Thursday, May 30, 2013

Simple Things: triple-sheet your summer bed...

I noticed at the two hotels we stayed in these past couple weeks, that the beds are triple-sheeted.  There were no bedspreads or comforters.  I did a little un-doing of our hotel bedding to discover there is the fitted sheet on the mattress, then the flat sheet on top of it.  Next is the duvet or blanket, and on top of it goes another flat sheet.  Both hotels had a coverlet or a throw tucked in at the very bottom of the bed which added color and more warmth if you needed it.  How very smart, I thought, to keep the blanket/duvet clean and to give the guests the most sanitary bedding.  I know how infrequently I wash my own comforter so I really appreciated that everything is changed and laundered at the hotel for every guest.

I was a hotel maid as a teenager and we did not have this method of bedding, but we did launder the bedspreads occasionally.  But still, not between every single guest.  Knowing how people lay on hotel beds with their clothes and shoes on and do who-knows-what on top of the bed, the triple sheet method makes sanitary sense and practical laundering sense. 

I decided I wanted to replicate the idea in our bedroom.  I looked around my home and found an extra flat sheet or two and some vintage white on white embroidered pillowcases that I had forgotten about. Since it is spring and nearly summer, I decided I would sandwich a light blanket in between the sheets instead of our comforter.   Next up, the sheets, blanket, and pillowcases were washed to make everything as fresh as possible. I sandwiched everything together and here's our summer ensemble.  I'm thinking how fun it would be to change the look anytime by simply changing the top flat sheet, and adding an accent pillow, or throw.

For a demonstration on how to triple sheet your bed, click here, and for written instructions click to Distracted Wanderer.  Here is wonderful video on creating a comfortable, beautiful, and inviting bed. I am going to start collecting white bedding components like he suggests. I have a few, but not many. I also love the organized and attractive look of his linen closet. I am so excited because I'm buying my daughter's small armour (pre-sale at her garage sale) to store my linens.  At the moment, I have bed linens stashed all over the house and many need to be tossed out.   How do you like to dress your bedroom for summer?  Do you have a favorite bedroom look?   One thing I love to do is to cut fresh flowers from the garden and place them on the nightstand.   It's lovely to wake up to a cheery bouquet first thing in the morning.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Kitten nest (and other things)...

Looky what I found in the chickens' nest this evening!  And egg....and two new kittens.  I think they belong to our cat, Socks.  She was up there when I came through the door and then she quickly jumped out of the nest.  Socks is a nice cat, but she's not all that friendly.  I expect she'll move her kittens sometime after it quits raining.  Yes, raining!  It's raining here again and we're so thankful.  It sounds like we are going to have a rainy system that lingers for the next few days.  I do hope so because Hubs and I just over-seeded part of our lawn.

I'm trying to figure out why our lawn died out so badly, and I think it was a combination of things.  Last year was terribly dry and we couldn't water the lawn.  We did, however, use a trash pump and watered from the stock pond a few times.  That water was pretty bad and full of alkali which is not good for lawns so I think the drought along with the bad water might have hurt the lawn grass.  The other thing is that we never got a good snow cover this winter.  Grass needs a nice blanket of snow when it gets as cold as it does up north and ours didn't have one. 

I raked and raked the old dead stuff out of the yard and then we did a light tilling.  I did a little research on overseeding with native grasses so that's what we are experimenting with.  My idea is that the native grasses will be drought resistant, bug resistant, and require less mowing, watering, and fertilizer.  That sounds like the perfect lawn to me.  A local seed company made the mix for me:  Cody Buffalo Grass, Sheep Fescue, Fairway Crested Wheatgrass, Dutch White Clover, and Blue Grama.  We'll see if it comes up in a week or two.  In the meantime, we are getting the perfect rain for it.

Yesterday I planted my square foot garden beds.  I wrote everything down on a piece of cardboard so I could remember what seeds I planted where.  The tomato and pepper plants are easy to see, but not those little seeds.  Once everything is up, it will be easy to see what is what.  Perfect rain for the flowers and veggies too.

My upper body is feeling quite puny tonight after my raking and planting workout.  I took a hot bath with some Epsom Salts and felt some relief.  Rest will be the next remedy.

This past weekend our son (#3) was married to JJ.  What a celebration we had!  The whole family was home for it.  It was an outdoor wedding that turned out beautifully despite all the threatening weather that was predicted. We had perfect sunshine and comfortable temperatures.  No coats, no rubber rain boots, no umbrellas --  although we packed umbrellas in our cars, just in case.  JJ was a beautiful bride and our son was a handsome groom.  We are so happy for them both and wish them much  JOY!

Now it is time to head off to bed where I will listen to the rain drumming on the windows and get all cozy and warm and comfortable. You know this little saying, don't you?  I think of it almost every night when I climb into my bed, and I certainly will tonight.

Breakfast in Bed, Mary Cassatt

Oh Bed! Oh Bed! Oh delicious bed! 
That heaven on earth to the weary head." 
~Thomas Hood

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dandelion fields forever...

 It's the first day of dandelion fields in full-burst bloom!  One thing I have noticed on this day throughout the years here is that certain birds appear when the dandelions bloom.  The first feathered friend I saw this morning at the feeder was the male American Goldfinch.  The fellas have changed their drab tweeds for yellow tuxedos.  How handsome they are, and isn't it coincidental that they match the sunshiney dandelions just perfectly?  Sorry, I didn't get a goldfinch photo today, but....

 I did mange to snap a picture of this cutie-pie.  He (or she) is a Swainson's Thrush.  There have been a bunch of them scratching and digging around in the lawn and the dry leaves in the gardens.  This one crashed into the window and was a wee bit stunned, so I went out and took a picture before the headache wore off and he flew away.

 This friendly little blue-gray bird is a Nuthatch.  He stays with us all year round, but he seems to be extra busy finding more bugs and things on the tree bark.  Nuthatches don't seem to be bothered by people walking around snapping pictures close by.

This handsome gentleman showed up this afternoon along with his wife who doesn't wear such bright apparel.  This is an Blackheaded Grosbeak and he dominates the feeder when he shows up.  I can't wait to see who else shows up these next few days.

Statistics:  2.5" of rain over the weekend through Monday morning.  Stock ponds and reservoirs are filling up.  It's a good beginning.  I mowed the grass today too.

What is a weed?
A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Singin' in the rain....

The apple tree out behind the shop.  
Planted by Hubs when he was a boy throwing apple cores over the shop roof.

On Mother's Day, we left for a week of NJCAA Golf Finals in Texas.  We had never been to Texas before.  I thought we were dry and dusty, but those folks in the panhandle of Texas are drier than we were by a long shot.  There was nary a cow to be seen all along the drive south, except for dairy cows in feed lots.  The folks there were nice.  We found a great little mom & pop restaurant that served up plenty of Texas charm and delicious diner food.  On the Special of the Day chalkboard it read:  Jesus, Jesus, and more Jesus.  

While we were gone, it started raining at home.  What a gift!  We've been right on the edge of making some critical decisions about our cattle and the water situation.  Now we're singing in the rain! and smiling again!  It won't solve all of our problems, but it's a good beginning. 

 A bucketful of rain water under the down spout is a beautiful sight.

And walking in the rain is a joy.  Never mind that I have to change out of my wet jeans and dry out my sweatshirt and put up with wet frizzy hair.  It's all good!

The grass is green and growing, the cows are happy grazing greengrass and drinking fresh water, and by now the yearling ewes are lambing on the gumbo pasture in Chuck's.  I'll bet they are happy too.  We haven't been out there yet.  It's WAY too muddy to drive out there.

 The newly-painted pink swing is looking fresh and clean and ready for some children to come out and play.

 The chickens don't mind the rain at all.  In fact, the spilled corn by the granary swells and makes for delicious eating. Every now and then a worm comes up for air.  Yum!  Tastes like spaghetti.

There were lots of good things to eat from the chicken bucket today.

In other news....another homeschool kid graduates from college!  Our son, NumberFour, graduated from the university the week before we left with a BS in graphic design/communications.  He is "For Hire."

This coming weekend, another son, NumberThreeChild, will marry J.  They are planning an outdoor wedding with Plan B being -- BYOU -- Bring Your Own Umbrella.  If the rain persists -- and we will be glad if it does -- I'll have to buy some cute pink rubber boots and matching umbrella to wear to the wedding. 

How about these?

 And this?

NumberFive arrives tomorrow at the airport.  I'll go fetch him, and we'll get a proper shirt for the wedding along with dress shoes (or maybe wellies).  We'll have fun doing a little shopping together, just the two of us.

In the meantime, the grass keeps growing and the puddles keep puddling up.  I might get to mow grass this week.  I hope you're having a good weekend, and I hope that you have good things to look forward to this week.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day...

Garden Flowers for You!

For happiness brings happiness,
And loving ways bring love,
and giving is the treasure
That contentment is made of.
~Amanda Bradley  

An ounce of mother
is worth a pound of clergy.
~Spanish Proverb

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The latest dirt...

 Well.....the latest dirt is that the square foot gardening has begun!  (The daffodils are up too!)  After we branded the first-calf heifers' calves, I took part of my afternoon and mixed the dirt for one of my square foot raised beds.  I had raised beds before, but this will be the first year I've used "Mel's Mix" and true square foot gardening methods.  I'm excited.

 Here's the dirt..... one part compost, one part vermiculite, one part peat moss.  The measurements are  by volume, not by weight.  Mix it well and we'll be on our way to growing beautiful gardens full of veggies and flowers. 

 The truth is that the initial investment in the soil stuffs is pretty spendy.  Vermiculite is about $16 per 2 cubic foot bag and the peat moss was $17 for a 2.2 cubic foot bag.  I had the compost --- sheep manure -- so that was free for me, but if you had to buy compost, there's another expenditure.    The thing is, this is all you ever have to do except to add in a shovelful of new compost to each square foot every year.  And as I understand, the bounty of this mix is well worth the investment in the long run.
Here's the dirt....all mixed together.  It's light, loamy, soft, and nutrient dense.  The vermiculite and peat moss will keep the soil light and allow it to retain moisture too.  That's another bonus to the soil mixture -- less watering, more moisture.  At this point in time, our water situation is not very good so I may only plant one box unless it rains and runs water between now and the first week of June.  Otherwise, I may be pouring my dishwater on the plants through the summer.  I've sure done that before.  I put a plastic tub in the kitchen sink and after I'm done washing dishes, I carry my tub outside and water the potted flowers and any other plants that need a drink. 

Now for some INSPIRatiON....

I love the plantings in this particular square foot garden box.  It looks like tomatoes on each end and a cucumber vining up in the middle with lots of herbs filling out the front.  Artistic and beautiful!

Check out this table top herb garden.  This would look great on a patio, deck or rooftop.  Here are 10 Square Foot Gardening Ideas for you.  

Aren't these red onions gorgeous?  I never thought of growing them in pots, but why not?  Do you use the square foot gardening method?  I'd love to hear about your garden ideas and successes.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Birding on the reservoir...

I counted 48 pelicans near the reservoir today.
I wonder if they'll stay all summer?  
Doubtful, but maybe.


These beach walkers are American Avocets. 
They have a very loud voice.
It's sure fun watching the birds coming home for the summer.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

This & that...

 Every morning you'll find me out and about feeding cows and sheep.  Today we moved cow-calf pairs around away from the drop bunch (who haven't calved yet) and so I snapped a few photos.  Nothing earth shattering, but fun anyway.  I thought this cow looked so pretty staring straight at me.  Isn't she?

 I can just hear 946 saying, "I tried to give Jody my best profile and look at the show-off in the background!  (I know, but I couldn't help it!)

The lambs are getting so big.  Some of them are right up to their mother's shoulders.  When the green grass really starts coming, they'll bloom like daffodils overnight. 

I've been putzing around with a few projects here and there.  OnlyDaughter threw a lovely bridal shower for our DIL-to-be.  I helped her do the decorating.  We put up cute tissue paper puffs above the dessert table like this, and made pennant banners that said "I do!" and "Bride." 

I spent several evenings embroidering kitchen tea towels for my new DIL-to-be, but I didn't take a single photo of any of them, and they were cute too.  Ah well.

I made one of the best homemade skin moisturizers ever.  I wish I could tell you where I found this recipe, but I can't seem to find it anywhere online.  It is in my own handwriting so I copied it from somewhere.  Anyway, if you're interested, it goes like this.

Hip Rosehip Balm (my name for it)

2 oz. grapeseed oil

1 T. coconut oil
1 T. mango butter
1/2 oz plus a sprinkle of beeswax pastilles
20 drops rosehip seed oil
1/2 t. glycerin

Melt beeswax and first three oils together in a double boiler. 
Allow oils to cool and add rosehip seed oil and glycerin last. Stir.
Whisk until creamy but pourable.  Pour into a tin or jar with lid.

I use this as a facial moisturizer every night and I also use it on just-shaved legs, on my feet, lips or  anywhere you want a good greasing-up.  Smear it on and rub it in.  I love it.  Rosehip seed essential oil is supposed to be good for scarring and wrinkles.  I still have wrinkles, but my skin look a little more dewy, I think.

My next project is going to be homemade sunscreen bars or cream like these from Wellness Mama.

I've been working on a baby quilt for Ladybug.  I hope it turns out like I envisioned it.  No matter what, she'll like it because it will be just right for snuggling in, for pinning around the neck to play super-hero, or for wrapping up Dolly.  She won't judge me if it's not perfect.

I learned something this week about hemming knit T-shirts. My step-mama gave me three T-shirts to hem for her and I said it shouldn't be a problem, but when I realized how much I needed to cut off -- she's petite -- I knew I couldn't just hem them up zippity-zip like I thought.  I did some research and found the very best article on hemming knits over at Made By Rae.  The twin-needle was just what I used and it worked terrific.  With a little practice on an old T-shirt, I found it pretty easy to use the twin-needle.  The new hems looks factory made.  Yay!

That's all for now.  I've got to go spray another coat of paint on the wooden baby swing.  I decided to brush on a bonding primer and then spray paint it so I could get into all the little crooks and crevices.  I had a mostly-full can of pink spray paint, so the swing will be pink.  If we ever get a grandboy, I'll paint it another color, but for today, it's pink.

The funny for today....a Luvs diaper commercial.  I can't help it, my daughter and DIL breastfeed.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...