Thursday, February 24, 2011

Seedlings Eruptus!

Along with the seedlings I planted in the newspaper pots - I did a 72" cell of Jiffy....set those to seed in the jiffy pot on Sunday February 13th...and by Thursday, February 17, I had sprouts...see below.  Finally on Sunday - the climbing cardinals and cucumbers had about a 4" leggy sprout that I had to transplant to bigger pots.  These worked well, my alyssum, snapdragons and coleus and onions are also starting to sprout. 

Any suggestions on how to get strong stalks, please feel free to advise!  Wish I had more luck with my 52 little seedling pots that I put up.  I think I didn't either water enough, or put enough soil in the pots.  I have moved them all from the dark spare bedroom to my window in my bedroom - hoping that a little water and sunlight will surely do the trick...so far only one tiny sprout out of all 52....and I hope that will make it - I have a ton of impatients that i'm trying to seed.  If they don't work i'm going to go back to the jiffy pots....I bought a pack of morning glory seeds and plan on starting those this weekend. 

On other news, we had a small tunderstorm here today in Mckinney, high winds, supposedly we had hail, but I didn't see any signs of that.  Went to check rain gauges and two of the three are busted......but on as a side note....I went and plunged the spicot on the rain barrell and had a steady stream of fresh rain water in it - yippee! 


Also, just so you know how novice of a gardener I am.....last November (Thanksgiving Day, to be exact - my dad and sweet nephews gathered up all my pots of various plants and moved them to the garage for me, as we prepared for our first frost.  I left the plants in the garage for almost a month....right before Christmas, I had this great idea to get a pop-up greenhouse and put my garage plants in there.  I googled and found that a great heat source is Christmas lights.....even better.  I set up my greenhouse - moved little tables and benches into it - set up my plants; water them really well and ran an outdoor extension cord and a string of Christmas lights to the greenhouse.  A few days went by, non-freezing temps...so nothing to worry about - full sun during the day....then sometime first of January - we were hearing about our first snow of the season.  I turned on my lights...it was a cute sight...and watched the snow come down...here's what the greenhouse looked like amidst the snow....
How cute is that!!!  Well guess what...the lights I bought....umh, rope Christmas lights...Energy Efficient.....NO HEAT!  can you say plant killer!!!  Ugh...so I killed my beautiful lantana that I purchased in June in Pratt, KS on a trip to see my great uncle.  Also gone, my lovely boston fern, my cheap Pentas (that I didn't like anyway), a really nice purple passion flower I bought in Sulphur, OK, cute little ivys, my shamrock plant (which I know isn't really gone) and my sweet potato vines, coral bells...ugh.....I have alot to learn.
Last Sunday, I opened up the greenhouse and much to my surprise - not all hope was lost......my little ivy was still hanging on - go figure, I can't!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Big Ma



Today our grandma, Nellie Faye Mallonee Watkins would have turned 92 years old.  We lost her in May of 2007 to cancer.  She raised 5 boys, buried one baby girl and had an unwavering faith in God.  I was lucky enough to get one of her Bibles....amongst the scriptures she would write down, were recipes and little notes from her sisters about patterns.  She loved to crochet, sew and visit with family.  She and grandpa always made a big garden on the north side of their house...and she was a big canner.  She'd often say 'go down in the cellar and get a jar of this or that'...when we were younger.
Here's a pretty picture of her amongst her roses, possibly sometime in the 70s..(hence the glasses).   Also, a snippet of the video we played in her honor at her funeral.  I miss her.
  video

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In Search of Eliza Ann.....

In 2007 I began a journey into family history.  One of the biggest mysteries I encountered is that of my great great great grandmother, Eliza Ann Clay Millet Nafus.   Eliza Ann was born sometime after August 1850...less than a year after her parents, John & Sarah and older sister Elizabeth boarded a ship called the Patrick Henry and set sail for the US from Liverpool, England.  The Patrick Henry arrived in New York on December 5, 1849.  John, Sarah and Elizabeth were 3 of 353 passengers aboard the ship.  Making up the ship's manifest were over 248 Irish, who left Ireland during the potato famine, 4 children were born on the voyage and three infants perished.

The Clays arrived in New York, and by 1860 they had made their way to Buchanan County, Iowa.  They were now a family of 8...John, Sarah, Elizabeth, my Eliza Ann, Henry, William and twins Alice and Albert...just infants.  In 1868, Eliza Ann married Elmer Millet and became an instant mother to his three small children after he lost his first wife in 1865.  Elmer and Eliza Ann had four children of their own, including my great great grandma, Nellie Millet.  Sometime in 1875, Elmer, Eliza Ann and the 7 children moved to Montgomery County, Kansas.  The 1875 census is the last time Eliza Ann, Elmer and children are all together.  By 1878, Eliza has married Daniel 'Merris' Nafus and had another son, Cornelius, born in November of 1878.  In the 1880 cenus, Eliza, Daniel, Cornielus and children Sadie and Jenny from her marriage to Elmer are living in Labette Co, Kansas.  Missing amongst them are Elmer's children by his first marriage and Eliza and Elmer's two children, Nellie and son Lewis.  All these children are living with other families in Labette and Montgomery Co, Kansas.  Eliza and Daniel had another son, Daniel in 1882.  Its here after 1882, there is no record of the Nafus's until 1900 and Eliza Ann is no longer living.  I suspect she died sometime soon after 1882, because in an autobiography of Labette Co, pioneer, Jabez Zink he states that Sadie Millet (born in 1876) came to live with them at the age of 6.

Here's the only known picture we have of Eliza Ann Clay Millet Nafus....perhaps she's boarding that water barge, along the Neosho river somewhere in Labette County, Kansas.  She certainly looks older than a woman in her 30s with 6 children and 3 step children, 2 marriages.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Lampost, a rain barrel and one mad kitty!

This week my parents came down from Oklahoma to celebrate my twin nephews 14th birthday.  We had a great time while they were here, mom made a family favorite - Pork chops with tomato rice soup - it was delicious....each bite felt like home!


On Friday, before mom and dad went home, dad installed my rain barrel....he said he could remember as a kid, the Mallonees (my great grandparents) with barrels under their eaves catching rainwater.  I bought mine from master gardener. Beth Mortenson...of www.catchtherain.com after she spoke at the Mckinney 'rain harvest' seminar back in January.
Daddy was also kind enough to install my lampost in my east flower bed.  Charlie came over and helped him, while me, mom and Lisa went to Mckinney Trade Days.  Here they are mixing cement - I had to make two extra trips to Home Depot for more bags of quick set, who knew one lampost would take 180 lbs of cement to set!
Here's the lampost....while the cement is setting.....this is mom and dad posing just before they head back to Oklahoma....
On Saturday,  I finished the flowerbed, set the lampost and planted my two rose bushes that I bought.  A Mr. Lincoln and a John F Kennedy bush...in honor of Presidents day.  After the last frost, i'll plant my First Ladies' Snapdragons and this east flowerbed will be an honorary Presidential garden....haha.

My cats love to come outside with me....but Lola, my tortie has the heart of a hunter and wanders around the beds, lounges and stretches on the patio then without notice...she's over the fence and in the neighbors yard...here's the proof......
She did that everytime she was out this weekend, so all day Sunday - she had to stay in and it didn't sit too well.....she climbed up the windows, clawed at the door....she was one mad kitty!
 It was a great weekend, despite Lola running off - here's how the east Presidential garden transpired....outlined with border....

 Next got ugly with some cardboard...(pizza boxes work great)
 Then a lovely layer of newspaper, shredded bills, paper, etc.....cypress mulch, peat and repeat!
Then finally a layer of the good presentable mulch and it turns out something like this....

Can't wait to transplant my seedlings and other lovelies in the EPG! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A few aprons to show....

Last year I had a little crush on Aprons....so I made several, a cute one for my sis, for her birthday and then attempting to use up scrap fabric. 

Granny squares in colors of pink, red, brown and cream!!  Everything looks better in the snow!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Starting the little seedlings....


I started my flower seedlings 10 days ago.  Made 50 little newspaper pots and used organic seed starter.  I planted snap dragons, sweet pea, hollyhocks, delphiniums and various dalhias and zinnias.  I watered and put them away in my spare bedroom with two layers of cotton towels soaked in water over them.  I've re-wet the soil and towels and will check them again in 5 days...hopefully we'll see some sprouts coming through!

I also decided to try my hand at winter sowing....I planted various seeds in an empty water jug, split open the side just under the handle and tied closed with some coated wire I found in the yard.  I put it out up against the house, temperatures were in the single digits for 3 nights in a row...but looks like the little jug held up nicely...here's a pic of winter sowing in the snow!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Crochet in the Snow

I thought the snow would be a great backdrop to show my progress on my  'Sweet as Pie' Pillow ; pattern from one of my favorite blogs....The Royal Sisters.  Back is complete - hope to finish the front tonight...just hope the snow doesn't melt away before I can take a pic!
Yarn is my favorite cotton yarn, sugar and cream, the Cloche is a gift from my sis, Lisa for Christmas from Frisco Mercantile and the little bench is a fall garage sale find for $10 bucks.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

This little blog of mine.....

Thanks for stopping by this little blog.  Here you'll find me talking about all the things I'm currently obsessed with....mainly gardening in north Texas zone 7b, thrift store shopping, baking,  crocheting and researching family history....exciting stuff!  The ladies in my banner are the lovely Harris girls, circa 1930s.  That's Mae (my grandma),  Pauline, Jenny June, and Hazel Marie - all born and raised in Lincoln County, Oklahoma....true red dirt girls!

I started lasagna gardening last March, a little skeptical about the process - but after I had put in my first 30' of flowerbed and I planted this rosebush.  Here below it was a mere 2 1/2' tall.  

 By September this little rosebush that I planted on May 16, has grown to over 6' tall....in just 4 short months. Now i'm a believer in lasagna gardening!

Here it is this first week of February as north Texas is layered in ice and snow.  We haven't been above freezing since Tuesday.  Tomorrow (Friday) another round of snow is coming...i'm ready for flip flops!


Stay warm gardeners....Spring is just around the corner!