Thursday, July 9, 2009

Saving Vegetable Seeds

If you are a gardener who enjoys starting your plants from seed each year, there is no need to buy your seeds each year. You can save your own seeds for next season's garden and get a frugal head start. You may wonder why you should save your own seeds when they are relatively inexpensive. One of my main reasons is that I like particular varieties of fruits/vegetables. Often the seeds are hard to find or more expensive than the more common varieties.

The easiest seeds to save are pepper, eggplant, or melon seeds. You simply need to remove those from the fruit or vegetable and place in a shallow bowl or spread out to dry. This year we successfully grew tomatoes, peppers, and watermelons from seed we saved last year. Tomato seeds are almost as easy to save. In four easy steps you can have free tomato seeds.

First remove the seeds with all of the pulp/membranes attached from your tomato and place in a small bowl with a little water. Let this soak overnight. This allows you to easily separate the pulp/membrane from the seeds.

The next day dump the water/pulp/seed mixture into a fine strainer.

Run fresh water over the seeds to get rid of the rest of the pulp. You should end up with this.

Now dump the seeds onto a folder paper towel or cloth. Separate the seeds so they are not sticking together and allow them to dry several days. Once they are dry you can put them in a container or plastic baggie to keep them safe until next planting season.

Be sure to label your seeds along the way. They all start to look alike. You may rather have 10 slicing tomato plants instead of 10 grape tomato plants. I had close to a 100% germination rate with the seeds that I saved from last year's tomato plants.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Happy Birthday!

For my family's Fourth of July party, the plan was to celebrate the upcoming birthday of my 17 year old cousin. He got the opportunity to go on a free trip with some friends that weekend which always beats a family party. The ice cream had been purchased so the party must go on. Instead I changed the cake I was planning to make to a more girly cake for another family member who was having a birthday. I iced the cake and then added her name in white chocolate letters. This was a fun cake to make and even more fun to eat.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Free Table

I am always on the lookout for low cost projects. Our back deck has good seating but needed a table. The area is definitely in the outdoors so I needed something to last. Dh could build one, but we did not have enough scrap lumber on hand. A few months ago some utility workers were putting down new cable near our house. When they emptied the cable spool, they left it sitting by the road. Dh asked if he could take it, and they said, "yes". He loaded it up and brought it home to our deck.

It was the perfect size and was free. It did need some attention to help it fit in with the chairs. I am awaiting another Adirondack chair and two stools to be built by my dh. We had plenty of wood stain on hand. I sanded the spool with a palm sander and added two coats of blue stain. I topped that off with a coat of wood sealer. Even though it was free I want it to last. Here is the finished product.

You can see that it stands out from the deck now and also blends well with the chair in the background. I love how it turned out. We had everything on hand to finish the project so the cost was $0! Even my tomboy Paris approves.

Friday, July 3, 2009


I do adore both of my cats. Since I have no human children, these furry creatures get treated like my children. I could fill several scrapbooks with the pictures I take of them. They are just so cute sometimes.

Here is Paris sleeping where she is not supposed to sleep. I guess stopping to take a picture of her before I got on to her was probably not good "mommy" behavior. She has such good taste and is obviously a Duke Blue Devils fan. I could not bear to punish her.

Lucy's current sleeping spot of choice is the top of the freezer. She is so furry, but brushing her is practically suicidal. Instead she keeps her fur and looks for a cool place to nap.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day Trip

I mentioned in an earlier post that June ended up being hectic and a bit stressful. Truth be told I was really stressed at one point so dh decided we needed to get away for a day. We headed off to St. Simons Island for the day.
We arrived early and the beach was practically empty. That might have been because it was also trying to rain when we arrived.

I sat on the beach and read while dh fished. He did not have much luck this time. He fishes for whiting and sharks! Here is he far away from me at this point since the tide was out.

We stayed until the tide came in and practically washed me out to sea. Then we headed home making a stop by a few stores to do a little shopping. *I figured the challenge was already shot so why not.* It was fun to relax and listen to the ocean. That made all my cares go away at least for the day.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Henny Penny

A few months ago my parents had a problem with eggs being eaten by a chicken or chickens in one of the pens. We tried all of the tricks we could find: feeding them oyster shells, putting powdered milk in the water, putting golf balls in the nests. The only thing that worked was checking the nest a dozen times a day to gather the eggs before they were eaten. That got tiring quickly.

My parents next resorted to removing all of the chickens from the pen and adding them back one by one until the cannibal gave herself away. Here she is:

They put a tag on her foot and turned out into the world. I named her Henny Penny. She is nothing put a pet. She follows everyone around the yard, hangs out under the carport with the dogs, and sneaks into the feed room for a snack. Oh, she lays her eggs outside now and has not eaten a single one. I guess she needed something that she could only get from wandering around the yard.

I was trying to get a picture of her when this camera hog came over for a close up. Hmmm, come to think of it most of my parents' animals are nothing but pets. What a life!