Friday, March 25, 2011

No Lazy Sundays Here!

My Grandpa always had a green thumb, which I unfortunately I did not inherit, but at least I try.  Last year, my garden did okay, but there is of course always room for improvement.  Michael volunteered to build me cold frame box (and idea I stole from Becky) and a raised bed for my "garden." 

I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to construct these two structures.  It took about 10 minutes to measure cut and put together each piece and about 30 minutes to stain them both.  It actually took longer to pick out what wood we needed in the lumber section of Lowe's. The window for the cold frame box was $5 from the Habitat ReStore. 

When we were done, I asked Michael to cut this random piece of lattice the previous owner had left to make a 'temporary' gate (for Gracie and other four legged visitors) until we get the final piece of fence paneling for my gates.  Michael then came up with the brilliant idea to stain and attach the excess piece to my fence behind where my tomato plants will be so that I can attach them to that instead of using stakes. 
My little seedlings are already starting to grow in my mini greenhouse!  My Grandpa would be so proud!  Now only if I can keep them alive!  I still need to plow my little box and fill it with soil, but unfortunately the weather forgot that it was Spring this week.  This entire project cost me about $50, not counting the stain, which I already had from the fence.

Friday, March 18, 2011

sPRinG has SpRUnG

Spring is just around the corner, this Sunday to be exact, but my tulips decided to peek out a little early this year!  Michael's Mom bought me a bunch to bulbs two years ago for my birthday (October, which is planting time) and I actually managed to plant them correctly!  This is my second year with this little guys. 

The previous owner apparently planted some bulbs as well.  Last spring every season brought new surprises in my yard, most of them good :  )  This little guy to the right was one of hers, but it unfortunately broke off.  I blame the neighbor's cat, but either way I thought it made a nice addition to my window seal, at least for a couple of days.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I recently came across a recipe for brownies with Bailey Irish Cream in them.  I thought it would be a perfect dessert for St. Patrick's Day. 

1 package brownie mix (1lb. 3.8oz) mix and bake as directed on the back of the box BUT substitute Bailey's for the water (1/4 cup).

While brownies are cooling you can start on the icing.

1 stick butter or margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
2 T Bailey's
1/2 tsp vanilla
2-3 tsp milk
green food coloring (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and spread over cooled brownies.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. 

I personally thought this icing was a little sweet and I wasn't a super fan of using a stick of butter, but it could easily be omitted or switched with another icing.

I topped mine with chocolate sprinkles. (please excuse the plating)

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Critters

When I was little I always wanted pets.  I really didn't care what kind, I wanted them all.  So I finally got my wish and now I think I was completely insane.  They are a lot of work and can be extremely frustrating at times, but I wouldn't trade any of them for anything in the world. 

First came Tuesday, a red bellied conure, who I purchased while in undergrad.  I was still in college apartments at the time and a bird or a hamster was the only thing I could get away with.  You would not believe the personality this little one has and she just loves the camera.  She knows a few tricks like "turn around" and "boogie" and she also "meows."   

Then Frisbee appeared.  Litterally.  Michael took me up to the frisbee golf course just to check it out and before I even saw the frisbee basket I hear a small meow.  No way I could leave her there.  She has had a few peeing issues, but other than that I couldn't ask for a better cat.
Then Crockett found me.....again.  Crockett was my dad's parrot, Yellow Crowned Amazon Parrot, to be exact.  After my dad passed away poor Crock moved around a bit.  We always thought Crock was a boy, but low and behold after about 15 years she laid an egg, so now she is Crockette.  My dad always joked that I would get her in his will one day, I guess I should have taken him more serious.  Her breed has a life span of 80-100 years and this one is about 20.  Whew.

And last but not least Gracie.  Gracie was a lunch break purchase.  It wasn't long after I bought my house that I found myself in a pet store during my lunch break, and I was actually looking at a "schnoodle" for Michael's Mom.  And then there was this little stinker in the cage with the schnoodle.  The girl asked me if I wanted to hold one and some how I ended up with the chihuahua instead of the schnoodle.  What can I say, I'm a sucker.  I did at least go home and sleep on it before going back the next day at lunch to buy her.  I am totally against pet store puppies, so I am not so sure how this happened.  The next critter will come from the pound I promise!