Thursday 30 April 2020

Do You Have a Green Thumb?

I get asked this from time to time and really
I don't think it's the right question.  
I don't believe in having a green thumb although some people 
are more adept with plants then others.  

I think it has to do with learning. 
Have you had a chance to learn about plants? 
Do you have an interest in them? 
It's about taking time for them... and learning what they need. 
They are living things.

I strongly believe anyone can grow plants and do well.
Like all skills it takes learning and practice. 
I had a lot of practice growing up as my Mom loved plants and 
from a young age had me helping with them. 

I have lived most of my life in northern Canada...and our growing season
 is very short compared to many other places. 
You just start when there is a bit more sun shining in planting seeds....
plus starting them as early as you can for the time to grow is shorter. 
Then you do have to fuss over them for a short time so they don't dry out or get too cold. 
You have to set time out of your day each day to make sure they get watered 
(but not too much)
and as they grow out of their pots you put them in bigger ones. 
Plants need soil, sunlight, and water to grow. 
As long as you can give them that...then things usually go quite smoothly. 
Talking to your plants some say helps to. :) 

I have learned from many experienced gardeners over the years. 
One thing I find fascinating is how certain plants like each other. 
Some plants help each other grow, and others ward off pests. 
Like in the picture below I have tomatoes.  
The ones in the back I'm going to grow all summer...and the ones
in the front are going to go to other homes. 
The ones I'm keeping I put in a pot that they'll stay in all summer.  
I added some basil and a marigold to each of the pots. 
These three different plants grow well together and share the space well. 
Their roots all grow at different depths so they don't fight for soil space. 
That is a wonderful way to combine plants to utilize small growing spaces. 
Often called companion planting...there is a lot of wisdom in it.  
Yet's just a learning process and seeing how it can work in your garden. 

With moving I like to grow things in pots to be able to take them with me.  
I don't have a big garden plot...although would love one. 
SO....finding ways to grow more in smaller spaces is just necessary. 
This past winter/ spring my kids and I grew radishes in a tray.  
They have very shallow roots and so the tray was perfect for them. 
We grew some lettuce and spinach...which we are still enjoying and we put those 
in three inch pots and their roots are just fine.  

An important aspect of soil. 
It is often overlooked, but is the key to growing healthy plants.  
I've used tons of different kinds of soil as well as amended garden plot 
soils to be more productive. 
I personally am using Pro-Mix soil at the moment and it seems to work well. 
You don't want a heavy soil for pots as it needs to be able to let the plants breathe 
and not become waterlogged, or dry out completely. 
One day I'd love to be able to make my own soil mix...but it's just not happened yet. 

Another important aspect if you are able is good water. 
(without chemicals/ water softener salt) 
Rain water when possible is a great option. 
Also as the plants mature they need more nutrients.  
Compost teas (where you soak compost in water) will give your plants 
some needed nutrition.  
There are lots of fertilizers out there...but I love to use those that are natural. 

So in all...plants need soil, water and sunshine. 
A little time out of your day to pay attention to them is always beneficial. 
Just like any living takes a bit of time. 
Time that I feel is always worth it! 
Just to see the beauty of growing things with colourful flowers, 
and the oxygen they produce is a real benefit to you and your family. 

Below I planted a sunflower along with marigolds and some chamomile. 
All with different root depth needs.  
The flowers are for just being pretty...although the chamomile flowers 
will be dried for tea this coming winter. 

For indoor plants...I love those to.  
To have them year round to enjoy and knowing that they are working 
to help clean our air and to give us oxygen is worth the time 
spent caring for them. 
Make sure they have some light, some water at least once a week, 
and some fresh soil from time to time.  
Also if you have a bunch of plants together consider what "friends" they may have.
I like to put plants that are of different shapes and sizes together. 
They use the light differently.  
Such as it a bit I have them behind 
my geraniums that love full sun.

A note about herbs though: they do take a lot more water 
then other house plants 
so they need to be watered more often.

You may be surprised how much you can grow 
if you are not used to it.  
No one has a black thumb.  
Just take a bit of time out of your days to practice and try new things. 

I hope you have a beautiful day!  
Perhaps you'll jump into growing some things...if you don't already. 

Love and Prayers,

Monday 27 April 2020

Homemaking Mondays: Peaceful at Home

How are you today? 
I am enjoying these peaceful days at home. 
In truth...I'm always home as this is where I always spend my days.
Being a homemaker is a blessing, even during this time.

The starter plants are growing nicely.  
The tomatoes are flowering and there will soon be little tomatoes growing.
The sunflowers, marigolds and geraniums are blooming
so much and they cheer me as it's still a bit dreary outdoors. 
We had a big hailstorm today.  
There are some ducks that are coming back. 
Then there are now robins and swans as well.
Oh, and my daughter identified this sweet little song bird we've been hearing. 
It's a Ruby Crowned Kinglet. 
Such a beautiful song!

Spring Cleaning is beginning. 
Time to get into those corners. 
I like to have these homemade wipes available most of the time.
It helps to get those icky jobs done faster.  
One day I hope to go paperless...but for now I use the Bounty paper towels.
I add 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol and a couple squirts of dish soap
then fill up the one container with water. 
I make two containers at a time usually.
Then I just take the paper towels (the small strip ones). 
Fold the strips and stick them in the buckets.  
I bought this yogurt specifically to use the buckets. :)  
They work perfectly...and the yogurt was good to. 

It's my older son's birthday today.  
My younger daughter set out this indoor puzzle hunt for the boys.
It was just something I came across on Pinterest.
They went searching all through the house, 
and at the end they got a "prize" that my daughter made for them. 

How are your days going? 

Love and Prayers,

Monday 20 April 2020

Homemaking Mondays: God Is In Control

How are you days going? 
It's been a beautiful spring here this past week. 
The sun has been mostly warm and the snow is melting away. 
I had my last cup of tea in the above tea cup as I had an oops and 
today it got broken. My fault.  
I was so disappointed...but then thank the Lord for having had 
the opportunity to enjoy it. 

We've seen swans and ducks coming to check out the open patches of water. 
They're not staying yet as there isn't enough, and it still freezes a bit at night. 
Brings smiles to our faces old friends returning. 

The children have been helping me with our little growing things.  
We have lots of plants for ourselves and some to share with others.
Below we have a couple flats of chamomile. 
We grow lots for tea and will be taking some to a local market soon. 
My first squash have come up (yes, I know a bit late) 
although I'm sure they'll still be fine. 
The tomatoes have little yellow delightful flowers starting. 
I praise God for all this beauty in His creation! 

The geraniums are blooming so much and always put a smile on my face.
I love how delicate yet strong they are. 
From their little furled up buds to the open blossoms. 
Their blossoms last a long time. 

The colour is so cheerful.  
As the snow melts I know that soon there will be more colour outside.
I actually found my shasta daisy has grown a few leaves. 
It's in a pot dug down into the ground.
I'll be bringing it in soon to give it a head start on summer flowers. 
There are a lot of things going on in the world that can 
unsettle us.  As we look to the Lord he has these 
little blessings to cheer our hearts. 

God is in all the details of our lives. 
Big and small. 
We just need to rest at His feet 
and grow in the grace and knowledge of His Son,
Christ Jesus the Lord. 

Luke 10:39
"And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet,
and heard his word."

Praying you have a blessed day! 

Love and Prayers,

Monday 13 April 2020

Homemaking Mondays: The Joy of New Things

As spring is now upon us in the Yukon it cheers me 
with the joy of new things. 

Inside we've been starting new plants...
and more to be planted this week.
Our local community is planning for a bedding plant market,
and we're going to be starting some more plants for that. 

Above my daughter noticed today that there are little flowers starting
on our tomatoes.
Below we have some sunflowers starting to create flowers as well. 
Puts a smile on my face! 

With the snow starting to melt and the ground starting to show in spots
I feel a joy.  
One that is a promise of new things. 
Soon the pussy willows will start to bloom and 
the grass start to show green shoots amongst the open patches of ground. 

I do love winter... but I'm happy for spring!

With ever spring there is the sense of cleaning that has always 
come to me.  
Not just the washing of the house, but also of the purging. 
Of things that are no longer needful. 
I went through my yarn stash and pulled out some odd things 
that I no longer need or want.  
In the process I found some more cotton yarn. 
Some that had already been started into a washcloth...
and I finished up some. 
Then there is a stack of them that we're working on (the ladies and I)
for when we move.  
Sometimes it takes some planning to 
have the joy of something new. 

Praying you are all well and enjoying some of the 
joys of new things! 

Love and Prayers,

Monday 6 April 2020

Homemaking Mondays: Keeping the Home


Today I'd just like to share with you some of the 
things I've been doing. 
They may seem simple but I really enjoy 
how they delight me. 
The Lord Jesus gives me great rest and comfort 
in just keeping my home.
I am happy to just focus on the role that the Lord Jesus has given me 
to serve my family in this way.
Watching for His coming and resting in His peace. 

"If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, 
if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,  
Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, 
being of one accord, of one mind.  Let nothing be done through
 strife or vainglory; but in lowliness 
of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also 
on the things of others.  
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:"
-Philippians 2: 1-5 

I have learned to knit washcloths now. 
A lovely lady I met some time ago sent me the simple 
washcloth pattern.  That went well...
so when a sweet friend of mine gave me a new one to try. 
I dove right in.  It's still simple with (2K & 2P) 
but it makes it a bit more knobby and good for scrubbing.

I still love to crochet washcloths.
There is a difference between the two styles. 
The knit ones are more elastic, where I find that the
crochet ones are a bit firmer to deal with tougher messes. 

One day I noticed that the milk in the fridge was 
kinda on the edge...
and so was the cream. 
I decided to make ricotta and butter.  
The cheese was great and went into cheeseburger soup. 
The buttermilk also went into the soup.
Then there is whey for pancakes and 
butter for fresh bread.

I have woken up my sourdough starter and it's getting nice and bubbly.
The picture is from when it was first brought out and fed. 
Tonight I'm going to try an overnight sourdough bread. 
I know that the sourdough starter gets better after a few days...
but I am not one to like waisting discard...
and bread is bread.  Even if it's a bit heavier then usual. 
I'm also thinking crackers.
What are you favourite kinds of crackers?

We are very much enjoying the little garden in our living room window.  
The tomatoes are almost ready to transplant in bigger pots. 
The lettuce and spinach are growing and I'm eager to taste them. 
We have been enjoying some radishes that have been growing quickly to. 

The sunflowers are growing well to and I'm looking forward to their cheerful blooms. 
I took my snakeskin plant out of it's big pot and divided it up. 
I ended up with five pots of it.  
Yes...I'm going to find new homes for a couple of those pots. 
One went into my daughter's bedroom. 
They're great for cleaning the air! 
Better air...better breathing...better sleep.

Then I'm always delighted with the fresh eggs I can buy from a neighbour. 
They come in all different colours and are so delicious! 
It is hard to see in the picture...but my favourites are the blue, olive, 
and brown eggs with the speckles on them. :)  
We were going to be picking up more eggs today so I boiled up a big pot of them. 
We like boiled eggs...and devilled eggs.
I've started to put pickles or relish in the mix and they taste so good. 

Thanks so much for dropping by! 

Love and Prayers,