Cuckoo Buds 3 Column

Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Fools Day!

Tomorrow is April 1st ~ March came in like a lion and out like a lamb!  Started the month with storms, rain, winds, freezes and now ~ boy, things are sure warming up!  We uncovered our citrus trees, gave them a good dose of water, God is providing the warmth and sunshine and every one of the trees is taking off ~ growing like crazy!

The Mandarin Orange has 6 oranges that are almost ready for harvest - YUMMY!  Plus is has several oranges in various stages of growth, from a fingertip size to the size of a ping pong ball.  And several new flowers.  The Lemon has one almost ripe, and many in various stages as well, and hundreds, I'm not kidding - hundreds - of flowers!  The other two oranges have flowers this year!!!  Yeah!!  First year for blooms!  And, our problematic Key Lime actually has a few blossoms, too!  This is the most critical time for the citrus here.  One good cold snap or heavy winds and all of the blossoms fall and no fruit for months can even try to form!  They usually bloom heavily twice a year.  So, I'll be praying over my little trees for the next month or two!!

The weather has gone from 50's during the day to 88 degrees today.  Oh my gosh, it was beautiful!  Tomorrow it is supposed to cool down to low 70's.  But, no rain and lots of sunshine is wonderful!   I even get to start seeding our garden tomorrow.  Yeah!  And, hopefully, our nurseries will have some tomato and pepper plants soon.  Hmmmm, maybe I should just start my own from seed.  I did buy some last year.  Maybe I'll do that tomorrow to in small pots, that way if we get a cold spell, they can be rushed in to the garage!

I bought the prettiest material yesterday to make aprons, rice packs, and some other miscellaneous projects I have have under my cap. 

I've made a lot of progress on my latest afghan project, too.  Four rows, of 15, completed and all of the middles of the hexagons are done, it just needs one final row which attaches them together.  I'm hoping by the end of April!  That way, I'm not putting unrealistic goals up!  The slippers I started - well, I pulled the yarn and rolled it back up.  Did not like them at all once the soles and tops were on - so I'll look for another pattern.  Then they'll be great!  Started a scarf for my son's birthday in late April. 

I've also almost completed 4 pages of a really cute layout I won from Monique Griffith Designs.  It was originally a 2 page 12x12 layout, but I prefer 9x9, so I've managed to cut it in such a way that I'm getting 4 9x9 pages!  Pretty creative if I do say so myself!  I've also managed to complete 4 or 5 cards for special people in my life.  I love crafting and feel so blessed when someone makes something just for me, so I just love giving to those who I care about and are special to me.

I've also been baking up a storm with my King Arthur bread recipes.  The Sourdough Bread came out wonderful!  Looked just like the picture!  I then went on these past couple of weeks making Rustic Sourdough Loaves, Chocolate Sourdough Cake.  Oh yummy - it was great!  And, a White Sandwich Bread - oh it's like heaven on earth ~ right in my kitchen.  I'm having a blast!  This Easter, we'll be having fresh rolls, homemade!

My Fibromyalgia has been really bad - 5 weeks for this latest flare.  I so want to have an afternoon pain free.  Oh, let's be honest here ~ I was this monster would just walk out the front door and drop in a hole, never to be felt again!  It will be better soon, it always does subside some, so I'm just praying it gone!

That's it for tonight!  Wishing everyone a wonderful warmer month, full of sunshine and new flowers, gardens in bloom, lots of new projects to start!

Many blessings to all of you!  Be as bright as a flower and let others be a flower in your life!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring is Coming Soon

I am so ready for Spring to arrive!  It's been a very cold and rainy Winter, and I can hardly wait for warmer weather, sunny days, walking the neighborhood and just generally getting back in to the swing of things.  I feel so much better when the weather isn't so chilly and damp!

It looks like the temperatures and real feels will be above freezing now, so we'll be taking off the plant blankets and get ready for Spring plantings.  We had our two planting areas filled with a soil amendment as well as the small green house and rototilled.  This year we want to remove some of the lawn areas and plant our citrus trees.  We've been babying them for four years now and we finally have fruit on the Mandarin Orange and Meyer Lemon trees.  The lime and two other orange trees haven't produced yet, hoping this year.  But, when we plant them in the ground, we will need to make a tent structure to cover them during the cold winters.  They are all dwarf trees and we plan on them staying under 8' or so high.  We may also put in a second, and bigger, green house.  It's easy to talk about what we want to do and harder to get them up! 

I can hardly believe my blog will be 2 years old this month.  I do plan to utilize this more this year and start getting photos up.  There's always so much to do and it's easy to forget writing here!

I'm finishing Lavender/Rice Comfort Packs for my mom.  Sending two large and two small ones.  They will help her achy bones and muscles.  She, like many of our elderly parents, suffers with arthritis all over.  She also has spinal problems and some bionic parts (knee and hip replacements) and has many aches and pains.

Also, still working on the Hexagon Afghan.  It's coming along beautifully!  I've used so many left over yarns!  Actually, like many of you, I save anything over about a yard long, rolled into balls of various sizes.  I really find it hard to believe I am almost depleted of left over yarns and will be using only full sized skeins to finish it up!  There are already over 40 different colors I've used in this afghan!  I counted today how many I have and how many will be needed for the bedspread - I've completed 134 and will need 195, so 61 to go.  My sweetie told me, "you'll have that done in no time!"  He's great and always positive in my hobbies!

Other craft items - well, cards, of course for all of the special days - Birthdays, Anniversaries, Valentine's Day, Get Well - all of the everyday events.  The Comfort Packs, my first Sock Monkey (I'll talk about him another post in a couple of weeks with a photo),  a few pin cushions, the Hexagon Afghan, and many different little things.  I need to get the new serger and sewing machine out and begin working with them.  I want to make some new table place mats and I think the serger will be perfect for this project!  Fun, fun, fun!

I had the chance to spend a whole week with my little ones.  They are growing so quickly.  My little Lisey is sewing her first project, all by hand.  She received an American Girl Stuffed Animal project and I taught her all of the hand sewing stitches.  She was doing a great job.  She is very detailed oriented and everything has to be just perfect, so these types of projects will be perfect for her.  I think she would really enjoy embroidery, too.  That's another art that is very detailed.

I was so blessed to win two different giveaways on two different blogs!  One from Monique Griffith Designs, a beautiful layout kit for my Cricut, and a copy of the first Cricut Magazine from Creative Critters Cricut Club!  Two different contests!  What a blessing!  When I finish the layout, I will post it.  It is just perfect as it is one of children in the garden and I have the perfect pictures of my all of my grandchildren at different times throughout the last couple of years that will fit on this wonderful layout!  I would love to share it!

I'm also going to try my hand at sourdough bread!  Both of my sons are making these beautiful and tasty works of art.  One gave me some starter which is growing beautifully in my fridge!  I have my ingredients coming from King Aurthur Flour, then I'm good to go!  I just hope there aren't too many pounds attached to this bread!

My Fibromyalgia has been really acting up.  This flare is going on two weeks now and is the worst one of the year so far.  I'm going to start a second blog on my fibro journey.  It's a very misunderstood disease.  And, until you are diagnosed and understand what this monster is, you start to wonder if you are crazy and a hypochondriac.  It's horrible and debilitating, and if I can help just one person figure out what this monster is in their life, I will feel blessed.  When I first read an article about fibro, I sat down and cried - I cried because I was relieved, I realized I wasn't crazy. 

On a lighter note - I wish you all a wonderful Spring!  May your gardens be free of weeds and grow only beautiful flowers!  May all of your projects come out the way you want them too! 

Be happy, be blessed, and a blessing to others!