Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Epiphany...thy name is friend

I was sitting at my work desk today, waiting on the next customer to call, and I had an epiphany.  I finally, after all this time, realized why I am so bad about posting to my blog.  I am overthinking it and making it too hard.  

I worry about things like...I should not include business stuff, I should only make it chit chatty, or I should keep it to a certain genre/theme.  Well, that is all good and fine, but in all this worrying, I am not getting any posting done.  

It is the same dilemma I have with my youtube channel.  I have not posted one thing on there in months---because I am worried I will post something wrong.  So, I am thinking I am going to approach this whole blog/youtube world at a different angle. 

 How is that you say, well I am glad you asked :)

 I will post about wherever my mood takes me.  It may be just general chit chat, it may be updates on me and the girls, it may even be just something I have seen or done around the house that I want to share.  Who knows?  I know I don't at this moment in time.  But I feel if I am going to try and make my blog and youtube channel work, alongside my businesses as well as in other ways, I need to get on the ball.  And the ball is..well..randomness.  

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Change is on the Wind..a good thing maybe?

I do not know what is it about blogging, but I will take spurts where I blog alot, and then others where there is nothing ((insert crickets chirping here)). 

 From the first blog I have ever written, it has been that way.  But, I am hoping to remedy that, and set  myself to a schedule...not just for blogging but for posting on my facebook, my youtube, and adding items to me and the girls etsy shop.

I had originally had two seperate shopes, with plans for a third.  But upon pondering on it further, I have decided to condense all three under the Hatties Attic name, and give each *shoppe* its own section.  So, along with the primitive sections, I will be adding a Kanine Kouture and a Geekery section.  I know that keeping up with two shoppes was daunting at times, and feel that trying to keep up with three might be down right impossible.  Plus there is the extra added benefit that a shopper may come to the shop looking for one item, and stumble upon something else they have to have.  I already have a domain name for the main shop, Hatties Attic, and one for the section of Kanine Kouture.  I *think* I have found one for the Geekery section, I just need to get it bought and registered.  When I have that done, I will post it here.

On the day job, which I affectionately call *da job*, it seems my schedule keeps shifting every other week.  I am praying that the most recent version sticks, as it affords me two days off a week, and still get in my hours.  I am going to plan my schedule for my personal business related work around the current schedule.  If worst comes to worst, I will have to modify everything, but I am praying it will not come to that.  I will institute my new personal business schedule on Monday, with it running through Saturdays.  Sunday will be my day off to spend with my girls.

I will be pretty much building the etsy site up from scratch.  I had taken most everything off months ago, because of the hectic, ever changing schedule on *da job*.  Some oldie but goodies may return, others will not.  I have a few new items in mind, but otherwise it will be a slow process.  But, I will get there with it, have faith :)  I am also going to work more on the wholesaling wing of the business.  There will be more to come on that.

Finally, I am going to try my luck at a few shows this year.  I am still in the planning and searching phase, but I have found one that is relatively close, that would play to the geek type items I will be making, that I am going to apply for this weekend.  More information on that one to come, and whether or not I get accepted.

So, those are the plans so far.  I am hoping that I can stay organized enough to actually build my business in the manner I have wanted to since moving here.  I honestly miss my retail shoppe I had back home, and would open one again in a heartbeat.  But, the area in which I live presently makes that just not feasible.  Maybe, one day, I can move back home and open one up again.  If it is meant to be, it will...I will keep the faith.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Houston...we have a garden!!

Sorry for the long span between this post, and the last.  But, all I can say is life got in the way :)

I am however, here with an update on the garden adventure that me and the girls started this year.

As you may remember, we planted our carrots and onions on April 27th.  In retrospect, I got them both out way too late.  They are cold weather crops, and I could have started them way earlier than I did.  I am contemplating doing a replanting in the late summer, early fall of both.  Either way, lesson learned for next year.

We planted our pole beans, summer squash, zucchini, mustard and cucumbers on May 10th.  The pole beans are starting to vine here and there up the cages, and I did see a few blooms this morning.  

The summer squash and zucchini are blooming, but the cucumbers not so much.  

My mustard looked like it wasn't going to make it, but then four days ago it took off.  

We planted our roma tomatoes, red and yellow sweet peppers, basil, 45 day cabbage, mini pie pumpkins, and little picklers on May 19th.  The romas are not as tall as I would like for them to be at this point, but they are blooming and showing tomatoes.  

The red and yellow peppers haven't grown much at all, and have had blooms, but nothing looking like a pepper yet :(.  

The 45 day cabbage is doing nothing, but growing large leaves...no heading of the cabbage can be seen.  But, my pumpkins and picklers are blooming great, and looking really good. 

Everything was going as planned, with the exception of the onions and carrots of course.

Until four days ago.

I discovered Japanese beetles on everything but my tomatoes.  I was so upset, I about cried.  

Then I got online, did a little research, and hit Evans Hardware and talked to Mike.  He suggested the concentrated Sevin Spray used in conjunction with a tank sprayer.  He said it would last for 2 weeks, and I could spray multiple times through the beetles swarming season, to keep them away.

So I went home, mixed up my Sevin solution and went to work.  I sprayed., and sprayed, and then sprayed some more.  As I sprayed, the beetles did drop off, and die.  So, I felt for the moment it was working.  Thankfully, we did not get any rain for 24 hours, so that the treatment could take hold.  I went out this morning, and discovered two beetles on my beans.  I decided not to panic just yet.  I will wait, and if they seem to be coming back, I will spray again.

So, now I am hauling water to the garden on the days we do not get rain, and I sing and talk to my plants.  I know my surrounding kinfolk probably think I am losing it, but I can remember my grandmother singing her hymns while in the garden, and her plants were always blessing her with bountiful harvests.  So, I am of the opinion that singing to them does have an affect.  Either way, I enjoy my time more in the garden when I sing and talk to my plants.

So, that is how it all stands now.  I will update in a few weeks, and will let you know how the Sevin spray did, or did not work, and if we are getting close to harvesting.  Can't wait!! Then we can start canning our goodies.  

Until then, me and the girls wish you a happy, safe, and above all blessed day :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Coming to terms...

Having been born and raised for 16 years near a major city, I was used to the sounds of blaring car horns, wailing ambulance sirens, and the vocal fights of neighbors.  This was common place, and both my parents and I thought nothing of it.  

Then, when I turned 16, my father was transferred and our family was uprooted and moved to a somewhat smaller city.  It was not as noisy, or chaotic as the city we were used to, but it did have its moments from time to time.

When my parents passed, I had planned on me and the girls staying put.  But it would seem the Lord had other plans for us.  So after moving four times in 6 months, we were brought to where we are now.  And, to say we were the proverbial fish out of water would be an understatement.

The Lord had brought me and the girls, to the very holler in which my mother was born and raised.  We were so out of our element, I wanted to cry.  The only people I knew here were a handful of aunts, uncles, and cousins.  I had no friends here, and my closest friend at that time was almost 2 hours away.  I felt unsure, lost, and if not for the girls, I would have felt alone.

We have lived here eight years this September, and I still am getting used to the *sounds* of this new home.  This morning, while walking the girls, I heard a sound that is common in these parts, but for a city girl is still, to this day, unusual...the crowing of a rooster.

Something simple as that, and I am reminded that I am a stranger here.

 I am not from this place, and probably never will be.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

Yesterday evening, after I got off work, me and my dear Aunt Momo went up on the cemetary and decorated the graves.

My maternal grandparents, Arthur and Corma Preece, my sweet Uncle Kenny Preece (always Keni to me) and my beloved mom and dad are buried on a little hill, behind where me and the girls currently reside.

My mother and her siblings were raised up this holler, and played on the very hill on which my family members now eternally rest.  My mother was born in a front room of the family homestead, which is currently owned by my Aunt Momo and her husband Uncle LuLu.

It is of much comfort to look up there, each morning when I get up, and each evening before I go to bed, and know that they are resting peacefully.  I know that what made my parents and family members who they were, their very souls, are not there, but for me to be able to see their final resting place gives me peace and comfort.  Some understand that, some do not.  But, that is okay, as long as I understand is really what matters.

I do not visit my mom and dad very often, usually once or twice a year.  It hurts so bad, to actually walk up there, and see their names on the tombstones.  It brings back such painful feelings of loss and loneliness that I avoid the trip as much as I can.  But, on memorial day, I do make sure to put bright new flowers on all their graves, and say a little prayer to let them know that although it is rough, and some days I feel that me and the girls are about done for, that we will all three be okay.  

I like to think I come from good stock...on both my mom and my dads side, and that as long as I put my mind to it, and really work at it, the girls and I will be just fine.  We have each other, and the Lord is with us, and that will get us through.

But, there are days I would love to talk to mom and dad, to hear their voices again, their laughs, and see their bright smiles.  

I think that is what I miss most....

The final planting...

The last day of above ground planting/transplanting for the month of May occurred from the 17th-25th.  I went and got the rest of my desired plants, and finished my planting on the 19th.

I had quite a bit to plant, and after work, got right to it.

In my short box, where I had planted my cucumbers, squash, and zucchini, I planted two squares of 45 day cabbage, and  eight squares of either red/yellow sweet pepper plants.  With two of the pepper plants, I included a basil plant, because after researching online, it seems that basil is of benefit to pepper plants.  

In my other short box, where I had planted 2/3's of it in mustard, I added two pie pumpkin plants, and one boston pickler cucumber plant.  I am not sure if the little cucumber plant is going to make it.  I had thought that maybe the entire box would be non productive, due to the cucumber plant and mustard not doing well.  But when I checked yesterday the pumpkin plants seemed to still be healthy.  So, we will see.

In my space left in my tall box, that I had planted my onions in, I decided to plant my Roma tomatoes.  I planted eight plants there.  I had intended to plant parsley in a couple of the squares, but could find none, and my parsley on my window sill was not looking too healthy.  I may try to salvage a few sprigs to plant, when I transplant my rosemary and my mint into containers.  I love Roma tomatoes for juicing and was tickled to find such healthy looking plants.   

I have been checking on my little gardening experiment every couple of days.  The report is as follows, as of today May 30th:

The blades on my onion plants are appearing to be turning yellow here and there.  I researched online, and have not found a definitive answer to the cause, 

Three of my cabbage plants are showing yellow leaves, and do not look well.  My aunt MoMo had told me that growing cabbage in our area can sometimes be tough, so I will just have to wait and see how they develop.

As stated before, my mustard seems to have stopped growing.  In retrospect, maybe I planted the seed too deep but I do not remember planting it any deeper than the carrots and cucumber.  The carrots are not developing any further either, but the cucumbers I planted from seed seem to be doing well.

My best looking plants, by far, are my beans.  I am of the mind if my tomatoes and my beans flourish, then I have done well.  They are the main crop for me and the girls each year.  The beans are actually getting ready to vine up the tomatoe cages I use...so that is encouraging.

Anything that does not do well, I will have to further research this winter, and try to adjust accordingly next spring.

I will try to update here and there with pictures as the garden grows.  

So, there you have it....mine and the girls adventure into square foot gardening.  It has been hard getting it set up by ourselves, but we will have it done and ready to go for the next planting season, and each season there after.  So, not so bad when you think about it.  

I hope you have enjoyed taking the journey with us, as we have enjoyed having you along :)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Boxes, boxes, and more boxes

After waiting for several more days for my work schedule and mother nature to cooperate, I finally set out to finish by garden boxes, fill them with soil, and get to the fun part of planting.

My final count of boxes was just what I had planned...2 short and 2 tall.  Once built, placed and filled with soil, I got my handy jute out and marked off my 1 foot squares.

In my first tall box, I planted my onions and my carrots.  In hindsight, I think maybe my carrots were planted too late, because they, to this day, are not doing much.  My onions got off to a great start, but now are not doing so well either.  Again, I think I got a very late start on both of these.

This picture shows my onions when they were just a growing like crazy.  I get so tickled when I see something I have planted, do as the good Lord had intended, and begin to show life.  Just an awe inspiring thing for me.

The next picture was taken a few weeks later.  I planted my other tall box entirely of beans..I had to wait a little while, after my initial plantings, until the time the almanac said was good for above ground planting.  These are my babies bean plants sprouting (I plant beans mainly for my furry babies, because they love them so much in their dinner).  The little plants are working so hard to get through the soil and be *born*

I had decided to go ahead and place the cages that I currently had for my beans.  I use tomatoe cages, 42 inches high, for my beans to vine up.  It is a lot less work, very convenient and a handy idea I got online a few years back.  Since starting to use them, I would never use anything else.

At the same time that I planted my beans, I planted my mustard, squash, cucumbers and zucchini. In my two other short boxes.  My mustard in 2/3 of one short box, the other items shared half of the other short box My cucumbers have since gotten off a great start, my squash and zucchini struggled a little, but my mustard is not looking promising.

This is a pic of my cucumbers when they first started coming up.  Cute little rascals aren't they? LOL!!

It has been a few weeks since I took this pic of my mustard, but it looks pretty much the same.  A few little sprouts here and there...but nothing promising looking.

to be continued....