Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Scientific Christmas and Birthday

While the holidays are not quite over around here, I thought I would show everyone what has made a Pooka a very happy girl. And not just because she has seen seeds reappearing at the store. Seeds which only bring out the Plant Zombie in her, and I scoot her away since it is still too early and I need to finish the holidays first.
Science garden supplies from Christmas. 
She was so happy when she opened her microscope on Christmas day. Santa apparently knew she desperately wanted one as well as some extra slides for it. This microscope should also work when taken off the base so she can explore with it. She got a butterfly kit from her Aunt and Uncle, so I guess the Black Swallowtails won't be the only butterflies a Pooka raises, and the new ones might have a better home then a mason jar. Mommy and Daddy got her the root viewer to watch the carrots and radishes grow. (Yep, it was a clearance find at the end of the summer). Hopefully it will work well and once the standard carrots are done, we may put some colored ones in it to see the difference.
Birthday flowers
Pooka also got some plants for her birthday. The Amaryllis in the box is a birthday present from her great aunt. They have had so much fun this summer discussing lavender even with the Great Aunt living far away. They have sent actual letters which just brightens any Pooka's day. The blue Amaryllis is from us. We bought it for someone else, but between the time we bought it and the time I went to wrap it, an oops happened. So it became a Pooka's, which will go along with the one Santa got her, so I think there may be some flowers in our future. I am sure I would have these all planted already if we didn't have a "You can open one toy/present" a day rule. You see we unwrap them all, but when Brother was about 2, I got real tired of getting halfway through opening whatever to have him bring me something else to put together. So the rule was put in place. This way, everything gets a special day, and I don't spend 3 days straight only putting things together.

Looks like I still kill house plants
It is probably a good thing that Pooka got more plants because as you can see, my black thumb has killed a good chunk of our herbs. I think it is a combination of being too dry, (although we try to water them quite a bit with any water left in drinking cups), and the cold since the sunniest spot is also by the back door that lets the cold in whenever the dog needs outside. This picture was taken the Christmas eve. The cilantro (blue pot), the dill (big pot with the stick) and the parsley (next to cilantro back row) have all been declared dead. The rosemary plants and the chives are doing fine, so they will be allowed to stay for now. With the new plants, I may see if I can find a better place for them, but that is not a decision for tonight. I hope you have had a good a winter holiday as we have. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy holidays and snow

Well, the holidays are here and may I just say its been a busy few days around here. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I will post more on the holidays after sort through everything, but lets say the science experiment is going to continue for awhile.  Now that its over, maybe I can get back to doing the blog regularly.

A few days ago, we got our first big snowfall. And while it was more ice then snow, it was enough to remind me and the garden that we do get a winter around her.

The garlic were a bit harder to find in all the snow. It didn't cover all of it, but it covered a good chunk and fortunately got the weeds that had encroached into the bed. However the garlic is a bit worse for the wear. I will be amazed if the garlic is alive in the spring but I don't think it will be.
However, the snap dragon pot that refuses to die is doing well. Even with the cold and the snow, its just as happy as can be and about to bloom again. I don't understand it at all.

The snow did claim the broccoli. I got most of it picked in the days before the snow, but it won't be coming back anytime soon. We pulled it out on Sunday and come spring we will till it into the ground.

On one small side note, I need to wish a Pooka a happy birthday. While I was never sure what I would do with a girl (I am so not a girly person). I cannot imagine life without her. I love you big girl.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Finding words

As we are all aware, something horrible happened in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. I find I am struggling with words on how to express what I feel, or even to figure out how I feel about what happened. With one in 4th grade, and another about to enter Kindergarten in the fall. I find that someway the world was knocked askew and I am having a harder time to fix it.

So while I grieve and feel and send as much positive energy as I can to those who need it, today is not a blogging day. So instead I will post a few pictures of flowers Pooka grew. Flowers for those who were lost, those who will be missed and those who will be missing them and will find the strength to go forward from here.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's December

First off, sorry for the bit of a break we took around here. The Thanksgiving holiday had us hopping and then things got a bit  busier at work when the first of December rolled around. Needless to say, things around here are still going, but the science experiments have taken a bit of a back seat to getting ready for the Holidays. Although Pooka said something to me recently while I was at work doing one of the less glamorous jobs. I was scrubbing out the container of preserved specimens and Pooka sat on a chair and watched me and said "Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be a scientist." That little comment made my day.

However, I blinked and it became December. It certainly doesn't feel like it with the temps being in the 60s and lots of sunshine. But that's what the calendar is saying. 

Garlic in DECEMBER?
I think the garlic is as confused as I am. Since the garlic is in the front yard, every time I come home I see the garlic and it just keeps growing. I am seriously doubting it will still be there in the spring. But like everything else this is an experiment and I think I am not the only one having a problem with bulbs I put in the ground being confused due to the weather. Don't you love the penguin Pooka picked out for her garden to make it more festive? 

Well, the garlic and weeds are happy

Also the weeds are only in that bed. If the garlic all dies, then we will just rake the entire bed over and turn it and the mulch that will be going in come spring will help keep them under control. I hope. As of right this second, the bed is pretty badly overgrown.

Broccoli keeps producing
Another confusing point is the Broccoli. It is flourishing in this weather and we are getting enough broccoli off it for about a meal every week to 2 weeks. Multiple times now Daddy and I have talked about it probably being done for the winter, and we should pull it, only to find more florets on it. Now I will admit we have never gotten a good broccoli "head" off it like you find in the grocery store, but we actually seem to prefer it this way since it means we don't have to chop it up before preparing it (which saves time). I think we will definitely be doing broccoli again next spring. But part of that depends on what Pooka wants to grow. 
Fallen but still producing broccoli
As you can see, one of the broccoli plants fell over awhile ago. It is still growing and still producing, but its laying on the ground. It is not the prettiest thing, but its doing what we ask of it, so it lives another day. As with everything around here, things continue to grow. Pooka has a birthday coming, and I may be hard pressed to pull off a scientist gardener party in the middle of winter.We still have a few plants in the house but that is for another day.