Monday Musings:

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The photo was taken just after the first fall out from Thor! I’m in the safety of the Gazebo taking the shot because that’s how far we shoveled. This morning the snow’s no longer weighing the tree branches down and Diva Dog and I can actually make it to the back of the yard without toppling over each other and falling in the snow. I’m seriously considering doggy boots for the old girl. Diva Dog not me!

I find Monday’s I need time to get back into the workday flow because our weekends are so radically different. Monday musings help me get back gently into the thick of things for the rest of the week.

I know the clocks went ahead so we have to be close to Spring –right? I’m really anxious to get into Spring gardening!

Want a magical garden?  Plant a butterfly garden. And I really want to do this penny bowling ball for the garden.  I keep putting it off for lack of time. Wish me luck for this year.

I watched one of my favorite old movies last night — the Ghost and Mrs. Muir.  The original version with Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney of course.  Watching old movies and snacking on chocolate was something my mom and I really enjoyed!  I still do, but sadly now it’s without my mom.  Mother and daughter relationships can be truly wonderful–not perfect, but lots of loving and sweet memories. Here’s how to have the best mother and daughter relationship.

Since Spring is only 11 Days, 9 hours and 50 mins. away we should be thinking Spring cleaning.  Yup, you heard right— S.P.R.I.N.G. cleaning! I like these quick and easy cleaning tips.

No Irish Cream  for that recipe you want to try for St. Patty’s Day?  Make your own. It’s so easy! Here are video instructions.

I have a great need-to-know so I found this site that tells you the #1 song hit on your birthday. I’m not telling you mine because then you’d know how old I am. :o)

Enjoy your day!

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Monday Morning Musings: Getting Ready For Spring Gardening

Gardening Get Ready for Spring

Is it Spring yet? According to the countdown calendar clock it’s 25 days and nine hours away and I’m sitting here in below freezing temperatures. All I can think about is planting my vegetable garden and a few of my favorite flowering plants. I love Spring gardening time! I can hardly wait to be cooking with fresh vegetables and herbs from my own garden again.  The flavor is so much better. Then there’s canning.

I wanted to have an indoor herb garden, but I haven’t yet figured out how to keep the kitties from sitting in the windows and snacking on the fresh herbs. The first time I tried it was a total disaster—soil everywhere and no plants. Please let me know if you have any suggestions on how to keep your pets from munching on your plants.

We really can’t plant anything till after the latest Spring frost so you need to know the date from last year to plan your garden.  If you haven’t bought your 2015 Farmer’s Almanac but you want a good idea of frost dates then David’s Garden is where you go. There’s a treasure trove of gardening information there and you can certainly get lost in the research and advice.

This is a short and informative video by the Smiling Gardener on how to start your seeds indoor.

Have some fun planning the layout of your garden by using these online garden planners. Yes, they’re free.

You can order your rare seeds (non GMO) from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  They have a wonderful FREE Rare Seed catalog or you can read it online right now. They also have their Free Baker Creek Seed Book catalog. They produce a few other interesting gardening magazines that you can purchase relatively cheap with lots of great information, recipes and history.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds even has a vegan restaurant that serves a “donation only” lunch. According to their website they’re planning some interesting cooking lessons and festivals. I wish we didn’t live so far away–sigh.

If space is limited for a garden big enough for your needs then check out this book–Vertical Gardening by Derek Fell.  I love it!  We have a huge backyard but it can’t all be garden.

No backyard? Then you can get some great ideas for balcony gardening in this book —The Edible Balcony by Alex Mitchell. Even if you have a backyard some of the ideas are worth incorporating into your own backyard garden.

Of course when you’re gardening you need to be dressed appropriately so here’s a Master Gardener apron, a  cute vegetable apron or a funny gardening apron.

Mother Earth News has tons of information on Spring Gardening — which plants like to be grouped together and crop rotation for the home gardener.

This year I’d like to build some garden boxes so I don’t have to bend down so far.  They’re much easier on the back.  I’ve been looking at some plans and you might be interested in doing the same.  This garden box  shown on Stark Insider is my favorite so far. She built her’s out of redwood. It looks lovely, but I don’t think I’ll be building mine out of redwood.

We had a family of bunnies move in under our Gazebo for the winter so I’m assuming I might have to make a garden for them and garden boxes on legs for some of the garden should reduce the amount lost to the bunnies dining out. And did I mention the deer?

I’ve been saving my egg shells and coffee grinds for the garden. Have you?  Once the egg shells are dry just blitz them into powder in a blender and use it to feed and prepare your garden for planting.

Happy planning and preparation!

 

Monday Musings: Chocolate Dreaming

 

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What’s the first thing you think of when someone mentions Valentine’s Day?  CHOCOLATE! In my family of chocoholics you could mention socks and they’d think of chocolate. I bet they’re chocolate dreaming in their sleep too, but I digress.  I wanted to add some new recipes to my chocolate repertoire so I decided to scout out some new ones on the net and look at what I found:

Imagine feeding these to your Valentine – Chocolate Profiteroles. Don’t they look sensuous?

I love how this Chocolate Ganache & Salted Caramel Brittle looks so elegant and decadent but is quite easy to do.

How about a Chocolate Kiss Cocktail? Definitely on my list to try!

I wanna do a face plant into this Chocolate Chip Cookie Salted Rum Caramel Tart with Toasted Marshmallow.  With my mouth open of course!

I love the flavor combo of chocolate and orange. Here’s one in an ice cream — Chocolate and Orange Ice Cream.

Of all the things I’ve made with chocolate I’ve never yet made Chocolate Bread. Imagine this as French Toast! Mmmm

I really need to try these Hot Fudge Pretzel & Peanut Butter Macarons.

Chocolate Fried Chicken!  Yup you read that correctly — Chocolate Fried Chicken! I have to try this!

Enjoy and let me know which ones you’ve tried and how they turned out.

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