Pirate Corkscrew

Filed under: Pretty/Cool — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:38 am on Monday, June 22, 2015

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I love this Legless Pirate Corkscrew. Do you see the parrot? $28.99

2015 Garden Tour Part 3

Filed under: Gardening — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:56 am on Friday, June 19, 2015

See 2015 Garden Tour Part 1 Here.
See 2015 Garden Tour Part 2 Here.

Elsewhere in the garden:

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Fruit! All new this year, I’m getting apples, nectarines, currants, grapes, and figs. This is on top of strawberries and mulberries.

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Volunteer plants. My compost didn’t heat up enough to kill the seeds this year, so I’m getting volunteers everywhere this year. Much of it is squash plants like these taking over my strawberry bed. I’m letting them grow. I figure hey, free food.

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Experiment bed:
This is what I call my “experiment bed.” It’s right in front of the house, so it gets very dry and hot no matter how I much I water. It’s also open below to gophers and voles, so I have to plant things they won’t eat.

So far the only thing that has survived is sunflowers, if I can get them to grow past being tasty little snacks for the birds. But this year I discovered something else that seems to like the box:

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Eggplant. This plant has been completely neglected, and it’s growing. It seems to like the heat. And so far, the voles are leaving it alone.

2015 Garden Tour Part 2

Filed under: Gardening — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:46 am on Thursday, June 18, 2015

See Garden Tour Part 1 Here.

BOX 4:

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This is the busiest box in the garden. In addition to growing spinach under a mesh food cover, it has French green beans, carrots, and celery root.

And more lettuce.

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In the second half of the box, there are a row of leeks and a green zebra tomato.

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Still have to trellis that tomato…

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Then there are herbs and several bell peppers: red, yellow, orange, and purple. I’m growing all sweet peppers this year. I grew so many spicy peppers last year, I won’t need anymore for a long time.

BOX 5:

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In this box, the plants are struggling a bit. I’m not sure why. I have two tomatoes in the box, a beefsteak and an early girl.

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There’s also two types of cucumbers: Armenian cucumbers and a small spiny pickling cucumber that I like to eat raw as much as I like to pickle them.

Also in this box are some limping-along peppers, eggplants, and another row of leeks.

Tune in tomorrow for 2015 Garden Tour Part 3

2015 Garden Tour Part 1

Filed under: Gardening — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:22 am on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

This is shaping up to be an odd year in the garden. Lots of strange things are emerging, and I’m excited to see where they go. It never ceases to amaze me how every year in my garden is different.

Let’s take a look.

BOX 1:

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In this box, the zucchini has gone nuts.

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It has even taken over the pea plants, as you can see by this picture.

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I think I accidentally planted bush peas instead of vine peas, so they never got very tall. As a result, they aren’t getting much light because the zucchini is shadowing them.

But they don’t seem completely unhappy. They’re still producing peas.

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Also in this box is a yellow squash and a pumpkin, both of which are doing well.

And in front, in a separate container, is the Jerusalem artichoke.

BOX 2:

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This box has two melons, but I can’t remember what kind. Just goes to show, always write down the names of the plants, even when you think you’ll remember.

One is a cantaloupe-like melon and the other is either a Queen Anne Pocket Melon or a Ananas D’Amerique A Chair Verte Melon. We’ll have to wait and see.

There’s also an acorn squash and a row of stringless green beans in the box.

And, in a nearby pot, is an apple melon.

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These are great if you have a small container garden because the melons are small and easy to trellis.

BOX 3:

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I’m growing four tomato plants this year: a purple brandywine, a beef steak, an early girl, and Green Zebra Tomato.

Anyway, this container was supposed to just be a tomato, but a volunteer nasturtium appeared at the bottom of the container.

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I’m happy about this. It should trail to the ground and a cover the container with orange flowers. It’ll look very pretty in a month or so.

Garden Tour Part 2.

Penny Pinching Tip: Wash Your Laundry In Cold Water

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:18 am on Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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It turns out that 60% of Americans still wash their laundry in warm water. According to this article, an easy way to save $60 a year is simply to change to cold water washes.

Personally, I switched to cold water awhile ago and never noticed a difference in the cleanliness of the clothes. Saving $60 just by moving a dial from “warm” to “cold” is a pretty good deal, if you ask me.

10 Things To Do With Strawberries

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:57 am on Monday, June 15, 2015

It’s strawberry season! Here’s some suggestions for what to do with them.

Make Strawberry Syrup And Use It In An Italian Soda

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Add Them To Salads

Make Fruit Roll-Ups

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Make Your Own Strawberry Banana Popsicles

Have A Strawberry And Banana Fruit Snake

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Bake A Strawberry Tart With Citrus Pastry Cream

Enjoy A Pink Collins Cocktail

Or Have A Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cocktail

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Bake A Strawberry Cake

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Or Make Strawberry Jam, Of Course

Growing Mulberries

Filed under: Gardening — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:16 am on Friday, June 12, 2015

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Awhile back I asked you Which Fruit Tree Should I Plant? I ended up putting in a mulberry bush, a black mulberry bush, to be exact. Here’s the first berry of the year:

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It’s in its second year and I’m happy with it so far. For one thing, it takes almost no care so far, except water. I put the plant in, and it immediately produced quite a few berries in its first year. It has no pests and seems happy with only getting a half a day of light. In the future, I’m sure birds will want to steal the mulberries, so I’m going to keep the plant in a bush form so it’ll be easier to net.

Some people say they don’t care for mulberries and I have no idea what they’re talking about. Mulberries taste like a blackberry crossed with a plum. They are great.

If I get a bumper crop, I’m excited to try mulberry preserves and mulberry galette. I’ll try freezing and drying them too.

Keeping Leafminers Off Spinach With Mesh Food Covers

Filed under: Gardening — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:05 am on Thursday, June 11, 2015

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Leafminers are disgusting pests. They are fly maggots that burrow into the leaves and eat them from the inside out. It looks like this:

As soon as I tried to have spinach in my garden this year, the flies were immediately there trying to lay their gross eggs on it. So I found a solution: I had mesh food covers with my barbeque supplies. I popped them over the spinach and voila! The flies couldn’t get to the spinach.

It also had the added benefit of giving the spinach more shade, which may prolong their growing season.

Plants From The Grocery Store: Jerusalem Artichoke

Filed under: Gardening — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:47 am on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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This is my Jerusalem artichoke plant, otherwise known as the sunchoke. I love Jerusalem artichokes so I’m excited that the plant is doing so well.

(And before you say anything, yes, I know Jerusalem artichoke plants can be invasive. That’s why it’s in its own pot on the end of the garden.)

Jerusalem artichokes grow much like potatoes. If all goes well, that pot should be full of tubers that I can dig up in the fall.

Early this spring, I looked all over for Jerusalem artichokes to plant and couldn’t find any seed tubers in the nurseries or hardware store. Finally I asked a friend where she got her Jerusalem artichoke to plant and she told me she bought one from the grocery store and planted it. Duh!

So that’s what I did. I went to the organic section of my grocery store, bought a Jerusalem artichoke, and put it in a pot. So far so good. The plant seems pretty happy. It likes a lot of water and a lot of light, and pests mostly leave it alone.

Pay $6.95 For Your Eyeglasses

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:18 am on Tuesday, June 9, 2015

glasses

I’m back! Sorry for the break. I had some other work that I had to get finished, but now I’m done and back to posting.

I wanted to share this site I ran into. A lot of people have to buy their glasses out of pocket, which can get pretty expensive. Zenni Optical has dozens of cheap eyeglasses options, some as low as $6.95 for the frames. (Of course, you may have to pay for the lenses too.)

For that price, I’m sure the quality isn’t the best. Then again, for that price, it may be worth the risk to find out.

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