate in my weekly homework.

5.  Blog as a way to record my life since journaling has never worked for me.

6.  Squeeze each penny until it screams since I am no longer working and am not sure how long my disability will cause me to not be able to hold down a regular job.

7.  At the same time, use this time off wisely and accomplish some of the projects and get my home and life organized in a way I have never been able to (was it really because I had too much to do or am I hopeless?).  This resolution/intention in itself would cause me to make a list that would beome too long and overwhelming in itself!

8.  Be nicer to my husband.  One word….menopause.  Enough said.

9.  Make an effort to get out of the house more.

10.  Learn and try new things.

There I did it.  Now of course I want to continue gardening (or telling DH what needs to be done like yesterday when he pruned the roses, mowed the front lawn and trimmed back just about everything else).  I also need to read my bible more and quit praying as though I am demanding all the time!

Starting seedlings-Tuesday Garden Party

I was listening to the gardening show on our local radio station on Saturday.  They were talking about starting seedlings.  I missed how to do it, but they gave the web site of where I could listen to a podcast: 


So I am trying it!

We picked more turnips, which have to be the easiest thing we have ever grown.  We made another stew with that cheap meat bought during my coupon madness the other day.  The turnips were sweet!  Here they are before peeling and chopping:

Thanks to Jamie’s recipe at http://www.anoregoncottage.com/  for zucchini muffins, I made a batch with the last zucchini of the season from my mother’s garden.  She picked it right before Thanksgiving before the frost hit hard here in Northern California (well hard for us). 

I used the free-standing type of muffin cups and overfilled them a bit.  But it didn’t matter.  They are delicious.

My sister is passing through from Salem on her way to visit her grandkids in the Bay Area so I thought I would use the last of the fresh pumpkin to make some cookies for her to take with her.  My neighbor made this recipe about a month ago and they are really good.


I highly recommend them.  Luckily dinner is leftover chicken enchilada casserole from last night since this baking has pooped me out!

Coupon Madness

My new hobby kept me hopping yesterday.  After reading several couponing blogs and sort of dipping my foot in, I made an all out effort yesterday to get going on this.

I was a little more organized, but still have a ways to go. 

My first stop was Bed, Bath and Beyond where I purchased “Your Baby Can Read” with a 20% off coupon for my granddaughter.  It will be interesting to see if it really works.  In the meantime at 2-1/2 she likes videos and books so this goes right along with her current favorite activities.

Then onto Walgreen’s where a very helpful checker (who also takes advantage of Walgreen’s rewards, reassured me that I was not an “irritating” customer as I warned her I would be.  She also gave me the site she follows:  www.krazycouponlady.com which morphs into http://discountqueens.blogspot.com/.

My personal favorites are http://www.frugallivingnw.com/ and http://nwcouponlady.blogspot.com/ probably because I live in Northern California.

Since my SIL needs shaving supplies in Afghanistan, I picked up the Nivea deal and some Gillette fusion blades (geez I am glad my husband does not shave).  I had no idea how expensive razor blades are.  

 I did a total of 4 transactions at Walgreen’s buying an assortment of stuff, piggybacking the Register Rewards each time.  Total spent $44.85, savings $19.43.  Plus I have another $12.25 in Wags bucks for my next visit. 

Next was CVS where I had a $5.00/$25.00 to start with.    I should have “mapped” it out a little better to maximize my use of Extracare bucks, but with my DH along and not adding purchases as I went along and not sure if they take off manufacturer’s coupons before totalling, I did just 2 transactions.  My first was for Starbucks Via.  I had a $1.00 off coupon and a CVS $1.00 in Extracare bucks.  Remembering you can only use 1 coupon per item and not being sure if Extracare bucks is considered a coupon, I threw a 99 cent bottle of Milk of Magnesia onto the checkout counter making my first transaction $3.05.  My second transaction was for $34.67 with $17.00 in Extracare bucks back. 

I got Listerine packs for free along with a tube of Colgate and bottle of Herbal Essence shampoo for free.  I also found an incredible buy on one of the end clearance aisles:  Secret Clinical Antiperspirant for 99 cents!  This is what YD uses and I know I paid about $8.00 for it in the past.  My receipt is showing I save $8.80 on each package.  I also found Sure men’s deodorant for 99 cents.  DH consented to one.  I got two other deodorants for DH for free from last week’s ad.  I have a couple on hand, so I think he is well fixed for about a year!

Um yeah, forgot to pull that 75 cent coupon off the Truvia.  I had a $1.00 off though already.

After avoiding the checkout line at both drugstores, by the time we got to Safeway, DH was bragging to the checker about “my wife’s new job”.   Notable purchases at Safeway were $5.00 off $15.00 worth of frozen foods (what can I say we love our ice cream) and Almond Accents which were on sale for $2/3.00.  I had a Catalina for $1.50 off 3 and 3-50 cent off coupons making them 50 cents a bag.   I also had a $2.00 off a meat purchase when buying Coors Light.  DH found a package of stew meat marked 50% off to 2.57, making it 57 cents!

Okay it was fun, but by the time dinner was over and dishes were done, my fibromyalgia was so flared up that I had to take 1/2 pain pill and lay on a heating pad for an hour reading my latest Jodi Piccoult novel, checked out from the library, natch! 

Since we only have Rite-Aid in my little town and shopping all at once is difficult physically, I need to plan my outings a little better.  I do not know if DH was a help or a hinderance.  I warned him to not talk to me or tell me to hurry up as this takes time.  He was pretty good about it, but it does take concentration.  I don’t know how women drag kids along while coupon shopping.  My hats off to them!

Another missed Garden Party

I am sick with a cold.  I had forgotten how awful colds can be since I have not had one in so long.  However, the fibro has settled down since I have been doing nothing!  I hope to get back to the garden soon.