Monday, January 28, 2013

A Pre-Order Seed Inventory

With the January arrival of seed catalogs, I've been hard at work planning this year's garden! I have ordered some seeds, but I wanted to make sure to use what I already had on hand to keep costs down, but also just to not be wasteful. So...without further ado, here is my list of what I already have on hand.

  1. Sunflowers - I've got a 1/4 lb of these suckers....I'm thinking of just digging a (shallow) trench along the back fence, tossing them in the ground and seeing what happens. That said, I've still got a LOT of sunflower seeds....anyone in Nashville need some???
  2. Lettuce (Summer Mix) - this is a cut-and-come again loose leaf variety that I've had good luck with in the past, but have some left over from last year.
  3. Tomato (Costoluto Genovese) - leftover from last year. I was a little disappointed in the yields, but I also didn't get them in the ground until July, so that MAY have had something to do with it.
  4. Basil (Mrs. Burns lemon) - I was unsuccessful in getting these to sprout last year, but I may try again, just because I have the seeds. I can always buy a started basil plant if it's unsuccessful.
  5. Jalapeno - again, leftover from last year. These didn't get as big as my monster jalapeno two years ago, but they still had decent yields, despite the fact that these also didn't make it into the ground until July.
  6. Red leaved Perilla - leftover from last year, though I have to admit, I never actually used any of it in my cooking!
  7. Dill
  8. Green Bean (Blue Lake 274, bush type and Bush Blue Lake 156)
  9. Broccoli (Packman Hybrid) - at last check, this was actually still producing!
  10. Turnip (White Lady hybrid)
  11. Onion (Parade) - this is a green onion that was just starting to sprout in the garden when it got
  12. Columbines - I had meant to plant these last year, but then we bought a house and moved, so they are now in my refrigerator chilling since I neglected to plant them in the fall (fail)
  13. Cleome - these are pass-along seeds from my voice teacher's wife.
  14. Nasturtium 
  15. Hibiscus, red and white - these seeds were saved from some growing along Nashville's greenway
  16. Mustard Greens - never managed to get these planted in the
  17. I also think I have some yellow squash seeds around somewhere....There were lots of things that just got tossed in boxes during the move....I'm still finding things!
  18. Caroline Reaper - THESE are special. My mother is friends with a man named Eddie Currie, who breeds hot peppers in SC. He owns Pucker Butt Pepper Company (you can check them out here). Eddie now holds the Guinness World Record for the hottest pepper in the world, and this lucky girl has some seeds! My hubby loves spicy food, and these are supposed to have a nice fruity flavor to go with the heat. I'm really excited to get these babies growing!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Console Possibility?

Sometimes you just have to try something on for size. I'm finding this holds true to things that go in your home as well as for clothing. I saw a red console table the other day while I was wandering through Home Goods. I was so enchanted with it I decided to bring it home, knowing that if it didn't look right by the front door, I could return it.

Charming, yes? I love the shape, but felt like I wanted it to be a little bit wider and beefier to fit the space. I also think it would look better as stained wood instead of painted.

For comparison sake, here is the wood table I already had.


Slightly more substantial looking, though it's actually smaller, and lacking drawers to hold things like gloves and hats. I definitely like the warm look of the stained wood under the Dali painting though.

Oh, and you'll have to excuse the pile of stuff in the basket. The stuff inside it is headed to Goodwill soon.

For the record, I did end up returning the red table. While there were things about it that I preferred relative to what I already had, I would rather save my money for the right thing!

Have you ever gotten something home before realizing it didn't look as good as you thought?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Jewelry Organization....My Pride and Shame

I have a jewelry issue. As in, I have a LOT of it. Between stuff I have bought, made, been given, and the vintage jewelry I inherited from my grandmother and great grandmother, let's just say that my jewelry collection can get a little unwieldy if not properly organized, and I'm still searching for a good system. Right now, I have my most worn pieces in various boxes on my dresser, more in my dresser, and still more in boxes in the top of my closet.

I realize this is an issue that many women would love to have, and I'm certainly not complaining about having seemingly endless choices. The problem is, until just the other day, the top of my dresser looked like this...


Obviously whatever I've been doing isn't working, so I decided it was high time to do something about it.

I started by pulling everything off the top of my dresser and dusting. I went through the jewelry and pulled out damaged pieces or pieces that I don't wear or don't like very much. Those went into my "donate" bag. I found places for the makeup bags (in the dresser) as well as some of my less favorite boxes. I need to find a larger jewelry box that will hold most of my necklaces so I can get rid of my less favorite boxes altogether.With that done, I was left with this.

Much better right?

I also decided to use a tall skinny vase to stack my bracelets.

So how do you organize your jewelry collection (or any other collection, for that matter)? Any ideas on good places to find larger jewelry boxes?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Light Fixture for the Dining Room

First of all, Happy New Year everyone! Here's hoping everyone had safe and happy holidays. I have to admit, I didn't even stay up last night.....probably something to do with my date being on the other side of the globe....

Anyway, I went to SC to be with my family at Christmas and stopped in Atlanta to see my brother in law. Kind and patient soul that he is, he actually walked through IKEA with me, and I came home with this.

Now, my husband and I installed the light fixture in our bathroom, but I had never done this by in numbers I suppose. Anyhow, since the hubs is off defending the country, I thought I'd give this a go on my own.

To give you an idea of what I was replacing, here is the "boob light" that was there when we moved in.

Just a basic ceiling fixture....but I wanted something with a little more pizazz to go over the dining table. I've actually been looking for months and despairing at how much it was going to cost me to purchase a cool light (everything I saw that I actually liked was over $100....some I saw were upwards of $400!!). While I was home for Christmas, my sister and I were pouring over the IKEA catalog app on my iPad and low and behold, was the Maskros light for a mere $39.99. I almost danced with joy.

Once I made it back home to Nashville, I asked some friends if I could borrow their ladder and got down to it. Like I mentioned before, my husband and I had changed a light fixture before, so I knew it wasn't hard.

First, let me stress safety.....I made sure the power to the fixture was off. Since my breaker box is not labeled well, that meant shutting off the power to the entire house. Better safe than sorry right?

I got the boob light detached from the ceiling. At first glance, there wasn't really anything unusual. This is what it looked like...

Now, to give you some orientation, this is a two bulb fixture, with a white and a black wire coming from each bulb. Those four are consolidated to one white and one black wire, which is what is actually wired to the ceiling. The only weird thing is that instead of grounding the fixture, whoever installed this took the grounding wire (the copper one coming from the middle of the fixture) and just wrapped it around the white and black wires. Weird.

And speaking of weird, when I looked up into the wire box, here's what I saw.

It's kinda hard to make out (keep in mind I was balancing on a ladder while doing this), but there is a second set of black and white wires in the wire box that have been capped. Being the careful girl that I am (and really, REALLY not wanting to burn down the house), I called my dad. He told me those extra wires were probably from a second light switch that probably used to be in the room, that was somewhere along the way removed. Seems plausible to me, and meant that I really just had to leave those extra wires right where they were, so I got the old fixture un-wired, and the new one wired in, simply matching white with white and black with black, then attaching the ground wire to the screw-to-nowhere in the wire box. Screw that puppy into the ceiling, turn the power back on, give myself a high five and then all I had to do was attach the million and two wire thingys that stick out from the center.

That was about halfway through (boy do I need to get a tripod for my camera...sorry about the blurriness!).  Once I got the rest of the wire things attached, then it was time for the billion and two paper star-flower-thingies. Those just snap on to the ends of the wires. It's not hard, but there are a TON of them! Anyway, here's the finished product.

Pretty cool right? I'll try to get some better pictures after I get my dining room put together so you can see the full effect, but I love how it makes cool patterns on the ceiling!