Monday, December 30, 2013

Imagine in the Suburbs

Imagine there's no housework.
It's not so easy, but try.

No vacuums or coupons,
No stale laundry to dry.

Imagine there's no status.
It isn't hard to do.
No PTA to pressure
and no yard work too.
Imagine all the families
having all they need.

You may say I'm a dreamer
To hope for a balanced life.
Maybe to stop the bickering
The criticism and the strife.

Imagine there's enough money,
and all the homework's done.
What would you do with your time?
If it was yours for fun?

Imagine all the people, 
Without any excuse
For avoiding their families
And saying mean things too.

You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I think it can be done.
I hope someday you'll see that
And quit blaming everyone. (Including yourself.)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Blessings disguised as weeds in the side-walk.
If your holiday involved trying to explain to Granny the difference between the electronic game Simon and Whack-A-Mole, you and I must be related. 

Hope your Holiday was loving and fun or at least safe. 

Remember, gratitude is the road to happiness so if you can't be grateful for your relatives, at least be grateful they don't live with you.  Unless they do, then be grateful that you have enough to provide for them too. 

If your neighbors don't shoot at you, be grateful.  

If you aren't on drugs, be grateful.  

If you can afford to replace the Simon that Granny hammered, be grateful.

Take a deep breath and let your shoulders down when you exhale.  Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Anatomy of the Forever-Producing Lettuce Plant

Lettuce grows from the center like a dandelion.
Once lettuce is picked, its days are numbered.  If I don't make salad in those days, it has a new name: compost.

Lettuce in the ground (or container) lasts until I pick it or until the weather gets hot and it goes to seed.  What's more, in-the-ground lettuce can be harvested every few days JUST IN CASE I decide to make salad regularly.  

Lettuce wealth from just one plant.  Too bad money can't grow that way: one dollar, pay the bills all winter?

The anatomy of the lettuce is the secret to reaching lettuce wealth.  Think of it like a dandelion.  You can chop the...

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Little Vegetable That Could - live through anything

Here's the lettuce on the third day of 20-something weather.

Here's the lettuce after it thawed that day...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gifts for Hip Crips

My Roomba might be the best purchase I ever made.  On days when I have a cold/flu (like today) or MS makes me feel and look like a bag of wet cement, it makes me happy.  When I drag my loser self out of bed, my house is clean.  At least it's clean down low where I am.

So if you have a handicapped friend or relative and you don't actually want to do daily maintenance for them, Roomba is the gift that keeps on giving.  Yeah, it's expensive.  But if you order now you also get a slight guilt-free credit as if you did chores for them and another credit for spending a lot of money on them. 

Here are a few less expensive items for the hip and crip:

A gnarly awesome...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Easiest Antique Style Christmas Ornaments Ever

Probably not much has changed in two hundred years.  The boys love these.  We don't get all the Christmas stuff out of the attic, but we have to keep searching until we find them.  There must be battles.  Brigades. Marches.  Capture the candy cane.  I made these in high school or maybe college.  I don't know where I got the idea.  As always, you can benefit from my mistakes.  Here are the steps:

How I Became The Herb Lady

Lemon balm.  From the web. DK who's it is.
How I became the Herb Lady:

A junior high school field trip took us to a historic house with a tiny garden.  In hindsight, the garden was pretty small and not too creative but the tour guide seemed impressed with it.  After the tapestries made of human hair and the architecture lecture she took us out back and pulled off pieces of the plants to pass around.

The entire back yard was a bare...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Robot Results

Check out the cute folder. 
In case you were wondering, the boys did pretty well at their First Lego League robotics competition Saturday.  The rankings I saw after the third round had them 6th out of 24 teams up through the ninth grade.  They didn't get any penalties.

They were as young as kids are allowed to compete and had the fewest team members: two.  A lot of people came over to watch since they are so young and didn't have any big kids to help them.  No prizes this time though.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

What to Plant in December

Microgreens will grow in December.
Peace, Love and Harmony.

Otherwise, don't plant anything.

Things that take a long time, like habeneros, will need to be planted now.  If you own a greenhouse in the Southeast and you aren't taking the winter off, plant some chives.

Caley's Culinaries (a.k.a. Caley's Kitchen Garden) has always grown edibles.  I don't know roses or hostas.  I'm the herb lady.

Truth is, over the next couple days it is perfect weather for planting...

Robots This Weekend!

I haven't forgotten my duties in garden education.  I've just been following Winston Churchill’s advice and doing some different work to keep from getting burned out.

The Fall semester is winding down and this weekend the boys compete in the First Lego League robotics competition at Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center.  Our team is named Lego Farm, in case you come to watch.

The competition is for ages 9-14.  My guys are 9.  The teams can have...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Make Magic Happen

This year: Carrot magic again!
Two years ago: carrot magic
You would think my son invented the word "Magical" the way he bestows it with such authority.  The orange blossom soap should go in his sock drawer so his socks will, "Smell magical."  He's joking, but not really.

The lemon tree is "magical."  He gave a lemon to his friend as a birthday gift.  The kid was thrilled.  A real lemon from the real lemon tree.  Magical.

He's not just trying out a new word.  Some things are special, magical.  We collide with more of those things than most folks do, but it's not just chance.

My sister nurtures a resentment about it, complaining when we were younger (and older) that I would get "cool jobs" and win at Monopoly.  She's getting over it as she realizes how the magic is made...