Openhouse

The first of December means the UNH Poinsettia Open House. Two greenhouses full of beautiful poinsettias with all proceeds going to benefit the Thompson School Greenhouse Facility and Horticulture Program.

My gardening pulse quickened just breathing in the warm air and the smell of soil. Then add two greenhouses of poinsettias, and I was a happy woman. I almost grabbed a chair to sit down when I realized there was a greenhouse full of fresh vegetables – tables of lettuce, ripe, red tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. The vegetables are being grown by the UNH students in partnership with a local school.

Are poinsettias part of your holiday decor? Have a favorite color?

I was there when they opened, and the greenhouses were already crowded with shoppers including a couple of other Master Gardeners I know. When it was time to pay, the line extended all the way through the greenhouse.

What caught my eye? They had these little ones with only one bloom. There were only about 20 of them, so I picked up three. They fit in a sugar or creamer and look extremely cute.

I put two on my kitchen window sill and one on my table. I’ve never seen single bloom  ones before, but I sure hope they have them again next year.

A cherry tomato plant dripping with red tomatoes found its way into my bag as well. I don’t know how that happened. 🍅

I’m also happy to be writing a post today because last week I was without a computer for four days. Count them – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. 🙂

The local computer store that was replacing my battery was able to remove it with solvent the first day, but when they installed the new battery the computer didn’t recognize it. It seems that Apple not only doesn’t want you to replace the battery, but when you purchase a new battery, there is a small but critical piece missing. So, a part had to be purchased from CA, overnighted, and now it is humming like a new machine.

I was talking to the owners about the times in the past when I’ve spent about 15 minutes in a store while a battery was replaced – open the back, take one out, put one in. They said after Tim Cook took over from Steve Jobs the parts are now all attached together and glued down so when a machine needs repair, they assume you will just replace it with a new one. It certainly is food for thought when you are looking at a laptop in the $1,200+ price range.

So, here we are in the first full week of December. I’ve got two lunches with friends, computer work to do for the Master Gardeners, and some sewing. What’s on your calendar?

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Posted in Gardening, New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Christmas traditions

I’ll tell you mine, if you’ll tell me yours. 🙂

I’ve always loved Christmas decorations. As a child, we always had a decorated tree, but that was the extent of the decorations. However, my grandparents had lots of decorations.

My grandmother also enjoyed making wreaths and sprays with fresh greenery and winterberries. Thanksgiving weekend arrives, and I start itching to cut branches.

I have pine aplenty but no fir or enough winterberries to work. But, with credit card in hand, my local greenhouse had plenty of fresh supplies to choose from.

I did an outdoor arrangement and made sure I had enough to put in a vase that just happened to be one my grandparents received for their 50th anniversary. I got a 2 for 1 memory with the indoor arrangement.

I need to be able to take everything down quickly because of our departure for SC right after the holiday and since I don’t need room underneath for presents, I got the smaller tree down. For teenagers with long lists of items that in most cases grandparents don’t even recognize the name, cash is king, and cash doesn’t require a box. Sad but true. If you have any actual presents to be wrapped, just let me know, and I’ll come right over. I miss it.

The 4′ tree needed some height at the bottom so I used a washtub as a base, covered it with green burlap, and set it on a plant stand. I love repurposing so this works for me. I still have my lights and all of my favorite, family ornaments a few of which are well over 50 years old. Some of the older ones are a little worse for the wear, but I understand and appreciate that because those words could probably be used to describe me as well. 🙂

I love ornaments and buy one each time we travel. I also buy one for my daughter and grandkids each year whether they want one or not. It’s my thing. I can’t be stopped even with the rolling of the eyes. 🙂

While at the greenhouse I also saw a couple of cute planters made out of pallets. I grabbed a photo for you because I am always amazed by what people do with pallets.

Then there is the food. Besides the traditional items, there are two things we always have – cranberry jello with fresh cranberries and apple that my mother-in-law always made and at least a couple of batches of toffee.

I do well in a toffee coma. The toffee recipe is from fellow blogger, Kerry at Love Those Hands at Home.  I think kindly of her every time I make a batch.

So, now it’s your turn. What’s on your Christmas traditions list? 🎄

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , | 80 Comments

Thursday Doors

It is Thanksgiving here in the United States. So, this is the most important door of the day in every household across the land. Through this door will pass turkey, dressing, a variety of veggies, and pie – lots of pie. Ah, I love this door.  🦃

Linked to Norm Frampton’s weekly global collection of Thursday Doors,
November 23, 2017.

Posted in Photography, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , , | 30 Comments

Cornucopia of things

I have to admit I go through a funk when the gardening season is over. I miss being outdoors every day,  hands in the soil, and seeing bright colors.

Next week is the annual poinsettia open house at the UNH Greenhouse so I’ll enjoy that. We also have a tree trimming crew coming so maybe I’ll grab a chair and a blanket and sit outside and watch a maple come down and two oaks get trimmed. Wow – that’s desperate even for me. 🙂

Winter has definitely arrived including cold temps, lots of wind, and some snow flurries. Matter of fact, if you are a skier, come on up this holiday weekend because the slopes are open and ready for business.

Technical issues arrived a couple of weeks ago in the form of a battery not holding a charge and then some other crazy things like a cursor that roams around the screen and saved passwords not working. Who knew when you need a new battery in your Mac that it is glued in because they’d prefer that you buy a new one rather than have it repaired. For the first time, the Apple Genius bar blew me off at an appointment so I am dealing with a small local computer repair store. The battery should be in next week and hopefully after a few hundred dollars, some solvent carefully applied, and a couple of days in service it will be working better.

I also switched from a Samsung Note to an iPhone, and I’ve definitely had some physical adjustments there as well. Which one do I like better? I’m not sure yet.

My grandson’s king sized quilt is finished, and he is happy with the end result which is what matters. I printed a replica of his gaming controller to use as a label.

Thank heavens I have a local long arm quilter who is quite reasonable because I would otherwise not tackle large projects like this. My granddaughter picked out a nice assortment of blue and purple material for me to work on a quilt top for her while I’m in SC.

I like Thanksgiving. It provides a special opportunity to says thanks for family, friends, and, of course, the blogging community.

We’ll have traditional dinner with our daughter and family and get the holiday season officially started with some serious, good eating.

Here’s wishing you and yours all the best in this upcoming holiday season, and if you are traveling this week be safe. 🦃

Posted in Family | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Veterans Day 2017

On this very special day, I send greetings and thanks to each and every Veteran and their family because freedom is not free. 🇺🇸

If you have ever wondered about the history behind the beautiful red poppy, take a moment and check out my blogging friend, Denzil’s, post that answers all the questions behind the poppy being a symbol of today – Discovering Belgium.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Posted in Family | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

Best of the season

One of the benefits of being part of the blogging community is that we are afforded a wonderful learning opportunity. I would never be able to document the number of things I’ve learned over the years, but I thank you all.

So, here are a few of my suggestions as we wind up this year’s outdoor season here in the Northeast.

Cleaning:  Wet and Forget is the best cleaning product I’ve ever run across. A local box store has a gallon container for $29.94, but you mix it at a 1:5 ratio so it covers a lot of territory. I used it on our white PVC fence, lattice work, arbor, and house siding that are in varying amounts of shade. You spray it on, and that is it – no scrubbing. As it rains in the future, the green stuff just disappears. My sprayer died, and I even finished the job with a handheld plant sprayer which worked just fine.

Composting:  We’ve used several different compost methods over the years – none to brag about. Our current compost barrel was made out of an old rain barrel. We then built a frame out of pressure treated wood to support it and allow it to be turned over.

Once we have compost, we will be able to push the wheelbarrow right underneath it to dump. It is a winner.

Gardening-large tool:  Aubuchon Hardware sells an Ames True Temper Garden Cart that I love. I can’t imagine how I got along without it. I can pick it up and put it in the back of the car when I’m working on a Master Gardener project. It costs $89.99, which might sound pricey to some, but if you are looking for a stable, lightweight unit, this is it. You can pull or push with little effort.

Gardening-small tool:  A fellow gardener let me borrow these Hydrofarm pruners one day when we were working on potting up plants. They are so handy to snip a bloom or small branch. They come in a small plastic sleeve and can easily fit in a jacket or pant pocket. They work great and cost under $15.


Lawn chair:
We purchased two of these Adams brown resin adirondack chairs from Lowe’s this year for under $30 each. They are very comfortable and not as low as regular adirondacks which those of us with back issues can appreciate. They have a drink holder so it’s easy to hold on to a bottle of water when you take a gardening break. They also stack easily when you are ready to put them away.

Organic fertilizer: We don’t do a lot of work on our lawn because we live on four acres, and if we obsessed about it, we’d have a full-time job. But, in the fall we do put down some organic fertilizer – Milorganite. What’s so great about this particular fertilizer? The deer don’t like the smell and avoid it. Now, that is a winner in my book. It sells out fast up here. Yesterday, we had to drive south towards the MA border to find a couple of bags. Two bags were around $26.

Raised beds:  We’ve used galvanized stock tanks for three years now as raised beds. They work perfectly. We bought a couple on Craigslist and a couple at Tractor Supply. We have a total of four and grow all of our veggies in them.

Tomatoes:  Sun gold cherry tomatoes produced fruit all summer long in a quantity that I could not keep up with. I gave them away by the pint – some days even by the quart. They were the sweetest tomatoes I’ve ever grown, and I will definitely plant them again next year.

So, do you have recommendations to share for next gardening season? Well, besides hiring a landscape company. 🙂

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Posted in Gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Storm

I won’t moan and groan here about the storm. Philippe, that came through on Sunday and Monday after what so many others have gone through this year. I’ll just share the facts.

Over 1M in the Northeast and 300,000 in NH lost their power. Five hundred crews from as far away as Canada are working on the outage. Thank you to each one of them.

Ours was out for about 11 hours while 100,000+ in NH are still out this morning.

It is amazing how the loss of power can basically bring life as you know it to its knees.

We have downed branches but others found them crashing into their roofs. Road are buckled and impassable. We lost siding on the house while some have waterfalls in their basement.

A family in Warren, about two hours north of here, had their house washed away by the river, and it crashed down stream into a bridge which reduced it to pick up sticks.

A 70 mph gust actually blew an unoccupied construction truck off the Sarah Long Bridge in Portsmouth and into the Piscataqua River.

The force of nature whether it be water, wind, or fire certainly points out to us who really is in charge, and it’s not us.

If you were in the path, I hope you are safe, and it didn’t leave you too much damage or cleanup. After all, it’s Halloween and trick or treaters and candy should be the focus today. 🎃

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , | 61 Comments