Monday, June 17, 2013

Roses

There are these amazing rose bushes in the back of our home. They are probably overgrown but the past 2 years they have produced some beautiful flowers.

This past fall Dominic cut them down a bit and it seems that wherever he cut stopped growing, but in places he didn't cut, tons more buds erupted! (Is this normal??) I know nothing about pruning/taking care of rose bushes!!

And I have no idea what "kind" of rose this is....it isn't the traditional rose that you find in a flower shop!


Aren't they pretty??


This is common to see 4-5 buds on a branch in a clump like that.


We have some more "established" growth...


And some new...I think these bloomed into the later part of the summer last year if I remember correctly!


Do you have roses and how do you take care of them? Do you know the secret to cutting them back each year? I'd love to hear what you know! :) 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Our Little Garden

When we lived in Beresford we decided one of our first few years there that we would love to have a garden and grow tomatoes and peppers to make our own salsa. Dominic came up with this great idea to put garden plots between our 2 detached garages. They were awesome and we used them year after year.

We moved to Marshall in mid-June so the first year we didn't have time to get anything going. Last year Dominic was feeling the pressure of starting a business so it really wasn't something either of us were ready for. But this year I really just wanted even a couple of tomato plants, even if they were in pots on the porch.

We have a big yard now, but it is odd shaped and we weren't sure where to put a garden.  There is this empty lot behind our house that "belongs" to a home on Main street that is (from what we can see) abandoned. The owner doesn't live in town, doesn't take care of the lot and it is over grown with weeds.


We had talked with several of our neighbors and they all expressed interest in a possible "community garden" in that back lot, if we could get permission from the owner.  Dominic has taken every measure possible to locate this individual and offer to mow the lot in exchange for use of a portion for a garden....but we can't find him or reach him.

We'd even like to look at buying that portion of land, it isn't very much, and then we know it would be well taken care of...but since that doesn't seem like an option now we had to come up with a different plan.

So I thought we could do it right at the farthest portion of the lot line, by our rhubarb patch...but when the electrical line locator people came out, they confirmed what I had feared...that lines are buried right where we wanted to dig.


So, at least for this year, we are going small. We found a small space behind a big pine tree that gets lots of light and set to clearing a spot. We got a tiller to use...but it wouldn't start for us :( so we had to dig by hand...and foot...which means Dominic may not be able to walk tomorrow (please pray for him!!)

The plants are a little closer together than they should be...but I think they will be fine. We bought 1 of each of the different kinds of tomato plants that Wal-mart had and then some jalapenos, red bell, yellow bell and orange bell peppers.


While it isn't quite what we had hoped for we are both excited to see how this little garden grows!


Oh and I had already started some of the pepper plants in some old hanging baskets we had....so those 3 will just stay on our back porch area!

Do you plant a garden each year? And if so what do you grow?? I have dreams of lettuce, beans, cucumbers and asparagus someday....a girl can dream can't she?! :)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

So I heard about homemade laundry detergent from a friend on FB and started doing a little research into it. Almost every site I found had the same recipe and everyone that used it raved about it.  What I loved about the idea was that it claimed to last for months and the cost of the ingredients was $20!!

For a family of 6 that does at least a load of laundry, if not 2 every day...I can use savings like this!

The site that I found and saved the recipe is here...she has some reviews etc so check it out!!

So here are the details....

1 Box of Super Washing Soda 3 lb. 7 oz. 
1 Box of Borax 4 lbs 12 oz. size 
1 Box of Pure Baking Soda 4 lb. 
3 bars of Fels-Naptha 5.5 oz. or you could also use Ivory soap (I used Fels-Naptha)
1 container of Oxy-Clean 3.0 lb (My container was 6.0 lbs so I used 1/2)

Oh and if you like scented detergent you can add Purex Crystals to the mix - I prefer unscented so I left those out.


I was able to find everything at Wal-mart in 1 place - they are smart and know people are doing this and had everything I needed in the laundry detergent isle! Loved that!!

I forgot to take a picture of all the ingredients before I started...

The worst part is grating the bars of soap.  I started with my cheese grater and then used my food processor to chop it up even finer.


And I forgot to take a picture after I ground it up even more too! :)

It was suggested that you dump everything into a 5 gallon bucket to mix....


Which I did initially - but Dominic found a long Rubbermaid bin that seemed to work better for me.


So you just stir everything together and then put it in airtight containers for storage.


So there you have it! I have read this IS safe in HE washers (which is what we have) but you add it to the load directly and don't use the filler spot on the top of the machine. The sites have also said you only need 1-2 Tbls for each load....so this could last a long time!

I am running my first load right now so I am excited to see how it turns out!


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