Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm Back!!!

Hello Everyone!

I know it's been a couple of months since my last post. Thanks for all your prayers concerning the disappearance of Sweetheart, my daddy's dog. She still hasn't turned up and we're afraid she has been dog napped. Many tears have been shed for that beloved dog and we still pray for her protection. She is terribly missed.

We visited the local dog pound and found a puppy almost identical to Sweetheart. He was about four months old when Daddy adopted him. It was love at first sight for both the puppy and Daddy. He told me immediately that the puppy's name was Sam. I call him Sam I Am, after the Dr. Suess character. He lives up to his namesake. He is such a character! His idea of fun is shoveling his nose into the mud in the drainage ditch leading from the farm pond until he comes up with crawdads and other creatures that would rather be hidden and plunging into the pond for a swim or to fetch any object that will float on the water after having been thrown by any willing participant.

Sam is such a cherished companion and is Daddy's best buddy. They are inseparable. I hope to post pictures soon.

The Farmer's Market opened for the season the first part of May and I've been busy with my gourd birdhouses and jewelry. I have had great responses from customers and have had a lot of word of mouth advertising. By the way, I have been invited to a festival a few counties over by one of the board members who has seen my work. I later found out that the arts/craftspeople were selected by invitation only and it made me feel great that someone would think I have even a little talent crafting my gourds! The festival is in October so I have to get busy for a two-day show.

Blueberries have been kinda slow this year for us. The bushes had sustained damage from the freeze we had a couple of years ago, and they haven't quite recovered fully. Daddy is also slowing down with his age and is not as able to handle a 4 acre blueberry farm like he once was. He still "piddles" about with the vegetable garden he grows for sale at the market.

Today's blog finds us "On the Road Again". Actually, we've been in Albuquerque, NM since the 13th. It's fortunate that I'm not superstitious- I put myself in watchful care of our Lord, Jesus Christ, otherwise we maybe should not have gotten on a plane on that day for these reasons:

1. We received a call at 4 am from the airline that our flight (7am) had been cancelled. It was rescheduled for 4:30 pm. We checked for flights at another airport nearby and got one leaving about the same time as the original one (7am).

2. We drove to the airport for that flight and missed it by 5 minutes-they were doing the final call as we were checking our luggage. We had to wait until the next flight out (11:30am).

3. Finally arriving at Atlanta to make our connection to Albuquerque, we had a 4 1/2 hour layover. With all the plans in disarray, I wondered if we should get on any of the planes that day- BUT God was merciful and kept us in His care. How sweet it is to trust Him!

I have had a great time here. Sunday, we caught up on some much needed sleep (We were up Saturday since 4 am Eastern time until 10pm Mountain time, if I figured correctly, about 18 hours!) After lunch, we went to the Gem and Bead Fair at the fairgrounds. Yesterday, I took a tour of Old Town Albuquerque and visited a turquoise museum where I learned how to shop for "natural" turquoise. My understanding is that some "turquoise" is injected with a resin to enhance color and hardness. When buying turquoise, you want to know if you are getting the "natural"- which is formed over 2000-6000 years or some that is turquoise, but enhanced by man and is usually sold a "genuine" or "real". This is where you have to talk and most importantly "listen" to the salesperson. Dealers in "natural" turquoise should have not problem certifying in writing the mine the turquoise came from and the grade. All this is good to know when you are spending hard-earned money for a gemstone you might later find out is practically worthless. Buying any stone that you like is good, but the pricing should match the quality!

Last night we went to dinner in Old Town . We went to the Church St. Caffe. It was located in what is the oldest house in Albuquerque. The food was a little too spicy for me, but Mr. Plant Lady ordered the fajitas which were excellent. (He graciously shared with me after the fire department (just kidding!) was called).

Tomorrow, me and one of the other ladies at the convention are going back to Old Town to finish our shopping. One gallery caught my eye last night. It was one in which the senior citizens in the area have an opportunity to sell their crafts for extra income. Just peeking through the window, I can tell I'll be contributing to their local economy!

More later . . . . . . .

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Seed Have Arrived!

Hello Everyone!

Finally! My time of watching the mailbox for the arrival of my seed order is over! Earlier in the week the mailman brought the long awaited package of seed for the upcoming garden. Joyous squeals could be heard when Mr. Plant Lady announced that my package had arrived. It was like a scene from Christmas mornings long ago as paper wrappings were tossed about as I tore into the large envelope from the heirloom seed company. Does anyone get that excited over a few packages of seed? Anyone except me?

Packages of gourd seed were my main interest - eagerly anticipating the bountiful harvest I'm sure to have (with God's help) in the fall. They came!!! Loofah (dishrag gourds), an unusual kind I've never heard of (Gakhaa gourds), dipper gourds, and bushel basket gourds. I can't wait until April when it is time to plant! I also received some herb seed as well - a cilantro that is slow to bolt and one called "Oaxaca", along with some parsley "Brayor" and an oregano "Wild Zataar".

I'll be sowing the herb seed in flats in the greenhouse in a few days and I will post pictures as they grow! More later . . .

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Watching and Waiting

Hello Everyone!

It's looking more and more like Spring here in North Carolina! Daffodils and quince are already blooming and the buds of the blueberry bushes are beginning to swell. It won't be long until my days will be filled with quite a variety of tasks that are sure to inspire some "lessons learned" in the garden.

The other night, I sat down at my laptop searching many seed companies online catalogs looking for that special variety of veggie and herb that I will try in the garden this year. I would like to try them all, but space and time prevents that! I finally decided on the ones that I thought would be right for this season's offerings at our local farmer's market.

Last year, I planted four rows of gourds for crafting - martin, apple and small eggs-like gourds that make wonderful ornaments, birdhouses, and feeders. I have saved the seed from all of the martins and apples and have a bountiful supply of those seed, but I decided to venture out and try the long-handled dipper gourds as well as try my hand, once again, with the loofah or dishrag gourd. I also found some interesting gourds from other countries offered through an heirloom seed company. This seed company is quickly becoming my favorite! The varieties offered are very unique and colorful!

Growing culinary herbs have been a passion of mine for several years. I started off with a small package of sage seed and the rest is history! Having taken a horticulture class in high school, I learned how to sow, transplant, and grow vegetables, herbs and flowers. It was my favorite class! Our teacher picked four students from the class to "manage" the greenhouse operation during the days it was open for the community to purchase plants for their home garden. I was one of the four! I was thrilled to be out of "regular" classes, but it was also a thrill to interact with the public and answer questions about the plants we offered.

I ran into my agriculture teacher several years after I graduated and he told me that he had never had a student that showed as much interest and had really promoted the plant sales as much as I did! That compliment really made me feel good after so many years! He was really that one teacher that inspired me to go into the horticultural field as a career! Thanks Mr. G!

Back to my garden seed purchases - I found a couple of varieties of cilantro that are said to be slow to bolt - a problem that I always have. I usually sow cilantro seed directly into peat pots because I find it does not transplant as well as some herbs. Parsley and dill are others that I direct-sow. I am trying to "Go Green" by using the peat pots that are biodegradable and can be planted directly in the soil. I used them last year and was well pleased with the results.

Oregano, thyme, rosemary and a few others are easily rooted so I will propagate these myself for a quicker maturity rate. I have tried seed, but their growth rate is a little slower than I like in order for a saleable plant by the first part of April. I am able to heat my greenhouse, but I don't like to because I don't want the plant to be "tender" and die from a "cold" night that we sometimes have in early spring. Heated greenhouses make for faster growth, but in my opinion, not necessarily better growth. Basil will have to wait a few weeks, as it is particularly sensitive to cold weather. I have had LUSH green basil one day and DEAD black basil the next! A very awful sight!

Blueberry cuttings are going into the propagation bed when the one-year old plants are removed to a nursery patch. The buds of the bushes are already swelling, preparing for the fruits to come in mid-May. I have so much to do before I even think of blueberries! Speaking of blueberries, Mr. Plant Lady said he saw (and tried) some blueberries in Sam's Club a few days ago. He said they were good and were grown in Chile. For some reason, I can't imagine eating blueberries from Chile. When I think of blueberries, I think of North Carolina, New Jersey, Michigan, Florida and South Carolina as well as a few West Coast states that are into blueberry production. Oh well, I'm for buying American, I guess!

I am eagerly awaiting my shipment of seed! I'll be watching for the mailman and waiting!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In The Meantime . . .

Hello Everyone!

. . . . . I'm still pondering! I haven't quite formulated my next post so please be patient with me.

It will be about the dawn of a new gardening season and all the challenges and joys to come. Stay tuned and always . . .

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Winner Is . . .Mar!

Hello Everyone!

Congratulations to Marlene at "Mar's Mornings" for the winning name for my new jewelry creations! She will be receiving the first "Homestrung Beads and Baubles" creation! When deciding on the color scheme, I chose colors representing God's wonderful creation. Blue representing the heavens we look toward, green - the grassy meadows in which we pasture, black - the life we once had, and clear crystals - the life we now have because of Jesus' sacrifice on Calvary. He deserves all praise!
Thanks to all of you who participated! There were many great entries and all of you out there in Blogland are very creative! Visit Mar and share your best wishes!

Please keep me in your prayers as I try to witness to others through my creative efforts.

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Plant Lady- Starring in "The Birds"

Hello Everyone!

Alfred Hitchcock may have another movie coming up! It seems I'm walking through the Twilight Zone-or maybe, the Outer Limits! Twice this week, I have had the fortune (or misfortune) of seeing starlings by the thousands, if not millions, sweeping over my house in a seemingly never-ending swarm. Yesterday, a group of large buzzards (I counted six) sitting along the roof line of a house about one mile away seemed an eerie sight as I drove by on my way from town. I remember thinking that the sight would be a great element for a suspense movie.
I believe I'm playing Tippi Hedron's role in Hitchcock's "The Birds". Strange things often happen to me and no doubt this qualifies as "strange". When Mr. Plant Lady alerted me to the sight yesterday, I ran for my digital camera. I knew this would make a very unusual post and I thought all of you might find it eerily interesting. Mr. Plant Lady thinks the swarm of starlings are on their way south for the winter. I have no idea what the buzzards are up to. Maybe they are looking for me so they can have the starring role in the next Hitchcock film-" Some Flew Over My Cuckoo Nest"!

Weird-very weird, even for me!
Plant Lady

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Things Accomplished Home Alone

Hello Everyone!

Mr. Plant Lady returned safe and sound and we had a wonderful service at church on Sunday. After Sunday dinner, a friend accompanied me to the beading workshop at the beading studio I mentioned in my last post. She is the same friend that came over on Friday night while I was home alone. I had promised her I would show her how to make the gourds that I have shown in previous posts.
A big pot of vegetable soup, crackers and pepper jack cheese made our work more enjoyable. After supper, we started to work on the gourds. I had already scrubbed the gourds, so all she had to do was to draw the pattern on her gourd, cut, and weave it. The finishing touches were made as she added the beads. She did a very good job for her FIRST time gourdcrafting!

The beading workshop was a thrill and I am scheduled to return for the next few Sunday afternoons for beading several other projects where new techniques are taught. I'm so excited!My friend was amazed at her "hidden" talent!

Today's photos are of our "Home Alone" project and the beading workshop project. What do you think?

This is my friend's first gourd creation. She did everything by herself with a little instruction from me. Isn't it beautiful? She has talent that she didn't know she possessed! She did a great job!

This is my very first beading project-a necklace made at the beading workshop Sunday afternoon. I think it's pretty! What's your opinion? We just might have to have another giveaway! Jewelry by Plant Lady! Help me think of a name for my jewelry creations! Post a name for consideration and the one that is chosen will receive the first creation made under the new name! How's that for a giveaway? Entries can be made until January 30. The WINNER will be announced here on "Plant Lady's Ponderings" on January 31! Spread the word!

Be Encouraged!

Plant Lady

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Hello Everyone!

Yipee! Today's the day my honey arrives back from his trip to Dallas. Well, not today, it's tonight actually, or maybe tomorrow. Oh, I'm so confused! He has a late flight that will come in at the airport around 11 p.m. and with the return trip, will get here a little after midnight in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

He will return to a sparkling clean home (don't look in the closets, I was not that lonesome!) and a BIG hug! I have truly missed him for the few days he has been gone. I have tried to occupy myself with housecleaning, tons of laundry and craft projects with a friend from church and have not been terribly lonesome. My mother-in-law called yesterday to see if the Mr. was back. I told her that he had just left the day before and wouldn't return until late Saturday night. She said, "Are you staying by yourself?" I replied, "Yes". She then said, "Well, you'll be alright, nobody will get you." Then I said, "If they do, they'll bring me back!" (something Mr. Plant Lady tells me all the time!) Really, I haven't been nervous about being home alone. My daddy never raised a scaredy cat! Except maybe when it comes to those little, green rain frogs that cling to whatever they land on, which is usually ME! I have a real FEAR of them. My daddy says I got that from my grandaddy, who was afraid of them also. I had rather have a snake on me than a frog!

The day is planned for a trip to Wal-Mart for grocery shopping, lunch somewhere in town and who knows what else! Oh, by the way, I have been invited to a beading class a local craft store is having Sunday afternoon. I have noticed a new beading studio open a few miles away, in another town. Several times I went by, but they were closed.(on vacation) Thursday afternoon, I was by and saw that the OPEN sign was on the door. I went inside to find they had a wonderful selection of beads, supplies and other craft items. The owner and his wife were very friendly and inquired if I was a jewelry-maker. I told them that I did not know where to start and they invited me to a class they were having Sunday afternoon, all FREE! The store is closed on Sundays, but some of their customers meet there once in a while and bead and learn new techniques. So, I guess I'll be there.

When I got to the studio, the owner asked if I need assistance. We walked over to the beads- all kinds, glass, wooden, stones, etc. and asked about my project. When I told him about my gourds and how I use beading and weaving techniques to embellish the gourds he asked to see some of my work. I told him that when I came back, I would bring some to show. Then I remembered I had some in the back of the car (items for the Garden Club presentation). I got one and returned to the store. He was very complimentary and asked if I would allow him to display some of my work in an enclosed case in the store with my contact information. He was sure I would get quite a few inquiries from the display. I did not commit, but I am convinced it might be a way to market my art to another clientele. What do you think? Would it be worthwhile?

Mr. Plant Lady just called and said he was trying to get an earlier flight from Dallas. Could he be missing ME? I hope he can because I'm sure missing him!

More later. . .

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Home Alone

Hello Everyone!

I just delivered Mr. Plant Lady to the rendezvous point for his flight to Dallas. He is being accompanied by three other colleagues from the surrounding area. One of them has just proposed to his girlfriend a week or two ago and she has accepted! The last time I saw him, he told us he had decided to pop the BIG question. I was anxious to hear the BIG news!

Early this morning we met for an early breakfast at Bojangles before heading to the airport. As they departed we prayed for traveling mercies and for a successful trip. I don't know what I will do with myself for the next two or three days. This evening I have planned to eat supper with my daddy. We will get seafood, I guess. That is one of his favorites! I have also planned to help him spread some caulking on the roof where he has removed an old television antenna. When the DTV transition came into effect, the old antenna refused to pick up the signal. He now has just the cheap $9.98 rabbit ears that go inside. I cannot explain why the cheap-o antenna will pick up all signals and his super-duper rooftop antenna will not-go figure! By the way, a few days ago I had promised to help him remove the big antenna from the roof. He has a large extension ladder that he was going to use and he wanted me to remain on the ground, hold the base of the ladder, and retrieve the old antenna as he handed it down. As I arrived, there was my 83 year old daddy, up on the roof with a broom, sweeping pine straw from the shingles! He had already removed the BIG antenna by himself!

In my previous post, I mentioned the presentation I had to make to the garden club. It was cancelled due to the inclement weather and rescheduled until the next week. OK, that sounds good, I put it on my calendar. A few minuted later, a call came -"Can we reschedule it for either the 26th or 29th, the hostess has another commitment for next week?" "OK, the 26th is good for me" A few minutes later the phone rings again- "Can we possibly postpone until May 19?" "OK, that will be fine." "Will you have any herbs by then?" "Yes, they will be ready by then." "Great, plan to include them in your presentation!" So now, not only do I have to talk about gourds, I also have to speak about herbs! I will REALLY need your prayers in May! I really enjoy all the interest in my projects in the garden. Who knows what I'll be doing next?

On another note, I just got all my Christmas decorations up in the attic. This morning, I'll be vacuuming and dusting-anything to occupy myself while Mr. Plant Lady is gone! Anyone interested in helping is welcome! Dishes are neatly stacked in the sink ready to be washed -not one of my favorite tasks. Laundry from the dryer thrown on the sofa to be folded. Another not-so-favorite task, but one that needs to be done. (we are running out of clean towels and washcloths in the linen closet)

Have you noticed how rambly this post has become? I am really lonesome here "home alone". I may need all my bloggy friends to keep me company while Mr. PL is away. There's just so many things I can think of to do. Perhaps, clean out my closet? No, I'm not that lonesome!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Baby, It's Snowing Out There!

Hello Everyone!

As a follow-up to "Baby, It's Cold Out There," today's post is "Baby, It's Snowing Out There"!
Winter weather alerts have gone out for our area today with the high at 36 degrees F (currently 30F) and wind chill at 27 degrees F. We are having snow showers today with some accumulation. You, who are in the deep freeze are probably saying, "that's a heat wave", but for us here in the coastal plains of North Carolina, that's a major problem. We are not accustomed to driving on icy and snowy roads and I hesitiate to think about everyone's mad rush to the grocery store for a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter! By the way, someone told me that there was a scare about contaminated peanut butter. Has anyone heard of this? I've made a pot of vegetable beef soup instead.

Mr. Plant Lady will be flying to Dallas, TX on Thursday and will return Saturday. Please keep him in your prayers for traveling mercies. I will keep the home fires burning while he is away. Tonight, I have to make a presentation to a local garden club on gourds growth, harvest and usefulness. Please pray for me as I undertake this project. I'm not that good at public speaking. I'm sure to be extremely nervous if there's a crowd.

Today's photos are of the snow on piglet and accumulation in my backyard. Hope you enjoy it! Could I possible make a snowman?!

Be Encourged!
Plant Lady

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Out There

Hello Everyone!
BRRR!!! It's very cold here in North Carolina. I was just noticing the weathervane piglet in the back yard. He has suddenly appeared wearing a scarf wrapped around his neck. I also checked the outdoor garden thermometer which was a little over 20 degrees today. Tonight is going to be cold also.

Today's 365 Project photos are of the garden thermometer and piglet wrapped in his wooly scarf. Piglet was a special find in Charlotte while visiting my cousin. When I saw him, I just had to smile. He was so cute! He has made a welcomed addition to my backyard garden for a couple of years now. I hope he makes you smile just as he did me!
I have noticed that he has some special friends visit during the summer. The hummingbirds love to pitch on his curly tail and guard the feeders which are usually hanging nearby. Thanks you God for sending piglet and friends my way. I know you just love it when I smile!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady
P.S. A special thanks goes out to AliceE and Debrah for selecting Plant Lady's Ponderings for a special award. The Premio Dardos award acknowledges the values that EVERY Blogger displays in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values with each message they write. Again, thanks for thinking of me.

Friday, January 16, 2009

365 Minus 15 Project - Toothpicks!

Hello Everyone!
Today is the day that I will begin the 365 Project that I mentioned in an earlier post. Christi alerted me to this and if you want to participate, click on the 365 Project button to learn all the details. I have just "fed" my digital camera with some Duracell batteries which should be much better than the usual "dollar" batteries I buy for everything else around here.

The photograph for the day is toothpicks. Not just a few, but 3200 toothpicks that Mr. Plant Lady came home with yesterday! Can anyone tell me why a husband would buy 3200 toothpicks at a time? It seems to me that one small box would be sufficient, doesn't it? When questioned, he said he got them "at a deal". Now, I must be a little slow to speak because I have found many "deals" in my life, like the "felted rocks"- (paperweights) that I came home with last summer . Does anyone have any ideas on how I could use 3200 toothpicks? The obvious way, of course, but I will still have toothpicks until the year 2025, perhaps! Maybe I'll build a log cabin in the mountains. We've always wanted a vacation home in the mountains! Can someone help???!!!
Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Thursday, January 15, 2009

365 Project

Hello Everyone!

While "on the road," I had a chance to visit quite a few blogs that I have missed. Christi invited everyone to join in on a fun project, the 365 Project started by Sara . The project consists of taking a photo each day of the year and posting them either each day or saving them until Sundays and posting all for the week. The photograph can be any subject matter and we all will enjoy looking at your world from your point of view! Sounds interesting, doesn't it?

I will be starting the project tomorrow as soon as I can get some batteries for my digital camera. That is one of the pitfalls of modern technology. My camera eats batteries! Our 35mm camera has never used so many. Well, that's the price of progress!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Busy, Busy

Hello Everyone!

This year has started off with a lot of travel for me and Mr. Plant Lady. This post comes to you from Baltimore, MD where he is attending a conference. I have some free time here in the hotel room so I will put it to good use. It's cold here-temperatures around 38 degrees F and a cold breeze! Brrrr! I understand it will be turning even colder this weekend. We will be leaving here tomorrow afternoon and will be returning back to North Carolina for yet another meeting in Raleigh.

January has been and will be busy. Later this month the Mr. will be going to Dallas, TX for yet another meeting. I have to stay home to make a presentation to a local garden club on January 20. They've seen my gourds at the Farmer's Market and want to find out how gourds are grown and how they are made into useful and decorative objects. I have a lot of work to prepare some informational handouts for them.

Many hours have been spent lately making some more gourd bowls and vessels as well as birdhouses. The craft shows at Christmas have depleted my stock of gourd birdhouses and vessels on hand. I have had two referrals from some vessels that I sold at Christmas. I have already met one lady and she has purchased a couple and told me she definitely would be recommending my work to others. It's always good to have word of mouth advertising. It's the best kind!

Last night, we went to a restaurant here called, Moe's Seafood and Pasta. We found this restaurant a few years ago when we were visiting and loved the food. We returned for the crab cakes and even had some Alaskan king crab legs and steamed shrimp in the shell. Deelicious!!!!
The portions were large so we got a trio plate and shared!

Tonight, there will be a reception at the Baltimore Aquarium at the Inner Harbor. I think they are serving heavy hors d'oeuvres so I don't think we will be having dinner. I've been trying to watch my food intake this new year and I am finding it difficult when traveling because I want to try the local flavors of the area I'm in. I guess dieting is better done at home, isn't it?

We've got another trip planned for early February to DC. It's back up this way once again! Travel is fun, but I'm always glad to get back home. That old saying is very true-"Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!"

Home life will consist of a lot of preparation for the upcoming Spring sales at the Farmer's Market. Seed have to be sown next month for the early herb plants. Our market usually opens in May, but we are hoping to have an opening for a special market day around Easter. We anticipate a crowd looking for fresh vegetables and herbs early in the Spring and a special day at the market would meet that demand. Crafts and other items would be available as well as the usual fresh fruits and veggies. Lots and lots of work, but well worth it!!

Well, I guess I'd better go now. Take care and God Bless!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady