Monday, February 23, 2015

Random update on random stuff.

First off, I haven't done diddly with my garden. Days the weather is nice I am busy. Days I'm free, the weather is awful. Today my friend who is going to be helping me with my garden this year has the day off, but we had a very uncharacteristic cold front come through and it's barely getting past 40 degrees today. So he and I are not going to be doing any gardening. Maybe going through seed packets. But from the comfort and warmth of my kitchen table.

I also got behind with my craft swap projects and have several to finish by the end of the week. None are particularly involved. Just some artist trading cards and charms for charm bracelets. Still, I had planned on not procrastinating this time and am pretty frustrated at letting it all get away from me. I also have to clean up my craft room because we are rearranging the furniture and replacing my easy chair with a futon/sofa my grandmother in law needs to find a new home for. I figure it's more room to sit and put my feet up and work in comfort, and if we have a guest and don't want to stick them on the sofa, it makes out into a full size bed. It's like a futon but has a nicer "mattress".

I've also been procrastinating starting Youtube videos. I am going to jump right in and do the whole vlog thing. I have ideas for videos I want to do, I just need to sit down and do them. Hopefully by the end of the week I'll have at least one up. I find myself watching a bunch of vlogs of people who I either have something in common with or who just seem interesting and fun to watch.

I also have to henna my hair. It looks like warmed over ass. Oh, and I got a haircut. I have not been to a salon since late 2008. Seriously. I had grown out hair just above my hips in the back with grown out blunt bangs just to my chin in the front. I stopped in a salon in the mall on a pure whim Friday the 13th got a long layered cut, with the center back a few inches above my waist, and gradual long layers all the way around, the shortest one being right around my jawline. It's different but I like it. I'll probably grow it back out again though. I'll keep getting the layers, I like the fullness it gives. It looks awesome when I roll it with thick hot curlers, gives my straight hair some body and wave.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Early Valentine's Day present - Perfume Sampler, and fragrance talk.

So this came in the mail today, an early Valentine's Day / Anniversary present from my husband. The concept is, you get a box with a bunch of sample size spray vials of different fragrances, and it includes a voucher that you take to a Sephora store and use it to get a small full size bottle (most are one ounce) of one of the sample fragrances.  Which is a great gift for somebody who loves fragrance.

And I do love fragrance. I have loved fragrance since I was only allowed to wear Tinkerbell cologne and Love's Baby Soft. Which is most of my life.

I have no idea which one of these fragrances I will pick to use my voucher with. I asked for it assuming that I would want Thierry Mugler's "Alien" because I tried that in a department store during the holidays and loved it. But the more I sniff at the samples, the less sure I am of which one I like best.

Tom Ford's "Black Orchid" is right up my alley. As is Elizabeth and James' "Nirvana Black".  And some of  the softer and fresher ones might be good for hot weather. I guess all I can do is try a different one every day, narrow it down to a top 3, then use up those sample vials to make my decision.

My all time favorite fragrances come from the Oriental category. Woods, spice, heavier florals, amber, vanilla, musk, etc... I don't like soft florals as much, nor do I like sweet candy scents as much. Fresh and clean fragrances, especially tangy citrus or green herbal ones are good for me when it's hot. But I really prefer spicy, woodsy fragrances with some vanilla and amber. Jasmine is one of the few flowers I really like, along with ylang-ylang and gardenia.

That being said, I like to have a little bit of diversity in my fragrance wardrobe for days I'm in the mood for something sweeter, more feminine, softer, or fresh and clean.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Container vegetable gardening plans for February 2015

So, it's time to plant a few things in the garden here in the Houston, TX area. It seems like it should be much too early for veggies, but we are in a warm planting zone (8B, maybe closer to 9A at my house since I live less than 10 miles from Galveston Bay).

My to-do list for February includes:

- Transplant blueberry bushes into their new containers, fertilize, and prune away dead branches. They got neglected during the heat of late Summer and suffered some damage. But all 4 are still alive and can be salvaged. They just need some TLC and slightly bigger pots to spread out in. I'm planting them in a different area that will get a little bit of shelter from late afternoon sunshine to see if it helps some.

- Shop for baby kohlrabi plants and get them into their containers. The home improvement centers usually have plenty of them this time of year. I won't grow a ton of them, although I do enjoy eating both the bulbs and the leaves. But really it's only me who likes them. I have seeds maybe I'll try them out. I'll look into it more to see which is my best bet.

- Get radish seeds started. My husband LOVES radishes. He will scrub them, slice them thin, sprinkle seasoned salt on them, and eat them raw as a snack. They're about one of the easiest things a gardener can grow. And they will grow in smaller containers. I like to grow them in window box shaped containers that don't take up much room. They're an early crop or a late crop here, cool weather only or else they bolt, go to seed, and the radishes are stunted and taste awful.

- Potatoes can be planted right now. I want to give bucket potatoes a try this year. Probably not a lot of them, maybe 6 buckets. I just tossed a sprouty potato that was forgotten in the pantry, wish I had held onto it and planted it. For some reason I thought potatoes were a late Summer crop here. Nope, the planting guide I use says now. So off to the nursery I go this week to find a bag of starter potatoes. I'm wanting to try and find purple potatoes. But really since this is a first time thing, any potatoes will work for me.

- Anything that is being grown for leaves can be started now. Lettuce, cabbage, greens, chard. I have a bunch of lettuce and chard seeds to plant, maybe kale too? It's not on my chart but I bet I can get at least baby kale leaves before it gets too hot.

- Turnips. I have some seeds, so why not? I'll plant them in the container where I will be planting melons later in the season and grow them for the green tops.

That's pretty much all that can be grown right now that I want to grow. It's a good time for broccoli too. If I can find some cheap plants at the nursery maybe I'll give it another go this year. I never have a lot of luck with it though. They make pretty plants, but we get early high temperatures here and they tend to bolt and flower before I get decent sized heads of broccoli to harvest. But the flowers are pretty and you can actually eat them in a salad.