Uncommon escape room

To escape reality many people choose a route that takes them down the illegal path. Some people just read books or do movie marathons. For the rest of us their is fishing or gardening. My husband hates bugs so fishing is never going to be our choice. I do like books and right now I dove back into my Sherlock Holmes collection. I am planning to find some Mark Twain next.

Escape rooms are the newest fashion for game time. Spending time as a work group, family group or just a date night at the local escape room is quite the entertainment. But I have an uncommon escape room.

My little geodesic dome garden dome is just the thing to get away from the monotony of winter and the doldrum of empty nest.

Struggle against boredom can be one of the stay at home prizes.

Commonplace greenhouses do not allow winter growing. Unless of course there is some sort of climate battery.

Three happy little flowers greeted me the other day. The first is a newly rooted cutting from a geranium that I bought on clearance last summer. there are a number rooted out but this is the first to bloom. The double pink blossom is a beauty. the next bloom is from the Gerbera Daisy that is now third season from rooting shares. I have six little plants but this is the first to send up a bloom. And the third bloom comes from a cutting rooted out from a geranium that has given me quite the challenge. I have had the plant for five years but this is the first time success came from the cuttings. Yay! I finally got some of the red violet to take root.

Outside after the drifts of snow have begun to disappear, we find treasures or trash. The little bamboo cat dish caught me real surprised. I have never seen this before in my life. An internet search proved it is a recent dish and it is an excellent specimen. My guess is that our little bulldozer Eva brought it from somewheres. Where did she go visiting is the question. It is a full mystery never to be solved. It makes a very nice saucer for the latest Gerber Daisy “pale pink” that I have added to my collection.

Yes, I finally succeeded at the crochet thing once again. Found this little pattern on YouTube but I fail to find the author. The description led me on a goose hunt. Bummer. I do look forward to another attempt though.

Today I am giving the world my silent treatment. My voice suffered a harsh blow with a recent virus attack. The first symptoms were sore throat and a constant tickle. Then unfortunately I failed to sleep one night from the annoying cough and then it happened: I choked on a vitamin meant to aid in healing. I was not aided in health but the illness continued it’s downward spiral. Being this is such a common occurrence for me, I do not take much alarm but attempt to occupy myself with the same remedies.steroid treatment from the doctor and constant snacking on soft foods and sipping water around the clock. I am no stranger to the health remedies of this throat ailment. I use to get this in the fall with the onset of rainy, moldy leaves. Now it seems getting it in the spring with the snowmelt and the return of spring rains is a new normal.

Enough about poor little old me. There are so many people that I know suffering some ailment or another. The prayer list is long these days. And meanwhile there are many celebrations coming up in the next few months. Birthdays, weddings, bridal showers, open house for the greenhouse and more seedlings to plant. I better get back to work.

Greenhouse Februrary Update

The temperatures are so cold I had to walk backwards from the barn to the house this morning. And I just looked up my weather and found out that was the warm hour. It is only going to get colder. Thank goodness it is only for a day or two. The winter week of windy blast did happen in December-January. The roller coaster weather continues.

Along with the cold came some snow and with the interstates closed down, my hubby is at the desk in the library. So I am back tot he little secretary in the kitchen. A bit of a “catch-all” the desk always has to be cleaned off just to do anything.

My little fig tree in its first year is so adorable. I moved the most ardent growing one into a square planter. I have to find one more for the other one. It is a little slower in its growth. The tree on the right is older by another year. Last year it tried to fruit. So I am hopeful for some fleshy figs this year.

Shared some greenhouse updates on social media and enjoyed the interactions. Geodesic dome gardening is a class of it’s own for sure. And learning how to balance the plant life is a challenge. I sure hope I get some edible greens going in there soon. I miss them. The little fig trees are fun to watch grow. Keeping the roots capped seems to be the key to a smaller “bush.”

My greenhouse has many little turtles or tortoises in it. I is because I think of the story of the hare and the turtle when it comes to things green. The hare thinks of everything as a race to the finish, rushing about and such. Whereas the tortoise knows that slow and steady wins the race. So last fall I buried these little grape hyacinth in the soil hear in the grow bed just in front of the little turtles nose. To my delight the little bulbs put forth their green sprouts this last week during the last bitter cold of the winter!

Above are two of the sweetest geranium blooms I could find the other day. The one on the left is a new cutting rooted from one of the host plants that I received from a neighbor. The little plant is such a vision of hope! And the one on the right is another cutting rooted form a friend who is my longest plant host. The plant just blooms and blooms and never seems to tire of putting forth the beautiful peaches and cream blossoms.

My experiment with the Tabasco pepper plant is working well. And I did survive planting them. I would like to try growing one in the greenhouse since I have so many. The night time temperatures are still hovering at 45 degrees so It will be another month before it can be re-homed there. The house will just have to find another shelf for the temporary garden growing.

My mental road block continues on the crochet thing. The mittens are a disaster so even though I keep ripping them out to try again, “Michael Finnagin” seems to be winning. I made a little basket in between the attempted mittens. But I am determined to try again. Success in one area is often off set with failure in another area. But just like Edison I’ll get that light bulb one of these days!

Carpeting day

In the greenhouse it was carpeting day recently. The geraniums were beginning to shed their petals all over the place, so to beat them at their game, I helped. Usually carpeting day is done monthly, but this time six weeks had passed. Winter is like that though. The cloudy days of this cold time don’t produce as many flowers. So by the time the “beheading” occurred more flowers were poking through. The little I-think-I-can blooms are so fun to see after the floor is all swept up and I make my rounds checking soil moisture et cetera.

In the cat huts the felines take up naps at sentimal watching. It never ceases to amaze me how many kittens can be in one hut. One day their were four in one hut and the last one had to keep poking a head in to see if there was room yet for him. It is funny to watch. This boxed foam cooler makes a “pur-fect” watching spot for Tabitha. She has become my new petted pet after Autumn left us.

In the barn, or shall I say “mouse house” we are busy watching out for the rodents now. They recently ate a hole in the horse feed bucket. Might have to get a metal can with a lid to keep them out.

In the starting tent installing lights was not cheap. I am considering letting them go much longer on. I think tomorrow is one week and nothing has popped through the soil yet. Patience is difficult when it seems like time is wasting away while I wait. There are so many more seedlings to start in the next month. I have an empty shelf at the moment and may find something to begin there.

In the people house the blanket is just about complete. Of course deciding how big to make it is the question. I am still doing a google reader on the tabernacle book that my mom gave me. But I also began L.M. Montgomery’s “The Story Girl.” It keeps my mind occupied when my hands are twiddling.

Allergic reactions are part of my new normal, I guess. And I had another one last night that required a Benadryl for relief. So I am missing out on my usual weekly visit with the grand children. It’s making me feel a little bummed. But the allergic reaction about had me in tears. So much for planning my days and weeks.

This entry took me a few days. The blanket is finished. And there are seedlings popping out of their tomb’s in the growing tent. The rose bush in the greenhouse nearly died of over watering-oops! And we are are now on season 2 of the Chosen. Now what? I ask myself this often these days. Now really following a daily list of any sort. I hear my hubby’s work calendar and my head spins. Simple life for me please.

In like a lamb

The old weather forecast says “In like a lamb, out like a lion.” Beware the ides of March. For indeed the weather dawns mild and warm for the month of March and the forecast says we will continue to lack rainfall or snow accumulation for this month. My third little grandee is gripping on tighter to her teeters this fourth month of life. Her great-grandfather ended February saying goodbye to another of his teeth. What a contrast in the ages. The weather has nearly the same contrast from day to day lately.

The coral kalanchloe has the most beautiful blooms and has been hanging onto them for nearly a month now. It loves being the centerpiece of my coffee table. I think I found it’s perfect climate! I purchased some little tea cup pots to give away in the next couple of months. The flowers will be full expanse by mid-March. i hope the transplant shock does not do too much damage. But I feel selfish keeping the blooms to myself. The crowded succulents seem to so happy!

Here is the baby progress in Greenfield Greenhouse. The left picture is the coral cannas that I split up in December just before Christmas. It is so scary doing such a thing. Of course some of the near 40 temps were a little hard on the early shoots in January. But the latest from February are growing with gusto. And the last week with nearly 85 temps in the afternoons has encouraged the tropical to put on plenty of new life! The tray of pansy seedlings is showing promise. The seeds were from a boughten package. I was hoping to transplant this week. That’s clearly too early. Perhaps by the end of the month. The petunia seeds that I saved all show hopeful leafage. Some things grow so slow! And then suddenly take off like geese to the skies. Which by the way I have heard two days so far flying overhead. it is one of my favorite spring sounds. Friday of this week I began to transplant the pansy cells. Uff day-I did not realize the tray is 200 cells not 100. Only 150 left to go. Time for some dixie cups.

We took care of the little flies and aphids or something that was attacking the Shasta Daisy starts. This one is the only bloom progress. Some of the seed that I received from my good friend in Minnesota produced a dozen or so starts. I think I will try to leave some in the landscape this fall. But will continue to bring some into the growing dome for overwinter division. Every time I have daisies left outside the winter is too harsh for the rebirth.

So there’s the update on growing! This month will continue to be busy with some spring cleaning in the house. Today I am doing the carpets with my “citrus” vinegar concoction and baking soda. Hubby informed me they are expecting uppers to take a few Saturdays to work in the foreseeable future. The first Saturday on his feet drove him to finally replace his work shoes with new ones. Hmmm…. I anticipate being well this month. My two weeks of “under the weather” in February was difficult to keep up with the plants, pets, and meals. This month should be better organized. I already have my mental list made.

Proof that airflow never hurts a geranium! This pale pink beauty is one of the ten seed geraniums that I picked up at a 99 cent sale. Since last summer the plants are just now bushing out. One of the rooted geranium babies decided to bloom since I cleaned “house” on Monday of all the blooms. This is one of my favorites, too! And there is ggrowth on the fig trees! These three sticks show promise of future fig trees. I though I would try to root some out over winter, but not much luck. Of 24 twig branches only these three remain.

Trial and error marks much of my growing dome experience. Some of the food attempts have been disappointment to say the least. Growing food really does work best outside. Our carrot trials have been very sweet but the miniature status over six months just not worth the amount of fertilizer one must use. Well, I am back in my hallway house and it is time to keep on with the spring cleaning. Some days I would rather just go back to play in the dirt!

Winter garden

This little snow lady is my most recent “snowman” in my collection. Usually the the little snowball people go on my piano top. This year I only put out my favorite ones. The Less seemed best in these days of living big in my small hallway house! I have been living in a “small” house for two decades. It makes one choosey about our collections.

After painting the living room and hallway a white color and discovering the ceiling also needed a fresh coat of paint, my love for the “white” in my life is showing up everywhere. I finally unpacked my white milk glass collection and put it back on top of the kitchen cabinets. As mauch as I like the little snowman, I am not the first to go out and build a cold icy wet one when the opportunity arrives. The cold air is just not so fun anymore.

So… This little “garden” loving figure was the perfect gift from my daughter for the holidays. (Even though technically it came after the holidays were over.). I am really going to enjoy the little figure with it’s air plant this year.

Winter gardening for the most part involves house plants, seed planning, and dreaming about spring and summer. Rooting our geraniums in the greenhouse and constantly monitoring the temperature is also on the daily to do!

Meanwhile, we studied up the best option for a physically fit piece of exercise equipment for out small house. Both of us managed about five minutes on the rowing machine the first day! I was up to ten minutes on the second day with a well rested body. We shall see how many videos on YouTube actually keep me fit this year. I’ll probably have my favorite “house plant tour” video memorized soon. Haha.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday are going to be my official work days in the Greenhouse. If I can just keep my focus and my lists and the plans going, there should be plenty to “share” with family and friends of the growing dome. Today, I managed to get three hours in before my asthma got the better of me. Yesterday, I had to apologize to my asthma control specialist. Honey was so sticky and annoying Sunday morning while I was trying to get ready for the day. I actually got angry with her at one point. Then, the true nausea and shortness of breath kicked in and my Honey doodle would not give up the nudging. She was right. She actually nudged my hand three or four times even while I did the inhaler. “Thanks, good girl. You are the best!”

The oregano received a new home. There are three little four inch pots to “share.” And the beds all received a bit of clean up as I prepare for new planting and the seed starting trays. The Baby Sun Rose is looking about ready for it’s haircut. This lovely spiller works great in the planter displays.

And of course what is a trip to the greenhouse in the winter time without a little time to “enjoy the roses?” These pink geraniums are the joy of my work day. The soft pink seed geranium that I picked up on clearance are looking awesome. I think there are ten total. The Blush pink is the mother plant to a dozen new cloned babies. And the Bright Coral plant is a mother also. I can’t remember how many babies I have from that one. I am so grateful to my mother plant donors for the joy of working with these lovely flowers.

And finally, I am trying to finish up a new stitch shawl. The Bavarian Box Stitch is my latest know-how. And it has been rather fun to learn something new. Of course every stitch is done with prayer and someday I will finally get to start that club. “Stitches with prayer” is a dream of mine. One day…

I’m a groupie

Not sure if that is really a word or not. But after joining an online crochet group, I am learning a thing or two, I hope.

My first share was these lovely pillows for my daughter. Yeah there were two pictures, I just thought this one was most precious! The pattern is one of my favorites from the past year of crochet.

Of course finding the original proved a bit difficult. Who made the first pattern graph is beyound me. I tried to find it but failed. Nearly got kicked out of the group for sharing something that had a copyright. So my photo has it’s owner. ME!

It was a little frustrating to have someone answer the pattern possibility with something that was not even the same thing. Oh, well. At least it is perfectly okay to “dub” a pattern as my own if it relates to the creation itself.

Proof that there is really nothing new under the sun.

Some of my creations this past year came from old cross-stitch patterns. So I guess I may have to start writing out my patterns to share. The Christmas poinsettia was probably my most proud accomplishment. This pattern was very challenging to create. And I learned about the effect of angled overlay stitches. So the bottom half ended up different than the top. Because of my eyesight, doing this pattern into a graph is too hard. Maybe I can get my husband to write it out for me. Haha.

Today, it was a greenhouse day.

The growth in the dome is prolific. The fig tree even decided to start growing. So I cleaned out last spring/fall growth and started some more new geranium babies. I also finally got my lavender started. Growing the lavender from seedlings should be fun. I hope I can keep the seedlings just “barely” damp or a little dry. The videos all seemed to say that the grow light is the key to the lavender germination.

For a Monday, today was very productive. So much for the forecast of snow showers. The sun was out all day. So glad to be active and find some activity that really puts spring just around the corner.

Deuteronomy 32:2 NKJV. “Let my teaching drop as the spring rain, my speech distill as the dew, As raindrops on the tender herb, And as showers on the grass.” Today was very refreshing. Just like cleaning out the closet and giving away our unused clothing, cleaning in the greenhouse makes me feel better. A day well spent is so very much spring in the winter.

Slippers season

Staying power

This week we spent the evenings in the recliner loveseat with our slippers on. The temperatures have reached their January postition. So why shouldn’t we take up ours. While the sitting is not winter worthy, we decided to watch “The Outsider.” It is a series created by a Canadian hand crafted log builder. I find the time relaxing. My husband choses to saw logs right with the constant buzzing that comes from the ipad.

So much for winter being a time to reconnect and feel closer together. Hubby missed all four series hours that we “watched.” Maybe it’s too much like bird watching or something. We did see a perfectly camouflaged quail though. Why a log cabin build series? Maybe knowing how one goes up the old fashioned hand-hewn way will help us in our dream cabin. Maybe.

The days though cold are predictably unfeeling. The wind does not care that the branches are bare. Fingers turn blue under the faucet. The dog does not know the meaning of below zero and my training sessions with her are limited to fifteen minutes before meal time. That makes it hard to be patient with her the rest of the hours in the day.

Staying power with my puppy has no purpose. Stay to her means two inches away. Stay when I am trying to comb her means nothing. She wants to rise up and take flight after an invisible frisbee even while I am trying to get her to relax and enjoy the combing session. I have learned much from constant attention to distraction. Sticking with some project or another involves some sort of magnetism that is stronger than the force of warmth that wants to keep me in the bed on these cold mornings. Duty calls. Honey has no sense of duty in all of the amazing sixth senses that she has. Maybe she’ll get staying power when she is old. Haha.

We are getting down to the last drops of hand soap. Ouch these poor blue digits. I hope the lack of suds and warm water to wash hands does not end up in another sinus infection. Standing at the sink to wait for the hot water to arrive certainly requires slippers or fortitude. You decide.

Along with the frigid air came the empty propane tank at the greenhouse. That makes me a bit discouraged. The last two crops have been a bit lacking and I am still looking forward to the February planting time. We may let the dome freeze off after all. Finding a home for all the geraniums might be difficult. wish I had a basement to haul them all into for a few weeks. There are eight, no maybe nine, and also six or seven other hanging planters that keep growing in spite of the lack of sunshine.

The split pea soup filled the house with it’s vegetable aroma yesterday. That makes the house smell emptier today. Except for the lotion on my fingers and the coffee in my cup, the lack of some warm vapors tantalizing my nostrils makes me wonder why the dog has to go searching for such awful smells sometimes. But a dog does not cook up some delightful stew when they feel like it. Proof that evolution is a sham once again.

Crocheting through the recent book reads passes the time for me. January is a great time to get caught up on the book list. And pick up and unfinished project. December had no time for such pleasure reading. From the Baker’s Secret to Doctor Zivago, my reading material has been so widely different that sometimes my head spins. The favorite so far was Being a Dog: Smell. It opened my eyes to what little we actually pay attention to in regard to our senses.

I feel the frigid water at the sink far to frequently.

I smell the coffee in my cup getting weaker with it’s decaffeinated grounds.

I feel the messy fur of my dog hunting for outdoors she brings in with her.

I taste the parsley from the greenhouse in my bowl of split pea soup.

I hear the cat howl after I tread on her softly once again.

I see that time has past once more into another weekend.

Just like that my mug of goodness is now cold. I ran outside with this finished shawl to get the sky in the background. There is nothing like a warm shawl to fight of the bite of cold. Maybe I should make a mug warmer. Back to the microwave with my coffee cup. Will this deep freeze never open its doors to sunshine again. Maybe in February. For now the cold wind and the distant sun will have to wear a shawl to warm up!

Pinning clouds to the sky

Today’s been a long week (7)

“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so entangles us and run with endurance the race that is set before us.” -Hebrews 12:1 (my mixed up memorized version)

My emotions have been a little under the rug lately. One minute I am happy and excited about some miniature flower found in the greenhouse. The next hour the dog has paw-scratched my nose and there is no little Suga kitten to hug anymore.

Discontentment in the middle of snow filled winters can be a hard chunk of ice to stumble over. And there are a few of those around. The other day while putting all of my yarn projects in order, the weight of “having” to do something just really hit me, and the “wanna” just up and left. If have struggled with the get up and go and feel like there just might be a horse whip after me soon.

While the sun is high in the sky and the snow glares its blinding white reflection, pinning clouds to the sky seems to be my new aim.

What in the world would someone try to pin clouds to the sky for?

Well, when the sun is too bright, like during the hot summer days, a little cloudburst is just the answer. Pinning clouds to the sky is impossible. However the training mode in which we have now arrived is exactly that. Honey won’t drop a toy unless she decides. She grabs ahold of the leash and tries to yank it out of my hand. She seems to think gloves and mittens are toys rather than a cover for my fingers. Whenever I am on the phone, she demands play time or she’ll run away. Popcorn only works if it is fresh and buttery. She also has decided being with, if it is not her choice, then it won’t happen. I think she is more sick of winter than I am. This ninth month of exuberance has me wondering how to make her lazy. Once again I am feeling the discontent worm eat away.

Where does one find a place of peace and contentment when the sky moves on without the cloud that we tried to pin up there? Dreams and goals fail. Things go awry and the worms eat the cabbage. sometimes life just smells like a skunk flower ready to plant on the corner of the garden. Maybe I don’t want to go into a garden either if there is a skunk bulb ready to plant.

(By the way there really is a skunk bulb. It is the Fritillaria Lutea. It is meant to keep critters out of the garden and is often planted at the corners or near gate entrances. Get your hanky ready though! And the funniest part is the flower looks like it has a white Kleenex stuck up a nostril. How funny is that? The Bulbs are so pungent the moles stay out of the garden.)

Now that onion lore has bored the reader, perhaps there is more to this cloud pinning thing.

The kind of day that demands a second pot of coffee is long and busy. But the days that crawl by are just as demanding. Our present reality cannot be so easily checked out of like luggage for the flight. Putting the chores on hold until the weekend or leaving the garbage until the morning could be just the road to slothville. Winter is the perfect time to develop a bit of procrastination character trait. The do-it-now driven personality could learn a little from the hibernaceous creatures. With all the winter bugs there are to catch, being lazy and turning in for bed early might actually keep health as a focus. But sleeping and finding snooze too many times in a row, might best be left for the weekend.

Pinning doilies to my doily board is much more successful. My sister made a square one out of insulation board. but having so little wall space, I decided that using the largest embroidery / quilt ring would work for me and then it would be easier for my blind-self to hang it on a hook behind the library door. This cozily below was made from a ball of thread I rescued from the winter snows behind the house. Who put it there is quite a mystery. I still think Honey stole it alon with the roll of stamps that “cleaning” day awhile back. The doily turned out very pretty.

This morning we were finally successful with learning “Drop.” Honey ignores us grandly for the last few months on this command. Last night we put the soft in house flyers up where she could not chew on them. So with a hand full of popcorn, I brought out her favorite toy ever and began a training session. While in my book hands-on-hip means exasperated and angry, apparently she got the signal today to finally drop the frisbee so that she could play ‘our way.’ After five minutes and over a cup of popcorn, she dropped the cloth disc every time! Wow!

Success often comes after difficulty. This winter has been a cold one. Though it was too cold for many things to grow beautifully in the greenhouse, the lettuce that I planted directly into the grow bed finally decided to pop up. The sun can be convincing. Weeks that feel like months, and days that feel like weeks while demanding more than one pot of coffee can wear on the spirit. But do not be dismayed, victory comes for those who persevere. Patience really is a virtue.

Pinning clouds up in the sky would just block the power of the sun to help my plants grow anyhow. I’m not quite ready for the shade cloth days. Spring will be here soon enough with it’s wet puddles and muddy paws.

Tomorrow’s garden

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow -Audrey Hepburn

While preparing for the first cold snap that our enclosed garden would face, we spent evenings in the greenhouse sealing up the air leaks and getting the pond prepared to add its warmth to the environment.  This view of the dome lit up from the lamp within was worth taking a moment to photograph.  And of course the moon in the distance was spectacular that night. 

The garden at night in the country isn’t usually a place you want to be. During the summer the bugs are so numerous that we say, they’ll eat you alive. My vision door the garden in winter is no longer a place to pile the snow.  Tomorrow’s garden will be a warm place away from the bitter winds. 

Today’s garden is a storage shed filled with the supplies for the grow beds.  We measured our cubic foot area on Sunday and made a decision to begin filling the beds.  While learning about what different soils to best grow different veggies and herbs I have watched so many news stories about winter greenhouses that sometimes I feel booksnart and experience poor. 

Tomorrow’s garden will feed more than just the two of us.  Blessings of yesterday’s garden gave us enough canned goods to overflow our shelf space.  Though why it’s called canning when we put them in jars is still a puzzle.

Today’s garden holds the promise of spring.  The snow is swirling don the driveway as I walk back from the mailbox in the previous photo. That view gives me such hope for tomorrow that Audrey Hepburn’s quote rings through loud and clear. 

Inside the greenhouse the mum is laughing at the cold wind. “Spring is coming soon!” Cries the green foliage of my chrysanthemum.