Wednesday, September 09, 2015

I'm Alive!

I'm fine...wasn't carried off by The Feels, lol. 

So, let's see, part of my Summer was spent working on re-doing the bedroom upstairs.

I faux-planked the floor and 3 of the walls (the 4th wall needs the windows replaced, so no use in doing it yet).  Also didn't get to the ceiling yet, either, as it wasn't that important.
Mainly I needed to be able to get the furniture my Mom gave me - a huge King size sleigh bed and a large chest of drawers - into the room (and out of my living- and dining rooms).

I did need a light in the room, which here in the South means a ceiling fan.
The ceiling wasn't done, so I wasn't really concerned about a fancy or particular ceiling fan, either. I had an old brass one I'd paid $3.00 for at a yard sale that would work for temporary.

But then, for no reason in particular, I decided to spray paint it. Didn't figure I could make it any worse.

J had brought home several nearly empty cans of black spray paint he rescued from the trash at work,

Plus we have a storage cabinet full of spray and bucket paint he got from cleaning out a basement,

I sprayed the entire fan black,  but then saw a can of Aqua colored spray paint and thought, hm, that might be pretty.

I'm not a great spray-painter, so it was glumpy in some spots, and working outside under a tree, stuff got on it.
No problem, I planned to sand them and give them another coat and let them dry under the porch.

Turned out, when I sanded, it looked like Chalkboard, and I liked it just as it was.
It turned out - IMO - really pretty, for being an old, brass, $3.00 yard sale find.

I bought it a set of cute $6- or $7.00 fan/light pulls, and now it's the room's permanent, no longer temporary, ceiling fan.
(Don't look at the ceiling, it needs work.)

Because I/we work so very slowly, there'll probably never be a finished Big Reveal, but here's a Before and an After-so-far Reveal:

Before (sort of. Our house used to be a duplex, with upstairs/downstairs apartments. This room was actually originally a kitchen. We tore it out to make a bedroom, but it turned into a junk/storage room for most of the time. This was after I cleared out most all the stuff. I actually tried to fix those holes in the pink wall, but it was just in too rough of shape. The original floor is pine hardwood, but covered in adhesive that I didn't have the muscle, skill or $$ to be able to get fixed):


Still much to do, but more progress than I/we've ever made on anything before, I think.

And much of my Summer, as you know, was spent outside, gardening and messing around in the yard and such.

My 3 Sisters garden failed, and my tomatoes and peppers never did do too well after the deer ate most of the tomatoes.
I did end up canning about 12 pints of stewed tomatoes for chili and homemade veggie soup this Fall/Winter, and about 3 pints of Pico de Gallo (salsa).

My Jack-Be-Little mini pumpkins also did well (for me) and I got about 10 little pumpkins.
Problem was, it was July, not October.

Apparently I could have soaked them in bleach and they would have lasted into October, but I tried another project instead...I cut them open and stirred/moved the innards around to make space for some potting soil. I watered and eventually most of them sprouted little pumpkin plants.
(Forgot to take a picture.)

I gave the pumpkins, sprouts and all to the Ladies (chickens) for a treat.
Well, really as part of their meal. Veggies, yard greens, kitchen scraps, etc. helps stretch the amount of feed they need.

I started seeing posts on some of my FB pages I follow talking about Fall gardening. I'd heard of, but hadn't really paid attention before because I figured it was just things like kale, collards, cabbage, etc. (Which I really should be more interested in, because that's the kind of stuff I could be feeding the Ladies.)

But no, it was apparently that, at least here in the South, because our frost dates are late enough, we could put in a second planting of tomatoes, corn, and what-all's.

I tried rooting some new tomato plants from pieces of the old tomato plants, but that didn't work out.

We did till up a square in another part of the yard and I planted a corn patch. It's coming up pretty good so far. Hopefully it'll continue to grow, and I'll get some corn this Fall.

This was also when I learned that if I want to have pumpkins at Halloween, I should plant them in July (not March/April).

Mid-July, not the last day of, but what the hay, it was still July, so I went for it, and planted more.

This time I tried to do my spot better, not just digging a hole in the ground and trying to grow plants right in with the grass and all.

I spread a layer or two of newspaper over the areas, watered it, then covered the newspapers with grass clippings, and watered good.
I brought some soil/compost and made mounds in/on the clippings, and sowed the pumpkin seeds. 

I started out watering twice a day since it was still hot/dry August, and have kept them weeded and mulched good.

They've sprouted and grown, and just this week finally bloomed the yellow blooms (I was beginning to think they weren't going to).
However, I haven't seen any bees or anything else that looks like pollinators, so I don't know if that will happen.

I really wish I was brave enough to get myself a hive.
I'm not particularly afraid of bees/wasps etc. here and there...but hives? Swarms? Yeah.

So anyway, I thought as long as I was attempting mini-pumpkins for Halloween, why not try for some big ol' jack-o-lantern type pumpkins, too?

So next to the corn patch, we (J) tilled up an area and we built an A-frame trellis thing with wire/fencing for the pumpkin vines to climb.

I've tried growing bigger pumpkins before, several times, so I should have known it, but turns out the larger pumpkin vines are waaaayyyyyy bigger than the mini ones.

I grew about two mini-pumpkin vines per cage-trellis and they wound around it and that was fine.

These bigger vines grew up and over and probably aren't even half as long as they typically grow.

These things are ginormous!

I'm not sure if pruning the vines to keep them short will mess it up.
I tried researching it, but most people seem to know how to grow pumpkins, like to make sure they have enough room to start with, so severe pruning isn't really an issue.

Oh well, if I kill them, I guess I can add it to my pumpkin-growing-failure-list.

(To be continued......)

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