Wednesday, April 1, 2020

A Bit of Spring in my Farmhouse Kitchen!


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Hi, the calendar says it's SPRING, but here in Chicagoland and in our home, she is totally dragging her feet.



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Spring isn't just for bunnies.

Christmas Pig (that's her name) is much like the infamous sow in the "Outlander" books by Diana Galbadon. So many piglets have been born this Spring. (The piglets are corn cob holders, fronts and back ends, LOL) ..they seem to move around in their little nest in my antique coffee grinder. 

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I was sick of Winter RED along with Winter, so I have switched almost everything to blue. 
Normally I force some forsythia, but I think our bushes got badly nipped with 
the early FREEZE we had last Fall, so I am using faux pansies on the table instead.

Momma Pig is pretty attentive...after years of being washed with a wet, kitchen cloth, she needs a new coat of paint, but her piglets are fresh and pink!

oldnewgreenredo

Locked in the house, I have slowly been doing some Spring cleaning---and I oiled the island counter. We do this on the butcher block island maybe four times in a year, because this surface gets more use than any of the others.

 I found the vintage blue vase at a thrift store, and it is filled with faux Forsythia and some small Iris. Perfect for Spring. The potholder was stitched by my friend Dorothy and is perfect background for wooden spoons.

oldnewgreenredo

Normally I have a runner here, but with the fresh oil, I'm waiting a week or two for the oil to totally sink in.  The Danish enameled sauce server holds some very vintage beaded flowers. The crock is very old, and holds our napkins. 

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The sweet teapot and two stoneware mugs, were from my mom-in-law. The trivet is very old, pansies and probably German porcelain. 


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I calmed down the colors in our corner cabinet and brought in some birds. This cabinet is awaiting some Spring touches, when I can find them. (Next Post)





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The platter in the middle is titled "Tulip Time", I added my last two tulip plates from Crate and Barrel, years ago, and my Grandmother's antique Dutch salt and pepper and a sweet Dutch Maid bell.  






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I cleaned the corner cabinet and did find the Spring banner. With shutdown, no one will be coming for Easter....sigh.




The plants are growing great. Transplanted most of the tomatoes. 

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The broccoli is going to the greenhouse today. We are maintaining 50 degrees out there, so it will be happier than the dry warm kitchen.


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Like many Grandparents we miss our Grandgirl, our kids...and the family gatherings. 
Thank goodness for the phone, photos, videos and the love 
that pours from that normally annoying device!
I decorated the fridge from Spring items from last year, and an old SPRING photo! 

NEXT POST 

the BASEMENT PROJECT, and in search of Spring Decor!!!


Thank you for any and all comments.
Finally I am able to reply to comments by using Chrome. So all you Mac users who have upgraded to Catalina---this might help the glitches on Safari  and Blogger!






Thursday, March 26, 2020

Midwest Gardening: Late March 2020


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Here in Chicagoland, inside it looks like a greenhouse, 
most noticeable in my living room. YES, two-feet from my front door. The black boxes are an air purifier and a humidifier. 
The large pots are all holding my hubby's enthusiastic
Caladium purchases!


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So much for a pretty Spring housewalk.

Our well water ruined two furnace humidifiers, the portables are far cheaper, and can easily be maintained.

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In the kitchen, both windows are full of transplanted starts. 

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They are a bit droopy after transplanting, but Tomatoes  look better today.



We had to go up with portable shelving. I will be transplanting more if we get more dirt. ONLY if something important HAS to be purchased. 

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I label every HOT PEPPER pot...so these are planted far away and don't cross pollinate with our other other peppers. They will probably be in pots near the garage---quarantined if you will.


 Not colorful yet these are the colorful Coleus from my last garden post. $8.00 worth of seed, will give us MORE than enough coleus for our shady yard. 


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We had snow on Tuesday, so the greenhouse is still not viable, even though yesterday it reached 85 degrees in there. Nights need to temper just a bit more, before we move in plants. 

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A few hours straightening in here, and we will be ready to go!
I'm hoping to do the next round of transplanting out here!




All day Wednesday we got outside...the garden was almost taken care of in fall...and is now draining. We will have 4 days of rain, starting today. So tilling will be awhile. 
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Most of yesterday was cleanup!


Stacking wood from our spruce tree!

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Bundling branches for pickup, we are opting for less burning, and these will be mulched at a recycling center.

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Our neighbor is home from work and really tackled their yard.

It will be fun to see what revitalizes when the plants rise up!
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We only have tiny bits of green coming, mostly Iris, and some Daffodils. I leave ALL the leaves and healthy stems for bird nesting materials, and to protect our bees, which burrow underneath, praying mantis and other helpful bugs. 



 With my knee replacement last Fall, you didn't get to see that our project was well underway, to clear up our problem area.
Hubby spread we aren't sure how many bags of paver base across the yard where we have drainage issues and couldn't grow grass.

Paver base was spread over leveled ground, a layer of weed blocker, sand and then paver base. It really firmed up over the winter, and the leaves were easy to rake off.
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We didn't get to do any decorative additions, but now I have a blank slate and can begin a plan. (The Caladiums and Coleus should be very happy here in pots. 

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Hubby finished the fence in November. I can't wait to put some trailing vines and impatiens on those small shelves. 

Hubby planted Hosta I grew from starts, below and all around here, I hope they made it through the freeze/thaw winter we had.

oldnewgreenredo

We never had deep snow cover for a long period of time, much of the yard was bare in between. I think we are 3" below average snowfall, for Chicagoland.
On the other side of the house my fisher pair, lost their poles again. I'm beginning to wonder if an animal carries them off to chew on.

oldnewgreenredo


Around the pond, are Mini Iris, ground covers, Iris, 

and Daffy's coming up.



The pond is disgusting and just thawed out. I'll throw a cup of bleach in it, and scoop all the leaves out,

and then run clear water through it, when it warms up.

The frogs like some leaves in there to hide in. Our water plants, weren't brought into the house, because of the early frost, so I will have to purchase some new ones---Papyrus, for sure! 

I may just use some Philodendrom and a Spath also...I have none at the moment.

We usually have frogs within a week of cleaning the pond out.
I do use mosquito floats in both of the ponds, and nothing seems to mind them except the mosquitos.

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Around the corner is the Sweet Pea trellis, I didn't get cleaned up because of my surgery. That will come down when I clear the flower beds. Our Sweet Peas are from a 59cent package in 1985!

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This area faces East. And, the Daffodils bloom here first. I thinned them two years ago---and it looks like they need it again. I need a new focal plant here, our 20-year old rose, finally croaked.

\

oldnewgreenredo

Along the fence, I started multiple perennials last year, mostly Holly Hocks, and transplanted some Echinacea, and Phlox. We will see what comes up.

I had some going-south citrus fruit languishing in the fridge drawer, and I sliced them in half. I put them outside, just to see who might want them.
oldnewgreenredo

We have lots of critters in our yard, so many birds, squirrels, chippies, moles (not good), possums, raccoons, woodchucks, frogs, toads, really a happy bunch of critters.

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We had hung some oranges up on a stick earlier, and they were ripped down and emptied underneath. 

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Sure enough you can see a trail along the beam of orange halves...I dont' know who took the limes...LOL. But, they are gone!

PS This happened during the day, Wednesday...so that eliminates the night stalkers!

HOW ARE YOUR GARDEN PLANS and Critters COMING?

Thank you for any and all comments.
Finally I am able to reply to comments by using Chrome. So all you Mac users who have upgraded to Catalina---this might help the glitches on Safari  and Blogger!



Monday, March 23, 2020

EXCUSE ME! It's supposed to be SPRING!

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Thoughtful Moments #6

March 23, 8am...Chicagoland 
SNOW AGAIN?????
STILL????
Forever.........sigh!
oldnewgreenredo

It's not a ton....of snow, but people it is AFTER the Vernal Equinox...start of SPRING???
We have yard work to do...the spruce tree that died late last year, that we didn't deal with because of snow (and we just put Christmas lights on it, on the ground. Hubby got it cut up in the midst of rain and snow the last two weeks. Sigh.....

oldnewgreenredo

NOW, if you wanted a photo of screen---you wouldn't be able to get one this clear, LOL.
The pond is still frozen...and the fisher gal and guy---are waiting....and waiting... and waiting 
 for Spring.

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I use the same setting on my camera for everything---and today it chose to focus on the mist on the window...you can see my planter with the Forsythia...cheering up the porch...HA HA HA!


oldnewgreenredo

Snuggled in the Viburnum bush are our sparrows. 
They were not chirping this morning...
We did have a Robin last week, wonder where he is at, now.

Pinterest original source unknown

I looked for a 'thoughtful' quote,
 and this one just made me laugh! 

No wonder, I'm dragging my heels 
 decorating for SPRING???

Thank you for any and all comments.
Finally I am able to reply to comments by using Chrome. So all you Mac users who have upgraded to Catalina---this might help the glitches on Safari  and Blogger!