Friday, February 29, 2008

The Himalayan Experiment

Disclaimer: I did not grow this!

I've made no secret that I covet Jodi's beautiful Blue Himalayan Poppys. Pictures of them just make me drool.

From my understanding these things are next to impossible to grow. I know this because periodically Jodi posts pictures of them just to remind us that she can grow these and we can't, in case we have forgotten. And every time she posts a picture, tons of people comment that they've tried to grow these and failed.

Well - I'm up for the challange! I've got my seeds and I'm ready to start growing these sons of you-know-whats!

I'm willing to do just about anything to get this suckers to grow. If I need to call the priest over to bless the dirt then so be it. If I need to talk to them, buy fancy food for them, beg borrow get the picture.

So how about it - do you have a plant that you've tried and failed to grow? How about giving it another shot. 2008 could be your year! Lets prove to all those fancy flower growing show offs that we can do it to!
I start my seeds tomorrow - I'll keep you posted! And if you are one of those people who can cast spells to make stuff grow, please cast a grow spell on my Blue Himalayan Poppy seeds!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Garden Blogger = Ego-Maniac?

I've been blogging about gardening for as long as I've been gardening. I love it. Blogging, I mean. Of course I love gardening too - that goes without saying, right? But what is it about blogging that is so addicting? What are we doing here? Are we actually adding something to society on a "global" gardening level, or are we simply stroking our own overgrown (no pun intended) egos?

I'd guess that most of us started our garden blogs to keep an "online journal" of our gardens, or at least that's what we told ourselves. I mean it's just not cool to go "hey I think what I have to say is just so interesting that random Internet peeps will want to read it", right? I suppose when you think of it, we (bloggers) are a product of society just like everybody else. Reality TV has proved that real people doing everyday crap is interesting, addicting even. OK fine, so lets say I'm convinced that it's OK that I love to blog about gardening and try to be OK with the boost my ego gets when people who's gardens I think are so beautiful comment on my humble, sometimes humiliating attempt at gardening. But how do we explain our attempt to attract (lure) people to our blogs? I get the whole "sense of community" we garden bloggers enjoy. I understand getting to know e-gardeners and developing important relationships with them even in the absence of face to face contact. I'm not talking about that - I'm talking about the importance we place on exposure to our blogs. How engaged we are in finding new readers and new ways to inject our blogs into any little opening we find. What's that about? I've gotten preoccupied about it myself these days and I need to understand it.

Every time I turn around somebody's gardening blog (mostly Garden Rant those show-offs!) is getting mentioned in a newspaper. And every time I read about it I say, sometimes out loud, "YAY! GOOD FOR HER/HIM/THEM!" But, why am I so happy for them? It's not as if blogging is all that contemporary anymore and people have been gardening, well, forever. It's really because we know that the plug will bring more readers to the blog, right? But why do we want more readers?

This week Melanie over at Old Country Gardens wrote a great post about how she makes these bookmarks out of her garden photos and advertises her blog on the back. What a great idea! Hell, I'm using an old cell phone bill for a book mark as we speak! Who doesn't need a good bookmark? Put a beautiful garden photo on it - EVEN BETTER! Melanie's point was to "get the word out." When I read it, aside from loving the whole damn project idea I thought, "what a great way to attract readers to your blog." But why do we want more readers?

Then there are the posts about advertising your blog on these cute little business cards like this one. Now this makes more sense to me because the main reason this person is suggesting business cards is to have a good way to exchange information at the garden blogger spring fling. I get that. If I'm in the midst of a large group of people who are defined only (mostly) by a blog, I'm gonna need to go "I'm gina, you know, from myskinnygarden?" Why not have a nice little card to hand out, right? But come on. We order the cards, give a few out at the spring fling, then have the left overs to hand out to other people. Because we want more readers!

Today I received an email from a freelance writer for a Chicago newspaper who had read my blog and wanted to ask me a few questions about a very specific gardening topic that he was writing an article about. As it turns out I don't know much about what he's researching but do you know how flattered and proud I was that somebody like this even read my blog let alone take the time to ask my opinion about something? All I could think of is how incredibly excited I'd be if my blog was ever mentioned in any kind of article. Why? Because it would attract more readers.

Is there some blogging pot of gold that I don't know about? Is there a magic number of hits at which some Ed McMann type person knocks on the door with a big check? I know some people have ads on their blogs but I do not believe for one second that blog ads is a lucrative business for the blog owner. I imagine at most these ads might generate enough revenue to pay for the site if the blog isn't published on a free one like mine. So, my garden blogging friends, I ask you. Why do we want more readers. Are we really trying to get people excited about gardening? Or are we simply stroking our egos?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Renegade Green Beans

When I went to check my seeds I found these green beans trying to bust out of the plastic wrap. Man oh man these things will never make it indoors long enough for it to warm up outside.

With breathing room. See how close they are to the light? This picture is taken tonight at around 7:30. I'm betting by 8:00 am tomorrow morning they'll be touching the light.
What a pickle I've gotten myself into!

Hellooooooooo Tomatoooooo

They are growing! I can't believe it! These are the seeds from Trudi at
Heinz 1439

Martian Giant

Isn't this exciting???

Monday, February 25, 2008

2 Great Seed Starting Helpers

OK - so it seems as though I've started almost all of my seeds way too early. The good thing is that I have more seeds so I'm not too concerned but the bad thing is that this means I'll be running out of my totally rockin coconut fiber pellets. Never fear! I've figured out a way to make some myself!

Here's a link to a video that shows how to make seed planting pots out of newspaper. I think I'll do this then fill them with coconut fiber that I supposedly can buy from the pet store. Check it out!

After having so much trouble with timing, Tina sent me the link to this great GrowGuide site where you can enter your frost dates along with today's date and the thing will tell you exactly what you should be doing THAT week including what to sow indoors, outdoors as well as what to harden off and what to transplant. This is really a life saver - thanks, Tina!

Well hey, I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I did it right the first time, right? Thank you for all your help readers! I appreciate you!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Growing Challenge: Bean Siting!

Is this the cutest thing you've ever seen? I'm in love!

I decided on Bush Beans and Yellow Zucchini for the Growing Challenge and yesterday I spotted this under the grow lights. I nearly screamed! It's the bush bean seed I stuck in the coconut fiber pellet. No sign of the Zucchini yet but I'll keep you posted.

In other seed starting news, the coconut fiber pellets are doing great. I see growth in several of them after 6 days. Unfortunately there is not a damn thing growing in the peat containers.

Stuff growing in coconut fiber pellets above.

Nothing in the peat trays below.

I'm pretty much freaking out about this because all of my tomato seeds are planted in the peat trays. Every single one of them! I'm so shocked by this. For some reason I thought the trays would be so much better. I already hate them on so many levels. I hated filling them with dirt - what a mess! Every time I water them I think there is no way they'll hold up until planting time. They are so flimsy I feel like they are falling apart already.

I have more seeds to plant today and I'll tell you right now, I'm going coconut fiber all the way baby! I remember that MBT told me I could go buy this stuff from a pet store but what I noticed is that the coconut fiber is only staying together because of the little sock thingy holding it in place. If I try to make these myself, how do I make the sock part?

Friday, February 22, 2008

2008 Tomato Lineup

Following Colleen and Carol's lead I thought it was about time I introduce the starting lineup for the 2008 tomatoes. I'm starting them all from seed and if everything works out ok I won't need to buy a single plant! Except for 1 variety, all my tomatoes are from seeds I received from Trudi over at Trudi participated in the garden bloggers seed exchange and she really hooked us up on the tomatoes. Drum roll pleaseeeee!!!

Prolific yellow cherry tomato - Indeterminate
75 DTM

Heirloom This will be my first time with Brandywine - Indeterminate
75-90 DTM

Meaty fruits over a pound! Indeterminate
80 DTM

Comonaut Volkov
Delicious red tomato - Determinate
75 DTM

Heinz 1439 (may try my luck at canning with these)
Canning variety - Determinate
80 DTM

Large Red Grape (I love grape tomatoes on salads!)
Long clusters of oval fruit - Indeterminate
72+ DTM

Martian Giant (Martian sandwich?)
Large red beefsteaks - Indeterminate
90-100 DTM

San Marzano Plum (I see sun dried tomatoes in my future)
Pear shaped paste tomato - Indeterminate
80 DTM

Tomato Blend (I'm always up for a good mystery!)
Assortment of different shapes, sizes, colors - Indeterminate
70-100 DTM

White Beauty
After Marc was showing off his exotic 2008 tomato line up I was inspired to order these seeds from Baker Creek. I'm sort of creeped out by the thought of a white tomato but I just need to see these for myself.

There you have it folks! I can't wait for that first juicy tomato! Which ones are you growing this year? And I was sitting here wondering if there is a gardener out there who grows veggies but does NOT have a single tomato in their kitchen garden. If you are out there we'd love to hear from you. I personally do not think they exist.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sow Seeds, Water, Repeat

I'm out of control! I've ordered more seeds since setting up the indoor lights in the basement. There is no way in hell I'll ever be able to use all these seedlings if they happen to grow. Looks like my friends and neighbors may be able to come over and go shopping.

I did a few more containers for Winter Sowing and I think I'm done with this method until next month when I'll do a few annuals. Thanks for the help, Connie!

On Alyssa's suggestion I covered my indoor seeds with plastic to keep them moist and warm. There is absolutely no evidence of any growth at day 3.

So, with the acquisition of all these new seeds I'll need to set up more under the second light. I'm telling you right now that if these things don't grow I'm going to be soooooo pissed off. I have invested a lot of time and emotion into this already and I expect a great return!

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Most Hated Presidential Gardener

I love the way Carol over at May Dreams Gardens always has such timely gardening posts. Today being President's day, Carol's post is all about President gardens. Check it out if you havnt already. Reading Carol's post today made me think of something I saw a few weeks ago on 60 minutes about a not-so-loved President.

Some time after his death we are finally hearing the details about Saddam Hussein's prison life. In a very captivating interview, George Piro, an FBI agent, shared way more details about Saddam's prison stay than I ever thought we'd learn. George was one of the few Arab speaking FBI agents and was assigned to Saddam for most of his stay in prison after his capture. Other than the fact that Arab speaking FBI agents are slim pickins, this guy was probably chosen because of his friendliness. I even wanted to hang out with this guy he was so cool!

So the deal was this guy hangs out with Saddam every day, controls his life, becomes his friend, then learns all his dirty secrets. The interview was interesting on many levels that I'd love to talk about, but this is a gardening blog, not a political blog, so I should get to the point, yes?

According to George Piro, Saddam spent all of his limited recreational time tending his garden located near his cell. Because he was a prisioner, he was not allowed any gardening tools, so he did it all by hand. I am just facinated by this. Of all the stereotypes I have swirling through my head about gardeners, I certainly thought they were about the most peaceful people on the planet. Now I learn that this "evil dictator" loved gardening! How about that? I am just dying to know what he grew there. I've done a few quick searches to try to find out but nothing so far on his prison garden. However, I did find some interesting things about his other gardens that I plan to read later.

If you had to take a guess, what would you say Saddam grew in his prision garden?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Indoor Seed Starting, Another First

Well this was scary!

5 foot shop lights mounted under the shelves already in the basement, coconut fiber pellets and evil peat thingys (I bought these before I knew how bad they were).

The coconut fiber pellets were a pain in the ass. First of all, they don't come with instructions. I suppose they think anybody who would buy these is a seed starting expert but it just so happens that I'm clueless. Thankfully MBT had left a comment before saying to add water to rehydrate this stuff. I have tons more of these left but I tell ya, Winter Sowing was so much easier! And I will definately be doing some Spring Sowing with the remaining containers I've saved.

After I finished setting things up down in the garden cave I looked around on the internet and found that most references said I should place the lights about 12 inches from the seeds for about 14 hours per day. Well as you can see, mine are way closer than that. Not only that but I think in order for me to move them 12 inches away, I'll need to build something. Booooooo!

One huge lesson I learned is it is virtually pointless to order a single pack of seeds from Park. They send so few in each pack! I had ordered Ice Plant seeds because I wanted to plant the narrow bed by the basketball court with these but there is no way I'll have enough seedlings for the entire 25 foot bed. I sure hope they have more in stock because it looks like I'll be placing a second order.

Once the seeds come up and it's a little warmer outside, I'll move them out to the new growing rack that santa bought me. Well, that's assuming that I can assemble it. It also came with no instructions. What is with you people and your no instructions???

So, even though this was a huge pain in my rear, I'll be going shopping for more seeds to stress over tomorrow. Because, that's just how I roll!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Help Me Pick A Patio?

Spring will be here before we know it and as it gets closer I'm still undecided about the size and substance of my future patio. Garden bloggers - I need your help!

Edited to show links for the current crappy patio and the space I have to work with for the new one. Thanks for the suggestion, Layanne!

What size is your patio? Are you happy with it? What is the appropriate size for a patio? My current crappy broken patio is 16 feet wide and 10 feet deep and it's entirely too small. Is there a perfect size for a patio? I'd like enough space for my barbeque grill, a couple of patio tables, a fire pit or fire place and some planters.

This is the tuff part for me. Each of my options have their advantages and diadvantages so I'm hoping you'll tell me your experience with patios and help me make my decision.

Concrete is the cheapest of my options. I actually like the look of the stamped concrete and the concrete stains can really provide an interesting look. It also seems pretty low maintainence. The bad part about concrete, well, it's concrete. It's not exactly environmentally friendly and at the end of the day you can only do so much to spice up concrete.

Brick pavers are way nicer looking than concrete. These are the patios that catch my eye. But in addition to costing more, there's the sweeping and sweeping and sweeping that is needed to prevent stuff from growing in the cracks. Remember, I'm very lazy. Also not environmentally friendly.

Composite Decking
I love the green-o-meter (this is my new favorite word) rating of the composite wood decking. I know it's not nearly as pretty as cedar or red wood but they last forever. FOREVER, people! I'm not open to the idea of real wood decking because I refuse to do the maintainence. Yes, my mind is made up. The composite decking is probably my favorite choice but it's expensive and my back door is at ground level which doesnt make for a very interesting "wood deck".

So those are my choices. What's your choice and why? I need help here!

Friday, February 15, 2008

I'm So Excited, And I Just Can't Hide It

Lately I am overcome with excitement about Spring. All winter long I've been plotting and planning what I'll do when it's time to get back outside and now that I'm seeing seed starting stuff for sale (even at Walgreens - WHAT??) I'm getting so antsy I can hardly stand myself.
New patio
Painting the ugly brown house trim
Plants from seeds
New raised veggie beds
New front garden beds
In addition to all the things above that I'm looking forward to, I'm also beyond excited to see what my charlie brown shrubs look like. Not only that, all the perennials I planted last year should look a lot better this year. And, I've started so many seeds that, even a fraction of them grow, I have the potential to have full, lush garden, without spending much money on plants at all. YIPPY!
In other gardening news, GB is ordering fruit trees and I'm getting in on it. Millers has a special on a set of dwarf cherry trees so she'll order those and we'll flip for them.
My mind is just racing with all the Spring awesomeness to come! I'm sure you are just as excited as I am.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got more seeds to start.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Garden Bloggers Geography Project: Forest Park, IL

Thank you Jodi over at Blooming Writer for providing us garden bloggers an opportunity to learn about the cities our gardens live in. Since Carolyn has already done a great job of representing the City of Chicago, I decided to focus on the Village of Forest Park, IL, the community where I live. Chicagoland area is made up of many villages each having its own style and culture, each celbrating both its indiviuality AND its commonality with the other areas making up the Chicagoland area.

The blue symbol below is plastered all over Forest Park and as you can see we boast "Big City Access with Small Town Charm." The big city access thing comes from the fact that we are the last stop on the Blue Line of the EL train. Anything past us can officially be considered the "burbs".

The first time I visited Forest Park I noticed there were tons of cemetaries so I wasnt surprised to find that it has been referred to as a City of Cemetaries with more dead residents than live ones. At one time the estimate was 30:1 - Holy Crap thats creepy! There are even some famous dead people here like Ernest Hemmingway's parents.

To me, the most interesting dead folks here are the ones at Showmens Rest. In 1918 53 circus performers were killed in a train wreck at Gary Indiana and it just so happened that the Showmen's League of America had recently purchased plots at Woodlawn cemetary, so they were all buried there. Five granite elephants mark the boundaries of their section making it harder to to debunk the old rumor that the circus animals perished and were buried along side their handlers. Supposedly, "to this day, people swear that on certain nights they can hear the cries and calls from the ghosts of elephants and lions." I've never heard them, and I hope I never do! That is freaking me out just thinking about it. When I told Mr. W about it, he cut me off in the middle of my sentence and said "I DON'T WANT TO KNOW ANY OF THAT, GINA!" We are both such big chickens.
In 2007 Forest Park turned 100 years old. Happy Belated Birthday, Forest Park! Before that, this village, along with the villages of Oak Park and River Forest were known as the City of Harlem, named that by the land owner from, you guessed it, New York. In 1907 when the areas were divided, Forest park became it's own town. This explains why these 3 villages are so often spoken of together although I'm convinced that Oak Park and River forest really don't want to claim Forest Park. On the scale from low price to high price it goes Forest Park then Oak Park then River Forest. Mr. W and I always say we're moving to River Forest when we get rich.

As far as gardens go, Forest Park doesnt knock your socks off like downtown Chicago does. We don't have our own garden club and you know the deal about me trying to join the "Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest." (told ya they don't claim us) We do officially have an Arbor Day as of last April so maybe we're moving in the right direction.

One thing I DON'T like about Forest Park is that we've got quite a ways to go on the green-o-meter. Sure, they pick up our yard waste and offer bigger containers for our recycling but I was pretty darn disappointed to find that Forest Park does not compost and give it back to its residents nor do they mulch the branches and Christmas trees for the us. They don't offer us rain barrels or composters at a discount or any good stuff like that. However, I did stumble on something that said they offered a $150 rebate on a battery, electric or manual power mower when you turn in your yucky gas one. Rock on, Forest Park! I wish I'd know about this back in April 2007 - I sure hope they do that again this year!

So, that's my town. Compared to other places I've lived, I think it's pretty awesome.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Growing Challange

I was so excited to see that Melinda over at Elements in Time is hosting a challange to grow a new food. I'm so there! I've been throwing around the idea of growing green beans since I was enjoying a plate of delicious frozen ones the other day and dreaming of how fresh ones would taste. Now it seems I have no choice! I must do it! I have no seeds so I must find them and I must plant them!
From my understanding, the rules are that I must choose something I've never grown, grow it from seed, and post about it once a week. No problemo! Here's the thing - I have no clue how much space it takes to grow green beans and since I don't have much, I reserve the right to change my veggie without notice. Remember, my world revolves around tomatoes!

And, if you havnt taken the time to go over to read Melinda's story please do it. She and her husband up and left the big city to grow their own food organically. I love it! I read her entire blog in one sitting.
So why don't you join us? There's GOT to be something you havnt grown that you'd like to try!


This is the winter patio of the Garden Buddy. Notice how the bottom left corner is outlined with the winter sowing containers. So orderly, so planned. Why can't I be like this???? Isnt Envy one of the 7 deadly sins? Well, I envy her patio AND her winter sowing! Here's the scoop from her email - proper documentation. Why can't I be like this???

"Here is my list. I planted everything from annuals to perennials, including veggies. I don’t know what my success rate will be but I wanted to give it a try. I only had 12 milk containers so I used foil pans, water containers, bulk salad containers and take out boxes w/ covers. I sorted the seeds by growth height and then planted them in the appropriate sized containers. I put everything that was <18 inches high in the small take out containers, medium for the foil trays and the gallon containers for the taller plants. I still have the last 3 plants on the list to plant in addition to Foxglove and Morning Glory seeds from our HD trip. Once I get seedlings, we can use this list for our container gardening plant swap. GB Junior took the pictures of how I set them up outside. The containers are numbered and match up the plant list by number of packets. Numbers start from the small black containers and if I am looking out from the kitchen, they go from right to left (kind of like reading Hebrew) or if I am standing in the yard facing the house, from left to right. I figured if the Sharpie labels fade, I can still figure out what’s growing."

I can't figure out how to post her planting chart but imagine proper spreadsheet with all seeds entered and coded by height. It includes the number of seed packs and the total is 43.

Here's my favorite part from another email.

"Here’s the sad thing….I need more containers so I have offered to convert the regular milk to chocolate milk in order to have the kids finish it off quickly. I refuse to buy soda so that they drink the milk. I’m also trying to get them to drink the apple cider so I can use that, too.

Mr. GB was looking for the huge spring water container to change the tank for the frogs. I had to confess that I confiscated it for my WS project. He just laughed and thought I was crazy.

Sadly, I am a gardener with a mission. "

Friday, February 8, 2008

I'm A Winner: Magazine Edition!

I won these! Yay me!

Last summer one of the first gardening magazines I bought was Easy Care Landscaping. I have no idea who is responsible for this magazine but I really enjoyed it and have kept it around and looked through it at least 100 times. It's the one where I saw the pictures with the adorable stawberry pots with actual strawberries growing in them and instantly became obsessed with creating that look myself.

Anyway, on the last page of the magazine Easy Care announced a contest where the winners would receive one of several prizes (cultivator, hedge trimmers, clematis vine). The requirement was to submit a paragraph explaining how you'd use them. I submitted entries for the hedge trimmer and the cultivator.

Yesterday I received a call from work saying that my entry had been selected and I won the shiny new hedge trimmer shown above!! It's a cordless Black and Decker hedge trimmer!

The lady was so funny when she called

lady: bla bla bla "i was calling to tell you that your entry was selected and you've won the hedge trimmers"


lady: "i'm so glad you are excited! i've called several people already and nobody really seems to care that they've won!"

Who wouldnt be excited about this??? I told the lady to feel free to call me back with other prizes and I'd scream for her again. I sure wanted that cultivator! Thank you Black and Decker and thank you Easy Care Landscaping magazine!

Now I can create my own poodle shrubs!!! HA HA @ Carol and Carolyn ;)

Here's my question - can I use these on my hedge roses or do I have to properly dead head them? I had no idea how much time and energy would be required for deadheading 26 hedge roses. Can i just use these things now?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hang On House Plant!

Since Pie Guy rescued these plants from the restaurant and gave them to GB and I, mine has nearly died at least 5 times.

I planted them both in one of the plastic pots that the charlie brown shrubs came in and put the pot in the kitchen so that I could enjoy it and keep an eye on it. The trouble is that my kitchen gets almost no natural light. Its one small east facing window just wasnt providing enough light and within a week, many of the leaves fell off and it looked near death.

As much as I hated to do it, I moved it down to the entry way by the back door. Oddly, it's the sunniest spot in the house which pisses me off. Anyway, I put the glass top from the freecycle table on top of the purple pot which made a plant stand that would put the pot up near the height of the window ledge providing as much light as possible.

I'm so thrilled that both plants have new growth! It's looking like they will survive until the spring after all. I can't wait till its warm enough to put them outside. Looks like I'll need to go pot shopping again! Now that it seems like I'm not going to kill them, I don't mind spending money on a proper pot.

Here's the other thing that pisses me off. GB got the other rescued plant and she threw it in her sunny bathroom still in the plastic grocery bag that Pie Guy delivered it in and it's done so well that she never potted it! Yes, you heard me right! Her's is thriving in her bathroom in a plastic grocery bag! She just waters the grocery bag. That is so not fair!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Jenga Jugs

Since my first round of winter sowing, we've gather about a gazillion more containers and I'm all set for round 2. If you ask Mr. W, he'd have told you I was ready a long time ago. "ARE YOU GOING TO USE THESE THINGS OR WHAT? THEY ARE TAKING OVER THE KITCHEN!" My plan was to wash, vent, and cut the containers as we emptied them and then take them down to the basement for storage. But as you can see they just keep multiplying and I just keep working around them being annoyed and thinking I'll get to it eventually. Maybe I'll get to it this weekend.

After my post about my first experiece, Trudi, the Queen of winter sowing, commented that she didnt know why I did this whole thing in the basement and that it's much easier to do it in the kitchen. Well, how can I say this, I'm not willing to sacrifice my relationship in the name of winter sowing. You see, Mr. W is a germaphobe. There is no way that he would tolerate somebody bringing big ass bags of dirt into the kitchen on purpose. We have argued time and time again about the magical powers of disinfectants but he just won't buy it. I whole heartedly disagree with him about all this crap but winter sowing in the basement is a small price to pay for all the love I get in return. He's even started saving stuff for composting and recycling without even being prompted! The other day he said "I have always been conscious of turning off lights to conserve but I never thought of the other ways I am wasteful. Now I can even throw away a piece of junk mail without feeling guilty about not recycling it!" I love that man! Here's the thing. He's out of town this weekend. Should I sneak the dirt into the kitchen? Shhhhhh

Here's the other reason I've been dreading more winter sowing

It's been snowing forever!! I can't believe I've lived here for over 6 years and still havnt bought myself a decent pair of snow boots. I'm totally ruining my pants as they drag through the snow and salt day after day. So, I'm off to do some shopping!

ps - to those friends and strangers who emailed me about my non-blogging - thank you for the kick in the rear.