Sunday, April 21, 2013

Easter Lilies

After church this morning, the priest made a point to let us know that there were still a bunch of Easter Lilly plants left over from the altar decorations.  Since Lilies are my favorite flower I had to take home as many as I could carry.  With my son's help, that equaled 3.  Anywho, after I got them home I had to figure out what exactly I was going to do with them.

Lilies are a bulb flower so they will naturally bloom every year, if you let them.  And they are quick to multiply.  Just think back to all those country drives you have taken in your life.  How often do you see just one or two Lilly plants?  Hardly ever.  But how often are there large bunches of Lilies growing along the side of the road?  In my area, they are EVERYWHERE!  If you choose to replant your Easter Lilies be sure to give them plenty of space to grow.  

When choosing the potted flower you obviously want to find one that is aesthetically pleasing.  Make sure it is even on all sides, not too tall or too short, and has large healthy flowers in multiple stages of bloom.  After the flowers wilt and fall off is the perfect time to replant outside.  The flowers like a nice sunny area, but the roots prefer to be cooler and shaded.  Pick a sunny spot and use a nice mulch, this will keep the flower and the roots happy.  

Tip the plant out of it's pot and gently break up the root ball.  Plant the bulb about 3 inches deep, in nutrient rich soil with good drainage (well drained soil is key for good Lilly growth) and build up a 3 inch mound around the plant base.  If you are planting more than one flower, be sure to space them 12-18 inches apart.  As soon as the stem/leaves begin to die, cut them back to the surface of the soil.  New growth will appear.  Be sure to keep the plant beds free of weeds, and water thoroughly.

Follow these easy steps, and you will be enjoying your Easter Lilies for years to come!  

I will be planting my Lilies this week in a new flower bed on the side of my house.  The next step will be deciding what other flowers I want to put in there.  I will be sure to add photos as my various gardens start to come together as the seasons progress. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tend to Your Tag-a-Long

Every military spouse has had a tag-a-long on errands or appointments.  This certainly is not specific to military spouses, but it is something we deal with regularly.  Taking the kids on errands isn’t so bad, at least not every time.  My son actually prefers I take him along rather than run errands while he is in school.  I try to oblige as often as possible.  But dragging him to my doctor’s appointments is not nearly as exciting. 

This month is full of medical appointments for me.  It started with trip to the walk in clinic while my son was at school.  From there I was referred to a doctor an hour south of my house for an appointment at 0915.  Luckily it was scheduled for a day my son had off from school so I wasn’t worried about getting back in time for him to make it to class.  Next week I have my annual *girly* appointment at a time when my son has to come along.  I already tried to reschedule with no luck.  The month closes out with my having surgery at the same place as the referral appointment. 

The surgery is proving to be most stressful already.  I have to be at the doctor at 0800 for a 0930 surgery, I cannot drive myself because I will be all doped up afterwards, and I won’t get out of surgery until after my son needs to be in school.  I do not know very many people in my town, and I hate to ask such huge favors as driving me to and from surgery, and watching my son all morning and taking him to school.  My mother is blowing off work that day to take me in and I am hoping my baby sister can do the same so she can come up and watch my son and take him to school. 

But I digress.  The purpose of this post is to share some easy tips for keeping the kids occupied while you are at your appointment, or anywhere that the kiddos may need to be occupied.   Obviously, the best option is to avoid bringing the kids along all together.  But that is not always an option.  For my referral appointment, I expected to get there with plenty of time to finish any paperwork and get right in to see the doc.  That did not happen.  We got a bit lost on the way and ended up walking in to reception with seconds befor my scheduled appointment.  Then we waited for over an hour to see the doc.  If I were thinking ahead, I would have brought along my son’s activity book and crayons.  Quiet activities should never leave your car or purse.  They can be brought out anytime, anywhere and include books, crayons, or even your ipod (as long as the volume is off).  Utilizing tools offered at your destination is a great idea as well.  Many doctor’s offices have toys and books in the waiting area and exam rooms.  The ER at our local hospital even has televisions in some of their exam rooms so when I needed stitches last year I could turn on Disney channel for my son while I was being tended too.

Even with this arsenal, you need to have patience.  Nothing last forever and your kids are guaranteed to get bored befor you are ready to leave.  Be sure to have a talk with the kids befor you even leave the house.  Let them know that they have to behave and be patient while you are at the doctors.  I find that the *pre-talk* makes a big difference in how well my son handles the boredom.  It also helps to plan something fun/entertaining for after the appointment so your kids have something to look forward too.  This doesn’t have to be some elaborate activity, sometimes eating lunch out is just enough.  I tend to plan multiple activities any time we leave the house simply because everything is so far away, but I make sure to add something my son wants to do whenever I make his wait around for hours in a doctor’s office. 

I hope this post has given y’all a few ideas on how to survive those long, monotonous errands.  Remember to always pack quiet activities, prepare them for the potential boredom, and most importantly have patience!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Home Made Mosquito Trap

As the weather warms up I have started noticing the wonderful world of insects that develops in my yard every year.  I strategically place fly traps and that certainly helps keep that population down, but I have yet to find a good fix to the bee issue or the mosquito issue.  The bees will have to wait until I get more spray and drown their little nests all around my house, but the mosquitoes may be in for an early demise.  I have not yet tried this, but it certainly seems like it will work wonders.  And I already have all the necessary *ingredients* in my kitchen!


Items needed:
1 cup of water 1/4 cup of brown sugar 1 gram of yeast 2-liter plastic bottle
HOW: 1. Cut the plastic bottle in half. 2. Mix brown sugar with hot water. Let cool. When cold, pour in the bottom half of the bottle. 3. Add the yeast. No need to mix. It creates carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes. 4. Place the funnel part, upside down, into the other half of the bottle, taping them together if desired. 5. Wrap the bottle with something black, leaving the top uncovered, and place it outside in an area away from your normal gathering area. (Mosquitoes are also drawn to the color black.)
Change the solution every 2 weeks for continuous control.

Give it a try and share your story.  I will be making a few this summer and will be sure to let y'all know how they do.  


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Returning to civilization

So sorry I have been MIA this week.  My son was off from school for Spring Break and it was *Screen Free Week* so we were making an effort to spend less time in front of the television and computer.  For the most part, we succeeded.  Saturday was a typical day at work, Sunday was Easter, Monday and Tuesday were spent listening to music and cleaning, Wednesday my sister came to visit, Thursday was pedicures for the horses, Friday the horses got vet checks and we went to the city, and then it was back to Saturday.

The visit from my sister was a nice change of pace.  My son had been talking about it for weeks since it was his idea to invite Harley to visit.  We started the visit by eating lunch at our local *Fancy Restaurant* and ended with bowling.  Between the two, we decided to take a drive up to the falls to take the dogs for a walk.  The falls are only a few miles from my house, there was no snow in my yard yet there was a foot of snow at the falls...not fun.  My jeep got stuck in the parking lot and my sister had to free it while the boys played with the dogs in the back.  After that little adventure, the walk was cold and slippery but enjoyable.  Bowling was a pleasant experience with the 3.5 and 4.5 year old boys.  No one had a melt down and my son scored in the mid fifties.  That is rather impressive for his first time bowling.

The appointments for the horses were also a pleasant surprise.  The farrier was scheduled to come Thursday, so I was prepared first thing in the morning.  I had the crazy mare in the round pen, the pony and paint in the small pasture, and the thoroughbred and draft in the large pen.  This way we could do feet with as little interruption as possible.  We only got resistance from one horse and everyone walked away with only mild scrapes and bruises, including the horse who got punched in the eye with my engagement ring (on accident by the way) and Crazy Mare behaved impeccably.  The vet was a bit more eventful since it was a last minute addition to our day.  I didn't get a chance to separate all the horses, but I did get Crazy mare into the round pen with almost no trouble.  Everyone got their rabies and blood draw/pictures even tho we had 3 extra horses up our butts at any given time.  

Movie day was amazing.  We drove north to see The Croods and do some shopping.  This was my son's second time in a movie theater and he was very happy to be there.  The movie was quite fantastic and I highly recommend it.  Shopping is always a good time, especially when I can do it at TJ Max and Marshalls.  

Throughout the week I have been working on knitting a baby blanket for my cousin.  As far as the actual knitting, it is going well.  However, it is difficult to knit when my puppy chewed one of my needles early this week and I had to but and ship a new pair overnight.  I do not have enough room to stretch more than 4-5 squares at a time and they take a few days to stretch.  I need to average 2.5 squares a day to get them all done in time and I am way behind.  Hopefully I get everything finished by the 14th so I can sew it all together and ship it to my sister to give to the momma-to-be.  I will be sure to post pictures when the blanket is finished.  I always enjoy sharing my projects.  

So, now that I am back to using my computer, and it is finally starting to look like Spring, I will be posting a lot about spring cleaning, yard maintenance, and getting our gardens started.  If anyone has something specific they would like information on, let me know and I will do my best to help you out!