Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Cabbage Patch

I was at one of my growers greenhouses last week and saw the cutest little lettuce plants and just had to have some.

So because I am still fairly new to this house I haven't really created a little garden yet so at this point it is all going to be in containers on my back patio. W
hile it is still a little early to plant anything outside like tomatoes or peppers it isn't too early for cool season plants like lettuce.

So I decided to create a salad pot; where I have mixed lettuce plants that can be harvested anytime to create a single serving salad. Whi
ch is really perfect for me because anytime that I buy lettuce it goes bad before I even get to finish it.

I am pretty happy with how it turned out. There are four different lettuce plants, each with a different color, habit and leaf shape so it will be beautiful too! Granted when it gets warm I will have to make sure that I keep it as cool as possible in the shade, but I am excited to see how it all turns out.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My never ending quest

Since I started this blog early this year I have had several different layouts and backgrounds. It is all a part of my seemingly futile attempt to really create the perfect blog for me. There have been some minor changes and some really drastic ones. But I think that I am starting to get closer to finding the ideal look for me. Through a friends blog I was turned onto a website that has the greatest blog backgrounds without having their logo plastered all over them. It is And they really are very cute. So that was an exciting find. But here is my problem. I like several of them and obviously can only have one. So I have now used the one that I think is my favorite, but here are a couple of the runners up that may end up taking its place at some point.

Yes, all but one of them has and element of green in them. I just have to tell you than until a friend of mine pointed it out a few months ago I never realized my obsession with the color green and most definitely would not have named it as my favorite color, but it has become very apparent to me that it is. So if you are not a fan of the color sorry, apparently I am.

Paperbag Princess

Room for Vintage


Coconut Lime

Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Realization

I learned something new today. And it wasn't something that I wanted to know, and in fact I think that I was a happier person not knowing it. I learned that Canadian Geese (which are very prevalent in this area) are a federally protected species and you can't do anything about them at all. They can set up their nests and lay their eggs anywhere they want, even in your yard and you can't move them or destroy the eggs.

Now for the reason that this bothers me, they are worse than rats around here. They walk across the road and stop traffic, they poop everywhere, and they attack people. Why would these be protected? It isn't like their is any shortage of them in the world, and if there is we have more than enough to share. Let's waste our federal dollars protecting something that is actually worth protecting! Not on pests!

Oddly enough around here there is someone who likes this things enough to actually call the police on some of my guys who moved some eggs in order to plant where they needed to. I was shocked! Not to mention I had no idea that they were protected. But my real question is who loves these things enough to want more of them around? Come on people, don't we all have better things to worry about?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Today I went to the Home Depot to pick up a couple of thing that I needed for the yard and was once again annoyed to see plant material available for sale that either not meant for this part of the country or out way to soon cause it's still too cold out for it.

I love home improvement stores, I can walk through one for hours. But they do the same thing that every garden center and nursery does, just worse. They tell people that they know all about plants and what they are selling, but the sell the wrong thing. Shrubs, trees and perennials that are not hardy in this zone. And my real aggravation right now is all of the flowers that they had out. It is early spring in Chicago. We are not going to be frost free for at least a month. They had large vegetable plants out, summer annuals, and perennials in bloom that shouldn't bloom till July.

I think that this is one of the reasons that most people feel like they can't grow anything. They buy the wrong material or at the wrong time and can't figure out why it fails. I just wish that some store somewhere would take the high road and set the example for everyone else and actually do the right thing for the consumer.

I have realized that this is also part of my aggravation with some of my clients at work. They ask why I don't have a lot of different options for spring and my answer is that spring flowers are quite limited. But when they go to the store or talk to lower quality contractors that will say anything for a buck, they see all of these other options and think that I am trying to force them into something or lying to them. When actually I am trying to do the right thing. All that I can really say to this is "ugh". I will just keep doing what I know is best and let people who insist on it learn the hard way. Sad really, but nothing I can do about it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Oh the joy of taxes!

Usually I am the person who does their taxes in February the second I get all of my forms, but this year I put it off. I just completed them with less than 30 hours to spare. I know that sounds like a good amount of time, but it is really cutting it close for me. I guess that I put if off cause I was a little scared of it. Last year the company that I worked for had my deductions wrong so I ended up owing around two grand so this year I was a little afraid. Granted I fixed the problem, but still. I was excited to discover that I only owed a total of $35 this year. Not to shabby since my goal is to simply to break even. I would rather have the money through the year rather than get a huge tax return. I am excited for next year when I can start deducting mortgage interest. Then I may actually get a return again.

In any case I used a different tax software this year and I liked it a lot better than the one I have used the last two years. Yes, I do require the assistance of software because the tax forms confuse me and I just can't seem to do it. The last couple years I have used turbo tax online which costs about $80 to efile and took about two hours to do. This year I used H&R Block online which only cost $35 and was done in 45 minutes. Not bad, I think. So anyone out there, I kinda recommend the latter. Just my little experience, thats all.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Just for fun

I just saw this and it made me smile. Cause it is totally true for me . . . kinda sad, but really it is funny.

Rainy Days

Granted it is spring and I am really busy with work, but the past few days have been nothing but rainy and cold. I was out working this morning and it was still just cold and wet. Now I am home and Cletus and I are getting cabin fever pretty bad. He was just getting used to being able to play outside a lot and now I have to keep him in again. So I'm trying to find some fun activities for me and Cletus to do inside. I am not home a ton so when I am I like to be able to play with him, but when it is like this . . . well . . . we are both a little bored.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What the?? Ugh

I have to admit that despite my involvement in the green industry it has been a lot of years since I have mowed a lawn and quite a few years since I have actually had to maintain a landscape. But, with my new homeowner adventures I am getting that opportunity again (please tell me that you picked up on the sarcasm in that). Can I just tell you that this is a never ending process!! Yes, I know, live plants are a renewable material and will constantly grow. My degree in horticulture taught me that one, but still . . . can't it just take a break for a while?? I feel like that is all I am doing every night when I get home from work. Granted, it is spring and I have to get it all up and running so really soon enough all I will have to do is mow and weed. But still.

Actually though, on an exciting note I bought my first lawn mower last week. I'm kind of excited about it, but still the patio set for the same price seemed like a much better investment. But in the end, practicality prevailed and I bought the lawn mower. Couldn't quite get the manager to throw the new patio set in for free. But this new lawn mower has the coolest feature (sad I know that I think lawn mower features are cool, but give me a break, its the business that I am in). When you finish mowing the lawn there is a place to attach a hose to the mower and you let it run for a minute and it washes the deck of the mower so you never have to scrape the build up off. How cool is that?? Ok, for those of you who have never mowed a lawn you have no idea, but for anyone who has spent hours scraping the bottom of a mower to get built up grass clipping that smell awful off the deck of the mower you can understand just how totally awesome this is!