White Christmas and Spring Planting

Wow!  Its been a heck of a day here in central Oklahoma.  Lots and lots of snow – well, at least 5 or so inches, a lot for us – and blizzard winds.  Here’s my front porch.

I’m SO glad our son made it home from Norman last night before the sleet started.  It would be awful for him to be stuck down there by himself for Christmas!  We had to cancel the trip to Texas but its nice to be home with a fire in the fireplace, grilled cheese and hot cocoa. 


We’re so entrenched in winter here right now, but what did I find on the coffee table?  A seed catalog I got a couple of weeks ago and haven’t had a chance to look at yet.  My raised beds may be full of snow right now, but there is a seed budding deep in my spirit.  A need to start planning for next summer’s vegetable garden. 

I’ve missed looking out my kitchen window and seeing food growing.  I have been thinking back to my first adventure in sustainable gardening and have to admit I made some mistakes.  I learned that I don’t need to plant 4 square feet of lettuce for just me and my husband!  I learned that squash needs a bed of its own.  I learned that okra needs to be planted earlier.  I learned not to plant tomatoes in black plastic pots.   I learned that I need to plant a LOT more purple hull peas if I actually want to harvest enough to eat.  

There are things I wish I had planted last year that I didn’t and will definitely plant this year – bell peppers and maybe some chile peppers.    I’m not ready for the heat of summer but I am ready for some fresh veges again. 

Something else we need to do is get that guttering in place so we can actually hook up the rain barrels we traveled 75 miles to buy because no place in this big huge city we live in sold them!  We also need to build a cover for the patio to shade the west sun that beats down on the house now that the old overgrown, out of control trees are down.  

But right now, the wind is blowing to beat the band, its cold as  (you fill in the blank), White Christmas is on TV, the fire is roaring and I think I need to sit down and look at that seed catalog! 


A New Year’s Challenge!

I know, I know, its not quite Christmas yet, but I’ve been thinking ahead to the new year.  Besides the usual “get back to working out” scenario that goes through my head, I’ve been thinking a lot about how blessed I am.  In fact, America in general is a very prosperous, very blessed nation. 

We’re also a nation at war.  You may not like it and I may not like it.  In fact, I tune it out lots of times on the news because I’m so wrapped in my own life.  But, the fact that it is Christmas and there are so many men and women that are in Iraq and Afghanistan that won’t be home for a long time. 

There are also lots of groups out there of caring men and women that are trying to make the soldiers’ tour of duty more bearable and bring them home safely.  I want to be part of that.  So, the next question is what do I know how to do that can be helpful?  I sew, baby!  I sew like the wind!  I just bought a brand new Pfaff sewing machine and I want to use it to contribute to some soldier’s health and welfare and comfort while he or she is away from home.   I’m going to continue to sew Quilts of Valor for those soldiers that come home wounded, but even one takes a long time to put together.  But there are other things I can make – cool ties, for instance.    Easy and fast and very much needed in hot desert summer temperatures. 

I went online and found directions on how to make them and in my searching found lots of good information on the following website: http://www.martinworks.com/hero/helpdeployed.html

I not only can sew cool ties – lots and lots of cool ties.  I can also donate for postage to mail care packages.  It costs an average of $40 – $40!!!!!! – to mail a single package! 

I can also send regular emails of encouragement to soldiers.  The website above has links to do just that.

So my challenge to anyone who happens to stumble across my blog is to go the website and see where you can serve the soldiers who are serving you! 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Simple Stewardship.