Sunday, March 21, 2021

Ridiculously Little Happies

 I saved seeds for the first time last year. The most amazing cherry tomato plant I've ever seen. It was as tall as I am, and covered with quarts of cherry tomatoes. My friend had been given a plant from her Amish neighbor. I have not seen anything like it. So last fall, I watched a youtube video on how to save tomato seeds and followed the directions carefully. Yesterday, I planted 30 of those seeds in their little toilet paper tubes in a wash basin. It sits in a sunny window right now. 

I also saved some heirloom tomatoes from my niece. She had extra plants and offered them. I accepted even though I did not really need any more tomatoes. I wasn't impressed with the output but thought to give them another chance. They had been planted so late in the season so it really wasn't fair, was it? As long as I was saving seeds, I saved some of those, too. I have another basin of little tubes. 

I also saved some seeds from the most massive green peppers I have ever seen in my life. These things were monsters. These were bought from an Amish vegetable stand. I planted a third basin full of those. 

I've got my cucumber seeds started for my hydroponic experiment. The barrels are ready to be filled, and I have the required nutrients for when the danger of frost is past. I've also got a tray of cabbages. I've gotten the idea to try them raised off the ground to protect them from the critters. 

It was a good activity for a day when my arms did not want to raise above my head. I planted my seeds with tweezers and thought happy thoughts. Now everything sits on a card table in the office in a sunny spot. But...it was my first time saving seeds and there was a bit of fear as well that I'd done something wrong or that they wouldn't grow. I planted way more than I actually need. If only part of them grow, I'll have enough (hopefully). If all of them grow, well...I'll have 150 plants to figure out what to do with.

I messaged my daughter in law later in the evening. I had started plants for her as well, and taken them with me when I visited. They are in a different planting zone and can get things into the ground earlier than we can. Not all of the plants in my basin for her had sprouted at delivery time. She set them in her basement under the growlights and I hoped for the best. 

"Hey, how did the peppers and tomatoes I brought for you do? Did they 'take'?" She messaged back with news that all of my plants had sprouted nicely. I was amazed at how ridiculously pleased I was at this news.  

Another little happy? I have never understood the how-to videos about folding fitted sheets. I have a different method. We have five beds in our house. They each have a set of sheets. I remove the sheets for laundering, take them out of the dryer, and put them directly back on their beds. Saves folding sheets and it saves trying to figure out where to store sheets in an old house with not enough closets. 

I'm practical like that. 

I buy sturdy heavy sheets that are guaranteed to last a while, and to be honest, I haven't bought sheets in in a few years, but the elastic on our bed sheets was wearing out. Makes perfect sense, since those are the sheets washed weekly. The fitted sheet kept slipping off the corners of the bed, an aggravation. 

Last night, Tim needed to get some sandpaper. I said, "Let's replace our bed sheets while we are out." 

We stood in front an aisle of sheets. As usual, I was looking comparing threadcounts with an eye on the price.  They needed to be 100% cotton, because I hate sheets that pill. Down the aisle a bit, Tim said, "I want these," and he stood in front of a selection of 800 count bedsheets in rich jewel colors. We've never had 800 count sheets before. I stood beside him. "They'll last forever, but did you see the price on them?" 

And he said, "They're not that bad, really. When's the last time we bought a set of sheets?"  I didn't protest because I'd fallen hard for a set in a brilliant lapis lazuli color. We came home and made up our bed with the new sheets. We were like a couple kids waiting for bedtime, and when we finally crawled between those sheets, they were delightful. 

Today, I made strawberry shortcake for Tim, with homemade whipped topping. I ate a green salad for supper so that I could have a small piece of cake for myself. There's a happy! The first short cake of the season. 

This week, the prediction is for 3 days in the 70s. For you celcius people, 21 degrees. That is probably my happiest happy of all!


17 comments:

  1. 21 degrees is pretty close to being the perfect temperature for me.

    I hope neither of you said, these sheets will see us out. It is satisfying to spend money on something you want and it exceeds expectations.

    Can you ever have too many tomatoes? I eat them as fruit as well as them going into meals.

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  2. 150 tomato plants, 800 count sheets and temps of 21 - all sounds exactly perfect to me!

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  3. Please post some pics of the hydroponics set up please Debby. Did I say please enough?

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  4. Like Sue, I am impressed by your numbers. Oh for 21C .....

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  5. I think it might be a splendid idea if we all kept a list each day of any happies we have in our lives. At this awful pandemic time we may well find that we are happier than we think we are.

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  6. You are very industrious, even if you are several sheets to the wind. ;)

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  7. By "homemade whipped topping," I hope you simply mean whipped cream, which is the ONLY acceptable topping for strawberry shortcake. Congrats on all your productivity.

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  8. That’s me on the immediately preceding comment. Arghh ..... don’t ask!

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  9. Homemade whipped cream, Bob. Heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and sugar.

    I try to be mindful of just that thing, Weaver. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the awful things, but there are so many things to be happy about.

    Just two, AC, just two sheets to the wind. I think that it only starts to be a worry when we are THREE sheets to the wind....

    The hydroponics system is taken from the Kratky method. It is a passive hydroponic system - no pumps. For cucumbers, you use a 55 gallon food grade barrel. You cut out two 4 inch holes in the top to accommodate your plant pot. You add 4 oz of 4-18-38 plant food, 4 oz of 15-0-0 Calcium nitrate and 3 oz of epsom salts. You fill the barrel all the way to the point where you have 1/8 inch of water in your 4 inch pot (the filling is also mixing up your plant food). You put one 4 inch pot in each hole. That's it. The cucumbers 'drink' the water, but the roots naturally grow down as the water levels recede. The water lasts the entire growing season so the process is completely carefree. The Debby touch is that I plan to place a piece of trellis between the two barrels, like a bridge, and just keep the plant growth confined to the top of that which will keep the plant out of reach of the critters. I've got a set up for 8 cucumber plants in two barrels. If the plan is successful, I'll double that next year. Google Kratky method, Northsider. It is the poor man's hydroponics, not requiring pumps. Or fish. Or even a lot of attention. Let me know what you think. I'm anxious to give this a go.

    Not 150 tomato plants. That would indicate I'd totally lost my mind. I've only got 60 (if they all sprout). 30 pepper plants. 30 beans (black bean and navy), 8 cabbages, 20 cucumber. It seems like a lot when I write it all down, but I like to allow myself room to fail. I can always give them away if I wind up with too many, Sue.

    I'm looking forward to the nice weather, Andrew. I have a project that I can finally get done. I have a child's desk and chair to sand down and refinish for a grandson who loves it. I can haul it out back and get it done finally.

    The very first warm days are always so exciting, aren't they, Jaycee?

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  10. The 70s! I'm jealous. We're still cooler than that here. Congrats on your seed project! I'll be interested to hear how they do! Every time I go to the states I buy a set of sheets, because we have an American king mattress and we can't get sheets here. (I feel like I may have said that already in a comment on someone's blog -- if it was yours, sorry for being repetitive. :) )

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  11. The Kratky method looks great Debby. Look forward to see your hydroponics cucumber growing kit up and running.

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  12. Recently I have been building a large garden office - more accurately, someone is building it for me!
    The relevance to your post is that my son who is an architect told me to 'spend money on the things you touch' - so buy nice door handles and switches, make sure the light fittings are good because these are things we touch and use every day - its the same with cutlery or tableware for example...
    And I think he's absolutely right - the tactile quality makes such a difference and the expense if we can reasonably afford it is worth the extra. So your 800 thread count sheets sound a bargain to me - long may you luxuriate in them.

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  13. 3 days in the 70s--wow! I love mid-70s which are our normal summer temps. We're still in the 40s/50s here now. It sounds like a whole bunch of good things have brightened your day.

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  14. One year many years back, we bought some mislabeled tomato plants that ended up being all cherry varieties. I wasn't sure what to do with so many cherry tomatoes so I ended up just desteming them and putting them in a blender to coarsely chop before processing and made various tomato products out of them. Honestly, I never could tell the difference between them and their larger cousins. The only drawback was the effort to pick enough of them to do something with.

    We made the mistake of buying an extra deep mattress the last time we bought one early on in our marriage and have been suffering buying specialized bedding for it to fit right ever since. I want to replace it with a normal sized mattress but that would mean ditching all those sheets. Thus we continue to use it despite it being uncomfortable at best. I hate being so thrift conscious.

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  15. Cherry tomatoes are good for salsa. I also can eat an awful lot of salad.

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  16. Hooray for saving seeds! Heirloom tomatoes are my favorite vegetables of all time. I plan to buy a few seedlings this year and grow some. I didn't get around to starting seeds and it's too late now, since we should be good to go with planting in a couple more weeks.

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  17. I had potatoes that were sprouting so cut the eye and sprout of and planted them in the edge of a garden bed, Last week the top died so I dug down in the roots and found enough potatoes for a few meals. I usually plant any peels that have nice eyes in them and have a pretty plant and sometimes potaroes.

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