Sunday, May 19, 2013

It is Friday again, everyone.  Hope your week has gone well and that you will have a good weekend.  It is supposed to be warm and sunny here so I have more gardening planned.  By Monday I hope to have this early stage completed and be able to see where I can put new plants.  I still have two five-gallon buckets and one large round planter to work.  Then I need to get my chamomile, zinnias, patio tomatoes, lipstick peppers, stevia, and lavender in place.  I also have a few miscellaneous seedlings to get transplanted into small pots--for now.  I pulled out the spinach and lettuce seeds.  I will put in another round of them.  After that comes the clean-up of the patio and the shed.

Oh--almost forgot--I think I saw a couple of new shoots on my blueberries.  Yeah!!


All my plans for yesterday got derailed.  As you can guess I am now writing on Saturday waiting for the sun to come out and warm things up a bit.  It isn't really cold now.  We took our walk yesterday but then decided to try to find the sun tea jars we saw while doing our shopping earlier in the week.  I stopped doing sun tea when I left Colorado for Missouri almost 20 years ago.  The tea produced with the water in Missouri (and in Indiana) was gross to put the matter politely.  But the boiled teas we made here weren't much better.  But a couple of years ago I was looking at pickling recipes and one of the cautions concerned chlorinated hard tap water.  Evidently that produces problems much like those I experienced with tea--cloudy and scummy.  Chlorine isn't much of a problem.  Chlorine evaporates out of the water if left overnight in an open container.  The calcium salts (which makes water hard and results in hard water deposits on faucets and sinks) are another problem.  We rent so putting in a filtration system for the entire apartment is not an option.  There are small filtration systems to do pitchers and other small containers of water but I really didn't want to have to keep filters on hand and add them to our trash.  Eventually, one of my books recommended boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes which drives off the chlorine and precipitates out the calcium salts.  That has made a marked difference.  We don't have to clean out the coffee maker with vinegar nearly as often.  The coffee carafe doesn't get the deposits of oil and whatever.  The tea comes out clear and stays that way.  Wednesday I decided to try sun tea in my gallon mason jar and it worked beautifully.  So that set us off on a hunt for the sun tea jars we saw somewhere on our shopping trip on Monday.  We went to Target, Walmart, the two garden shops that have odd stuff every now and then.  Finally we found a couple at our local dollar store.  But by the time we were done we had no energy for anything else.  They are outside now.  No sun but the process works anyway.

Welcome to Sunday, everyone, and I hope the weekend has been good for you all.  I got a lot of gardening done yesterday.  The last of the five gallon buckets emptied and refilled.  That leaves the large round pot and I have to move a couple of smaller pots to get at it.  I should have the last of my transplants and seedlings in their spots by the end of the day and the patio cleaned up and washed down.  I still have three medium pots (about 3 gallon capacity/14 inch diameter) empty but I think they will stay that way.  I have no place to put them that doesn't impede my access to other containers.  The weather people predict rain for the next three days so I won't get anything else done outside.  Late next week I will check out the garden shops for plants to fill the empty spots.  I think I might include an eggplant.  I haven't done that for a couple of years.  One of these days I will get the camera out and take some pictures for you all.  By the way, the blueberries are definitely putting out shoots!!

I agree, Kay.  Low tech is so often better.

Something for the intriguing file.  I have seen snippets about this for the last little bit and wondered how many takers would line up.

I wondered how long it would be before Chinese consumers came to the same conclusion I had:  produce as much as you can yourself.  Evidently not all that long.

While we were out looking for out sun tea jars Mom pointed and exclaimed "Lava lamps are coming back."  "Yeah," I replied.  "Everything old is suddenly new again.  I have been seeing them for a while now."  Here is something else for that same file:  rooftop gardens.  They have become a popular item but old since the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

For fascinating bit of street art hang out here.  I find it far more appealing than what was sold this last week to the constant coverage of our mainstream media.  Often free is so much better than multi-million dollar 'art.'

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