Friday, June 15, 2018

Tabbed Slippers

 My church group, the Knitwits make lots of knitted and crocheted items for charity, and all the while I have been attending, I didn't find a project I could really settle on and make repeatedly until now. Bed slippers, for those who aren't ambulatory, are in hospice or whatever, have become my project. Looking at lots of patterns, I wanted something fast, simple and mindless, since I am always busy gabbing at our meetings and can't pay attention to written patterns. And I wanted no sewing and just a few stitches to cast on. Of course I couldn't find anything that met that criteria so I made up a pattern.

 Tabbed Slippers
light worsted or dk weight yarn
size 6 needles (double pointed)
one size adjustable

cast on 6 stitches and knit in garter st for 34 rows or 17 ridges
bind off but do not break yarn.
With dpns, Pick up stitches along the sides and bottom of the tab, forty stitches.
knit in garter for twelve ridges and then join on 4 dpns to knit in the round. Knit for about two inches and then begin decreases for the toe. I like to put (20) half the stitches on one needle and ten each on two more needles.
To decrease, starting on front right K1, ssk, knit to within 3 sts of end of row, k2tog, k1. Repeat on the back side of the toe stitches.
Round 2, K.
Round 3 Repeat decreasing. When 8 stitches remain, cut yarn leaving a long end to join live stitches, pull tight and bury end.

Could that be easier? Where I say about two inches, this is where the foot length can be increased. I have size 7 feet and these slippers are quite stretchy so the finished slipper looks short, but it fits just right.

The size is pretty variable, so for heavens sake, try them on! Gauge isn't as important but stretchiness of the yarn is. I am using merino superwash yarns, here, and they have lots of bounce. The whole slipper takes but 2 hours, so if they are too big, or too small, it becomes evident early on and its is simple to make adjustments. Be brave and knit on!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Strawberry Daiquiri Icebox Cake

 I saw this fast and easy version of my fave Tira Misu on Pinterest. Cappucino Ice Box Cake

 I made it and it was so yummy and fast, compared to actually making a real Tira Misu. It got me thinking, what other versions of this no bake layered dessert would be yummy and fun to make. I discussed this with famed foodie, my sister Brooke, and we immediately went for Key Lime pie. Ooooh! But when I got to the Walmart Neighborhood Market, I spied strawberry daiquiri drink in the freezer section and since it is strawberry time, it made the cut for my first experiment. The ingredients: Strawberries, cookies (macaroon) daiquiri mix, light Greek Yoghurt, and whipped topping. Here's the deal...

Two cups of topping and two cups of yoghurt mixed (folded in lightly) with about 4 ounces of the defrosted daiquiri mix 

In an 8 inch square baking dish, dip the cookies in the daiquiri mix for the bottom layer.

Top with a layer of sliced berries 
Then spread the whipped mixture on the berries and repeat with more dipped cookies. The second layer fits better without breaking the cookies. Top again with strawberries and the second layer of topping.

 For a finish, I crunched up more cookies and sprinkled them on top, with a garnish of sliced strawberry. Easy peasy and now to wait for four hours for all the flavors to meld. I tasted the whipped combo and it was tangy and super sweet, so I am hoping the tart strawberries will balance out the sweet. Can't wait to try it!!

Friday, June 8, 2018

God's Garden

I am happy to say that the veggie beds are in and planted! I got started about 7am and finished by 9:30. I took my time and enjoyed the planting, in the gloriously rich mushroom compost. So warm and obviously fertile. You know I loves me some good dirt. The beds are 15 feet long by 4 feet wide. Just perfect for all that I planned on growing. They are in the shade early morning but then have the full sun for the rest of the day and well into evening. They face southwest. Gonna be a hot one today but starting Monday rain is predicted for the whole week. Excellent!

 Bed number one has peppers, Beauregard sweet potatoes (first time I am growing them) and golden russet potatoes. Peppers include Coolapeno, Mammoth Jalapeno, Poblano, Giant Marconi, and Big Bertha Bell.  Way more than we can eat, so I do plan to share. I have lots of friends who eat veggies.

 Bed number two has tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. Even tho my tomatoes are all determinate and won't get too tall, I decided to stake them anyway in case. Varieties include Debut, Bush Goliath, Celebrity, Husky Cherry, and one more which I forget...   Update: Red Pride is the one I forgot.
 Bed Three has lots of green bean seeds planted and one hill of ice box Sugar Baby watermelon. And Bed Four has seeds of pumpkin, butternut squash, beets and Gold potatoes, with cantaloupe at the top end. 
When I bought my plants initially they were in small pots and I replanted them into larger pots with good soil while I waited for the garden to be constructed. As I unpotted them today I was happy to see the roots had filled the new pots and were quite happy to be growing. Some tomatoes already have fruited.
 Mulch is added around all the plants and Nick is going to make a drip irrigation system for me in the coming weeks. This is my dream garden and my plan is to keep at it until they cart me away.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Pondette 2.0

 The big new galvanized tub arrived yesterday and I got it filled in minutes. I chose a spot that is in the shade in the afternoon but gets a lot of morning sun. And I have decided that it is more of a water garden than a fish pond, as we are down to only one little goldfish.
 The orange canna has begun blooming and now I am on the lookout for more water plants. 
On order is a water iris, Chance Beauty.Chance Beauty Iris  and I think I will add some colocasia 9GreenBox - Jack's Giant Colocasia - 4'' Potand some papyrus if I can find them.Image result for papyrus plant
But the really big news is that Nick the landscaper has returned and is building my veggie beds, at last. Not his fault as we had a huge week of rain.  I will have four 15 foot beds, in a staggered pattern. Concrete block of course, 2 courses high. He promises wonderful lush compost to fill them. The brick will be delivered today.

 Most of the wood chips have been spread, but we still have a small pile for walkways between the veggie beds. Still to come are the trees to define the garden design. We'll have Green Giant arborvitae to screen between the two gardens and provide a bit more shade and privacy. It's all coming along nicely. Image result for green giant arborvitae

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Lily Pads

The first two lily pads have already reached the surface, which so delights me. Thank you all for you comments and advice on this little pondette.
As for the fish, they are merely there to eat the bugs. I bought six only because I was guarding against their imminent demise, since they were living in a tank at Walmart and one never knows. We have had a stock tank pond in the past, as well as a real pond, which is what got us started on water lilies and goldfish.
 The stock tank (two houses ago) was placed, filled, adding a pump/filter and some plants and immediately the fish. But it was in the sun and did get hot and murky pretty fast. Not enough coverage for the fish and certainly the variety of  water lilies were too small for this size tank.
 We got one water lily bloom and that was about it. It got converted to a planter after that experiment failed.

 Worked excellent as a planter, no?
 Our first house in TN came with a real pond and we put in a few goldfish and they multiplied like the dickens. We loved feeding them and watching them swim around. So mesmerizing.
After a few years we added koi and they grew like crazy. 
 And of course we had water lilies. 
So this little pondette is a far cry from our previous fishpond adventures, but it will do for the time and energy we currently have. I'll place it in afternoon shade and surround it with pots of flowers and we'll enjoy the lilies that come up. 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Pondette

We've been going round and round about a fish pond and couldn't agree on what to do. Our yard is full of trees and even now I am clearing the leaves off the patio to have some semblance of control. So putting in a pond seemed like a lot more work than I wanted to do. But still....a small scale fish pond was possible and I made up my mind to make one. This plastic one is temporary, but I wanted to get the pond plants before they died at Lowe's. Turns out they were thriving in their plastic containers and I got two lilies, one white, one pink and a mini cat tail plant. While I was there I snagged two cannas for 3 dollars each, and they like to live in the water, so we might just put them in when we get the real pond. 
Here's what I ordered. 
It holds 35 gallons and and is about 32" across at the top and 13.5"deep. That plastic tub hold only 20 gallons so it will be a good deal bigger.  

 Here's a view of the six goldfish and the two water lilies and then the start of the mini cat tails. I am so excited to have figured out this plan.
This is the sorta thing I had in mind.
17. Homemade Mini Garden Pond HereĆ¢€™s how to create a simple pond in a pot so you can enjoy water lilies on a sunny deck or patio.

 At Lowe's I was able to find my desired dark purple Chevalier clematis, for only $5. Now is the time to shop for plants. It is too wet and hot to plant, for most people, but for bargain hunters like me, it is perfect.

 The coneflower are opening nicely and I await the White Swan variety to bloom. In the wet days last week I planted some hyacinth beans and I noticed they are up and their second leaves are open already. Woowoo! I hope the fence can handle their enthusiastic climbing.
We have a squirrel problem. The birdseed was kept in this Rubbermaid and it got chewed open and I found two fat squirrels inside, eating their hearts out. Thus endeth the birdseed for the summer. We'll feed the birds and squirrels again when it gets cold. They all can eat the worms and bugs in the garden for now.